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Help! feel like my world has collapsed.

(42 Posts)
dragonwick Sun 21-Jun-15 14:17:55

I have just found out my dh has been having sexting affair with an old 'freind' from college, on and off for the last 2 yrs. We have been together for 13 yrs, married for 8 yrs. We have a 5 yo DD. I am so shocked and feel sick, I wouldn't have believed he would ever do this, I have always felt so secure in our relationship. It hasn't been without problems but I have always trusted him completely. Some instinct led me to check his text messages on our shared iPad (haven't snooped on him before), there were explicit pictures from her, back and fourth texts, the content you can imagine. They also said 'I love you'. I told him I knew straight away and he confessed, told me he was sorry, deeply ashamed, had tried to stop it and they had stopped for about a year and then it started again, they have been in contact recently. She lives far from us but he told me they have met up a couple of times when she was in our city, with the intention of making it physical but neither of them wanted to, he said they felt complete shame and talked about their families. I called her, desperate to understand what this means and if he's telling the truth. She said she was very sorry and ashamed and that it didn't mean anything, that's she's had a very hard time over the last few years and thought she was having a mid life crisis. Her story matched exactly what dh said. I feel lost and devastated I know I love him but am so disappointed in him. He says he loves me and wants to work this out. He's booked a marriage counsellor for us to see and I do feel this could help at least how to move forward in some way. He is going to stay with a freind tonight, we've told our dd he's got to go away for work. To add our sex life hasn't been brilliant since having dd, doesn't help that dd co sleeps with us, something I have pushed to resolve but weirdly dh has said that its fine and she'll grow out of wanting to co-sleep. Though I haven't really enjoyed sex with him often since having DD, it's been sparse, peppered with the odd good time (count on one hand). I put this down to dd co- sleeping and it being fairly normal as have being with him for a long time. Help! What do I make of this, I love him and am devastated by the idea of us splitting and my DD also being devastated, she adores her dad.

dragonwick Sun 21-Jun-15 14:23:14

Forgot to say. When I spoke to her she said 'she was very sorry and she'd be happy never to contact or see him again' whatever that is worth.

honeyandfizz Sun 21-Jun-15 14:28:21

Ask for this to be moved to relationships you'll have far more replies x

saintlyjimjams Sun 21-Jun-15 14:29:36

I'm finding it hard to believe they met but decided not to have sex. Although I can buy that they may have decided it was a bad idea afterwards.

Sorry sad

He does sound as if he wants to fix things, but you do need to be sure you have the truth first

honeyandfizz Sun 21-Jun-15 14:33:00

Obviously only you can decide if you can forgive him and move forward. For me, and I suspect for you, it would be the sense of betrayal that i would find hard to get over. Just because he hasn't had sex with her (if that is to be believed) doesn't make the betrayal any less harmful. I'm sorry your going through this sad

dragonwick Sun 21-Jun-15 14:52:33

Thanks honey - I realised had posted in wrong place, do you know how I can get moved to relationships?
Whilst I don't know whether they had sex, I'm not ruling it out that this may have happened. In my mind they did have phone sex and the intention was there so whilst I know it would be worse if they had the betrayal is just as bad. My gut is that they were happy to keep a distance, but God knows, could be wishful thinking.

DawnMumsnet (MNHQ) Sun 21-Jun-15 19:08:18

Hi there,

We're moving this thread over to our Relationships topic at the OP's request.

BathtimeFunkster Sun 21-Jun-15 19:14:06

They weren't happy to keep a distance if they met several times with the intention of having sex.

They're both lying to you.

It's still them against you.

butterflygirl15 Sun 21-Jun-15 19:19:14

I don't believe they haven't had sex - sorry.

handfulofcottonbuds Sun 21-Jun-15 19:19:23

I'm so sorry dragon

Their stories matched exactly because no doubt they had discussed what they would say if you found out.

The OW said she thought she was having a mid life crisis? For 2 years?!

In these situations, the cheater will tell you the minimal of information which is why it is unbelievable that it didn't get physical. You're rightthough, the betrayal is the same.

What do you want to do?

RepeatAdNauseum Sun 21-Jun-15 19:21:47

If they'd met once, and then stopped the sexting and photos, I'd maybe contemplate believing that meeting to have sex had made it "real" for one or both of them, and they didn't go through with it. The reality of things can often be different to the fantasy, and it's possible that the seediness of meeting would have reminded one or both of them what they had to lose.

But they met several times, and they continued the sexting, and they are not the actions of someone who felt ashamed of their affair and couldn't make it physical. For a start, why would they meet again if neither of them could make it physical? And let's face it, it'd be unlikely for them both to be unhappy to go through with it - potentially one of them could have said they'd changed their minds, but that would ruin the affair anyway, the other person would feel guilty and angry and rejected.

Until they stop feeding you lies, a marriage counsellor can't help you. She owes you nothing, but your husband needs to pull himself together.

Have you told him that you've spoken to her? I'd be tempted to tell him that you've spoken to her and looked through the iPad, and if he doesn't tell you the truth now, he's to leave. If you make out you already know, he may admit to what really happened in order to try and "explain" it to you, complete with millions of excuses.

Sweetsecret Sun 21-Jun-15 19:26:26

Before everyone starts telling you to "leave the scum bag" you just need to take a few moments,you will be in shock and feeling deeply betrayed, you probably won't know right now if you can move on from this.
Couples do move on from things like this but it may take a long time.
You may never know the truth and that I think is the first thing you may need to accept in order to move on.
I think you need to give yourself some time to get your head around the betrayal and then decide your next step.
People make stupid mistakes, but only you can decide whether or not you can forgive and move forward with DH.
I am so sorry this has happened to you, just give yourself some more time before you make any decisions the ball is your court now.xx

handfulofcottonbuds Sun 21-Jun-15 19:27:47

I agree, a marriage counsellor won't work if the lies are still going to be there and 2 years of deceit is a lot to unpick.

Has he said he will cut contact?

handfulofcottonbuds Sun 21-Jun-15 19:30:59

People make stupid mistakes

A ONS can be seen as a stupid mistake. 2 years of betrayal in the way he has done to dragon goes far deeper than a mistake.

BreadmakerFan Sun 21-Jun-15 19:33:24

How big of her to mess up the marriage of someone she'd be happy never to see or talk to again.

OP, if you did decide to leave it is not YOU who will have broken the family n

I'd be telling him you know there is more to it than talking and non sexual meeting and he has one chance to tell you the whole truth or you'll be seeing a solicitor tomorrow. Only you know your husband so whether that would work. Let him assume you mean seeing a solicitor for a divorce, it could be just to find out what your position is.

I wish you well.

findingherfeet Sun 21-Jun-15 19:42:05

I suspect you may find there is more to this, 'I love you' texts are a bit OTT if this was 'just' sexting. It's a significant betrayal not a one off. Like you I'd be desperately trying to salvage the relationship and convince myself I believed him...but the reality for me would probably be too much to take.

What a horrible discovery, I'm sorry.

TheDowagerCuntess Sun 21-Jun-15 19:45:31

It's not even the actual (extra-marital) sex that causes the relationship to break down, it's the lies, deception, and being made to feel a fool by someone who supposedly loves you.

It's highly unlikely that they didn't have sex. You see this sort of thing on cheating threads ALL the time. The OP being told that X, Y, Z sex act (usually PIV) didn't happen, which of course is so hard to believe.

You end up going mad, trying to second guess and analyze and work out if it's lies or truth. It's the wondering about this, and the not knowing quite what to believe, that causes you to lose your mind.

The relationship is doomed when you're in this state of flux. He can regret it deeply, and want to put it behind him and move forward all he wants.

But as long as he's saying that something which is incredibly likely to have happened, didn't happen ... then all the mental energy is taken up with that, and the trust is shot to pieces.

He either comes clean, or your acknowledge this is the beginning of the end.

Janette123 Sun 21-Jun-15 19:54:19

Dragonwick, I am sorry you are going through this.

Firstly I would take legal advice as to how you stand in case you do decide to divorce but don't tell him. There is no harm in having the information ready.

If he is truly remorseful and wants to make it work he must be able to convince you that there will be no more contact between him and this other woman.
This means complete transparency on his part and you should be given all the passwords for his computer (s) and have access to his mobile phone.

He needs to write a letter to the other woman telling her that he no longer wants to have any communication with her. He needs to say that he wants to work on his marriage and any contact from her will be seen as harassment. He should show this to you and then you need to post it Recorded Delivery.
You should not contact her again.

Then you both need to work with your counsellor and see where that takes you both.
I would also suggest he goes to individual counselling to explore why he felt the need to do this.

Remember, his cheating is not your fault - it was his choice.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Sun 21-Jun-15 21:00:16

When you genuinely feel really "ashamed” about something, you stop doing it.

He was remorseful when you found out but how long would they have continued if you hadn't stumbled over their sexting?

Did the fact she was someone from his past somehow not count in his head as cheating?

The bit about them stopping (what exactly?) for 12 months, (if you can believe him - no contact? at all?) then resuming contact sounds ominous. No flash in the pan.

I know it must have been a bombshell. I am sorry but he soothes you by acting like he's an essentially decent man who just couldn't say no to temptation, with or without priming the OW to talk of shame and how little any of it really meant, (oh that's all right then). A OW uses the phrase 'mid-life crisis' like it's something original and new and excuses bad choices, instead of escapism at your expense.

My concern is he's minimising. He is going to sign up for counselling. Talk is cheap, see how he behaves.

DayToDayShit Sun 21-Jun-15 21:04:21

What a pair of complete arses. sorry to read this OP. But they have both lied to you. Sending explicit photos and meeting up on occasions but without having sex is utter bollocks. Of course they have had sex and would deny it.

dragonwick Sun 21-Jun-15 23:22:44

Thanks for all your replies, it's appreciated. He's gone to stay with a freind now, we did talk again today before he went. He has removed her numbers/email addresses from his phone & computer. He swears there was no physical sex when they met, which was twice, once on their own (when they couldn't go through with it???!) and a 2nd time when she came down with a freind and dh took a freind along to meet them both, when apparrently they all went their separate ways. He did admit to kissing her the night they met alone. He says his confidence and self esteem are very low and whilst it's no excuse for what he's done he said this became an addictive sexual fantasy that he found hard to give up and is now relieved that I know and it will stop. You may think I'm naive and have no self respect but my gut is believing him - he is the one who keeps going on about it not being a physical affair. The OW or Dh had no reason to think I was going to call her and therefore unlikely to have 'got their stories straight', again maybe I'm naive. I told dh that I had called her and he said he didn't blame me and he just looked ashamed. God I don't know I could well have a massive dose of self-denial or maybe he's telling the truth. Though as I've kept saying to him, even if it wasn't physical it was a massive betrayal on every level. Seeing a counsellor on Tuesday night.

andthenagain Sun 21-Jun-15 23:34:50

he may have deleted email/numbers from all devices but l think there will be some further communication over the next few days. Maybe to say goodbye maybe to more discrete but an abrupt stop of all contact after so long, especially being stopped under these circumstances rarely lasts.

Perhaps he should stay away until the session on Tuesday-is this a joint session because he would benefit from seeing one on his own.

dragonwick Mon 22-Jun-15 05:23:21

Yes andthenagain he is going stay away until the session. I want Dd to say goodnight to him, she'll miss him. Then we'll go to the session. I've suggested he also sees a counsellor on his own and he agrees.
Does anyone have advice on how to explain to a 5 yo about what is going on. I don't want to tell her anything really at this stage, but I want to be prepared if she starts to react, as I'm sure shell pick up soon that things are different between us.

Rebecca2014 Mon 22-Jun-15 06:23:49

So does the ow husband know? does she even have a partner?

I be inclined to believe they did sleep together. They may have even agreed beforehand the story they would tell if they ever did get caught. I find it hard to believe they were sexting, saying they love each other and met up a few times without any sexual contact.

However, this is about you. Firstly you need make sure there is no more contact, he should allow you online access to his phone bills, laptop etc. It is going suck but a lot of men do still keep in contact with the ow and you need make sure this is not happening. I hope he is telling the truth and he is remorseful, I hope you do make your marriage work but it can only work if he wants to work on it.

Good luck.

dragonwick Mon 22-Jun-15 06:46:49

Rebecca ow does have a husband. I suspect he doesn't know, that's her concern, I don't care what happens to her marriage tbh. She lives the other side of the country. I'm pretty sure they have only met up twice. Dh told me at the time on both occasions when they met up, I had no reason to suspect anything was going on. Their relationship when they were at college was purely sexual, they weren't emotionally involved and I suspect that is what has happened in the last 2 yrs. A secret fucked up sexual addiction, a release from mundane life, which was kept at a distance. He swears even though he used the word love, it was affection for a person offering him sexual gratification. 90% of me believes what he is telling me, he can't stop crying and is a mess, he couldn't be more remorseful and says he'll do whatever it takes. Maybe going through his phone and computer for checks could help but part of me feels that if I need to that regularly what's the point? To soon to contemplate but I need to be to trust him completely or we are def finished.

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