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My wife had an affair for 9 months - trying to make sense of it

(39 Posts)
John1970 Tue 23-Dec-14 13:14:13

Apologies for posting on this board, not a very 'manly' thing to do I know but I am at my wits end to be honest and grateful for any unbiased and objective advice/opinions I can get.

I found out a week ago that my wife had been having an affair for 9 months. I would never have believed that she would done this. We have two lovely girls, 15 and 8, and although life was not perfect, I thought we were doing ok although the past 10 years have been tough, up and down. I've found out since that it really was a 'full on' affair, although more lust than love. She says she did it because I wasn't giving her enough attention and also mentioned that "unlike him, you have never given me an orgasm". She did things with him that I wouldn't have even dared ask her to do (or wanted to in some cases). I've asked her to have STI tests, and she has done this. Every 'meeting' took place in our house, in our bedroom, in our bed. It was all during the day, because she doesn't work. They met through a community music group that my younger daughter goes (went) to. The fact that it all took place at home has made it worse. It has really been messing with my head, that he has walked through the house and done the things he has done, right here.

It gets significantly more complicated, in that my wife has suffered, on and off for the past 10 years, with severe depression, including hospitalisation on one occasion. I gave up work to look after the kids, then later, we got a full time live in nanny for 18 months. I always supported her, and I always put the children before work, cutting corners a lot of the time to do school runs, cook etc. I've always had pretty demanding jobs, well paid, and so eventually cutting corners took it's toll and I went from 13 years with 1 company to 2 job changes over the past 4 years.

My wife has always been a very anxious, needy personality. I say 'always', but not in the beginning, when we met. She was fun and confident, but over the years became increasingly resentful of not going to university and having a career and her self esteem issues got completely out of the proportion. She has said some very damaging things to the girls e.g. "I gave up my career for you two", "Don't have children when you grow up". She never had a career to give up, she was an accounts admin person in an insurance company.

Anyway - I am rambling already. Back to the affair. It all came out because I thought she as going 'down' again, getting depressed again. She was in bed, looking worried, anxious, like she used to. So I asked her what she was worried about, and it just came out. Clearly she has been bottling things up and struggling to deal with it. But she never put a stop to it over 9 months? I still can't believe it. She even had the nerve to say to me that there was some good things to come out of it, namely that our sex life had improved (dramatically, which it had). I couldn't believe she expected me to be grateful.

She is now very remorseful. But also keen to keep it all very quiet. I cant believe I didn't see the signs - she was VERY protective of her phone. Always kept it password protected and in her back pocket. She was obsessed with social media, sending 15,000 tweets in 12 months. They 'traded' photos on Facebook. It's all just so disgusting.

She now wants us to try and make a go of it. I asked her to go to her parents for a long weekend but I've allowed her to come back for Christmas. It would be hard for me to look after the kids on my own, without informing work (again).

I just can't believe after all that's happened over 10 years she would do this. I always looked after her when she was down, and she is going down again now, with the stress of all this, she is already threatening to kill herself (she tried to drink bleach a few evenings ago, I threw it out of the bedroom window).

I went to see a solicitor although I probably went too early whilst I was still in shock. It felt like the right thing to do, to understand my options. Clearly I have grounds for divorce, I was trying to see if I could afford to give up work for 4 years until my eldest has gone to uni. I think I could just about do it, financially, as we have been savers not spenders, but it doesn't help that she would get half our assets. It just feels very unfair, and I need to decide what is the "best worst option". At the moment, I am choosing the "live with it" option, but I know from looking after her before, that I need to look after myself, and I don't know if I can continue to look after her (if she gets depressed again) after she has done THIS. Also, I wonder if there is more happiness out there for me i.e. someone else, and do I want to be sharing my later years with her, when the girls have left home.

All in all, not the best Christmas......... (a bit of gallows humour there....)

Bonsoir Tue 23-Dec-14 13:19:35

Your poor thing. It sounds as if you have been very supportive of a wife with significant MH issues for many years.

If you and she want to give your marriage another chance I suspect your wife needs to go out and get a degree and use her brain. It sounds to me as if most of her problems are due to chronic lack of stimulation.

Marmaladybird Tue 23-Dec-14 13:23:05

I'm pretty speechless, to be honest. I know from personal experience how hard it is to forgive, but I don't think I would ever be able to live with the fact that my husband had been conducting an affair in my house, in my bed.

'Pretty remorseful' doesn't say things about better sex and orgasms, in my experience. That's stuff to be ashamed of, not proud of.

She doesn't sound the right kind of sorry, in my opinion and I really feel for you.

Vivacia Tue 23-Dec-14 13:28:43

You've told us what she wants, but what do you want?

Personally, I'd be telling her to leave permanently and looking in to my financial rights. Surely she can't be entitled to half whilst the children are still children? (And sod it, I'd be squirrelling away what I could in the meantime).

I don't see how you can go back after this? She doesn't sound remorseful, she sounds downright cruel.

Pussycat02 Tue 23-Dec-14 13:36:14

Hi I really feel for you , if your wife wanted this other man she would have left , so if you still love her mabe it's worth a go, I would sell your house tell her a fresh start you can't stay there with all those thoughts, it sounds like this is a cry for help from her and she needs more treatment . However if u do want to split from her you could always get au pair to help with girls there are lots of ways around this

earplugsahoy Tue 23-Dec-14 13:55:19

She sounds bloody vile to be honest.

You sound like a lovely supportive husband and i am sure your children adore you.

My advice? Ditch this bitch, tell her you want her out and as this guy is so comfortable coming into your home and shagging your wife she can go live with him.

Go back to the solicitor and divorce her, she thinks your a mug who will run around after her and is using being low as a unforgivable reason for some shity behaviour.

You sound lovely, and once you've picked yourself up get yourself stuck into work provide for your girls who will be better off without a mother who emotionally blackmails them (wtf??) and find someone who will love you in the way you deserve to be loved.

glammanana Tue 23-Dec-14 13:56:32

Your support for your wife over the years has been admirable and I really feel for you and that you have been more than fair,your youngest is only 8 yrs old so you would not be forced to sell your house until she is at least 18 so you have a long way to go and you could easily have your finances sorted by then which would enable you to keep the property,or you could downsize for you and your girls,I do think there is no going back with regards to your marriage things are going to reappear again in a year or two you can be sure of that I think,better sorting things now with a solicitor and getting your girls on a level footing as it can't be good for them can it.? Au-pair or nanny share is the solution to child care it will take the strain off childcare for you and is affordable.

Legionofboom Tue 23-Dec-14 14:13:25

Bloody hell.

It sounds as though you have been extremely supportive to your W while she simply blames everyone but herself for her situation.
She had an affair because you weren't paying her enough attention.
She gave up her non-existent career because of the DC.

I'm not sure how this can change. If your youngest child is 8 and your wife is at home all day there is not reason why she couldn't enroll in a course. I'm guessing she has a list of reasons why she can't, none of which are her fault of course.

What I can't see is what you get out of this relationship. Her comments to you about the affair were deeply hurtful and unkind not contrite and repentant. She appears to have no respect for you at all.

You say she makes damaging comments to your DC too.

I honestly think that the home would be a happier, healthier environment without her.

You deserve better, much better. But I think you know that.

talbotinthesky Tue 23-Dec-14 14:33:09

I think you'd find it hard to trust her again, I know I would. She sounds like a truly awful person who you'd be better off without.

BreakingDad77 Tue 23-Dec-14 15:40:19

Vivacia Surely she can't be entitled to half whilst the children are still children? Sad but true and she will probably get some of your pension etc too.

This woman is toxic, and cant believe her attitude to you being 'grateful'

You could try to co-exist, ie live in the same house but would probably mess with the kids heads.

Finances could be a nightmare, get a good solicitor, a female one.

I feel sorry for you as a previous colleague who went to OZ/NZ with family he thought it was a better life, they had better standard of living but she wanted to come back so they did as she didn't adjust to it. She then proceeded to cheat on him, got found out, divorce have to sell house he's in late 40's having to have the kids at his parents because he has no home.

Wotsitsareafterme Tue 23-Dec-14 16:09:33

Sounds like you have shouldered everything too long. You sound quite sensitive and capable. You also sort of suggest the kids would stay with you if you separated which would make quite a difference to a settlement.
Sounds like you could move on and recover from this and probably meet someone who appreciates you in time.

BreakingDad77 Tue 23-Dec-14 16:20:11

This could get messy as she may wish to hang on to the kids and fight for custody, and unless you show that she has some specific problem that is stopping her from doing so. she will pull on your heart strings to not see them thrown out on the street and may want to keep the house.

Morticia45 Tue 23-Dec-14 16:23:37

I'm with Viv on this. What do YOU want? (Apart from a negative result from the GUM clinic, obviously?) Having been in your shoes, I know it's not as straight forward as it appears. There are memories, children, feelings and a shared past that all factor in the shambles that is now going on in your head. How would she feel if you had done it to her? Probably suicidal, I expect.
Give yourself some space and time before you do anything. Love your children. Decide what is right for you and them, and if necessary, get your wife's GP to assess her level of depression.

Best of luck!

loveareadingthanks Wed 24-Dec-14 10:57:13

Yes, what do you really want? Never mind finances/assets etc, can you see yourself married and happy with her in the future? Is this what you want?

If it is, well, all I can suggest is that a house move be part of your very immediate plans to get away from the thoughts and memories of 'him' in your home.

Personally, while I understand that some people can forgive and get over affairs, it's a deal breaker for me. But even if that's something you can forgive, can you really forgive not just having an affair but

doing it in your home, in your own bed FFS that's disgusting and cruel!
taunting you with details of their sex life and insulting you - emotionally abusive
blackmailing you by threatening suicide and expecting her behaviour to all be forgotten because of her mental health - emotionally abusive

It's worth losing half the assets to get shot of such a bitch.

Would you be concerned about the children's safety/her ability to parent if she is so ill and suicidal? You need to think hard about having residency and asking her to be the one to leave, without the children, and only have supervised access to them until she is well again.

ShortandSweeter Wed 24-Dec-14 11:39:36

Sorry OP, sounds like an awful situation- she sounds like she's been acting like a right bitch and doesn't seem to be taking the right amount of responsibility for the affair either.

If it were me, I would be asking my wife to leave for good- but only you can really know if it's salvageable or whether you want it to be. Give yourself time to get your head around it all before you make any decisions. Best of luck!

Tobyjugg Wed 24-Dec-14 13:07:34

If it were me she'd be asked to leave and told the lawyers will be in touch.

ThePinkOcelot Wed 24-Dec-14 14:04:06

I don't think there's any going back from this OP. She's not even sorry and even has the audacity to be blaming you for her affair. She sounds horrible!

emeline Wed 24-Dec-14 14:14:17

She's very remorseful, wants to make a go of it with you, and your sex life has improved.

She tries to drink bleach and had great sex with somebody else in your bed.

Hmmm.

She got depressed while married to you. You work very hard and never 'gave her' an orgasm.

Sounds like you need a lot more than a thread on MN to help you out.

If you really want to give this a go read Shirley Glass - Not Just Friends. You'll both need a lot of counselling and proof the affair is over.

I'm so sorry.

Jingalingallnight Wed 24-Dec-14 14:39:48

Don't assume the parent with the kids gets the house till they reach 18. Did not happen in my case!

FrogIsATwatInASantaHat Wed 24-Dec-14 15:04:31

Did someone really blame her behaviour on lack of stimulation. ?
Yes that must be why. confused
As you were...

simontowers2 Wed 24-Dec-14 15:08:57

Counselling aint the answer, even remotely. This woman is clearly a warped individual. The best thing is for the OP to focus the legal practicalities of separation and look to get on with his life. What a hideous woman. You are well shot OP.

BigCatFace Fri 26-Dec-14 04:45:57

I feel for you OP and echo other suggestions of going to solicitor. She is not remorseful. Remorse is not blame (not on you, nor on depression). Don't allow yourself to be manipulated by suicide threats either. It's a way to shut you down. Tell her if she's feeling suicidal then you should call 999.

Egghead68 Fri 26-Dec-14 05:14:58

I'd end the relationship and sort out some paid childcare.

Aussiemum78 Fri 26-Dec-14 05:25:49

If you can split amicably (will be a challenge), you should aim for joint custody (assuming she wants it) so that you can both work. maybe try and split assets so you can both afford a nice unit.

Or drop to part time.

I think your wife has been unhappy for a long time, but has felt "stuck" because of the kids, you need to cut the cord for both of you.

I don't really understand why you would quit work for four years.

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