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Stages of feelings after an affair,(29 Posts)
Sorry, it's me again. I don't really need replies, unless you also want to talk about feelings you went through.
The doctor told me to write things down, how I'm feeling. So, this is Therapy for me. I am also writing a journal. I will probably print out my posts, when I organise Counselling.
Early August till now ..
1. Hurt, Anger, Betrayal
2. Sadness, Disbelief
3. Grief - sense of loss
4. Numbness. - shut myself off from everything, shut down feelings
5. Shame, Embarrassment
6. "Pick me", ". Honeymoon stage" "Romancey stage", read that sex, sex sex, stage (Even surprised myself with this one)
7. Blame - Other woman, DH, ME
9. Couldn't care less stage. Put up with me the way I am, if we can work it out together, we will. If not, time to Get Out, both have a chance to find happiness.
10. More anger, hate
Basically, I just want to feel normal again, whatever that is.
Hubby came back from his weekend away. Expecting it to be still the "Romancey" stage. Wrong!!!!
Time alone to think. Time to read.
You've gone through all of those stages in rapid succession. Ime, you may find yourself cycling between stages 9 and 10 for a long time. 9 when you have your defensive walls up to prevent you being hurt again, then 10 each time you start to let those walls down and feel vulnerable (after sex, in my case). I am now three years down the line and that is my reality. It's much less raw, but I feel that I'll never be free of the flashbacks and feelings.
You'll have a new normal; be kind to yourself.
Would stage 11 be deciding to leave your husband?
I guess time will tell but it might be the best thing for you.
Januas 6 weeks on for me and I am starting to find it a little easier dh is trying very hard to put things right. I would say I have been through all those stages you have listed and I now go between totally ignoring him and not wanting him to touch me to really wanting him. We ate talking lots and I think the counselling is helping.
Do you feel any better since you found out?
All though it still hurts I do feel like I am moving forward with us a little bit.
Cherry pie, my best wishes to you. I do hope things work out.
I think its 10 weeks now since I found out. 8 weeks in separate rooms.
I feel better in that, my suspicions were right, and he finally admitted it. I have a reason to vent my rage and anger.
Hopefully, I will get trust back. But I am not allowing that to happen yet.
Thanks again posters for not judging me. Time will tell what we need to both get our happiness back.
What you need, to get your happiness back, is to get rid of the cheating arsehole who pissed all over your marriage.
There are stories on here of making it work after an affair - common denominator, the cheating husband worked damn hard at it!
Breathtaking that people want to carry on with unfaithful partners. Don't think I could.
janaus, I assume you avidly read all the other threads on Relationships, right ?
then you should have gained some understanding about what is required for a marriage to work out following an affair that decimated it
are you "getting" any of it, because it really doesn't look like you are
I know, AF, I am reading like mad, but in my messed up head, their problems are different, just like, 'it can't happen to me'
And, I have it in my head, being older, we can work on it, and improve, problems will go away.
Jam, you head and heart must feel as if its in a in a spin-dryer. I just wanted to say that maybe time out of your marriage would be the best thing for you in order to slow your thoughts and feelings down to a manageable level.
Im really sorry you've gone through this.
Jan, older does not necessarily mean wiser
Neither of you are doing any of the right things to make this work again. You are trying to brush things under the carpet and appear to have some kind of false narrative going on and he is still acting like some sort of middle aged lothario (the kissing the waitress right in front of you)
I agree with AF, I'm afraid.
Despite me posting on an earlier thread of yours how hard my DH has worked (and still is working!) 22 months from his affair with a coworker, and a list of the things had done to try and repair our relationship, you basically ignored it all and said you were glad to read something positive, and that maybe it was time for you to just get over it.
Not what I'd written at all...
I will never 'get over' what has happened. But it is much less raw, as aftereight stated.
But I'm certainly not advocating brushing it under a carpet and 'pretending' everything is OK!
You need to talk, your husband needs to listen and work really hard to put right what he's done, for it to work.
It sounds like he is incapable of doing that at the moment.
I certainly wouldn't still be with my husband if he had acted like yours and just wanted me to forget it.
I am afraid I agree, there are no exceptions, there is no magic relationship that withstands betrayal on this scale without facing up to it and total accountability and addressing it. It is like having a cancer and only dealing occasionally with the symptoms. I know you are frightened and in denial but you will waste your life if you don't force this.
For stage 6, look up 'hysterical bonding'. Everything will fall into place.
One thing someone said on MN once struck a chord. They said something along the lines of, Look at what he is doing to make things right. You can't make things right on your own. He has done this to you and he has to try to make it right.
Your husband isn't doing that, is he?
Bad enough he has put you through an affair but he also now appears to be doing feck all to make it up to you, that's why you are still feeling raw because you probably know deep down he isn't really that sorry and he is showing you that, you are doing your best by thinking you also need to step up and make things better - wrong - you should have sent him away OP, not just into a separate room but actually stopped the act of living together - if you did that, or do that, you might realise with space that he is either worth giving another go or in fact he's a liar and a cheat and you will never trust him again.
Thank you. I am reading all your posts and opinions. Everyone is different.
First thing, DH offered to move out. I didn't want that. But I said I needed space. He gave me that. Didn't pester me, cooked his own meals because I wasn't interested in cooking or eating. Washed his own clothes. Shopped if I couldn't be up to it.
He answered all my questions. Why, where, who, how long,
Yes, I believe he has minimised it. Perhaps best not to know too much.
He has answered questions, done what needs doing to live day to day.
Now, doesn't want to talk about it. It's happened, it's over, we look to the future, try to improve things.
He wants to get more involved, spending more time at home, visiting my elderly dad with me. He wants to hold hands, give back rubs, etc. get closer. I don't feel ready for that. There's no pressure on me.
Questions are now answered. Pointless me banging on about it every day. We both want normal to return. He has got on with life. I can't turn emotions off.
What else should he be doing? I don't know what to expect. The day to day help has been good. He makes me a cuppa, asked if I want to go out for dinner. I can't force him to talk. I don't want to hear the same things over again. I don't want him buying presents, flowers to 'make up,
Well, never been in this situation before so don't know what to expect.
Yesterday, I could see how under the pump he was at work. Last night I offered to give back massage, but didn't want anything further to happen. He was ok with that.
Jan, what was the thing with the waitress ? I couldn't help noticing on another thread. Is he behaving in such a disrespectful manner since this all came out ?
Yes, the waitress girl. It was really strange. Way over the top.
Greeting this girl with a big kiss, that she was clearly uncomfortable with. Just someone who used to serve him beers, who had now moved on to another job. I am not making excuses for him.
Another time when we were out. Got talking with a lady from a car club. Found they had something in common to talk about, that after the first few sentences, I had no interest in. He ended up rubbing the woman's back, while talking, sitting closely together. When I told him how inappropriate it was. He said, that didn't happen. He was only rubbing the back of her chair.
Yes, he seems to like women, gives off wrong signals. He doesn't even seem to realise he's doing it. Maybe proving to himself 'he's still got it'. No fool like an old fool.
I don't think that cooking your own meals and washing your own clothes go under the heading of Trying
Well, it was helpful to me because I couldn't be arsed doing it.
Giving off the wrong signals, his over friendliness, is most likely what started this whole mess, causing OW to get the wrong idea and make a move on him. I know he had the choice to say no and walk away.
So, now I talk to him about his inappropriate, over the top, over friendly behaviour?
Oh bless him.
He can't help giving off signals, and anyway he was being friendly, what chance did he stand against the OW when she got the wrong idea?
You're such a BITCH for making such a big deal of this, you're lucky he's even going on your romantic picnics, the way you've treated him.
For fuck's sake Janaus - stay if you want up.
But please don't come out with utter shite about it not being his fault, and blaming the OW for pursuing him.
Your marriage will NOT improve unless he accepts the full impact of his betrayal. When is he going to do that, when you're excusing him anyway?
So, now I talk to him about his inappropriate, over the top, over friendly behaviour?
No, no, no. Oh please OP don't take this route
Oh gosh, Jan. No not every one is different. I'm not saying people are robots, I'm saying that there's irrefutable signs about what can and can not be borne psychologically in relationships and by people and yes, your denial and keenness to keep him is one of the predictable stages and patterns.
The day by day is largely irrelevant and extremely easy. I think another poster here wrote about how she could write a brilliant book about betrayal called 'The Tyranny of Cups of Tea' whereby an infidelitous spouse tries to maintain control and silence after an affair by making litres of unwanted 'cups of tea' for the betrayed.
Here's what you need. You need to both attend couples counselling to talk through and explore not just the affair, but the ways in which you relate that has led you to this situation. Particularly your certainty about staying and his ability to cheat and lie and suffer no consequences.
He needs to attend his own counsellor, probably, to talk through how he has come to be like this. This isn't a one off one night stand that he admitted, shocked and saddened. This is someone who has made this part of his personality and I'm afraid the percentage of infidelity that is discovered is just the tip of the iceberg, so with a personality like this, whatever you are pretending didn't happen did happen and probably a lot more.
I know I sound like I'm scaremongering and so that makes it easier to discount me but I swear, I'm all for marriages staying together after affairs. Been there done it, on both sides. I can promise you, this isn't how it works. It works this way if you are honestly prepared to put up with it and accept him doing it again if he stays with you. That's okay. People do. But be honest with yourself about that.
And I don't think you would be here if you were honestly prepared to move forward with a lie agreed upon.
I know you don't want to know the sordid details but the fact he is continue to minimise mean the affair may not even be over, and make it extremely likely he will do something similar in the future.
He needs to open up all his communication to you, no passwords, no secrets. You get to decide whether to check it or not.
It is also a terribly sign that you blame OW for 'getting the wrong idea' when clearly his signals are the initiator of the infidelity, not someone else suddenly being 'driven wild' by his openness and friendliness.
You seem nice, and in need of help, jan. I've liked and appreciated you on other threads. But you are living in a delusion. And you need to really take hold of this, or accept moving forward with humility on your part and deception as standard on his.
Normal is never going to return. You would have to build a new normal. And he needs to understand that is largely his job and his responsibility and step up. Read the literature like 'How to Help your Spouse Heal from an Affair' etc.
I think you need to honestly answer why you don't want him to move out. Honestly.
There is no moving forward here without complete and honest appraisal of the past, the present and what you both want the future to look like. I'm afraid you can't blithely start with the future and go lalala to everything else. Your husband can't say he doesn't want to talk about it. He just can't. That will probe to be unliveable. You will either discover this by becoming grossly unhappy over time or have to act on it now. Up to you.
Sorry for the seriousness of these comment, They come from a warm place. Time will not tell what you need to get your happiness back. Time will reveal to you that you need to do something different and more painful and more brave, as outlined here, well, principally he does, than he has been doing so far. Or else things will fester and become sad or repeat. It is up to you how much time you allow to go past. I am genuinely sorry you are going through this.
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