Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Forgive and Moving after Cheating- is it possible?(115 Posts)
I found out a few months ago that my husband had cheated on me with a colleague at least 4 times over about 3 months. I was absolutely devastated but it all made sense after he told me a few weeks prior to me finding out that he didn’t love me anymore- I came on here for advice and a lot of people said there would be an ow, and there was!
Anyway I decided to try and forgive him, try and move on. I’ve concentrated on myself- joined gym, finally got back to my pre pregnancy body after 10 years! Going out more, seeing and being more open to making friends, basically never turning down any invites. I’ve had therapy for 3 months, just myself not couples as I felt I wanted to work on me not us first and I actually feel like I have the old me back. I didn’t realise but I had been so unhappy for the last 10 years, I feel like a different person. Our relationship is like a new one, I said to DH that the marriage we had is over and I feel this is all new. Things are good and he has changed a lot, I am happy BUT have a lot of doubts. I’m at peace with the fact that I could feel like ending it all tomorrow, and actually I’m not scared of being alone. Can I ever actually forgive him? It still makes me angry everyday, I still think about all the things he did and the lies he told. Will I ever stop thinking about it? I also have this fear that things will slip back to how they were and he will do it again- and I would have wasted all this time. Has anyone’s relationship survived cheating in the long run?
Mine didn’t, but we’ve gone on to be great friends — he’s a much better friend to me than he ever was a husband.
You’ve done all of the right things. I did the same, and once I wasn’t so broken I just naturally found myself in a place where I knew I couldn’t carry on with the rage and the suspicion — it just never went away. At some point it will become clear to you whether or not you can continue. If you can, wonderful. If you can’t, be open to a new kind of relationship or friendship. Nobody else can decide for you, and nobody else’s experience will be an exact model. Best wishes!
It can be, but I think it is rare to have true recovery. Most couples just rug-sweep it and it just poisons the marriage. I genuinely tried to reconcile with XH (naively) but really the trust was shattered and so we just limped on for a couple of years before realising it was over.
I’m really afraid that it will get swept under the carpet. I just ant let go of what he did, and I can’t see that I ever will. I’m trying really hard and I am enjoying the relationship for what it has become but I really can’t understand how the trust can come back, it seems a really long way ahead to start to trust again!
You will get loads of people telling you it’s impossible but that isn’t true.
I wouldn’t pay too much attention to the advice here. There’s a shocking amount of posters that have encouraged cheaters in other threads to hide infidelity from their husband.
Only you can decide if you can trust again. Trust is only faith anyway.
I couldn't forgive and forget, especially it I wasn't dependent financially on them.
I would just go and live my best life, life's to short to stay with a cheater in my opinion, it would be to hard for me personally.
It's such a personal thing. You are the only one that can really say.
People will say they would never forgive (like I say), but we dont really know until we are actually in that situation.
I hope everything works out for the best for you.
We are 11 years post his affair, in very similar circumstances to you. A few times over a 2 month period. I found out, he immediately put every effort into our marriage, no hesitation. He made all the right moves to put it right and so did I. After the initial hurt and arguments etc. We both worked hard on our marriage, I accepted my part in it and so did he, I told him he wouldn't get another chance and made sure he absolutely knew it to be true. I would say it took me about 3 years in total to forget it, I rarely give it a moments thought now, I'd never have believed you if you'd told me that 11 years ago. I'd say our marriage is stronger now than it was before, I know what the shitty times are like and I'm confident neither if us want that again but that we are strong enough to survive, most don't know that about their relationship.
Would I do it over again... I'm not sure, obviously I'm very happy I did it now but there were some awful times at the start which I know I couldn't live through again.
You are talking a lot about what you have done to repair things, but what about him? What is he doing to rebuild trust?
At the moment, you would be a fool to trust him, because he has proved he is untrustworthy. He has to be the one who regains that trust through acting in a trustworthy way over a prolonged period.
you also do not mention him having begged for forgiveness, recognising he was totally out of order, or taking any steps to address his moral failings.
Unless he does that, all that is happening is that you (the person who didn't cheat) are changing, and he (the person who did cheat) is staying the same.
Except now he knows he can cheat and you will stay.
There's a reason people are advised to LTB. Try reading chumplady.com and you will see why. She is anti-reconciliation - but even if you want to stay, read her to see how your husband's mind is working, and the dynamics the Reconciliation Industry tries to gloss over.
And most of all, this is on HIM not you.
Can anyone explain what they mean by him having to work hard to make it work !! I am 10 weeks post founding out my H cheated on me and we have tried to make it work but for it I don’t know what I want from him . He has cut all ties told me everything I have asked . Keeps saying he loves me wants to be with. Me but that’s just words . I have good days and bad days but I just want to get off this rollercoaster of emotions. I just don’t know what I want from him.
You are going through the motions. Always starts with the honeymoon period then as it gets swept under the carpet it will eat away at you like nothing else. DH wont want to talk about it will get annoyed at you mentioning it. You will never trust him again. This is what happened to me.
He has done and said all the right things- begging forgiveness, cut all ties (although already had), totally changed his attitude and approach to being a family. I have changed too but not for him (although I hate to admit this but it the situation pushed me into changing), for me. It’s good to hear that it has worked out for you hereforthrduration- I just can’t imagine ever trusting him again. I’m in that new relationship stage where I can’t foresee how long it will last- feels bizarre considering I’ve been with him for over 13 years! Some days I feel splitting and moving on would be easier. Trying my hardest but some days all I see is what he has done not what he is doing right now. Also what if he is acting the perfect partner, he acted or a lie for 3 months- something I couldn’t believe he was capable of. Agh this is such a confusing time!
Some days I have no idea what I want from him. I’m trying to build my life back for myself rather than around him and what he wants.
Has anyone had a good experience with couples counselling? I’m seeing my own counsellor but it might be good to go together. Although I don’t want it to turn into the reasons for cheating were xyz and both to blame as I honestly don’t feel like I’m to blame for his actions. We both are for the state of the relationship but I don’t want to it to be turned around on me and I’m scared counselling will do that
I completely understand what you mean by not knowing what you want from him, I felt like that too, I doubted him and I doubted myself, what I wanted one minute wasn't what I wanted the next minute. Dh just rolled with the punches, so to speak. He was resolute throughout, never faltered from being a perfect husband but that too made me resent him, if he'd only been that for the two months before, he wouldn't be in so much pain after.
We had couples counselling, I mentioned it, dh arranged it. I tested him so much for years after. I can look back and see that was probably unhealthy but I had no control of my emotions, obviously it wasn't like that all if the time.
I spent the first 3 months just bloody exhausted from it all and some days wanted to curl up in a ball, but just like that I would then get strong again and we'd start to rebuild it again, 2 steps forwards, 1 step back.
It's daft little things that linger over years, it took me 10 years to buy him a loving greetings card again, I would buy him funny ones, even though I would say loving things to him, lol
The best thing I did was to forgive him and to start having fun again, making our relationship loving and fun was what gave me the confidence in that he'd never do it again. I didn't forgive him quickly though but it came to a point that I had to or I had to finish it; it was a big decision and only one I took after several months.
I feel like I one step forward two back at the moment. I’m trying to have an attitude that what will be will be and just enjoy the moment, but sometimes I just have a flash of feeling the rush of emotion from everything that’s happened and it puts me back to that moment, and I resent that we are having a good time. I enjoy his company now, things are so much better in every way in this new relationship but I feel so sad that it could have been like this before and everything tainted now
But it couldn't be like this before.
You both had to grow / change.
It still very very early days.
It does get easier as time goes on.
It gets ti the stage where you think about it but it no longer hurts.
Everything is tainted after an affair = as someone mentioned cards - trying to find a card that isn't OTT or getting an OTT one from them . Life is never the same again . What is it they say ? Get a new normal ? One where you question your present life all the time as well as the past ? Every action, every word now and then . You never forget .
I didn't get any promises, he just said he regretted it. I was a mess for three years, second guessing, stalking her Facebook, looking at every inch of me to see if I was ugly, did something wrong, I eventually realised my well being isn't centred around him. He did me a massive favour in making me realize I'm okay in myself. I didn't do the gym, I didn't lose weight, I didn't get a new haircut, what I did was take back the responsibility of my own happiness, it's not reliant on him, a husband, a partner, it's about finding you, and for that I'm okay with my oh infedelity, it made me find me X
I'm 9 years on from finding out. Every now and then I wake up from a horrific nightmare about I and then just can't bear to have him touch me or can't even look at him for a while. I hate him in that moment. And yet we have a genuine, lovely relationship, it's just - you never truly forget. You never truly quite believe them, or forgive them. It's always tainting everything slightly suspicious. Most of the time it's absolutely fine. But every now and then I still have a wobble. I loved him so much, more than anyone I've ever met or have met since. And he destroyed all that. We've built a new life, but there's and always will be scars over my feelings for him.
I’m 5 months down the line after finding out about my husband’s affair. He is doing individual counselling and we also have couples counselling. It also feels like a new relationship in that we are talking about how we feel more than we ever used to and making sure we spend time with eachother - before it wasn’t a bad relationship I would say it was more ‘functional’ with looking after young DCs, house, working etc.
DH has done all the right things in terms of cutting contact with OW, being genuinely remorseful and upset about the pain he has caused, putting everything into being the best he can be for me and the DCs. I’m really struggling with the trust issues. We have done things like open access to phones, face timing, find my iPhone etc which helps in the short term but I don’t want it to be a long term solution.
I’m also struggling with the hurt and betrayal and, naturally that has led me to feel quite sad and angry. DH has been supportive but the problem is he then puts all his energy into trying to help me and worries about me, meaning that he focuses on that, rather than making me feel wanted and desired which if I’m honest is what I want more of from him. It’s a vicious circle!
The couples counselling has been helpful for me and there is absolutely no blame (I wouldn’t have accepted any if there was, he made that choice and he agrees). The counsellor got us to talk about our upbringing and our lives together and does lots of work on communication and rebuilding trust to help us move forward.
I think you have hit the nail on the head for me ladydowagerhatt. I want him to make me feel wanted . I can get over that he has slept with someone else. But it’s the feeling of not trusting he is killing me. I though that I was at my lowest the 1st week after finding out but omg I have fallen so far down that it is sooo dark where I am
Now. I want to make it work but every day I am wondering where he is who he is talking to messaging. I have not gone through his phone as I know if I start that then it’s the end. And there is always that little voice in my head that says why brother he can delete message after reading it any way.
I want more then anything to move on and start to get out of this hole I am in but I feel it’s deeper I am going. Just need to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
‘Rainandspirit’ you are right, the trust is so difficult to rebuild. At the moment I know that we are living in a way which neither of us want long term i.e. me checking his phone, accessing phone bills etc. Our counsellor advised to do this now to give me the security I need and then in time as (hopefully!) I do not find anything suspicious I will start gradually being able to trust him again. I am not a naturally jealous or possessive person so I really didn’t want to go down this route at first but it has helped. Also if my DH is going out with friends I have seen the texts to arrange and then he texts them the next day so I know as far as I can that is where he has been - again I don’t want to be doing this for ever but for now it helps.
Our counsellor also advised us to both put our phones in the same place when we are in the house - this means that if he was to receive any incriminating messages I would be able to pick up his phone and see them. My DH has been good about giving me full access to everything which helps. I have her phone number and I sometimes type it in to his phone to make sure it is not stored under a different name.
I’m sorry to hear you are feeling so low at the moment - it is totally normal as you have suffered a traumatic experience. Do you think individual counselling might help you to make sense of these feelings? And/or couples counselling to explore the trust issues together?
Sorry to hear your feeling so down Rainandspirit. I’ve had so many days where I feel like I’m on a downward spiral and really have to distract myself to stop myself getting to Rock bottom again.
DH will let me look on his phone whenever I ask but in reality I know he would delete anything straightaway so it has actually only made me feel worse after looking through it- I feel like I don’t want to do this forever or at all. I have her number, I have to stop myself all the time from contacting her again (sent a few harshly worded messages in the first few weeks, but never had a reply), I also check his phone incase he has her number stored but he has it anyway as it’s listed as a blocked number! I have accepted that if he wanted to contact her he would, there are loads of ways he could not just on a phone and me checking up on it won’t stop him if he was going to. It’s horrible I feel like all these years of complete trust gone and I’m in this insecure place. But I do feel stronger everyday and actually part of me doesn’t care as much as I thought about if the marriage doesn’t work out further down the line. He isn’t everything to me anymore and sadly never will be.
I have been doing the individual counseling and tbh don’t thing much of it. We have been together 24 years married for 20. We had no issues with trust or anything before this happened so I don’t see the point of going over my childhood to see if there is anything there that is making me feel the way I feel. To me is simple he cheated smashed my heart in to tiny pieces. What I want is it to make it all better now. Not in 3,6 12 months or years. But that can’t happen. He knows how I am feeling as I tell him. I told him this morning that I feel trapped under a mountain of pain and I have no fight left to get out. He did say he will fight for us both until we can fight together but I just can’t see how he can do that.
It there a time machine so we can go back and maleness it not happen would be great but maybe go forward in time and see how things work out??
I know I will be fine guess I am just having a bad weekend
My husband cheated on me 8 years ago. We reconciled and had a son together and have had 8 happy years since then. However a stranger knocked on my door 2 weeks ago to tell me he was again having an affair. Hes started "playing football" on thursday nights so I'd never suspected a thing. In the 8 years that have passed he had only learned to cover his tracks better. Go with your heart and dont rush into any decisions. I took him back because I wanted to take the change rather than live the rest of my life regretting our decision to split. X
Cheating is my absolute no go. No second chances. And I know about this from experience. My own. My Mum's. Other people I know. But Mumsnet in particular.
There will be a thread on here at least twice a week about this. 2 days later it inevitably results in the offended person leaving.
What bothers me most about these threads is how many women blame themselves / wonder what they have done wrong / give a second chance because of the kids (to quote a thread today "I don't want to break my lovely little family up")
But the ultimate denial is usually 'My DP would never cheat. I know this for a fact'
No. You don't. Nobody does.
I think you already know the answer OP
You said you cant trust him and never will
Time to move on I'm afraid. Nothing he can say or do will change your mind apparently. Not fair to either of you now.
It is so sad , isn't it ? I too feel the same as you. It will never be the same . I will never forgive or forget what he did.
And it does make you realise that actually you can do without this shit in your life. Just biding my time until I can get rid of him.
Not the same as your situation, OP, as we weren’t married. But my ex-DP cheated on me and it crushed me. I so badly wanted to be able to “forgive and forget”, well, really I wanted to turn back time and have it never have happened.
After 3 months apart I had just been so desperately sad, I thought if we got back together I could be happy again. But, like pp have said, everything was “tainted”.We limped on for about 10 months but something had changed for me (and it didn’t help I’d forced myself to go on dates during our 3 months apart, which had shown me there was a wider world out there), and I ended it.
I don’t regret my decision at all now (and am happily with a wonderful new DP) but there were a couple of very dark years after the break up. I don’t know whether I would have tried longer or harder had we been married.
I definitely don’t blame myself. His actions were his choices. I’m reluctant to go to couples counselling as even though it would be great to learn to communicate better, I’m worried it will look for reasons he cheated and to me I don’t care how “unhappy” he convinced himself he was, his actions at the time towards me didn’t show he was unhappy and there’s just no excuse for what he did. He now accepts it was purely selfishness and grabbing an opportunity that made him feel powerful, didn’t even think about me. It’s like he decided after the event that he must have been unhappy to make that decision, and tried to justify it to himself. Said all the things in the script thing I read on here building up to telling me. It’s scary how I was one of those who said my husband would never cheat, he isn’t like that. It was all right in front of my face but I was in such a bad place myself (and only see this looking back) I think part of me didn’t care.
It took that moment of finding out what he did for me to change my life. He had no respect or desire for me after we had kids, when I was overweight, withdrawn, unsure of myself, and unconfident- now he’s completely changed. But shouldn’t he have helped me when I was lost rather then look to destroy me. It could have easily destroyed me. How do I forgive that? Some days I want to move on and carry on as we are as things feel good 90% of the time but I get that sick crushing feeling at least once each day when I think about what he did. I’ll never really know the truth, I’ll never really know why or how he could do it, and I have to accept that. It would be much easier to split, but actually I will never trust another man again even though I’m sure there are plenty out here who don’t cheat
Primrosedot, I am the same , I totally get it and one reason I haven’t split is I don’t think I will ever trust again
I get the not splitting as you'll never trust again - it sounds very sad (and is) but I feel like I may as well be with DH as I've lost faith in men full stop. There are of course other reasons, but this is one.
N.B. I'm about 10 months post revelation.
Trust can't ever be repaired imo. I tried to move on when my ex first cheated but I was always guarded and half expecting to find out something else. Inevitably I did and I kicked him out and didn't look back. I'm now with a lovely guy who understands about loyalty and also knows I have zero tolerance for cheating of any kind.
A lot of people say time will heal but I just can’t see how I will ever bot feel the hurt and pain, also the humiliation. If he did ever do it again I would have no hesitation about ending the marriage. Although I always said it would be the end if he ever cheated before he did! I feel confident enough that it couldn’t hurt me as much if it happens again, I’m almost prepared for it in my mind. I feel like me believing he would never do it again would be me being too trusting again
I have been unable to forgive and forget. After nearly 2 years we are splitting up.
He did all the right things initially but then got sick of trying. Apparently nothing he did was ever good enough. And he’s probably right. I don’t think anything can make it right.
We spent a lot of time and money at various counsellors but ultimately unless you can really forgive and move on it’s just so hard.
Initially I trusted him. He was so broken by what he’d done that i knew he wouldn’t do anything else and I trusted that it had ended with her. But as the months went by, I just couldn’t trust him not to do it again.
It’s not impossible but the odds are against you both. He didn’t just slip up. It was planned deception. I’m not sure how you can look at him let alone try again.
I hope it works out for you!
No you’re right it wasn’t just a slip up. Some days I feel like I can’t look at him to be honest.
But I feel like it’s worth trying again, and I’m actually ok with it not working out in the end, I think I’d rather be sure that I couldn’t save it than always think what if I’d given it another go. It’s this uneasy feeling of being insecure I don’t like, it’s like it pulls me back from really enjoying anything. If it doesn’t fade I really can’t live like it. It’s only been 4 months, perhaps I need to give it a year and see how I feel then.
OP I am sorry
Four months is no time at all. You are probably just beginning to feel normal.
Was the affair physical, emotional or both?
My dh crossed boundaries and it almost destroyed me physically and emotionally. I felt I could not trust him, I felt l I could not trust anyone at all and I hated that he was responsible for this. The thought of divorcing and getting into a new relationship fills me with horror. Getting to know someone is taxing. Throw DC into the mix and it makes my head spin.
I love Dh, I have never felt as comfortable with anyone else. I have taken a step back. I am actively pursuing my dreams, meeting with friends more, thinking about my future more. At any point I can decide I want out and there is not a thing dh can do.
In a funny way I feel stronger and confident and what used to phase me now does not. I was once conscious of wearing a new hairstyle/clothes to work. Now I do not give a shit.
I am so glad i found this thread. My DP had an EA, it was never physical, but it was with a mutual friend who he has always fancied. I found this out, he didnt confess. I found out 3 months ago.
He claims that he was unhappy and confided in her, he was planning on telling me he wasnt happy after our holiday - which i found cruel, i would have been on probation on holiday with no clue. But of course lines were crossed, everything hidden from me. When confronted I told him that i was going to see friend to get answers from her and he told me he didnt love me and hadnt for months. I really thought it was over as you couldnt come back from that.
He stayed and wanted to work on things to see if his feelings came back, which of course they did, but it broke me, and he was vile to me in the month after, all i wanted to feel secure and he was just cold hearted and vile to me. I now believe he said that to stop me from seeing friend and telling her boyfriend.
Anyway, he has cut all contact with friend, he works with her but she has been off sick since it all came out.
I just also wanted to know how long will it take to feel normal. I am sorry others are going through this also. Like others have said I feel ok then have waves of sadness and anger. I feel like i am starting to get over it then something happens. Last week we had a big falling out as he promised we would both delete her off our facebook and when it came to it he started to back track, asking why etc, he did in the end but we had a big row first.
I worry about being single, money, dating again etc, i have read so many horror stories on MN that i actually think i will stay single for the rest of my life. I too feel that everything is tainted and spoilt. I am also scared that he will do this again. That things will get back to normal and boring and he will go looking for excitement again.
I hate who i have become, distrustful, always looking to see what he is doing on his phone, feeling sick when i hear a message come through, my moods and feelings are dependent on his. But I am wasting my time as he will probably delete everything anyway, everything is locked down and kept away from me.
But someone told me that just because i have taken him back I can still change my mind at any time. And as i have chosen to stay if anything else happens in the future it is not a waste as it was what i wanted.
At the time it happened I wasn’t ready to let go and throw away 20 years. I just want to feel happy and free from all the insecurities that I carry. I love him, I wish I didn’t.
It’s really hard to forget how cruel they have been and the coldness isn’t it?
I feel like I’m living for me again, not through him and the kids. Although he says he prefers this new me, he has had to adjust to being in a relationship which doesn’t put his needs above mine, he needs to be home so I can go out, put aside time for dates, I’m not actually interested in listening about his day endlessly without him taking an interest in mine, if he doesn’t text me, I don’t bother texting him. He’s chasing me- like when we first met. It’s like being in the first stages of a relationship with someone I’ve known for over 14 years- it’s the weirdest thing to experience.
All the little things I used to care about- obsess over I don’t care about anymore, at home and at work. I feel I’m a better mother for it, a bette friend and a better person. I wonder if this is just a phase and I will come crashing down eventually!?
I know I bang on about it but it's definitely been brilliant for me - the ChumpLady book really clarifies this stuff. And I've got lots of experience in this area.
How awful that you found out as oppose to your dp telling you. Also it was low of him to tell you he no longer loved you. I wonder why he was vile to you at a time he should have been on his knees begging for forgiveness.
Why will he not cut contact? You cannot even begin to move forward until he does. Does he have/still have feelings for mutual friend? He should be willing to drop her like a ton of bricks. Anything less and he is showing favour/loyalty to her and not you.
The ball is in your court, you can leave at any point.
primrose I know exactly what you mean. It is funny that you can easily lose yourself in relationships. You can grow complacent and used to one another. After the first few months of discovery I would call dh several times a day in hysterics, crying, screaming, asking him why. I was like a zombie at work, barely eating, barely functioning. Now, I can go the whole day without calling dh and it does not bother me in the slightest. I no longer need answers, I no longer need reassurance and or feels bloody good.
I too no longer give a lot of thought to things that would have previously bothered me. I am unsure if this is a good thing or not. I enjoy my friendships and refuse to become a cold hearted woman. I have a lot of love to give and this incident will not alter my character for the worse.
I get that sick feeling hearing his phone go, even though they never communicated when he wasn’t “at work” I associate his work with a his shit.
Definitely right to delete her from fb. But With all the forms of social media it’s really easy to contact anyone now- although DH has blocked her on everything, it won’t take much for her (or him) to contact each other if they wanted. I’ve put my faith in believing he hasn’t/ won’t and luckily for me she has left their workplace.
NomDeQwerty- I had a look at the website, it’s good, might get the book!
Faith50 I’ve had loads of moments the first couple months going mad at him on the phone while he’s at work- I feel like he deserved to know how I was feeling and have to cope with that and his work.
I also feel like now he ant use work as an excuse for not doing things as I said right from the start if he can handle shagging all night in a hotel room before a massive meeting the next morning, and going out getting pissed until 1am before getting up for work at 6 he can handle putting kids to bed, cleaning, social events, school events etc. I’m not having everything on my shoulders ever again
Thank you PrimroseDot for starting this conversation. Even though I have had a shit weekend I have taken great strength from what people are saying here.
Apart from this weekend I know I want to keep trying to start again(as I know that what we had is gone) I know that dispite what DH has done he is a great father to our children. We have and never will want for anything. Over the last week I have taken a step back and watched my family interact and I know that all the hurt and upset I am feeling I will spare my kids from that for now. I am not saying I will never but people have made me realize that just because I stay now does not mean I have to stay forever.
I am buried under a brick wall at the minute with no fight let in me and it’s DH job to work his Dane hardest in order to break through grab my hand and pull me out. Then we can start looking ahead .
Rainandspirit Sorry to hear you had a shit weekend. Is so up and down isn’t it.
I feel for me and I know it’s a cliche but for the kids it’s worth me continuing to try again. Is hard though especially as in rl people have been supportive (and I’m quite open about what’s happened which shocked me as I’m usually so private- this has actually helped as I feel I don’t have to carry the weight of keeping it all a secret) but life just carries on for everyone and it’s assumed all is fine now as we are together!
I can relate to a lot of what's been said here.. sadly. I'm 20 months on from finding out my husbands double life (it really was a double life) all I can say is it's broken me. I wanted to fix it, he promised me it meant nothing, he's been the model H since but slowly I'm seeing the old secretive side creep back in.. don't think he's up to anything as such but the workaholic obsessive behaviour is back and the pattern is creeping close to repeat. I think a lot about the lies and how little her cared for me and the kids and that plays on and on in my mind often. I found pictures of them happily on holiday together-often I wake in the morning to one of those images and it's plain torture. Will this ever stop I wonder 💁♀️ I used to be so in love with my husband, now I feel empty and some days don't even like looking at him. I take my wedding rings off occasionally just to free myself from feeling like I'm living a lie (which I am) no one knows what this wonderful man has done to me. I'm financially tied for now but I don't see me fixing this marriage anymore. I'm plodding along until I feel safe and strong enough to get out. The boys are young still and both have autism so I need to tread carefully as ultimately I need to do what's right for them.
It’s often the little things OP. In my case I found a load of songs/poems in a drawer from 11 years previously, I knew immediately who they were about and hearing him singing them— (he’s a musician too) and had recorded them to CD, made me think ‘what if he had died and I had just come across all these’on clearing out. A stupid thought I know but couldn’t get it out my head. All I can say is in my case I think it was a one off period of time but it made me feel extremely second rate, I’ve never had a single poem/song, this person was21 and he was 41. He describes at as a crush and he went too far, but it wasn’t cheating (although there was a lot of texting between them at the time too) thing is though to me it sure feels like cheating . Like yourself OP I decided to be more myself, make more friends etc and feel more confident that if I decide bullocks to it, I’m in a better place mentally
From the outside ours did. We appear happy. Deep down I have never forgiven and I am always worried about the possible next time.
Many people will tell you they know this person and that person who forgave and moved on now theyre stronger than ever but that's what we want people to think. We don't want people to know that we were weak enough to not leave them and then we weren't happy, we were always wondering what they're doing and who theyre messaging. We always go over that period to some extent and always wonder how we could be treated this way and why we let it happen.
You can continue on playing happy families but deep down I don't think it ever goes away. Hasn't for me after more than 15 years but no one who knows me would suspect a thing. I wallow in depression as a result of it in my own and have isolated myself from much of the world these days. It ruined my life.
I have said all this many times on here. There's an identical thread at least once a week asking the same.
Alongtheway I am sending you flowers
I wonder how many men and women conceal how they are really feeling. There is only so long you can mope around, crying and complaining to friends and family. You have to make a decision to stay and work it out or cut your losses.
In some ways it is better when very few know of your infidelity as it can go on to define your marriage. Though it was and is painful and turned your world upside down, there has got to be more meaning to your union.
I understand why people stay and why they leave. Some relationships/marriages have a lot of issues- infidelity is one of them. Whilst other relationships are not worth giving up.
I think it takes a strong person to stay and work it out. Initially the emotions you go through are enough to send you off the rails.
I really hate the way it has changed me. We always used to go to bed together but this stopped (and was one of the signs that something was wrong), he didnt want to come to bed with me as he was busy whatsapping her. He does come to bed with me now but i am too scared to leave him and go to bed early incase he tries to contact her. Which is frankly stupid.
He has cut all contact with her and tells me that they have not contacted each other since, i stalk them both on whattsapp and he is never on it much, she is always on it. I hate doing it, but i cant stop.I dont know why he wouldnt delete her off facebook. He has always maintained it was him and she was just a friend and innocent in all this. He was very insistent on her innocence in all this. But it takes 2 for an EA. I know that there are so many ways to contact each other and i would probably never know. its this paranoia that sends you round the bend.
I think he said he didnt love me to stop me from killing friend and telling her boyfriend. By saying that, if we wanted to work on things i had to tow the line, not telling people, not telling her boyfriend, DP really played a fucking blinder there didnt he.
My biggest fear was that he would walk out and leave. But he had 4 solid chances to go (2 of them i asked him to go), and he hasnt, i dont think he had any intention of leaving, was just managing the situation his way.
Same as you OP, i am working on me, going out with friends, sorting my finances out, trying to change things at work which have made me really unhappy, joining the gym again and starting my hobbies again. I want to be in a position so that if it happens again or i am at a point where i think "fuck it", i have the strength to tell him to go and not crumble. I hate the fact that i begged and pleaded and bargained, but i was desperate.
I dont want to keep telling my friends all about it as i am sure they are bored to death with it, but i need to talk about it and get different view points. I started AD's this week, i hope they work as i really cant cope with the despair i feel.
Oh and i changed friends name to slag in my phone, childish but makes me smile.
Why do you still have her number?
Why are you stalking her on FB and WhatsApp?
You need to break ALL contact in order to heal and move on. You are making her more important than she needs to be. She is taking up far too much of your headspace. Seeing her profile and status updates will not benefit you in any way.
You are right - if your dp wants to contact her he will find a way. You are not chained to the hip. Being fearful will not stop anything from happening in future - it only puts you on edge and steals your joy today. Your dh has to put measures in place to make you feel safe as he messed up not you.
Why did you beg, plead and bargain? Your dp should have being doing the begging.
I don’t think it will make us stronger, maybe individually happier in the long run if we do stay together but not stronger. It makes me realise how this whole life we have had always been balancing on a fine point and actually always will. But I am more than the life I have with him, if it tips the other way that could actually be a better life!?
I would say delete her number or store it somewhere like in an email folder in case you ever feel you need it.
I had days where I would look up the ow, has her listed as c you next Tues in my phone. Although looking at her on social media made me laugh at her pitiful life and photos, it actually would send me on a downward spiral for the day and make me feel rubbish. Now if I’m tempted to look her up, I think to myself do not let her steal a moment more of your time, don’t let them both (DH and her) and what they did occupy our mind. It mostly works.
My partner of 2.5 years was about to cheat on me and I found out. He cheated on his ex wife and all his girlfriends, I thought I was different and he’d changed. More fool me.
PrimroseDot- I could have written your op. In fact, if any of my friends are reading this they probably think that it is me!
I know I will never trust my DH again, and because of that I don’t really want to stay with him. I know I am OK on my own, but due to worry about the affect of divorce on my DCs and also how difficult I will struggle financially, I am still trying to decide what to do.
It’s comforting to know that I’m not the only one that has looked up the ow online. But no good comes of it as it makes you feel rubbish about yourself.
I know eventually I will be ok but divorce is so painful. Sometimes I wish that I could have let it go, that maybe I should have tried harder and not thrown it in his face so much. But it hurts so bloody much doesn’t it? How do you ever get over the lies?
It haunts me.
She looked me up.. then told me everything! Yay lucky me. She had to be at least 10 years younger, amazingly pretty / skinny and child free of course. It haunts me to..! It's not going to go away, I've convinced myself of that much. We are just about to head off on our summer holiday for two weeks, he will spend most of that time head in his laptop, personally I'd rather he didn't even come along. I'm also hedging my bets on him leaving for meetings half way through.. hasn't said so yet but highly likely. I wish I was stronger and could shout from the rooftops what a vile man he's been!!
There’s just so much to think about, it isn’t as simple as just walking away, that would actually be so much easier.
The lies haunt me too, it really hurts to know that I will actually never know the truth, even if he is telling the full truth, I will never actually know what happened. It’s the little things that haunt me, the conversations they shared, what actually went through his mind when making the decision to cheat. It’s not comprehensible to me- I cant imagine acting that way. The pain he has caused me is just immense, how to you move on from being so hurt by someone you never imagined could hurt you this way
how to you move on from being so hurt by someone you never imagined could hurt you this way
You don't, as many of us have replied, many still live with it daily. Sure we don't complain to anyone in our lives about it, it doesn't consume our every day. But I know it's the cause of my depression, anxiety and the reason I have gradually isolated myself over the years.
Never got over the hit to my self esteem and don't expect I ever will. Not because I choose this. But it's just how its affected me long term.
You are not very long after finding out. It's to be expected you will think of it every day. My DH had an EA, it took me a good year for it not to be on my mind every single day. I think physical would be worse. Be kind to yourself. If you want to work at it and get through it it will take time.
I don't trust my DH the same way. He's thrown that in my face in the past and said we should split up because of it, as I pointed out, this is the cross i have to bear now. If I left him I would never trust anyone in that same way again. As I absolutely did not see it coming. It changed me.
You probably won't trust anyone in the same way again, but if you want to be with him and think it can work some day, battle on. Maybe keep a diary of your feelings so you can see if you are moving on and set yourself a time limit perhaps to see if you are moving forward if you are worried about wasting years in a state of limbo?
I wonder if this is just a phase and I will come crashing down eventually!?
I'm 6 years down the line and so many things you've said echo with me.
It isn't the same but it's mostly very good. I know I could do it on my own if I needed to and so the balance between us is much healthier.
I still put myself first a lot more than I ever used to. I go out with my friends more and i have a lot more confidence generally.
Completely off topic but as a matter of interest, are you German by any chance? The reason I ask is because your cadence of speech is so beautifully and eloquently germanic.
Anyway, back on topic. Yes, I think it is possible to forgive and forget. The question is whether you have had enough time to have got to this point.
When you say it feels like a new relationship, do you mean that you’re experiencing a new honeymoon period? If so then I think you’re definitely on the right track.
This topic comes up an awful lot on mumsnet and other forums.
I don't know why but for some reason the responses on this particular thread deviate from the norm. They seem more hopeful and less painful than other threads.
Generally there are a large amount of responses saying no you never fully forgive and move on, and they tried and tried for X amount of years and then just cut their losses and moved on and wished they did it sooner.
Primrosedot, you sound like you are doing amazing!!
I certainly think you can move on if the underlying relationship is good. In my case I think far less about his stupidity on that front and far more about his secretive porn addiction which seems to have started around the time I found him out (he doesn’t know I know). That aspect has pissed me off just as much to be honest as it’s compounded the negative feelings about him from my angle. I’m still biding my time at the moment and paying stuff down
@thepinkp. Sounds very much like my situation. Only 6/7 weeks into finding out. He took her for days out when he said he was working, stayed overnight in a hotel with her when he said he was working, went to her house when he said he was working. Met her daughter, bought her Xmas presents. It wasn’t just a fling, it was a full blown deception, living a double life. I can’t reconcile that with the person I married.
user147 I agree that a relationship can be saved if there are no other issues.
mylifestartstoday I am sorry for your pain. I do not think I could forgive and reconcile with dh if he had met ow for days/nights out/bought gifts/met her DC or family. This was a heavily invested relationship not a fling. I could not get past the planned deception. Was it a short or long term affair?
I know a lot of comments on here are along the lines of "once a cheat always a cheat" and "dump his sorry a$$" but i do believe once you work on yourself, you can really move on.
I am just over a year post discovery (he didn't tell me, I found out and asked him to leave). We split for 3 months and I think then it hit him what he lost (we have 2 young children too). I also made sure he stayed with family and not OW but I know he ended it the same day I found out (I made sure of it and I did some things I am not proud of but it wasn't my finest hour!).
At first I didn't deal with it well and ended up going to therapy once a week for 2 months to have an outlet to talk. I'm quite a closed book, I shut down and didn't talk to family or friends despite their efforts to be there for me. I think the therapy worked to some degree to help me understand that sometimes we make bad choices but it doesn't mean we are bad people. I guess I kind of started to see things differently. We talked things through and he moved back in - tbh it was mainly for my kids at first. We went to couples therapy too and I guess now I'm starting to be OK. Trust will never be 100% (at least for a long time) but I don't snoop and I do not grill him on his whereabouts if late home/ out with friends. I still respect his privacy and likewise I expect him to respect mine. If he is going to do something, it will come out and there are no second chances so he loses everything.
I think communication is massive too. We talk about issues and concerns more now than we did pre-split and I think it is because we both didn't want to acknowledge when things were going badly. Now If I am upset at him I try to calmly explain why and vice versa. Its not perfect but I am hoping it works out, they say it can take anything between 2 and 5 years to recover from an affair so patience is key.
Too many people are quick to jump ship. People make mistakes, ok this was a big one but try to move forward and work on the problems that led to it.
I'd be done and would divorce him.
@Faith50. As far as I know at least 12 months. She left her husband because he found out about them. It was just a fling up until that point I think, but once she made the move and left her husband, mine felt guilty and carried on. She started paying for trips out and he didn’t say no. I’m not blaming only her, he’s a twat, but she pushed it in a direction he never wanted to go. He had no intention of leaving, he was hoping it would fizzle out, I think he was scared she would contact me. Now he’s ended it with her, he thinks we could work it out 😂
Momoney Thanks for sharing. I am pleased life has worked out for you. Whether you stay or leave you will feel hurt and will need to find it in your heart to forgive so you can heal and move on. Were feelings involved?
mylifestarts 12 months of deceit is hard to get over. I suspect your dh was scared the ow would confess so he tried to keep a happy medium. Who was he introduced as when he met her daughter?
This thread is giving me a bit of a lifeline - found out three days ago, whilst on holiday abroad with kids. I’m reeling and feel sad, angry and sick most of the time. DH has reacted as well as could be hoped for but it’s very early days. This thread makes me feel a bit less alone.
@Faith50 - Why do you still have her number?
Why are you stalking her on FB and WhatsApp?
When it first happened i was convinced he was still in contact with her, she said he wasnt, he said he wasnt, funny things like i would leave for work, as soon as my car was off the drive she would be online, he, of course had his last seen turned off. He turned it back on at my request and i do now genuinely believe they are not in contact. I wanted to know if they were as i would have ended it there and then, i wanted to know i wasnt wasting my time trying again.
As for facebook she never posts, but it knocked me sick every time she liked one of DP's posts. I think she is under the impression we are all still friends and is carrying on as normal. I have met her face to face and looking back and further things i found she lied to my face. She just blames her mental health and "her head was up her arse", oh, thats ok then.
I begged as i didnt want him to leave, hindsight is wonderful as i know now that he would never have left, i wanted him to love me again. I really thought he was going to leave me for friend. But he claims he never would have as he is not interested in her like that. I think bullshit.
Picked up my AD's going to try them but for the last few days i have been feeling better and calmer. I even stayed in bed when he got up, as i said before i dont like leaving him on his own incase he got back in contact with her, but today i left him. Small victories.
I could have forgiven a drunken one night stand. What I couldn't forgive were the lies and deceit that will always go hand in hand during an affair. I do think that someone who is capable of this level of deceit is not a good person and not one I wanted to stay married to. I did try for six months but in the end I remember looking at him and thinking I'd not be able to hold my head up again if I remained in the marriage.
@Needsomebottle I think I will start to keep a diary, I eel better writing my feeling down.
@WomblingBy no I'm not German :-), I mean not so much a honeymoon period in that everything is great, like it just feels new and different and I don't know him well (sounds crazy as I've know him a long time!).
glad the thread is a support for lots of us, as I do feel alone with this in real life a lot of the time,
I still spend probably 25% of my day thinking of it, but that's an improvement from 99% of my time.
So many everyday things stir up horrible memories, feelings and thoughts for me of the whole thing. I now hate hearing about my dh work day, as it all happened "at work." I get so anxious on a Sunday night and Monday as its the start of the work week. He has a company social thing this week- he has promised to only go for a couple of hours but its not the actual going out bothering me, its the fact that its the exact circumstances it all started in- the memories of it. This probably makes no sense.
Anyway this week I have kept busy and tomorrow when I know he's out, I will take the kids to the cinema to keep my mind from thinking about it all.
Your dp must cut all contact if you have any chance of making it work. Why is he resisting cutting her off? This would be deeply concerning for me and make me question his need to watch her from afar. He is offering you no reassurance and delaying your healing. The fear has got to go. If someone wants to do a thing they will find a way. Make up your mind what you want and focus less on what he wants. The ball is in your court and he needs to know this.
flamingjune I could not cope with a carefully planned ongoing affair that takes lies on top of lies to keep it going. The thought that my dh could consistently betray me would destroy any future for us.
primtose everything you are feeling is totally normal. You will have days when you think you are fine and then, wham, something will stir it up.
@Faith50 i think so. He took her on holiday (not a cheap one either). That is how I found out, he sent me a photo claiming to be of the day it was sent but I had suspicions and checked the date stamp and it wasn't the same day. Then when he returned from his "business trip" ( it was partially a business trip!) I checked his passport and offered to wash the clothes in the suitcase and found what i needed. I confronted him a few days after.
Tbh we had drifted apart, didn't communicate and weren't in a good place. He said she was someone to talk to initally then feelings developed. So it was full on emotional and physical. It killed me inside (and out). Nothing compares to the hurt caused by infidelity.
The seperation did us good. The time for space and evaluation is really important because like most I was adamant it was over and I was done. But I could see the remorse and guilt (and tbh a year on I can still see it in him because he knows how much he hurt me). That, coupled with the counselling sessions and kids was the desire to try again. If at any point I felt he wasn't remorseful I am sure it would be a different story, but through seeing the guilt and shame I wanted to put into my marriage to save it.
But the reason i say work on yourself is because i allowed myself to be in this state where DH was my world. That world came crashing down and I realised you really can't rely or depend on anyone other than yourself. I want my kids to see mum as a strong independent woman but also forgiving, not that i want them to ever know. I haven't forgotten, I know I won't but I know I won't stand for it again. Like I said, people make mistakes but twice is not a mistake.
@Faith50 i see you're on anti depressants - A word of advice, these have craxy side affects and actually made me batsh!t cray cray!!! I ended up snapping at everyone around me due to the stress and they helped with sleep for about 5 minutes then i was alone with my thoughts the entire night.
Be careful as they can become addictive xx
@PrimroseDot you sound like me! I have my triggers but as the year has gone by it has reduced from 100% to maybe 40% of my thoughts. Something so innocent and meaningless to others can have a tremendous effect on me, but I am learning to deal with that (we went to couples counselling and attend when we feel we are regressing slightly, which to be fair hasn't been recent at all).
Good luck, take each day as it comes. You sound like you're doing great at 25%!
momoney That discovery must have floored you. The level of deceit to cover his tracks. Making up business trips to spend time with ow. How do you recover from that? Does your dh take you on holiday?
Have those feelings gone?
It is important to have time for yourself; hobbies, socialise separately.
Do your family members know? How have they been towards your dh?
Both of our parents know and have been supportive.
@faith50 yes defo floored me but like I said, time and patience is key. Each day gets a bit easier and I am hoping longer term this is the best for us both and we look back as the turning point in our marriage which made it stronger. Positive thinking.
Yes all family know. His family refused to believe it and blamed me for the first 6 months (I was a sh1t wife to make him do that, yes i made HIM do it can you believe it!) But again, forgiving in order to move on. as long as he is in my life, so are they.
We are going on a nice holiday at the end of the year actually. Looking forward to it. He suggested a break in April but I daid3no as I wanted to do a bigger family Christmas break (to avoid spending with inlaws mainly but of course he doesn't know that!!!).
I think he is over it. When we watch movies or shows that verge on deciet and deception he is quick to hold my hand, remind me he loves me or cuddle me. I think its also a reminder to him he f**ked up. I don't want him to continuously do that, we just need to get on with life, keep communicating and look forward.
My family were super. My parents respected the decision to try again but equally supportive when I wasn't sure what i was going to do. They helped with the kids, helped me generally and allowed me time and space. My siblings still hold it against him but they understand I have chosen to move forward therefore they are too. Begrudgingly of course! So famiyly events aren't how they were before but slowly slowly with time I hope we all get back to a sense of calm and normality with no hosility or unspoken grudges
momoney It does become easier as time goes on. At first it is all you think about and all too consuming. For for first two months I was functioning on the outside but losing it on the inside. There are times it does not enter my mind for hours. I am now truly engaged when with others and not half thinking about the pain and how crap I feel. It is wonderful!
O@faith50 how long has it been for you? If you don't mind me asking?
@Faith50 i dont think I tagged you properly before!!!
Also i am glad to hear you're in recovery. I guess when you're married for like 50 years, this part of your marriage will always be the worse but you'll have some amazing highs, a few other lows but it'll become a faded distant memory (or at least I hope).
momoney Just over a year ago. The first two or three months were horrendous. The pain is no longer there. Sometimes there is sadness. It is fading each day. It helps that dh has been nothing but loving and patient.
faith how have you managed to forgive? I seriously don’t know how to do it. I’ve tried and sometimes I think he wasn’t patient enough but I’m not sure I ever can.
I’m so sad to be getting divorced but I can’t seem to let it go. It hurts so fucking much and I’m not sure I can ever recover fully from the lies.
Too many people are quick to jump ship
I wasn't and it's ruined my life. I don't believe once a cheat always a cheat but I do believe once trust is gone the hurt party never truly gets over that and will always be wondering what the other half is doing. But I'm still here after more than 15 years so I can't say I haven't given it a good go.
but i do believe once you work on yourself, you can really move on.
Oh now I get it. It's all my fault. If only I had thought of this over the years...
Honestly I'm glad you forgave and moved on, even though I think it's crazy just to forget how badly someone whos supposed to love you treated you but everyone deals differently, you are definitely in the very very minority but for those of us who were affected for life from it, "working on ourselves" isn't always the answer. Maybe it was my fault he did what he did and if only I worked on myself before it he might have stayed loyal... Who'd have thought that's how it worked....
But next time I'm going through a downtime because of it and am feeling at my worst I'll just remember it's my fault for not working on myself....
how have you managed to forgive? I seriously don’t know how to do it. I’ve tried and sometimes I think he wasn’t patient enough but I’m not sure I ever can.
I don't either. But I only half believe those that say they did. Anyone who knows me in real life thinks the same about us. And I'd say the same out loud. It's only here on these threads that pop up every few days that I admit I have never and will never get over it.
But it's good for the cheater if the other party just gets over it and they get their life back after having their fun... I just don't know how anyone can honestly do it. But up thread someone said you just need to "work on yourself" and everything will be better.....
@AlongTheWay yes i said work on yourself, but you've taken it out of context. What i meant by that whatever decision you make from the experience (to stay or go), use it as a learning to develop yourself and independence. I.e. have a life of your own, finances of your own etc so if you do want to split you are you not 'we' and have an 'I can do this'mentality, which sadly a lot of women are scared of.
Re: the moving on part, life is too short. I personally made a choice to forgive so working on forgiveness means moving forward. I never said I forgot, infact i think i said i haven't forgotten in one of my posts. Why am i going to keep bringing it up in a marriage I have chosen to continue with, it doesn't make sense. That would be a constant reminder and would just keep taking me back. If he does it again, he does it again and then what? I move to the next chapter of my life.
There wasn't any need for the sarcasm really. I get your experience is different to mine but you don't know me and I don't know you so our view on life, experiences and relationships are different. If you've not managed to forgive after 15 years then maybe it wasn't for you but I was simply sharing my experience ands views because working on myself (theough therapy) made it MUCH easier and at NO POINT DID I SAY it was the fault of the cheated spouse and the cheater gets away without any implications.
@Faith50 We are still in the early days but I am glad to hear you're getting better each day xx wish you all the best in the journey ahead xx
momoney I really admire that you can make a decision to forgive and move on. I have just not been able to do it. The hurt consumes me and that means I lash out (verbally) at him when I’m hurting because he caused that hurt. I genuinely don’t know how you let go.
@needtorecover have you tried therapy (individual and couples)?
Why am i going to keep bringing it up in a marriage I have chosen to continue with, it doesn't make sense
I don't either. Never mention it. Doesn't mean I've forgotten, or that it didn't ruin my life, or that I still personally don't go over it often, or that it caused lifelong debilitating depression and anxiety, etc.
Just because some of us can't let go or forgive doesn't mean we bring it up and talk about it all the time. Usually the opposite.
There wasn't any need for the sarcasm really
Apologies you took it that way but I took you're pretty offensively myself. Even the post above kind of alludes to what others must be doing like bringing it up etc. The tone is a bit off IMO and that's just IMO, anyway no need to further engage. Have a great day.
@Alongtheway I apologise if I have caused any offence. I guess this is a sensitive subject and people will read into comments in their own TOV because we don't know each other.
I hope you have a lovely day and best wishes for the future.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Get started »
Please login first.