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What the actual fuck have I done?(191 Posts)
Deep breath - and a name change. I’ve been married for a lot of years, 2 DC grown and flown. My DH has worked hard to support all of us, and is a good man in every way. But the last four years have been horrendous. He has had a series of health related things, none of which have been diagnosed as anything serious, but his mental state is very fragile. He’s snappy, self obsessed, and miserable as sin. He doesn’t want to see friends or family, and complains that nobody understands what he is going through. He obsesses about diet and exercise, and judges everyone else by what he feels is the right way to live. In his good moments he knows he needs help with sorting himself out, but he won’t see a doctor about anything that isn’t physical.
I’ve become his carer, the sounding board for all his rants, and spend my time trying to smooth his path as much as I can, because I know this isn’t really him, and that somewhere underneath all this shit is the man I married, despite the fact that he doesn’t see me as anything like a wife.
Now it gets bad. I’ve got a hobby that I love, it takes me outside and away from all the grief at home. It’s quite a blokey sport, I’m one of only a couple of women. And we go to the pub afterwards, and there’s always lots of chat, although I’d never said anything about what’s going on at home. One evening a few months ago I just let it all out to a man I’ve known for a couple of years, and he just put his arms round me while I had a good cry.
This is all so horribly predictable. He’s been really lovely, and over the last few months we’ve got very close. He’s in a miserable marriage as well (he’s not a bullshitter, we have mutual friends who know his situation). Last weekend we went away with a group, and the inevitable happened. It doesn’t help that it was the best sex of my life, although maybe if you haven’t DTD for four years that’s always going to seem the case.
I’ve spent the last four days in a total mind fog. This whole thing is so not like anything I’d ever have considered, I can’t quite believe it’s happened. The OM has messaged me, apologising and offered to back right off, move to another club etc. I haven’t had the bottle to even contact him back. Wise women, judge away because mea culpa and all that, but please tell me what I can do now to make this even slightly less terrible that it already is. Thanks for sticking with this, didn’t mean to make it so long.
Ah op, that sounds shit. I don't want to dig the boot in.
I would be asking myself though, if your dh doesn't seek help and stays this way forever - where do you see yourself?
Im sorry but It sounds as though your marriage is over. It seems as though you know it was morally wrong but don't feel like you've betrayed your DH? I don't blame you as it doesn't sound like a healthy relationship at all tbh I would consider if you want to stay in the marriage or would be happier single. Don't think about the OM but think of your marriage as a whole.
Don't beat yourself up. You've done your best to support DH and things have been really shitty. OM is probably feeling very similar to you right now - a bit shocked, guilty etc. I would talk to him and perhaps say that you need time to try and sort things out with DH and you're not ready for anything else. What happened was a one off and a much-needed respite for both of you, but you both need to go back and sort out your marriages. Telling your DH to salve your conscience wouldn't help anything, would it? Is he likely to find out anyway? Does anyone else know what happened?
You've done your best for 4 years and it doesn't look as though things are going to get any better for DH without some external help. Surely you can sit him down and have a conversation about your situation - I wouldn't say anything about OM as that will just muddy the waters, but tell him you can't go on living like this and you need him to get some help because things are miserable for you both and you can't continue to live like that. Hopefully he will see sense and agree to see his GP and you can take things from there. No-one is obliged to continue caring for someone forever if that person is refusing to accept professional help when it is clearly needed. Best case scenario - he gets better and you carry on together. If he refuses to do anything, then I think it's time for an ultimatum - get help or I quit. Maybe your kids can talk to their Dad as well - would he listen to them?
Ok OP, you fucked up, there’s no excuse for cheating on your husband. With regards to the OM, try and rise above it. Talk to him, explain it was a mistake and you don’t want it to ever happen again, tell him he needs to back off and you do the same (that’s if you want to of course). If you can rise above it and remain casual mates then do so.
Re your dh, you could tell him if you wanted to. You could use this as a stick to beat yourself with and look after him and remain with a misery and tell yourself it’s what you deserve for cheating on him, it would be a very easy slope to go down, but a fucking awful life to live.
If you could put the incident to one side and sort the issues out with your dh. If he doesn’t come out if this or refuses to see anyone do you really want to be married to this person for the rest of your life? I’d be starting to have ‘proper’ conversations with him about change and councilling, put a time limit on it, if he doesn’t change or seek help then you’ve a decision to make. Use this incident as the start to make some changes.
Didyeeaye, I absolutely do feel I have betrayed him, despite everything.
toherdoor, thanks for the kind words. I can’t imagine myself walking away from DH. He’s in such a terrible state, it isn’t his fault.
I'm surprised you didn't cheat sooner tbh. Your husband doesn't sound like much fun to be around and you don't sound like you have much joy in your life. It's ok to want a lover in your life and it's just really sad for you that your husband no longer fits that role.
Stop beating yourself up and get sensible about this. Your marriage is, if not dead, then seriously in question. Tell the other man that you need to sort that out one way or the other and you can’t give him any mental space so it’s best to leave if at that.
Then think seriously about your marriage. If you want to make it work, tell the truth and see what happens from there. If - as sounds more likely - it’s over already, then recognise that, make a plan to separate as amicably as possible, get legal advice, etc.
It’s never good to cheat. But this could be the wake up call you’ve been needing to start the next phase of your life. Whatever you do, don’t let yourself carry on as you have been doing.
There is only such much misery a person can or should take. Life is precious and you have wasted enough of yours on your husband. Find a therapist and consider whether you are ready to end your marriage or want to tell him to deal with himself otherwise you will leave. You don't have to try unless you want to. Don't leave for an affair. Recognise what this means for you, be brave and stop putting up with your miserable husband.
I’m surprised it’s took you this long. Your marriage, if you can call it that sounds thoroughly miserable.
Life is to short why waste it on a man who is making you unhappy. Could there be a future with this other man?
Don’t beat yourself up, you’re human with needs and it sounds as if you’ve tried really hard with your DH. Ultimately he needs to sort himself out and put effort back into your marriage, if you want to try and save your marriage then you could go to couples counselling?
I’m reading these replies and having a small cry. You are all wise women indeed. I’d expected a serious flaming, but needed to write this down and put it out there.
I absolutely get that this is no way to live, but if I was mentally ill and my DH walked away, I’d be devasted. I’m maybe a bit deluded, but I just keep waiting for him to be better enough to start getting help.
ivgotasecret, no there isn’t any future with OM. He has a young DS, a much later ‘mistake’ addition to the family, and his DW is bipolar. What a mess.
I completely understand why you feel that way but after 4 miserable years he should have already sought help, you shouldn’t have to live that way. I don’t mean to project but my step dad is the exact same way as your DH and claims to be depressed and have mental health problems etc. but he refuses to take any medication and he makes my mum utterly miserable with his mood swings. The refusal to even try and get help is incredibly selfish.
Don't brutalise yourself over this op. You've been dealing with a very hard situation with your DH for a long time. Speak with this other bloke and tell him that you need time and space to figure out if you can and want to save your marriage.
But you're not walking away because he's mentally ill - you've tried to help him and he is refusing to get the help he knows he needs and is making your life miserable too. After four years, he's not going to suddenly get better without some kind of intervention. If he's not willing to let that happen, then he needs to let you go. Maybe the shock of you giving him an ultimatum is what he needs to push him to get help?
Don't get too upset or guilty. Your H has had more than enough of your sympathy, energy and time while he's been a whiny waste of space making no effort to help himself.
Affairs are often the most effective way out of an intolerable situation - they shake things up and make someone such as yourself, who has put up with years of crap, feel strong enough to take action and make changes.
OP - you are only married on paper.
And sounds like it’s the same for your friend.
If surcinstancea are such that both of you need to stay and take care of your spouses - doesn’t mean that you need to bury yourself.
Life is short.
Don’t live it by some text book idea of how it should be.
Your dh has a choice. By refusing to get help for his mental health he loses any sympathy you should feel for him. He knows he is making your life miserable and yet he does nothing about it. Give him an ultimatum. Tell he he needs to get help and change his ways or you leave. Dont worry about the one night fling. Thats not the issue here. Good luck
What would your husband do/say if you suggested you live separately for a while. Not a trial separation or anything, but just something to give you breathing space. Once you become his carer everything shifts in the marriage - surely he would know that?
Or could you suggest that unless he gets help then that's what you'll do.
No judgement from me on the fling, btw. I think you and the other guy are in difficult situations.
Don't beat yourself up about what happened.
Without telling him you've already strayed, can you tell him that you can't go on like this, unless he seeks support for his MH you will have to leave?
If he DOES sort himself out would you want to stay? Or would you go off with new lovely man? That's the million dollar question!
I agree with CallMe, it's so selfish not to seek help - you cannot spend the whole rest of your life miserable at home. You say you'd be devastated if you were mentally ill and your DH walked away.
But really think about that: if your mental illness was making his life as unpleasant as his is in your life, given that you love him, would you not either want to seek help or for him to live a happier life separated?
Sorry I missed your most recent update. Not that it's relevant - it's not about leaving DH for another man, it's about leaving DH full stop, at least temporarily. (Although he doesn't need to know that). As an aside sounds pretty shitty for OM, I have a good friend from Uni who's ended up in a vaguely similar situation, but that's an whole other thread...
Op, you’ve said the state your husband is is is not his fault, but at the same time he’s not taking responsibility for it if he won’t see a doctor for his MH. As a consequence The fall out on you is massive.
I’m your position I’d be making an ultimatum about him seeking treatment.
So sorry you are in this situation. You do have a right to happiness though
Cheating is never right, it's a betrayal of trust. Take a huge step back from the other man.
But your dog's actions aren't fair either. His mental health issues are affecting you but he is not seeking help. I have mental health issues, I would hope a partner to be understanding, but i am clear that it is my responsibility to manage them. You would be completely reasonable to give your DH an ultimatum, and leave if he refuses to make changes.
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