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Can I save my marriage after I had an affair?(44 Posts)
Last month I confessed to my husband that I had an affair with a family friend. I had been feeling disjointed and unvalued by my husband in our relationship for on and off a couple of years at least. I was a stay at home mum and felt the lowest of the low, my confidence plummeted and I always felt my husband was so much more of a rounded person than me, he is always so busy and manic and made me feel lazy and not good enough by comparison. Also he is very dominant and many would say controlling, although I will admit to being a quiet and quite passive person in contrast. Our relationship was very much parent/ child. Last year I went back to work after my ds started school. My confidence began to return a little and I was receiving friendly attention from this man who was my dd's friends dad. He was also friends with my husband and had witnessed what he believed to be unacceptable behaviour from my husband, he thought he didn't treat me properly and we began to confide in each other as he was also unhappy in his relationship. Things snowballed over a few months and we ended up in an affair which I was beside myself with guilt with. At first I enjoyed the attention but quickly realised I would not be able to get out of the situation without potentially hurting everyone involved. So, terrifying as it was, I came clean. This was a month ago and our world is upside down. To start with I was very confused and because I had to end the affair abruptly, I had mixed feelings about my affair partner and my husband and didn't know who I really loved. I have had very minimal contact with him and am trying hard to work on my marriage now. However my husband has gone from initially saying he still loved me to now, he doesn't love and and doesn't want to be with me. In the meantime he has asked me to show him love and affection and acts of love which I have done, but they never seem quite enough. We have had some awful arguments and he is full of venom and anger towards me and what I did. He has been aggressive and has really frightened me in his reactions on several occasions. I constantly am apologising but he wants to go over the same details over and over again. He believes he will never be able to move on from this and will never be able to trust me again and our marriage will never be the same. I keep saying I want to work on it but he has so many issues, for example he wants us to move out of the area and move the kids to a new school so that we are not likely to see my affair partner or his family. He also believes he is completely blameless and that there were no priblems in our relationship beforehand. Also he is full of venom towards my friends who he believes have turned me against him and so seeing them will be difficult going forward. I guess my question, has anyone else been in similar situation and managed to work through it? I believe we can but my husband is adamant he will feel like this forever and will be happier without me. It breaks my heart that he is being so short sighted when we have two amazing kids and have been together for 13 years. Any comments greatly appreciated.
If the shoe was on the other foot, I think you were the short sighted one to have the affair in the first place.
So if I were him, I'd probably react the same (I dunno, maybe not but I think I understand his reaction). He first wanted to give things a try but on reflection that's so f**king hard when Trust has been broken. Maybe he didn't know the relationship had deteriorated. Did you ever talk about it with him? Tell him how you felt?
I don't want to totally sympathise with your dh as I understand from your post he has been controlling etc but hard to get the full picture. Even with his behaviour, I think having an affair does not balance out and make it even. You can't undo what you've done and it sounds like he has major trust issues with you now and whilst he's like to work in it, in reality, even with children in the picture, it probably won't work out for you now.
Even with children.... did you not consider this OP when having your affair?
He’s the short sighted one?!? I hope you e been keeping your incendiary and misplaced angry feelings to yourself.
www.reddit.com/r/survivingmyinfidelity can be a good resource for you to learn how to be emphathetic towards your hurt, betrayed and grieving husband.
If he is willing to try and save the marriage, but feels it necessary to relocate, then do it! Respect your husband.
Fight as hard as you can for your marriage. It is very precious.
Also I would advise counselling for you both. If this crisis can be resolved in a healthy way you can have a future but it is critical that things are dealt with properly now and hurts are not allowed to fester.
All the best to you both and your children.
I think it's unfair to think he should take blame for you having an affair! If your marriage was that bad you should have left him. You chose to sleep with another man. He is quite rightly angry and upset. What do you want him to do? You broke your wedding vows! He is obviously still processing it but it does sound like he is struggling making sense of his feelings so I agree with pp that perhaps counselling might help you both? It may help your dh decide if he can continue being in your marriage or if it's best for you both to separate.
It's only been a month, you've broken the mans heart. He is grieving his marriage. This will take a long time to heal.
He has reacted in a way that a controlling person reacts. He wants to take back the control he felt he lost for a while. He makes plans and demands, even if this means major sacrifices, like changing schools.
The other man may well of been unhappy in his own relationship, but he saw your passivity as vulnerability.
I disagree with previous posters. I think you need to assert yourself otherwise your husband will stay with you forever just so he can demean, demoralise, and belittle you into utter submission. He may not even realise that he's doing it, but the opportunity and justification for this has landed in his lap the minute you admitted the affair to him. He will no doubt become more controlling and he will no doubt keep you in a state of fear and guilt.
What sort of affair was it OP?
I think if it was a full blown sexual affair, your DH may not ever get over it.
I think you need to figure out whether or not the reasons you had the affair really mean that you want to end the marriage. If he is so horrible and controlling and cold that you actually blame him him for having an affair, then why do you want to stay married?
If you want to stay married, moving house and changing the kids schools is a very small thing compared to recovering from an affair. I’ve done both. My husband cheated, your husbands request is 100% reasonable.
You, like most people who cheat, have no idea of the damage you’ve done. In spite of both individual and couples counseling and my DH bending over backwards to try to make it up to me, I’ve never been the same. It’s like something inside me died.
Well I wouldn't stay with you. And I wouldn't think I was being short-sighted. More realistic about the person I had married.
Ditto I wouldn't want to be married to the husband you describe either.
You cheated on him. Many of us could not and would not tolerate that. End of story. you played your hand and made your choices.
If he is so controlling and horrible, then you are better off without him anyway.
You need to figure out how to have an amicable as possible divorce and parent your children as well as you can. But your marriage is over.
I really cannot believe you think he the one who is “short sighted.” It makes you seem very selfish, and not at all clever.
You don’t have any understanding of what you’ve done.
Blimey, what a one woman pity party you are having there.
He also believes he is completely blameless and that there were no priblems in our relationship beforehand.
Well he is completely blameless. You had the affair, not him. Whether there were problems in the relationship or not is not the point. The affair was your choice, your mistake, your fault. Grow up and own it. No amount of telling us how inadequate he made you feel by being so dynamic himself is going to make it not your fault.
Feeling sorry for yourself is not justification for an affair. It might be a big part of the reason you indulged yourself but it in no way justifies it. You seem very keen to make yourself the victim here.
You only told him about the affair a month ago and you expect way too much of him already if you think he will be angry and upset for a week or two at most then go straight back to the way things were before. It doesn't work like that.
Do you think that now he knows, he should be just grateful and relieved you chose to stay with him, instead of angry and confused that you strayed in the first place? That's an incredibly narcissistic way of thinking.
I agree that at some point the injured party needs to stop with the anger, the endless questions and the endless handwringing and move to a state of acceptance, if not forgiveness exactly. It's impossible to mend things otherwise . But that's likely to take many months and you whining at him to just get over it isn't going to help. You might find he never manages to move on from it and leaves you in a year or two's time. It's a waiting game now. You will feel a bit vulnerable and not at all in control of things for a while, but what did you expect?
If a condition of trying to mend things is that he wants to move to an area where you won't be constantly at risk of running into the other man, then I think that's a perfectly reasonable and sensible request and it bewilders me that you can't see that. If you aren't prepared to do that to save your marriage then perhaps you aren't really committed to saving it.
Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.
Interesting choice of user name bearing in mind the topic of your thread. And interesting first post.
If your husband was as bad as you say he was, you should have had the dignity and decency to just leave the marriage and deal with it, not shag one of your husband's friends (of all people, although clearly he's no friend).
Your husband is going through total devastation. Regardless of his previous behaviour, he's discovered that his friend isn't who he thought he was and nor is his wife. Of course he's going to be fucked up for a while - show some empathy and think how you would feel if it happened to you.
Your short sighted comment is just breathtaking in its ignorance and lack of empathy.
I think YOU'RE being short sighted.
You shit on your own doorstep. How
lovely horrible that your husband will now be unable to take a step into that school playground for drop offs, pick ups, sports days, shows and parents nights without being triggered.
He wants to go over the same details over and over again because he is in the processing stage. Don't you dare ever say you've "gone over this already". If you're so bothered about saving the marriage, you will answer, and you won't hold back the details.
He was also friends with my husband and had witnessed what he believed to be unacceptable behaviour from my husband, he thought he didn't treat me properly and we began to confide in each other as he was also unhappy in his relationship
Ah wonderful, the other guy has a family too, and was well aware you had a family. Disgusting from the both of you, not considering how this would affect your children.
Life will never be the same again. An affair is abuse on the purity of you marriage. Your husband didnt sign up to share you with another man. You say he was controlling and poor you, you were a SAHM mum. Why didnt you address these issues instead of throwing a selfish bomb into it?
Trust me, your story, albeit having to choose between who you loved, is exactly what my husband did to me. He will utterly hate you. And its taken me a year to calm down and get more good days than bad but a month out I probably would have done time and taken the affair partner out if I had the chance, I pinned the woman and verbally ripped her a new one but god knows what I would have done if I had her alone. I was irrational. Don't underestimate your husbands next moves because even he probably doesn't know what hes doing day to day.
He believes he will never be able to move on from this and will never be able to trust me again and our marriage will never be the same
Because he's right. He will never trust you again. Your marriage will never be the same again.
He's pissed off at your friend - err, yes, she knew and she basically support the affair. She played a part I'm afraid.
So what do you do from here?
*Marriage counselling is an option, but it shouldn't ever be on its own terms, you will both need individual counselling. I'm a year our and individual counselling is very beneficial for me.
*Your husband is asking to move schools. Not a bad idea to be honest. If there's no reason like SEN, you should consider it. That school will be an absolute torture for him now. Not his fault - so fix it.
*Passwords, phones, full disclosure. Suck it up. you're married right, so you shouldn't have anything to hide.
*You need to have a word with yourself , saying things like "he's not blameless". There is NEVER enough reason to do what you did. You could have taken steps to save your marriage THEN , not destroy it.
Your post strikes me as "poor me what do i do". Own it. Put the hard work in or leave this man now, let him find a better life partner.
Oh poor you, and it is all about you isn’t it?
Your dh may have been controlling but you could have left, and don’t use the DC as an excuse as you put your entire family in trouble the minute you had an affair. No one made you sleep with this man.
Your dh is being short sighted? Seriously? This is your doing. It’s been a month! You seem to want him to get over it. Going over details is normal, he may never get over it. If he doesn’t want to move on then that’s entirely his choice, he doesn’t have to.
I can’t believe you think he’s being short sighted, I bet you weren’t thinking of your children and your marriage when you opened your legs for someone else.
Give your head a wobble.
With a thread title like that you really are throwing yourself to the wolves! It was always likely that responses would come from people whose partners had affairs so this would be an opportunity to play out their feelings towards their own situation...
I have been cheated on in the past (never cheated) but I don't automatically think someone who has an affair is evil.
From what you say about your marriage before the affair, perhaps the affair was you dreaming of a way out & then you panicked as well as feeling guilty. As your husband has made it clear he will never get over this the future looks grim - you will endlessly have to prove your contrition & it will never be enough. Better to know this now rather than years down the line.
Could you contemplate separating? Perhaps agree with your DH and suggest to him you need to discuss the way forward?
You need to separate out two issues to have any hope of moving forward, with or without your husband: The state of your marriage before your affair and your affair.
Re the state of your marriage before your affair, you and your husband are equally responsible. You must own your part in it (even if it was just allowing it to get to the point where you went along with his controlling behaviour or didn't take action to boost your self-esteem, such as starting a part-time job or training). Likewise, your husband must own his part. Once you and he have done or not done so, you can make a decision whether to stay in the marriage or not.
Re your affair. You own that 100%. Your husband has none, zippo, zilch to do with your choices that led there. First, to your slippery boundaries so that you were confiding in your husband's friend and then to whatever steps led you into bed. That is your bad decision making, your poor relationship communication, etc. If you don't take this on board, you will not be able to reconcile with your husband. It really is that simple.
I would second the comment above, and I say with this no malice, only with a view to you understanding your next steps, that you HAVE NO IDEA what harm you have caused your husband. You have blown away his trust in his whole world (assuming, like so many, that he had no idea you were capable of this). It is an intimate and comprehensive betrayal unlike any other (and, no, just because some boyfriend cheated on you when you were 25, you don't understand - this is marriage and involved vows, a family, his life) You have permanently changed his world view. Again, until you take this on board, you have no chance of successful reconciliation.
I can't emphasise enough how much you will both need individual counselling and then couples counselling. Plan on at least 2 years work to get your marriage back on track. The upside is that, if you both put in the work, it's possible that you may have a genuinely strong marriage going forward. If you don't want to put in the work, because you are not sure there's enough there to save, that's not the end of the world, it really isn't. But own that decision too.
Before you cheated did you have a serious 1 to 1 chat with your husband about how undervalued you felt in the relationship etc?
Your DH is broken hearted hence why he feels he doesn't love you anymore & there's a chance he might never recover from this betrayal. You should stop making this whole thing about you because you're in the wrong. Moving area is a little price to pay for you to save your marriage.
In his shoes I wouldn't stay.
Firstly there is the betrayal, secondly there is a total lack of understanding of the seriousnees of that betrayal.
I don't think I could live with the constant doubt that it may happen again. No matter how many times you say you will never do it again you've already proven yourself very capable of lying and cheating.
If he is the controlling husband that you say, he will use your guilt about the affair to further isolate you and control you. Not forgiving you will be another method which he will use to manipulate you and whatever you do it will never be enough to make up for your infidelity. You have handed him a trump card I am afraid. The stuff about moving away from the area, not liking your friends (so therefore avoiding contact) is about cutting your support network. You are vulnerable now (because of your guilt) and he will / can exploit this.
You had the affair because you were unhappy in your marriage, why do you think you will be happy in the future if you stay married to this man? A man who will probably constantly remind you of your infidelity (from what you have put) and is prone to aggressive outbursts. IMO it would probably save you a lot of heart ache and future unhappiness if you make a clean break now while your children are young. And for the record, I don't think you are a 'whore' or any of the other names you have been called on here - I really don't know why people post that sort of thing.
Also, if he is controlling and domineering he will always play the victim, despite his behaviour you had the affair.
I’ve been in your shoes, it will never be the same again. It may be hard now but it’s probably best that you separate and find someone that makes you happy.
I was unhappy in my marriage and did the ‘wrong’ thing. I’m fully accountable for my actions but looking back I couldn’t change it to be any better and I bloody tried everything over the years.
I wish it hadn’t ended the way it did there’s a lot of resentment on both sides but that’s life?
I’m happier now and I believe my dd is with 2 happy parents.
Don’t listen to those who are quick to judge.
I have to agree with almost everything said by others here. You confided in another man about the state of your marriage and how bad it was, but did not do this with your own husband. Repairing this can only work with humility, ABSOLUTE honesty and time. Also you will need to decide if you are willing to accept his terms. If not, then it is over. I survived something very similar and it can work, but my spouse had to prove how much she wanted to choose me. I was ready to try, but I was also willing to call it a day. No excuses, no blaming me. I was, and am not perfect but I have really tried to be better. Are you perfect? No? Then don't blame him for this. You made a choice and tried to justify it. Now you need to make another choice. Just my view, but it seems as though I am not alone.
If he was a ' controlling, dominant, selfish guy ', you should have spoken or dealt with those issues and your feelings towards them. I feel you are painting your husband with a darker shade of ' perspective ' to ' justify ' your affair. But we don't know fulfilling or happy your marriage was or not.
You are making excuses to some extent. You succumbed to the ' attention ' of another guy, apparently with little forethought or afterthought.
Regardless of whether your husband is a nice guy or a shitty person, you have totally mind fucked him !!!!! You have both shit on your marriage and kids, at least in the husbands eyes...,
From what you say about his character, ( And your character seems to have many flaws - but hey, whose perfect !? ), I don't think there is anyway back for your marriage......
I think his resentment will build and build until is manifests itself into something really, really unhealthy, for both of you......
I think you ought to leave the marital home for a while and give him some space to sort his head out, his feelings and his decisions, out.....
And you can do likewise.
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