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DH had Emotional Affair but complicated life situation

(69 Posts)
ExpatTrailingSpouse Thu 25-Aug-16 18:39:27

First time poster on here - have been reading lots of posts last year or so, and now looking for thoughts, maybe not advice per se.

Also, apologize in advance if this gets a bit long, it's a complicated situation.

Last year, I found out DH was having at the very least an emotional affair while he was on a business trip with a work colleague and missed our DS' 2nd birthday. Turned out actually it had been going on since before our DS was 1 and maybe even longer than that. He worked in location A and she in location B - so when he travelled to B, he would always see her for dinner at least. Several overseas business trips - Europe, Asia, etc, where it turned out he was spending all his spare time with her outside of work meetings. Plus the last trip when I found out - the work meeting was all of two days - he spent almost two full weeks with her jaunting around Europe in different locations, and in fact changed his original dates to extend so that he would purposefully miss our DS 2nd birthday.

According to him, he swears no physical stuff happened, OW had no idea he thought of her as more than friends, and that she just likes to travel with other married male colleagues. I've never met her, despite having been with him on business trips to her location, and actually being in some of the European cities at the same time as her (Paris, unknown to me he was with her in Paris for a day or two before I got there with DS to meet up with him). So find it hard to believe that some OW would think it's ok to go on trips with a married colleague without even thinking about if the wife knows or ever meeting the wife, etc etc, plus the implausibility of it all in general.

Some other stuff - we're on expat assignment, had just signed a contract to buy our first house and a cross-country move due to his job when I found out. I couldn't see an easy way to get out of the contract as he admitted who he was with two days after the option period expired and we were already committed to the move so we ended up buying the house. I'm on a visa where I could work but a) we've been moving every 2-3 years and until recently I've been SAHM with our now 3 year old, and b) I've no idea what happens to my immigration status if we separate. His family have no idea what's happened but must have picked up some vibes. If I leave I'd potentially have to leave the country, and also have been out of work for over 3 years (essentially quit my Phd) due to having DS and being a trailing spouse following DH for his job, so don't even know if I could get a decent job anymore. Also that means DS would be far away from his dad since it'd be two different countries... DH has said he would quit his job if we left, except as the sole current income of our family, that's not exactly helpful either.

We've been going to counseling - took 8 months before he finally got sorted to actually go regularly as opposed to once every few months. Sometimes I think we're making progress, then other times, feel like we've made none. Examples: found out 4 months after original d-day, that he was still working with this OW, even though he told me he was no contact. Found out couple of weeks ago, that his big trip with her last year actually had yet another country involved and only because I accidentally came across a souvenir (I was looking for something I'd lost), and he tried to tell me that first off he already had told me when I knew he hadn't, and second that it wasn't a big deal. Also found out he may have screwed the pooch at work too, as his most likely career path would take him back to being under direct supervision of the OW!

He's definitely improved his parenting, no doubts there, but more and more feeling like reconciliation for us as a couple isn't possible by this point. He is kind of trying at home to contribute more (cleaning up after himself, etc), but I feel like that's just coming up to a minimum standard that I should have held him to before all this came out. (Example: cleaning his own p*ss off the floor). And all I get in counseling is - can't you see I'm trying, or don't you think i'm trying, which just makes me feel like I'm the bad guy for nagging him to actually follow through and do what he says he's going to do.

I feel like I'm starting to ramble, but just so much sh*t going on at once, it's hard to distil the salient points. Any thoughts/ideas welcome...

magoria Thu 25-Aug-16 19:02:47

I think you should look into what you can expect if you separate.

He hasn't gone to counselling with the intention of trying as he is still hiding things and even after 8 months more is coming out.

What a waste of time and money.

How many more secrets is he not telling you?

I personally couldn't get over him deliberately extending his trip to be with her over DC birthday.

That would be a deal breaker.

WombOfOnesOwn Thu 25-Aug-16 19:04:16

If you believe him that nothing physical happened, you're the most gullible person I've seen posting here so far.

This man is doing what they typically do, telling you as little as he thinks he can get away with. THIS, btw, is when it helps to contact the OW -- when you know way more has happened than your DH will admit to and you want to hear the other side of the story.

MoonStar07 Thu 25-Aug-16 19:11:08

I think you need to speak to an immigration lawyer and a family lawyer ideally in the same firm. What a bastard !!! He's not worth anything. I can't belive what he has got away with. Deffo contact the OW

SandyY2K Thu 25-Aug-16 19:40:43

So the two of them were travelling around and nothing physical happened? Really!!

Who told you she doesn't realise he only views her as a friend? Him?

Any woman who thinks it's okay to travel around with a MM like this has no boundaries and no respect.

That he deliberately missed your son's birthday would told me he doesn't give a damn.

Can you talk to him about financial support if you move back home? A way to clear your head. There's so much trust broken here and he's not helping.

Trifleorbust Thu 25-Aug-16 20:39:32

I don't believe there is such a thing as an 'emotional affair' that involves meeting up in a different country. Flirtations either do or don't progress; affairs get physical. Sorry, OP, but he is lying to you about that. I would put my house on it.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Thu 25-Aug-16 20:45:24

What country do you live in? Is it possible that your son would need to stay because he is now habitually resident in that country?

Even so, you could split but stay in the same country. I certainly wouldn't forgive him whilst he's still blatantly lying. They travelled together, met up in Paris, visited lots of countries and hotels and it wasn't physical?! Bull.

Cynara Thu 25-Aug-16 20:45:33

Agree entirely with Trifle. No way has he trravelled about abroad with her having emotionally involved chats and then bidding each other goodnight at the hotel bedroom door.

HappyJanuary Thu 25-Aug-16 20:51:47

Oh love please get your ducks in a row and leave. I wish I could see the look on his face when he realises you mean it this time. You will be so much better without him.

BolshierAryaStark Thu 25-Aug-16 20:55:24

I am actually astounded that you describe it as an EA, please tell me you don't buy that absolute steaming pile of fucking bullshit?!?
He lied then & he's still lying now, stop letting him get away with this-you are allowing him to take the piss.
Speak to a lawyer about separation & where you stand with regards to leaving the country with your DS.

HuskyLover1 Thu 25-Aug-16 21:01:48

This all sounds like way too much hard work. You are living with someone who has a double life. You are having to second guess everything. It's not healthy.

changed his original dates to extend so that he would purposefully miss our DS 2nd birthday

I suggest you change the end of that sentence to "so he could spend longer with OW"

OW had no idea he thought of her as more than friends, and that she just likes to travel with other married male colleagues

What? ^^ This sentence makes no sense whatsoever. "I love to travel with married male colleagues" SAID NO WOMAN IN THE UNIVERSE EVER.

mumofthemonsters808 Thu 25-Aug-16 21:18:27

Very sad reading Op, it's quite bizarre in that I always imagined women married to wealthy businessmen had the life of Riley, that's until I joined Mn and read different women's stories about their philandering husbands.

You really do need to wake up and smell the coffee, he is treating you like a fool, you need your head feeling if she really believe he has not been sleeping with her.Stop letting him take the piss out of you, you deserve so much better.

0dfod Thu 25-Aug-16 21:25:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GeekyWombat Thu 25-Aug-16 21:28:25

This sentence makes no sense whatsoever. "I love to travel with married male colleagues" SAID NO WOMAN IN THE UNIVERSE EVER.


I'm sorry OP, this is so horrible. flowers

AnyFucker Thu 25-Aug-16 21:36:25

Blimey, he's done right number on you sad

winkywinkola Thu 25-Aug-16 21:44:25

He isn't making any effort to make things better. Not really.

I think he likes the status quo. And you not look like you're going to change anything either. That's why he's not making any effort.

On it goes.

Maybe it's time to cut your losses? He's not honest. He's not grovelling and begging for forgiveness. He's not doing anything apart from carrying on being dishonest. And cheating on you. And your ds.

He is a creep.

springydaffs Thu 25-Aug-16 21:59:49

He is a creep.

Yep. A slimy creep. yuk.

You should get a good settlement when you split. He's taking the absolute piss here. Get to a lawyer and find out what you'd be entitled to. And it's very helpful for you that he is employed because his income is traceable. However, copy every financial/legal document you can find and store in a safe place - out of the home if possible.

I'm so sorry flowers

RunRabbitRunRabbit Thu 25-Aug-16 22:01:04

The only reasons you have given for staying with him are fear of the unknown. All the other "reasons", you dismiss yourself in your post, like the piss cleaning minimum standards thing. You know he is a twat and it is over.

Get proper professional advice to make those unknowns known.

I've no idea what happens to my immigration status if we separate. How can you find out?

If I leave I'd potentially have to leave the country find out for sure

* essentiallyy quit my Phd) due to having DS and being a trailing spouse following DH for his job* god he's a cunt

so don't even know if I could get a decent job anymore. You were capable of doing a PhD 3 years ago, you'll be able to get a decent job. Lots of people drop out of PhDs and get great jobs. Wanting a job money has got to be one of the top reasons. He's done a right number on your confidence if you think you can't get a decent job after a pretty short career break.

Also that means DS would be far away from his dad since it'd be two different countries if you even have to leave. Besides, your DH would rather fuck OW than come to his own DSs 2nd birthday party. I wouldn't plan your future based on his deep need to bond with his child.

DH has said he would quit his job if we left Bingo! He is following the abuser's script. Of course he won't quit his job.

Fontella Thu 25-Aug-16 23:33:25

Emotional affair my arse.

ExpatTrailingSpouse Fri 26-Aug-16 16:03:14

hi all, thanks for taking the time to respond. obviously i've not been able to give the full story above, so much more than can be described!

this will be long (apologies in advance) - but i tried to answer each of you in more detail.

in any case, i'll make clear that I did not say i believed his claim of no physical contact - that's his story. Also, we are not what I would call reconciled - we are cohabiting, mostly because of DS and the fact that we were already in the middle of a cross country move when I found out. I'd say we are in limbo while I decide what I want to do long term. he does say he wants to try and work it out and seems sincere on that end.

Mercenary as it is, I'm not going to jump into single motherhood and a potentially much more difficult life without a lot of serious thought. I am somewhat more of a pragmatic/rational type person, less on the emotion (not that i don't feel, more that i rely on logic rather than feelings).

Thoughts I have about the possible outcomes are:
- we stay together and try and work things out with therapy etc.
- we stay in this location but separate. Unfortunately makes my life awkward as ALL my friends are wives of his colleagues (we're all trailing spouses), or potential immigration issues.
- we separate but I leave the country. couple of options. Return to UK where I have a little bit of family and some very good friends, but no real support system (housing, jobs etc), and also f*ing Brexit. Return to country where we were before the move to the US - have some family there, and some support, and right to work. Return to previous country and PhD - but also very awkward because all the professors and staff knew DH and were invited to our wedding/gave gifts/gave gifts for DS etc.
- also have a very old dog who gets very sick every time we move, so don't know if he can handle another one sad
I can see pitfalls and difficulties in every single option which is why I've not made much movement in any direction except taking it easy and "enjoying" while i can, what quality of life i've got now.

magoria - you are right, I should have been looking into more concrete details of what to expect. It was definitely complicated by the fact that we moved cross country and different states have different laws. I'm correcting that now. Counselling has been going somewhat better since he started going regularly - it's when we try and communicate at home that things go to hell. and yes, the DC birthday thing (combined with his poor parenthood previously) was almost the end, but on the other hand, he has vastly vastly improved his parenting.

WombsOfOnesOwn and MoonStar07 - i didn't say i believed him nothing physical happened. in terms of the OW - there is the complicating factor that if I did contact her and she was either annoyed because she was guilty or because she was surprised because he's telling the truth and she had no idea, then there are career implications. Again, maybe mercenary, maybe too nice, but I'm not planning on jeopardizing his job, and our only current source of income right now. not only that, i actually can believe it could be plausible as i know her cultural background - some people don't see when they've stepped far over boundaries. Also I'm 90% + sure there's been no personal type contact, only work contact since, which has also been helped by the fact that we moved 1500 miles away. great idea to try and find a lawyer who does both family and immigration law - wonder how common that is here?

Anchor - We're in the US and my son is a US citizen, but the anchor baby thing only comes into play in terms of I don't believe I would be deported if I overstayed my visa, but I wouldn't have any legal rights to work, have benefits, etc. I'm on a spouse visa, which to my mind means if we split I'm not longer a spouse so the visa no longer applies. Again I need to get on and talk to an immigration lawyer.

Husky - according to him, OW has travelled with other MM colleagues on other business trips also. I know DH has also done side trips with male colleagues on business trips also (I've seen pictures). Honestly, with her cultural background, I can actually see her not having the social skills to know that it's not ok, and thinking that they make safe traveling companions.

mumofthemonsters - sadly, not wealthy businessman, just decently well off. he's only 5 years into his career. while in general we do have it pretty good and it does sound glamorous and fun, it really isn't - getting moved every 2-3 years was not what i had planned for my life or career. the company is very good about trying to provide support, but the life of a trailing spouse is not to be envied by any means. perhaps if he were management/upper management, there'd be a more glamorous lifestyle, but at our level, it's essentially normal only we're in another country. On this last move, our DS was old enough to realize he was losing his home, and his friends - that will only get worse as he gets older (speaking from personal experience from moving a lot as a child). And I also have had to start over again each time finding new friends and support in new places that have a totally different culture, and moving even further away from any family. Luckily this last move was slightly easier on the friends front because many of us moved together but if i hadn't had that, i'd be completely isolated here.

Odfod: Why are you with him? - good question! He's not an awful person other than this. Maybe not the best, but neither am I truthfully. We had some very good times together before this and our DS really really loves him. Now that all this crap has come out, I'm still here because of all the possibilities that whir around in my head that I can't quite decide which one is the best. No matter what your initial gut reaction is to something like this, and I think especially when children are involved, there are always factors to consider that you would never have thought previously. I'll admit, I always thought this kind of thing was an immediate dealbreaker. If we didn't have a DS, it would have made it much easier to be gone as soon as it found out. Having a DS made me stop to think about all the outcomes. I don't believe anyone this happened to would jump into single motherhood just like that without putting thought into the consequences.

winkywinkola - I'm sorry I didn't make clear that he is trying, just isn't always able to be consistent in his efforts. He's been very consistent in improving his parenting and relationship with DS. Not so consistent in showing he's changed in our relationship - sometimes does well, other times says stuff that makes me think he's no idea what he's done wrong. But therapist has noted he is not a good communicator, gets stuck on a single idea and finds it difficult to shift, but that he has been slowly slowly improving, etc etc. I'd agree also that he finds it very hard to be genuine about emotional stuff, and finds it hard to put himself in my shoes and truly understand what he's done to our relationship and even to my relationships with the people around us.

springydaffs - unfortunately from what i've been able to glean, aside from common marital property, there is no spousal support in this state, only a minimal amount of child support. Fortunately, we are not in a bad position financially at all - I could get by for probably a couple of years with DS without a job if I scrimped a bit. And not to worry, money was moved the week i found out... half is untouchable.

runrabbit - thanks for your very thoughtful post. i've got a call in to a lawyer to get more specific info re: separation/immigration. i think the market here is different - it is not friendly at all to women who have taken breaks to be mothers. So although i was in a phd, because there has been such a large gap, it won't be easy to get my foot in the door. also, doesn't help that i don't have any professional experience in my research area. my previous work experience was unrelated, but now i'm likely overqualified for that. luckily, as i mentioned above, we've enough financial stability that i can hang in for a long while while i look. *i wouldn't plan your future based on his deep need to bond with his child*" - this is one area in which he has vastly improved and actually does have a much deeper bond with DS... so it is more of a consideration now. DH job quitting - that's been made clear to him both by me and therapist that unless he has a course of action plotted after, it's completely unacceptable to remove the only source of income for our family. it's also a sign that he's still incapable of thinking through his actions and the consequences.

springydaffs Sat 03-Sep-16 22:27:25

he does say he wants to try and work it out and seems sincere on that end.

Until the next time.

Your thinking seems very complicated, worrying about everyone (even the dog) before yourself. I don't easily say someone is a slime - this man is going to continue to shit all over you imo. What he's done is serious.

You talk of hopping between countries but you'll very probably need authorisation from him to take dc out of the country... though not sure what country ds was born in. What sort of settlement can you expect from the country you are from?

It all sounds so complex. When in fact it's pretty simple: he has shat all over you and he'll do it again. You'll only face this all over again at some future date.

springydaffs Sat 03-Sep-16 22:28:36

Be brave op.

springydaffs Sat 03-Sep-16 22:29:49


Dozer Sat 03-Sep-16 22:31:32

He had a long term sexual affair (clearly) and continues to lie. If you need to get your ducks in a row before you LTB, do that, but do LTB.

You can't "work things out" with someone who cheats and persistently lies.

ExpatTrailingSpouse Sat 03-Sep-16 22:47:50

springydaffsDidn't want to say too much about countries in case I'm outed but we all have uk citizenship plus another country and ds is also US born/citizen. Lawyer in another state said removing to other country would be fine as its not like dh can't go there etc. I think I'd be in trouble if dh was a US citizen also.

Started contacting lawyers here but bloody hell, $$$$ for just an initial hour consult! Would have to squirrel that away quietly over time, or deal with super whiny upset from dh.

Anyway it's been an interesting couple of weeks - planning to apply to a back to work program in uk and vet has said she doesn't see any problems for doggie to fly with me. And some stuff has been said (a complete lack of understanding of where we are at) that just pushes me further to taking those steps. He's in denial alone with treading very carefully. And hovering more. Actually feel like a mix of the usual cheating threads with the incompetent husband one mixed in too.

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