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Post affair rebuilding set back. What comes after 'fight'?

(9 Posts)
GraceUnderPressure Wed 18-Feb-09 10:20:03

H had an affair with workmate for couple of months over Christmas and New Year. I found out 5 weeks ago, he ended it (apparently) and we have been working hard to rebuild our 12+ year marriage, both for ourselves and our 3 young DC. We were doing ok, rollercoaster is the ultimate cliche but absolutely describes the experience.

I am completely stable and of an entirely even temperament usually so have found the extreme mood swings really difficult to deal with, but it was getting better. He is trying really hard, in touch all the time and actually we have found a new level of intimacy and affection most of the time. We have told no one in RL as we really wanted to maintain normality in our dealings with our friends and family who are constantly telling us what a great relationship and family life we have (blurgh).

Anyway, that's the background. Problem is that in checking his phone (with his permission when all this broke) I have discovered that he is sending and deleting lots of messages. His affair centered around CONSTANTLY texting the OW (and shagging on lunch breaks sad). So I confronted him straight away and he completely denied it and said he has been texting a friend stupid messages then getting rid of them, ok but THIRTY in a day??

So now I am back at square one. I think he is lying, he is offended that I think he is lying, but has a major issue with discussing emotional problems anyway so has pretty much clammed up.

In another thread I read that the initial response to the discovery of an affair is to 'fight' for your family and the relationship that you have together, that's absolutely what I needed to do. But I am moving past that now and do not want to be taken for a mug and loose anymore self respect and control over my life than I already have. BUT I absolutely do not want to damage my children, he is a fantastic father, utterly adores them and they would miss him unbearably (as would I if I am truthful). So do I just 'suck it up' for a life that I want with the man I have spent my whole adult life with and who is pretty much my best friend (despite the fact he has crapped all over my trust and loyalty)? He is the product of a completely destroyed childhood due to parental infidelity himself and I think is tormented by the thought of doing the same thing to his own children. BUT he is weak and was flattered by the attention and had the opportunity to do it so here we are. He says he is desperately sorry, it was a fling and he loves me yada yada ya.

So you wise and wonderful women (and men), without having a crystal ball (what I wouldn't give for one of them), should I just swallow my paranoia for the sake of our future or battle it out and risk loosing everything we have had together and drive him away?

Sorry for the very lengthy waffle.

regularlyoverwhelmed Wed 18-Feb-09 10:23:49

oh grace - no words of wisdom (and unfortunately no crystal ball - what I wouldn't give for one myself) but lots of sympathy for what you are going through. You sound strong, his behaviour sounds shady. But how will you ever know you've got the truth? sorry, this is from one who knows how it feels, and is still confused...good luck

macdoodle Wed 18-Feb-09 10:33:21

usual pattern he is still seeing her
you have to decide whether you still want to fight - HW will be along I hope she is very good at explaining how to withdraw and concentrate on YOU and then he will come back if he wants - she is better than me at explaining it !
And FWIW I fucking hate the way we all say these pillocks are great dads (yes I did too) - treating you and his family with such disrespect DOES NOT make him a great dad it makes him a bloody rubbish dad - your kids will be fine trust me!!

lessonlearned Wed 18-Feb-09 10:41:48

You can put a lid on it for the sake of appearances, and it sounds like this is something you and DH have been complicit in over the course of the relationship ( hence people think your relationship is perfect) but if you think that you can handle the personal denial this requires then I hope you are stronger than me.
The process of examining what has gone on between you (for it to get to this pickle) will be challenging and I hope you enlist the help of a counsellor who can help unpick it with you both.

deepinlaundry Wed 18-Feb-09 11:01:03

If you can afford it, can he move out for a bit? I think you need space and he needs to end the affair for good( sorry but I think he might still be seeing her).I think you will think more clearly without him around for a while. It might save it in the end.

abedelia Wed 18-Feb-09 11:23:42

Well, I had much the same experience - they broke it off when discovered then the OW desperately tried to re-establish contact but his guilt gave him away and I threw him out till he could show me a message and send it in front of me that told her he'd ended it. Three days of seeing the children for 2 hours a day did it - he realised I wouldn't out up with anything anymore and forced him into shoosing rather than having his cake and eating it.

I think you need to make it clear that you have been very understanding in not shouting from the rooftops about this and so sparing his embarrassment in being seen as being just as bad as his own immature parent, but the whole situation is now intolerable and unless it ends you will leave (or he will be thrown out onto sofas or wherever else he goes - that's not your concern, frankly). If I were you I would take away the phone for a day - hide it if you can and deny knowledge of it (he won't guard it when he's sleeping!), get evidence and then confront him. Sorry to sound harsh but he has got a way with a lot so far. It's not best for the children to ignore - you will be a mess shortly as the stress gets to you and that will affect them more than daddy 'going away' for a bit. Good luck

solidgoldbullet4myvalentine Wed 18-Feb-09 11:29:22

You could offer him the choice of a truly open relationship (when both of you see other people but do not lie to each other) and se how he feels about that. If he isn;t keen, tell him that he is on his last chance and if he isn't going to be honest with you he can leave.
Monogamy doesn't suit everyone, and it is perfectly possible to have a loving and lasting non-monogamous relationship as long as both partners are being fair and considerate and truthful with one another. What doesn;t work is one partner sneaking around behind the other one's back and getting repeatedly caught out.

GraceUnderPressure Wed 18-Feb-09 11:35:31

Thank you all so much for taking the time to reply. It is all food for thought.

notsoclever Wed 18-Feb-09 12:13:22

One of my friends had an affair, and when it ended she said she really missed the constant texting thing. She said it had made her feel good to know that someone was always thinking of her and replying instantly to her messages.

When the affair was over she described it like having withdrawal symptoms - she kept checking her phone and there was nothing on it (which made her feel empty even though she was glad the relationship was over).

Perhaps your h feels a bit of this and is genuinely texting his mate to fill that particular empty space.

Of course you don't want to be a fool and delude yourself. You will be feeling very confused at the moment. And will waver between believing everything bad about him, and wanting to believe the good things. Not trusting him is a very normal part of this and he needs to understand that. If he genuinely wants to sort things out then it will be a part of both your lives for a while, that everything he does will be scrutinised. That in itself will put a strain on your relationship.

I really hope you can get some good support - for you personally, and for both of you to sort things out.

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