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Affair. Low self esteem. Sadness. Need to talk.

(36 Posts)
HoNoper Fri 14-Aug-15 14:38:29

I have been married for 10 years. It’s a long story but I've never found my husband attractive. I don't know if I love him, I guess I like him as a friend and would miss the stability of being with him. There is a back story to how we met which complicates things. I am ashamed to talk about it, but feel he 'purchased me', you can use your imagination if you wish.

We have a relationship which varies between being mundane to being very unhappy (and according to others, abusive) at times. He is very controlling. I have low self esteem issues. Why did I get together with him? I was desperate and wanted a child. I now have a son who I love. I rely on my OH for financial support.

I am seeing someone who I know deep down is just using me. He has a partner. She found out a while back that we were seeing each other and he ceased contact for a while but then reinstated it saying he just wanted to be ‘friends’. (We have not ‘technically’ been unfaithful, we meet, chat, kiss, cuddle, on his invitation). So clearly 'more than friends' but exactly what, I’m not sure.

I feel guilty but he is the only glimmer of light / happiness in my life at the moment. I don’t know what he gets out of it.

I am confused. I need to talk to someone but am ashamed and can’t confide in anyone in RL. Please don’t flame me. I have name changed for this obviously. Not asking for sympathy but just needed to talk about it….

pallasathena Fri 14-Aug-15 15:32:13

Not going to flame you, but have you thought why you feel the way you do? Could it be because you're looking for other people to make you happy?

In my experience, you can never be happy investing all your energies in someone else to fill the hole in your life. Are you afraid of being on your own? Have you woken up to the fact that you've compromised your life by marrying someone you don't love? Why on earth have you taken on another abusive relationship?

You need to self examine your motives for firstly getting into these two relationships and then secondly, ask yourself why your focus is where it is and not on developing a purely personal independence of mind and spirit.

One of the fundamental aspects of self realisation is the ability to hold steady to a high standard of behaviour. To do so successfully, you need a well defined moral compass. Being involved as you are with two men who appear to use and abuse you is not the way to go!

Respect yourself.

I also think that if you justify having an affair - for that is what it is - by saying its the only thing that makes you happy, you're living in a fools paradise. And its hugely unfair on your partner, even if he isn't exactly the greatest catch out there.

Sort out what it is exactly that's making you so unhappy. But don't expect an 'affair,' to fix it. It won't. You can fix this yourself through becoming more independent and self reliant and ending both relationships before they send you into a spiral of depression. And remember...respect yourself!

HoNoper Fri 14-Aug-15 15:48:02

Thank you for your advice.

I wish I could respect myself. I'm afraid I don't know what that means.

Twinklestein Fri 14-Aug-15 15:52:00

First thing it sounds like you need a job to get some financial independence and a life outside the home. Assuming your husband isn't controlling you into not working, and depending on the age of your son.

The problem with deep unhappiness is that it lays one open to further causes of unhappiness - in this case involvement with a man in a relationship who is using you.

The affair is an expression of your unhappiness, but it's just making things a lot worse.

If you could give yourself permission to leave your marriage, you wouldn't need to lean on this chancer.

I'm not sure what the feeling 'purchased' could apply to - were you an E.European/E.Asian agency bride? Did he buy you at a fair? Were you working as an escort?

HoNoper Fri 14-Aug-15 15:56:17

Twinklestein - thank you.

Regarding being 'purchased' - yes, it is one of the things you mentioned.

pallasathena Fri 14-Aug-15 16:10:45

Do you have any qualifications? Before your marriage, what job/career did you have?

If your answer is no to both questions, then what interests you? What makes you feel excited, or engaged or even just a sort of 'Oh, I can do that," because you can...I suppose i'm trying to work out what skills or talents you may have.

Also, you say you don't know how to respect yourself. I find that so, so sad. Unbearably sad to be frank with you. I suspect your background is very damaged? If you can tell us what happened to you I'm sure more people will chime in to offer help.

Twinklestein Fri 14-Aug-15 16:11:48

How the relationship started is of no relevance as to whether it should continue.

The combination of your unhappiness, lack of love for your husband, and his control, means that you need to get out whatever.

You don't need him for stability, you can provide that for yourself.

I would forget about this other guy and focus all your energy on getting your life together so you can leave the realtionship.

How old is your son?

Twinklestein Fri 14-Aug-15 16:12:50

How the relationship started is of no relevance as to whether it should continue.

The combination of your unhappiness, lack of love for your husband, and his control, means that you need to get out whatever.

You don't need him for stability, you can provide that for yourself.

I would forget about this other guy and focus all your energy on getting your life together so you can leave the realtionship.

How old is your son?

Twinklestein Fri 14-Aug-15 16:13:21

Sorry, don't know why that double-posted.

HoNoper Fri 14-Aug-15 16:18:03

I do have skills / talents in the workplace. They are out of date though as I haven't been in a work environment for 9 years and things move on.

The other sort of 'work' I was in is not a career I want to revert back to. Although it did make me feel empowered as there was something in it for me as well as 'them'.

You are right I have a damaged background and was abused as a child. I feel the only way to be accepted is to make myself available sexually and disregard my needs... in fact I wasn't aware that it was even a valid thing to have one's own 'needs' until recently, due to the extent of the abuse I suffered as a child / teenager.

HoNoper Fri 14-Aug-15 16:18:25

DS is 9.

HoNoper Fri 14-Aug-15 16:19:38

And I am sorry if this in a silly question, but how would I know I was respecting myself / what does that look like?

Twinklestein Fri 14-Aug-15 16:27:49

You poor thing, you've had a really tough time, and were obviously badly damaged by your early experiences.

Have you ever had therapy to address the past and also your ongoing issues around sexuality? There are therapists who specialise in sexual abuse etc.

pallasathena Fri 14-Aug-15 16:42:59

What does respecting yourself look like?

Saying NO and meaning it.

Saying this is my life and knowing it.

Discarding anything and everything that brings you unhappiness, misery and degradation.

Building a life for yourself and your child and showing your child what a strong woman looks like.

If you want happiness, you have to have the strength of character to go out there and make it happen for you. And you can. Just don't believe what people say when they want to control you or put you down.

Believe in yourself.

And respect your right to be in the world without others trying to manipulate, control, disrespect and disregard you. Get onto the Freedom Programme run by Womens Aid. Its a life changer.

HoNoper Fri 14-Aug-15 17:03:59

Pallasathena, that sounds like an impossibility at the moment but thank you. I will google the Freedom Programme.

pallasathena Fri 14-Aug-15 17:13:44

Why is it an impossibility?

HoNoper Fri 14-Aug-15 18:55:54

Because I feel worthless and as if all my happiness depends on this other guy caring for me. And yet he doesn't - and I can't stand the pain.

HoNoper Fri 14-Aug-15 18:58:15

He's non committal when I try to talk to him (other guy) and yet he wants to see me - but not for sex. I can't work out why he wants to see me just to kiss / cuddle, it really confuses me - what exactly is he getting out of it? Does he care anything about me?

HoNoper Fri 14-Aug-15 18:59:24

I have asked him and the best I can get is ' I really like you and want to stay in touch and a kiss / cuddle is nice'... Wtf am I supposed to make of that?

pallasathena Fri 14-Aug-15 19:23:27

Its called having your cake and eating it. Except, what affair guy seems to want is affection - you mention cuddles - and yet he's non committal, so it seems he doesn't want commitment, wants things on his terms and sees you being totally accepting! What's not to like? From his point of view!

He may also see you as an escape clause, should he ever need one. So, he keeps you hanging on - just in case. Oh, he'll justify himself and tell you all sorts, but men like him like the thrill of the chase and don't have respect either for you or for his partner. Just like your partner doesn't seem to have much respect for you.

Oddly, you seem to care? I think you need to value yourself far more highly than you currently are. Whoever told you you're not worthy of love, affection, respect and a bit of dignity isn't worth the dirt off your shoe. Say that to yourself every day in the mirror and one day, you'll know its true.

HoNoper Fri 14-Aug-15 19:31:42

Pallas - why is it odd that I care?

HoNoper Fri 14-Aug-15 19:36:36

He says I am a friend. Why does he not get affection from his partner? Why does he want me hanging on? I can't get my head around their relationship.

HoNoper Fri 14-Aug-15 19:38:59

He says I am a 'good friend'.

Why does he not get affection from his partner? Why does he want me hanging on? I can't get my head around their relationship.

beaglesaresweet Fri 14-Aug-15 19:44:37

OP, why not take it at face value - that he does see you as a driend, not just a sex object? But friend doesn't mean commitment or romance, at least not until he decides whether he wants out of his current relationship. I think be assertive with him and tell him that if he wants friendship, you can keep kissing and cuddling as it's too confusing. So either he stays just a friend or you don't see him at all.

beaglesaresweet Fri 14-Aug-15 19:45:20

I mean 'you CAN'T keep kissing..'

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