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Supporting a Dsis through OH affair(9 Posts)
I'll try to keep this brief, joined hoping for some advice. My Dsis found evidence this morning that her OH has been having what looks like an EA with a work colleague for the past 5 months. Hundreds of messages, some explicit/ include graphic photos and additional references to cybersex over Skype etc. They've met up but it's clear from the message content they haven't done anything physical, yet. There were other references to him having anon online sex with others previously.
For context they've been married 7 years, together for 10, 3 dcs (youngest 18 months). They get on well and she is particularly devastated as she didn't see any classic signs- no hostility or additional secrecy etc. She can't get her head round splitting up but also accepts that this IS an affair.
How can I help her? I'm so gutted for her and feel absolute rage towards bil don't want her to make compromises in the shock of the moment. She plans to confront him tonight. Any wisdom welcome- re: what to say/ do to support or resources for her to help her understand options re: counselling or separation?
Sorry to hear this.
How has it gone this eve? I think at this stage tbh the main thing you can do is just to listen and be there for dsis as she gets a better picture of what's been happening.
Unfortunately I don't think there is much you can do proactively. Just take your lead from her, and be available at the drop of a hat to do anything for her. It'll be hard for you as well, I've just supported DSis through an affair, although they are now back together again, it's very difficult and emotional for everyone.
Thank you both for your replies. BIL called to work emergency last night so talk has been postponed until this eve. DSis did sound calmer but hasn't really eaten since finding out and doesn't seem like she's slept as she text a couple times in the night.
I just feel so angry- he's been totally accepted by our family, DM and DF lent them money for house, and to help pay off debts early in relationship (accrued by him before he met Dsis). I've suggested she tell Dm or go stay with them and bring dcs this weekend, she's reluctant because it might ruin their relationship with BIL. Is she in denial? I'm worried it's a sign she won't seriously entertain LTB.
Probably sounds like I'm being too opinionated, but it's hard to stay neutral- I hate he's disrespected her and betrayed her and the dcs all for nothing. And now she has to chose to suck it up and stay together to save their chance at being a family or be the one who decides it's all over
I agree she just needs to know more at this point. Hopefully he won't minimise and deny or get angry at her for checking his messages and be a grovelling apologetic wreck!
Throughthick- I'm sorry about your sis too. How did the family deal with it and move on now they've stayed together? How are things between them now?
I think she needs to do things in her own time. She may wish to stay with your BiL and that may mean she won't want her parents to know. This is down to her and her chose. She's the one who'll be bringing up 3 kids on her own if they separate. Support her with whatever she wants to do, but in my experience this is not a time to be forceful with what you think.
Thank you Meirasa. I know you are right, it's so easy to say LTB but I can't imagine how hard it will be. I just can't bear the thought of him hurting her again or her having to live with never really trusting him again. You are right, I will try to keep my thoughts to myself she has enough to deal with and just listen. Thank you
Based on my own personal experience what I needed from friends and family was a shoulder to cry on, someone to talk to, and distraction. What I didn't need was advice or opinions.
Right now it is all very raw for her and her mind will be in complete turmoil. She'll want all sorts of answers from him, but I very much doubt he will give her even half the truth. It is likely he will lie, minimise and only confess the bare minimum of what he thinks he can get away with. She is probably going to have to face months of drip feeding, and each new revelation will feel like another kick in the guts.
I didn't tell my dsis as I l knew she'd tell me I deserved it (she did when she found out years later, she isn't a very balanced person). My mum just listened, told me she was sorry, and offered to help in any way she could. My two closest friends were complete stars. One was good at hugs and she asked questions that helped me come to decisions by myself. Things like 'why do you want to stay with him'. The other texted me in the middle of the night to ask if I was ok and took me out to the pub for a meal or a drink a couple of times a week, where we laughed about irrelevant stuff. I owe them my sanity.
Your dsis might well decide to stay with her H so you have to be careful not to be too forthright in giving your opinion of him. Don't alienate her, she needs you more right now than she ever has before.
Thank you for sharing twodogs, I'm sorry you've had to go through this yourself. You are all right, she's probably thinking so many things right now the last thing she needs is more advice or input, not that it's even my place. I'm hurting for her and I'll try to put that energy into being there for her listening watching her dcs or distracting her or taking her out whenever she's ready for it. I hope the talk goes ok tonight, that's exactly what I fear that she won't get to the truth or that it'll keep dripping out she hates confrontation and fighting and this is all going to make it so real for their family.
One thing you can do to help is research her rights (financial and custody) should they separate, and make sure she is properly lawyered up before she agrees to anything. If she is in the denial phase and hates confrontation she is likely to avoid these issues and is vulnerable to being bulldozed by her OH.
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