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Cheating, alcoholism and a right proper mess...

(34 Posts)
Needhelp101 Mon 04-Apr-16 10:02:05

This could be long. I don't even know where to start really.

Been married 6 years, together for 12. I mention this because over the past 3 years, things have been difficult and I've felt particularly unsupported, unloved and at times very lonely. I've tried to talk to DH about this but he has not particularly listened.

I went on a work trip recently and something bad happened, bad enough for me to finally confront the fact that I have a significant drink problem and need to stop once and for all. I went out with a group and got literally staggering drunk. Don't remember leaving the venue, vaguely remember falling over, don't remember getting back to my hotel room. Basically thought what I had was a ONS with one of the men from the group, who I knew slightly and was slightly attracted to. I don't remember much from the first half of the evening and we carried on drinking until dawn. I do remember saying that we weren't going to have sex and I don't believe we did although we did pretty much anything but. At some point, we went back to his hotel room (in a different hotel) and I fell asleep.

Felt absolutely terrible, remorseful and guilty not to mention an appalling hangover. Told the OM that I was going to tell DH - to be honest, there was no way I wasn't going to. It was a bit of a lightbulb moment for my drinking as I realised there was no way I would have done it sober.

Came home and told DH. He knew something had happened anyway. He was obviously extremely angry and upset. As I told him more (and I tried to be honest with the best of my blurry memories and not fudge things or minimise) he's come to the conclusion that I didn't actually give consent as I was too drunk and have in fact been sexually assaulted. He tracked OM down on Facebook and I had to literally beg him on bended knees not to post something to that effect on his wall. He eventually gave in but told me that was the last bargaining chip that I had and I couldn't ask for anything else.

Things have been just awful since, unsurprisingly. I know I deserve to be punished and I'm trying to answer DH's questions as best I could. DH has just sent me an email telling me I have to write out a written statement telling him exactly what happened over that night and day. This is apparently so he can stop asking me questions and so he can appreciate the depths of my drinking problem, 'before he takes it further'.

My trouble is that despite him saying that it's the principled thing to do, he wants to take this further (ie. report to the police) because it's a way of punishing me and the OM. I emphatically do NOT want to report it. Selfishly because I couldn't stand the shame and honestly because I don't know whether it was assault or not and in no time during the day/night I spent with OM did I feel at risk, or threatened or forced into anything.

I realise that due to my behaviour I don't deserve any sympathy but I'm determined not to drink anymore and I could do with DH's support in this (most particularly as he's always been massively critical of my drinking). He can't FORCE me to go to the police, can he? Is he able to just make a report on his own?

It's making me dislike him, very much. He told me, after I told him, that he wasn't going to divorce me and he would rather live in a loveless marriage than have his children with parents living apart. I disagree entirely, not least because I grew up in this type of household.

butteredmuffin Mon 04-Apr-16 10:11:31

Needhelp - I'm sorry you are in this situation.

What would be your ideal way of resolving this?

It sounds to me like your husband wants to believe you were assaulted because then he can blame the other man and not you for cheating. Maybe the best way of dealing with it would be to say to your husband that you need to take full responsibility for your own actions, and that means seeking help for your drinking problem. Alcoholics Anonymous might be a good place to start. You and your husband might also benefit from some couples' counselling to try and work through what has happened and what led to it. Try Relate?

Needhelp101 Mon 04-Apr-16 10:18:24


That's exactly what I told my husband. He needs to be angry with ME (and believe me, he is).

What I would like is to put the incident behind us, get sober with appropriate support, get couples counselling and try and repair my marriage if possible.

I've already contacted a counsellor who deals in alcohol dependency and am looking up local AA meetings. But DH seems to be fixated with getting the police involved. I've suggested couples counselling, etc but he has (as is usual with him) dismissed it or brushed my suggestion aside. I feel like saying to him that if he continues down this path, it will end our marriage but then I'm the one who needs to start making amends. I'm so confused and unhappy.

hellsbellsmelons Mon 04-Apr-16 10:18:52

Good grief - your DH sounds awful.
He's punishing you over and over and over.
Do NOT write your 'report' FFS.
He will use it as a stick to beat you with when ever he can.
I really don't think you can stay with him.
He is no support at all.
What you did was awful but I think your DH behaviour in this situation is only the tip of the iceberg and he may be part of the reason you drink and why you behaved as you did.
Although you are of course totally responsible for your own actions, I'd like to understand more about your DH. His reaction is not normal!
He cannot MAKE you do anything unless he is an abuser and you feel you have to 'do as you are told'?
Take control of this.
Tell him you are more sorry than he can imagine but he either has to forgive you or you need to separate.
I have a feeling though that he is controlling and you won't do this!

hellsbellsmelons Mon 04-Apr-16 10:20:57

as is usual with him
Worrying! Really look at your relationship. Assess what is really going on here.
If you feel for a single minute that he may be EA at all then do NOT have joint counselling with him.
Work on yourself and hopefully the rest will fall into place.

butteredmuffin Mon 04-Apr-16 10:23:19

Tell your husband that if he does not want a divorce, then you have to start working together to fix this, and that means getting some counselling. He cannot force you to stay in an unhappy marriage, so if he wants to stay married he needs to work with you to resolve your problems and make it happy again.

butteredmuffin Mon 04-Apr-16 10:24:25

To be honest he sounds a bit Victorian. It is not a question of him "not going to divorce you", as if he is the only one with a say in the matter. You can divorce him if it comes to that.

Buzzardbird Mon 04-Apr-16 10:30:36

It is strange that the husband seems to be to blame for op's ons...and her drinking.
I know men who drink and do shitty things, I've never blamed their wives.

hellsbellsmelons Mon 04-Apr-16 10:33:31

I did say this Although you are of course totally responsible for your own actions
But his reaction is very odd indeed.
And it really rang alarm bells for me.
Of course it's the OP's free will that she drinks.
But it's like women who have anxiety and depression and you can tell from their posts that both will subside substantially if they got away from their abusive partners!
It's just how I read it.

HeddaGarbled Mon 04-Apr-16 10:35:18

He is angry with you and the police report/public humiliation thing is his revenge/punishment.

It is OK for him to be angry. It is not OK for him to punish you in this way. Don't write the statement.

It is too soon for him to be able to put this incident aside. He might be ready for some couples counselling in the future but clearly not yet.

It might be helpful for the two of you to have some time apart while you address your alcohol problem.

ricketytickety Mon 04-Apr-16 10:36:22

Is he getting you to write a report so he can take it to the police?

I believe you have to make the complaint yourself as the police will just hear your husband as 'hearsay' and won't be able to act on it. I don't think he's got a leg to stand on.

Go to counselling alone. It will be better all round. The counsellor can help talk you through what happened that night. And also what your husband's reaction is.

I'm in two minds about your husband.
1. He genuinely thinks you have been assaulted. Which is possible - good men don't have sexual contact with women who are staggering about. There is a good chance you didn't give consent in the eyes of the law. In which case, of course he is angry about what happened and angry with you for getting into that situation regarding your drinking. I'm in no way saying you should blame yourself if you feel you did not give consent. Good men don't touch drunk women with a barge pole.

2. He is punishing you by threatening you with the police, despite you begging him not to. I think that whatever he really thinks about what happened, there is an element of punishment going on because he is so angry about it all. Maybe he can't cope with what has happened. It's not necessarily him being controlling. Only you will know if he is, based on your relationship history. You need to discuss this with your counsellor.

This event sounds like the catalyst to changing your life: the rock bottom you need to hit before you deal with your addiction. I wish you all the luck. As an ex-drinker, I can tell you it will be hard, but the counselling is key. One day you will realise you no longer crave the alcohol because the hole you had inside has healed and you no longer need to numb the pain you feel through drink.

Chlobee87 Mon 04-Apr-16 10:42:41

I'm a bit shocked that people are coming down so hard on your DH here. I don't think that people would be looking to blame a wife who came on here saying that her husband got drunk and cheated.

I think you've made some very positive first steps by coming clean to your husband and also by recognising that you have a drinking problem and being willing to get help for it. The fact that you want to get counselling shows that you do want to fix things so I'm assuming your DH isn't a horrible, controlling monster like some are suggesting.

You didn't say exactly how long ago this happened, only that it was "recently". If it's still very early days, I wouldn't read too much into the things that he is doing or saying. He's hurting and he's extremely angry. He's probably just lashing out and perhaps if you give him some time he will be able to look at the situation with a clearer head and decide whether he wants to move forward and deal with these issues as a couple. Could you consider moving out for a while, maybe just a week or two, to give him some space? Or maybe he could go and stop with a friend? Sometimes you can end up just hashing over the same points without moving forward and a bit of distance and perspective can help with this.

FuzzyWhiteLegs Mon 04-Apr-16 10:45:35

Hi needhelp

The situation with your DH sounds horrible, and you've had some good advice above. I just wanted to point you towards the two threads here in relationships - brave babes, and DRY - which you might find helpful wrt the alcohol issue. They're very welcoming, supportive, and you'll find plenty of posters there who have been just where you are. flowers

differentnameforthis Mon 04-Apr-16 10:46:06

Well there is basis in lack of consent when drunk, so I don't think he is entirely trying to shift blame so he doesn't have to believe you cheated. You admit that there are spaces in your memory, so you were obviously very drunk.

As soon as you started posting about going back to hotels with this guys, I straightaway thought abut lack of consent due to your drunken state.

I don't think you can condemn your dh too much, at best (in your mind) you have cheated on him, at worse in his head, his wife has been the victim of a sexual assault.

I agree the request for a report is odd, however, I don't think he intends to use it to metaphorically beat you, I think he intends to take it to the police.

Buzzardbird Exactly. Once again, the dh is the villain here! He has a lot to contend with & yet here we are, accusing him of starting all this.

The advice on MN is never consistent, however.

butteredmuffin Mon 04-Apr-16 10:52:48

Different - I see where you're coming from. And as someone else said above, going back to a hotel room with an extremely drunk married woman and engaging in sexual activity with her is not something a decent man would do.

But I'm not sure questioning whether or not the OP was assaulted is particularly helpful. Even when someone genuinely believes that they have been assaulted or raped, the process of going to the police, making a statement and trying to get them to believe you is highly traumatic, especially when it's a case of it being one person's word against the other's. Even if the OP did agree to write everything down and go to the police, then what? Based on what she's told us it sounds highly unlikely that there would be enough evidence for the police to actually do anything about it. And the OP would probably feel guilty for making an accusation about the other man when she herself is not really sure what happened.

It doesn't sound like there is anything to be gained from getting the police involved. The OP needs to focus on getting help for her alcohol problem and trying to find a way through with her husband. And her husband needs to understand that if they are going to get through this and stay together, he needs to help her in a constructive way. Not put pressure on her to go to the police and refuse to consider counselling.

Buzzardbird Mon 04-Apr-16 11:07:49

If only this were a 'reverse'.

Needhelp101 Mon 04-Apr-16 11:08:17

Thanks for all your replies. This only happened 3 days ago so of course everything is still very raw and unhappy.

Haven't got time to address everyone's issues about DH being controlling or whatever, and can't move out as have 2 small children to look after while DH is at work.

The mistake was mine and mine alone. But I agree with all that DH and I need to move forward together and I can't do that if he won't.

I don't want to drink anymore. It's like a switch has gone off in my head.

Shutthatdoor Mon 04-Apr-16 11:10:55

I'm a bit shocked that people are coming down so hard on your DH here. I don't think that people would be looking to blame a wife who came on here saying that her husband got drunk and cheated.

Yep me too.

Needhelp101 Mon 04-Apr-16 11:11:38

Sorry, that sounded terse. I mean, I haven't got time at the moment to address all these issue brought up separately. I do appreciate hearing them.

Buzzardbird Mon 04-Apr-16 11:13:02

I feel sorry for you and your husband OP. I think your DH is dealing with his wife's betrayal the only way he knows how at the moment. Women on here in your DH's position have been told time and time again that whatever they feel is justified and whatever they do to make themselves feel better is ok. They don't get accused of being 'controlling' or 'abusive'. So I would try and see both sides of the coin if I were you.
It is fantastic that you are so determined that this was your wake up call and I hope you continue to get all the support that you need, but don't dismiss how your DH must be feeling. I don't think being drunk is any excuse for never is when a man does it anyway.
I hope you and your DH find a way to get past this, but you must understand that this will haunt him for years.

HotNatured Mon 04-Apr-16 11:23:18

The people saying that the ONS guy isn't decent because he took a drunk woman back to his room for sex, how about if he was 'staggering drunk' too ? People, not just women, but men and women, both lose inhibitions and behave out of character when they are blind drunk, so it's really not fair to lay the blame on him. Drunk but decent, nice people sometimes behave in ways that make them feel incredibly ashamed in the cold, sober light of day.

OP, I really feel for you, I can only imagine how stressed you feel, I know what you did was 'wrong' but can also see that you deeply regret your actions. I can also see that your DH is incredibly hurt and is lashing out, trying to find someone to blame. It's entirely understandable. It's such early days, and you are in the eye of the storm currently. This situation will calm down over the next few weeks, I'm sure your DH will give up on the police threat, though they wouldn't get involved anyway unless you report a crime.

This too shall pass flowers

goddessofsmallthings Mon 04-Apr-16 11:43:15

over the past 3 years, things have been difficult and I've felt particularly unsupported, unloved and at times very lonely. I've tried to talk to DH about this but he has not particularly listened

Why have you felt "very lonely" in your marriage and how long have you been self-medicating with alcohol?.

pocketsaviour Mon 04-Apr-16 11:58:23

OP, was the other man very drunk as well? If so, you might want to point out to your DH that you sexually assaulted the other man. The whole "too drunk to consent" issue is not one for flippancy but in this case it sounds as if you were both equally drunk and equally culpable.

Your DH sounds very controlling and I wonder if your behaviour with drink and this latest episode is actually a pressure leak.

differentnameforthis Mon 04-Apr-16 12:31:57

butteredmuffin I think it is quite vital, in fact. The op is beating herself up for having cheated, but in reality, it doesn't actually look as clear cut as that & I was trying to come from where her dh is coming from. Which seems to be from a place where the op couldn't consent to what happened to her. And a sexual assault against his wife/girlfriend should make any man angry towards the perpetrator.

I am not advocating she go to the police if she doesn't want. BUT her listening to her dh's concerns & seeing this for what it essentially is, will help her work passed what has happened.

That said, I do not condone what her dh is doing AT ALL, in respects to badgering her to make a report/write HIM a statement.

Op needs help now, and he should be listening to her.

venusandmars Mon 04-Apr-16 12:33:45

OP, as someone with a drink problem I empathise with you and also with your dh.

Obviously I empathise with you, and the struggle you face, your wake up call, and all the emotions you feel.

I empathise with your dh because I have seen my own bewildered dp try to deal with my drinking. My dp enjoys a drink but has no addiction or compulsion - so he may very occasionally get drunk but mostly he is happy with a beer or two, or a couple of glasses of wine. By contrast, I am a drinker. A compulsive drinker. I've been where you are / were OP, I've had work events that resulted in dreadful, miscalculated, drunken couplings. And I've returned home ashamed, and determined to never drink again.

My dp has come home to find me face-planted on the carpet, drunk out of my mind. He has picked me up and washed my face, and kissed me better. He has been sad and disappointed and worried beyond belief. But he has never bullied me into confession. He has never 'made' me write out a confession.

I now don't drink. And that is thanks to a combination of many things... (AA, the Brave Babes thread on here, hypnotherapy etc) but most of all the loving and compassionate support of my dp.

I cannot advise about your situation, but I know I am thankful and grateful for the way in which my dp dealt with things.

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