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struggling one year on from dh's affair

(39 Posts)
whensitmyturn Wed 11-May-16 09:38:36

This time last year I found out dh had had an affair with someone he worked with.

After Christmas I agreed I would start seeing him again as the initial rage had died down and we've been building to a reconciliation and him moving back in the summer. But I'm just really struggling at the moment.

On the one hand I want to shake myself and say it's been a year but I feel worse at the moment maybe as its heading towards that time of year I found out. I feel sad and bitter that I've been put in this position of whether we split the family as he's so desperate reunite or get back together on the back of his stupid actions. I feel angry about stupid things that I haven't lost much weight and the person he cheated with was very slim which makes me feel awful about myself. I started a college course last year and was meant to be in today and got halfway there and turned round as I can't face being with anyone which is just so not like how I used to be. I did everything the advice tells you to, go out with friends, started a new hobby, changed career direction,

I feel trapped and I don't know what to do. I know that if I hadn't got 3 young children I would have left him and that'd be it but the thought of future step kids/ sharing Christmases/ birthdays makes me sad too. Nobody I know in real life has been through this so it makes it hard for them to understand it. I just feel like I'm sinking and don't know what to do.

mutantninja Wed 11-May-16 10:21:57

I think it's perfectly normal to be struggling even after a year. What you have been through it heart breaking and you are amazing for trying to find the strength to get through it for the sake of your family. I found out about my DH's affair five months ago and I would say it's still the thing that dominates every single waking hour of my life.
We are trying to work things out, we have one young DS, DH is desperate for us to stay together but it is not easy.
Are you having counselling? I don't think I would have been able to stay with DH without that support, it's been essential. If you are not then I would say you insist on it.
I understand the trapped feeling, you are being asked to set aside all your core values for the sake of others, that's a very difficult thing to achieve. What you are feeling is completely normal. Have you had full disclosure of what happened? Do you have access to all DH's phone, laptop, passwords etc? He needs to prove that he's being completely open with you, he has lost the right to privacy until he can regain your trust. Does he show empathy?

mutantninja Wed 11-May-16 10:24:41

I made my husband read this blog, as I found I could relate to it

whensitmyturn Wed 11-May-16 12:46:23

Thanks mutant he doesn't have passwords anymore on his phone or Facebook. I don't know about full disclosure because he deleted everything in his phone when I found out and he 'leaked' bits over time. It's the thought I'll never know the truth which plagues me. We saw a marriage counsellor which was quite helpful but need to see her again soon I think.

I'll read that article definitely thanks for the link.

magoria Wed 11-May-16 13:08:39

The family is already split and not of your doing.

If you are struggling it is much better to put off any planned move back in than to do it and then regret it.

If you would have left him but for the DC they are the best reason to go rather than stay. You are teaching them what is not acceptable and to have strong boundaries.

He can be a fabulous dad even if you are not together.

If he presses or forces for the move back then he is working for himself and not to repair the massive destruction and heartbreak he has caused and it will never work.

QuiteLikely5 Wed 11-May-16 13:13:07

It is best not to move him back whilst you are feeling like this, you should only allow him home if you can truly move past what happened otherwise you will continue to torture yourself & him for the foreseeable future and that would not be healthy at all.

Good luck with whatever you decide

mutantninja Wed 11-May-16 13:13:51

full disclosure seems to be a really important element to recovery, he should be willing to sit with you and answer every single question you have about the affair, as often as you feel like doing that. It's painful but it helps. Of course you can never guarantee that you know everything but the drip feeding makes you feel that there is lots you don't know and will never know, so you can't trust him. Is he still working with her and, if so, how is he managing that contact? If he's not 100 % on your side then you won't get past this. It isn't for you to get over it, it's for him to convince you that he's worthy and capable of your trust.

I can't speak for others but we've been having counselling weekly since I found out about it and I feel it's something we'll be doing for a while still. A couple of sessions aren't going to make much difference. He needs to fully invest in your new relationship, assuming that's something you decide you want to try to create. The old one is gone, it didn't work. That was a real light-bulb moment for me. You can't rescue it, you have to decide if you want to build something new.

FellOutOfBedTwice Wed 11-May-16 13:17:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheCrumpettyTree Wed 11-May-16 13:18:11

You haven't split the family, he did. That's his responsibility. You say he's desperate to reunite. But about you? What do you want here? It's ok to not want to stay. And it's certainly ok for the DC too. Don't let them grow up knowing that you only stayed for their happiness. They'll know and it's an immense burden to put upon them. His feelings about wanting to reunite are irrelevant as he caused this. It's all about you.

QuiteLikely5 Wed 11-May-16 13:21:46

Felloutofbed how will that help the op hmm

eyebrowsonfleek Wed 11-May-16 13:28:04

A year isn't a long time- don't feel like you should be over it by now. When there's kids involved you have to see the cheater sometimes and each text etc opens up the healing wound a little.

It's ok to decide that the reconciliation isn't working or that you want to delay him moving back in. I'm a few years post being cheated on and I've definitely not fully recovered and don't plan to pressure myself to feel better.

FATEdestiny Wed 11-May-16 13:38:32

FellOutOfBedTwice - That's an exceptionally unhelpful post. whensitmyturn please don't read it.

OP - trying to reconcile is commendable. Do you feel full disclosure would help you?

I think I would find it essential to be able to move on. Full disclosure will, I am certain, be hugely painful for both of you. But the pain is necessary to lay to rest a lifetime of never being sure.

Whisky2014 Wed 11-May-16 13:41:30

OP, are you in NE of Scotland?

hellsbellsmelons Wed 11-May-16 13:49:15

I always think what you are doing is the path that is far harder.
I couldn't get back with my ExH.
What he had done I could never get over.
I knew that.
But you might be able to.
There are many stories of people who have come out stronger.
And it takes a good 2+ years to get anywhere near to that.

Counselling on your own might be a good idea.

You do NOT have to take him back just because you said you might.
If you have decided that you can't forgive or forget and that things will always be that little bit worse then you don't have to do it.
YOU did NOT break us the family - he did.

Really think about what YOU want.
Yes the kids would probably like it but would they really?
With an unhappy, untrusting mum???
That's no life for you or them.

But if you do want to work on it then you don't have to stick to the deadline.
Give yourself as much time as you need.
Do not be pressured.
This is massive.

I couldn't but many can. We are all different.

FellOutOfBedTwice Wed 11-May-16 14:11:04

I really apologise for any offence caused- I was honestly trying to be helpful and explain why I couldn't forgive an affair and why- I wanted to underline to the op how utterly dreadful it is to be so disrespected.

I will report my own post- HQ please delete.

Sincere apologies again, when

whensitmyturn Wed 11-May-16 14:20:54

No whisky am in England? 

Thanks to those who replied, no I suppose he shouldn't move back in while I'm like this i have still got a lot of resentment in me and it wouldn't make for a happy home. 

What I wanted was to be a happy family and I thought we had that prior to it happening. Apart from long hours and him being on his phone a lot both of which have been normal our whole relationship I didn't suspect a thing which has badly shaken my ability to trust my own judgment. 

I just flip flop to different decisions, I know I could be happy in theory on my own as he would have dc's, i like my own company, can keep myself busy etc but then I think about him meeting someone else and moving on and that makes me feel sick too. He was my best friend but he did this to me which means he can't have liked/ respected me all that much just still hurts a lot. He says he loves me etc but he said that before so why would I believe him now? 

He still sees her every few months at a group meeting which I hate but there's nothing I can do about that.

He's said he's told me everything but there's been a couple of times that he's 'slipped up' about things. I try very hard not to bring it up often and can go 3/4 weeks without mentioning it but the last couple of times I've asked him something he's huffed and puffed and got defensive which makes me even more angry. I'm sure he does want to forget it happened but I just can't and I don't think he can understand that as he wasn't cheated on. 

FellOutOfBedTwice Wed 11-May-16 14:24:23

OP I see you're back and my post still stands. I have reported it. I'm really, really sorry again. Feel like a right twat for being offensive when I was honestly only trying to be of help.

germinal Wed 11-May-16 14:27:50

Do you love him? I mean as a person?

I loved my DH and I forgave him. I forgave him because I loved him and believed him when he said he was sorry.

Ten (ish) years on and we are happier than we ever were.

Good luck flowers

Oly5 Wed 11-May-16 14:33:42

A year isn't very long op. Give it time.
Marriage counselling will help but also you sound like you want to/need to build up your own self esteem too? Of course it's all turd together but you sound quite died generally too.
I can't bear the thought of them meeting somebody else and having another family... Which provides incentive to keep working at it

Oly5 Wed 11-May-16 14:34:25

Tied together!
Sound quite down.
Sorry for phone mania typos

mutantninja Wed 11-May-16 14:40:01

I was the same, thought we were really happy, DH spent a lot of time on his phone/laptop but that was pretty normal. We got on brilliantly, he was a good dad and we were very loving - yet he was capable of complete betrayal. I don't know how you process that, all I've offered is that I am willing to try. I have said that maybe I can't.

But my husband is bending over backwards to resolve things, will answer any question I have, whenever I chose to have it, takes full responsibility, doesn't huff and puff and I can see this is absolutely what he wants. If I didn't have that he'd be out. One fucking huff and he'd be out, in fact. He's completely changed certain aspects of his life, his working environment, his time online, he's very aware of how unhealthy that all was. If you don't feel that your DH is committed to the same level of effort then why the hell should you try? He should be able to understand and articulate how much hurt he has caused, it should be very painful for him to know that.

You don't have to meet any deadlines, you can change your mind about anything, at any time. He should acknowledge that how you are feeling is normal, that if you were just to bury it and put on a smile that's not addressing the problems at all. You've suffered a massive loss and you have to negotiate your way through that. It doesn't sound from your posts like you've had much time to do that. You are still shocked, hurt and angry.

IrianofWay Wed 11-May-16 14:49:16

A year is nothing after your world was turned upside down.

IWILLgiveupsugar Wed 11-May-16 14:54:03

Okay, I think the main problem here is that your h thinks he has the right to set the agenda for what happens and when. He is not 'getting' that the choices are not all his anymore, that his time for making decisions wrt the marriage were over the minute he went outside of your relationship and that you get to decide when you are over it (if at all). He is trying to rush you and getting huffy when you want to talk about it is not helpful.

As much as he hates it, he has to be willing to talk to you as much as you need and not put you under any pressure.

TheCrumpettyTree Wed 11-May-16 14:55:19

I'm sure he does want to forget it happened, how convenient. He has no right to huff and puff, he did this.

What has he done to try and make it work?

IWILLgiveupsugar Wed 11-May-16 14:55:57

If no one has mentioned it to you, the Shirley Glass book 'not just friends' is helpful, for you and him.

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