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Can we really survive his affair.... or am I a fool?

(39 Posts)
bobsnpops Tue 08-Sep-09 06:38:28

I found my husband in his car with another woman about 5 weeks ago. He told me she was just someone he had met during drinks after work & it was the first time they had met up & that they never kissed. A week later I found out it was actually someone from work. He told me he only saw her for a month & it was over, that he never slept with her. A couple of weeks later I found out he had been texting her for a while & that he had carried on texting her after I found them. I found out 2 days ago that he had told her he was thinking of leaving me & they were going to give their relationship a chance. I found out last night, on our third year wedding anniversary, that he has slept with her twice and that the affair has been going on for 6 months.

We have two daughters, one is 21 months old, and the other just 10 weeks. The affair was going on when I gave birth.

My world has been rocked and I have no idea how to get through all of this. He says he kept lying to protect me but it has done the exact opposite. When I found out he had been planning on leaving me I told him it was over but he begged me to stay. Says that he tried to but could never go ahead with it because he loved me. He says that the reality of losing me has made him realise that he can't live without me. He has said he'll get a new job, we'll go to counselling, move house, move away. make a fresh start. Said he will do anything to keep me. He sent her a text 2 nights ago saying it was over.

But yesterday I found out he slept with her & I'm not sure I can live with this. I told him again that I couldn't do it - that it hurt too much. He broke down in tears, the first time I have ever seen him really cry. I asked him to let me go but he said he couldn't. I've never seen him act like that, and for the first time in 5 weeks, I actually felt like he was truly sorry for what he had done & that he does love me.

I believe we are meant to be together forever, I love him with every inch of my heart, despite what he has done. I know that having two kids close together has put a real strain on our relationship. I'm not making excuses for him but I know we have both seen each other as parents and not husband & wife for a long time. I want to get back what we once had but don't know if it is too late.

I have never felt pain like I'm feeling now, is it ever going to go away? Can I really trust him again one day? I feel like if I know that other people out there have survived something like this, then I can at least give it a chance.

terracehouse Tue 08-Sep-09 06:56:18

<He broke down in tears, the first time I have ever seen him really cry. I asked him to let me go but he said he couldn't.>

It's all about him, isn't it? I've no experience to offer, but I will say that, if he's this deceitful after only three years of marriage, I dread to think what he'd be like after ten, or twenty.

If you can cope with two children under two on your own, I would strongly advocate asking him to leave the house for at least a week, while you review your options. Where he goes during this time will speak volumes too, of course.

HappyWoman Tue 08-Sep-09 07:11:26

Take care of yourself = he has continued to lie again and again.

My advice before you can even begin to think about going forward, is to ask him to be completely open and honest with all details - and then also get yourself a private detective to find out as much info. If the stories dont match up then you really dont stand a chance.

Sorry but i will try and catch up later.

whatdoyouallthink Tue 08-Sep-09 07:17:24

I have been through a similar thing with my H. I know how much it hurts and how confusing things can be especially with such a young baby (my dd was 6wks old when my H left for OW). Time apart is a good option, would you be able to talk to close family or friends? Then you would have support. Its daunting telling people but my friends and family were amazing when I was going through it.

If you both want to make things work it is possible. Plenty of people on mumsnet have worked it through or are trying to. You have to be 100% that he has cut contact with the OW or the doubt will always be there for you.

However things turn out for you, you will be ok and come through this. It doesn't seem it now but you will be ok. Look after yourself accept offers of help with the DC, make sure you at least try to eat and rest when you can. Thinking of you.

SheWillBeLoved Tue 08-Sep-09 07:18:06

I couldn't. I could possibly try and salvage something if he was 100% honest from the moment you found them together - but he wasn't. He lied, and continued to lie over and over again.

He tried to 'protect' you? He shouldn't have bothered. He shouldn't be doing anything which you will need protecting from. No, he wasn't protecting you. He was protecting himself and his bit on the side.

Such a shame that he never felt this sudden remorse when he was planning his new exciting life with her, and you were at home raising his children. What a twat.

All of my instincts are telling me to yell leave at you, but you don't sound as though you want to leave. In my experience though, men like that don't change. It just fuels their ego, knowing that they can get away with it again next time if they apologise and maybe cry a little.

Hope you make the right decision for you and your children.

countingto10 Tue 08-Sep-09 07:19:16

Do not do anything or decide anything whilst you are in a state of shock. Try and stay calm (easier said than done).

You have to understand that the relationship you had has now gone and anything from now on will be a totally new and different relationship.

The fact you still love him is a good starting point and the fact that he is prepared to do anything/everything to put things right is also very positive.

All contact with OW must cease with immediate effect - he must now be a completely open book to you - someone with nothing to hide, hides nothing. You must take control.

You will be getting a lot of advice from everybody but whatever YOU choose will be right for YOU. Staying with him does not make you weak - it can actually show strength of character, it really is easier to throw the towel in.

Please contact Relate - they were a live saver for me and my DH - he had an affair 6 months ago and left me with 4DC. We are now back together and I think our marriage will actually be better and stronger as a result.

Keep posting and good luck.

laurielou Tue 08-Sep-09 08:19:31

I'm so sorry that you are going through this.

I do not have childen, but have survived the whole affair thing.

My DP - we were engaged at the time - had an affair. It was with someone from work. A long story short, I had my suspicions, he finally confessed. I told him to leave.

He stayed at a friend's house for a few weeks. He realised he had been an arse, & I didn't really want it to be the end of our 10 years together.

He changed his job & his mobile number, & we went to Relate, who suggested we started dating again. This is exactly what we did & it put the excitement & spark back into our relationship (again I appreciate this may be difficult with 2 small children).

He moved back home - into the spare room, I wasn't quite ready to forgive the whole episode.

We didn't really rate the councellor we had with Relate & started going out for a drink after our sessions & laughing at certain things the councellor had said. So ironically he did help us!!

That was 4 years ago. I can honestly say our relationship has never been better. He seems to appreciate me so much more & the fact that he nearly lost me (sorry, that sounds really arrogant!!).

We're still not married - or engaged - but are really happy & are trying for our first baby.

Its not easy to build the trust again, & if I'm honest there are still certain episodes, such as the date that should have been our wedding anniversary, that do take me back.

At the beginning I thought I was weak for not completely ending the relationship, but my mum told me I'd taken the tough route & that I was incredibly strong. Don't know if it was just a mum pep-talk or the truth.

I don't know if this helps you. Whatever your decision I wish you and your children the very best of luck & a happy furure, x

expatinscotland Tue 08-Sep-09 08:51:40

Wow, so after you confronted him he lied and lied again and again?

Good luck coming back from that!

I feel sorry for people who take back a cheating boyfriend they're not even married or engaged to or have children with, tbh.

There's so much out there besides people who cheat.

QuintessentialShadows Tue 08-Sep-09 09:03:03

I am not sure I would want to continue marriage with a liar and a cheat.

I agree you should ask him to leave. Not permanently, but for you to get some space and time to think. Also see a solicitor or the citizen advice buraeau for advice.

Dont make it too easy for him. Because if you do, he will realize that he can easily have his ego pandered with a bit of exicting sex on the side, because you accept his lying and cheating ways. All he has to do is break down and cry and cling to you.

I feel sorry for you. I really do. He should have supported you through the last stages of your pregnancy and been enjoying your newborn. Instead he was texting and shagging another woman. I could never forgive and move past that. Was he with you in the delivery room? Was he dying to get to his new woman? Dont for a moment believe he only slept with her twice. First it was "we havent even kissed", then it turns out it was a relationship for six months, then they had sex twice. The story is getting worse and worse, isnt it?

I am sorry, your husband is an arse of the lowest order, and not worth keeping. Let him go and have his new and exciting life with his colleague.

WhenwillIfeelnormal Tue 08-Sep-09 09:32:07

First of all, so very sorry you are going through all this. It must be particularly awful when you are just getting over the birth of your daughter and have a new baby, with all the demands that brings.

From what you've said, even after he admitted something was going on, he continued this relationship? You said you "found out" various things - how? Assuming it's not from him, well done. Your instincts are very powerful and they will serve you well.

Showing such sorrow now is not really a true barometer of his feelings, since some of that sorrow is about being caught and not being as clever as he thought he was. It's also probably the first time he has had to face what he has done and his tears at the moment are not for you, but for himself and for the shit life he could end up with.

I'm afraid the signs are not good when someone is unfaithful this early in a marriage and the repeated lying would really trouble me. I think you also know that there is even more to come out than you have established so far and having information come out in a drip feed is far more difficult to cope with.

You are in absolute shock, but there are some things I'm going to suggest you do now so that in the months and years to come, you will know you made a decision based on all the information.

Without him knowing, register his phone for online billing. You will need an account number and an E mail address. This way, you can keep a track of any contact he makes with OW. If you decide not to ask him to leave, buy a SIM card reader that allows you to read up to the last 20 deleted texts.

In your shoes - and if it's possible - ask him to stay elsewhere for now and say you need to think about your marriage. I think that before he does this, give him one last chance to tell you everything. Then let him go. If he's really serious about being sorry, he won't hedge his bets with OW any longer. If you find that contact has resumed though, you know these are just crocodile tears.

Get real-life support and tell people what you're going through. You need so much support at the moment, especially with a new baby.

Does OW have a partner herself? Find the strength to tell him what has been going on. If she resumes her life without consequence, it will eat away at you what ever you decide to do. Just as you had a right to know, so does he.

Expose them for what they have done, including telling people at their workplace. If he means it about changing his job - he will accept this as a necessary consequence.

I am also a bit dubious about him informing her by text that it is over. To be honest, it doesn't sound likely and if that is the way he ended things, it is cowardly and horrible. Please don't misconstrue this as sympathy for her at all, but I'm always wary of men who treat women with contempt. Hard as it may seem at the moment, if he had ended it with her while taking full responsibility for his own part in events, he would emerge with some dignity. Both parties in affairs are to blame and both of them should be horribly ashamed that they saw fit to wreck someone's life when they were at their most vulnerable.

My instincts are telling me that you don't yet know the full story, that it hasn't really ended between them and that doing it this early in a marriage is not a good portent for the future.

You can recover from an affair, but only if contact is ceased and the whole truth is out there.

Keep posting at all costs.

GivePeasAChance Tue 08-Sep-09 09:45:53

Its a cliche but still I like it:

"Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, don’t put up with
people who are reckless with yours."

From 'that Baz Luhrman song - sunscreen'

whatdoyouallthink Tue 08-Sep-09 09:50:53

I have to agree with other posters I dont think you have got the whole truth here yet either. My H lied and lied and lied constantly. Its like a damage limitation thing with them. It was only a kiss, ok we slept together but only the once etc as you continue to find out more facts.

The fact he told the OW he was willing to give their relationship a chance would make me wonder if it is over between them. Did you see the text he sent? I would have wanted to see it and be there when it was being sent to her. Not saying its what is going on here but my H was telling me he wanted to try again but was still seeing OW who was happy to stay in that position.

Now its all out in the open I doubt he would contact her from his normal phone so keep an eye out for evidence of a second phone, top up vouchers etc. Also agree with WWIFN about using online billing.

Your H may be completely genuine in his remorse I dont know. I can only go from my own experience, which is of a complete twat of a husband(who was gagging to leave the delivery room to meet his OW and was most put out that dd and myself were well enough to come home 4hrs after her birth shock)

Only you know if you can move forward from this, as much as I thought I wanted to I knew deep down we would never recover. Now my dc and myself are all much happier without him. I know I would have always doubted him and couldnt live with always feeling like I had to check up on him.

Do keep posting.

LaurieFairyCake Tue 08-Sep-09 09:55:31

The only time my ex-husband cried was when he was saying he didn't want me to leave - he fucked her again within 6 hours.

Crying means nothing - action is everything.

Not seeing her again, changing jobs, going to Relate - a real commitment to making your family work.

So sorry for you sad - it's a terrible thing to go through. You may be really angry for a while, take great care of yourself.

ReneRusso Tue 08-Sep-09 10:01:06

I agree it doesn't bode well so early on in your marriage and with such young children. But it is possible your relationship can recover from this. It is vitally important that you can both speak honestly and work out where it went wrong, why he needed to look elsewhere. I know many people would disagree with me but I think it can be helpful for both parties to accept some responsibility, or at least to understand why he felt the need to stray. You might be able to forgive him in time, but to be honest you might never really trust him 100% again. But you can recover from this and end up with a stronger better relationship.

StillSquiffy Tue 08-Sep-09 10:42:31

Someone I know walked out on his DW when his DC's were a similar age, and I think it is true that the shock of being a parent can make some people do odd things - I would have sworn on a bible that the person I know didn't have it in him to start an affair. But he did. And I remember him trying to explain how his DW was different to the person he married (DUH. He didn't actually appreciate that HE was different too - a dad - and needed to wake up to it).

Looking back on it he knows he was a complete tosser at the time (as many of us were telling him at the time), and he truly regrets everything now. It was completely out of character and he did eventually turn into that great father (but unfortunately too late to save the marriage). Both he and his ex believe that letting this ruin the marriage was wrong.

So..... I think it is possible that it could be a one-off. But as someone else pointed out, tackling this together and not walking out is a very tough road to choose.

laurielou Tue 08-Sep-09 11:04:21

I don't want your pity thank you expat

Different people experience different things. Its very easy to advise someone to leave when you're not close to the situation.

Don't do anything drastic, bobsnpops, you need time to digest everything.

expatinscotland Tue 08-Sep-09 11:32:41

Well, I'm glad you don't. It's sad to see people with so little self-esteem they're willing to stay with a liar and a cheat even with no kids involved.

But you're right, horses for courses.

Just hope my daughters have more respect for themselves and realise they're worth more than staying with some cheating boyfriend.

WhenwillIfeelnormal Tue 08-Sep-09 11:38:06

This isn't fair - and it's not going to help the OP if we criticise others' choices on this thread.

expatinscotland Tue 08-Sep-09 11:43:18

The OP asked for opinions.

expatinscotland Tue 08-Sep-09 11:44:50

Again, horses for courses, my opinion is that I hope if my daughters' have a boyfriend who cheats, they bail.

Fair or not, that's my opinion.

Obviously the circumstances are different for the OP who is a) married and would therefore need to divorce if her marriage fails b) has young children.

noddyholder Tue 08-Sep-09 11:52:34

In my experience a relationship after an affair is always a bit shaky It is never the same and although some say it can get better I have never found that amongst my friends and there is always a lack of trust and element of doubt.If you can live with those so be it but to do that you must surely lose a bit of your 'self' by settling for someone where you weren't really their top priority

yukkymummy Tue 08-Sep-09 11:54:33

Just because someone leaves the "lying, cheating" man doesn't mean the other side will be a bed of roses. The infidelity is one part of the relationship - they may be countless other parts that are good. I for instance, would much rather be with someone who had cheated than someone who was self-righteous/conceited/controlling/had OCD/couldn't stand up for himself/was a pushover/allowed himself to be dominated by women/put me down/was lazy/didn't take responsibility/was cruel, a hopeless Dad etc, etc. In my opinion there are countless personality traits/behaviours worse than infidelity.

I couldn't bear to be in a relationship were my every move was watched, where my partner wouldn't at least, occasionally, consider that I MIGHT be capable (and desirable) enough to stray. Equally, I would never say that he would never stray. If he choses to, that is up to him, but obviously there are consequences to every action.

Can you find out a bit more about the motives behind his infidelity? You can forge a stronger relationship if you really communicate, warts and all. If you develope a stronger relationship he may be less interested in straying.

Also, maybe you could use this as an opportunity to develop your own life, so your happiness is not as dependent on his actions?

Sorry to hear what you are going through, but people can and do get through these things and come out stronger. Just walking away is, in my opinion, mostly to do with wounded pride and ego and will leave the issues unresolved. Obviously, that might be an option in the long run but in my opinion it needs to be considered alongside all the other options.

expatinscotland Tue 08-Sep-09 11:58:54

Fair point, yukky, I guess then it can depend on how much a person separates the sex part of the infidelity from the lying/breech of trust element of it.

For some, the chief problem they have with infidelity isn't the fact that the other person, male or female, had sexual intercourse with someone else, but with the lies that go along with it.

And, after being caught out, with the lack of respect they show for their partner by continuing to lie about extent of their affair.

To some, that's cruel and controlling behaviour.

QuintessentialShadows Tue 08-Sep-09 12:00:36

yukkymummy, I dont think you can possibly have thought thruoug what you are writing.

Cheating is neither better nor worse than any of the scenarios you are describing, it is equal to them. In all the cases, the woman are in actual fact unloved, unadored, uncherished, and her efforts in the home as a wife and mother are undervalued. Living longterm and putting up with a man who is uncommitted to his wife and children to the point of planning new life and beginnings with another woman must be awful. Accepting being second best to his flavour of the month, long term, must be awful.

Doesnt the OP deserve love and happyness? Why shall she just put up and shut up?

expatinscotland Tue 08-Sep-09 12:01:34

For others, it is the sex someone shared with someone else.

And still for others, it's the emotional betrayal they feel that their partner developed an intimate relationship with someone else whilst in a partnership with them and then consummated that.

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