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Help needed please! advice for carrying on post-affair...(25 Posts)
It is now nearly a year since my dh had an affair (affair lasted a few months. He left at my request for a few months and since he came back we have been trying to make things work.) The thing is i am just finding it so hard to move on and put it behind me. I trusted him so much and now that trust is gone. Knowing what he has done and that he has had a relationship with somebody else within our marriage is so hard to forget. I often wish i had struggled on on my own and not let him come back, but partly i couldn't do it to my two children. Now i just really miss being happy but its really hard to see the point of everything now this has happened. any advice or experience???
No experience, think you were a star to put the children first, but you need some attention and TLC. Maybe in the form of joint or solo Relate counselling? Hope others can give you advice based on how they coped, I get the impression that rebuilding trust after a forgiven affair is incredibly difficult and I wish you lots of luck.
thanks marina, have tried relate. was ok but found as we do talk anyway were just repeating things we'd already talked about. I found too that it didn't change anything. wuld be good if weren't talking, but it didn't take away what has happened. not that i'm wishing for miracles!
i think that's it ggglimpopo. i've been rally trying but after all this time its still there in my head, even if i don't bring it up. i don't know whether it just hurt me to much to fix. the thing is that i don't want to leave now as i just couldn't do it to my children, we do get on and work well as a family, so they aren't in a war zone. it broke their hearts last time. i just feel so down that i've lost being in a trusting loving relationship i had with nothing positive ahead. i know i just need to pull myself together and forget about it but i'm just struggling.
thanks ggglimpopo, that really does make sense. people have suggested it to me before but i think i'm scared of going, maybe because i'm scared what i'll find out. i know i haven't dealt with what has happened yet and certainly not come to terms with it, so maybe that is what i need to try.
I think you have to establish how you feel about him - apart from the affair, do you still love
him, does he love you? I have no first hand experience of this but my two sisters in law have recently been through it - nice brothers I've got and so I recognise exactly how you're feeling. If you still love him and vice versa, you have to resolve in your own mind to put it behind you and get on with living. We are all human and we make mistakes. I really admire you putting your children first but you need to work out at what cost.
i did love him and still do in some ways, but its so different now as he is not the person i was in love with, as they would never have done this to me and our family. he says he loves me and is sorry but he has said a lot of things which weren't true. everything is just so different now, i find it hard to think of him seperate from the context of him having an affair. he will say something and in my mind i'm thinking 'yeah but you wouldn't have done that if you loved me' etc. which i know is not doing anybody any favours but i can't help it. i'm not somebody who is very good at putting things away as being in the past and not thinking about it anymore.
Granarybeck, you are truly a star for putting your family first and trying to make a go of things with your dh.
If you still love your dh, then I think it is just going to take time for your heart to heal and for the hurt to go away.
Can you think of anything that would help. Have you had any time together - just the two of you? Do you trust him again now?
Are there other things you are doing - outside of your relationship with dh & the children - that you enjoy?
what would life be like without him or what was it like when he wasn't there? The worst of this is that there's nothing anyone can say or do really to make you feel better, it can't be magicked away and that must be the worst of it. Were you happy before his affair ?
Gb, I remember the difficult time you went through at the time of discovering you dh's affair( I wroye under a different name then).You and I talked a lot on MN at the time,as I was going through a similar thing with my dh only a few weeks ahead of you. Now, over a year on I can totally identify with your feelings. We are still together and I feel have got stronger and closer since the awful year we had. However I still get days of despair, not believing how he could have done what he did, knowing how long we'd been together and the affect it had on the children. I still see a counsellor and I would urge you to do the same. Someone just for you, to whom you can spill out any thoughts no matter how angry, painful, daftthey may seem. It has helped me loads, I've discovered lots about me and although I do talk to my dh about these feelings I know sometimes it would be too destructive to keep on at him about the same feelings/ pain ( and there is only so much you can "dump" on your friends. So I'm taking care of ME and paying someone to help me vent my inner most thoughts and pain. It was scary at first (like you I was afraid of what I might find out)but to bury the feelings, to try and move on without facing them doesn't work , it eats away at you and the pain never lessens. I feel very slowly I am moving on and feel there is so much of a future for us now. Take care of youself...let it all out.
Like the others have said I admire you for giving it another go. I stuck with my exp for 6 months or so after I found out about his affair but we didn't make it in the end. Partly this was because I didn't really love him anymore but it wasn't helped when he couldn't really say he was sorry about it all and he never really finished it properly and was still secretive about his phone etc.
Your dh sounds like he's really trying too and you say you've discussed it all. Is there anything else you feel he could do to help you with trusting him - have you gone through all the 'reasons' for the affair. I thinkif I could see that I was doing something that I could change it might make me feel better somehow.
But it must be so hard when you know that relationship you thought you had is gone. But marriage isn't always smooth running and lots of people have wobbly times - they don't always have affairs I know but could you see it as a way of making you stronger. Not the same 'romantic, hearts and flowers' kind of relationship but a real one that has gone through hard times but is still working?
Maybe I'm talking complete crap here as I failed at the first hurdle but your situation sounds different and worth saving to me!
i think maybe i do need to see a counsellor on my own. we have become stronger and a lot closer in some ways since this happened. its made us talk about things we never had to before. i still wouldn't say i trust him though, i don't think i ever will in the same way. sometimes it can be good between us, but then the pain of what he's done just overwhelms me and i can't find my way out. i can't keep bringing it up with him all the time as it will make it worse, and underneath i think there's a little bit of me that thinks it will drive him to someone else again. and yes there's only so much you can moan to friends. maturer, did you get a referral from a gp for a counsellor? i wouldn't know where to look to make sure i got areputable/good one. i htink you're right it is going to eat me up otherwise. i know it sounds silly but it always seemed an extravagance to spend just on me, i think its a needs must maybe now!
Gb, no I didn't get a referal I just looked in local yellow oages and checked credentials out on internet. However I would warn, you still have to find one you feel comfortable with (it took me a couple of goes)If they are worth their salt they should be saying along the lines of "you need to be able towork with them and them with you" so don't worry if the first doesn't feel right. By the way the expense would not just be on you it's for your family overall.
Hi Granarybeck I remember your posts last year and maturers aswell. I never found out if affair happened but I suppose the way I feel is as if it did. Dh is away tonight and tmrw and 16mths down the line it is still an issue to me and I still get niggles in back of head that really he could be with her . I found it errupted every month because of pmt and was terrible and i was on verge of leaving him every month and he keeps saying we have to move on etc etc. But she still at his workplace and he still has her no on his phone
its funny you should say that birdsong. it took me a while to realise the connection, as at first i was so up and down anyway, but the week before my period i am overwhelmed by everything, cannot see the point, everything just feels even worse. now i at least think to myself to just hold out till another week and am aware my feelings are affected by the time of the month. its strange as never really affectd too much by pmt, other than a bit stressier, but this is more like feeling so much more negatively about it. thanks, though its good to know its not just me that after all this time still has major niggles.
I'm same as you granarybeck- I never really suffered with pmt but I same tofocus all my negative energy on this and it completely overwhelmed me too . But like you I am fighting my hormones and keep saying to myself I won't feel so bad in a few days. However that hasn;t stopped me doing rash things in the heat of the pmt moment : like texting her or sending really shitty mails to dh .
I've started taking Spirulina Blue Green Algae tablets which apart from being a natural source of green superfood( or so the leaflet says ) they are suppose to enhance physical and mental well - being and I think they have helped. The last three months or so I haven;t felt in the deepest gloom of despair every month - just more normally irritable and shouty with kids !
gb, I had counselling in a similar situation. The affair was mentioned once only in the entire 6 weeks, as the counsellor realised that it was not the central problem at all. Do you know/understand what it was that led your dh to have an affair? That might help you to trust him (it certainly helped my dp).
i think we both do understand to a point why he had the affair, mainly that he didn't tell me he was unhappy and talk about how he was feeling. he does more now, but then i feel i don't know whether he is doing or not as i never realised he kept so much hidden. but for me, though i can see reasons why our relationship got in that state but not why he had to have an affair, as i never believed he was that kind of person. now i know he is i can't take for granted that he is genuine. so in some ways it explains it but in others it makes me less likely to trust him as i know how much he is capable of lying and being tempted.
My dh discovered through counselling that the problem was not our relationship but other things going on in his life at the time, which manifested itself in an affair with a work colleague (something I never ever dreamed would happen to us)It nearly pulled our family apart but he came out of his "crisis" seeing more clearly what was imortant to him. I also agree that there are days I still get overwhelmed by the sadness of what happened and you can bet it will coincide with pmt...the emotions are heightened and take over sommwhat. However i've learned to let it out and share it more with my dh no matter how upsetting, there's a great healing aspect of working together to put it all right again. No it will never be the same again, I will always have a niggle of mistrust (and I was very trusting)but I believe it is getting stronger and probably better than before.
Gb, explore your feelings, you don't have to forgive(some things are unforgivable!)you do have to decide if you can come to terms with what your dh did...if it's worth fighting for don't give up. I know from what you've said in the past some people never get near to the type of relationship you and your dh had. It is never going to be a quick fix, you have to keep opening the box and looking at it again no matter how painful, but it does slowly start to get better and you start seeing the other side of it. Don't give up.
thanks maturer, i'm so glad to hear its working out for you and your dh. I know what we had is worth fighting for, like you said, i was just so trusting before - i never thought whether i trusted him or not, i just did. I think because such a time has now passed sometimes it feels exhausting to find that i'm still in quite a stange place and need a shove to keep going and not just give up on us, which would be so easy sometimes. I think my dh's reasons were to do with his whole life, he was absorbing himself his work, which he enjoys but is stressful (law), and found he had lost his place and role in the family, and though he was doing well at work i think his confidence in himself had actually suffered. and i guess there was someone in his seperate life to boost it. He has acknowledged a lot since though and his priorities have changed, he's says its strange to want to stay at home and not go to work now as he feels a part of it and more involved in it.
Gb, my dh has also taken a fresh look at his priorities.Like yours, his affair happened at a time when he needed a boost, without even realising it.The whole experience has made us both appreciate each other and our children more as it is very easy to slip into complacency in a long term relationship and not even spot when a crisis is coming. After nearly having lost it all for so little he (and I)are taking extra care of each other now, which means sharing all the pain/anger that I'm still feeling when it overwhelms me. Keep talking to your dh and please find someone for you to talk to just for you.
thanks maturer (love your name!), you've really given me the motivation i need. i don't want to drag you backwards by my being negative, so thankyou for the advice. i know i am underneath quite a competitive person, usually just with myself rather than anyone else, but sometimes i know the problem is i just think its not fair! that dh got to have a break from our marriage, some escapism and fun and then carry on whilst i come to terms with it. I know that attitude is only going to be destructive for everyone, but sometimes i just want to stamp my feet and shout that its just not been fair! but for my own future i know i've got a dh whose been a real plonker, had his fun, but is a good man underneath (i think)if i want him. i just always thought he was mine, 100%, and now he never will be, but maybe i should never have taken that for granted...
I took a lot for granted as well about our relationship, not that that excuses what my dh did. However he is a good man, my best friend,the person who knows me best in the world, who for a short time in the scheme of the many, many happy years we had together,lost his way completely and very nearly lost everything. He knows that and has come through it a better person. Despite all the pain and the days when even now I sometimes can't believe what he did, I feel we have many years of happiness together and, better even than the many great years before this awful year in our lives. I try to think what would I have done if my best girlfriend in the world had made a huge mistake that betrayed me...I think/ hope i would still be there for them, knowing they were going through something not them/a crisis...so why should I treat my best friend in the world any differently just because he is also my lover. Believe me there are days (pmt days especially)when I can't see past the betrayal and hurt but I can now look forward and I do not want that to be without him...I know he feels the same about me. Keep with it, you'll get there just don't hide from the feelings confront them and make him share them...after all he caused them.
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