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How do I get over this?(9 Posts)
Before I start, I fully accept that I may well get flamed - but I need to get this out. Have name changed as some people in RL know my username. Sorry that this will be long, but I don't want to drip feed.
I've been with my DH for ten years, married for seven. Two and a half years ago I had an affair. I didn't realise it at the time but it followed all the cliches - I became good friends with OM, started feeling like he understood me so much better than DH, I began to question everything with DH and thought I had fallen out of love with him, OM just seemed to 'get me', we had a lot in common, etc etc. I now realise that although my feeling like that highlighted issues DH and I were having, I was just making those issues far worse and had emotionally 'checked out'. Although I felt like I had tried speaking to DH about the issues I clearly didn't try hard enough - though he did admit he didn't make that easy because he took a bit of a head-in-sand approach.
I spent six months trying to decide whether to leave DH, and being too cowardly to end things with either man as I was scared of losing the 'wrong one'. OM (who was single) told me he loved me more than he ever had anyone, that he'd wait for years if necessary, that I was his whole life. Eventually I told him I could never leave DH and was ending it - cue him being distraught, telling me he couldn't cope without me, and so on. I was weak and went back. A fortnight later I then came to the decision that I would leave DH. OM did a very abrupt U-turn and said he didn't want me any more. He announced his new relationship (who he had just met) to everyone two weeks later, and moved her and her kids in with him and his kids three months after that.
It was really messy - I was distraught, I told DH everything, he was gutted, OM (who I still had to see) started to treat me like I was an evil witch (largely because I had told DH, and he couldn't bear the thought of other people thinking bad of him if DH told anyone), and it took me a long time to get over everything which eventually culminated in me having weeks off work for depression and DH and I splitting up for a couple of weeks (instigated by me). I cut all contact with OM and have remained that way.
Since we got back together things have been good. I am so, so glad that DH gave me a second chance. At the time OM took the decision out of my hands, but I shudder to think of how my life might have turned out if I had actually been stupid enough to leave DH. I would have lost my soulmate, my best friend, the best thing to ever happen to me. I absolutely adore him and I cannot believe how incredibly lucky I am that he still wants me after everything I did to him. I have nothing but respect for the way he handled things - with complete dignity, and he has never brought it up to use against me.
However, I am finding it increasingly difficult to come to terms with what I did. I have no desire to ever see, speak to, or hear from/of OM again. My relationship with DH is better than it has ever been, and we are far more open with each other than we were before. I love him more than I could ever say and I know that there is absolutely no way I would ever do anything like that again - I understand why I did it (reason, not justification, as there is none). I just cannot bear the thought of what I did and wish I could just wipe it from my mind. Every time I hear a name like OM's, or his GF's, or see someone that looks vaguely like them, I am haunted again by it all. It's like I'm always looking over my shoulder.
DH and I are overjoyed to have just found out we're expecting our first child, but still the thought of what I did makes me feel sick and burst into tears. I don't know how to get past this. It isn't anything DH has done - as I've said, he has (somehow) forgiven me, and never uses it against me. I can't talk to anyone in RL about it, and I feel awful talking to DH about it because I just feel so selfish for even feeling bad. I feel like I don't have a right to be upset because it's all my own fault. I have changed a lot since then, and have learnt so much about myself and about how to deal with things, but it's not getting any easier. Sometimes it just consumes me and I just sit and sob because I don't know how to cope with the fact that I put my quite frankly awesome DH through hell. I know I deserve this but that doesn't help me get through day-to-day. If anyone has any advice I would love to hear it.
Time basically, that will help heal the wounds and you'll have a day where you don't actually think about it.
Everything is fabulous now, perfect in fact, what if things start going crap again and the mundane cycle of life takes over cos that's the reality, I hope you still feel your OH is amazing then.
You did what you did cos you wanted to, even leaving your OH and then the OM, you certainly played them both a merry dance with the OM hitting you right back with some of your own medicine, other than learning from it and using those mistakes to help you make better informed judgements and have better morals and compassion for your partner, it's really that and just time to let it lie in the past.
Thanks for your reply. We've had crap times and incredibly stressful times in the two years since - hasn't changed how I feel about him. Part of what sparked it was me feeling bad about myself, low self-confidence, and being depressed and OM making me feel wanted...talk about a cliche. I recognise the signs of feeling depressed now and I talk to DH about it instead (like a sane human). I am doing absolutely everything I can to make it right (not to make up for it - nothing can do that - but to move forward). I am far more considerate of DH than I was, and he says I have changed for the better, so I think I'm heading in the right direction. I've had times when I've not thought nearly so much about it, but in the past few months it has all come flooding back and now I think about it every day.
You can't change the facts of the situation - it happened and there is nothing at all you can do about it. The only thing you can change is your own reaction to what happened and I strongly recommend you get some counselling to help you get a bit of perspective and help you change the way you think about it.
Its in the past and dwelling on the past has a habit of consuming the present and the future - which you can change.
I had a fair amount of counselling during and after it all. I don't know how to stop being reminded of it by every little thing. It's driving me crazy.
Have you tried Cognitive Behavioural Therapy? That specifically aims to help with repetitive and negative thought patterns.
Forgive yourself, these things happen even to the saintly.Good to hear you've had counselling but maybe a repeat visit now things have changed and you're expecting? Look forward to your new life together. Don't lumber it with regrets. I hope you have a world of happiness.
Thanks octopush, that's very kind of you.
Yes I've tried CBT. Worked for the anxiety / depression which I realised was partly the cause of what I did, but not much help in this case. I am terrified that DH will one day decide he's had enough of me.
I think having the baby and working with your dh to raise your new family will help you forget. Most of us felt unsettled/tearful/hormonal during early pregnancy and you're just focussing on something that most other don't have to worry about. Time is a great healer - forgive yourself in the same way that your dh has found the strength to do.
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