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Can my wife ever forgive my affair?

(130 Posts)
Funkywotsits Fri 02-Jan-15 21:07:41

I'd like some honest advice please.
Back in 2014 I had a silly,brief,stupid and first time ever affair.
I told my wife it was going on and stupidly told her our marriage (7 yrs) was over.
I left her ( and my sons) for three days before opening my eyes and seeing what a stupid mistake I had made.
I ended the affair straight away and asked to come home and she said 'No'.
We have lived apart for 6 months now but have talked about going for counselling ( Relate) soon.
I truly regret this ever happening and over the past six months have kept some distance as asked,sought 1-1 counselling,kept regular contact with my Son's,paid monthly amount to run family home and caused no trouble or hassled her.
Can she ever forgive me? Does that happen?

catbus Fri 02-Jan-15 21:10:57

She might forgive you, but that doesn't equate to her taking you back..
You took away her trust in you. Which will take an awful lot longer than six months to get her head around, I suspect.

inlectorecumbit Fri 02-Jan-15 21:14:05

and first time ever affair sounds like you are proud of it being only your first-are you planning some more at some point?
Some people can recover from an affair-but personally l could never forgive . Well done to your DW for saying No that took a lot of courage.

YellowTulips Fri 02-Jan-15 21:15:31

She might or she might not.

It's not something you have any control over.

Upshot is you forfeited all input into any aspect of your marriage when you fucked someone else and left her.

tippytap Fri 02-Jan-15 21:16:17

Could I ask how you found this forum?

Does your wife post on here?

Fullpleatherjacket Fri 02-Jan-15 21:20:05

She might forgive you but it's going to take a long, long time if ever for her to trust you.

I don't blame her for thinking it over very, very carefully.

You sound as though you're getting impatient. Give her the space she needs for as long as she needs.

demoska1 Fri 02-Jan-15 21:24:26

I allowed my partner to come home after his affair with a work colleague. We were apart for 3 weeks. I coped well the first year, I was positive and determined. 2014 was a horrendous year, it's caught up with me big time, I feel like I've been smashed in my heart with a brick. I have no confidence, no trust and so so hurt. I hope I can recover.
I'd like to say your wife will forgive but it's going to be a big challenge for her and for you to show her you are truly sorry for destroying her soul.

Deserttrek Fri 02-Jan-15 21:24:59

Some of those things you are doing, keeping distance, regular contact with sons, paid maintenance and not causing trouble or hassling her, well to be brutal these are things you should do anyway in marriage and out of it. These are things a decent human does, whatever their position. Doing those things does not mean you will start earning brownie points and get back into the marriage, or repair it. These actions are without conditions. A marriage is an agreement, a promise a pledge and another brutal truth is that when those agreements are broken the marriage ends. And she might forgive you. And she might take you back. Those things are unpredictable. If I were in your situation, I would see this as an opportunity to work on myself, to work out why I did what I did, to learn from it, to change, and then who knows. But together or apart, your future will be a better place.

Hassled Fri 02-Jan-15 21:28:31

She may already have forgiven you. What she might be struggling with is forgetting. When my first H strayed, I could forgive him (we had a shit marriage, were both unhappy) but I just couldn't get it out of my head. We split up soon after.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 02-Jan-15 21:31:43

Whether she forgives you or not is completely out of your hands. Once you've shat on someone from a great height, smashed their trust and broken their heart, it really doesn't matter how sorry you are, how many courses you volunteer for or how big a mistake you think you made. It entirely depends on whether they are willing to take the risk of being shat on again. ...

Izzie595 Fri 02-Jan-15 21:34:34

I found this online sometime ago. Sorry I can't just do a link, I copied and pasted it myself. No, my H didn't do those things. We are no longer together:

I am just over 3 months on from discovering my DH's affair.

In no particular order other than how they come into my head:-

He ended his affair straight away.
He booked counselling for us.
He has spent a lot of time working out why he behaved how he did.
He has been open with me about everything he did. He didn't minimise but confessed all when confronted.
He is affectionate and attentive.
He tells me if he is going to be late home and why.
We have talked lots about the affair and his feelings surrounding it, and mine too.
He listens to me if I am upset and attempts to comfort me.
He makes an effort to do little things for me like run me a bath.
He booked us a weekend away to have a chance to spend some child-free time together and sorted out the childcare.
He is no longer glued to his phone and distant. He spends his time in the house with
He gives me space if I need it.
He emails me from work to ask how my day is going and to tell me about his.
If he has to interact with the OW at work (very rarely) he emails me after a meeting to tell me that she is still being professional (as is he) and she hasn't attempted to engage him in any way.
He tells me he loves me and wants to make this work if I have a wobble.
He confessed to his mum what he'd done - a huge step as he is her blue-eyed boy.
He makes an effort to do things with me even if it is only going to the supermarket.
We go to bed at the same time as each other - no more staying up late to avoid chatting with me and therefore having to lie directly. It was much easier to just lie by omission.
He has accepted that the affair was totally and utterly him being a selfish idiot and there is no justification for what he has done.
He thanks me for giving him a chance.
He is open with his phone / email account / passwords etc.

It's not easy. But his changed behaviour is making it easy.

Before his affair we were happy - he admits this himself. We were in a bit of a rut maybe but still not a reason to do what he's done! I haven't forgiven him, but I am willing to accept that neither of us can change what has happened and we are moving forward together.

Izzie595 Fri 02-Jan-15 21:35:29

Cogito makes a very good point. As always

NettleTea Fri 02-Jan-15 21:39:19

she may forgive you, but the marriage is changed forever, and she may well never want you back. And in a way, why should she? You cant take back that you shagged someone else. You had your fun. Perhaps she needs to see if the grass is greener too before she decides whether she wants you back.

Sounds to me like you thought you had found something better. Did the other woman not want you? why should your wife want you back under those circumstances? The fall back, when it didnt work out with the OW?

You need to do a lot of work on yourself to understand why you felt entitled to fuck someone else, to put your sexual gratification above your promises to the marriage. Dont go blaming her for any of it - if there were problems in the marriage why didnt you talk about them rather than look elsewhere? If you start finger pointing and saying 'its because you didnt x,y, z' then you are not going to get anywhere. You need to own your own decisions and get to the bottom of why you made them. You need to give her as much space as she needs - even if that is for ever, and keep your contact solely to do with the kids. Dont harrange her or try to get her into conversations, dont doorstep her, dont invade her space. You chose to walk out, so have the respect to stay out. You need to understand that what she does now is actually none of your business, and in many ways you need to get on with your life with the thought that she wont take you back, and that she is free to make herself a new life.

IF she wants to go to counselling it may turn out to be about how to split up for good. It may be about how to move forward together. If it gets to that point then it needs both people to be happy. Maybe she wont be. Maybe, when you hear what she says, you wont be. You are both free to make those decisions.

Why did you tell her about the affair - was she at the point of finding out? Was the other woman going to tell her? Or did you feel too guilty and uncomfortable with yourself keeping the secret? Or was it because you had a new set up ready to move in to.

And BTW, paying maintanance, seeing your sons and not hassling her are the minimum you should be doing anyway - you shouldnt be looking for some kind of pat on the back for not being even more of an arsehole now she has rightfully refused to take you back.

Deserttrek Fri 02-Jan-15 21:40:12

Whether she forgives you or not is completely out of your hands.
^ It's not something you have any control over.^

OP has come for advice, assuming this is practical advice, should he just walk away, other than from the responsibilities that I have alluded to?

Vivacia Fri 02-Jan-15 21:46:55

Do you think there's a chance your wife may use Mumsnet herself?

NettleTea Fri 02-Jan-15 21:48:00

I think he has been given advice

work on yourself and work out why you did it, without laying blame at anyone elses door

Give her space - you cant force someone to either love or trust you

keep doing the decent thing regarding the kids.

There really isnt much more he can do - he has asked to come back, she said no. They are discussing relate, so she knows he still wants to come back. If he has done the work on himself (which, after 6 months, I doubt is complete, is probably really only scratching the surface) then he has something to contribute in counselling. If there were some issues in the marriage then that can be addressed in a healthy way. But beyond that there really isnt much anyone can say.

Izzie595 Fri 02-Jan-15 21:49:40

Plenty of couples seem to survive affairs. There is plenty of information online, as well as books available to help. So, to answer your original question, it is possible to work through it if both parties are willing to consider it.

A word of advice. Please don't underestimate the devastating effect an affair has on the innocent party, if I can use those words. It really is like having your whole world blown apart. Physically, emotionally, all sorts of ways. I would suggest you fully read up about that so that you can give it your best shot

Hesaysshewaffles Fri 02-Jan-15 21:59:54

I'm two years on from finding out my husband had an affair. Just literally divorced. For me, I was able to forgive as I genuinely believe when it all came out he knew it was wrong and had learnt from it, HOWEVER I will never forget the hurt he caused me. Whilst his affair went on I was treated dreadfully and people were worried about my state of mind it was that bad. I also can't forget the way I was lied to and treated when I found out.

Ironically, now two years on we get on remarkably well co-parenting and at the back of my mind I'll always wonder 'what if', but truth is although the pain isn't with me everyday, I will never forget it.

Not sure that helps?

worserevived Fri 02-Jan-15 21:59:57

My honest opinion, no you don't have a chance. Why?

First you walked out on her and the children, without so much as a thought as to how she would cope, and it took you 3 days to work out it was a mistake. Three days is a long time. Time during which she'd have had to emotionally write you out of her life to keep herself sane. Once you do that, it's hard to write that person back in again.

Second, if you really did end the affair straight away, and have been apart 6 months without her showing any sign of wanting to try again, I'd say she's happy with the status quo. It can be very liberating, ditching someone who has been a dead weight in your life. Why take them back and re-open old wounds? Why live with doubt and mistrust?

My advice, let her go, with your blessing. Be happy for her when she finds someone who values her, and makes her happy.

BadKatie Fri 02-Jan-15 22:22:00

You fool. You are lucky she is speaking to you at all. Make plans for 'not' getting back with her

CaramelPie Fri 02-Jan-15 22:32:13

Why did you tell her it was over? Was the marriage bad before you left? Maybe that's why she doesn't want to get back with you.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 02-Jan-15 22:36:01

'should he just walk away?'

He already did walk away. hmm My point is that forgiveness is not something the guilty party can demand, manipulate, engineer or persuade. No one can break someone's trust and then expect to be trusted if they do X and say Y. The control is all with the injured party....

Funkywotsits Sat 03-Jan-15 00:11:47

Thank you all for your straight and valid views,Some I was dreading to hear if I'm honest.
I have a lot to take in and feel even more ashamed of myself than I did before ( which I deserve).
Can I answer a few points if that's ok?
Inlectore : and first time ever affair sounds like you are proud of it...Never in a million years am i proud of what I've done to my wife and children,together or apart I will always feel the shame of this.
Tippytappy: My wife is'nt on here I don't think and MN was suggested by a close pal who's posted himself.
Fullpleather: Not impatient,just we've grown closer over Xmas period and shared a few conversations that should be kept to our Relate I feel.I may be being a typical man and trying to be the "Rescuer" now.We both agree space given pre Xmas needs to be back now to allow more healing for her,and my own counselling to continue.
Her world has been shattered by this,and the effects on the children can be noted,So this is no quick ( if ever) fix.
Desertrekk: No brownie points wanted,I didn't explain very well that I meant I wasn't being more of an arse than I had been and was doing what is rightly fully expected.
Izzie595: I have a copy of Relate's after the affair book,it looks at why affairs happen and the healing process,your long list of things note shows me what needs to be done.
Nettle: I ended the affair with OW as I knew it was such a wrong thing to be doing,I hadn't found better than I had,I found an escape from the sadness I was carrying with me.Its not a reason to justify,just fact I'm afraid to say.I ran away from all my problems and to somebody else,I hated lying to my wife and causing hurt,but I was weak and selfish! In leaving (for three days) I was simply avoiding,running from the mess.My head felt like it was under water and I needed to breathe then run,run,run!!!
I did walk out on my wife and children that weekend ( and before in starting the affair) For two months I betrayed all the trust they had in me,I've hurt them,my inlaws,my family,our friends and myself.I can only say the past six months have allowed time to reflect on many personal issues I have and have given me a will to seek help and move forward in my life,one way or another.

GraysAnalogy Sat 03-Jan-15 00:15:39

I don't think she will. Not only did you have an affair, you left your own ^ children for three days^. That affair meant more to you at that time than they did.

There's always a chance however.

GraysAnalogy Sat 03-Jan-15 00:18:10

Also the 'weak' excuse that gets trotted out annoys the life out of me. That sort of attitude needs to go. You weren't weak, you weren't blinded, you knew exactly what you was doing but you chose the lust. It's not a weakness its a decision.

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