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how long does it take to feel any better?

(17 Posts)
Joggeroo Mon 21-Jul-08 23:37:31

My husband of 15yrs finally admitted to his current affair and a host of others a month ago., moved out 2 weeks ago & is quite adament that our marriage is over. We have 4 DC, aged 6 (with special needs) , 4,2, & 5 months.
Each day just seems to bring more problems and more heartache at the moment and I don't know how to manage it, people say it will feel better in time but each day is worse.

Capital Tue 22-Jul-08 00:04:48

So sorry to hear this, you poor girl sad.

I think for a while it will feel very hard, but it's a process and the only way to get to the other side is to go through it. Right now, you must feel shocked and griefstricken by this, so be gentle with yourself.

Try to take small steps to help you along. How will you manage financially? You should see a solicitor to find out your entitlements, what money he will need to support your family with. I know from reading other threads, sadly similar to yours, that the solicitor is a MUST, and you should be very firm about getting a good deal for you and your children.

If you have friends or family gather them around you, get them to help out with your small DCs. You need help with them right now.

Avoid getting embroiled with thoughts about your h and what he is getting up to. Talk yourself out of thinking about him. At the same time don't think negatively about yourself, or worry unnecessarily about how you could have played things differently. This is his stuff, and what a cruel man he must be.

Frankly I think any man who deserts his wife with such small babies should be bloody arrested!!

Wiser MNers than me will be along with advice. It will get better.

thumbwitch Tue 22-Jul-08 00:12:14

You poor love, how awful for you

Was this a complete shock to you or is it something you felt might be in the wind? What a git as well, to leave the little ones (and you of course).

It will get better eventually but not for a while yet - you have a lot to sort out. After a while, the new problems and fresh pain each day will stop and it will start to level out. Be prepared for him to sink to even lower levels of bastardy - men can be amazingly hurtful when they mentally leave you behind and you end up wondering whatever happened to the man you thought you knew, since he seems to have disappeared quite completely.

I'm sorry I can't be more help - my own experience didn't involve children, but it still took me a year to realise that I was getting better.

Make sure you get everything you need for yourself and your DCs - ((((hugs)))) to you and them.

littlewoman Tue 22-Jul-08 09:46:06

A month is no time at all, Joggeroo, and I'm sorry to say you probably have a long steep hill in front of you.

Lean on your friends and family. You will need them. It does get less painful, but there is so much nonsense to go through first.

Be kind to yourself, physically and emotionally. This was not your fault. You will come through the other side, I promise. Many of us have, when we thought we could never get over it.

If you need help getting through this, visit your GP.

sad for you and your little ones.

Joggeroo Tue 22-Jul-08 12:04:10

Thanks all, what lovely wise ladies. though am sorry that to be able to offer advice you must have been through something similar yourselves.
It's so hard to distance myself from the person I have automatically confided in for many years, but need to put my energies into it for self preservation. I have tried to treat him fairly in all this and make the situation so that he had to take responsibility for some of his decisions. But have learnt over the last few weeks that he doesn't deserve to be treated fairly. He needs to see the children but I have now decided that I am reasonable to insist that he doesn't do so again with his new woman. Think a little bit of me hoped that he would develop a little sensitivity, but let's face it, he's not going to suddenly develop it now!

I am fiercely independent and do find it hard to lean on others but am having to learn how to do it. The children are enjoying having extra time with family and friends.

Solicitor stuff well under way and will feel more secure when some of the financial promises have been agreed to and honoured.

It's a fine line between taking steps to protect myself yet not exacerbating the situation.

littlewoman Tue 22-Jul-08 12:27:41

I know he had affairs and so on, but that doesn't mean the break will be easy for him, even if it was his decision. You can't just detach from someone you've been with for 15 years, even if you want to.

There will possibly be lots of goading and prodding of each other's emotions to see how you react to this bit of news, that bit of info. He probably won't want to see you getting on with life and enjoying your freedom. Just because he chose to leave, doesn't mean you are allowed to get over him, etc.

I'm also fiercely independent and I hate people feeling sorry for me. So I cut myself off from everybody, so they wouldn't see how hurt I was. Not necesarily a good plan. That's all I meant about leaning on people. You don't have to be an emotional cripple, just don't isolate yourself through pride, if you can help it (sorry, don't mean to be rude. You may not be this sort of person at all, and far more grown up than me blush )

Elf Tue 22-Jul-08 12:51:30

I hope he will be able to look after the dcs at weekends or whatever is helpful for you. If he's by himself that will bring him down a peg or two. And you can relax a bit, though probably with the baby. I wish you luck and strength.

thumbwitch Tue 22-Jul-08 18:40:47

littlewoman, I gather you too are speaking from experience - but there are different types of men out there and even if your ex found it difficult, there are men who seem to be able to emotionally detach at the drop of a hat because it removes the feelings aspect for them and therefore they DON'T feel the guilt. I had one of these, and a friend of mine had another one. I was with mine for 11 years; she was with hers for 12 years plus she has a daughter (not his) who her ex also emotionally detached from.

Joggeroo - good luck with keeping the other woman away from your kids, you might need to make that a legal requirement cos I wouldn't trust your H to honour your feelings on that score at all.

littlewoman Tue 22-Jul-08 18:59:46

That's true TW Everybody's experience is different.

Joggeroo Tue 22-Jul-08 23:19:44

Interesting thumbwitch & littlewoman, he is so detached and insensitive where I am concerned that I am quite dumbstruck at times. I get the impression that he has some feelings of guilt where the children are concerned but none whatsoever about me.

pedilia Tue 22-Jul-08 23:29:20

What a shit situation to be in and with such young children as wellsad
I was where you are now 18 months ago and it took me a year to deal with my emotions and feelings surrounding H's affair.

It will be a roller oaster, you will have good days/weeks and then crap ones but it WILL get better with time.

So he was having an affair while you were pregnant? ( dh did this to me)
Do you feel the marriage can be salvaged?

thumbwitch Wed 23-Jul-08 00:01:41

Joggeroo - I hope you have lots of friends and family who you can talk to - I found the hardest thing was that my "best friend" had gone but I was lucky in that many of my friends were kind enough to put up with my frequent phonecalls when I was in the black spots. My phone bill was quite large!

At least there's nearly always someone here on MN to sound off to, anyway.

One more thing that my ex did, that yours might start as well, is to blame me for him leaving - this caused quite a bit of psychological damage for quite a while, until I was enlightened by a lovely counsellor that it was NOT my fault, it was HIS for not loving me enough.
It is just another trick the bastards use to make themselves feel less guilty - they re-write history for themselves to justify their own actions and make it their new reality. So, in his new reality, you are now some evil cow who made him miserable, not his loving wife of 15 years and mother to his 3 children. He will now treat you as this new person that he has created. At least, that is what it seems like he is going to do from what you have said so far.

Don't believe any of his crap, you are still the lovely person you always were, he is just an arse who didn't realise what he had and doesn't deserve you anyway.

thumbwitch Wed 23-Jul-08 00:01:42

Joggeroo - I hope you have lots of friends and family who you can talk to - I found the hardest thing was that my "best friend" had gone but I was lucky in that many of my friends were kind enough to put up with my frequent phonecalls when I was in the black spots. My phone bill was quite large!

At least there's nearly always someone here on MN to sound off to, anyway.

One more thing that my ex did, that yours might start as well, is to blame me for him leaving - this caused quite a bit of psychological damage for quite a while, until I was enlightened by a lovely counsellor that it was NOT my fault, it was HIS for not loving me enough.
It is just another trick the bastards use to make themselves feel less guilty - they re-write history for themselves to justify their own actions and make it their new reality. So, in his new reality, you are now some evil cow who made him miserable, not his loving wife of 15 years and mother to his 3 children. He will now treat you as this new person that he has created. At least, that is what it seems like he is going to do from what you have said so far.

Don't believe any of his crap, you are still the lovely person you always were, he is just an arse who didn't realise what he had and doesn't deserve you anyway.

Joggeroo Wed 23-Jul-08 00:06:25

yes he was having an affair from when I was 3 months pregnant. Also had other affairs whilst I was pregnant with the others or they were small it turns out. First affair admitted to was before we had children.

I thought the marriage could be salvaged if he was going to commit to working at it together and addressing whatever it is he's looking for that he doesn't find when he's with me. BUT he is quite categorical that our marriage is over and he has no intention of leaving this other person.
The roller coaster feeling is crazy isn't it, looking forward to having good days/ weeks rather than taking it all hour by hour. No way to spend life with such young children, they will be grown and i will have missed out on much if i live in this survival mode for a long time.

thumbwitch Wed 23-Jul-08 00:14:08

You might find this hard to believe at the moment but actually, him being adamant that your marriage is over is better than him showing any level of doubt at all.
About a month after he left, my ex phoned me and had a bit of a soul-searching about whether he had done the right thing - I was left on a high, thinking "Yes! this is it, he's coming back!" ENORMOUS crash 3 days later when I spoke to him again and it was very clear that he was not coming back.

I think I found that the survival mode lasted about 2, maybe 3 months. I also found that in the first year, I could gauge how I felt about him by doing a percentage likelihood of me taking him back if he came crawling back to me - by about 6 months, this was only 50%. It kept dropping and by the end of the year it was an absolute "not a snowball's chance in hell."

You won't miss out on your children, they will be there for you and they will help you to carry on. (I only had guinea pigs but they got me to the supermarket because I had to buy their food! I'm sure children are much more effective)

Joggeroo Wed 23-Jul-08 00:23:34

I have friends to talk to, family all have their own baggage from parents divorce. I have a couple of very special friends who are great, & there's always the Samaritans when thought are too bleak to share with friends.

You are right about his new reality of me thumbwhitch, when he first admitted to the affair we talked about things for hours & hours & I found it very painful as it reminded me of how we used to talk and all that I had lost, whereas for him I got a sense that it was helpful as it gave him a glimpse into who I am - & that was quite different to the person he had created in his head. Bit of a waste of energy as the grass was greener for him and he went anyway but at least i gave it my all. The awful thing about my subsequent anger and hurt after being so totally rejected is that I am at times behaving very differently from the calm steady person I usually am, so now I expect I have reinforced the 'evil cow' theory.

Another thing that I am finding it hard to deal with is his sudden interest in the children when they have to date been treated in many ways as quite an inconvenience, but suppose that is because he's maybe worried about what he is losing as a father.

littlewoman Wed 23-Jul-08 09:41:57

Thumbwitch, mine did that too. The 'shall I, or shall I not, go back home?' routine. That was absolutely horrific, and after 2 months of it, I had to just cut him out of my life because I couldn't stand the feeling of not being in control of my own emotions. I started divorce proceedings, decided he had blown his chances, and started trying to get over it.

My xh was also very cold towards me, Joggeroo. I couldn't comprehend that I used to love this ice-block, because he now looked right through me as if I didn't exist. And he re-wrote the history books so that I was some mental-lentil that ought to be locked up, and he was some long-suffering loveable chap (he had umpteen affairs, so really not my opinion of him at all).

It's all a matter of trying to live with the things we have done, the decisions we have made, and the things that have happened to us. We tell ourselves our own stories, and grow to believe them, in order to be comfortable with ourselves as individuals. He probably feels as much guilt as you feel pain, but he is blame-shifting, in order to be able to live with himself.

My xh is now the world's best dad, too (ahem). He never lifted a finger, and screamed and shouted at them the whole time when he was here. Guilt again.

I hope you're okay. Keep talking if you need to Joggeroo.

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