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Am I mad to have him back?

(194 Posts)
decomm18 Sat 27-Feb-16 22:43:03

Posted on someone else's thread last week, but now starting my own. Long story, but been married to DH for 28 years, both of us awkward buggers, driven, irritable, high-achievers. I've worked the whole of our marriage, and earned more than him the entire time, which he's hated although never admitted to hating. He's very bright, 1st from Oxford but not in 'useful' subject, I'm academically much weaker but in useful subject so now have gone much further than him. Three kids, all done fine at school, now left and at / headed for uni; two older (sons) are model wonderful boys, but (youngest) daughter just like her dad and very hard to handle / they argued continuously ever since she was about ten, and it caused huge rift between us re management of her.

He's had two affairs over past eight years, both of which I've been semi-aware of but never brought up with him. I wasn't happy about it, but didn't want to upset children by facing up to truth. We've got on OK, with just about the only arguments being about how to manage DD, and a gradually-increasing distance between us. No sex for the past four years, which I've missed. Last July he left us all to move in with OW - who he'd been having affair with for three years, and who (advisedly) is his 'soulmate'. Har har. This coincided with massive building project to allow my mother, 94 and with dementia, to move in with us. We'd been going to rent flat for kids to move into, but with DH moved out, we didn't bother and muddled through. But from the first he kept saying he'd come home at the end of the build, and he valued his relationship with his children, and although OW was his soulmate (har har) he still loved me and valued our relationship enough to try to rekindle it. I'm still stupidly in love with him (in most ways he's still the lovely boy I fell in love with at 23), so went along with this. His was my first boyfriend, I'm now 53 and a fattish greyish uglyish introverted person with zero charisma and very boring with it. I'm not wanting a lonely old age, and have little hope of ever meeting anyone else should DH not return.

The build finished early December, and he didn't come back. It was then going to be after Christmas, then it was going to be the end of january, then the end of February. It's still the end of February, i/e Monday. I'm still saying I want him home, but he's clearly getting cold feet, and is now suggesting this is a 'trial return' (presumably the evil twin of a trial separation).

I'm wanting him home - so do the children, although my DD has this difficult relationship with him, and (apparently) knew about his affairs but didn't feel able to tell me - but am beginning to think I've lost my marbles to even consider it. No matter how many people tell me to tell him to poke off, I can't do it. His lying and faithlessness seem not to bother me nearly so much as picturing a future without him. I behaved very badly indeed in the first ten years we spent together, and he stuck with me. I owe him, big-time, for that. This feels like my chance to stop feeling guilty about what I did and didn't do that first decade of our relationship; and I think I can be happy again with him, if he can only be happy again with me. It does happen sometimes, doesn't it? Views?

TomTomKitten Sat 27-Feb-16 22:49:03

Why do you want him back? What does he add to your life? He's had two affairs in the last eight years. Do you not have any self respect?

You don't need to be fattish, greyish, uglyish and boring. Perhaps if you focused your energy on yourself and not him you might ultimately find a far more satisfying relationship.

loveyoutothemoon Sat 27-Feb-16 22:51:16


VimFuego101 Sat 27-Feb-16 22:57:11

He isn't coming back, unless things go tits up with OW. He is probably enjoying the fact he has two women who want him though. Tell him you don't want him back, and start planning out your life without him.

TheoriginalLEM Sat 27-Feb-16 23:01:56

so while he is vacillating about when and if he is coming back, is he with his "soul mate"?

SongBird16 Sat 27-Feb-16 23:02:27

I can't think of a single reason why you'd need or want him back.

The reasons most often given for 'trying again' in these circumstances are the kids and the lifestyle, but your children are grown and you are financially secure.

Why on earth would a half-life with a man reluctantly tolerating you into old age, disrespecting you and shagging around, be preferable to a dignified single life full of children, grandchildren, work, friends and new interests?

I am wincing on your behalf, just think how he sees you : as someone so desperate for him that you will tolerate anything. It is incredible to think that he is living with ow in the knowledge that you will have him back at any time if it doesn't work out.

Please show this vile man that you have woken up to the fact that you deserve better.

SanityClause Sat 27-Feb-16 23:05:16

I think you are seeing it with rose coloured glasses, and forgetting how miserable you felt refereeing his relationship with your daughter, and when he was having his affairs.

Fattish? Flattering clothes.
Greyish? A couple of hours at a hairdressers.
Uglyish? I doubt it, but the clothes and hair will help with that too.
Boring? I doubt it, but what about reconnecting with a hobby you had when younger, or taking up some new interests?

You can do better than him.

newname99 Sat 27-Feb-16 23:05:16

Your self esteem is on the floor and it seems you have defined yourself by your earning potential.

I'm not sure why you feel such guilt, did you have affairs?

I know it's hard but let him go, your fear of the future is just fear.There is the real chance of a wonderful life ahead of you but you need to be brave and cut the ties with him.

There will be a period of mourning but honestly it gets better.This site is full of stories of women who finally chose not to tolerate an unfaithful husband and thrived afterwards. Post separation are some of the happiest memories I have but I had to go through transition to get to a better life.

53 is no age these days, don't settle for so little.

Costacoffeeplease Sat 27-Feb-16 23:08:48

What everyone else has said really, why on earth would you want a lying, faithless twat hanging around? Straight from ow's bed?


FellOutOfBedTwice Sat 27-Feb-16 23:11:07

You'd be loopy. Fuck that. You're only 53. There's more to life than this.

decomm18 Sat 27-Feb-16 23:20:34

OK, OK, I get the general view that I have lost my marbles. The trouble is, I'm not sure how I go about getting them back when every time I see him I just lose all of the righteous anger I've built up and melt all over again. He isn't evil - just very weak. As it stands, he's coming home on Monday, and we're going to see how it goes. We've semi-agreed that if it's not working for both of us after a month, we end it. Should I even try that, now? The children are all keen for him to return, although their sympathies are completely with me, happily enough :-).

I hear what you say, that 53 isn't old, and I know that's true. I know I deserve better than my faithless DH, and I've got lots to offer despite my lack of attractiveness. But I honestly honestly can't imagine having the time or energy to embark on the dating game - work is intense, and I'm sole carer for my mother when I'm not at work. Also, I live in an isolated location where attractive male propositions aren't jumping out of the bushes in about a 50 mile radius. Plenty sheep, not many shepherds ;-).

Costacoffeeplease Sat 27-Feb-16 23:36:04

He isn't evil - just very weak.

Aah bless his little cotton socks

Please find a bit of self respect and get angry - who the fuck does he think he is? George Clooney with a gold plated cock?

I wouldn't let his suitcase in the door never mind anything else

Let him go to his soul mate, with a big red bow tied around his lying face - he's he problem now, wish her luck and don't let the door smack him (too hard) on his way out

Costacoffeeplease Sat 27-Feb-16 23:36:33

Her problem now!

AnotherEmma Sat 27-Feb-16 23:41:34


Please find your self respect. It must be in there somewhere.

AnotherEmma Sat 27-Feb-16 23:42:14

What exactly did you do in the first ten years, anyway? Did you have more than one affair and leave him for OM for a while? No?

TokenGinger Sat 27-Feb-16 23:42:29

My mother is your age. It'd kill me to hear her think so little of yourself.

Regardless of whether he comes home - join a gym, lose some weight, do your hair, find a new interest (the gym works for me). Fall back in love with yourself. You'll soon want him gone once you have a new a fulfilling relationship with you!

Floralnomad Sat 27-Feb-16 23:45:54

Do you actually need a man in your life , they're not essential and being single doesn't necessarily mean lonely . You seriously need to find some self esteem and self respect , please read your post back and imagine someone else had written it - what would your honest response have been ? You deserve much better than this man ,let his 'soulmate ' keep him .

AnotherEmma Sat 27-Feb-16 23:51:46

I also feel VERY sorry for your daughter. She has two brothers that her mother describes as "model wonderful boys". While she is apparently "difficult". She doesn't get on with her father and has lived with the burden of knowing about his affairs sad

I might be shooting in the dark here but I wonder if there is a sexist dynamic in the family? It may be internalised or subconscious on your part... But you have basically accepted being treated with zero respect by your husband. Maybe your daughter sticks up for yourself and he doesn't like that. Maybe your boys are "wonderful" because they're not treated like second class citizens. I could have got this wildly wrong of course. But happy to risk asking the question.

Lastly I find it deeply depressing that you sound gratified by the validation from your children that they are "on your side". hmm If you really want to protect your kids from any hurt, get some adult support from a friend and/or counsellor. And don't seek validation from them.

AnotherEmma Sat 27-Feb-16 23:52:43

Correction: maybe your daughter speaks up for herself (not yourself)

AnotherEmma Sat 27-Feb-16 23:55:06

Actually the most depressing thing is that such a high achieving, high earning woman thinks she can't live without a man. sad

mimishimmi Sun 28-Feb-16 00:03:44

You probably think all those things about yourself because he's paid you no attention so you've not bothered. I am almost 100% sure that if you ended the relationship, your face would probably look ten years younger instantly and you'd be more likely to want to work on the other things like weight, hair & makeup etc.

Rather than struggling to imagine a future without him, imagine spending 30+ years as you have done recently. Where he only makes you feel wanted because of your stable paycheck. Whatever you did in the past, you deserve so much better.

decomm18 Sun 28-Feb-16 00:16:42

AnotherEmma thanks for your very thought-provoking post. there's perhaps a kernel of truth in some of what you say - my daughter does indeed stand up for herself, but has been prone to tantrums from a very early age, and loves picking fights. The boys were always just easier, and much less argumentative. I also feel desperately sorry for my daughter and was horrified to learn that she'd been aware of her dad's infidelity. I don't think I'm consciously sexist, and have tried to bring all three up to value female strength and independence because I've always tried to embody that myself. Except now that I haven't, clearly, and that bothers me quite a lot.

By expressing relief about the kids' view of the situation, i meant only that the children all have appeared sympathetic to me, and have told their father how angry they are, which reassures me that I've not been so outrageously bad a wife that they've thought him justified in leaving. After the first few days of DH's absence, I've been careful not to seek their support, although they've offered if just by being around and helping with their grandmother etc. I've got supportive friends and colleagues, and we've both been at marriage counselling, fairly intensively for five months, although that's not been a good experience at all and got us nowhere.
My own former bad behaviour wasn't directly to do with the relationship, but stemmed from a severe untreated mental health issue that I still can't admit to anyone
because I'm so horrified by what I did back then (nothing criminal, hastens to add). Happily I got over it before I had the children, and it hasn't recurred, although I wonder if it might, and perhaps that's part of what's kept me in a substandard marriage for the past years.

decomm18 Sun 28-Feb-16 00:20:28

Actually the most depressing thing is that such a high achieving, high earning woman thinks she can't live without a man. sad. I know. It's shitty innit? I hate that about myself, too (sobs into fourth glass of wine)

Choceclair123 Sun 28-Feb-16 00:35:11

Please please please dump him! He doesn't love you! He's treating you like crap! I think you're totally underestimating yourself. You're so far ahead of so many women who get dumped and left in awful situations with of debts and a load a little kids to look after, with no help.

Seriously it sounds like you're way overdue a lot of self love and pampering. If I was in your shoes I would treat myself big time. Hair, nails, makeup, new clothes, new look, gym / exercise routine, new hobby and a lovely relaxing holiday in the sun.

This isn't a dress rehearsal, this is it, your life! thanks

BunnyTyler Sun 28-Feb-16 01:15:20

Don't let him back.
Tell him tomorrow that you've changed your mind - that you value yourself and your self worth too much to be treated like a doormat or 2nd best.

Who cares what you did all those years ago? He chose to stay, you don't have to live in purgatory for ever because you fucked up a few times years ago.

I found out 4 yrs ago that my husband was having a long term affair. I kicked him out, he begged for a 2nd chance. After about 6 months I agreed to marriage counselling and made the decision to give my marriage another go.
I found out 7 months ago that he went back to his OW before we even started the marriage counselling.
I threw him out again and that was it for me - I thought I'd never get through it all, my 15 yr marriage had imploded at the same time as I lost my job of 20 yrs due to ill health, and various other life events.
I felt like he completed me and how would I ever be ok without him - we were going to grow old together and I wanted nothing more.

7 months on, I am still to sick to work, a single mum of 2 boys and have just had my notice of eviction for the house (it's a forces married quarter that I'm not entitled to anymore).
But I am happy, coping, I have my self esteem and I am better than ok.
I feel lighter and I feel liberated.
I have plans for my future.

Don't sacrifice your self worth at the altar of a cheating puppet master.
Cut him off and start to love yourself.


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