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Will it ever get better?(18 Posts)
Not sure why I’m writing this, as I know none of you can help me make my decision, but I guess I’m looking for some support. After another sleepless night, I just needed to get it down in words to hopefully stop it going round and round my head.
Having read other posts, they have already given me some comfort that I’m not alone and that what I’m going through others before me have struggled with as well.
My story is not that uncommon but maybe our ages makes it fairly rare, I don’t know. Still I now know that age is no barrier or protector against your DH having an affair.
I’m 68 and my DH is now 70. We’ve been together nearly 25 years and married for almost 12 years. I was a widow when we met, and DH was separated getting divorced. (His first marriage ended after about 25 years, after his wife discovered a long standing affair).
This new affair started after a friend of his committed suicide in Dec 2013, and he made contact with the OW (the widow) to see if he could help support her and her children. To start with I believe it was a genuine attempt on his behalf to befriend and help her. However it soon became apparent that he was becoming obsessed with her. I was completely excluded from the friendship. The OW has a long history of disastrous & messy relationships, which I won’t go into here, but suffice it to say that he thought he could ‘save’ her! I warned him that I thought the relationship was getting out of hand, and that she seemed hell-bent on drawing him in. She is 12 years younger, beautiful, and a very talented opera singer. My DH is mad about classical music. So they had lots of music to share. And she was VERY needy.
In October last year she invited us both round for a meal, at DH’s suggestion, so that I could see that nothing was going on. But quite the reverse – she was all over him. I had never witnessed such blatant flirting and intimacy and all quite openly in front of me. She even thanked me warmly at the end of the evening for ‘sharing my husband’. My chin hit the floor, until that night I wasn’t aware I was sharing him, but I said nothing. However when we got home, I was very angry with DH and told him clearly that this must stop now, before it went any further and he should never put me through that again.
For a few months I didn’t hear her name mentioned again and to begin with I thought he had heeded the warning and backed away from her. But increasingly he was getting more and more secretive. Then in January I looked at his mobile phone bill and saw some emails. I faced him with it all that evening and he confessed it all. Yes he was having an affair, they loved each other, but they had not slept together. I was devastated and in pieces all over the floor. I had always trusted DH implicitly and up to this episode with the OW he had never done anything that aroused my suspicions. I would have said that he was one of the most honest men I knew. He had a few female friends but I knew them all and they come to our house regularly. They were and are still just friendships.
DH was also distraught at the hurt he had caused me, said it was all a mistake and should not have got this far, but he was now in very deep! However he promised he would end it all. He wrote her an email telling her it was all over, but that he would always love her. (At the time he would not show me the letter, but I have since found it and read it!)
After that for a while it all seemed good. Our sex life improved. He was loving, caring, attentive and funny. I really thought we could put it all behind us and move on. Then I started to see the secretiveness starting again, and the obsessiveness about keeping hold of his mobile and his laptop, so that I could not see them. But I did look at his emails and there they all were, lots of loving passionate and increasingly sexual emails. I challenged him immediately about all this. He said he could not stop. She was too important to him, but he asked me to stay in our marriage as he really did love me, but he needed her as well. He wanted both of us. He assured me that this ‘fling’ would soon wither and die. She would get fed up of him and end it. He pleaded with me to give him time. (He was happy wasn’t he – he had us both!) Like a fool I stayed and tried hard to act normally. Whilst I could ‘pretend’ she did not exist, life at home was still good. But gradually I could not ignore it any longer. My health was beginning to suffer. I sought help from Relate and DH agreed he would also talk to them. However it was a disaster. He had one session, and then said he would never do that again. I could continue if I wanted, but in his opinion it would lead inevitably to the break-up of our marriage. So I stopped but I told my brother what was going on. Up till that point we had agreed not to share this with any member of the family and that we would sort it out between ourselves.
By May I was on the point of leaving when I received a letter from OW insisting that she had never had an affair with DH and never would. She didn’t really like men! She asked me to tell DH that he must not contact her again. Bizarre! I showed DH the letter. He flew into a rage (with her not me) and since then I believe it has ended, but he has become withdrawn, depressed and angry in equal measures. He insists he still loves me, but most of the time he can’t bear to touch me. This has been going on for two months now and I’m at my wits end. I don’t know how much longer I can continue in the hope that it might get better?
I’m sorry for my ramblings, but I really am desperate.
Your h is not my dad but sounds like him except a little younger . Your h is a philanderer. He won't change especially while women let him- I'm not having a go but you aren't standing up to him. I'd suggest throwing him out. Unless you want the last years of your life to be like this. Because, as I said, he won't change.
Have you got a good friend you can talk to? And I'd recommend continuing counselling for you, as long as you're honest about what's going on.
Horrible situation for you and I wish you all the very best
How awful! I have no advice to give you but I am sure lots of others will have some soon.
I don't think anyone can answer your question unfortunately. The best suggestion I have is to see if your 'D'H would be prepared to go to counselling.
I would also make sure you get yourself as much RL support as possible.
Thanks for your support. It does help and I am trying to put some more support in place for myself. All my friends and family have always told me that I'm very strong, but it doesn't feel like that at the moment.
No - in the beginning when I thought it was all going to be over without any mess! Ha ha. I thought it was best not to tell them, but now I'm having second thoughts. I thought that if my daughters knew, it might ruin their relationship with DH, which at the moment is very good. I knew they would rush to my defence, and immediately take sides.
I'm surprised you considered him honest when his first marriage ended after 25 years because of a long-standing affair.
But I'm genuinely sorry that this is happening to you. I think he has humiliated you and made you suffer indignity after indignity for too long because he knows you will quietly tolerate it.
It is time to get your ducks in a row and prepare to leave. It sounds like the OW has already tired of him, and his children and friends will soon distance themselves once they know what he is; I predict a lonely old age for him.
Believe me I'm not quiet about it! I've made my feelings known many times. I still want this marriage to work. But I know it's not just about what I want. But I'm not ready to give up on him yet
Until this happened we had a very good life and I thought a good marriage, lots of friends & a close family. Our marriage is still worth fighting for, but only if he wants it too, and that's the bit I'm not sure about.
It sounds like he actually grieving the loss of this relationship with the OW, (poor dear ).
What an awful ordeal for you to go through, I think it's a case of laying your cards on the table and you either seek help as a couple or you split.
You can't go on with him moping around acting like a heartbroken teenager, for your own sanity things need to change and you live on together or he can do his moping somewhere else.
What is it with some men?! They just have no idea what they do to the people that love them and who they have shared their life with for many years. You sound so strong, I would've been in pieces over this.
Believe me - inside I am in pieces. I think you have it right, But I feel I need to give him some time to do his grieving, but it can't carry on indefintely like this as I really will go mad. I have told him that I think he is being self-indulgent and selfish when he carries on like this, and that I'm fed up with his f*** moods! It works for a bit and then he sinks back again.
You're letting him grieve his bit on the side ? Really???
And your dds - I'd tell them. Their great relationship with this man is based on lies. Not good
I'm sorry but this man is a serial cheat. He had a long-standing affair when with his first wife (and she probably went through exactly what you are going through now). He didn't learn from that and has gone on to have an affair while with you - and he had the audacity to ask you to allow it to continue.
This man has no intention of remaining faithful no matter what he says. I mean sure he probably means it in principle but he has no intention of sticking to it if another woman actually catches his eye. He also has no care for how any of this might affect you (or by the sounds of it the OW for that matter). The only person he cares about in it is himself.
Despite what you say this isn't a good marriage, it's not working, and it's not worth fighting for
I can get my head round forgiving an affair if the unfaithful spouse is repentant and does everything they can to make it up to their partner.
But why on earth would you want to persevere in a marriage where he has compounded the effects of his cheating and lying by expecting you to patiently wait while he grieves the end of his affair?
Don't you want to wipe the smugness off his face?
why are you fighting for your marriage - surely that is his job?
The responsibility for his actions are at his feet, not hers or yours. Why do you think you should wait around for him to want you. If it isn't with her he will find another victim to have an affair with. Why do you deserve so little?
You're not scared of your children taking sides, you're scared of your acceptance of the situation being challenged.
He isn't just a cheat, he's a serial cheat and only thing your fighting for is the privilege of being crapped on again in the future. You're neither being understanding or patient of your H's behaviour, your being a doormat and that position is your choice and only you can find out why you've made it.
This is who he is and has always been, you can pretend that it isn't but it won't change the reality.
In my view the best chance of rescuing your marriage now is for you to make your DH see what he stands to lose. Ask him to move out and live alone while he grieves this lost relationship. Tell him you understand he is incapable of fidelity and that you are not prepared to be made a fool of. Ask him to start counselling to understand why he is incapable of committment to one person. Let him see that it is your decision if you choose to divorce him and start afresh. You will be supported by the people who love you while he will have alienated them and will be increasingly isolated and lonely.
Don't beg him to stay or do the "pick me" dance. It is demeaning to you and doesnt make you more attractive to him.
If he truly values you and the live you have together he will do what it takes to persuade you to give him another chance. And if not then you are well rid of him, the complacent fool!
I understand this must all hurt a lot, so be gentle with yourself and do some self nurturing.
I think you're mummy me he has occasional girlfriends.
It's sad because you are at an age where you deserve to have a stable life no this man child is throwing it all up in the air.
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