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Infidelity

(126 Posts)
Susancrushed Sun 03-Nov-19 12:53:49

It’s been a year and 8 months and I cannot get my husbands affair out of my head entirely. He does not think about it all and says it’s the biggest mistake of his life. I’m trying to contain my thoughts when they come up in my head. It seems after having a good day or evening date I bring it up. I am not angry just questioning his character. It’s been a long road and I don’t wish this on my worst enemy. Anyone can give me personal feedback

itwasalovelydreamwhileitlasted Sun 03-Nov-19 13:03:23

It's hard but if you've made the decision to stay with him then you have to stop bringing it up. It's fairer on both of you if you can't move past it then it's better to end the marriage?

I'm not saying you'll ever not think about it because you will but over time it won't consume you the way it once did.

When you bring it up how does he act?

doublebarrellednurse Sun 03-Nov-19 13:10:36

It's not as simple as don't talk about it and it's pretty terrible advice tbh. You can't not talk about trauma it just gets worse.

What is still unnerving you?
Have you had any therapy?

If you're not feeling safe in the relationship then something is amis, that said we are 18 months out and very strong again but sometimes we do have to talk about it still. I don't talk about everything that comes into my head but I give it 48 hours, if it's still nagging at me I do.

He probably does feel proper remorse, but you don't agree to stay someone who hurt you and just never mention that they shattered your world for a time.

They say it takes two years really to move past it, the thoughts and anxiety to really fade.

Good luck

chloedee123 Sun 03-Nov-19 13:13:32

I’m nearly 2 years gone from my DP infidelity. It never completely goes (not for me anyway) I like to think of it as a defence mechanism in my brain. I can forgive but i can’t forget. About a year ago I actually realised I used this as a metaphorical stick to beat him with every time I was feeling down or insecure. It was me that was stopping myself from moving on. I’m still very much happy with DP now I have learnt that I don’t HAVE to forget but I can deal with the feelings better now knowing when I do feel upset or triggered I can speak to DP and let him know I’m feeling particularly sensitive and he understands and we can move on together.

itwasalovelydreamwhileitlasted Sun 03-Nov-19 13:20:38

It's not as simple as don't talk about it and it's pretty terrible advice tbh

What's the point of throwing it back in his face at every opportunity either? That's not moving past it?? Save it for during therapy not after every "good day or evening date"

YOU decided to stay with him therefore at some point you've got to take ownership of that decision. As PP said at some point If you keep throwing the topic like a hand grenade into every conversation then you will not be allowing yourself time to come to terms with what's happened - it will consume you and you'll become bitter and resentful

doublebarrellednurse Sun 03-Nov-19 15:20:14

There's a middle ground between grenade throwing and silence though. There doesn't need to be such dramatic swings.

Controlled and calm conversation is actually pretty essential to recovering from trauma.

My husband and I talk about it when we need to. I probably need that more than he does. He's not offended by it and he deals with it because he caused this. He's taking responsibility for his actions rather than expecting me to carry the load.

If this was a trauma about a car accident would we be advising people to shut up about it if they ever want to get back in a car?

We have boundaries on how long we talk about it without a break, on shouting and accusations, and a time out protocol. Things that were essential at the beginning but were much more natural now.

Jabbercocky Sun 03-Nov-19 23:34:24

Trauma doesn’t leave you - that’s part of the definition. You’re one person before it, and another person after it. Unlike a mere injury, you don’t simply fully heal and carry on your way. That is a cold, hard fact nobody tells you when you’re trying to rebuild a relationship after infidelity. You kid yourself you can get over it but if you haven’t experienced such heartbreaking betrayal before you have no idea of the task before you. Many say, years down the line, that if they’d known how hard it would be to get as far as they have, they wouldn’t have bothered at all.

If I had my time again I would have opted for the painful ending as opposed to the endless pain. You’ve already decided to stay and sunk your heart into the relationship a second time so instead I’ll give you this advice: you owe him nothing. Live your life by your rules and never compromise on your dreams and aspirations. To get over this (in as much as it is possible) you need to experience deep, radical personal growth; and that won’t happen without you taking charge of your life and channelling your energy mostly into yourself. The details of how to do that are known only to you - be utterly selfish with your time because this is not a part-time endeavour. His life will change as the result of this. He’s going to have to put up with that - make changes himself - try to keep up or fall by the wayside. And while your doing this, have a zero tolerance policy on bullshit from anyone. Life’s too short and you’ve got enough problems. Be the captain of your ship.

Louise831 Mon 04-Nov-19 00:10:41

I agree with @Jabbercocky, personal growth is the best way to overcome the pain and insecurity that infidelity leaves you with. After my husbands affair, I spent 18 months feeling insecure, anxious, worried if it was because of something I'd done, questioned if he still loved me etc etc then all of a sudden, I just stopped giving a shit and began thinking of myself much more positively. Instead of comparing myself to the OW, I began to feel sorry for her, how desperate/moral less she must have been to have knowingly had and affair with a married man and to inflict that pain on another person. I began to feel good about the type of person I was because I would never do that to another person. I began a new hobby, had sleepovers with friends (yes in my 30's 🤣) bought new clothes, started having my hair and nails done more frequently. I just invested in myself. I no longer feel worried about my husband having an affair/leaving me because I know that I will be ok. I know I will still have a great life and will go on to meet someone else, whereas before my husband had an affair, I never even thought about not being with my husband. My new confidence has actually improved our relationship and I'm very happy but it's not the same relationship and I'm not sure I'll ever see him the way I did before his affair but that's his fault. I know I will never again end up in the absolute state I was in when I discovered my husbands affair. Work on yourself for yourself.

doublebarrellednurse Mon 04-Nov-19 07:23:56

Yes to everything @Louise831 said. Bang on.

You won't see him the same again but then you didn't see him accurately before. You'll see what is actually there and the person he becomes through this process and that is not a bad thing.

Fochit Mon 04-Nov-19 08:46:20

@Louise831
Please go over to this thread and post again what you’ve said here x

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/relationships/3733458-Rebuilding-marriage-after-infidelity

hellsbellsmelons Mon 04-Nov-19 09:30:03

If you haven't already, then get THIS BOOK and read it together!
It's the longer harder road to try to forgive! You are reminded daily, just by looking at him, what he put you through.
Just because you said you'd try, doesn't mean you have to keep trying if you don't want to.
Have you had counselling?
Just for you. Then you can have joint counselling.
He needs to understand that you can't just 'get over' this.
It's a process and it's a long one.
Good luck OP>

Theresa45 Sat 09-Nov-19 07:12:57

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

ScreamingLadySutch Sat 09-Nov-19 10:36:04

What @Louise831 said.

Big respect to you, Louise, and I bet you your husband respects you a lot more than he used to, for that atittude.

I am sure he knows, he does it again, you will move on without him.

ScreamingLadySutch Sat 09-Nov-19 10:40:32

This book: "Sometimes, upon discovery of an affair, the unfaithful person “wakes up” and wants to save his or her marriage. However, most betraying spouses are completely unprepared for the ensuing tumult, emotional roller-coaster, and trauma reactions by the injured partner. They often make terrible mistakes in their efforts to calm their spouses and stop the earthquake that has shaken their marriages to the core, inadvertently hastening the path to divorce.

As an infidelity specialist for 23 years, Linda J. MacDonald has identified certain behaviors on the part of unfaithful spouses that determine the success or failure to save their marriages.

"How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair" provides a practical road map for unfaithful spouses who wish to have another chance with their partners. Find out for yourself what the difference is between those who blow up their marriages in the aftermath of affairs and those who successfully manage to repair and rebuild their marriages into better-than-ever relationships. "

This book was my test. My H couldn't be bothered to read it. www.amazon.com/Help-Your-Spouse-Heal-Affair-ebook/dp/B004ZG6UF4?tag=mumsnetforu03-21

Louise831 Sat 09-Nov-19 12:01:37

@ScreamingLadySutch thanks. Our relationship is better now in many ways, we are both much more considerate of each other....so it is possible to build an even better relationship after infidelity but it takes a lot of work from both sides. It hasn't been easy, I spent 18 months feeling seriously hurt. My husband did everything he could have to help but ultimately it was the work I did on myself that stopped the pain. My husbands excuse for his affair was that I was always busy and we didn't have enough time together. For months I blamed myself for this but then I realised that actually, it was his fault for not talking to me about it and asking for more of my time. How could I have prevented it when I didn't know he was unhappy? Then I spent over a year wondering what was so special about the OW, then I realised she wasn't special at all, she just made herself available to a married man and she must have been pretty unhappy herself to accept the dregs of someone else's husband (it did help that she was older and less attractive 🙈). My husband said he would never have chosen to be with her even if he was single, that she was just there and he'd even told her this but she didn't care. She was married too. My advice to the OP would be that you can't change the situation but you can change how you think about it. Start looking at yourself in a more positive light, what are your best bits/qualities? What do your children and friends love about you? I realised that the better I felt, the better I took care of myself and people noticed. My friends said I appeared more confident, I noticed that I got more glances from men (and so did my husband!) I also made sure I had online access to joint savings/accounts and I know my legal rights. Use this situation to empower yourself.

doublebarrellednurse Sat 09-Nov-19 12:10:45

@Louise831 I always find the "affairing down" phenomenon interesting. My husband says he found someone who reflected more how he felt about himself, fatter than me, unhealthier, self absorbed, needy and desperate for attention: it took me a long time to get my head around being replaced by her until it clicked that she was so pathetic she was happy to play side piece. Now I pity her.

My own healing really made a difference for us too. Taking control of my life and learning about myself has been so important.

@ScreamingLadySutch my husband said that book was a massive turning point in how he approached things and how he was able to leave all the ego behind and actually face what he had done. It's a brilliant recommendation.

Louise831 Sat 09-Nov-19 12:37:54

@doublebarrellednurse it confused me for a long time because I just couldn't see what he saw in her. When I first discovered messages on his phone, I pictured someone younger, more attractive maybe more successful etc but it was in fact the opposite. When I digged a bit further and saw photos of her, In her underwear, I couldn't believe what I was seeing. My husband is attractive and even I thought he could have done better!!! I think she knew he was out of her league so took what little she could. She put him on a pedestal and he loved the attention (told me so). I asked in if she had an amazing personality or was really intelligent (judging by her messages, she was neither) and he said no. It's baffling. Luckily for me, I rarely think of it anymore.

Louise831 Sat 09-Nov-19 12:42:43

@Susancrushed take note!

YouJustDoYou Sat 09-Nov-19 13:27:25

10 years down the line for me. I still suffer nightmares sometimes. Still can't look at make female porn because it makes me think of what he was doing with other women. Still can't always trust him. Still don't feel like I'm truly loved by him, despite how he is with me. Still great friends with him, though sometimes struggle with this as a concept. It's a hard path to continue with

YouJustDoYou Sat 09-Nov-19 13:28:04

*male female

YouJustDoYou Sat 09-Nov-19 13:29:07

@Louise831 Oh, that's oh so very true!

Louise831 Sat 09-Nov-19 13:36:45

@YouJustDoYou this is awful. People seriously underestimate the pain caused by cheating. Does your husband know how you feel? You don't deserve to live your life feeling like this. Have you had any counselling?

YouJustDoYou Sat 09-Nov-19 13:45:41

@Louise831 I guess that's the thing - he kind of, not dismisses it, but feels awkward about it. He knows I only stayed because a)financially I couldn't leave and b( my little old dog would've had to have been given up, as where I lived at the time there were zero flats I could afford on my own pay that would accept pets, and it wouldve killed that little dog to be given away. He was a special, special little soul that had been my only friend for almost 20 years, so i just cpuldnt give him up just so i could leave my cheating arsehole partner. I haven't had counselling, as it's £40 an hour and that's a week's worth of food. I feel like I can't justify that much money for someone to tell me stuff I've kind of figured out on my own.

Magicpaintbrush Sat 09-Nov-19 13:52:02

Four and a half months down the line for me from discovering my DH's ONS with a woman he used to work with. Finding everything a huge struggle. I want to stay in the marriage, work through it, be stronger on the other side etc and I can say that if my DH had not shown the sheer amount of remorse and regret and done everything in his power to try and make things right then I would have walked. I now find myself in a place where I try to be positive and paste on a smile to get through the day. We have talked and talked and done the whole hysterical bonding thing and there is really not a lot else that can be said, it's just the fact remains and always will of what he did, and nothing either of us can say or do can wind the clock back and change that - it is irreversible, and I struggle with that every second of the day, it is always pressing on me like a black cloud hovering above my thoughts and tainting everything that happens throughout my day. Wednesday was fucking awful, I was alone in the house and the thoughts wouldn't stop tormenting me and I was literally on my knees howling and sobbing, ended up on the floor in the foetal position just sobbing and sobbing in pain. Those are the days when I can't get the mental image of him with her out of my head, the better days are the ones where I manage to keep direct thoughts of it away by keeping busy and occupied. He is absolutely filled with dread that this will change the way I feel about him over time and I will end up leaving him. I have no doubt that he loves me, but that just confuses me more than ever - how could he do that to me? How? He himself doesn't understand his own actions and can't articulate why.

I look at our situation and weigh everything up. I have a man who I know loves and adores me - but a man who is deeply flawed. I will never be able to trust ANY man again, this I know, so what is the point of leaving and being with somebody else when I already have somebody who I love and who is (now) devoted to me, when I wouldn't trust somebody new anyway. What is the point of leaving, when it would ruin our DDs life (she would NEVER get over it) and leave us all financially wrecked as well because we can't afford to live without the financial support of the other. We both already know nobody else would ever match up, not for him or for me. So I just carry on, getting through the days, and feeling condemned to live with the pain of what he did until the day I die. I will NEVER get over this. This is my life now.

YouJustDoYou Sat 09-Nov-19 13:54:19

and I can say that if my DH had not shown the sheer amount of remorse and regret and done everything in his power to try and make things right then I would have walked

I look at our situation and weigh everything up. I have a man who I know loves and adores me - but a man who is deeply flawed. I will never be able to trust ANY man again, this I know, so what is the point of leaving and being with somebody else when I already have somebody who I love and who is (now) devoted to me, when I wouldn't trust somebody new anyway

^All of this.

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