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Can't move past EA

(18 Posts)
UserShmuser Fri 21-Apr-17 16:37:21

Name changed but am a regular! This is gojng to be long!!

This is going to sound ridiculous as it happened so long ago but some recent threads have brought back memories and I've realised that I'm not over the emotional affair that DH had almost five years ago.

I had been growing suspicious of his relationship with a colleague and a couple of times told him I was uncomfortable only to be told that there was nothing going on and that I was reading too much into it.

Of course, I found messages on his Facebook account to her going back about a year and it showed that although nothing had happened, they were having an emotional affair. Something which I would have previously laughed at and said it wasn't a real or serious thing but seeing the way they spoke to each other really hurt. For example she was dating someone and broke up with him and complained to him how there are no good men about and the ones that are are either gay or taken. He said something about how good he was and she said he was but unfortunately in one of those categories. He then told her that when he isn't she'll be the first to know. Other things were said about how she makes his day, how people in work suspected something was happening and they both thought it was hilarious and tried to think of ways to make people even more suspicious such as going in to a store cupboard together. Really stupid stuff.

Anyway I found out, confronted him. Things got messy but we didn't break up. Things then got worse over the next few months and we had a few other issues around how he was behaving with other friends and acting like he was single and how he was still working with her. He did eventually find another job but it was on his own terms rather than from me begging him to leave where he was. We went through phases of him really trying g and then suddenly slipping and not making the effort again. I know he was sorry but not sure if it was more of a sorry he got caught thing.

Had I have had Mumsnet I would have realised that I didn't deserve this and wouldn't have stuck around but I did. I think I was scared of being single.

Then I found out I was pregnant and he changed straight away. He was the same person I fell in love with and made effort to put things right. Then I unfortunately miscarried and we had to deal with that which again he was brilliant with. After the miscarriage we spoke about our relationship and I said that if he wanted out we should end it then when we're both in an ok place with each other but he told me how much he loved me and a few weeks later proposed. We got married and now have DS who is two.

I have been thinking about it lately and realised that he sort of got away with it. I'm not sure what "punishment" should have been appropriate but he has me and DS and a lovely home and a happy life with his friends. I sometimes feel insecure and worry that it might happen again only this time get physical. He does everything he can to make me feel loved and appreciated and we are a great team. I know how much he loves me and DS and sometimes I need to talk about how I feel and he will listen and try to help or reassure me. He tells me I am beautiful, what a good mum I am, does everything he can to show me how much he cares about me and DS. I'm not suspicious and have no reason to be right now but I sometimes get niggles in my head when he's on his phone even though I have no reason to think he's talking to anyone apart from his friends.

Anyway, I was searching for something before and came across the messages. I'd saved them on my laptop as proof. I read some of them and felt sick. I'd forgotten how bad they were. He came and seen me upset and asked what was up so o told him. He told me he wishes it hadn't happened and that he was stupid and selfish and I deserved so much better. I asked him to look at the messages and he read a few before saying he didn't want to read any more. I got really angry and shouted at him about how he has no right to be upset by it.

I asked him to leave me alone because I'm struggling to understand why I'm so upset right now. He's taken DS to the park and I just feel so angry at him.

I know it was so long ago and he is sorry and he wouldn't do this again. I know it was stupid of him and that he wouldn't risk losing me or DS so why am I so upset?? I feel bad for bringing it up. I'm not going to break up with him over this because I love him i was so happy to marry him and I love our family. I just feel so confused. Is this normal? Does anyone have any advice or experience of a similar situation?

Adora10 Fri 21-Apr-17 16:56:28

Just remember this is a normal reaction; he let you down really badly and when betrayal like this is played out, it never goes away really; the trust is broken. Yes you can stay together and carry on and have a happy life but that bit of him you will probably never forgive or forget really; he's shown you that he can't be trusted and that has made you feel insecure, angry and vulnerable; all the things you shouldn't be feeling about your relationship; it's soured now I'm afraid and I'd not give him 100% trust ever again.

How long did their EA last for and how do you know it never got physical?

PaintingByNumbers Fri 21-Apr-17 17:03:12

So this is just my personal experience, but it turned out that it had been a full blown affair, and that he had restarted it. my instincts and anger were telling me that. it all made sense when he finally told me the full truth, it was the lie between us that had left things festering. sorry, as I know this is adding more doubt to your mind, and might not apply in your case. maybe your instincts are telling you that you both need to reconnect more again, for instance?

yetmorecrap Fri 21-Apr-17 17:05:40

Op, I'm with you, I found out stuff 4 months ago from 11 years ago, found poems and song lyrics and recorded songs that he sings and plays on, all written about someone else (someone I knew and who he travelled on business with all over world, every opportunity for full affair). He says was just emotional and one sided, she knew nothing. At the moment I'm still here, but like you looking at those messages, I can look at these songs and even play the cds, I've made him throw a large pile, but I've kept some purely to torture myself with I think. It's a long time ago but the problem is when the vase breaks, it can be glued but the cracks are still there. I don't have my son at home anymore you have a 2 year old , so I think you should do your best if you can to accept thst he was a twat, he knows it and make clear he is on probation, any other signs again if anything similar, get out

UserShmuser Fri 21-Apr-17 18:52:44

Thank you for your replies.

It went on for about a year. I know it wasn't physical because he wouldn't have had the chance unless it was during work. I used to work quite close and I would meet him after work most days as I finished earlier and would wait in reception so he wasn't say pretending to go in but actually spending the day with her. They also spoke quite a bit about getting together after work but it never seemed to happen. He admitted that if they had have got together and had a few drinks he might have tried something as he did fancy her.

I think seeing posts about EAs on here has made me think about it more. I'm not suspicious of him and I do trust him but I sometimes feel a bit angry that he's done this. I know he wouldn't want to risk losing me or DS and he has even said that he's lucky I'm still here. He knows that if it happened again that would be it. I was in a bad place after last time and actually blamed myself for not being as attractive or slim as the other woman. I am much stronger now and he knows that I wouldn't stand for anything like this again.

Thank you all for your advice. I think I need to realise that it's ok to be upset about it but see how much DH has done to make me happy and trust him.

yetmorecrap Fri 21-Apr-17 19:28:41

I also think what they wrote was more 'flirty' than anything else really heavy , the kind of crap quite a lot of guys think they can get away with. It's totally wrong but I suspect he knows it now and totally regrets it .

UserShmuser Fri 21-Apr-17 20:14:29

Most of it was just flirty but there were things that stuck out like someone from work said they were sick of their flirting and DH said something about how they're just jealous and nothing had even happened...yet. This then led to them figuring out ways to make colleagues think things were happening. I remember saying to him that these people saw me most days outside work and you wanted them to believe something was happening and that it was humiliating.

We also had some time off together over my birthday/valentines day as they're pretty close.DH had failed to get me a present and I was pretty annoyed. She messaged him in my birthday asking why he wasn't in work and he said he was just off but bored and not up to much. He messaged her on Valentine's Day asking if she wanted a naughty or nice present and when she replied nice he said he'd have to take the naughty present back. There was another occasion when he told her how beautiful she was and when I looked at the date and time of it it stuck out because at that time we were watching a football match at his friends house and I was literally sat right in front of him so he would have been able to see me as he was typing. He asked her to send him photos and she refused but he played t off as if he was joking but then said if she got drunk she could send him some and he wouldn't tell anyone.

I know this all makes him sound like an absolute sleaze ball. Honestly if you'd have asked me when we first met if he was capable of this I'd have sworn he wasn't and if you were to meet him now you would think he would never do this.

yetmorecrap Fri 21-Apr-17 21:06:26

Nope, they beyond flirty , not acceptable. Just to say op, my husband is totally the last guy you would ever think would do what he did. I myself am struggling because it was a good while ago and immensely out of character , if I told anyone in RL they simply wouldn't believe it of him.

UserShmuser Fri 21-Apr-17 21:48:16

I completely understand what you mean about torturing yourself with it all yet.

Do you believe your DH when he says it was just one sided? How did you find out if you don't mind me asking?

MaisyPops Fri 21-Apr-17 21:54:06

You have every right to be hurt by his actions.

But, you made the choice to move forward and reliving the hurt isn't helpful for you at all as now you're thinking about if he's be punished enough.
If he's a decent guy who made a mistake the the guilt hell experience and lives with will stay with him. If he's not a decent guy then you've got some soul searching.

I'll get shot for this but sometimes decent people make crap decisions. I hope you find a way to manage things.

UserShmuser Fri 21-Apr-17 22:01:33

I completely agree, everyone makes mistakes. He is a wonderful man who was incredibly stupid. I think I just feel as if I'm still affected by it all and he isn't.

He's messed up and nothing he can say or do can take any of it away so it can't be fixed and I'll just have to go on with feeling insecure at times and wondering if we'll bump in to this woman in certain places which unfortunately has happened. I was most upset by him not being able to read the messages saying they were horrible. It's as if I can't be upset sometimes because nothing will ever make it better and so my feelings just seem pointless. If that makes sense?

yetmorecrap Fri 21-Apr-17 23:21:07

I had suspicions 11 years ago user as there was way too much texting going on I could see on the bills, this girl was only 20 and worked with us as tour assistant, I also saw a couple of texts that whilst not really incriminating didn't feel right, but he had his phone held like grim death at the time and I didn't know his code and it was before 'spy' stuff really came in. They were away every couple of months for 5 and 6 days a time, (music business) and she also lived across the road. I did confront at time about the texts and texting and somehow he just brushed it off as that's how all young people communicate, they text a lot, so I kind of put it on a back burner mentally. She moved abroad in 2010 and has since got married and just had a baby. 4 months ago when he was on tour again (he is manager) I was looking for something and went into his office and happened to open a drawer I hadn't been in before (we work together) and i found a pile of Song lyrics/poems and a load of self recorded CDs of some of these songs (he is a great guitarist and decent singer) a lot of them were written on back of your itineraries, so I could date them and I instantly knew who they were about because of content. Lots of the 'only you and me when I escape from my room' and 'emotions of you are flowing through my soul' and your perfume lingers on behind the suitcase in the hall , kind of stuff. One of them was named after a painting she gave him where the title if the painting is on the back of painting etc. Really upsetting stuff, I was actually physically sick. I kept it to myself for 3 weeks till 2 days before Xmas, I wanted him to have a bloody horrible xmas, I know that probably makes me sound horrible!! The thing is I was the most trusting person ever, and he had gaslighted me for years, told me he wasn't interested, didn't fancy her, just friends etc, etc. Anyway we had it out, says it was all in his head, just a crush and totally one sided. He can't explain why he never got rid of it all or why he continued commenting on her Facebook page for years, said as it was one sided and she didn't know would have looked odd if he didn't. He says it was a deflection of his mum dying at the time and business issues we had, says he never felt any different about me. The big thing is though he really, really doesn't like it being brought up or mentioned, as far as he is concerned it's done and dusted and we don't need repeated autopsys. My problem is though I am very unsure I believe him, partly because of the volume of texting and to be honest I am so gobsmacked he could do this to me and look at me the same for 11 years that I am not sure I feel the same about him. I don't hate him, I can see how stuff happens with a lot of one on one quite intense contact but I find it hard to get beyond the 'I'm not interested , etc whilst spending hours writing and recording this stuff in our house whilst I was down at our office, it's just the grossest disrespect possible. Any way enough of my word, but I do totally see where you are coming from , in my H case, he doesn't seem to want to be going over and over it, yet I know he doesn't want to split. Mine too tells me iim beautiful and smart and a lovely person but I would exchange all that in a heartbeat for him telling me what a total c***t he was and how dreadfully upset he is that he has caused me so much distress

thethoughtfox Sat 22-Apr-17 15:39:43

This doesn't read like an EA affair to me, but a close friendship.

thethoughtfox Sat 22-Apr-17 15:42:06

OK, just read the bit about him asking for photographs and telling her she was beautiful. I changed my mind!

MaisyPops Sat 22-Apr-17 15:43:37

Sounds borderline to me to be honest.

Speaking as someone who's had to back off from a friendship because when life got stressful the friendship crept towards an EA on both sides. Didn't know it was called that then.
Still friends now but rightly guarded about certain things.

UserShmuser Sat 22-Apr-17 18:36:01

In parts it was just friendship but then planning to meet up but lying to people including me about who was out, saying that if they were both single they'd be in bed together after five minutes, talking about her underwear, saying he was out drinking when he was at home with me in the hopes that they could send pictures to each other and then admitting to me that he did have feelings for her definitely takes it over the line to an emotional affair. I would have heard of this before and thought it was a load of rubbish and an affair is sleeping with someone else and it being physical but seeing the way they way they spoke to each other and the content of the messages was so hurtful. I've had to deal with this hurt for five years so I'm sure you can see how it wasn't just friendship or flirty or a blurred line.

Yet that sounds awful. I know what you mean about feeling better for hearing them say they fucked up and that they were complete cunts. 11 years of lies must be horrible for you. Does he just want to be a happy family now and pretend it didn't happen? Has he deleted her Facebook and number?

yetmorecrap Sat 22-Apr-17 19:09:49

Yes he just wants the happy couple stuff, our son has now left home. No he hasn't deleted her FB or number, in fact he congratulated her on new baby 2 weeks ago, although he did ask me if I was ok with it. What do you say? No, she can do one, it's awkward if she does indeed know nothing. I want him to delete of his own accord if you see what I mean, not because I tell him to do so

yetmorecrap Sat 22-Apr-17 19:14:07

I totally do know where you are coming from that this stuff is very hard to just 'drop' even if by chance in my case it was one sided. Knowing he could write all that stuff for someone else and then totally try to minimise it as 'a bit stupid and not sure why he did it ' is the killer . He said she was empathetic when his mum was dying and I hated his mum. Not true at all. She wasn't my favourite person but I didn't hate her . In your case and mine words seen cannot be unseen if you know what I mean

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