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How do I manage this stage of the crap journey?(55 Posts)
Have name changed in case she is on here but long time MNetter (pom bears, naice ham, penis beaker etc). There are many wise MNetters that have given sage counsel in such situations before and I’d be grateful to hear all sorts of views so that I can get some sense of direction now.
It’s the old story of a cheating husband but the twist is that our teens found the messages, did their own investigations and told me (with the screenshots) over the weekend. They are upset and angry, more on my behalf than their own. My heart is breaking for them, I would never have wanted them to know that about their Dad, but there isn’t much I can do about that now. They had him on a pedestal and it’s hit them hard that he has feet of clay.
For my part, I wasn’t surprised. I had suspected as much, things hadn’t been good between us for a long time. It has been difficult living under the same roof for the last while but for the sake of stability and financial security for the kids I got on with things. He has been emotionally and financially abusive to some extent but not so much that I couldn’t live with it.
When I found out I asked him to stay away for the night (with the agreement of the kids) and then met him away from the house and the kids the following day to discuss what would happen next. He professed that the kids were the number 1 priority, that we should try to maintain things as normal for them as possible, that we needed time to figure out what our next steps were. He agreed that he needed to apologise to the kids but needed prompting from me to realise that he needed to apologise to me too! He didn’t want me to tell them that our marriage was over, thought it would be too much for them right then but I insisted we had to. He had some idea that we could all live together under one roof (him in the spare room) for ten years until the kids finished uni! I was suitably scornful of that but agreed to give some time to consider our living arrangement options.
We came home, he apologised to the kids, told them he had done a stupid thing and reassured them that nothing was their fault (!). I told them that our marriage was over and that we were going to figure out how that would all work. They went off to their rooms and he turned on the tv, asking what was for dinner. Over dinner he chatted and joked with the kids as if he’d just been away on a work trip. I told him that night that him staying in the house wasn’t going to work if he was going to act as though he had done nothing to be ashamed of but he was exactly the same all the following day.
The kids can’t believe I let him stay in the house but deep down I know that they just want him to be punished somehow and then for everything to go back to normal somehow. They aren’t really up for the upheaval of selling the house, two different homes, reduced standard of living, etc. It’s five years before they are all finished secondary school. They want their relationship with him to go back to normal but are deeply uncomfortable for my sake with him acting as if all is well.
Any thoughts on how we manage this situation of living under one roof for a few months while we work out more sustainable long term living arrangements? I can’t really handle the atmosphere and the kids witnessing that there are no repercussions for him for having had a year-long affair – I need to change something but don’t know what….
Also I can’t decide whether I want people to know that he’s had an affair or not? I do feel like I want people to know that’s why our marriage ended but in the long-run will I just feel humiliated that people know that? Has anyone who has been through this any perspective on that?
Bumping this - I grateful for any opinions
no real answers from OP as I haven't really gone through this, but I didn't want your post to go unacknowledged.
Until more experienced posters come along, my first thought is that I don't see how YOU can think about this without some space from him. At some stage you need to get angry, and you need to think about you.
And from the other side of a divorce I'd say, that the children can be better off with 2 separated parents. We are very happy and that's with a lowered standard of living etc. I regret staying so long in my marriage and modelling that picture of a relationship to my children.
So sorry you're going through this. Having gone through a cheating relationship since, I wouldn't do it again. No second chances. But I do know how difficult it is with children
I hope you have someone in RL to speak to?
I am so sorry you are going through this. And for your children too - really hard for you all.
It sounds like he thinks he has 'got away with it'. I am speechless that he asked uou what was for dinner. But also that maybe you then prepared dinner for him?
You seem pretty clear that your marriage is now over and so he needs to leave. Him staying is going to confuse your children and give him the idea that all will be forgiven. If you feel the marriage is done or even that you need time to decide then he needs to go and go now - you need to show your children that this is not how decent people treat their partners and families.
My exh had an affair so I understand your feelings of not wanting people to know. I had no choice as they made their relationship very public but family and friends were so supportive. There was no 'pity' for me, just outrage at his behaviour (and quite a lot of laughing at how stupid he had been). Gather support around you.
Your children sound amazing and like they have a really good relationship with you. Don't let him control what happens now - decide what you want and what is best for you and your children and make that happen.
I'd ask him to leave again. He's manipulated you into having him back in the house for his own sake, not for the kids' sake.
Honestly as a child whos father had an affair and then parents tried to be separated but living together, it doesnt work. There will always be tension and awkwardness. I was relieved when my father finally moved out. The upheaval afterwards was nothing compared to the atmosphere of us all in one house.
As a child of parents who went through this (then did the ordeal of him moving out, then doing therapy and moving him back in, just for history to repeat itself a few years later), I would advise to get him out, plan how things will work without him then pour your energy into supporting your children.
I was 18 when this happened in my family and although I understand more now, at the time I actually blamed my mum more for letting him stay than I did him for having an affair.
From my teenage black and white perspective, he did something bad but he was sorry and was willing to stay away if that's what we wanted but my mum let him stay just for the atmosphere to be horrible and to have endless arguments about it. That effected my relationship with my mum for a few years, with guilt later for it. Don't do that to your dc.
What he's trying to do is flip the narrative - he's going to act as if everything is normal and he's oh so reasonable and normal dad, and turn you into the "difficult one".
I did make dinner - not "for him" but for us all, seemed churlish not to give him any. But that's how he gets away with it, I know, because I always want to do the decent thing......
Thanks all for the insights - I'm so tired tonight. I think we do have to move on to a separate houses arrangement soon, the atmosphere isn't fair to the kids or to me. Not sure how long we can live like that really....
Really wanted to tell people about the affair this evening - for all the wrong reasons, so that people would think less of him. I do wonder whether it would be ultimately damaging to the kids too if it was widely known......
Please speak to friends and supportive family. It won't hurt the children and it will help you. You need support, and shining a light on it helps.
What damage do you think it would do the dc? They already know the details, and people knowing doesn't reflect on them (or you), he's the one who did something wrong.
Does this line of thinking come from him? I feel like he might be selling you a line protecting him, under the guise of protecting the children?
Staying quiet costs you in potential support and keeping his secret harms you emotionally. It only benefits him.
There's a big difference between, I don't know, putting up a billboard saying "x is a cheating scumbag and I hope he gets dick rot" and speaking to your friends and family about what you're going through.
So sorry you are going through this. And Jesus what an entitled, deluded prick he is. I have no experience. I would suggest you all ask him to leave again. Don't know about legalities about what to do if he refuses, but if you can't get him out, just stop treating him as if you are still a family. Let him fend for himself: cooking, cleaning, washing clothes, everything. As for the kids, I would say let them treat him as they see fit, unless they get offensive, they are rightfully hurt by what he did to you, to the family. Hugs
Op, are you completely sure about your motivations here? I would read this that although you’re saying it’s the kids, that actually it’s you who isn’t up for separate houses and finances etc, and that it’s you who would like to see him act repentant and be punished and then things go back to normal, hence why you don’t want to tell people.
You say nothing about what you want, but all about what the kids apparantly want.
Did you suspect and ignore it, it’s odd your kids knew so well and could find out, but that you personally were clueless.
There is nothing wrong with not wanting it to change, but I think I would recommend thinking hard and being honest with yourself about what you want.
Christ he’s really done a number on you.
Where is your anger.
Find that anger and use it to your advantage.
Don’t try and be mrs bloody nice and helpful to everyone. Fuck that shit.
He’s literally pissed all over you and you’re cooking him dinner?! Why wasn’t your response “YOU COOK DINNER YOU CUNT”
Start telling other people now, because at the moment I think you’re living in a non reality bubble. And that wanker just had his dinner Graciously served to him whilst he’s been fucking someone else for a YEAR.
I think he has to move out and as soon as possible. I would not give him months under the circumstances - I would give him days. Or possibly only one day. I don't think he should stay another night in your home, given his current behaviour.
His latest behaviour is adding insult to injury. He is trying to behave as though he did nothing wrong. He is deliberately messing with your head and also with your children's heads. Should they be learning that a wife accepts her husband's adultery and then makes him dinner that night? That is the situation which he has manipulated you all into.
I think you need to tell him and the kids that now the news has sunk in you are too hurt and horrified to have him under the same roof. He can go and live with the OW, or his parents, or on a friend's couch. But he has no right to stay here after betraying your trust.
The longer this goes on, the more he manages to 'normalise' his infidelity and the harder it is for you to do anything but suck it up and smile. HE KNOWS THIS. He is being very cunning.
You were probably in shock yesterday - maybe still are - and he is cynically taking advantage of you.
Oh and you are right that your kids need to see him 'punished', or at least need to see consequences of him hurting their mum. Don't let them down. He is really messing with their heads now.
I also think he should leave.
However when he was acting the same as normal the next day, what did you expect from him? How did you want him to act? I don’t think it’s fair to agree for him to stay but you want him to act ashamed and embarrassed Indefinitely, in front of you and the kids. What does that even look like?
I know the children found the messages, and I know they are upset, but I don’t think they should be involved in any decisions. They must be young teens if he wants to wait for ten years. You and your husband need to sort this out between you.
If Bluntness is right, that's ok too, op. You need to make decisions based on what you want. (I would caution you that your dh doesn't seem particularly remorseful, and will likely repeat offend, but sometimes people accept that in relationships.)
Either way, speak to a trusted friend or family member, have someone to express emotions with and be your soundboard. It'll help.
He’s sending the kids a really bad message regarding how to treat others and through his behaviour to you and carrying on without consequence, what’s ‘normal’...this could really affect relationships they have in the future.
I understand your turmoil and exhaustion, and wanting to protect your DC, but - THEY KNOW. Also, they do not get to wholly dictate the narrative going forward here. What do YOU want? You ideally should get him out, to clear your head and get rest.
He's having his cake and eating it right now. Family onside, his meals cooked and his skids washed for him, while you suffer.
Tell friends and family and get their support. This wasn't a drunken one off mistake - this is a whole fucking year of him getting his dick wet elsewhere.
The total lack of remorse is what astounds me. Did you even have a conversation on your own with him about this? About your marriage? About how you feel.
Because it seems he chatted with the kids and you are literally the non person in all of this who just gets on and makes everyone dinner.
I think by firstly talking to friends and family it might help a lot. Oh and kick that arsehole out.
I would have thrown the dinner ingredients at him and told him to cook his own dinner, preferably in another kitchen in the OW house.
Don't be a doormat. Get angry, get even.
Sort your finances.
Get tested for STI's.
Bag up his crap.
Find you indignation op! Find it and tell him to get out! Show your dc that cheating and lying and deceiving your loved ones is not ok and has consequences. Prioritise yourself. You have been injured and you need to look after yourself so that you can look after your dc. It sounds like you are putting you and your feelings last in all this. Put your feelings first and you kids will benefit from this because they will have a strong mother whi has the courage and integrity to stand up to lying cheating CF'"s like your husband.. what's for dinner indeed! Your clothes in a black bag on the drive with a dash of do one sauce. You deserve better. Sorry this has happened to you 💐
I am so sorry you are going through this.
My humble opinion is that you should ask him to leave. Tell him to pack some things and go. You need space to think, and to plan for your future. He's the one who's fucked everything up. He can go and bear the consequences of his actions.
Tell him that you cannot bear to be in the same house as him, and that you want him out by the end of the day.
Once again, I'm so sorry.
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