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Why isn't this easier?(16 Posts)
Hello, my name is Andy and I am an unfaithful husband. My wife and I have been trying to recover from my mistakes, but the going has been rough. I've done a terrible job throughout this whole process. I didn't confess to her. I allowed the truth to trickle out instead of bringing it to her myself. As a result, she does not believe me about some things, even though I have no more truths to tell.
But that's not my reason for contacting you. The reason is, there is one thing that I haven't been able to do for her and I need help doing it. It sounds so simple when I put it on paper, but it's not so simple when it really comes time to do it. My wife tells me that she needs me to bring the affair up in conversation myself on a regular basis. Almost all of the conversations we've had about the affair have been initiated by her and she feels that I want to just sweep everything under the rug and pretend it didn't happen. This isn't true, but I can understand why she would think that way.
It should be easy, but I just don't know how to physically do it. Every time I try, it feels like the wrong time. If she's having a good day, I don't want to ruin that. If she's having a bad day, I don't want to make it worse. How do I initiate a conversation about the affair when I have no more new information to give her?
She may be having a good day, she may be having a bad day but one thing I can assure you is that regardless of her mood, the affair will be on her mind.
She needs you to talk about it because it makes it real, you need to 'own it'
Why did you continue to lie to her?
At first, after the affair came to light, I continued to lie to her because I told myself I was protecting her. I realized after it was too late that I was really protecting myself. I was ashamed of the things I had done and I didn't want to face them myself, let alone face them along with my wife. The worst part about it is the lies didn't even help. All the truth still came out and my dishonesty only hurt her more.
I agree with @user21 you need to just go for it. She will be constantly simmering under the surface getting more annoyed/upset by you not acknowledging her feelings/your failure/your future. You have to show her that she matters and is worth the effort. Why don’t you say to her that you would like to talk to her and chose a specific time that you could get it all out. That way you’re not going to intrude on good day, bad day etc. For example “I know we need to have a proper conversation and I don’t want to do it out of the blue. How about tomorrow night we sit down just the two of us and we can talk about it.” That way you both can mentally prepare. It’s not easy having big relationship conversations about anything but if you want to keep her you need to show she’s worth the effort.
Would it help if you had a set time each day or each week when you talked about it?
By continuing to lie for whatever reason you haven't done yourself any favours. What possible reason has she for believing anything you tell her?
Hi Andy. It seems to me as if Your wife needs reassurance. How long ago did you have an affair?
It's unrealistic to speak about the affair as often as she may want to- unhealthy too. I do think you should try to do things her way to start off with, since she is struggling but speak to her about the future and moving on, education will mean bit speaking about the affair as often.
I'm afraid what you have done will never go away and as you say it was made worse by you not telling her the whole truth but you need to address the situation you are in now and your wife feelings by being open to her about the affair and hopefully giving your wife closure over it.
I think about it all the time. Well, not really the affair itself or the person it was with. I'm not sure if it's healthy or not, but I just don't think about those things. But I do think about my mistakes. It's always there in the front of my mind. I can't forget that and I don't want to. I know my wife is never going to forget and I shouldn't be allowed to either.
I suppose if it were me, I would just say something like - I don't want to ruin your day by bringing this up, but I was thinking earlier about
- how terrible it was that...
- how awful I felt when...
- how upset you must have been when...
- how lucky I am that we are still together in spite of...
- how sorry I am that...
You just need to give yourself an opening and speak honestly about how you actually feel.
CompletelyUnknown & user21, I have not tried scheduling a time for discussions. I considered it, but I thought it might seem insincere to do that. I just don't want it to seem to her like I'm having a conversation only because it's required.
Also, user21, she has no reason to believe anything I tell her. I understand that. I'm trying to be honest and trustworthy, but I know it may not make a difference. If she can't move forward from what I've done in the past, none of what I do now is going to matter. I'm not complaining though. I'm grateful to have the chance to change things.
DH and I have been in the same situation and I completely understand where your wife is coming from. It’s very hard to watch your partner just getting on with life, having had their cake and eaten it, whilst you are dying inside. She will NEVER not be thinking about it. Even on the good days, all it takes is to hear someone use the name of the OW, or to see some reference to infidelity on TV to really twist the knife. It’s so horribly unfair and she will want you to acknowledge this ongoing pain that you have caused her. I said the same to my DH and he replied in exactly the way that you did to your wife. Yes, it’s awkward as fuck and uncomfortable and probably feels unnatural to bring it up again and again, when you just want to move on. You need to get over that though cause however bad you’re feeling about it, it’s not a patch on what you’ve done to her and this is her way of processing and dealing with it.
And in terms of how you actually do it, watch for the signs and follow her lead. If she’s obviously having a bad day, gently just ask her outright if she’s feeling upset and angry about what you did. Give her an opportunity to get out whatever’s in her head, cause it won’t just go. It’ll simmer and build into something else. Let her process her feelings about it as she feels them and if she just wants to scream at you and call you a cunt, let her do that too. If she’s having a good day and you see something trigger her (this will happen A LOT), ask her if that situation or whatever reminded her of your affair. Grit your teeth and own it. Communication is key.
Apile's suggestion is exactly what I would want you to do in this situation, she needs to know it's in your mind, that you're not just going blithely on with your life while she suffers alone with the fallout. She's asked you to bring it up so you have to get over your good day/bad days worries and just do it, it's the least your DW deserves.
Try and make it about what the affair has taught you and acknowledging your own and DW's feelings about it. If something happens which you can see you would have done differently before or during the affair that would be a good way of showing you've really thought about what you did and the effect it's had on her and your marriage.
Your instinct will be to shove it under the carpet so you don't have to confront what you did but that's exactly what she needs you not to do. She needs it taken out and examined until she feels she understands it all enough to be able to let it rest. It will be hard for a while but it won't last forever and it gives you the best chance of moving on without her feeling there is always something unresolved between you. Good luck to you both.
Bloody hell. Why do you want to put yourself through the constant bringing it up?
You did a really shitty thing to her - you lied, you broke your vows and you hurt her.
But, if you’ve explained everything that happened, truthfully, and she won’t accept that then all you have to look forward to is years and years of her disbelief and mistrust. That’s not a good basis for any sort of relationship.
Are you having counselling together? If not I seriously think it would be better (for you both) to accept that you’ve screwed this one up and you’ll be better off divorced.
And what’s with giving your name and surname on an open forum? If those are real then you’d do well to get this post deleted and then change your username.
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