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Post-affair retrospective, or what who did, where and why.

(15 Posts)
ormirian Wed 19-Mar-14 12:07:32

Nearly 2 years down the line from dday I have been over my memories of my relationship with H with a fine toothcomb. Trying to work out where a really close, loving, intimate relationship where we shared everything and the rest of the world could disappear and we wouldn't care less, to one where we were both more or less indifferent to each others' presence and eventually H had an affair. You could remove the phrase 'H had an affair' with 'we got a divorce' if you wish, it's irrelevant to this post.

And the most truly tragic thing is that I cannot really find one occasion where I could point a finger at either one of us say 'that was a really shitty thing to do' or 'how could you be so unkind?. There were minor acts of selfishness and thoughtlessness at times but nothing that would have been a deal breaker on their own. And for a long long time we were still in love and inspite of life's difficulties (and there were more than our fair share at times) we preferred each other's company to anyone else's.

What did the damage? Resentment (mine mostly), complacency (again, mostly mine), selfishness (mostly his but mine as well) and laziness (ALL his!!). They act like waves on a cliff - slowly over time eroding what was once strong. Fear helped - we were both afraid to look at the damage and admit we had a problem. Failure to communicate about the negative.

We are getting back to what we had. Slowly. And it's OK, more than OK at times. But it shouldn't have got there in the first place.

I don't even know what I'd say to a couple getting together now. What advice I'd give to them. All we ever did was try to get by as best we could.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Wed 19-Mar-14 12:15:24

Each couple will be different, I suppose, Orm. Why does it happen? Goodness knows... =/- 1,000 different reasons coupled with opportunities for repair or affair. confused

It's so easy for people on the outside to say "It's a deal-breaker for me, I'd never give him another chance" but it's impossible to know unless you've been in that situation. With my previous partner, if he'd had an affair, I would have walked away (and did) - because my motivation to stay was not enough. With my current husband - I'd probably want to try and get back what we had but with that comes the realisation that what we had wasn't 'all that'. I don't know. Hopefully I'll never find out.

Talking of not finding out... I'm not convinced that disclosure/discovery is always the right way. Affairs happen so very often that I think sometimes they'd be better off being 'shrugged off' and relegated to 'unimportant in the grand scheme of things'. With that, you get to truly move on, when they feature very heavily and 'taint' a marriage, I would say that's so, so difficult.

Keep on keeping on, Orm. If what you're doing is right for you and your husband then nobody else's opinion really matters.

badbaldingballerina123 Wed 19-Mar-14 13:18:02

It's horribly too common , I think it changes who you are and how you see things. I think anyone is vulnerable to it in the right , or wrong circumstances.

worsestershiresauce Wed 19-Mar-14 13:46:36

Orm same time scale here, and finally I've reached the point where it really doesn't matter. I judge things on the here and now, not the whys and wherefores of the past. Everything that happened seems so very irrelevant now, even ow. I do occasionally wonder what she's up to. She was a 'nice girl', and I hope she has found someone her own age to settle down and have a family with. That's all she wanted.

Lying not knowing but wondering is an awful lot worse than having everything out in the open. You know when your partner is unfaithful. You don't know you know, but there is an something corrosive that you can't put your finger on. You also know when that has gone. Affairs don't taint a marriage, they actually make you wake up to reality and appreciate the good things in life more. They also make you appreciate each other more. DH used to take me completely for granted, and I him. We don't any more. We have stayed because we want to, but there is no obligation to stay, so each day is precious.

In a long winded way what I'm saying is I/we are happy, and either we can enjoy that, or spend the rest of our lives being miserable about the past. Why would anyone choose to waste their life doing that?

Keep going Orm it gets easier.

MissScatterbrain Wed 19-Mar-14 14:13:19

The situation you describes is a bit like the boiled frog syndrome where minor acts of selfishness, laziness etc become worse and gradually boundaries are affected.

Also its a catch 22 scenario - the more you behave badly, the less respect there is between the two parties, creating distance and resentment.

I also think a lot of people confused married love with conditional love.

MissScatterbrain Wed 19-Mar-14 14:13:31

*confuse

FoxyTerrier Wed 19-Mar-14 16:07:13

Orm...I have read your threads since finding out about my DH's affair nearly 6 months ago. They have been a great help.

I am still going over our relationship- and needing more details of his affair - A LOT. In hindsight, there were little things that were not right before he embarked on the affair. But, similarly, no huge problems that would constitute a dealbreaker.

Things have been going well between us and we are certainly moving forward 'together'. I just want to stop feeling that I should analyse all the time...I wonder, can you ever truly 'relax' in a relationship again??? But maybe that just breeds complacency and that's where things went wrong? All very confusing, and yes, I think it will change how I view things in the future. I still cannot understand why he let it happen.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 19-Mar-14 16:10:51

Orm you probably faced H's skewed thinking and his denial of any wrong-doing to justify his selfish behaviour. Analysing the past, you can't trace when things went wrong.

Relationships experience an ebb and flow. I have seen it said here, many people conducting an affair are not unhappy, nor out of love with their usual partner. Maybe catastrophe can happen when unknown quantity, X arrives on the scene especially at a particular point in your relationship. And even then, nine times out of ten, nothing would come of it. People often say, if a cheat had not chased this OW, then another OW would have materialised, but we don't know that.

(I don't mean, it's all just complete chance, and we are powerless to resist, which lets H off the hook. Last thing a cheating partner needs is validation that everything happened beyond his or her control. Neither am I blaming it all on the OW, who does not owe DW any loyalty).

I just wonder if, for all the petty flaws and faults that we all carry within us, (resentment, compacency etc), there's nothing that you could have handled differently, up to when OW rolled along at that particular moment. A 'perfect storm' of different factors saw your H give himself the green light to go ahead and risk the marriage. If H himself can't articulate what pushed him over the edge, I don't see how you can detect what caused it, but two years on you are building life up again, which takes guts.

ormirian Wed 19-Mar-14 16:40:57

Thanks for your replies.

I am just musing really.

donkey - to be fair to him he never blamed me. He didn't need to. I was doing a pretty good job without him hmm At first he did have a sort of martyred air about him that pissed me off - 'look how good I am being, not contacting OW, and letting Orm get mad at me, and not blaming her'. I felt like he was behaving towards me like a crying child, 'there, there!' while his head was elsewhere. Which drove me mad! But that passed too. The shock wore off for him and he began to see the magnitude of what he had done. And then we began to make progress.

ormirian Fri 21-Mar-14 12:19:28

Talked to H last night. Slightly drunkenly it must be added! It seems he has been doing the same as me - thinking back. We spent a happy few hours reminiscing about the first home we shared, the damp, the next doors cat who came in to chase our mammoth spiders, when H broke the window with a football, how broke we were, the lady in the bakery who used to give us left over cakes because we didn't have any money. Christ. Seems like a different lifetime. It was so simple.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Fri 21-Mar-14 13:41:58

A good bedrock for later years.

maras2 Fri 21-Mar-14 14:12:32

I admire you so much Orm and refer posters , who want to keep their relationships after deceit , to your threads and posts . Will you ever be able to get over it ? I hope so because should this happen to me I don't know if I could LTB and would need support from women like you < and women like AF to give the alternative POV > . By the way , has you know who left DH's place of work yet ? Not just being nosey but wondering if she still thinks that she's in with a chance .

ormirian Fri 21-Mar-14 14:24:14

Hi maras, thanks so much x It helps because sometimes I question myself and feel utterly weak and pathetic for doing this. Then we have a good phase and I am delighted I did.

She who much not be named has been on mat leave for the last year. I beleive she is due back soon. If she comes back. H doesn't know but I have asked him to keep me posted - I am not indifferent enough not to need to know! A new school has been built and the special school is now amalgamated with the secondary school so they are unlikely to spend much time together even if she does come back.

A friend of mine saw her recently and I was secretly pleased very sad to hear that she has put on about 4 stone and was v spotty.

ormirian Fri 21-Mar-14 14:26:01

But to anwer your question properly - I don't think it would matter if she did try again. I hope that H would simply walk away, and if he didn't I would at least no I am wasting my time and would stop wasting it forthwith. I have made it as clear as I can that reconciliation is a one time offer!

badbaldingballerina123 Sat 22-Mar-14 01:42:43

I too read through all your posts , for obvious reasons , and found them very helpful. I know what you mean about simple times.

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