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Separated from husband after his affair, should we attempt reconciliation

(235 Posts)
cheeseplant99 Thu 10-May-18 08:15:01

I'm feeling very emotional right now, but want to try and describe my situation as rationally as possible, as I need to know if anybody has been in a similar situation and has managed to make things work.

A bit of background - I've been married to my husband for 24 years, we have two teenage children on the verge of leaving home. Although our marriage has had its ups and downs, I thought we were solid, I thought we were soul mates. But for most of last year he became very distant and secretive, and I knew something was wrong. I asked multiple times but he always denied there was a big problem. Until October when he confessed that he'd been having an affair with a much younger colleague for almost a year. He admitted to sexual contact with her on two occasions, but says they never had full sex, and almost all physical contact was limited to kissing (and I believe him). The worst part though, is that at the time he told me that he was in love with her and she was his best friend, and he thought he might want to leave us to be with her.

But very quickly after seeing the hurt he caused me and our children he told me that he wanted to see if there was a way that we could work things out and get our marriage back on track. He moved out of the family home at this time to give us space and agreed to start counselling. I thought that soon enough he would miss us and the wake up call of living in a rented room would be enough to bring him home. But the indecision lasted 6 months and although he would attend counselling he never seemed willing to fully engage. During this time he confessed to me that he'd never been sure about our marriage and in his gut he had always had feelings of wanting to leave. This hurt almost more than the other woman - how could he have been feeling this way for so long and say nothing!

Anyway I decided enough was enough so I told him that unless he was willing to come back straight away it was over. At this point he decided he'd rather end things (this was about 1 month ago). I was utterly devastated, and started the process of trying to move on, was supposed to see a solicitor this week to get the divorce proceedings started. But over the weekend he came to see me and told me he still wasn't 100% sure about the divorce. He wasn't sure he could cope with the guilt, and he wanted to be totally sure he wouldn't have regrets. This threw me, I thought I knew where we stood, but I love him so much and in my heart I want to give him another chance. He still isn't sure about getting back together, but he is possibly open to the idea of talking about it.

What should I do? He is the love of my life and I'm terrified of leaving him and starting again. I'm 47, and it's just not something I want to think about at my age. But I also don't know if I can live in a marriage knowing all that has happened and how my DH has been feeling. He confessed over the weekend that he is not in love with me, and may never be, so if I go back I will have to live with that knowledge.

Please help sad

MessyBun247 Thu 10-May-18 08:18:17

Sorry OP. It doesn’t sound like it would ever work. How could you be happy with him knowing he doesn’t love you? Time to move forward and make a nice life for yourself.

Shoxfordian Thu 10-May-18 08:19:54

Have some self respect and divorce him
He cheated on you. He said he was never, in the 24 years you were married, sure about it.
Maybe you would benefit from seeing a therapist yourself as well to process this but don't take him back.

Mywonderfulstar Thu 10-May-18 08:21:58

Hi OP I’m not answering your question fully but I just want to say I’m ten years older than you. I went through a similar scenario to you 18 months ago. I decided it was a deal breaker for me and we have parted. I’m managing fine without him and at least I no longer have to worry what he’s up to.

AnyFucker Thu 10-May-18 08:22:11

Don't take him back. You have to be his no. 1 or nothing.

He is signposting that even if he came back the chances are he would stray again when another woman catches his eye. You know it's likely he has been seeing the young woman while you have been separated, don't you ? If not her, then he will have been scoping others out to see if the grass is greener. Hence the keeping you on the back burner

Don't let him treat you like this

SandyY2K Thu 10-May-18 08:24:23

He wants you as a back up plan and I would not have him stay out of guilt.

Especially as he says he was never sure about the marriage and wanted to leave.

You can love someone, but they aren't good for you.

Even if he came back now I don't see it lasting and he'll leave again.. except you'll be older.

He isn't reconciliation material based on what you've said.

Mouseville65 Thu 10-May-18 08:28:25

Don't be afraid because of your age, my mum went through very similar (minus the cheating) at your age and now we are looking forward to her wedding in July with the love of her life! She's now 57. Everybody deserves happiness and to be loved and your DH has made it perfectly clear he doesn't love you - it's heartbreaking but it would be soul destroying to live with him knowing that. I really hope you find the happiness you deserve 💐

Bluntness100 Thu 10-May-18 08:32:58

He's just worried about being on his own. He has been very clear with you on his feelings. Take a step back you are young enough to start again, but living your life in a loveless marriage isn't something that will make you happy. 💐

hellsbellsmelons Thu 10-May-18 08:37:55

Well what a total cunt your 'D'H is.
Like all cheaters he is re-writing history.
But he has plainly told you that he doesn't love you and never will.
Do NOT settle for someone who doesn't love you.
Why would you?

It's scary. Really scary, starting again on your own.
But it's also totally liberating.
Please don't consider this.
Please take the power away from him.
You'll never be happy again with him and you know that. You are just scared of change.

I was thinking of staying with my ExH when he cheated and I knew he would be staying out of 'duty'.
I'm no-ones duty and you shouldn't be either.
You will never ever trust him again.

Please respect yourself enough to walk away from this lying, cheating scumbag.
You deserve far better and you know it.
Go see that solicitor and get a divorce sorted out.
Speak to everyone you can about this.
I cannot emphasise enough how important real life support is for your right now.
You can do this.
You can live a fuller life.
I'm older than you and starting over for a 3rd time.
In fact, I'm not even looking anymore. I'm quite happy with myself and who I am and certainly don't need men to validate me.

Get out there and find yourself.
You'll soon realise how strong you are.
Good luck!

category12 Thu 10-May-18 08:38:24

Don't take him back. He's said he isn't in love with you. There is nothing then, to make work.

It would simply be an exercise in eating shit and smiling about it. Sorry. You deserve more than that.

Throw your fond in a pond, Give me love or nothing. To jumble up Alice Walker.

Caselgarcia Thu 10-May-18 08:40:18

It seems to be all about him and what he wants and how he is feeling. So he's cheated, left home and now has decided he might come back but isn't sure. So no declarations of undying love for you and that leaving was the biggest mistake of his life?
Sod that. Find someone who cares about YOU.

TooTrueToBeGood Thu 10-May-18 08:40:21

He may be the love of your life but you are not his, never were and never will be. Sorry, but that screams out to me. He has probably figured out the reality of divorce in terms of financial and logistical impact and that's why he is thinking about maybe giving it a second chance. Your decision as to what you do but you've come so far it seems a regressive step to try again when there seems no logical reason to think it will work.

Grandadwasthatyou Thu 10-May-18 08:47:43

I'm not going to claim this as my own quote as I read it somewhere years ago and have never forgotten it..

" Above all, do not let your preference for being in a relationship or fear of not being part of a couple lead you to settle for less than a man who enhances your life on every level".

Op you deserve more.

Eatmycheese Thu 10-May-18 08:51:59

On some sort of quest to find his true self he revealed himself to be an self absorbed, thrill seeking adulterer who thought nothing of smashing up not just your life but everything you thought your marriage and family had meant. How despicable and heartless and also insulting to you and your children.

I can only imagine how you feel like you are standing in a precious but surely free falling for a while would always be better than continuong to give everything you have to someone who not only doesn’t deserve it but keeps showing you why this is so.

You are not too old to rebuild a future for yourself free of his cruel vacillating ways. I hope you are able to believe this and put yourself first from now on.

He will regret this, they seemingly always do.

Eatmycheese Thu 10-May-18 08:52:21

Standing on a precipe
Not standing in a precious


LellyMcKelly Thu 10-May-18 08:57:30

He doesn’t even love you. He’s got you running around on tiptoes begging him to pick you, and you’re letting him.

cheeseplant99 Thu 10-May-18 09:15:15

Thank you for all your responses and kind words. I agree that it might be better if I chose to leave and didn't give him the option of coming back. But it is not what my heart wants to do. I fully believe if he came back he would be faithful, as he knows how devastating the affair has been for everyone, including him. Our family and friends say he is the last person who would do something like this, and they thought we were the most solid couple they knew. What if his lack of feelings at the moment are clouded by the affair. I don't want to throw our marriage away if there's a chance that could be the case. He has said that a problem for him over the years is that I didn't listen to him properly, and was too competitive/complained too much. Perhaps if I alter my behaviour in these aspects we will be able to rebuild our love. I'm just so reluctant to give up.

SunshineandRain18 Thu 10-May-18 09:20:56

He's stringing you along because of his own guilt and not because he loves you.
Your children are grown and now you can have a life for yourself I wouldn't waste a second on a man who doesn't know his own dam mind.

Time for you to take control @cheeseplant99

Tell the arse no! You are living your life without him. He doesn't deserve you and you can do so much better.

NewYear2019 Thu 10-May-18 09:27:32

You know if he came back he would be unhappy? He's told you he doesn't love you. I'm so sorry OP, it could only work in the short term before he became resentful, strayed again or got very frustrated. It would be soul destroying for you flowers

springydaff Thu 10-May-18 09:37:11

Oh God. Can you not see what he's doing??

So his affair was YOUR fault. YOU have to change. You didn't serve him enough or stay quiet enough, is that it? You weren't the dutiful little wife.

He's re-writing history. So he was never sure he loved you all along? My arse!

How do you feel about how LONG he lied to you, over and over, to your face. Replay all those lies, op. Remember what he did and for how long.

Now he's making you hop about - and you're considering it! Can you not see he is revolting.

Please, nothing is worth the degradation he is quite happy to put you through. He is not some poor lost soul who couldn't help sticking his dick into someone else. He's a selfish little man who thinks he's king.

Get rid of him. Sling him out.

TooTrueToBeGood Thu 10-May-18 09:37:33

He has said that a problem for him over the years is that I didn't listen to him properly, and was too competitive/complained too much.

Ah that old chestnut, it's your fault he stuck his dick in someone else. This really doesn't bode well, I'm sorry to say. He broke the trust, he had the affair, he's told you he doesn't love you - this is all on him. Don't let him turn it around on you. The chances of him being unfaithful again are damn high if you not only forgive him but allow him a share of the moral high ground.

Our family and friends say he is the last person who would do something like this

And yet he did. You're desperately looking at this through rose-tinted glasses. I know it's hard, you're hurting and desperate for a silver lining but I see no sign of anything but more clouds.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 10-May-18 09:39:41

I doubt very much he would be at all forgiving if this was the other way around. You are not the love of his life, all this man cares about is his own self and self interest. It still is all about him isn't it; what about you here. Take back some control.

You think with your head, not your heart. I would also suggest you read up on the sunken costs fallacy because that simply also causes people to keep on making poor relationship decisions. I also think you have listened to him more than enough of the years, he has not listened to you at all and continues not to do so either. He caused this marriage to end by his actions and choices made of his own free will, not you. He is and has not been the person you thought he was and that is not your fault either.

Do read the chumplady website as that could help you also.

Cricrichan Thu 10-May-18 09:40:27

I would definitely leave. He's told you he doesn't and may have never loved you. You're still young, don't waste anymore btime on him.

hayli Thu 10-May-18 09:41:23

The bottom line is he dosent love you. Despite what you do or how you change he has no love for you, do you really think that after you take him back no cheating will ever happen again? How can he put the blame on how you've acted not listened or complained whatever..if he was decent enough and and had any respect he would have ended his marriage before he started another. Please be kind to yourself, know your worth and walk away.
Do not feel bad for his guilt in cheating if he is devastated he deserves that. But not you. Dont put yourself through this again.
From now on even if you do take him back you will constantly look over your shoulder, wonder if he is cheating, is he with another woman etc..You cannot live like this.

hellsbellsmelons Thu 10-May-18 09:44:44

Fuck me - he's good I'll give him that!
Perhaps if I alter my behaviour in these aspects we will be able to rebuild our love
So he behaves appallingly.
Disrespects you and your DC.
Spends a year shagging another woman.
Spends a year telling lies and being deceitful.
Tells you in no uncertain terms that he doesn't love you and never will.
He's in love with someone else.
Tells you that he's never been sure of the relationship.
But...... YOU need to alter YOUR behaviour.
WOW - just wow!

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