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What should I do?

(26 Posts)
Confusedandheartbroken Mon 09-May-05 00:58:34

I have been married for 20 years to a man I love deeply but Im not "in love" with him anymore.

Since meeting DH and I have had one disaster after another. We have always had some sort of battle to fight.I am exhausted and can't take any more.

I was very ill early in our marriage and experienced a miscarriage. When I was rushed to hospital my DH couldn't cope with me loosing our baby and he didn't come to see me for two days. I still can not forgive him for this. When I needed him he was not there.

We moved away from our families and set up home, new house, fresh start. I couldn't get work locally so commuted to London weekly. During this time DH had an affair with someone I considered to be a very close friend.

Eventually I found out, but DH convinced me that it was inside my head and I ended up on anti-d's and seeing a psychiatric nurse weekly for almost 6 months. I lost my job and money became a big difficulty for us.Over the years I asked DH about the affair and he always denied it - even swore on our childs life it never happened.

We swam along taking various amounts of sh*t that life threw at us. My father was taken seriously ill and I returned home for 6 weeks to care for him. During this time my DH was living the party life and several stories got back to me about him being drunk most nights and spending time with many different girls.

When I returned home afer my fathers death DH denied everything that I had been told - small town mentality is all he would say.

Things moved along and eventually we moved to a bigger house. Money was tight and hubby took a job working as a doorman at a nightclub in the nearby town.

In 2000 my DH's father was murdered by his then partner. There was the court case to deal with. FIL's partner had tried to cover the murder by making it look like suicide but the police soon uncovered the plot devised by FIL's partner.She had run up massive debts all secured on what had been my DH's family home.

Throughout the time of trying to save FIL's house from being reposessed and talking with solicitors, I had to deal with my own grief, raise my child and be supportive to my DH. My DH built a brick wall around himself and began shutting me out of his life.

The only person he could talk to was his closet friend, whom I did not like very much as he was having an affair and I was friends with his wife.

DH and his friend would go out on their motorbikes and stop off and chat about the court proceedings etc. DH's friend was very supportive to him and helped him with his feelings and emotions, something I could not do.

7 months after FIL was murdered DH's best friend committed suicide. DH was travelling home from work and when he tried to cross a local bridge the road was closed. He worked his way through the traffic on his motorbike and asked a policeman what the problem was. Policeman explained that soemone had jumped from the bridge and as soon as they could, they would reopen the bridge. DH sat chatting with the policeman and then saw his friends bike parked on the brow of the bridge. DH told policeman he knew the owner of the bike and he identified his friends body.

The police went and told his wife, but DH had to go and tell his mistress. She was obviously distraught as the reason he had committed suicide was because she had just told him she was pregnant and they had argued and she had threatenened to tell his wife of their relationship. She later terminated the pregnancy and DH felt sorry for her. She had no one to support her.

I did not know that DH would call in and check she was Ok. She would talk to DH about how she felt loosing someone she loved so much and DH would talk with her about his father. As she had very few friends DH would pick her up on his way to the nightclub and take her with him so she could get out and about and meet new people.Eventually the inevitable happened and they bagan an affair.

Two months after the affair began I became suspicious. I asked him if he was involved with someone else. He always denied it but all the warning signals were there. He started leaving home 30 mins earlier in the mornings and was never obtainable on his mobile phone. He started coming home later and later from work. When he worked at the nightclub he would not get home til gone 4 in the morning. The nightclub closed at 2am and he would say he stopped on to help clean up, yet his salary never reflected the extra hours.

One night I arranged a babysitter and sat outside the nightclub and I watched him all night from my car. I saw them leave together and followed him to her house. I didnt know what to do, so I drove home and carried on as if nothing had happened.

For two years he would disapper on Sunday afternoons for two - three hours, always saying he had to go for a ride on his motorbike. I would joke with him and say "give her a kiss from me".
Our child would even say "are you going to see your other girlfriend". DH wuld laugh it off and say we were the only ones for him.

The whole sorry story came to light when She took an overdose and the hospital telephoned our house asking for my DH to go to the hospital as she had listed him as her next of kin. I took the phone call as DH was in the shower. I walked into our bathroom and told him he had to go to te hospital because M needed him. He denied knowing anything about it and said someone had made a mistake.

I drove myself to the hospital and met her. She is the total opposite to me in everyway. After she had been discharged from the hospital she would telephone me and ask me to help her with her children. She was drinking and would be so drunk that she couldnt collect the children from school. Like a fool I went. I really felt sorry for her. She loved my DH. She had tried to end her life because my DH had eneded their affair and she had just miscarried his child.

She told me that this was not the first time he had been unfaithful to me. She told me all about his affair with my old best friend and how DH had told her I was gullable and would never leave him because we were to special to ever part!

Over the next few months she would follow me around. She would be at school watching me collecting our child.She lives 10 miles away from where we live so really had no need to be at the school.On two occassions she was parked outside our house all day and would keep phoning our home telephone number.

I wrote to her and said that if she continued I would have no choice but to contact the police and seek an injunction.

Thankfully her visits stopped.

DH and I attended counselling and over the past two years he has totally changed. DH has told me about all the times he has wandered - about the stories of when my father was ill - about the affair with my friend. He said that he was trapped by this woman and was so scared that he would loose me, our child and our home. He is trying so very hard to be the perfect husband and we talk more now than we ever have done. We spend quality time together as a family and for the first time in our realtionship we have no money worries, a lovely home and things are very comfortable BUT I am so unhappy.

Every time I look at him I think of her. Things are made very difficult by the fact that she works in our local town and I see her quite often. She has smashed the windscreen of my car. She leaves notes on my windscreen telling me she will get him back one day. Her daughter telephones me sometimes and cries because she is so unhappy with her mothers drinking. My closet friend is this girls teacher and she has told me that the school are getting concerened with things that are happeneing at home. Her daughter cries because she misses my DH.

I have told my DH how unhappy I am and he has said that I am being selfish when I say I dont think I can carry on in this relationship. He has said that I will destroy everything that we have worked for over the years if I leave with our child. I know I would break my childs heart if I sent DH away. I dont want to be a part time mum with our child spending weekends away with DH.

I am just so very unhappy and I can't get over the affairs, the lies, the deciet, the hurt I am feeling. DH just says he can't change the past, he is so sorry for all he has done and that he can make our future so much better.


I'm scared, I'm so confused and all I want is to be happy but I don't think I know how to be anymore.

ghosty Mon 09-May-05 03:11:46

Dear confusedandheartbroken

I don't know what to say really. You have had a terrible, terrible time ... I have read your post and didn't want to leave it by saying nothing. You poor thing and I am not surprised you are so unhappy. You have been a wonderful, caring, understanding wife and your husband does not deserve you IMO.
Hopefully other wiser mumsnetters will pick up this thread in the UK morning ... I am sending thousands of {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}} all the way from New Zealand ...

gggglimpopo Mon 09-May-05 07:45:10


Just to say I have read your posting and will come back and reply later when baby is asleep. Didn't want to look as tho no one is reading this.

saadia Mon 09-May-05 08:10:51

confusedandheartbroken, I'm afraid I don't have any words of wisdom. Just to say that you have put up with a lot and from what I can see have been very kind-hearted even to people who don't deserve it.

On the one hand it seems to me that you should now put yourself first, but on the other hand you also have to think of your child's happiness. I'm sure other mners will be able to give better advice.

collision Mon 09-May-05 08:37:44

I dont know what to say except that you do sound so unhappy and your post brought tears to my eyes. It sounds to me like your DH is having his cake and eating it and you need someone to love and support you for a change.

Do you want it to work or not really? There will be lots of MNs with lots of advice and who have been through similar things.

Am thinking of you.

ghosty Mon 09-May-05 09:03:17

I am bumping this again for you ...

sansouci Mon 09-May-05 09:23:42

What a very sad marriage you've had! It's very difficult to know how to advise you but I think you must ask yourself if you want to stay with this man. Your child will be aware of all the pain you've gone through and will understand, one day if not now, why you had to leave. You say you love him deeply, but are not "in love" with him. Perfectly understandable, even after 20 years of a "normal" marriage. However, you haven't had a normal marriage and even though it seems as though the marriage has been sorted out, you still don't trust him. I don't blame you! It must be incredibly wearying to be in a relationship in which there is no trust. I can't tell you what to do except to think about yourself (for a change!): What do you want out of life? You have every right to be happy & you can be so again. To leave such an emotional marriage after 20 years would be hard but not impossible. Do you have friends and family to help and support you? Do you have any money? Are you working and if not, would you like to? Perhaps you should see a therapist on your own to help you sort out the fear, confusion and unhappiness you are feeling. Please keep in touch! All good wishes for your happiness. xxx

gggglimpopo Mon 09-May-05 10:00:20

Here's what I think. I think you are carrying around a huge amount of sorrow and regret, none of it your fault - if anything you are only at fault for being too loving and giving (for example with his desperately needy bitontheside) and still feeling guilty about her dd and that you are drowning in all this. It is too much for anyone to sort out by themselves.

Why don't you find a therapist (as sansouci suggested) or a psychiatrist and take yourself off to offload your grief and anger and guilt and get yourself to a place where you can figure out what YOU want, who YOU are and where YOU stand in the marriage.

I had a huge amount of crap go on in my life (very different to yours but equally overwhelming) and I went to see someone to offload and to figure out what I thought, as I really didn't know what I thought, I was too swamped. Talking it all through with a neutral person was wonderful and I really figured out what part I played in everything (what was and wasn't my fault or within my control)and where I wanted to go in the future.

I think it is impossible for you to make good decisions at the mo because you cannot have any perspective on the situation.

I would find a good third party - a professional one cos you don't want to end up dragging another complication in! - and get yourself back where you deserve to be.

You are very strong to have gone through all this and still be someone that others are looking to for support. You need to have faith in yourself and be nice to yourself and get someone to help you now.

The very best of luck.

mancmum Mon 09-May-05 10:12:21

could not read this harrowing story without leaving you a message... I can not give you any advice as your life is just so complex but I would try a trial separation .. don't make any big decisions yet but your DH owes you some space and time out to think things through... i agree it will be hard for your child but I think kids can be happy with their parents apart -- anything is better than this destructive, unhappy situation... I believe we provide the frameworks that our kids develop their relationships thru and what is your current situation teaching your child?

Sending you hugs and luck and much hope that you get what you want...

Confusedandheartbroken Mon 09-May-05 10:18:52

Thank you to those that have replied. I feel really awful posting this here. I have no real friends anymore because those that I was close to I dont trust anymore. If I begin to form a friendship with another woman I become frightened that the same thing will happen again. I just dont appear to be able to trust anyone anymore.

I have one very close friend but she lives 35 miles away. We talk on the telephone and we visit each other often. She is the only person in my life I really trust and she has been very supportive towards me. I am so hesitant to talk with her about my feelings because I dont want to bog her down with my problems.

My family all live a long way from me and do not know of any of the things that have happened. My parents were not very approving of the choice I made when I married DH and my mothers attitude towards him is one of tolerance. DH came from the wrong side of town - didnt have a profession - wasn't the same kaliber of man as those my sisters had married. I could not possibly bring myself to talk to them about how I am feeling or share with them the news of his affairs for fear of their responses. I would only receive the "I told you so" comments from my mother and I don't need to hear how she knew I had made a mistake.

My DH is a wonderful man. He is very caring, he is funny, he is gentle and very sensitive - but for everyone else and not me.

He tells me constantly that he loves me, that I am the keystone in our marriage, that without me he would be nothing and yet when he talks like this to me inside all I am thinking is LIAR. Yesterday I was so angry and upset with him over the things he has done that all I wanted to do was beat him to a pulp. I am not violent at all and yet I have this feeling inside me that is such a rage that it scares me. I can not understand why he has done the things he has. I am not a bad person. I have done all I can to be a good wife and mother. To give him all he wants to be happy, but in the meantime I have destroyed myself by letting him hurt me so badly.

I think the biggest mistake I ever made was to tell him that my love for him was unconditional - I know its not. Maybe by telling him this I gave him the go ahead to be unfaithful and to hurt me the way he has.

I do not work because I was badly beaten by a client whilst I was working within an inner city department and had to undergo surgery to repair damage to my arm - because of the injures I sustained I am registered as disabled and have not worked since.

I do help out at a local nursery and fill my days by helping at school with reading lessons and I am a very active member of the school PTA.

All I want is for this pain to go away. The only way I feel this would happen is if we were to seperate. Everytime I look at my DH all I think about is the hurt and pain. I can not hold this relationship together anymore because it's just too painful.

A friend of mine was in a similar situation - my advice to her was the same as you have given - think about yourself first for a change - why can I not listen to my own advice?

I am so sad - I want all this to stop. I wish it was just a bad dream and I could wake up and everything was fine.

madrose Mon 09-May-05 10:45:44

you poor brave darling. I'm sorry but your DH sounds like a selfish bully. I could be wrong, but it sounds as if he's failing to take responsbility for the consequences of his actions.

I know he's been through a lot, things I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy, however, that doesn't excuse his attitude towards you. Lying to you, making out that everything was in your mind. Where was the respect that you are due as his partner and the mother of his child? And now you have to deal with consequences of his last affair.

Things may have settled down and who knows he might have grown up!!!! but you need to go with your instincts and you have every right to be angry, and you should allow yourself to feel that anger, you have lots of unresolved feelings and need to be dealt with before you can move on either with him or without him. Seeing a therapist may help - if you get the right person, as you must unload, a trial separation as suggested by mancmum would be a good idea, as it may provide clarity and may help you to decide what YOU want to do, also it may send the message to your husband that you are serious about the direction of your relationship. But remember whatever you decide, you are teaching relationship values to your child.

I will be thinking of you and send you lots of {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}, and good luck.

Tortington Mon 09-May-05 10:51:26

what are the reasons for staying with him other than no money worries and your child?

feelingold Mon 09-May-05 10:55:29

Confusedandheartbroken- my ex-h had an affair with my best friend so in some ways I know what you are going through. When I found out my ex-h begged me not to leave him and take out dd and told me the affair was over and because I loved him, I believed him and tried to work at our marriage, but unfortunately I was the only one trying as he carried on the affair. He said we could move away, because while she was nearby he could not stop seeing her, but I felt that he had blown his 2nd chance and decided not to have him back, as every time he went out I sat wondering where he was, who was he with and you can not live like that, so I asked him to pack his things and leave even though my heart was breaking.
I agree with the others, get some professional help and then make your decision, but remember it takes 2 to make a marriage work so you both have to be committed, both of you have to want it and work at it, and it won't be easy but if it is what you both want you can do it, I know other couples who have got through it.
If you do decide to separate it will be hard at the beginning, but believe me if I can do it, you can. Do not stay with him just because you do not want to be alone with your child, it's not enough.
I wish you lots of luck and happiness in the future, you certainly deserve it.

fedupandiwantout Mon 09-May-05 11:16:00

I understand what you are going through as I am married to a man just like your husband. I originally posted about my situation under another name ('hurting') on the 'feeling depressed' board but my husband read the thread so I had to stop. Like your husband he is nice to other people but horrid to me, like Jekyll and Hyde. I have not been in the relationship nearly as long as you, only six years, but I feel much the same way. I cannot believe anything he says anymore and I don't. I realise that I have become a 'codependant' and that for so long I have felt responsible for the things he has done and said. You really need to start thinking of yourself here. It sounds like everything he has done has culminated to a point where you are saying enough is enough. I have not got the courage as yet to tell him I want him out, but it is going to happen very soon because I know I can't get over everything he has put me through. You have to work out if you can draw a line under everything he has done and move on together - if you can't maybe too much damage has been done to the relationship and you need to think about moving on y yourself. I really feel for you because I saw so much of my relationship in what you said and the first thing that sprung to mind was something Dr Phil said (I know, a bit corny) - 'there is only one thing worse than being in a bad relationship for 10 years and that is being in that relaionship for ten years and one day.' (something along the lines of that). Please seek some therapy for yourself. You need to talk through your feelings with someone. Big hugs ((()))

Confusedandheartbroken Mon 09-May-05 11:27:48

I honestly believe my DH wants our marriage to work. He has said that he is prepared to do what ever it takes for us to get through this.He despises her and on the odd occassion we have been out and about and bumped into her he has totally blanked her and walked away. He told me last night that he got himself stuck in a situation where he had no control over his life. She was threatening to tell me about the affair from the very first time he hopped into her bed and he was petrified of losing the one thing he had in his life that he cared for so much - which was me. He told me that he knows he made a huge mistake by not telling me straight away what had happened and that if he had done then the relationship would not have continued for so long. The longer he stayed with her the more she blackmailed him - he was giving her money - helping her with her car maintance and all the time hating every minute he spent with her.

If he didnt go to her she was phoning him and telling him she was going to turn up at our house and tell me about their sordid fling. She even phoned him once when I was in town and she was standing by me whilst I was shopping with a friend. She told him that she was going to tell me in the middle of the store, whilst I was looking at new lipsticks, that she was sleeping with my DH. She followed me around the town centre and was telling my hubby everything that I was doing and taunting him by saying "shall I tell her now?". When my DH came home from work that day he already knew I had bought some lipstick and had to pretend that he knew nothing about my day.

Dh told me all of the above last night, but I already knew this because she had told me the exactly same thing two years ago. She said she was desperate to keep him and would have done anything not to loose him. She admitted to me that she had trapped him and that she was deliberatly attempting to get preganmt by him so that he would leave me.

I know she needed my DH because he was a good financial help to her - over the period of time he was with her he spent over £5,000 on keeping her quiet.

He has changed so much over the past couple of years and I know that our child and I are his world.

I understand that the times he has wandered have been when things have been bad for him - but what I can't understand is why he sort out other people to comfort him and not me! These things do happen and couples get through it - but how do you make the feelings go away.

I will contact the therapist we saw together and see if I can see her again, but this time alone. I did have a few sessions with her before alone and to be quite honest she confused me even more.Maybe a new therapist would be better.

If I am truely honest with myself I want nothing more than to be happy. I want the fairy tale. I want to grow old with my DH and watch our child grow, get married, have a family and I want to become a doting grannie. But do fairy tales really excist?

The longer I leave my feelings to fester the worse this is going to get. My head is so full of painful memories and my heart full of pain. Why can't they just disappear?

feelingold Mon 09-May-05 12:30:56

Unfortunately these things do take time to get over and I know this is no comfort to you now with all of these things going round and round in your head, but with time and help you will learn to either accept what has gone on and start putting your marriage back together, or not be able to get over it all and have to go your separate ways.
Do not be rushed or bullied into making a decision, do it in your own time when you are ready. Tell your husband that he must start talking to you about everything however bad, as if he had talked to you and come clean when he started this 'affair' the situation would have been different now and although you would still have felt hurt and betrayed you may have been able to get over it then and come through it and been happy again. Communication between you both is very important and you must let him know how this has affected you and left you feeling because until it is all out in the open you can not start to mend things or move on.

Confusedandheartbroken Mon 09-May-05 13:54:56

Talking is the most important thing in any relationship, but things are hard when the other person listens but does not hear what is being said.

DH has just telephoned me and said that if I don't get a grip of myself and just accept that what has happened has happened and nothing can ever change that, then there is no point in carrying on.

He said he has tried his hardest to make me happy and if his best isnt good enough then he isnt going to bash himself up anymore over this.

He lost his father in tragic needless circumstances and whilst he grieves still for all the lost years he has been deprived of, he doesnt beat himself up about it. He accepts that what has happned in his life and moves on.

He has told me to leave and he will care for our child. He told me to go and find happiness elsewhere because he knows he will never be able to gain my trust and affection again. He said he will fight me in every court in the land to have our child living with him and if I tried to take our child away from him I would not only be ruining his life but our childs aswell.

I have been very careful not to let my child be affected by all of this. Our child knows nothing of what has been happening and we have presented as being a very united front when around our child.

DH said he is so sorry for what has happened between us and will never forgive himself for causing me so much pain - but thats life - accept it and move on or end it now for all of our sakes.

I just want to curl up in a ball and cry my heart out but I have no more tears left to cry.

fedupandiwantout Mon 09-May-05 14:03:07

He is scared you will leave so he is using the child as a blackmailing tool so that you won't. If you are a full time mum, there is not a court in the land that will grant him sole custody so don't listen to all that rubbish. Have you suggested going to relate? If you want to save the relationship or you want to work out where to go from here it might be a good idea. You don't want to build up all that pain and resentment with no end in sight because it will just eat you up.

Janos Mon 09-May-05 14:45:48

You have been through so much confused..just wanted to send a message of support. You've been through so many heartbreaking events and you sound a very strong

From everything you've said your husband sounds like an extremely selfish and destructive man. Basically he's saying I can behave as badly as I want and if you don't put up with you're selfish. Somehow I don't think so!

You are NOT responsible for his revolting, selfish, immature behaviour. HE IS!!!!

Janos Mon 09-May-05 14:52:40

"He told me last night that he got himself stuck in a situation where he had no control over his life."

Mmm, how old is he? You say you have been married for 20 years so I'm guessing at least his late 30's.

"DH has just telephoned me and said that if I don't get a grip of myself and just accept that what has happened has happened and nothing can ever change that, then there is no point in carrying on.

So, to recap he:
1. Let you down when you had a miscarraige and you needed his support
2. Had an affair with a good friend of yours. Not only that but lied to you about it, making you seriously ill.
3. Had an affair while you were at home caring for your seriously ill father.
4. Had YET ANOTHER affair with a woman who sounds mentally ill.

And he is telling YOU to get a GRIP!!!! How dare he, quite frankly.

gggglimpopo Mon 09-May-05 14:59:32

You really really need to talk to a professional third party - to find out what a strong capable woman you are and what your real choices in all this are. The fact that he is telling you to "get a grip" and you believe that you have to says it all.

I have to say though, that once you do "get a grip" and feel strong enough in yourself to take a step back and make some decisions, even if they are to work on your marriage, your dh might wish that he hadn't wanted you to "get a grip" in the first place.....

Janos Mon 09-May-05 15:43:33

Good advice from gggglimpopo. A counsellor could really help you make sense of what is happening, and you can go on your own if your DH won't go with you.

lunavix Mon 09-May-05 15:53:17

My personal opinion is your dh is a tw*t.

He has no respect for you, or for you and your lo as a family.

How dare he do all this to you? You are a brave woman to stay this long, you must be really strong inside. Do you really think he'll never do it again? It seems temptation is too much for him.

Either tell him he must stop being able to get in situations where he can be tempted, or you need to face life without him.

Confusedandheartbroken Mon 09-May-05 16:25:37

lunavix - your comment about my DH is exactly what my friend said today when I chatted with her.

She was there for me when this all kicked off and she was really supportive. She helped me through the bad days and for a fair few months after.

I have contacted relate and made an appointment to speak with one of their counsellors. I am going alone and then after I have chance to try and sort out a few things in my own head I will get DH to come along. He is all up for counselling and it really helped us when this intially began.

I know that I need to focus on the positive things going on in my life and that when I get the negative feelings I should try and push them to one side - but its so hard. I really can not come to terms with what has happened and I know I need help from someone to help me sort out my unhappiness.

DH has phoned me several times today - I almost feel like he is checking that I am still around. He has asked if we can sort out a babysitter tonight and go off somewhere to walk and talk. I wont discuss our problems in the home because I dont want our child overhearing anything that would cause concern - its SATS week and the last thing I want is for the poor darling to have added worry.

I know I need to get firm and set some clear ground rules and when I have sorted my head out I will be able to do this.

Thank you everyone for your advice. It has helped.

mummycan Mon 09-May-05 20:11:23

Just wanted to add a message of support - I cannot even begin to imagine what you are going through but I do know how hard it is to rebuild trust. I don't want this thread to be about anybody but you so all I am going to say that lies and betrayal destroy relationships ( as I know)but more importantly they destroy the person being lied to - you.

I hope that everything works out for you in a way that will make you happy - no second best, no compromises - my thoughts and prayers are with you - I wish you peace of mind.

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