Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Forgive & forget?(41 Posts)
NC for this so apologies if I don't give too much background. I'm looking for other's experiences of marriage salvage after infidelity.
We're both fragile and there's a lot of issues and reasons telling me NOT to take him back after his 10 month (he says emotional only) affair. Most of these issues are my own feelings. Distrust is the main one. She'll always be on my shoulder now won't she? His relationship with her will never leave our marriage. Every time he checks his phone, goes on a work do - I'll always be wondering. Or does that get better?
Can you ever move past infidelity? Especially after being so very hurt and betrayed. I don't want to throw away 20+ years if there's a chance. And this is the first time he's ever done this. I love him and he says he loves me.
We've not actually decided yet to reconcile. But he's making definite moves towards it I'm sure.
He's got depression and he's seeking help for it. Maybe that's the cause of all this I'm not sure. Or maybe he's not depressed at all and is just struggling with his guilt and confusion. That's for him to sort and decide whilst we're apart.
How can he ever repair this? Has anyone managed to move forward after something so catastrophic in your relationship?
How did you find out about it, did he tell you? And has he gone nc wth the OW?
It's good he's getting help for his depression. Would you consider going to counselling together?
I couldn't take him back if it was me. 10 months isn't a tiny slip up, it's a massive commitment to deception. But if you want to try and reconcile it's up to him to be making most of the effort and if he's not 100% going to then it's going to be nearly impossible to struggle on together.
Do you believe it was only emotional? Whether or not you do may depend on whether you caught him at it or he ended it and then told you about it.
He originally left me saying he was unhappy. Following 'the script' to every word. I found out about his affair through my digging 3 months later.
We've now been separated for nearly 5 months. And I know at least he was still in contact with her for 2 months post split. I don't know about now. I only know he seems to be turning his attentions to me.
To be honest, wether they had sex or not is irrelevant to me. Infidelity in any form is horrific. Although I think I do believe him that they've not had sex.
God, I'm reading back on myself through this thread and I know what I'd advise someone else to do. 😢
So he left you after the EA started, without a word about it, and continued with it...
Why is he wanting to get back together? It sounds very much as if he wanted to explore a relationship with her and for whatever reason it didn't work out for him. That's why he's back. If I were you I would be constantly wondering when he would get the urge for someone new again. A difficult decision, but if you knew how far the relationship went and his reasons for coming back it might help you decide whether he's worth a second chance or not.
No you will never forget, in time you may forgive yes but it could take years to get there.
I'm afraid a for me a ten month affair with no sex is just not believable as most affairs are based on a sexual attraction so for that reason I'd not be giving him much time as I'd think he has not told the whole story here. Have you ever heard her side of the story, I'd want to know what she had to say before I made any decision about him.
Do they work together, if so, he'd also have to leave his job, no way I'd be spending my life worrying about what he's doing with her.
He left you under a blanket of lies, telling you he was unhappy but not giving you the actual truth; perhaps you can reconcile but I think it's a long hard road ahead and you need to decide if he's worth all your effort.
This is why I wonder if he's even depressed at all. Maybe he's just had his realisation of what he's lost and feels very guilty and confused. He's not actually said the words 'can I come back'
But he's definitely putting the feelers out there.
I suppose if we do decide to reconcile we would have to sit down and set conditions.
He's scarred me though. How can he ever heal my confidence shattering & my distrust? We can never be the same again. I've changed as a result of this and I still feel very very fragile. I can see he does too.
He left you for another woman. How would you ever get passed that.
Just because he has realised the grass actually isn't greener doesn't make it go away.
I don't think you could ever trust him again.
He feels fragile. Oh the poor thing.
OP if you take him back you won't have any peace. You will be walking on eggshells- it will be intolerable and you will start to despise yourself for selling yourself short.
You aren't throwing away 20 years by leaving. You are starting a new chapter with untold options.
I know what I am talking about. I took mine back. It was hell. I finally left and have never been better.
Was this an emotional affair, reciprocated both ways ? Or was it like my DH a one sided limerence/crush kind of thing, if it was both ways it is more likely there was a physical element with that length of time .
I've always imagined emotional affairs to be worse than physical affairs where it's just sex.
I think eventually I may be able to get past the sex one, but I would find it extremely hard to get over an emotional affair.
I have seen couples who couldn't work it out I've seen other couples who could. It depends on the action taken by the person who's had the affair.
Saying sorry and being on their best behaviour for a few months isn't enough.
What is he doing to prove himself? Is he just going through the motion? Is he getting help because he thinks that's what he should be doing, or is he doing it because he genuinely does want help?
But most importantly, do you think you can get over it? Do you want to?
It sounds like he's discovered that the grass isn't as green as he thought and it's bitten him on the arse, so now he's feeling sorry for himself.
He left you. He lied to your face.
It's natural to mourn how things used to be, but his behaviour changed that. Things won't ever be the same again.
Please leave this man where he belongs - in the bin.
You can forgive but you can never forget. Your mind will never let you forget and you will imprison yourself and make yourself ill with those mistrustful thoughts. Grieve for what you have lost and move on. Its the only way.
I'm sorry op. I think "the script" is still playing out.
Affairs often fizzle out once someone is free to peruse them. There's no more drama or excitement. Once the thrill of doing something forbidden has gone these affairs often just end. The thrill was usually not the affair partner, but the secrecy of it all.
His depression is also likely to be a result of his affair ending, not the cause of it. I think you are still in the script. The script suggests that you will support him through his depression, take him back, and after you have done all the work of reconciliation he will do it again.
Very good point made above; his depression is very convenient isn't it; if anyone has the right to be down it's the OP; these men make me sick with their self pitying manipulation.
Yetmore I've just had to look up limerence because I'd not heard the term before. I honestly don't know the extent of their relationship and will only ever have his side to rely on unless I contacted her. So I'm actually not sure.
If we did decide to move forward together I suppose he'd have to tell me what they discussed together and I'm not sure I could take that.
I honestly don't know the extent of their relationship
You cannot forgive or accept what you don't know. You just can't. I think what you are feeling is perfectly normal, but this is not what remorse or reconciliation looks like.
There's a funny scene in the film Bad Moms where one of the characters comments to a betrayed wife that it's raining cocks. It really is. There's plenty of men out there who will appreciate you. Personally I'd be out dating. In between my enthusiastic shagging marathons I'd see a solicitor.
It is possible to move past infidelity, but it is hard. You need to both want to move past it, it shouldn't be because you feel you should, because you have been together for x years. You will figure out in which camp you are as you go along. You have been together for so long that it will take a while to figure out where you want to be, and that's fine, take your time and go with your gut feeling.
Winning back the trust is the hard part, and again, that needs time and potentially never fully recovers. If you decide to go forward with your DH set some rules in place that makes you feel you can trust him, things like he calls when he's staying late at work, or whatever it is for your situation.
I know the 'popular' response would be to LTB, but in the end it is only you who can decide where you want to be and whether there is a future here. People make mistakes, that's fine, it's how you respond to them that counts.
Good luck OP x
We moved past it, I forgave him and things turned out great. Right up until 5 years later when I found out the real extent of his 'depression', how many other people he'd shared his depression with over the years and the current 'sharing'.
5 years of never being able to relax. You will never forget how he's made you feel. Never.
I think the cruel thing is though, he's still saying he's confused about what he wants. He wants to sort his head before he decides. But then also giving me very positive messages - flirty texts and saying he loves me. But also saying he's not sure what he wants.
God, I really do know what I should be doing with this relationship.
Jen cheated for ten whole months
He left you with a lie because he didn't tell you he was cheating
He still didn't confess until you found out
He's still hedging his bets and saying he doesn't know what he wants
Basically he's a liar and a cheat who never actually repented but his affair ended and he wants to know he's still got you as an option.
Hang on to your self respect and stay apart from him.
So he's had an affair, left, then its not worked out and is making noises about going back to you.
Except he's not sure.
Is this what you want? Someone who isn't sure?
My advice would be to take plenty of time for yourself. Be selfish. Make your own mind up about what you want. If you don't want to put up with him messing you around any more, you don't have to.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.