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.
Paying the long game when husband had affair - how do I do it(65 Posts)
Before anyone else says it - I know I'm a fool for wanting my husband back but with reflection I have realised I was partly to blame for his affair.
I have two young children (1&3) and two months ago my husband left me for someone he had 'feelings for' at work. She is 10 years younger than him, works in his office and their relationship developed during a business trip.
He says nothing has happened (not sure about this) and is living alone in a flat leaving me with the children in the house.
He visits the children twice a week and we go out as a family on weekends. We still get on very well but he says he doesn't love me any more.
Looking back I was very preoccupied by our two children and was a bit dismissive and unappreciative of him. I didn't tell him how much I cared and we stopped going out as a couple. I know this is no excuse for his behavior but I do appreciate why he may have fallen for someone who paid him a lot of attention.
Anyway, I do want him back and I would be interested to hear how anyone else has approached this situation - did it work.
I realised too late how much I loved him
Is anything still happening or is the affair over?
You are not a fool for wanting your husband back, not at all. You love him and you want to be with him, simple as that. That does not make you a fool. You are now wiser after 'the event' thats all
I would say first of all give him space, don't try too hard to let him know how you feel about him. Be happy and smiley when you are around him, don't play the victim card, 'poor me' will just push him further away because it will remind him of what he has done. Allow him the space to fall in love with you all over again and the space to 'come and get you' so to speak. Let him do the chasing while you do the luring
Also, let him see what a great mum you are, and how happy you make your children. This is pretty effective on a man who may be missing his kids..
He says nothing has happened and she is not interested anyway.
Whenever I am happy and smiling he seems happy to be with me so I am trying not to play the victim and cry (but sometimes it is bloody hard).
I know I should just forget him as he no longer loves me but I do still love him and I know to a certain extent I pushed him away.
If you love him you will never forget him and unless you have closure of some kind you will never be able to move on. I think the next stage for you as a couple is to become friends, good friends, remember what you loved abut each other in the first place. Just don't rush it, you have all the time in the world, if it is meant to be it will all fall in place.
By the way, once you think you have him interested draw back a little, don't just fall into his arms, make him work for your love. He needs to respect you as well
From another point of view I was in that possition myself and I took him back 3 times before I finally realised. In time it may work out or you may move on. But remember you dont want to spend the rest of your life with someone who may not love you. After 3 years of trying I finally moved on and now I'm happily married to someone else who treats me a million times better and loves my daughter too. You have to stop blaming yourself. Marriage is about riding the rough times with the smooth. so what if you gave your kids more attention than him, firstly he should have been honest about his feelings rather than letting you find out the way you did with no chance to put it right. He sounds very selfish to me, think about yourself and what you want, go out with your friends and spend some time doing the things you love in life and you may just find you dont need him after all. The two of you need to talk because you may rediscover your old love for each other or you may realise you've moved in different directions. Remember being a mum can be a very hard job and you should be proud of yourslf for everything you do for them. Most of all good luck and I hope it all works out for you.
Timeforme - good point about drawing back - he nearly moved back in after the first month away but had second thoughts a couple of days later . Next time I would not be so eagar.
Jmummy - I know you are right and I do hope in time that I either get over him or we move on together. It is this 'middle stage' which is horrible.
I would keep trying to make your own life better and do things you enjoy and not base all happiness on this relationship.Him saying he doesn't love you sounds pretty final but he may change if he sees you become happy and independent although by then you may not want or need him!
I think you should stop blaming yourself for his affair. Small children do take up attention. And love. And energy.
You need to live your life for you. I'm always amazed at the number of men that suddenly find their estranged wives incredibly attractive again when it seems that they are getting on with creating their own lives which may not include these roving spouses. And even if this relationship does not survive, it will be worth doing.
I always think that men are attracted to confident, independent women BUT once they have them they feel threatened by what they first found attractive afterall if he found you attractive then why shouldn't another man? They become more secure and comfortable when we settle down with them, some men even 'mould' their women so that they feel less insecure. Once they have you moulded they start to lose interest and look elsewhere, usually at the younger, independent and confident woman, very much like the one you used to be.
So, I agree, invest in yourself, live your life for you, be happy, confident and independent. Don't be needy or wanting, don't go running every time he throws you a crumb. Play it cool. Think like a man
Time for me - you are spot on. I need to play it cool but be friendly. If he doesn't want me it is not the end of the world - it just feels like it atm.
I think you need to back off from seeing him. You are no longer in a relationship, let him take the kids out at weekends wiyhout you and use the time to start building a new life for yourself, without him.
Are you sure he is not in a relationship with the other woman? How would you know? At the moment it seems as though he has a nice life - independence and flat of his own, plus playing families at weekends when it suits him.
I don't think you're a fool by the way. I stayed with my husband after an affair. But if he is to come back it needs to be to your terms. Part of that is you realising you can go it alone if you have to. Nurture your independence.
Try and find some other mums in your area to spend some time with and find new things to fill your day. Maybe do a fitness class or something. You'll be amazed how much it will change your priorities. Make yourself the centre of your attention rather than him. Plus the more distracted you are the less he will be on your mind.
You know what all mums do this to their husbands when they have kids - the good men realise they are not the centre of their wife's world and their are other priorities that they both share - the wankers on the other hand leave or have affairs - this isn't your fault honey it is his.
Back off - give him some time and space but do not change - he should love you for you the kind lovely woman who does what every other mother dos and puts their children first.
Don´t blame yourslef for him leaving. He must be a bit od a b*stard to leave his wife AND two babies, as he didn´t get enough attention...
The best revenge is having fun. Get a baby sitter (or mum or friend over) and go see a film with friends, or even alone. Go out for a tea, or a drink with friends when you can. Start a new hobby, interest or part time job (don´t know if you already are working fulltime? in that case it´ll be harder, but still try).If you cannot get a babysitter, invite friends and acquaintances to your home.
Go to the hairdresser and have a good haircut. Do exercise and get out of the house as much as possible, with and without your kids.
Have an interesting life without him.
He may want you back then (it´s the werid thing that most men like women a bit independent,a nd not to slavey (not saying you are ), but you may find you no longer want him !
Sorry that this has happened to you. To be honest if he is capable of leaving two young children just like that then let him go. You will do a great job as a single mum and hopefully in time will meet someone much nicer and hotter who you will want to pay bloody attention to!
I know you are all right. I think I did get a bit 'slavey' and not independent so I need to find myself again. Thanks to you all x
If he was unhappy in the relationship, the person to discuss it with was you - not another woman. If you were different, more loving, and sexually active every night of the week, he may still have left because - in truth- marriage and family are a bit of a trap that some people don't want to find themselves in. Some people don't want to share their wages to pay the mortgage and the bills, some people don't want to stay in with their children and spouse, they want to be out clubbing and pubbing, some people don't want the responsibility of caring for other people for 18 years because they just want to concentrate on their own wants and needs.
Have a very deep think about the person your husband is. Is he a jack the lad sort that really is too self-centred to care full time for others? Be truly honest with yourself, because it is your future you are considering. It doesn't matter if you bluff us but you shouldn't bluff yourself. If you still think it is your fault, fair enough. But I think you might find it was him just not being a grown-up.
Littlewoman you are absolutely right and for the first couple of months that is exactly how I saw things.
However, I have, in the last week or so, started to think about what lead us to this point and am beginning to appreciate we were both partly to blame.
My main problem is that I do still love him - however, I know if I give it time I may feel differently.
I think I will start being friendly, cool and independent and use this time to think about what I really want. x
I agree WMC that we can get much too bogged down in the humdrum stuff. I thought that made me a good mum and wife, but he just saw it as me being boring. Mums can't be their 'single' selves when they have small DC's, but my xh believed he could carry on fairly much as a single man, if he was willing to put up with me being resentful. Then when he got bored of me being resentful, he found an OW who thought he was fabulous. Don't know if this happened with you?
I'm not saying you are wrong to want him back, not at all. But if it does happen - and for your whole family's sake, that would be a good thing, it is not just you who needs to change. It's good you can see the part you played, but it would be necessary for him to see his part too.
Wishing you the best of everything.
Yes LW - that is exactly what happened - I wanted to be a good mum and wife and I think he found that boring. Gave up my job and stayed at home so I could give our home and family 100% (at the time this is what he wanted too)
Met younger girl at work who was interested in his job and him - he decides he doesn't love me (who can compete with that rush of first love!)and moved out.
Nice to know I am not the only one - hope things have worked out for you.
Join the discussion
Already registered? Log in with:
Please login first.