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Can we be repaired?

(23 Posts)
Pandora85 Mon 20-Feb-17 13:53:57

I just don't know what to do and feel like my marriage is in tatters.
Can you ever repair a marriage, I don't even know how to fix it or if I want to.
Background, I met dh at university where we both studied. It was his home town but I was from 3 hours away. We were friends first and I ended up not going back home after finishing my studies. I wanted to but he didn't want to come and I was terrified of losing him having settled into a relationship by this point.
Within about 3 months of moving permanently I went through a tough time with my grandfather passing away (tough being so far away from my family and being out of the loop) and then dh (obviously not married at the time) struck up an inappropriate relationship with a friend.
She fancied him, he fancied her, they flirted and I think if I hadn't found out things may have gone further. I was crushed to say the least, especially because everyone seemed to know bar me with some of his friends warning him off doing anything stupid.
We eventually got past it but I was quite depressed for a few years and it had a huge impact on my mental and physical state.

Eventually we got engaged (happily), married and had a child and I really trusted him again. Put it all down to a silly mistake by a young man child (we were only 21 when it happened)
Then when dd was 18 months old I found out about another inappropriate relationship.
I don't know fully how inappropriate but know they drunkenly shared a bed but didn't have sex. But they did talk about their fondness of each other and if only they weren't married. To me sharing a bed with another woman counts as cheating however far it went beyond that. Clearly they knew it was wrong or he would've told me as soon as he got home.

I should've kicked him out but didn't. The insecurities set in, life on my own with a child, far away from family with no friends. I lost all faith in myself.
My self esteem was shot to the core.

Then within 4 months he lost his job (it wasn't his fault and it hit him hard) and ended up out of work for a year. He was lazy and frustrating whilst unemployed, but also depressed so it was hard for me to deal with.
I then changed career taking a big pay cut in the hope of a better life in years to come. Somehow I managed to get him a job where I now work and that's where we now are.

I so want life to be better, I want our relationship to be better, but I think I resent that I gave up my family and he treated me how he did.
I also see that I've never let go of the "I moved from my family for you" line which must hurt him and make him feel he isn't worth it.
It's bad but I almost want his parents and close friends of his to see what he's done. I want people to see what I've been through as obviously only a few people know the truth and most people just feel bad for him due to the unemployment event. I want him to earn back what he destroyed but it doesn't feel that way.
Should I just be moving past it? Is it my fault keeping hold of the pain or is it OK to feel this way?
I do still love him but so much about him frustrates me these days. Even the stupid little things like snoring and him being unable to use his initiative for helping round the house. Or maybe I just don't see him helping as I'm that annoyed. I worry we are more like friends and less like husband and wife. I think it's 50/50 these days.
How can we change things to make them better? Can we save us?
I could speak with one person in RL but thats it. I think dsis suspects there is trouble due to some comments she's made but if I told her the whole truth she'd never be able to look at him in the same way again and I couldn't do that to him/us.

Feel lost with what to do

Oddsockspissmeoff Mon 20-Feb-17 19:55:36

Should I just be moving past it? Is it my fault keeping hold of the pain or is it OK to feel this way?

You've sacrificed a lot and he's cheated on you twice. I would feel like you do .What has he actually done to help repair the marriage?

Hena1982 Mon 20-Feb-17 21:59:52

I have been in a similar position to you together with my husband for 18 years and married for 15 years.
He cheated on me when my son was 15 months (well when I came to know of it) my son is now 13years old.
He then cheated on my again 7 years of being married along with abusive behaviour and sexual abuse. I was pregnant in 2009 and he walked out on me and my son and came grovelling back two weeks before I had my daughter in march 2010. I then found out he had cheated again!! With his sister in law. I found that very hard to deal with and wanted a divorce - I never went through with it all and everyone trying to mediate and getting us together we decided to give it another go.
This June gone (2016) he started mentally abusing me saying I have trust issues and he will never be enough for me etc he continued to mentally abuse and sexually abuse me for 5 months and threatening o leave and that he wanted a divorce. It seemed he was provoking me to kick him out so he could look like a victim to his family. In sept 2016 I found out he was cheating and set him to fail so I collated evidence against him - which I did and had all that I needed.
He moved out in Nov 2016 and we both decided we will be civil for the kids etc

I am the main carer and both children live with me, we agreed to him seeing them on a Tuesday evening and on a Saturday. Initially he tried to take the kids out and it worked for a couple of weeks, my son was and is still not interested to go out and spend time with him and my daughter she is happier for him to come to the house and spend time with him.

It does work as it suits kids and they're happy with the set up, but I feel like it's an easy ride for him and I'm making it easier for him but then it has its advantages. On some days I can tolerate him being In the house with them other times it's hard to be around him and all the pain he has caused.

Since he has moved out he not mentioned the divorce or pushed for one. Which I don't get. I'm so confused as I don't know whether I should file the divorce as I have the grounds but then I prefer him to. Same time I don't want anything effecting the kids and with my demanding career and being the carer I'm just keeping afloat mentally and physically. Just like you I question what's the best thing to do.

I feel there is so much internal psychological damage that am i making it worse by being so accommodating and him having the leisure of sitting comfortable in my house.

Sorry I have gone on about my own situation but If your husband can change or is willing to then fight for it. But I had he belief or hope that it could work for so Many years but it hit me that enough is enough and he is with me for convenience and nothing more. Your hubby is a habit in your life as you have been with him so long so it's hard to face your fears. But I think you need to really face them and make a decision how long can you continue like this?

Pandora85 Mon 20-Feb-17 23:56:07

hena it sounds like you've been through an awful lot. My issues feel like nothing compared to where you currently are but I see a lot of similarities in how things could pan out in my situation. I'm lucky that I have not suffered any physical or mental abuse of any kind.
I do sometimes worry that I belittle him and make him feel inadequate (even before the affair) that I am being emotionally abusive in some way to him by grinding down his self worth.

I agree, it's hard to make that decision as to what is best for the family and you also.
From what you've written, you've definitely made the best decision to separate and although divorce is a scary prospect you have clearly been through too much for it to ever be an acceptable option to get back together and therefore I honestly think that initiating the divorce will actually help you move forward and will be a positive step for you and your children.

oddsocks I honestly don't know what he's done to repair the marriage. But I'm not sure if I'm just not seeing it because I'm still annoyed and struggling to move on, or if he hasn't done enough.
Whether it's my low self esteem talking or what but I'm pretty much a nightmare partner. I'm a perfectionist and am demanding (high maintenance would be the term I guess). I'm forever telling him he's not done things right and I can't seem to stop it. I clearly have issues and know I need to make changes too but the deceit and the lies rocked me.
Then when he lost his job he just gave up on life. Yes it was a horrible event but I had to take on everything. Trying to get him to do anything was a nightmare and it took about 6-7 months to get him to even start applying for work and doing housework so I wasn't doing that alongside my job.
It just feels like he's never grown up and even though I try and give him time to himself (he has a weekly night out with friends which he even went to when he was a lazy ass not working and not trying to find work and not doing housework) but even then he still seems to think he deserves more time and freedom (baring in mind I have maybe 1 eve every 2 months that I go out).
Feel I am ranting but my mind is forever rumbling on and on

Oddsockspissmeoff Tue 21-Feb-17 06:48:29

I don't know how long ago this was Op but apparently it can take up to five years to recover from infidelity. That's with a remorseful spouse who is committed to repairing the damage they've done. Depression and trauma symptoms are also common in the betrayed spouse.

You say you haven't suffered any physical or emotional abuse. I disagree. You acknowledge your mental health has suffered due to his behaviour. Cheating and lying ALWAYS involves manipulation, gaslighting and other abusive behaviours. It really was not ok for him to not look for another job or not do any housework during that time. That's seriously entitled.

There is a saying that cheaters typically take more than they give. Often when a betrayed spouse looks back they see there was a long term pattern of the cheater taking too much , being selfish and irresponsible way before the cheating happens. It's happened to me twice and with both men I can clearly see this pattern looking back. I can also see that I gave too much.

Perhaps figure this out first, because if it's a long term pattern of selfishness it won't change. Also work out what you would need to move past his infidelity. Do you feel he has been honest and is remorseful? Is he transparent? Do you know where he is when he goes out?

Also do confide in other people. Do not deny yourself support to preserve his image. Because that's all it is really isn't it, an image. You really need someone around who cares for you, his reputation isn't important. This is about you, put the focus back on yourself.

Hena1982 Tue 21-Feb-17 07:42:45

Oddsocks - I totally agree with you and you are spot on with the advice you have stated.

TheoriginalLEM Tue 21-Feb-17 07:58:29

So you sacrifice your family because HE wouldn't mive, you support him after job loss and he is a lazy twat around the house, he cheats and makes you feel worthless. Do you want this to be the rest of your life?

you do not want to get to 50 and look back on a wasted life because he will continue to use you and then he will likely leave anyway.

Fuck that shit!

FaithAgain Tue 21-Feb-17 08:02:57

Have you had counselling OP? I'm not sure if couples counselling would be right but you might benefit from some on your own? Just to try and process everything. I think the question of whether things can improve or not come down to this - do you trust him? Can trust him never to cheat again?

Pandora85 Tue 21-Feb-17 09:07:44

That's the weird thing. I honestly feel like I trust him, I don't worry about where he is and if he tells me he is somewhere I believe it.
I'm a fairly trusting person and until I get a gut feeling that something's not right I have no worries at all regardless of what has happened previously.
Each time something has happened I've fully believed it was a one off.

I have had counselling before but I struggle to open up. I wonder if I'm scared of what I'll learn from it. What revelations it will cause.
I recognise that I shouldn't worry about protecting him but I think my sister is already highly peeved at his behaviour during the unemployment that were I to reveal the affair, family visits would be awkward and uncomfortable.
I've never thought about the manipulation I've been through with the affair either, but you are right that there was a lot of deceit.
I didn't feel he was remorseful at all and even after I told him never to speak to her again he secretly did.
I don't think he thinks it was an affair either so that confirms to me that it was nothing physical but doesn't make it better.

Hena1982 Tue 21-Feb-17 09:12:08

he is taking advantage of you if he is not working and supporting you. It has taken me all these years to realise. Similar situation again my husband was in and out of jobs and I was the breadwinner - but having such a good heart never once complained etc but then when he chested repeatedly it made me think what am I getting out of this.

I do think your scared of facing your fears and having to face what if you did have to move on in life without him.

Ask yourself where did you want to be in the next years and ultimately if you don't battle your fears it wil break you emotionally and physically.

Hena1982 Tue 21-Feb-17 09:12:37

And I think it clearly has 😞

Isetan Tue 21-Feb-17 10:21:33

You appear disconnected from yourself. Who are you? What are your values? Where are your boundaries? You can't even connect with your choices, unless there was a gun to your head ultimately it was your choice to move. Just like it was your choice to stay after his inappropriate relationships and twattery during his unemployment.

This is who he is, there isn't a parallel universe where he is different and given his past behaviour and lack of remorse, there's a good chance that there are more inappropriate relationships in his and in your shared future.

He treats you disrespectfully because a) he doesn't respect you and b) he knows you'll take it, wether that be having inappropriate relationships or behaving like a entitled lazy twat. In your mind you've supported him but in his, you've condoned his behaviour and when he does it again, he will think it can't be that big of a deal to her because after all the other times, she's still here.

This man has no more power over you and your decisions, than you have over him but the impression I'm getting from your posts is that you don't believe that. Your opinions and your feelings matter and by remaining hitched to someone who behaves like they don't, says a lot about how little value yourself.

It's time to start investing your energies where you will get the most benefit and that's with finding out who you are. What are your strengths and your weaknesses and where are their origins rooted.

Good luck!

Adora10 Tue 21-Feb-17 11:24:27

No wonder, there's at least two incidents where he's been highly inappropriate so there's no trust there.

You can't be responsible for your OHs morals or opportunist traits but you can have a life you want, without that worry, this is a sham really, what has he done to make it up to you, why do you trust him now, what's changed?

He clearly has no regard for fidelity.

Pandora85 Tue 21-Feb-17 13:13:57

I think you've all hit the nail on the head. I guess I don't really know who I am or what I want.
I don't even know how he can make it up to me so I can't even tell him what he needs to do.
I just want to be able to move past it all and let go of what has happened but it's always in the back of my mind.
I don't think he understands why we can't just move on from it.
I guess I need to try and sit down and think about what I want from life. I need to think about how we should both be behaving in this marriage and see if we can have an adult discussion about our future.
Although as soon as I mention I want to chat about us he goes stroppy and says he doesn't think there are any problems.

Hena1982 Tue 21-Feb-17 13:56:40

He may do that and may not want to talk and state there is no problems. But you know deep down it doesn't feel right and your marriage isn't right.
Think about what you want in life and see whether he can fit it into that or support you and if not you have the answer. It will be hard there is no denying that but you just need really think about yourself.

Huskylover1 Tue 21-Feb-17 14:19:14

I don't know fully how inappropriate but know they drunkenly shared a bed but didn't have sex. But they did talk about their fondness of each other and if only they weren't married

Unless you were there, you don't know that they didn't have sex. Surely the whole point of going to bed with someone, who you have expressed an attraction to, is to have sex? How did this happen? A premeditated meet up?

What benefit do you get out of your relationship with him? What happiness does he bring you? He sounds like a millstone around your neck. Lazy, cheater that lies. I think you can do better. But I know how hard it is to muster up the strength. Been there and bought the T-shirt! Took me 4 years to leave. So glad I did tough, as now have a lovely DH.

Underthemoonlight Tue 21-Feb-17 14:32:41

I think you know deep down he utilmately had sex I agree with other poster that you just don't share a bed with another woman he is minimising and he has previously acted in a similar way. I think until you address these issues you can't move forward in your relationship and I sense that this is trigger causing these issues you have you admit that this is not he back of your mind. Have you treated counselling?

user1471468912 Tue 21-Feb-17 20:47:02

My partner cheated on me when our little boy was only a few months old. Nowadays i can be snappy and short with my partner, and often come across as unappreciative I feel. He's a good partner now, but I think that I harbour a certain amount of resentment that he broke the very special thing we had. And resentment that he thinks it's all fine, and it wasn't really an affair. When it was.

And resentment that after it all kicked off, it was me that had to support him through his depression which followed. When really, what about me?

I see something of me in your post. Sorry you're feeling the way you do xx

Oddsockspissmeoff Tue 21-Feb-17 21:09:03

I don't think he thinks it was an affair either so that confirms to me that it was nothing physical but doesn't make it better.

Well he won't mind you telling people then will he. After all he's not had an affair or anything.
Come on Op. If he didn't think it was an affair why did he hide it? Why didn't he openly tell you he was fond of her and planned to share a bed? Why didn't he tell your sister? He knows full well what he did was wrong. Cheating starts way way before anything physical happens. The fact they happily shared a bed shows they were already very intimate. There's very little possibility that they didn't have sex. Please don't buy his shit that he doesn't think it was an affair. It was an affair and his actions clearly show HE KNOWS HE WAS HAVING AN AFFAIR.

The fact he is minimizing still is very very bad. The fact that he goes stroppy when you try to talk is very very bad.

I don't think he understands why we can't just move on from it.

No. He doesn't understand why you can't just PRETEND to move past it. If he was genuine about this he would have taken active steps to help you through it. Counselling, answering your questions honestly, not minimizing, encouraging you to talk about it if that's what you needed. He's done nothing. You communicate well. There's no way he isn't aware of how much this has affected you. He sounds like he just wants you to shut up about it and pretend everything is ok when it's not. I'm sorry he's treating you like this .

It sounds to me like he has grown so entitled that he genuinely believes that you won't let the marriage fail. When a person gets like this it's very obvious. They make minimal effort and can happily relax knowing the other spouse will break their back to fix things. After the cheating, would the marriage have failed if it wasn't for you?

If this sort of thing is going on its a long road to fix it. You'd have to pull a 180 and emotionally detach from him. You would have to find a way to be wonderful and happy regardless of what he is or is not doing. He would have to realize that actually, you will let the marriage fail. Even then he might decide it isn't fair on him to actually have to do anything and leave. What is more likely is that you would realize he's really not bringing much to the table and you'd get rid.

Oddsockspissmeoff Tue 21-Feb-17 21:17:28

Oddsockspissmeoff Tue 21-Feb-17 21:28:43

It sounds like he's trying to suggest these were friendships gone rogue, i.e. emotional affairs. Emotional affairs are simply affairs that have not YET gone physical. This only really tends to be the case when there is a distance between them, i.e. on line or different countries.

The night together was probably planned and was probably presented to you as being accidental.

Pandora85 Tue 21-Feb-17 23:14:33

user your post rings very very true to me. Scarily similar in fact.

I know people think I'm being an idiot assuming they didn't have sex but I am very very confident that it did not go as far as that. I saw some personal messages between them and she very much indicated that she would have liked things to have gone further.

As for how they ended up in the same bed, it was a work night out with a large group which was due to spill over into a house party with most of them all staying over (I had been foretold of this)
I can't say they didn't plan to share a bed but I can't say that they did as both scenarios are plausible.

I really want to move past it all but don't know how I can broach the subject without it just ending up as a fight. I want to clearly and concisely get my point across and feel listened to.
I want us to repair what we have. I want to go back to how I felt before.
There just seems a mass of resentment for all the things I feel I've sacrificed.
I can't say that he hasn't made sacrifices though as sometimes I worry that I am so caught up in myself that I don't see him try to heel things.

SandyY2K Wed 22-Feb-17 09:57:35

The problem with just forgiving or staying after cheating, is that the cheater never has any belief you will leave them. They think you'll tolerate anything and as such they take advantage.

Sometimes fear of standing firm is perceived as a sign of weakness.

What consequences did he suffer following his drunken bed antics?
And I'm sorry, but I don't believe they just lay in bed.

There's a lot he should and could be doing to regain your trust, but it doesn't sound like he's doing much.

Have you considered marriage counselling?

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