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I'm falling apart and have no-one to talk to

(40 Posts)
raggybaggy Mon 11-Jun-18 11:06:53

My H - a can't bring myself to call him a DH - is destroying me with the way he behaves and I don't know how much more I can take. So here is my pathetic story that I can't tell anyone else.

About 3 years ago my younger brother started a relationship with a girl who at that time was 2, he was 27. She moved in to the house my dad owns where she shared some rooms with my brother. The whole family met her and thought she was lovely, including me.

The christmas before last, the whole family including me, my H and child went over to spend a few days together for christmas and new year. During those few days, I noticed that my brothers girlfriend was quite flirty with my H (who is the same age as this girl's father). My H lapped up the attention. I was upset but said nothing, because although I could see and sense what was happening, it was all too easily deniable. He would say I was imagining it.

Over the next few months we met up as a big family group many times. i notice that whenever they have the opportunity to sit next to each other, they do. About this time last year, at a family gathering, my brother's GF said her dad was turning 50 that year and I laughed and said my H was turning 50 too. My H gave me the filthiest look and didn't talk to me for a few hours. He left the room in a sulk - although nobody would have noticed this.

When I asked him why he was so upset, he just said he didn't like me making a point of his age and he didn't want to think about it. But I was convinced that it was because I was making the connection between his age and this girl's fathers age in front of her.

In the meantime, my H had seemed worn out and tired with his demanding job. He works really hard and has done all his working life. I had said to him that I thought it would be good if he took a few weeks off from working to go off travelling and experience some of the lovely things that I had when I was younger. I really felt that this would be a great thing for him and give him an opportunity to experience meeting new people and see the world differently.

I talked to my younger brother about this and he said that he was planning to go hiking in italy with friends and it would be great if my H went too. So I talked to my H and it was agreed. Then in the autumn it seemed like that trip would take too long and also my brother's friends hadn't confirmed that they'd be able to go. So the plan changed to france and the dates changed. And then my brother said his GF was going to come too. This made me worried but it seemed unlikely she'd be able to get time off work to do it.

Last christmas we all got together again at my parents house - where my brother and his GF also live - to celebrate xmas and new year.
Again I noticed this flirty behaviour between the 2 of them. However there was nothing that was very obvious until a couple of hours after we'd rung in the new year. We were all sitting around the kitchen table playing board games. Everyone had drunk quite a lot, but I was sober. My H was sitting with his arm around my brother's GF and I noticed that his hand slipped from her shoulder and was resting on her bum. I sat there for a while observing this situation. She looked at me and smiled. I left the room and went to check to see if the london underground was still running so I could leave and go home.She came into the other room and asked what I was doing and I told here I was checking to see if the tube was still running. She assured me that it was and that I could easily get on it now if I wanted to leave. I didn't reply to her.

At that point I decided not to leave. and instead to have it out with my H. So when everyone started to go off to bed, I dragged my H into the porch and angrily asked him why he was sitting in full view of the whole family with his hands on my brother's GF's bum. He denied it. I told him not to be stupid as I was sitting opposite them observing. He tried to leave the house and get in the car to leave. I locked the door so he couldn't get out because he was too drunk to drive. We had a terrible night arguing, locked in the porch. Eventually he was too tired to do anything and we went to bed. I didn't sleep a wink. In the morning he said he was leaving and I stopped him, saying that everyone would want to know why he was leaving and that I wasn't going to lie for him. So he agreed to stay and we pretended our way through the day and eventually went home.

He told me later that he was so drunk he had no recollection of having done anything inappropriate. I told him I knew he had feelings for her and that he had to get over it, because the whole situation is impossible and would split my family apart and make everyone miserable. He agreed.

So then we had the run-up to departure for this trip he was going on with my brother - and his GF who's managed to get 3 weeks off. There have been multiple times where we've got together and I have bitten my toungue, kept my temper, been the grown up, ignored the obvious attraction between them. My brother is completely oblivious.

I have asked my H outright how he's going to manage his feelings for this girl in this difficult situation of being on a hiking trip with her and my brother. He said he doesn't have any feelings for her and has said he'll feel a bit of a spare part because obviously they're a couple and he'll be left out. He said he could see I was anxious about this trip and feeling insecure, so he'd cancel it.

I told him not to - because it was all arranged. I also thought he would have to face the fact that the whole thing is ridiculous - that he can't carry on this flirty relationship with a girl half his age, who's in a relationship with his brother in law (who he's very fond of incidentally). Also I knew I'd be branded the jealous, insecure wife in his mind and he'd use this against me.
So on friday we all met up at my dad's house again. During which time, my dad went on and on about how wonderful my brother's girlfriend is and how she fits in so well to this family etc etc. Everyone loves her. I used to, but not anymore.

So my H is now off hiking with them. He just sent me a whatsapp photo of the 2 of them together. In this picture, she's in the middle, standing slightly apart from my brother but she and my H have their arms touching from should to wrist.

I feel physically sick. I can't tell any of my friends or family about this situation - because how can i? I feel so troubled. I hate my H at this moment for the fact that his behaviour has made me feel so trapped and that he has hi-jacked my family and my happiness.

I'm pretty sure that he has had affairs in the past, he never admitted it and I could never prove it. But to get into this situation which is so explosive for not just our marriage, but my entire family is just horrendous.

I'm not stupid and I know him well, so I know that I am right about this. I can tell me their body language and the way they're always next to each other at every opportunity. Now there's nothing I can do but sit here and wait to see what happens and think about what I'm going to do.
And I really don't know what I'm going to do.
Anyway, I had to get this off my chest which is why I'm typing it here, because there's no-one else to share this with.
It might be the straw that breaks the camels back and leads to splitting. When I look back at our marriage, I can see all the times when my H has behaved really badly and selfishly. Looking into the future, there's no reason to think that it will change. My DS is 13. He'd be devastated if we split. He'd be even more devastated if he knew the reason, as he adores my brother's GF too.

I've never felt so heart sick in my life. I couldn't go to work today because I feel frankly, mentally unstable like I'm about to crack up.

Putbiglighton Mon 11-Jun-18 13:15:10

I'm so sorry, what a horrible situation for you. I empathise totally with the way you are feeling (not much help, I know) and how physically and mentally awful this makes you feel.
I feel that you need to take back some control and tell him that he won't be welcome back for as long as it takes you to get your head straight about things. It does sound as though he is sensitive about getting older and flattered by this girls attention. But that doesn't mean you have to put up with it
I understand you are concerned for your son and your extended family, but please don't put up with this treatment. Yes, he will say you are jealous and insecure and she will be smirking and feeling powerful. But you have power too. You are married to him, with everything that that involves, legally speaking. You are the mother of his son. Your son would not accept his father treating you like this, if he had any idea how he was behaving.
I put up with this kind of thing from my ex husband for 27 years. We are now divorced. There came a point when I just couldn't stand it any longer and had to put myself first.
Nothing I've written is very helpful to you, but I want you to know that someone else knows how it feels and I'm sending you hugs and strength.

Disquieted1 Mon 11-Jun-18 13:24:18

Every male you know thinks that she is wonderful. Your husband, your father, your brother, even your son.
Some people are arch-manipulators and she sounds like the kind who can wrap men around her little finger. She will leave a trail of chaos behind her throughout her life as she disrupts life after life.

You know what you need to do.

Putbiglighton Mon 11-Jun-18 13:31:40

Just agreeing with Disquieted, have first hand experience of a woman like this. They live for male attention and would throw any other woman under a bus for the sake of getting off with their men.

Annabelle4 Mon 11-Jun-18 13:37:00

I agree with the other posters.
The part where she smiled at you p*ssed me off the most angry

If it was me, I'd have to be honest and ask your brother if he has ever picked up on anything between them. Or at least warn him, so that he is aware of it and can watch

eightfacesofthemoon Mon 11-Jun-18 13:39:22

Your poor brother! It’s a bit odd he hasn’t noticed anything!
Your husband has no respect for you, that much is clear. Take her out of the picture and you say he’s had affairs. He can’t even be bothered to hide how much he fantasises about this girl.
Perhaps you need to take a long hard look at how he treats you. How your marriage is. You seem to be more scared of how others will react than about how this makes you feel.
It’s just fucking disrespectful. Full stop. I don’t think I could be with someone who treated me with such contempt

raggybaggy Mon 11-Jun-18 13:44:11

I wrote my post very badly - I meant to say that my brother's GF is 24 not 2.

Thank you so much putbiglighton for replying and your sensible advice. I have lost all sense of perspective. Even if nothing happens between them now, even if he has faced up to this and got himself together, I just don't know if I can get over the anger and hatred I feel for him right now. I just feel that something has been permanently broken and can't be fixed.
And how on earth would I explain this situation to my family if I tell him he can't come home? I feel like this is a game of chess and all the pieces have been played by him and her and I'm backed into a corner. There's no way I come out of this without looking like some paranoid, bitter, jealous troublemaking middle aged woman - and my family will turn against me. And she will win and the biggest loser will be my sweet adorable son. Or else I just carry on like everything's fine. But honestly I just don't know if I can make myself carry on and tolerate it all, even for the sake of my son's happiness.
But thank you, thank you for your good advice.

eightfacesofthemoon Mon 11-Jun-18 13:49:58

You are making this ALL about her
In reality it’s to do with her, but also not to do with her.
Your husband has only got this much scrutiny from you because it’s in such close quarters. But you have said yourself that he’s cheated and probably behaved like this before.
Nothing will come of them, she’s not that stupid.
But you have seen up close and personal how much he disrespects you.
If you and him separated. It’s not going to be about this one thing is it.

fruitbrewhaha Mon 11-Jun-18 13:56:30

Stop being so worried about what everyone else thinks. When marriages break down no one on the outside really know the ins and outs of what went wrong. And no one needs to either. All anyone needs to know is you don't get on anymore, or you don't love each other anymore.

It sounds like to you didn't want him to cancel the trip because you were concerned with what to tell people.

He is disrespectful and a sleeze. Do what you need to do OP.

itsadventuretime Mon 11-Jun-18 14:01:41

I am a HUGE advocate for always, always working on things and trying to fix a marriage, unless abuse is involved. But on this one - sweet Bejeesus, his behavior is unforgivable. You can’t let him parade this behavior in front of everyone and get away with. No can do.

DailyMailFail101 Mon 11-Jun-18 14:05:58

I really feel for you, it must be really hard. I don’t have any words of wisdom I just didn’t want to read and run.

raggybaggy Mon 11-Jun-18 14:14:31

Hello eightfaces of moon, no it won't be about this one thing. As I said I think this might be the final straw.
I believe in my heart that he's had affairs, but he's always denied it and I've never had anything to prove it. It's just instinct.

Yes, my poor brother - he is such a lovely optimistic person, I don't think it would cross his mind that such a thing could ever happen.

As for making this all about her. Well it isn't - but the fact that this is happening under my nose and that she is clearly enjoying it, and that she has the potential to cause a lot of pain and upset not just to me and my son and husband, but also to my brother, my parents and my other siblings. That does make her more of a villain in my mind than if it was some random work colleague of my husbands for example. Because a woman who doesn't know the wife, the son can distance herself from the impact of what she's doing. Whereas this young woman is clearly enjoying watching the pain she's causing me and can clearly see what the fall out would be if it all came out - and she doesn't seem to care a jot.
So even if I were to split with my husband and they denied it and my brother believed her over me - would I be welcome in the family home anymore? probably not. Supposing my family believe her and not me? Supposing my son believes her and my H and not me?

FellOutOfBed2wice Mon 11-Jun-18 14:15:01

Why oh why oh why in the name of everything that is holy have you a) not talked to your brother about this and b) sanctioned him going hiking with her?! I have brother and sister cousins where their spouses ran off with each other so have seen this first hand. You need to lay your cards on the table with both your husband- who is behaving like a prize creep- and your brother who is potentially being taken for a fool. Good luck!

SnowGoArea Mon 11-Jun-18 14:15:02

You've made sure that nobody can see anything is wrong because you are worried how it would look to everyone else. There's every chance your brother has done the same - has an uncomfortable feeling but feels unable to talk about because he doesn't want to blow up his big sisters long standing marriage...

raggybaggy Mon 11-Jun-18 14:37:31

SnowGo, it's not that I'm worried about how it will look out of a sense of vanity, it's that I've got no concrete evidence - only the events I've described. And that I have more to lose than anyone else in this situation (other than my son), because if it plays out with her denying it and everyone thinks I'm imagining it, I'll lose my marriage and the love of my family. The love of my family means everything to me - but currently they are all totally adoring of her (as indeed I was at the start). They may well find it easier to believe her version of events than mine. I wish I had some concrete evidence to give my brother - but I don't. And if I put the idea into his mind and he's totally mad at me about it and tells the rest of the family then it all blows up and I'll be an outcast and she still wins and I lose everything.

AnyFucker Mon 11-Jun-18 14:42:56

I don't understand why you stood by and let him go on the trip.

Gemini69 Mon 11-Jun-18 14:47:10

Why oh why oh why in the name of everything that is holy have you a) not talked to your brother about this and b) sanctioned him going hiking with her?! I have brother and sister cousins where their spouses ran off with each other so have seen this first hand. You need to lay your cards on the table with both your husband- who is behaving like a prize creep- and your brother who is potentially being taken for a fool. Good luck!

This with bells on.. stop Enabling him and her flowers

raggybaggy Mon 11-Jun-18 14:57:34

I see it as a make or break situation - where he has to confront the fact that she's in a real relationship with someone else - someone that I know he really likes and respects.
i also thought that if I 'give permission' for him to spend time with her, he won't have anything to rebel against and he'll also realise he's got little in common with an out of work actress who likes clubbing until 4am (he's usually in bed by 10pm).
Even if this is the end for us, I'd rather it wasn't a situation where he's running from me (insecure, paranoid wifey) right into her arms, because I acted in a way that added fuel to the fire. I think the more clingy I seem, the more likely it is to make him run to her.
Having given all my grown-up reasons, I hate the situation and it makes me want to throw up.

SnowGoArea Mon 11-Jun-18 14:58:30

Sorry, I didn't mean to suggest that you weren't saying anything out of vanity, I understand all the possible knock on events are the problem. And the not being believed, and your son. I just meant that your brother may well being thinking that exact same thing. Talk to him. I'm mean, it sounds like your dh basically confessed to having feelings for her, so there's your starting point.

AsleepAllDay Mon 11-Jun-18 15:01:12

You're understandably worried about what your loved ones will say and the fear of them siding with her (esp as she is manipulative), but if it's the last straw it's time to put yourself before her

She sounds really awful (suggesting you leave on new year's... what a cow) and people like that can fool others only so long

It also sounds like you're blaming yourself more than you should when he is the probable cheat and the one who is disrespecting you and your family

You should throw him out on his ear & matter of factly inform people of what you have done while getting what you're entitled to

He has felt no consequences so feels free to treat you like rubbish. You're not rubbish, you're worth more than that, and so is your son.

At the end of it, you can't control how other people react so if they believe her it will be their loss, and if they believe you then at least you will have their support

But you don't know how it will go, and all you can control is how you act and react. Your husband sounds truly awful & cutting him loose will be the biggest gift you can give yourself

raggybaggy Mon 11-Jun-18 15:17:57

Thank you Asleepallday for your advice.
You're right, all I can do is control how I act and try my best to control how I react to what happens next.
I need to stop falling apart and crying. I need to get myself back together. I couldn't go to work today because I was so upset.
I need to get some metal and strength from somewhere. How do I do that?
Any tips anyone please on just how to get myself into a less emotional state so I can behave like a normal person. I have to go to work and I feel so stressed and distracted.

PrizeOik Mon 11-Jun-18 15:24:01

Wow you really do not trust your family to love you! And you don't trust yourself that you'd be ok even if you were alone. You sound very afraid.

But you do know that even if everyone abandoned you over the actions of this girl and your dh (which, really, is extremely unlikely - you are massively catastrophizing), you'd still survive and your life would carry on.

It's really interesting - you've actually taken so many steps in pure fear, motivated by fear of consequences, that have in fact put your husband in a situation that's much more likely to end badly for you! Fancy urging him to go on holiday because "what would people think". As I said - you are massively fearful, to the point that you don't allow your husband to show respect to you by cancelling!!! Can you see how self destructive that is?

Can I suggest you see a counselor? You are tearing down your house with your own hands, as they say.

All you needed to do in this situation, from the beginning, is calmly show some courage by saying out loud, "I can see what you are doing, please stop or leave". Instead you've danced around protecting your dh and this girl at your own expense...? It's almost as if you're insisting he has an affair with her. Bizarre behaviour. You need counselling.

AsleepAllDay Mon 11-Jun-18 15:36:57

Oh I really feel for you thanks

The falling apart and crying is completely understandable & please let yourself feel your feelings when you can (whether it's in the loos or at night before bed)

Re: advice there are so many threads here where women are leaving and starting over after being led a merry dance - there's Relationships and the Divorce/Separation boards

What support can you get for yourself IRL? Is there a trusted friend or neighbour you can talk to about this? Are you having trouble sleeping? Maybe you can talk to your GP if so for some short term solutions

Sorting out yourself legally will also be a challenge - Citizens Advice can be a start as well as searching for a solicitor and reading up on your rights. Assume a defensive position from the start, that you will need to fight for what you need and providing for your son is the priority

Friends and loved ones you can trust to talk to will be key - hopefully there is at least one person you can unburden yourself to. As a pick me up - anything you can do for yourself as a treat can help. Heartbreak is awful no matter the reason - get a haircut or a facial, go out for a meal, indulge in some ice cream and crap telly


bonnyshide Mon 11-Jun-18 15:42:12

You definitely should be telling your brother everything, why are you protecting your husbands behaviour?

AsleepAllDay Mon 11-Jun-18 15:42:14

And I second the suggestion for counselling, particularly if there is one in your area who deals with divorce, grief issues etc

Consider leaving your marriage a long term project that will take all your planning skills and mental resources. The goal is to get you and DS out of this in one piece

Counselling will be one part of putting gas in the emotional tank and learning how to love yourself. A counsellor can be a non judgemental non family person whose job it is to take some of the load and help you deal.

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