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.
Counselling after affair(26 Posts)
If the betrayed partner suggests counselling, does that put them on the back foot. Partner is denying any wrong doing even with suspicious evidence and ignoring all communication laying out why I find what he's done appalling.
Am I doing the pick me dance?
Counselling is a waste of time unless he is ready to admit cheating.
Won't it come out in counselling though?
Not necessarily. My XH said nothing in counselling and the counsellor showed little interest in discussing it. If he's not being honest at home then he may well not be honest in counselling either.
My H and I went to counselling. His affair was not known about. The counselling went nowhere. Then I discovered the affair and he came clean and ended it. He then wanted to change counsellors. We didn't really like her anyway (the counsellor) but looking back I think also he HAD to change because the counselling had been based on a lie. It was like he'd cheated on the counsellor as well. So I think it's a big waste of time unless your partner comes clean.
I have circumstantial evidence but my gut which I can't even trust these days is telling me otherwise. There have always been trust issues though, so there might be jumping to conclusions so I'm completely torn. I can't eat can't sleep and can't breathe. He's cut contact after I told him how I feel about it but there has to be contactfor the kids. I don't know where to go from here
I found out "by accident". I was playing on his phone during a long car journey and idly looked at his messages. I don't think I was deliberately snooping but maybe somewhere at the back of my mind I suspected. I also think maybe he wanted to be found out. He wasn't very careful.
I'm so sorry. Where mine has had an affair or not is actually the least of the issues. I still want to try and make it work but he's gone so I don't think there's any hope. I had mixed signals but it seems he's completely decided he can't cope with me. It's devastating.
I arranged counselling when ExH was having an emotional affair. He didn't want to go; I told him I was going anyway. He agreed to attend but on day one had clearly decided on a tactic which was to focus on his contrition and how hard it was for him to cope with feeling so bad. So his martyred conscience became the focus. The counsellor was disproportionately sympathetic to his 'demons' and the whole process got skewed. When I spoke out about incidents that had hurt me, his subsequent angst became the 'problem to fix'. He out-smarted the counsellor and, to a large degree, me too.
It was all very unfortunate, as he emerged with a clean holy soul, self-absolved, and I emerged with a feeling of disappointment and watchfulness.
I'm so sorry it's such an awful time for you.
For me the hardest thing after my husband (now ex of 9 years) has an affair, was the fact after agreeing to stay together and work it out.... it was me that suffered everyday, so he just got on with everyday life while everyday was painful for me and the trust was shattered, my spirit died a little more each day, after five years I called it a day, being true to yourself saved me in the end. I take my hat off to anyone that manages to make a relationship work after an affair. Good luck x
Counselling only works if both parties are 100% commited to wanting the relationship to work and to being totally honest .... the problem being how do you know if the other party is being honest once trust been compromised.... it's a long uphill battle with no guarantees. Counselling on my own was great though, it helped me let go of a lot of stuff and helped me to manage my ex through the breakdown of the marriage. Really feel for you all that go through the devastation of an affair, but you do survive and move on eventually so stay strong and take a day at a time x
As others have said, counselling only works if both parties are being counselled over the same range of issues.
If you think that he has cheated on you (but lack clear evidence) and want counselling on that then he isnt going to be on the same page if he is denying it.
If you need counselling on trust and communication then you can both have separate and then joint sessions to build that.
But you cant have a suspicion and use counselling to investigate it.
Thank you for your replies, I'm very grateful. I am desperate to make it work but he's gone for now and I'd be throwing away all my dignity I fear. He blames my lack of trust and 'paranoia' amongst other things for him leaving. No OW...for now
Totally agree Mrspeach999!
That's exactly what I went through, I started to realise that I would never get past it 3 years later but it took me another 2 to finally accept it. I regret wasting that time now and I've learnt that if anyone ever cheats on me again that I won't be able to forgive.
There may be some people who can cheat once and genuinely regret it but this isn't what I've experienced. By agreeing to give them a chance you are giving the message that they can do it again and that you would accept this. My EXH did although he still won't admit to it. If someone cheats then things will never be the same. You will never be able to trust them fully and will be questioning things constantly. I thought I would be upset when my marriage ended but all I felt was relief that I didn't have to worry where he was, whether he was telling me the truth or having to check his phone, FB etc.
The very fact he's gone is very telling.
If he was completely innocent he would hand over his phone and give you access to all of his social media accounts to reassure you and give you answers to the things you've been concerned about.
But I'm guessing he did not. He's just left.
You've not shared what your suspicions were so it's hard to advise any further on that.
However, counselling is futile when one partner has checked out emotionally and physically anyway.
I was with my husband from 18 years old to 36, and always had a niggle in my gut that he was secretive and that he would stray, I heard the paranoia and didn't trust him line hundreds of time there was an incident with my friend on New Year's Eve in the early days that proved it (he was seen kissing) I accepted it was just booze, but I was madly in love and very young and I didn't have the strength to leave and we had just bought a house together. The second time I found out I was 31 and our child was 6 months old and we were on holiday. I found a message in his phone which was very telling, I tricked him into telling me (pretended she had called me before we went on holiday and told me what had been going on) eventually he spilled the beans, I found further messages weeks later about him "picking her up from the station". I wish I had trusted my gut many years ago, i stayed with him for the sake of my son, in the back of my mind I always knew I would leave him eventually (he was a selfish dicksplash in addition to being uneffectionate but clever and emotionally abusive and manipulative) he didn't think I had the guts to leave him and to be honest I didn't for a while, as the years went on I kept thinking the longer I leave it the more damaging it would be on my son as he was getting older, it was my love for my son that gave me the push to end it, I had mentally been processing the breakdown of the relationship for 5 years and the relief was immense after wards, it took him 2 years of begging and wanting to go to counselling (he refused to go in the after math of the affair, so I went on my own) after the split we went together but he was there to try to repair the marriage I was there to try to help and manage him through the breakdown, the fact that I was emotionally numb in the end helped me to not give in to his begging and bullying to take him back. You need to ask yourself, do you fully trust him? Does he make you happy? What positive elements being with him bring to your life? If you can not give positive answers to the above then it's unlikely to be a happy path. Before the split I remember thinking to myself over and over "this is not what a relationship should be like and how does he make me feel" eventually it sank in that it wasn't a healthy relationship no matter what my feelings for him were. Listen to your gut and be true to yourself eventually you will find your streangth and answers. I spent years on and off being suspicious and checking up on him when the fact I didn't trust him should have been enough to call it a day whether or not I found evidence or not... in his words "if you go digging for shit then you will find it" my reply was only if there's shit to be found. Have a really honest conversation with yourself about how the relationship makes you feel putting aside your feelings for each other (hard I know) take care x
on another note I found self help books really useful, so books like when a relationship ends etc, they help to validate your feelings and process everything and the grieving process etc
I agree with paperdoll, if he truly wants it to work he would stay and prove to you that nothing is going on and want to do everything he can to help you and support you if he thinks you are being paranoid. I suspect he think he has the upper hand and can go and come back.
Yes he's come and gone for years and he 'can't cope with me'. Usually for a few days this time it's been over a month. He's a selfish prick but well we have children and I stupidly have faith he will return to a decent person.
Hmmmm sounds like he knows he can come and go and you will have him back, personally I would be tempted to draw a line in the sand via a long email to him, explaining how unhappy and disappointed you are with how things are and giving him 48 hours to reply about how he thinks you could both start to work things out. If he isn't even willing/care enough to do that then you seriously need to think about calling it a day and moving on. I know it's extra hard with kids but at least your kids will see you as a positive role model if you take the bull by the horns and create your own destiny rather than waiting for their dad to make his mind up about what he wants. Either way you need to take back some control otherwise your becoming a door mat I'm afraid. Your just hanging in "limbo" about if your together or not, that's by far the worst place to be, once you know either way you can move forward with life. Try to think with your head rather than your heart, if you were advising a friend in the same situation what would you think of the situation. It's not easy at all and it does affect your self esteem being put in this situation everything looks very grey, it's emotionally and physically draining, take each day at a time and you will get back your streangth eventually x
Everyone I've spoken to has said just to leave him to it. If he had wanted to make it work he would have been in contact but he has not except for contact time.
It's very peaceful without him here and I'm finding I can actually cope. I do wonder if he's seeing other people and I know it's the last thing I should be thinking about - he did say that's the last thing on his mind but who knows where his head is at. A friend said it would be out of character for any sort if infidelity however his behaviour is so erratic with the drinking and inability to just function and deal with normal day to day life. I've not contacted him for days which is a first for me so I really think this is the end.
We haven't discussed anything through about contact finances so I'm still in limbo and don't have a game plan or next move which isn't a great
It sounds like he's got something going on to bring on irratic behaviour and drinking, but only time will tell the reason. It's good that you feel at peace tbh that's quite a sign that you have been up against it. I agree about leaving him to it but this is about you too, have a serious think about what you want from a relationship and life, if he decides to come back will that really make you happy or are you pretty sure your going to be back at this point again and back to heartache in a few weeks/months? In my experience men are not very good at being honest with themselves and tend to fall into booze or women if they arnt happy or bury their heads in work. A big reality check for me was when I could no longer think of anything positive about mine and my husbands relationship, I no longer looked forward to him coming home from work, he was rubbish at finances, unaffectionate, selfish, terrible communication, didn't trust him, he made me feel like a door mat and felt he was making a fool out of me. All the above eventually made a very messy situation become very clear to me about what needed to be done. This might sound cheesy but make a list of everything positive and negative about the relationship. Also your kids want to see happy parents, out of all my grown up friends the most damaged ones are the ones that wished their parents had split up cos they could clearly see whilst growing up that they weren't happy and lived separate lives under the same roof with zero closeness or effection. Whilst wanting to stay together for kids is admirable is your relationship a healthy one for them to grow up with. I'm by no way an expert and everyone has to make their own decisions to live with just give the future some thought and have an idea about what you want for you and your children. At some point I suspect finances will have to be discussed and regular agreement about contact, is he expecting he will call the shots, maybe after a week or so you take the lead to bring up/start the conversation? I think you sound like your being very brave in such awful circumstances x
I have ovaries of steel so brave by genetic default. Oh wow is that a glimpse of a sense of humour returning?!?! (Hopefully it will say for at least some of the morning) I'm exhausted if all truth be told.
I hope there are no women involved and it is work and drinking and anxiety, if there are women involved then any chance of reconciliation is out the window. Not that I even think he wants to reconcile or I'm at the point where I want to even talk to him now that I have a bit more detachment. I am seeing him in a very different light and it's definitely not rosy.
He has asked if he can see he children tomorrow evening but it's all too convenient for him.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now »
Already registered? Log in with:
Please login first.