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Need advice from those who have been through affairs

(38 Posts)
GoneCold Wed 25-Oct-17 11:39:28

Just looking for some advice for those who have been in similar situations.

I found out 4 months ago that my partner had cheated. The affair had been going on for 6 weeks before i found out. The OW was a work colleague. He was her boss though she is 7 years older than him. They had sex twice in the office after work as far as i know and had planned to go to a hotel together after a work night out. He accidentaly sent me a message about this instead of her. That is when it all came out.

I left him for a few weeks and me and our 5 year old DD went to stay with my DM. Told him i needed to think about things. He begged me to give him a chance that he was so sorry bla bla bla. I went back mostly because i was legally advised to as we are not married but own a house together. I did not know at this stage what i wanted to do.

Our relationship had been pretty bad for the year leading up to this, both our fault. I feel we had grown apart and were both unhappy with each other though we did still love each other. He said i didnt appreciate him or pay attention to him which i didnt but he also didnt appreciate me. He said he is in no way justifying what he did but that is just how he felt.

He said he realises now how much he loves me and wants to sort our problems. I agreed to go to counselling and this has helped us communicate, something which we were very bad at. But it has not helped me sort my head and make a decison as to what i want to do. I have told my partner that for now i am giving him a chance but i do not know if i will stay. He left his job and has not had any contact with the OW. He told me there was no feelings involved and that it was just the excitement and feeling appreciated. He does not care about her or want anything to do with her. He did not go out looking affair but did not stop when she first kissed him on a night out. Everything developed from there. I saw some of the emails mostly normal work chat and some flirty.

He is now such a completely different person the last 4 months since the affair happened. He is so attentive, caring and hands on with everything couldnt do enough for me which is why i find it so hard to just leave him. He is putting me first since all this. He is back to the man i fell in love with. I on the otherhand find it hard to make him a cup if tea. I am so angry at him all the time and cannot shake this. I would love more than anything to move on as i know we could have a great relationship. When we are spending time together and i am not thinking about what has happened we are so good together and happy but it is very hard.

I have lost all respect for him and the trust is completely gone. He has given me passwords to everything and is completely open.

We are together 10 years and i dont want to just throw that away and break up our DD family. Im not sure deep down am i just staying because of our DD.

I am so hurt and confused and do not want to make a rash decision.

I dont really know what i am asking just need some advice and hear other stories. I feel like i can never make my mind up on wether i want to stay together or not. I change my mind everyday on what i want to do. This is just so hard.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Wed 25-Oct-17 11:46:46

Somebody will be along to give you some good advice soon but in the meantime I'll just tell you that vacillating about whether to carry on or end it isn't unusual - and you don't need to make any decision right now. If you DO decide one way or the other then you're not bound by it and you can change your mind at any time.

This is about YOU now, not your partner. I've been where you are. If I'd known then what I know now I would have been less quick to decide and would have gone all 'Hamlet' about it, ie. keeping things close to my chest whilst I decided where and what I wanted to do.

Let your partner carry on being 'nice'. Take it at face value and don't let it distract you from thinking this through without his presence or 'interference' in terms of diverting your attention from what he's done.

I know it's hard. thanks

Elkilil Wed 25-Oct-17 12:19:35

Don't feel any pressure to make a decision quickly.. your going to need time to heal and he is going to need to understand that. A betrayal of trust will take a long time to move past. People make mistakes so I don't necessarily think you should leave him just because of an affair.. but you need time to see if you can gain some trust back again and he needs to earn it. I think the fact he left his job and is trying hard with you is worth some credit.
My background on affairs is that my partner left his wife for me after a 5 month affair and that my dad had a long running affair on my mum, My parents are still together.

Elkilil Wed 25-Oct-17 12:21:31

Oh and I realise you might not want advice from me because I was the other women, but I've also watched my parents go through it.. and I'm not proud of what I did myself.

LemonShark Wed 25-Oct-17 12:24:34

I have lost all respect for him and the trust is completely gone.

I'm not surprised at all, for six entire weeks he made the decision every day to betray his commitment to you and your child, disrespect you by lying to your face, and he stopped because he got caught. He is not a trustworthy man.

No respect and no trust, I don't think you have a future together. But you don't need to decide that for sure right now.

Oddmanout Wed 25-Oct-17 12:32:51

I can't add to the advice already i.e. make it clear you haven't yet decided, take your time to decide (but not too much time as then you will just fall back in to the relationship rather than actually deciding).

I would also ask myself whether he have stopped if not for the inadvertent message to you? I doubt it. Planning to go to the hotel is an escalation IMO as it wasn't just a quickie at work where the excitement of being caught made it 'fun', it was pre-planned longer time together with no interruptions. Sorry to say this.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

ravenmum Wed 25-Oct-17 12:35:08

I feel we had grown apart and were both unhappy with each other though we did still love each other. He said i didnt appreciate him or pay attention to him which i didnt but he also didnt appreciate me.

Have you pointed that out to him? Or is he still blaming you for his affair?

Are you sure it was just 6 weeks? When I found out about my ex's affair I knew the dates for sure, and his lack of interest in me (which he'd blamed on me, too) dated back pretty exactly to their first meeting.

GoneCold Wed 25-Oct-17 13:05:27

Elkilil - i am hear everyones view as another issue i have is that i feel like the OW must be laughing thinkin that she was sleeping with my partner and that i am a complete fool. I also have not yet bumped into her as she lives about an hour away but i dread the day i come face to face with her and how i will react.

He has never blamed me for anything, he wouldnt dare. If anything this situation has hardened me up and made me a stronger person.

I put myself first now and dont consider him anymore. I have thrown everything at him emotionaĺly told him he is a useless, partner, father a horrible person that i hate him and he still dows his best to treat me well. He says he hates himself and what he has done and just wants a chance to make amends and treat me how i should be treated. He knows he doesnt deserve me and that i could walk away at any time and that worries him.

I am just all over the place emotionally and dont know what to do. I hold back emotionally from him and i feel like i always will if we stay together so as to not get hurt again.

We were also due to get married in 18 months time but i have called that all off though he says he really wants to marry me. Wish he had realised this before he decided to have an affair

GoneCold Wed 25-Oct-17 13:08:23

Meant to add i am sure it was just 6 weeks as she only started working there 2 weeks before they had a night out and they first kissed. And yes it would have continued had i not found out

Myheartbelongsto Wed 25-Oct-17 14:01:41

Why sell yourself short op. He doesn't respect you at all.

Like a op said for 6 weeks he betrayed you and your child.

I could never forgive that.

TammyswansonTwo Wed 25-Oct-17 14:20:19

My husband and I went through some really challenging times when we were first married, mainly due to my health. If he'd had an affair during that time I could honestly have understood it, things were really hard and people can make some stupid decisions. If he had come clean and it had been a huge wake up call and he was a much better husband and father after it, I could get past something like that with a lot of time and counselling. My reservation in this situation is that you only know because you found out, he didn't end it and tell you - how much longer would it have carried on? He said he has no feelings for her but that sounds unlikely to me I'm afraid.

I don't think you should rush into anything. No matter how hard things are at home he should have been talking to you about it. Clearly for some reason that didn't happen - unless you address that issue there's a risk it will happen again. The only thing that's gotten my husband and I through the tough times is that we can talk about anything.

GoneCold Wed 25-Oct-17 15:26:11

I feel so often like ending things with him but then the thoughts if him being with someone else and making a life with someone else hurts a lot so im so unsure is this a sign that i really do want to give things a go my head tells me one thing my heart another

JaneEyre70 Wed 25-Oct-17 15:48:07

I can only give the advice as someone whose dad had repeated affairs. The first one was with one of mums best friends, a babysitter, my godmother and the one that made him leave was a young woman who kept her horses in our yard. Mum loved him too much to ever walk away but was full of resentment and seething anger most of the time. It was pretty toxic at times, and if you think your DD will thank you for staying with her dad "for her", trust me when I say she won't.
He was involved with this woman, it wasn't just a quick shag and forgotten about. He was talking to her, planning more meetings and it was developing into a relationship. That for me would be unforgivable, but only you know your life and whether or not you can forgive him. I would talk to a professional counsellor and see if that helps you come to some clarity, and don't put a time pressure on yourself to do so.

NobodysChild Wed 25-Oct-17 16:01:28

Only you can decide whether to forgive and forget and move on.
You say this has made you stronger, yet you cannot make 'the' decision, after four months.
If you have no respect and no trust for him, why would you stay?
If you want to get your relationship back on track, it's up to you to make it work.
You can't expect him to keep making amends, when he has done everything possible to show that it's you he really wants.
TBH, if I were bending over backwards to show how sorry I was, after four months I would throw the towel in and walk away if nothing were ever good enough.

presentcontinuous Wed 25-Oct-17 16:11:45

It sounds to me like your H is doing everything he can to try to make amends. It is the only way that you could survive this as a couple.

However, it has to be your call. Even if you love each other dearly, and he is 100% committed to doing absolutely everything he can to regain your trust, only you can decide whether you can live with the knowledge of his betrayal. Things will never be the same again, that is for sure.

There's a book I was given that was quite a help to me, it's American but offers some useful advice on dealing with the aftermath of an affair, it's called Not Just Friends, or something like that.

In my case it was an easy decision to end my marriage, as our marriage had been dying for a long time, I didn't love him, and he did almost nothing to repair the damage he'd done, but it still took me 18 months to realise this and boot him out once and for all.

It's a horrible time for you. Take the time to think, to put yourself back together, and assess your future calmly.

GrapesAreMyJam Wed 25-Oct-17 16:12:57

My DP had a 6 month long affair in 2014. It had ended by the time I found out because I came across a message from the OW trying to start things up again.

There were a lot of factors in why he did it, and in no way did he blame me at all, but looking back on it now, I see why it happened.

I kept talking about it with him. He hated it but knew it was something he had to do to help me to move on. Talking about it and time helped me. Three years later, we have a child on the way and we are getting married in a few years.

If you want to PM me at all please feel free! X

Emilybrontescorsett Wed 25-Oct-17 16:33:18

Hi op
I definitely would not marry him. A lot of men ( and women ) seem to think marriage will mend things- it won't it just makes it so much harder to leave.
The ball is in your court and no matter what he does or doesn't do makes no difference as to whether you stay or leave.
I was given this advice once;
Someone in your dps position will promise to walk over hot coals in order to gain forgiveness. How long they can keep doing this is what matters and whether they slip back into their default personality/ ways,
How were things before op? Did he pull his weight on the relationship and love respect and put you first?

bert3400 Wed 25-Oct-17 16:36:05

Hi I had a similar situation though no sex was involved (I'm told & believe ) My husband was chatting to women obsessively on KIK, for several months, I'm not sure if it was one women or several but my instincts kicked and I confronted him with this feeling things were not right , he denied everything but continued even though I had my suspicions. Anyway I of course found out and was completely devastated . I cried my hèart out and the thought of splitting our family up broke my heart more. It was very similar to your husband , very remorseful & couldn't do enough for me . He also used the same excuse that your husband used ...I wasn't giving him enough attention . We are now 2 years down the line . We had counselling and a lot of soul sesrching . I dont think i will ever trust him completely again but he helps by never taking his phone with him to the bathroom etc & I know passwords for everything .
I suggest you have some indivdual councelling ...just to vent if you need to. I don't think he could do anymore to appease the situation he caused ...but you have to work out whether to stay or go and I think you can only do that with a neutral party . I still have bad days when I hate him for betraying and lieing to me , but on the whole we are a great team and I love him . Good luck OP flowers

mugginsalert Wed 25-Oct-17 16:37:59

5 months since I found out about my h's affair. I can't decide either even though I had very clear views on affairs before it happened to me. It's hard when your partner is still around being 'sorry' and 'nice', very easy to slide back in to normal daily life and tempting to believe they really have re-committed to the relationship. I think mine's hoping that if he hangs around enough I will just find it impossible to break the habit of being with him.

Then I remember that however bad it got in our marriage, I never made the choice to cheat but he did, so clearly there is something very different about his values than mine.

In your case the fact that he knew her for only 2 weeks before something happened seems relevant. I'm sorry, it sounds like he must have been very ready to have an affair with that timeline.

I guess it partly comes down to two things - whether, once you let yourself really experience the anger, you still think it's the best thing for you to be with him - and whether he does enough to convince you that given similar circumstances he would make a different choice. Love alone is not enough, it just makes it harder to walk away.

I'm so sorry, it's really hard. Take your time. No deadlines.

lilymty Wed 25-Oct-17 17:20:10

I'm 8 months on for finding out about my husband's ea. I can now work out when it started as he was so distant and now hes back the man I feel in love with. It's hard on both of us. Most of the time it's likes we have just got together but then something will happen to remind me and all I will feel is hate. He tries everyday to show me how sorry he is. You don't have to deside now if your staying or not. Just take every day as it comes and talk alot, even if it hurts as it does get easier.

PaintingByNumbers Wed 25-Oct-17 17:27:32

Nothing wrong with waiting til things seem clearer to you. The fog lifts, you have time to see if changes are temporary or permanent etc. I also am surprised by the two/six week thing, to me it suggests it was not his first affair, sorry.

SandyY2K Wed 25-Oct-17 17:33:02

Give yourself a period of time (6 months to a year) and see how you feel then. It takes 2 - 5 years to recover from infidelity and done would even say it's a lifetime.

Also consider couple's counselling or individual counselling.

Be3Al2Si6O18 Wed 25-Oct-17 17:33:11

Many years ago, I was on a thread where I was the only one who had given a cheater a second chance. I was ridiculed. Once again, and for the second time.

I have not read your whole thread, and I do not feel the need to. I will reply at face value.

Swallow your pride.

Only then can you open up all your senses to explore you . Get rid of that irrational anger. It is OK to wallow a bit. But only a bit and don't push it on further than you feel comfortable.

Then forget the past. We cannot travel back in time. We are not time travellers, that’s for books and films. We only have today. Actually, we only have right now.

From my experience it was the actions of both of us, that led to my partner having an affair. I can see from your post (and others) that you get that. I do not know your reason. If it was neglect, I neglected them also. Too involved in my work to see the signs they were lonely. It was never always that way, but it became that way because when children came along in quick succession they were the focus of my endeavors. To build a safe, happy and financially secure home. That was a concept in my mind which did not involve other people.

Good people grow. Two good people can grow together. But they grow apart if they do not communicate. It is the treasure of communication that binds us. When that fails, we spiral down. We split and have to learn to take our own independent paths in life, come what may. Then you have to imagine what could have been, but for a bit of communication. A bit of self-effacing, "dropping the act", down to earth communication.

Two wrongs do not make a right, as they say.

Counselling can be great, but a counsellor has to learn, move on also. They are also learning, from each person or couple they are in front of. When is a counsellor an expert? A wise sage? They are never at the top of their game, because there is so much to learn. From each of us.

Those little voices that sit on our heads or sit on our shoulders are very destructive. It is easy to let them in. "The bastard!". "You don't deserve this." Despatch with them. For these are the voices and cumulative baggage in our heads of how we should think and behave since we were children.

Swallow your pride.

I walked for miles in deep snow. I wept at my parents' funeral that same week. Sometimes shit falls upon us but it is how we deal with it that counts.

I made my decision based on what could be. The past is irrelevant to decisions. It is the future that should affect our decisions. Sometimes we have to look at what is around us. Taking in all the information, the changes. Ultimately going with our gut.

I gave my cheating partner a second chance. It took several hard and difficult months. But I am glad I did, because now having communicated, constantly, constantly, constantly, we are in a different place. Damn hard work, and sometimes you have to fight the negativity back. But it gets easier with time. Now it is easier, communication comes naturally. Our lives are richer and we are where we each wanted to be. We are open, honest and more dynamic.

I am glad I gave her another chance because in doing so I have the relationship I want with the woman I want.

I realise now that I forgave her because of one thing.

I loved her.

I still do and we are in a richer place.

GoneCold Wed 25-Oct-17 19:27:17

lilymtu i feel the exact same as you and i cannot let go of the anger and hate i feel it never goes away. Its so tough to make a decison and its so good to hear other peoples stories though i never thought i would be here. Not a day goes by where i dont think about him being with her although i dont feel that stabbing pain in my chest as often.

Im not sure if he has done irreperable damage as i know i hold back emotionally and put myself first now.

I do think this is his first affair tho i think if he had the oppurtunity before this he would have taken it. There was no women in the last office he worked in was a small office.of only 7 or 8. I never thought that if this happened i would stay i would always say i would leave if someone had cheated on me and advise others to do the same. I know i hold all the cards in our relationship now and what happens is up to me but is a hard decision
Be3Al2Si6O18 thank you for taking the time to write that post i admire how you can leave go of the hate and create a good relationship. Im not at that point and feel like i never will. The hate is so present everyday.

Be3Al2Si6O18 Wed 25-Oct-17 19:40:29

Find a happy ending GoneCold

It is not with him. Do not let him define your future. Your hate is in your heart, let it go.

Thaw. And quickly.

You, like me, like all of us, have no time to waste.

Define your life by your standards. Drop the baggage.

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