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Have I wasted 2 years trying?

(16 Posts)
Lotsofponies Fri 23-Dec-16 12:24:59

Just need to get this out there. Sorry it's long, I don't want to drip feed. My DP of 20 years (new years eve) was unfaithful to me 2 years ago. It was the usual cliché, very happy for 16 years, when our last dc was born there was so much going on in our lives, so much stress, youngest dc didn't sleep, we found ourselves drifting, niggling, resenting personal time etc.

DP went to BIL wedding abroad, bohemian affair at a lake house. He felt down, unloved , got shit faced and 'got off' with another woman, they didn't have sex, but it was passionate and gropy. Naturally she was much younger prettier. He said it was a huge ego boost. He was going to tell me but he couldnt do it, I knew something had happened.

6 weeks of strange sulky behaviour later I persuaded him to go out on his annual beer festival trip with his best friend. I thought a bit of me time might cheer him up. He and bestie got drunk. Bestie (whole story in itself), he didn't know what to do, they were getting a taxi back and get didn't want to go and leave him drunk in an alley. He was talking to the bar maid about his worries and she offered that if he hung around whilst she was closing, if bestie hadn't turned up he could ring a taxi and have a cup of tea at her house just nest door. He thought that by making this offer she might fancy him, even though he says he didn't particularly fancy her. He wanted to feel that ego boost again of being wanted. He went back to her house, they chatted. I rang whilst he was there (it was midnight, he was supposed to be home for dinner). He said he was waiting for a taxi, no mention of being in a womans house, he said he realised as soon as he got to her house he was being foolish and nothing would happen.

The next morning there was an almighty row and it began to come out. If he had told me the whole stupid middle age truth I think I would have been OK. I wasn't happy in our relationship either. I can see how it have happened, in the past with my previous partner I did something similar. I am not naive.

The problem is he then dripped and dripped the truth out, initialy it was he had met someone he liked, nothing happened, then accidental kiss as they hugged goodbye, then a second kiss, no tounges, hands strictly above waist. I kept believing him, why wouldn't I. He had been an absolute rock to me for 18 years. It took 6 months for the full, truth to come out. Really stupid lies things like, did you get an erection. I suppose I was testing him, because of course an encounter like that would be arousing, but he denied it for months. I ended up contacting both the OW, and my SIL who was best friends with the foreign OW. The stories match.

We went to counselling and things seemed to be improving relationship wise, sex back on track, we are both physically attracted to each other . He has tried hard do do the right things and at the start if this had the Emotionalrange of a teaspoon. He wanted to say sorry and move on, forget about it all. I am a hugely emotional person so this was never going to happen. He has got better though.

2 years on and am still tormented by niggling doubts, fuelled by the fact that he lied so outrageously at the start. I then have a downer and we have to talk it all, through. The problem is things keep coming out. Not physical things but emotional things. He claims he has not lied or covered these things up, it's just he didn't think about it in that way. He has suggested that he was perhaps trying to suppress these thoughts because they make him so uncomfortable. My biggest fear has always been, and still, is that he is only staying with me because of the children and does not totally love me for me.

With Christmas approaching and the emphasis on family and love I have been feeling down, I cried in Tescos yesterday and it ended up in a talk out till the early hours. I still didn't feel right about how he explained his feelings during the 6 weeks after the first encounter nor how at his first confession he told me he was not sure if he loved me. At the entire he back peddled furiously and said of course he loved me he was confused. He said his only thoughts of the OW after the fact were guilt and confusion at how he could have done this when he was supposed to love me.

Last night he confessed that his thoughts during the 6 weeks were filled with obsessive thoughts about the OW and was comparing me unfavourably to her, re wriiting history and justifying his thoughts and actions. He admits he completely underplayed how he felt about her and that he was on the verge of finishing our relationship. I asked if she had lived in this country or it had been her in the encounter with the second OW would he have done it again, he said the way he felt at the time probably.

On th eplus side he gets that the feeling he had for her were all fantasy and as a result of feeling unloved and inadequate. He also understands the reason he felt unloved by me and disconnected was because he was putting no effort to make me feel loved and special, he thought if he threw himself into work I would recognise his efforts and appreciate him in that way, twat.

I am at work now at my wits end. How do I get past this, is he still lying after 2 years? Or is he finally coming to terms with his emotions? Or is he just beginning to 'get' that for a relationship to heal you need total emotional honesty? Or is he just giving up and hoping that I will relieve him of tne shitty stick of ending our relationship, enabling him to continue being good old Mr Lots who would never desert his family. I dont want to end it, but I cant bear the thought of being in a relationship where I am not 'the one', not totally loved but stayed with because it's not a 'bad' relationship.

I Just don't know how or what to think now.

BTW we are 42 & 43 and have 3 DCS 25, 7 & 5. He is an equal partner in our home and family life, not a father who babysit his own children so no issues along those lines at all,

Thoughts or handholding would be great

Lotsofponies Fri 23-Dec-16 12:27:16

Sorry, bestie went missing, DP didn't want to go home thinking he was lying drunk in an alley

hellsbellsmelons Fri 23-Dec-16 12:39:29

It's so hard isn't it?
I chose NOT to take the long road.
Like you I didn't want him to be with the 'wrong' person.
If he loved someone else I didn't want to be the one to make him unhappy.
When he described myself and our DD as a duty, that was it for me.
After saying I would try I admitted to myself that it would never be the same again.
He would never be that loving husband who would never hurt me and always protect me.
In fact he was a man who could inflict more hurt than I could ever imagine I'd have to cope with.
I knew I'd never really forgive and forget so it ended.

I have massive respect for women or men who stay to make it work.

But this is you, your DC and your life.
Do you want to live the rest of it like this?
Do you think it will improve over time?
Many couples can come out of something like this stronger and happier.
Will you ever be that couple?
Only time will tell.

Have you had couples counselling?
Or counselling on your own to see how YOU feel about it all?

MadeForThis Fri 23-Dec-16 12:40:41

I have no experience in this but if you are still unhappy and unable to move on from this after 2 years then it doesn't look like the relationship is going to work.
Hopefully someone will come on who had managed to heal a relationship after a one night stand.
I can completely understand how you can't trust him especially if he keeps adding to the story after 2 years but I can't imagine how either of you can fix the relationship if the affair is still being brought up.
I think you need to decide if the relationship is making you happy or not.

Singyourheartout Fri 23-Dec-16 12:41:24

Hi Op
It sounds like you are still struggling with his lying and deceit. Have you tried counselling? Everyone goes through rough patches but he seem to have just gone out and used it as an excuse to feel good about himself instead of trying to work on his Marrige.
Personally he sound horrible and isn't worth the upset!

Isadora2007 Fri 23-Dec-16 12:46:52

Honestly? I think the cost of the progress you and he have made through counselling is that he has been able to be more honest with himself and then you about the feelings he repressed after the event.
Again, honestly, I think the overall benefit to you as a couple has still been worth it.

Now though I do think you have to connect in the here and now and be honest with each other about where you are now and where you want to be given you now have more ability to communicate and connect. Take some time to do this and do not look back during this conversation- stay focussed on what you feel now and how you act now and what you want moving forward.

Then draw a line. The past has passed and you both learned from it. And changed.

FwIW I am super impressed with you both having the tenacity and commitment to do what you've been done and I really hope that it continues to be a success for you.

Lotsofponies Fri 23-Dec-16 12:53:05

Yes we had counseling it helped in some ways, for example. To improve communication and to see how we had neglected our relationship. It just seems to be his cowardice in admitted what he did and how he felt. It's the feelings that he is still opening up about.

I just don't know how I can belive it when he says now that I love you, he said he loved me the day he got off with the OW, he said I love you I the 6 weeks ignorance period, and in the first few weeks after dday, when he was thinking g about ending our relationship. Christ this is shit.

Lotsofponies Fri 23-Dec-16 13:20:13

I suppose another material fact is that we are suffering a lot so stress at thre moment as our house was hit by flash floods in June, it's sits as an empty shell while we live in a staic0 caravan on the drive. Just makes everything more depressing.

Just saying ignore out loud to someone else helps. At the time now many rl people knew, a few at work, my best freind, my mums and his family.

Work have been great. My best friend says as an outside for she thinks Mr Lots has been a stupid dick, but thinks I should forgive, however she totally understands hod I feel and said she would forever view what we had as tainted, but still to precious to throw away.

My mum in truth 1950s traditiln said never mind for, men are silly, try not your dwelling. On it. His family think it's all silly nonsense, he shouldn't have told me and I should, do be lucky to have him. Suffice to say I can't look to family gorgeous support.

magoria Fri 23-Dec-16 13:39:59

It is not 2 years wasted, it is 2 years trying.

If it hasn't worked then there is no shame in admitting that this has destroyed your relationship and there is no point continuing it.

Lotsofponies Fri 23-Dec-16 13:40:34

Frigging auto correct, I am so sorry for the gibberish I am writing, I am trying to do this surreptitiously at work. I have got a freaking elf headband on and everyone is happy and jolly.

My mum thinks men are silly and I should not dwell on it.

rumred Fri 23-Dec-16 13:45:49

It sounds like he is telling you the bare minimum he can get away with. Which is common with cheats. Perhaps your gut is telling you he's still lying. Perhaps your gut is telling you he's mistreated you and is thus likely to do so again?
Do you have good friends who can be somewhat objective? What do they say? 50s mothers aren't great at objectivity

rumred Fri 23-Dec-16 13:47:22

Oh and marriage is a contract, which he's broken. No wonder you're still distressed. Who wouldn't be?

sorryIam Fri 23-Dec-16 13:51:04

You deserve to be happy. He is making you miserable.

InfoFreako Fri 23-Dec-16 17:29:51

You either try and work things out or be locked in this negative spiral.

We all do things we regret - humans aren't perfect. Forgive and forget is a strong mantra - just depends how much you can forgive and forget!

Cheers.

Matrixreloaded Fri 23-Dec-16 19:33:48

I'm sorry Op. I've had a similar experience.

I disagree that the cheating happened because he felt unloved by you. I think it happened because it could, simple as that. He was alone at a wedding, had probably been drinking, they've ended up isolated for whatever reason and cheating has occurred.

Do you believe it didn't go any further? I know the ow said it didn't, but do you believe that? What reasons does he give for it not going further? Did one of them suddenly develop a conscience and declare"we shouldn't be doing this" as so many of them claim?

I've spent a lot of time on various infidelity forums and unfortunately I've got pretty much every book about infidelity. Pretty much most of what a cheater says around D day is to be disregarded as rubbish. It sounds like he's trying to blame the cheating on not feeling loved , rather than the opportunistic pissed up groping session it actually was.

Lots of cheaters do this. It doesn't sit well with them that they've cheated, they wouldn't cheat on someone they love, they don't want to be that guy. Easy solution, they don't love you. On and on it goes. He probably doesn't want to be that guy who risked everything to grope a stranger, so now she meant something to him.

Lotsofponies Sat 24-Dec-16 10:11:51

Thank for all the replies.

Matrix - I don't think it went further because the whole think happened whilst she was waiting for a cab. I found her on Facebook and messaged her (classy). Her reply was i was drunk, struck up conversation with a guy whilst waiting to go we kissed, end of, then slating Mr Lots and saying how disgusting men are for cheating. According to silence this is what she wheeled out to. Apparently she was sitting herself because she had a boyfriend too.

Regarding feeling unloved, yes it's a bit lame. Mr Lots is not blaming at all, he takes full responsibility, but he is a physically needy person. At the time we were not connected and I admit I used withdrawn of affection to hurt him. I get the need to feel wanted. I 'get' and understand what happened.

My fear is is he being truthfully emotionally. Kids were with grandparents last night so had another good talk, in particular about the bit that makes me feel insecure, the period after it happening and DDAY and why he still lied about it. I think I get it.

He said he had done this huge terrible thing he was ashamed of, however it had made him feel great. No one knew, he was holding it all inside and it just seemed to get bigger and bigger. It then turned into a sort of brief encounter fantasy, perhaps in a different life..... bleurghhh. Exactly like you said Matrix, he said he believed it must have been special, she must have been special for him to do this too me.

When it came out the fantasy crumbled. On dday i showed him (screamed look at the bitch is she worth it) her facebook page and he said though he recognised her, she didn't look like like the picture in his heafthen he was her fb response and found out about her boyfriend and he felt utterly foolish, in addition to the guilt shame etc.

He had confessed that the encounter had a huge impact on him, but felt to stupid to confess how he had built up this ideal of her, in just 45 minutes, particularly as it had now totalyoung a vaporised. He said when he told me he was unsure if he loved me it was because he still had this fantasy view of her, this thought that perhaps there is more than one person in the world who could be your ideal partner and he had happened to meet that person, he was confused that he could love me and still feel like that about her. He hadn't read Shirley glasses just good friends at that point. I think the bit about being attracted to others and having crushes was an eye opener.

Anyhow at the moment I am satisfied that I know everything. I am sure at some point something else will pop into my head and I will just have to ask. But as info freak says, I need to break from the negative cycle.

So positives

I love him
I believe he loves me, he must have to have suffered 2 years of inquisition, screaming and tears from me and still professes his love
He is trying to show his love and emotions
I am 98% certain I have the truth (I don't believe in 100% any more)
I am 98% he will never do this again.
We get on well, we laUGH, we are very compatible sexualy.
He is a good man and father, with the exception of this mistake.
We had 16 years of bliss before all this madness (I don't think I am falling into the sunken costs fallacy)

Negatives
I am scared of being taken for a fool

I think I am just going to have to go for it.

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