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Can you have an amicable breakup after an affair

(34 Posts)
Whyamihere Fri 15-Jan-16 20:53:06

Husband and I decided to split up a few weeks ago, it was all pretty amicable as it felt we'd drifted apart, I took some of the blame for that. Today I have found out that he's been having an affair for at least 9 mths, I feel amazingly hurt (obviously) but want the best for dd, can I get past my feelings and can we still have an amicable separation.

Cabrinha Fri 15-Jan-16 21:15:31

The choice isn't amicable vs at each other's throats.
I aimed for "civil". It works.

flowers for your discovery.

Helmetbymidnight Fri 15-Jan-16 21:20:08

Agree with cabrinha. He's clearly no friend- you can't trust him- but you don't have to spit at his name.

I think amicable is over- rated in the early days. It take time to reach that. Often it's a euphemism for one partner swallowing a load of shit so as not to upset the other partner.

BathtimeFunkster Fri 15-Jan-16 21:36:34

Why should you "get past" your feelings?

They are yours and perfectly valid given his betrayal.

The story of your marriage breakdown is not what you thought, and you might feel differently about a lot of things now you know the truth of the past year.

Goodbetterbest Fri 15-Jan-16 21:44:25

I think amicable is over- rated in the early days. It take time to reach that. Often it's a euphemism for one partner swallowing a load of shit so as not to upset the other partner.

This. I'm EXTREMELY tolerant of XH - and get nothing like the same consideration back. He's around far too much and I have no firm boundaries. Coming from an EA relationship I can now see how he works, and no longer am a victim I his gaslighting. He continues to undermine me, and if I don't comply he still has a face like a slapped arse and bitches.

It's fucking hard work, all one way, but he's always going to me in my life. Doesn't mean I have to put up with his shit and I have resolved to establish boundaries.

tomatoplantproject Fri 15-Jan-16 21:58:54

My stbxh did his very best to "manage" the breakdown of our relationship so that I could take equal blame for what happened, rather than him expose his affair and the bomb which that had detonated in our marriage.

I tried the "amicable" route and it gave him an avenue to stage manage yet again his "trying his best" to save our marriage whilst working out whether he had a future with ow.

Several months on I am as NC as I can be with a 3 year who still needs to spend time with her dad. I'm no longer exposed to his lies and his bullshit and I can put my energies into rebuilding my life rather than swallowing my feelings and being amicable in order to help him.

I think that being "amicable" means that the other person saves face. They don't have to face the consequences of what they have done or deal with the emotions. It makes them feel better.

In time maybe I can get to civil. After all, we have a lifetime of parenting together to go. But for now and until the divorce is sorted I'm not interested in giving him an opening to press my buttons.

Thats just me.

Why are you wanting things to be amicable? What do you get out of it?

Rella1965 Fri 15-Jan-16 22:56:29

Been married for 5 years and have a one year old. OT works away and Found condoms in overnight bag ! jokey leprechaun ones. He says he bought them for his mate. He fancies a girl he works with but she's Muslim and I can't see her straying. What do you think?

goddessofsmallthings Fri 15-Jan-16 23:25:42

Use "Start new thread" to create your own post, Rella. They may have been jokey leprechaun ones, but presumably they would have done the job if he'd done the deed with an ow?

Whyamihere Fri 15-Jan-16 23:34:15

Thanks for your advice and experiences everyone, still in shock at the moment and can't sleep.

I have selfish reasons to be amicable I guess, dd is at an independent school and I really need equal input money wise to cover it. Plus I grew up hardly knowing my own father, I still barely have a relationship with him and I want dd to have a really good relationship with her dad.

I will need to have this out with h and then try for the civil route I guess. Tomato I feel that's what he has done, manipulated it so I take 50% of the blame sad

tomatoplantproject Sat 16-Jan-16 08:01:17

You poor love. Him allowing me to take the blame for "our" issues was the thing which made me absolutely furious.

You being angry and showing him that anger is separate to his relationship with his daughter and funding for her school.

If he is any kind of a dad he won't want to change her schools in the middle of her education. He will also want to do whatever he can to keep seeing her.

If he responds to seeing your emotions by running away from his responsibilities to his daughter? If you suspect he might do this get yourself protected and clued up.

Go see a solicitor. Mine was hugely helpful in helping me think through money and contact for the short term keeping an eye on the long term.

Use your anger and your fury. Start playing smart because its pretty revolting to make you be the scapegoat for his despicable behaviour. Utterly manipulative and heartless.

tomatoplantproject Sat 16-Jan-16 08:08:36

By the way you are not responsible for his relationship with his daughter. You can facilitate it and give it space but if he chooses to distance himself from her that is not your doing.

If he says it is your fault then he's making excuses and manipulating the situation yet again.

I'm sorry about your dad.

Cabrinha Sat 16-Jan-16 08:10:21

What does 50% of the blame mean?

In our case, we told our then 4yo (now 7 and we stick to the story) that we just realised over time that we weren't each other's One True Love, and to be happily married you really need that special love. (the phrase was cos she was Disney crazy! These days I peddle love rather than "one true" wink)

Anyway, I guess that makes it 50/50.
The truth? He was shagging prostitutes for years, arsehole. I was never going to tell her that!

But you know, we don't even think about "blame" - it's just what happened. 50/50 but no-one is getting blamed. I couldn't have stomached being at "fault" when it was him!

I am polite to him now, but doorstep handovers - he doesn't get to come in for cups of tea! If he (incompetent lazy dick) doesn't know what time school sport day starts, he texts, j reply. Sometimes (3 years on) she does something cute and I'll text a photo.

Civil. It's enough!

1DAD2KIDS Sat 16-Jan-16 10:14:12

Me and my ex keep a amicable and keep a good line of communication. Basically she said she wanted time apart and shorty after I found out she was having and affair and is still with this guy. I loved her more than anything, she was my one true love and I was so angry and heart broken.

But I made a decision early on to try and keep it amicable for the kids and because nothing good comes of words and decisions made of anger. If you not the one in the wrong then this route is very hard and let's the other one of the hook some what. It all depends if your shoulder are broad enough. But in my experience it results in the best outcome in the long run.

Pro's. You don't make an enamy of your ex because no one truly wins a war without great damage. Your ex is more likely to feel bad if your a friend rather than an emany and therefore more likely to respect your wishes. If you have children it easier on them and you. Also your ex is more likely to keep their guard down and you will get a better understanding of their game plan. And with good open dialogue your more likely to be able to self manage a simple divorce with the minimum use of cords and solicitors. Remember things run smother as friends than emany.

Cons. Basically you will be caring all the shit on your shoulders as he gets off lightly. It's very hard to be amicable when you are full of hurt and anger. You are definitely going to need a safe place where you can unload this rage and anger in a safe place occasionally. For me I had I good mate who supported my approach to things and was always there to listen when I needed to off load. And you definitely need to set a few boundaries.

So personally I would recommend keeping amicable if you can hadle it emotionally. It's a very hard method but I my opinion leads to the best results long term. Just make sure you have a safe place to off load those emotions some times as they build up fast

crazyhead Sat 16-Jan-16 10:20:04

My now DH did. His wife had an affair, but he never seriously blamed her - she was a nice person, but the marriage was fundamentally wrong and on the rocks and something was going to happen to end it. They aren't friends now but there's absolutely no animosity and never was. It depends on the circs

1DAD2KIDS Sat 16-Jan-16 10:24:57

Plus what ever don't use the kids as weapons if you have some. We talk daily about the kids and I send her photos of them most days so she can see how their doing. I alway encourage my ex to see them when she can. Remember that kids are both of yours and what ever they done (within reason obviously) your ex has a right to spend time with them and the kids have a right to be with both parents as much as possible.

Phoenix69 Sat 16-Jan-16 10:27:23

You can still get school fees covered/a financial settlement if you are civil.

I think amicable is over- rated in the early days. It take time to reach that. Often it's a euphemism for one partner swallowing a load of shit so as not to upset the other partner.


Goodbetterbest Sat 16-Jan-16 10:32:13

Here it's all on his terms. He bought a two bed flat round the corner. Too small to have the kids to stay, close enough to pop in so he can say he sees them loads. It's all about satisfying himself, patting himself on the back and saying what a good dad he is. He has the kids 1 or 2 at a time (he has 4). If I want to go away/stay with bf he stays here. I caught him reading my post the other day. He carries his sense of entitlement ("I pay for it!"). But he will be confrontational, will stamp his feet and call me names infront of the DCs if I cross him. I'm setting boundaries slowly. The DCs are very secure and happy. They don't miss him and do not appear to be affected by our divorce. I put that down to me being a mug.

Being amicable is one thing. Being a mug is quite another. Please be careful.

Goodbetterbest Sat 16-Jan-16 10:35:42

1dad - I keep XH in the loop, forward all emails, school letters. He doesn't bother reading them, relies on me to explain everything to him, then bollocks me when it goes wrong. He continues to treat me as his unpaid PA. Both parties need to meet in the middle. From what I can tell from experience and that of friends, sadly it's a rare thing.

1DAD2KIDS Sat 16-Jan-16 11:36:08

Every situation is different. I can only talk on my experience. If he is not willing to play ball too what can you do? If he is being like that he is obviously selfish and self obsorbed. So if he is like this how ever hard you try and put your feeling aside to keep it amicable if he can be amicable then it won't work. So it looks like you may have to take a tougher line.

So I guess in relation to your first question, Yes as long as both parties are on board.

Gobbolino6 Sat 16-Jan-16 12:25:26

There's amicable and there's reasonable, civil and cooperative. I would go for the don't have to suppress your natural feelings and it would be unhealthy to do so.

Helmetbymidnight Sat 16-Jan-16 12:41:27

I would say to him- I wish you'd told me that you have been lying and cheating in me for the last seven months. I've explained all this to family and friends and they are all disappointed too.

Then see if he's interested in being amicable.

Whyamihere Sat 16-Jan-16 21:57:20

Thanks everyone, it will take a while for everything to settle down, my emotions are all over the place, I can't believe how hurt I am and I feel really stupid about not seeing anything was going on.

I will try to aim for civil and polite, I only want the best for dd and will do what I can to ensure she has a good relationship with her dad.

tribpot Sat 16-Jan-16 22:03:39

I agree with Helmet, keeping his dirty little secret is not your responsibility. You no longer have to shoulder 50% of the blame for the marriage breakdown and might want to tell a few close friends what a relief it is to finally know the underlying cause of the problems. Keeping it amicable doesn't mean keeping his image projected to the world in tact for him.

sofiahelin1 Sat 16-Jan-16 22:04:55

flowers that's an awful thing to discover. My friend started an affair & her dh ended it about 6 months in because he felt they'd drifted apart, never knowing the truth & even if he found out about it now 10 years later I know he'd be really hurt. Your feelings are very valid & so I wouldn't try to hide them for the sake of your dd. I think however a marriage ends it takes a period of time before you can be properly amicable so I wouldn't expect that

Joy69 Sat 16-Jan-16 22:50:17

I've stayed civil with my stbxh for a number of reasons, one being that until I move out ( next week 🎉) it's easier atmosphere wise for everyone in the house. He's more likely to cooperate & the kids are happier.
With saying all this I frequently swear at him in my head & as I shut off from him more & more it's like the rose tinted glasses have well & truly come off.
I try not to be bitter, it'll only hurt me. He won't care less.

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