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Encouragement needed re: marriage recovery

(40 Posts)
CryingMummy Sun 20-Dec-15 22:14:26

I was wondering if anyone had any encouraging stories about marriages surviving and even thriving, after one partner wanted to leave and couldn''t see any value in it. Did any ever change their minds? I have been battling depression and said some stupid and hurtful things earlier in the year, my Husband has his heart "broken" and had a couple of affairs, we are having counselling but he doesn't currently want the relationship and has been re-writing the story of our time together. We are actually getting on alright when he is here (he works away in the week) but the problems seem insurmountable to him, though I am willing to work hard to sort things out.

summerwinterton Sun 20-Dec-15 22:18:07

He had affairs and you are willing to work hard? You need to let him go and find your self esteem. You can't make him want you or force him to stay.

DragonsCanHop Sun 20-Dec-15 22:18:23

Time apart.

That is what helped us realise that we really did want to work on things.

That time apart was no contact at all apart from DC related emails.

It's taken 3 years for us and it has been hell on earth but now, only really just now it feels better and stronger and nicer and loving. Fucking hard work on both parts though.

janaus Sun 20-Dec-15 22:25:13

I have no advice, in a similar situation, we are trying to make things right. We spent 8 weeks in separate rooms, that helped. I did nothing, no cooking, just my own washing.

I wish you all the best. But we have to realise that there may come a time when we have to let go.

BloodontheTracks Sun 20-Dec-15 22:29:15

hi Crying, I have absollutey no doubt that marriages can survive all sort of things, including an affair. I can also support and work through how that can happen. I promise you that this situation is not at the moment conducive to that happening. The reason he is rewriting your history and saying he doesn't want the relationship is because he is still in contact with someone else and making plans or having dreams of them being together. It is impossible to fight a phantom that you are being told doesn't exist anymore. You need to find a way to do one of two things. Either confront or snoop with your husband so that the actual truth is on the table that you can work with, or you need to detach from him emotionally and preferably physically separate so he can understand what the loss of you really is and you can build up your own life and confidence in a way that does not overlap with his.

I know this seems like I am being prescriptive and presumptuous, I get that. But I would ask that you take a few moment to assume I am right, and think about what it is you would choose to do, and what the true situation might be here. Without adopting one of these strategies you will be caught for months if not years in a deliberately deceitful dance that will sap all your confidence and destroy your mental health. The thing with people who cheat is that their often their primary goal is to keep as many people in love with them and as few people mad at them as possible. That may well be your husband's primary goal right now, not saving your marriage or even definitively leaving it. you must must must start thinking about what your mindset and action is in response to this, rather than thinking about predicting and placating his, because that furthers his goal, and depletes you.

We are here for you. Please do not discount what I am saying.

CryingMummy Sun 20-Dec-15 22:31:14

It did take a lot of time for him to detach from someone and it did take checking-up but he seems even more certain of not wanting "us" now leaving for someone else is not (currently) an option.

BloodontheTracks Sun 20-Dec-15 22:31:19

Also please thing about whether your depression and the stupid things you claim to have said may be linked to his behaviour and actions and your picking up on a distancing and deceit from him which is subconscious. No man says he wants to leave his family but does not unless he is weighing up options and has more information that he is working with outside the relationship. (I'm not saying people don't voice concerns and uncertainties, of course they do) But this is cruel and dishonourable. I am very sorry you are going through this.

CryingMummy Sun 20-Dec-15 22:32:19

There are young children involved (under 10) and I have been keeping things normal as we have been "trying" in the hope they need never have known we had had such problems.

CryingMummy Sun 20-Dec-15 22:33:05

I did say some horrible and stupid things and I had associated problems (a fog with money and hoarding)

BloodontheTracks Sun 20-Dec-15 22:35:28

The reason he is voicing more certainty is likely because he NEEDS the clarity of the other person being ostensibly gone in the knowledge that if he wants her he can win her back. Many people who have affairs end things with the affair partner and then later leave because in their mind they are too in love with the affair partner to carry on, and the grief of their total loss exemplifies this to them. The truth is though that often people who cheat multiple times are more narcissistic by nature, so they require the moral clean slate of not 'leaving for someone else' in order to make the jump and feel good about themselves ('I had to leave, it wasn't working, nothing to do with my immoral actions'). this is very common. Please see if you can find a way to confront him with this (counselling?) or detach. As it is, this is not resolvable. Sorry to not give you the positivity you seek, I promise I would and will when circumstances and his behaviour change. I promise the one way you can make yourself more desirable, let alone win back your self-esteem, is to walk away. Only then will you have equal power and weight in the dynamic as she has to him by her absence.

BloodontheTracks Sun 20-Dec-15 22:36:15

Ah okay, i see. What reason does he give for wanting to leave? And crucially, then, why does he say he hasn't?

CryingMummy Sun 20-Dec-15 22:36:53

We are having counselling. I do not see how I can walk away without causing the sort of disruption to my children I am trying to avoid.

BloodontheTracks Sun 20-Dec-15 22:37:42

And what has 'trying' involved exactly? Other than just carrying on like things are normal?

CryingMummy Sun 20-Dec-15 22:39:43

I am not sure why he hasn't. He is, apparently, "still trying". He feels we lack the connecting emotional bedrock binding us together. He doesn't think he loves me (but can't quantify what he does feel). He thinks I am a good mother. Our sex life improved dramatically when I started ADs and, though he doesn't want sex now, hebisn't repulsed by me.

CryingMummy Sun 20-Dec-15 22:40:19

Whose "trying", mine or his?

CryingMummy Sun 20-Dec-15 22:41:01

Janaus are children involved?

BloodontheTracks Sun 20-Dec-15 22:41:30

sorry cross post. Okay. You can't avoid disruption for your children, love. The man you are with says he no longer wants to be with you. That is disrupting your relationship, your self-esteem, your mental health and countless other things too subtle but powerful to ignore. Disruption is already happening and it is not your fault. He works away during the week, they are used to him being away. He could leave the home for a while. Is he pushing for that? Is it really that which is haunting you?

CryingMummy Sun 20-Dec-15 22:41:35

summer, I did do some things which were not helpful to the relationship.

CryingMummy Sun 20-Dec-15 22:42:23

Dragons how old were your children and how did they react?

CockwombleJeff Sun 20-Dec-15 22:43:09

All I will say is don't take advice from people who immediately judge and say that marriages should not or cannot survive affairs.

They can , and they do. Life is not black and white and people are complex.

Marriages can survive an affair , can be repaired and thrive following an affair.

It wholly depends on the mindset of the 2 people in the marriage.

CryingMummy Sun 20-Dec-15 22:45:28

No, he isn't, really. He also talks longer term about stuff he intends to do round the house. Mixed messages. I said, if he was definitely going, I couldn't do a family Christmas as as it would be a lie and the children would not have good memories of it if he left in January but he says he has no definite plans to leave and we signed-up to another counselling session.

BloodontheTracks Sun 20-Dec-15 22:46:03

Crying, he is seeing someone else, or is too enamoured with someone else he was seeing to recommit to you. this isn't something you can do anything about except confront or detach. Since you are counselling and he is still not being honest about that I would question the effectiveness of confronting. Why do you think you are so keen to stay with him? is it really the children? this man has cheated on you multiple times and clearly has not learnt his lesson. What is going on with you do you think in regards to your family unit, children or own past that makes you so willing to consider only one possible outcome, that of staying together.

The reason he is trying ostensibly is probably because he is waiting for you to do a sufficient 'pick me' dance to make it worth his while. But his language is actually quite definitive. In this case it seems more likely that he is wanting to be able to say he 'did everything he could' before he leaves. In this situation I would really advise trying to get control of the situation as much as possible and make choices that empower you. As I think you are having important things withheld from you that could deeply impact the next few years of your life.

CryingMummy Sun 20-Dec-15 22:46:11

Cock IMO, his mind is very confused.

BloodontheTracks Sun 20-Dec-15 22:50:14

Sweetheart, he has no definitive plans to leave? That's a torturous situation to put you in. That's almost worse.

I understand you feel shameful about those things you may have done to jeapordise the relationship. And you don't have to share them. But with this incomplete a picture it's hard to tell what's going on. Your husband's language doesn't actually sound like he's using those things as the reason he wants to leave. You're not saying 'my DH was deeply hurt by a loan I lied about' or something like that. It sounds like he is giving avoidant affair reasons and you are taking it upon yourself that what you did was bad. Those are separate things. Or possibly causally related. Like I said, depression in a partner can occasionally be about an infidelity being perpetrated or being suffered, unknown.

I say again, I'm all for marriages staying together after traumas and cheating. But I also know that does not happen when the truth is obscured and when one partner is disempowered and afraid.

DragonsCanHop Sun 20-Dec-15 22:55:43

Crying what is he saying to you now and do you trust him/think you may be able to trust him in time, what is he doing to help?

My DC at the time were 11 & 8. It was horrific, truley a horrible time but we are now through that and things are finally realy open and good. We have been married for 14 years.

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