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My wife had an affair

(37 Posts)
EmotionalDad Fri 06-Jan-17 01:45:36

Hello everyone,
Let me start at the beginning......
In the last 2-3 years my wife and I had started to lose contact with each other....we'd be ok with each other but took each other for granted, not a lot of love between us and any problems we had we'd just bottle up, maybe tell our friends but stupidly not tell/talk to each other.....
I run my own business and my wife is a stay at home mum - we have two beautiful girls one of 12 and one of 8
In June of last year - I went away with the 'boys' for 10 days and she was at home with the kids - whilst I was away a family friend (married guy with two young boys) contacted her - he knew I was away....and slowly over the next few months the texts became more and more and (her words) whilst she was at a particularly low point in her life the texts got saucier and sexting began between them.
We went on a family holiday in July/August and she was whatsapping him pictures of herself whilst away....
I'm still oblivious to all of this.....sex started between them and they would go off to local hotels.....
I started to get suspicious in November.....and actually said to her that the way she uses her phone it's as if she was having an affair !
Anyhow - I had an opportunity to see her phone at the end of November and saw all these messages - I died that night.
I won't bore you with the sorry details of the next couple of days - only to say that here we are six weeks later - my wife and I have reconnected.
She is desperately sorry and ashamed for what she did - but we are now in a much better place.....
My question to anyone that's been in this position.....How long will it be until all of my pain has gone - I can't sleep, she found me on the bathroom floor earlier in a ball of snot and tears, I just keep seeing them together and can't get past the pain it's all causing.
Anyone have any input as to how long this lasts....
Do you have any pointers as to how I can move on - and please don't tell me to leave her.....it's taken all of this pain for us both to realise that we mean the world to each other.
Thanks
X

ScuttlbuttHarpy Fri 06-Jan-17 01:52:41

Just posting to let you know I've read this and although I've never wanted to try and work through a relationship like this, I believe it is possible. Maybe councelling for you both, relate or something might help. sorry I cant help more, just wanted to answer you.

Valentine2 Fri 06-Jan-17 02:03:59

Staying at home for such a long time can kill you from inside. I don't think it's for everyone. It's hard to explain until you have been there. I am not explaining away what she did. If she has never done it before (you think she seems genuinely sorry) then give it a chance. But just one chance. I don't think the pain will go away easily. But whatever you do, TALK TO EACH OTHER. And only to each other. And while you are at it, do not talk to anyone else about it.
There have been a couple of times that I have seriously questioned my marriage. Time and DH are together because we talk about each and everything. No matter what. If he falls asleep after a long day and we have been busy with kids, i wake him up to talk. He does the same to me. I find this is the only solution for going forward together from such hard places.
It also helps to set new goals together and work on them. That provides even more things to talk about and increases your common ground.
Sorry you are going trough this flowers

Valentine2 Fri 06-Jan-17 02:05:04

Time = me blush

SandyY2K Fri 06-Jan-17 02:40:17

There's no timeline, but it can be up to 5 years to heal. Some say you never ever forget it.

What has your wife done to show remorse?

How is she showing she's a safe partner for you?

What consequences has she had following the affair?

Does the other man's wife know?

All these are important in your reconciliation.

I suggest your wife (if she wants to help) reads a book called 'how to help your spouse heal from your affair ' by Linda MacDonald.

Additional insight and support can be sought online from www.surviving.infidelity.com

IsNotGold Fri 06-Jan-17 08:35:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

rosabug Fri 06-Jan-17 08:47:01

I feel for you. A week before xmas I found out my partner had been having an affair for over a year. I am devastated and i'm not sure we can mend because we have other long standing issues. I would advise that you stay and keep talking. Break the pattern of your lives, something wasn't working for her, tell her she's beautiful, go away more, look after each other. Good luck.

Trifleorbust Fri 06-Jan-17 08:51:31

Sympathy, OP. flowers

Your wife is the one who needs to work on fixing this. She has hurt you badly and it will take a long time to rebuild trust. But it is possible, if she is committed to this.

jorahmormont Fri 06-Jan-17 09:02:27

The first few weeks are SO tough, you have my sympathy flowers

Talk and talk and talk to her about it. Tell her why you're angry, ask any questions you have, tell her exactly how you feel. If she tries to shy away from it, refuses to engage or won't answer your questions, she isn't putting the effort in, and that's when you need to consider whether she's really worth the time and effort you're putting in. Don't let her twist it around on you.

DP cheated on me, and I stayed when everyone told me to walk, and I'm glad I did. We recently got married, and our relationship and communication is so much better, but only because I didn't feel afraid to talk to him about it, and he was willing to listen, accept that he was an idiot arsehole and try everything in his power to make amends.

rosa sorry you're going through this too flowers

Pearl372 Fri 06-Jan-17 09:07:04

I'm 5yrs down the line, and still not over it.
Think it's a form of PTSD. Still get flashbacks.
Will never trust him 100%.
I'm quite a strong person too.
If I was a drinker, think I would have turned to the bottle.
Don't think I will ever get over it.
We're still together, but I don't think he knows totally how it has affected me.
We do discuss it now and again.
Men and women are totally on different wavelengths.

hellsbellsmelons Fri 06-Jan-17 09:11:22

found me on the bathroom floor earlier in a ball of snot and tears
I used to do this.
Or any corner I could find to curl up into a ball a sob.
I did this for about 8 months.
Unlike you, I couldn't forgive or forget.
He wanted to be elsewhere and I wanted him to be elsewhere.
But the pain lasts a long time.
As a PP has said, a year on, reading your post, the hurt is still there.
I'm 6+ years on and when I read this kind of thing I still get a bit teary.
The hurt and devastation never really leaves you.

Time!!! It takes a long time.
I really do believe you are taking the far harder path and I admire anyone who is willing to try to reconcile and mend their relationship.

It's totally possible.
Some couples come out of this kind of thing far stronger together.

But it takes time and work and patience.
Are you having counselling together to understand what happened?
Is she having counselling on her own to understand why she did it and what she can do to fix it?

Does she work?
I couldn't be at home that long.
I lasted 3 months before I was chomping at the bit to get back to work to adult conversations that don't involve parenting and kids!
Does she want to go back to work?
What is she doing to ensure this doesn't happen again?

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Fri 06-Jan-17 09:24:46

If you're up for forgiving her, then all the luck in the world to you.

It's very early days but you need to be totally open with each other. I hope she's trying to do everything she can do to make your relationship better and to help you gradually trust her again.

Tenshidarkangel Fri 06-Jan-17 09:25:12

Time and understanding from her I think.

You are going to get angry, lash out at her and not trust her or wobble a lot in the future. Not just now. She needs to be understanding that this is a result of her actions. Counseling is probably a good idea too.

IsNotGold Fri 06-Jan-17 09:29:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ACD123 Fri 06-Jan-17 09:39:29

6 weeks is nothing and this reconnect is more likely hysterical bonding - look it up. It will hit you again. What consequences have their been for her? If this were the other way round there would be calls to ask him to leave to give you space. I know that may not be practical when she is the main caree but you shouldn't be rewarding her behaviour with attention etc.

She needs to feel how hurt you are and take steps to do something about this.

On a side note and I'm not using this as a reason for her behaviour, 10 days away with the boys seems an extrodinarily long time for a trip away.

AntiqueSinger Fri 06-Jan-17 09:47:44

So so sorry you're going through this. What an awful betrayal. My advice is to work on what was drawing you apart. The good news (!) Is that it appears that the affair was more about attention, and the novelty and thrill of the sexual escapade and not emotional. Your wife is also remorseful. So 2 pluses in favour of you mending things.

So why did you both start taking each other for granted at a time when your children are less needy and more independent and presumably there is less pressure (in terms of time to have sex, time to spend together etc.)?

You mention you have your own business. Are you working all the time, even when at home? Do you have the energy to go occasionally out together as a couple after work, or is it the classic flop in front the tv? Did you regularly compliment each other, go away for dirty weekends? Buy gifts for each other? Go for walks together. As lovers, not just co-parents?

Sometimes we fall into a rut of thinking that because we feel we love someone its enough. But love is active and sometimes it requires structured planning to keep up esp. with children. I think we often feel it should just feel natural. But one piece of good advice I read in a book said 'treat your marriage as if it was an actual third person with needs, who will die if those needs aren't met' plan activities that will feed it and do them regardless of how you feel. So lets say you plan to go for a long walk/picnic together one day a week. On that day, you come home,and see wife had bad day. You're also shattered. But if you treat your marriage as a third person, you go becaus the marriage needs it, regardless of how upset, or tired you may be.

You can also plan in sex. Plan a long session, one day a week. Get rid of all distractions and plan to have fun. This sounds counter-intuitive, because you cant have sex to order, but once it becomes regular, it can become something you look forward to, and the body starts to anticipate it.

Essentially, if you want to regain a sense of security and faith in your marriage, you have to do things to rebuild it. You have to be proactice. You can do things everyday towards this. Its good to talk, and cry etc, but if you both wish to be together then half the battle is won. The question is identifiying where you've gone wrong, (what has your wife said?) and shoring up that weakness. Its likely by the sound of things she felt less attractive and loved (of course thats no excuse). I assume she has cut off this man and is working to regain your trust? You need to discuss concrete plans to fix the damage. If you work long hours, shorten them. Take drastic measures.

Best of luckflowers You can come through this and a marriage can be stronger afterwards.

Whatabloodyidiot1 Fri 06-Jan-17 10:05:23

Away with the 'boys' on a ten day holiday? Really? Fine if you're 21 and single with no children, but that's not the behaviour of a loving, caring, respectful father and husband.
I am not saying in ANY way this excuses your wife having an affair. It doesn't. But affairs don't come out of the blue, they are a slow steady build up.
It sounds to me like your wife was resentful of you going way with the 'boys' and I believe that's why she replied to the initial text from the other guy. A happily married woman would not have engaged with him.
Do you often take yourself off on holiday, weekends away, nights out etc leaving your wife to do all the childcare/housework etc?
It's easy to point the finger of blame but can you really say you are completely free of any kind of involvement in the breakdown of your marriage?
She sounds ignored, and resentful abd deeply unhappy, sadly when another man showed her some attention, made her feel special etc she took it with both hands. Of course she shouldn't have done that but there is no time machine, it's done now and you both have to live with the pain and heartache that affairs bring. But if you want to make it work with her then neither of you can continue with things as they were before. And I don't just mean your wife, I think you need to look at yourself and your behaviour too, at your part in the breakdown of your marriage. It's not going to be a popular opionion and if you 100% believe, hand on heart that you have not behaved badly in any way then I apologise.

Lotsofponies Fri 06-Jan-17 10:15:59

I am so sorry you are going through this. It's a pain like nothing else. To remain together is the harder path to take, but it can be done. I would recommend counselling for you both, also reading. Shirley Glass just good friends is realy good and down to earth. Forgiveness is possible, the pain eases, but you never forget. We are two years down the line, in the main things are settling down, sometimes we feel like the old us, full of happiness essential and hope. But at New Year I had a me.t down and was back in a ball of snot on the floor. These episodes do get less frequent and of shorter duration.

Sadly a lot of the onus is on you wife to help heal, it's hard when she is the one who caused the wounds. Your self esteem is probably on the floor at the moment. Your logical brain knows this is not your fault, it's not because you are lacking in any way, but at times your heart will tell you otherwise. I found doing things to make me feel comfortable, pampered, energised all, helped my body and mind. For example I went to the Chiropractor to sort out some back issues I had, took up pirates and later boxercise. Long baths, reading novels, watching my favourite genres on TV, spending time with my children and animals.

I also looked into a plan B. Our house value, what prices smaller properties where in the area, child maintenance, tax credits. There are loads of good websites. Having a plan B empowered me, I didn't have to stay, I was making a choice. All so it really put the fear of God I to my partner that I was seriously considering going.

It's a long haul, it's one step forward two back sometimes, but it will get better eventuall. Keep posting and know that you have support from the mumsnet army.

Lotsofponies Fri 06-Jan-17 10:18:39

Apologies for auto correct. I took up pilates, although taking up pirates sounds fun☺

hellsbellsmelons Fri 06-Jan-17 10:23:35

But affairs don't come out of the blue
Sometimes they do.
I don't believe that's the case here but quite often the opportunity arises and it's taken.

CatBallou2 Fri 06-Jan-17 10:31:32

I believe it's how you are as an individual as to how you'll recover. I never recovered from it, just learned to live with it, convincing myself that everything would be ok and trying to ignore what had happened. We're no longer together and if it happened to me again, I wouldn't hesitate to get rid.

So sorry you're going through this. It's a very difficult time and I hope you'll be ok.

MmmCuriouSir Fri 06-Jan-17 12:50:18

OP, please skip over the post from Whatabloodyidiot1 .

SandyY2K Fri 06-Jan-17 13:15:29

Why do we always have one person who wants to blame the husband when his wife strays.

Absolute blameshifting talk.

user1479302027 Fri 06-Jan-17 14:27:56

Good advice so far - make sure your wife really understands what you are going through before you do forgive, if you choose to do so. Get her to read the book!

I forgave too quickly, and I don't think my wife really addressed what she had done. In fact, she once said afterwards that she found it romantic, that we got back together and that she was loved by two people at once.

The downside of staying with someone who cheats is that the lost trust comes to the fore at strange times. When I compliment my wife, I sometimes feel a lurch of shame. I miss making love with someone I trust 100%, I just don't feel that we are "one" any more, and that we are having sex but for her it could be with anyone. I know this is always true, but the myth of being made for each other was nice. Sex feels more like servicing one another rather than the deep, amazing feeling I remember. The same with saying "I love you" - I miss when that was not compromised.

I dealth with it by being active - gettin fit, seeing friends etc. This is good advice. But it also made me plaster over the problem - I felt good, strong; so I could accept a compromised partner. But when I feel low, it really matters! When I need to feel someone really has my back.

We have a good relationship. A happy life. But I often think of how I wish I was with someone trustworthy. Less opportunistic, and frankly who isn't a bit "sneaky". Maybe if I had done as you have been advised, I would be over it now. (It has been 8 years!)".

Oh, and really ignore the people who blame you. And the ones who say it is never one person's fault - look around, sometimes it clearly is. It's called victim blaming

Tenshidarkangel Fri 06-Jan-17 14:36:34

Whatabloodyidiot1
Why does a lads holiday instantly mean she has the right to cheat? She may not have been happy and there may have been breakdowns in the relationship on both sides but you COMMUNICATE with your partner or end it. Not go running into the arms of the first bit of penis that flashes his wang.
It's not healthy to spend time in each others pockets and I'd be encouraging my DP to get away from me on the odd occasion.

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