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And the affair goes on!!!!!(122 Posts)
Very long story. My husband of 18 years has been having an affair for 18months. I found out 10 months ago.
I was obviously devastated but wanted to make our marriage work. I believed he did too. i was so stupid I didn't think he would leave me. After a couple of weeks I let him go off with friends. But he went instead to her.
He seemed to be in a complete mess. I felt sad for him and thought I could help him. I didn't believe the intelligent man I had married really wanted this other woman and to leave me and our 3 beautiful, happy, innocent daughters.
After about 3 weeks of me finding out he said he couldn't give her up and we must tell the children. I pleaded for him not to tell them but he did and I tried to be strong for them. He then left. Within a few hours he was back. The children were so so upset with him. It was completely heartbreaking. He stayed the night then said he couldn't do it.
He had to go to tell superslag that he couldn't do it.
Anyway 10 months on he has continually lied to me and cannot give this manipulative selfish piece of trash up.
The problem is I can't give up. He says he loves me and I genuinally believe he does. We have talked and talked and talked like we have never talked before. We seem to have resolved issues we may have had. (they really were not very serious at all)
The OW has such a hold over him. Not long after he had tried to leave he said he was off again. I said to him to go and be with her but we wouldn't tell the children until he was sure he wanted to leave for good. Well it didn't last long = he said he didn't want to be with her. I thought it was over between them.
I have tried everything. I've told him to leave but he won't. He says he loves me but can't give her up. He just needs to see her sometimes!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am a wreck. I have hidden this from everyone. I wanted him to be able to be part of my family again without all this shit getting in the way. Even the children don't know.
I know this is very very wrong and he should have been kicked out a long time ago but I CAN'T hurt the children. They were so sad it was unbearable. I still think we could get over this. But I am being destroyed. The trouble is I don't care. I just don't want to hurt the children.
I know you will think I am crazy to have put up with this and I agree I am.
Just needed to let it out. I can't keep this terrible hurt inside.
I'm so sorry for everyone else who is going through similar or worse times. You sound so much stronger than me. On the outside I am strong but inside I am so scared of the future.
I have had a think about posting this and I do appreciate that you might not like it but at least if you don't like what I say it will give you someone else (a stranger on the internet) to get angry at but...
It's not possible to change another person's behaviour; what you can change is how you react to it. What is the worst thing that could happen if you say to your husband 'I will accept that you see the OW as long as you are civil to me and do not ignore your family: I now have the right to sleep with other people as well. We will prioritize our relationship as co-parents of our DC and that is not negotiable.'
Omg, you poor woman. You must be in tortures.
I'm afraid I'm very much the chuck him out type, and I did. But I don't believe staying with them is any easier than splitting up. Both decisions have their pains and pleasures, quite honestly.
My XH said that he loved us both and didn't want to have to choose. Your husband almost certainly does love you, even if he is in love with someone else at the same time.
Have you tried the uber-nice technique, where you are so lovely to him he wants to spend more time with you, and the OW gets jealous and starts slagging you off, so he gets annoyed with her?
There are tips on the internet about how to do this.
Sorry, can't think of anything more useful, but I hope things turn out well for you.
thank you for your replies.
It is funny but since i've posted I feel a bit clearer about things. Mind you that will change in a couple of hours.
SGB nothing can upset me anymore. I have said to him if that is what you want then I can sleep with other men if I wish. He said he wouldn;t want me to but he understood. I'm just not that type. Well I haven't been up to now.
Constance - I wish I was the chuck out type but i'm just not. Even now I still see the good in him. And I have always tried to be nice. Apart from a few crazy moments in the early days I have tried to understand him.
He is in a mess really. He doesn't have anything else much to occupy his mind at the moment. His business is basically running itself and he just gets more and more morose the longer he stays away from the maneater.
I realise I am much much stronger now than I was in the early days. I can read a magazine or watch a film. I laugh out loud at lots of funny posts on here. I am almost at the chucking out stage but don't want to finish our marriage. I think we should separate for a while. His dirty little affair has been hidden by me. He says he will lose friends and he is quite well thought of. This will change all that.
I'm sure he loves me more than he loves her. She is just new and exciting and sounds very different from me. She doesn't worry about hurting people. She is a party animal and I'm quite a quiet person.
Maybe I'm wrong but I still want to fight for our marriage. I hope one day he will think we are worth fighting for. I think the separation would do me good. He will go to her but I know she irratates him after a while.
Thank you so much I feel better already
You don't sound crazy to me you sound like someone who is fighting for your family.
Good posts above.
Don't be 'controlled' by all of this. Continue to develop your own life, if you are sahm then get out sometimes on your own, evening class or social things, if you work, go for drinks or the odd party. Let dh blardy babysit for you. You can have opportunities too y'know .
Continue to care and love your dd's as you are with such wonderful integrity! How fortuneate they are to have you as their mum.
Agree SGB - great post. Tell him if he wants a marriage of convenience that's what he can have. Neither of you lose your family life, friends and social standing. The children don't lose their security, you don't lose the childhood you want for them.
As long as you don't have to have sex with him (unless you want to of course) and he understands that you may look outside the marriage for "comfort" you can retain your self respect and the life you want.
Sod him, take his salary and let him be a father to your girls, I reckon as soon as he sees you being confident and taking new opportunites he'll be jealous.
Blackeye and hellish you're both right. I'm surprised no one has told me to kick him out. It makes me feel as if I'm not quite so crazy. I have considered the marriage of convenience. The problem is I love him and don't want her in our lives. But at times think I'll do anything to keep the children secure.
We have a lovely life provided for by OH. The children love him to bits although he shook their world. It did take a while for them to feel relaxed again but they are now. They don't question where he is going etc.
The OW is very very clever in that she has never (that I know of) tried to force him to choose her. and she has told him she will never give up. She apparently never gets angry or demanding. I know this because he kept on telling me that in the early days. When I was in my crazy mode.
He has tried to be horrible to her to make her leave him but she won't. Obviously I want him to be the one to give her the elbow but he is a weak man where she is concerned.
She says she is happy to see him just sometimes. I really think she thinks this is a game. And she will try to win whatever. She has no idea what harm she is doing to my family.
I'm not putting all the blame on her. He is far worse as he supposedly loves us. Another part of the problem I think is that he has flashed the cash with her and she wants to live the good life.
I am confused- you say you have hidden it from the children, but then you also say "they were so sad it was unbearable"- which is it?
I agree with solid gold.
I am not one of those who say "kick him out"- because I think it is an idle threat and not realistic - you cannot physically or in any other way "kick a man out"! When my DH and I have been close to separating, he has been adamant that he would NOT move out and that the only option would have been to sell the house then each have half.
If you do not want to share him you have only one option- end the marriage. If he cannot decide who he wants to be with, then you will have to decide what you want. However, as there are 3 children in the middle of this I strongly suggest you both go for counselling , and if he won't go, go on your own.
I also think it might help- and I know that you will find this VERY hard to stomach- if you try to stop calling the OW a piece of "trash". If you can focus on what is right for you, it will take your mind of her- she may be lovely- apart from the fact that she is seeing your DH- but he is at least 50% of the problem, not just her. I suspect that you know little about her- and it is easy to rubbish her- but the more you think about her like this the worse it will be for you.
"He has tried to be horrible to her to make her leave him but she won't"
This is nonsense - he is trying to avoid responsibility for his actions- he cannot be FORCED by anyone to do anything he doesn't want- it is HIM who is continuing with it, not just her!
Decide what YOU want-you cannot force him to do anything, so start making your own plans. But don't do anything without trying to persuade him to go to Relate.
What a horrendous mess - you poor thing.
There's some good advice here and it sounds like you're reaching some sort of resolution in yourself to at least try to move the situation on. A separation may or may not work but have you considered Relate? It seems like you've done a lot of internalising of the way you feel and a third party will help you both give some perspective.
Also, GND speaks a lot of sense. You are spending a lot of time projecting all your hatred on to the other woman. Perhaps she doesn't want him to leave you? Perhaps she's perfectly happy with the way things are? She has a boyfriend who she sees when she wants to and has a very nice time with him. Perhaps she doesn't want all the hassle of a full-time relationship with a divorced man plus step-kids etc etc.
Really, you don't know anything about THEIR relationship because you are relying on your husband's word alone. Of course it's hard because she should not be sleeping with someone else's husband but if you stop spending all your time demonising her maybe you can focus on what you want.
If you want to save your marriage, start being the one in the driving seat. Stop letting him make all the decisions (he leaves, he upsets the children, then he comes back 3 hours later..!). Get an action plan together and be prepared for it not going according to plan BUT at least you'll be the ones making the decisions. Doesn't sound like you've done that for a while!
Hope you don't think this is harsh, but it sounds like you deserve a lot better than this.
Tbh I don't think you are doing your dds any favours by continuing in what is, really, a sham marriage. Children are terribly perceptive and they will learn what is happening and you are then providing them with a role model that says it's OK for a husband to cheat as the wife will put up with it. How we conduct our marriages often sets a template for our children's future relationships.
You say that it will be a marriage of convenience, but how convenient is it for you to live with a man whom you clearly love but who doesn't love you enough to put you and your children's best interests first? It would certainly be convenient for him, but I suspect that, over time, you will become bitter and desperately unhappy. A marriage is a partnership where each party puts the other's happiness first. Seems to me that, in your marriage, you are both putting your dh's happiness first and that is a recipe for disaster.
agree with squeaver and GND, she is not the one who is married. she is not the one with family to consider. the information you have about her comes from your dh, and while she should not have got involved with a married man, he could (and should) have said no.
agree as well that you need to make a stand. he is obv a weak man who cant make up his mind between his mistress and his family (should be no comparison) you need to tell him either staywith us or go to her, make a decision and theres no going back.
mn very sorry, you are obv hurting a lot and you still love him. but by refusing make a choice he has already made it
God, NO don't go to her. How humiliating.
If you can,I would just ignore both of them and get on with your life.
Why on earth would you bother Oops? Why would you want to humiliate yourself for a spineless creep who is having his cake and eating it.
FGS cantmoveon grow some self esteem. Tell him to get out until he is 100 per cent sure that he wants to be with you, not the dc's, if you are a halfway decent person you will not use them against him.
If you continue to behave as your are you are sending the message to your dc's that women should be doormats and that their dad can do whatever he feels like, that he is more important than you.
If you split up, you have the power to ensure that your dc's have a loving and secure relationship with their dad.
And don't lose sight of the fact that there might well be someone out there that might well be a lot nicer to you.
oops- No No NO! that would be sooooo belittling!
You cannot rationalise emotions...there is utterly no point in going to see the OW.
If they want to be together, they will, no matter what the OP does or says to either of them.
I was once the OW- by accident as I didn't know- and when I met his wife she was lovely to me- and called him a fool who had to decide which of us he wanted- he chose her, of course.
Seeing the OW, is NOT the answer.
If he cares about you and the kids, the very least he can do after these years of marriage is agree to counselling to try to sort out what he wants- he can go on his own or with you. You might not get the outcome you want, but he needs space to sort out his mind.
Meanwhile, you can decide if you want to weather the storm, and it might blow over- or if you see this as the end. You need to decide what YOU want.
I definitely wouldn't go and see her or play any games.
I would go to Relate or similar by myself if necessary.
I think the open marriage idea is a good one, so long as you genuinely start going out and building an independent life for yourself. I don't mean finding another man necessarily, but if he gets time away from the family to see OW you must have equal time away to do whatever you want - and you don't have to tell him what it is.
My feeling is, though, that he will keep having his cake and eating it as long as you let him. Clearly he and the OW can't make living together work and it sounds like she knows it, but the current arrangement suits them. Well -(and this is why I think Relate, or counselling might help) - it doesn't suit you and I think if you said: "Leave, go to her, but that is it and you are never coming back" with conviction and he knows you mean it, then he might finally realise he can't have you both. But like a child, he's not going to do anything about it until he knows you're serious.
I have to be very honest and say that all the times when the wife has gone to see the OW, the OW has felt like a complete scumbag and in most cases has stopped.
My sister was once an OW when she was very young. Her 'boyfriend's' wife came and put a letter in her hand with photos in it, etc. My sister immediately thought her boyfriend was a piece of crap treating his wife like this (sister believed the 'we're only together for the children, we don't sleep together' lies).
She dumped him immediately.
May not work though <disclaimer>.
Why are you giving him all the power? Completely agree with the above poster who said that you cannot change someone. Stop feeling sorry for him, he is the one who has created this and is a grown man. Be assertive and put boundaries down and give him an ultimatum. Do you really want to be in this same position in a year? Or indeed ten years? Because you will be in the same situation if you don't do anything. He is having his cake and eating it simply (cliche I know) and you are letting him. It is not in his best interests to give one of you up when he can have bothe of you. Your girls will be far more damaged by seeing him treat you like this than they will by seeing two happy parents who are not together.
However, I think that kind of behaviour is really pussy-footing around a weak man. It might work, but it doesn't make him take responsibility for his own actions - it simply puts paid to his actions, iyswim.
Cures the symptoms, not the disease.
CMO, I really feel for you and know, through experience, how messed up and confused you must be.
I am 9 months down the line from finding out about my h's ow. The relationship between them has stopped and started again so many times. He really has problems finishing it and I truly believe he is only here now because of the dc.
I think you need to be the strong one here - He has been allowed to make the decisions so far but, for the sake of your dignity and self esteem, you need to take control now.
Even if you dont think you can see it through, find out about legally separating and let him know what you are doing. You will need to harden up. Please dont feel sorry for him, they do the pathetic thing very well! It is just to get your sympathy, and it is working.
In my opinion also, you need to tell everyone about this. While it is all a secret, he can carry on with no comeback. Once other people know and reality kicks in it will be a different story.
Please be strong and dont let your children grow up in a marriage without love or respect.
Good post SM. HW always says they do the pathetic thing really well (hope she doesn't mind me quoting her). And really, how wrong is it that you feel sorry for them, even though it is you who is being wronged?
Although I would be fearful for my relationship, I would also be very angry in the OP's position.
They are both living in a private, snuggled-up dream world - the rest of the world doesn't understand what they have together, yada yada ya. Burst their bubble, by letting her know you are a real person with emotions and very real pain. Let other people know about his behaviour, so they can tell him what they think of him. Once the bubble has burst and reality slaps them in the face like a wet fish, it may look a lot more sordid rather than special? (Just a suggestion. Sorry if it causes you pain).
What a heart-breaking situation.
The thing is, though, he has not really sampled what leaving you for good and living with her full-time means. Because the door has been open for him to have his cake and eat it really. If he truly realised the harsh realities of you shutting that door firmly, then he might make up his mind that he wants you. So, that would hit him in the pocket (why should he spend your family money on her, "flashing the cash". That would hack me off, big-time), he would only be able to see the kids on your terms and would therefore have few of the comforts of family life. Also, you would be coolly civil but detached. Then he would appreciate just what he'd be giving up for a supposed good time. Don't make it easy for him. If you opt for a marriage of convenience, what incentive is there ever going to be for him to ditch her?
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