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I could really do with some help picking this apart....(22 Posts)
So, 10 days ago I found out that my DH of 8 yrs ( 12 years together) has had a long term affair- 9 months plus.
I haven't yet spoken to him properly about it as I need to get my head straight first.
We have two dcs aged 7 and 5.
Our marriage, if I'm honest had been ropey since the birth of our second child. I put this down to two points:
- after the birth of our first child, I disclosed to him the abuse that I suffered as a child. This was a big thing for me, particularly as the birth of dc1 was quite traumatic. Ultimately he never made me feel okay/ supported about this. I wanted to start counselling but he could never allow me child free time to do it. He would simply say that there was no point and that it wouldn't change anything. Additionally he would use it as the reason for my unhappiness if I was unhappy for any reason.
- he is not a particularly hands on dad. He is self employed and works in an industry that generally means that he works 363 days a year. We don't spend time together as a couple or as a family as a general rule. I cannot get him to change this. Additionally the work he does pays poorly and as such it puts a lot of pressure on me to earn while sorting the children/ house etc etc.
Wrt the affair, I had my suspicions for a number of weeks / months. But even two days before I found evidence- he denied there was anything going on. If I suggested counselling he rebuffed it,
Ultimately what he has done is wrong, and I really don't know that our relationship can survive it. However in the back of my mind I know that my childhood isn't his fault. That said he has never supported me enough to try and deal with it in any way.
I just don't know where I am going with this.
You poor thing. You have a lot to process..
I would firstly ask, what's great about your life together? What do you love about him? What makes you say, it's worth working on this?
Interesting that his work excuses him from being a dad but hasn't stopped him from having a long term affair?
I don't read many positives in your post... and I'm wondering if a good points Vs bad points list might help you?
If you had a magic wand what would you want the scenario to be? Often helps give us a gut reaction.
On paper it doesn't sound worth fighting for. Does he have any good points? He sounds incredibly selfish.
I wanted to start counselling but he could never allow me child free time to do it. He would simply say that there was no point and that it wouldn't change anything. Additionally he would use it as the reason for my unhappiness if I was unhappy for any reason.
this is awful. not just that he wouldn't support you in getting the help you needed but also that he would then use your need for support against you - even though he had denied it earlier.
what is he for? He is horrible to you.
I appreciate that your early experience of abuse have probably dulled your sensitivity but take it from me who luckily wasn't abused and had a nice childhood - he is a complete shit.
And if you were pollyanna and he was sir galahad it really wouldn't matter - if Sir Galahad had an affair all bets are off.
your husband is an unfaithful, deceitful, unsupportive, unkind person.
You will be so glad to be without him in a couple of years time (probably way less actually)
Pillowcase, if I'm honest I feel pretty numb. The only reason I want to work on this is damage limitation for the kids- and to a degree me. I'm gutted that it's gone this way, but equally I can't say that I love him anymore - and I certainly don't trust him 😔. The other complication is that because of the abuse, I (stupidly) feel like I can't exist safely in the local area on my own with my kids.
Isadora2007 I agree completely - he has found plenty of time of late for shagging his OW. There aren't a lot of positives. Magic wand- with the exception of my kids- to start life all over again, and exist is a loving family
Seven201 good points- well I definitely loved him once- and I still care for him.
Pallisers I think dulled definitely applies.
I'm finding it all so hard. Other than my sister and one friend- no one else in my life knows about my past. I thought I had compartmentalised it all pretty well- and could leave it there until such time as I could deal with it all. But I'm starting to think that is not the case 😔.
I don't see that there is anything to salvage here, tbh
Are you content to cook and clean for him while he shags ow?
Stop doing that for starters. Stop being a doormat. Just do things for you and your dc from now on and you do not need permission to go to counselling. Just do it.
Get copies/details of your finances and start doing things that benefit you, even if that means squirreling away money to give you a helping hand.
He has not been kind to you op, nor are you to yourself.
Expect more, raise the bar, put yourself first. Detaching from him emotionally should be easier when you realise that he doesn't care much for you.
Discontent is the chrysalis for a change for the better op so already that is a good start!
It was not his fault you suffered childhood abuse - nor was it yours.
A loving and caring partner will support their wife and facilitate her getting to appointments . He is not treating you with love, care, respect or fidelity.
What a very tough time for you.
Sorry you're going through this
If you don't mind me asking, how did you find out?
Well, while you are deciding whether he should stay or go, I think you should see about getting the counselling you want and need. It is easy for the rest of us to say that of course you will be safe living on your own with the kids, but you need to believe that too.
Has the affair definitely ended? Does he even want to salvage the marriage?
If so, it's not up to you. It's 100% up to him. Unfortunately, he doesn't sound even remotely up to the challenge.
Anyfucker I can understand your comment
Tenshi I am no longer cooking and cleaning for him in the main. I also believe he has ended it with OW. Your right that I don't need permission to go for counselling - but back then I did need the opportunity to get away. Which I didn't get. Now I'm just worried - as I was then- that I may crumble when I start the process- and I just can't do that.
Saffronblue I would agree that some support would have been nice.
Jellybellyqueen I had suspected for a while for all the usual reasons. On the night in question he was due to go out to do an activity with OW as they were just friends. I went on his fb messenger and saw a long sordid conversation between them.
How do you know the affair is over?
I would say he's done so much damage that you can only save the marriage if he's willing to go all out to earn your trust and forgiveness. I have my doubts that he's capable of that..
I also think it's important to separate out your traumatic childhood abuse from his appalling behaviour. The abuse had nothing to do with him, true. But the affair has nothing to do with your childhood experiences either. That was his choice.
Likewise, although he didn't cause your childhood trauma, he's chosen to respond to it in a heartless and unloving manner. His choice, and his stony personality.
The fact that you don't really love him is a bit of a nail in the coffin really. I don't think you have anything worth saving, from what you describe. I think you'll just continue to have a really unhappy time.
Take things a day at a time, and try not to be overwhelmed by thinking of the future. What do you think needs to be your next small step?
Op, you sound lovely. You cannot go on like this though. Something has to give or your cards are going to come tumbling down in spectacular style.
You sound frightened to start counselling because you feel the control over your feelings you currently have will evaporate. But they are already hanging by a string.
You haven't properly brought your H to account for his infidelity because you think it will prompt your marriage to dissolve. But it has already done that by his despicable actions.
This isn't sustainable for your mental health, love
Your childhood is not the reason he had an affair.
It is not the reason he denied you counselling, it is not the reason he prioritises how he wants to spend time over his family.
He is the reason he is behaving badly, not you or your past.
Your childhood might be the reason you have put up with it, that's all.
You deserve better, OP
Think trying to resurrect this is pointless. He's really not interested.
mayhemensues - re. counselling. I agree that now is not the ideal time to begin dealing with the abuse you experienced as a child. It can be a painful process and things may 'get worse' before they get better once counselling begins. At this point, it's important to focus on your children and keep yourself strong for whatever is coming next. However, counselling could help you to untangle your feelings about your marriage and help you to make the best decision for you and your children, as well as preparing for the future, whatever that may look like. You can also make an agreement with your counsellor that you will begin exploring your childhood experiences together, when you feel ready to do so; it's like a 'place marker' so that you know it is on the agenda at some point and that in itself may be important (and enough at this stage).
What an awful situation a marker for trauma and abuse is often that the abused believes that they will crumble when they start talking about what happened but the truth is often that the trauma has been leaking out into your everyday life since it happened in a sense you are dealing with it everyday. And living in your situation is a prime example
When you are ready you will be able to do all the things that everyone has suggested in the interim the question is do you want things to stay the same or do you want things to change
Pillowcase I saw the "evidence" that he finished it within 6 hours of me finding out. That said he is obviously not trustworthy. To be fair he is attempting to show remorse and is frequently asking for the chance to make things right again.
Anyfucker I think there is a lot of truth in what you are saying
Picklemepopcorn thank you
TheNaze73 he is showing an interest and trying - but I do think it's too far gone
Paddlenorapaddle it's true - it has been leaking into my every day life for a very long time
You could try counselling to help with this scenario and whilst acknowledging there had been abuse in the past it isn't where you want to start. So counselling to support you in feeling strong enough to make choices for just now... build the relationship with the counsellor and look back at a later date.
I agree with the PP who says though that this trauma may well have been leaking into your life and in addressing it you may be surprised by the strength you find and not that you fall apart...
I wish you well for your future as I know you are worth so much more that you currently believe. 💕
He has betrayed you by not behaving in a wholly supportive manner when you revealed the abuse you have suffered. That must have been so hurtful and in the face of that revelation, he decided to start shagging around which is just unbelievable.
He's an absolute waste of space and toxic to your mental wellbeing. I appreciate that there is a lot going on, but I really don't think there is anything worth fighting for. However, I really would encourage you to find a good therapist because it can be so incredibly beneficial. Do you have any other family who will take care of your children to allow you to go? Clearly you cannot rely on your husband and that is so wrong, never mind all of the other deplorable things he has done
for you - this is tough
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