Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Seven year itch

(24 Posts)
Cheryllou Thu 24-Sep-09 11:01:13

Hi, I need some help. My partner of 18 years (husband for 7 - as in year itch) has left me and my two children (2 and 4) and I don't know which way to turn.

He initially left 6 months ago, saying he feels we are just friends and that he wants more and - get this - has met someone at work he is keen on.

Over the past six months my life has been hell - he has come back to me FOUR times, saying he's made a mistake and wants a chance to fight for his family, and I took him back because I do love him and want to try every avenue to keep our family together.I guess I thought he was going through some kind of confused crisis and would see that home and family and me is where he belongs and I wanted to support him through it.

A few weeks back he dumped me again, saying he has been seeing this woman, that he thinks he loves her and they have even spoke of moving in together and having children!

I am devastated. The logical side of me says he is a shit, let him go and maybe I will be happier with someone else, but I just can't let go. I keep hoping he will change his mind, even just so as I can tell him to do one and get some control back in my life.

My life is unbearable - he comes a few times a week to see the children and I can't bear to watch him play happy families knowing what he has chosen for our family. He has agreed to a divorce without even blinking, but still looks confused and is still wearing his wedding ring.

I'm depressed, aching all over, not eating or sleeping very well and desperately worried for my and my children's future - all I can see is bleakness. Our marriage wasn't a bad one at all, although I admit the spark had gone over the past couple of years while the children were tiny. But I thought this was to be expected and that with a bit of work we would get it back, but he says he does'nt want to work at it.

I would like to hear from anyone who has been in this position, get some words of encouragement and some idea of when I can expect to 'get over it'. I want to get some self esteem back and be an independant happy woman, and ultimately meet someone who adores me. I'm not that bad - fairly pretty, gsh and intelligent and I feel I was a really supportive, loving wife and friend and can't believe this is happening - it seems obscene.

Also, I am considering calling this slapper to find out what kind of woman can take a man away from a wife and children? Is that a really bad idea?

ginnny Thu 24-Sep-09 11:20:59

I'm so sorry you are going through this. I've been there and its so hard.
All I will say is take it one day at a time, try not to to be too available to him, I used to go out when xp came to see ds just after he left, because I used to find it too hurtful to see him in 'our' house playing with 'our' son but not wanting me iyswim.
Doing this will make him see that you are getting on with your life and moving on and he may start to realise what he stands to lose.
Also DO NOT COMTACT THE OW! It won't help, it will make you feel worse.

laurasarah Thu 24-Sep-09 11:24:33

Aww bless you.

Sounds like he was looking for a bit of excitement and somehow thinks he has found it with this woman.

He needs to wake up and smell the coffee. Lets face it thinks can get very hum drum in a relationship especially with two small children who like routine! Have you suggested Relate to him or some sort of counselling to try and sort out the issues that started this break up in the first place, cos its sounds like he still has feelings for you.

Its such a common story that when the going gets tough the men/women back out and have an affair. I dont think all is lost here you need to talk to him in depth about why he wants out in the first place (boredom, doesnt love you any more etc).

If he cant give you any committment to at least try then I would suggest you dust yourself off (so to speak) and move on.

Think about this? How would he feel if you met someone else?



abedelia Thu 24-Sep-09 11:39:28

So sorry this is happening to you, my children were the same age when H had an affair and left to stay with a friend to mull over his feelings and how he could carry on with me if he'd felt all that for another woman.

The uncertainty is the worst bit - I found the easiest way to deal was, as ginny says, to avoid being with him. It is heartbreaking watching them together and wanting everything to be 'right', so I made him either take the dcs out during visiting hours or I'd make myself busy elsewhere.

If I were you I would take charge. At the moment he my feel he has the leisure to vacillate between you and the OW. The talk of children with her suggests he is trying to sort his guilt and missing his family by thinking replacing them may help.

Obviously he is highly deluded, but I bet his head is a mess. He's also still in the first flush with the OW but that may start to wear off soon. within 6-9 months you usually start to get a real measure of your partner rather than being loved up.

I'd start pushing the divorce along (I gather it's quite long process so if anything does change you can halt it). But start to get into the mindset that it is done and you are moving on. It will help you and there is nothing worse for a dozy indecisive H than remembering their wife is actually a sexy being who can go on dates and is now free to do as they wish, namely replace them...

countingto10 Thu 24-Sep-09 11:48:24

Agree with abedelia, you need to take control of the situation and then you will start to feel better. Have you packed all his stuff up and given it to him ? That helped my DH to wake up and "smell the coffee". I made him pack his stuff up in bin bags and load them into his car.

Do not contact the OW - maintain your dignity at all times. I know it is hard but you will feel better for it in the long run - there are so many things I want to say to OW in my DH's life but what type of reasonable human being thinks a married man with 4 DC is fair game ?

Contact a solicitor and get the ball rolling. And contact Relate to arrange some counselling for yourself. I arranged an individual appointment for myself and then DH decided that he actually wanted to be with me and the DC and was going to do everything in his power to "put things right". We are still a work in progress at the moment, it is not an easy path to take and I still want to tear the OW limb from limb but time is healing.

Good luck with everything but take control, look after yourself and have some fun.

Cheryllou Thu 24-Sep-09 12:04:35

Gosh, thanks - all wise words. I did tell H that I wanted a divorce last night to try and get some control back, but he just agreed and made it seem like it was his idea all along! Men!

I have also done the Relate route, which was very helpful to start with in that it made me realise he wasn't the be all and end all, but I seem to have forgotten all I learned and really can't face going through it all again witha new counciller. Have gone on some heavy duty antidepressants, which work some days and not others.

The other question I have is, do you need to see a solicitor or is it better to go to family mediation.

Good luck countingto10 - Have been in your situation and know how impossibly hard it is. My only advice to you would be to distance yourself a bit and get closer with friends - again, let him see that he's not the only one with other options. You'll boost your own confidence and make him have to work at winning you back. If he, like my useless sob, decides it's too much hard work, then let him go - don't do what I've done which is to keep clinging on to the idea that it will all be alright - it's too damaging.

ginnny Thu 24-Sep-09 12:41:01

I believe in Karma. My XP left me for OW 6 years ago, they were together 5 years, in which time after they'd got a huge mortgage on a house they couldn't afford she made his life a misery. They split up last year and she has taken him for every single penny he had. He told me when they split that he respected me for how I dealt with everything when he left.
He now lives back with his Mum, after 20 odd years of working he doesn't have a pot to piss in.
I on the other hand have a nice house, a new partner, a good job and am visibly happier and more confident than I ever was with him.
Things will turn around for you and I'm sure you will end up happier than him.

abedelia Thu 24-Sep-09 12:51:03

Re: the divorce, he probably either thinks that you won't do it or he is wanting to force you to be the bad guy - in his tiny mind he can then blame you for ending the relationship (whereas obviously it is all his fault).

I would go and see a solicitor first. In my view, you need to find out what you CAN get before you start to negotiate this down via mediation.

As for distancing yourself - as you know this is easier said than done. Favourite quote (from the film Clockwise, no less!) "I can take the despair; it's the hope I can't stand..." and by playing with your emotions and trying to have both you and the OW on a string he is being an absolute shit because you can't move on. That probably suits him so you should bite back by making yourself at least seem like you're getting out and about with friends / blind date / or whatever, even.

I can see why you are tempted to talk to her, if only to compare notes on what bollocks he has told both of you about the other as he drifts back and forth! I sometimes wish I'd talked to the OW, am sometimes glad I didn't. So not much help on that score. If I saw her now (and I am in her area in a few weeks - argh), given all the lies she has spread about me after, I'd definitely shred her (hopefully only verbally), 6 months pregnant or not... and if H did anything less or more than stand mutely / supportively as I went, he'd be next in line...grr.

MorrisZapp Thu 24-Sep-09 13:32:52

Absolutely you need to be the one to get assertive now. This guy has cheated, so you are moving on. You probably don't feel like meeting new people yet but pretend that you do. If he has left you, then don't let him treat your house like his home. It isn't, he lives somewhere else now.

Once he sees you acting like the stong, decisive person that (presumably) he once fell in love with things might be very different. But by then you'll have moved on and won't want him back HA HA HA.

Use your acting skills. Even if you don't feel strong/ glamourous/ busy etc act as if you do. Make yourself unavailable. Push the divorce as hard as you can.

And by all means think about what you'd like to say to OW but for the love of god do not contact her.

Cheryllou Thu 24-Sep-09 14:17:11

Pregnant? Crikey, what a mess. This is what I dread - my girls getting involved in a life without me, having the 'nuclear' family with her as mummy and me at home wondering what the fcuk has happened to my life...

No, I don't think I will contact her - I would only end up looking like a twat.

Why do men do this? I really don't buy this 'I love you but am not in love with you' bull. YOu love someone or you don't, and just because you don't feel like ripping the other person's clothes off all the time, surely you owe it to yourself and your family to try your best to work it out before fleeing with the first bit of skirt who looks interested.

The 'love' I give to a get from my family far surpasses the 'love' you get from furtive sexual encounters, that always burn out in the end.
But, he has made his bed, it's all just such a shame. Thanks all for support. x

HappyWoman Thu 24-Sep-09 14:40:43

Do get yourself a solicitor - shop around for one you really like though - i contacted a couple - one was far too aggressive and so found another one i liked - he was also up for mediation.
Source all the good solicitors in your area and make appointments with them - then if he wants to use them he will not be able to so easily - if you have said you may use them he cant.
Starting the process does not mean divorce - but it gives you the control to go at your pace.
My h had an affair and we are still together even though i started proceedings.

Does he have the children overnight? As hard as it is you must make him take responsibility for them.

And it will be so very hard at first - but you need to glam yourself up and let him see that you are not sat at home crying (even if you are at first).

I would also reccomend the bagging his stuff up and treating yourself to something for the house that is just for you. - rearange the furniture buy yourself some flowers. Or even just buy some new bedding and towels.

Take care or yourself now and make sure you do things for you and not think about him.

good luck

janess404 Thu 24-Sep-09 14:56:40


first post btw hello! <<< waves>>>>>

Cheryllou Thu 24-Sep-09 15:41:55

One step ahead of you girls
1) I have bought new cushions and taken down teh photos of him and me in (left ones with the children for their sake)
2) Bagged his stuff up last week and am using the wardrobe.
3)SEX? You must be joking! That's part of the problem - he went off me eons ago. The chance would be a fine thing...

I really am doing all I can, but I am eat, drinking and sleeping sadness at the moment and can't seem to get him out of my system. I know you are right - I just need to start divorce proceedings, painful as it is and 'move on', even though moving on seems to be lots of lonely evenings and killing time when the children aren't there.

He is having the children overnight now and then when I go away, but this affects the kids as they miss me when I'm not there. They just want us to be together and don't know whether they are coming or going. He is pushing me for more access (he comes one night a week and one day the weekend), but I hate it because I just want to be with my kids. I hate my life.

mummee09verity Thu 24-Sep-09 15:44:59


sorry to hear what you are going through

i have to say if this happened to me i would tell him to get stuffed. only see him to hand the children over, don't let him in your house, it is NOT his home anymore so why should he sit playing happy families with your kids while not sure if he wants you???

and as others have said, get yourself out and about, i know you won't feel like it but just do it!! eventually you will start to feel better because you are taking back your life, and it DOESN'T need to include him. and in tme you WILL meet someone worthy of your love.

i also think, as someone else said, its a good idea to start re arranging the house how YOU like it, and maybe even re decorate?? then it will feel less like the family home you shared - its now YOUR home, a sexy single lady who can do as she pleases!!!!

he is treating you like utter shit (sorry), he seems to want his cake and eat it, and i don't think you should carry on taking this crap from him.

and as someone else said too - if you are having sex with him still - FGS DON'T !!!

also - think about this - what sort of person is he???? seeing as he a)cheated on YOU with OW and )now he is cheating on HER - with YOU!! you can bet she doesn't know all the stuff he's saying to you, you can guarantee he is re assuring her its 100% over etc and she is the only one he wants!! who would want someone who does things like that?? to be honest if it was me i WOULD go and see O/W, just to compare notes on the shit he's feeding you both, then with any luck, if she has got any sense, she'll dump him!!!!

sorry if this sounds harsh hun, let us know how you get on. take care love mummeeverity xx

HappyWoman Thu 24-Sep-09 16:13:19

of course you will feel sadness - i remeber that phase too when my whole body was crying. Its ok to 'wallow' for a while - cry when you have to.

What we are all trying to say is to make sure you take control of when he sees the children. Yes they may well be upset and it is awful to watch that - but him coming over to your home to see them is not on.

The more he has them the more he will miss them too and it may well back fire on him and ow if it 'messes' with their plans too much (shame).

Set out some access rules - and i really think he should not see them in your home from now on - it will help the children to seperate you two too.
Yes they may well go and have a lovely time with their dad and it will hurt like hell but i also think it will make him 'wish' in some way that you were there to share it with him iyswim.

He does sound very confussed and i suspect he thinks he can just come and go when he wants.

Make him see exactly what being a part time father is like and the shine will wear off his new life all the quicker - probably at the same time as your life will be picking up.

Your life is not crap - it is just not the way you had hoped and remember that is not your fault.

abedelia Thu 24-Sep-09 16:41:53

Ooh blimey, cherrylou - wrong end of stick! I am the pregnant one (as soon as the mist of sneaking about and infatuation cleared he realised he'd been an arse) - but despite that I am sure I'd be surprisingly nippy if I caught sight of the cow!

Much as it feels awful, some time without the kids is good - as has been said, it will cramp their style and give you space to do things for yourself. There are better men out there...

If you can't stand being alone then try and arrange things for the night or two a week he has them. And make sure he doesn't get all the weekend - why should he have all the fun time when you get all the ferrying to school and back rubbish?

As Happywoman says, providing a taste of what life will now be like often focuses their mind...

Martha1 Thu 24-Sep-09 16:49:06

Its a scary thought being single after 7 years - it happened to me so I can sympathise. My ex basically told me to move out because he was seeing somebody else and was gonna move her in!!!!!!

It seems an impossible task to start over and I found it incredibly hard - I lost my home and my car as well as they were in his name but you will get over it! If I can, you can too. I know your case is different because you have children but if he can treat you the way he has done, then he's not worth being with full stop!

abedelia Thu 24-Sep-09 19:57:10

Good point - if he did come back, okay you'd be happy at first... but then the rot sets in. Because everything he's done to you is something that you have to come to terms with living with for the rest of your life. And you have to sit down and seriously consider whether you can do that, living with a man who actually went off with another woman and who saw how much pain it caused you and your children when he left the first time but then went on to do it again, and again, and again.

mummee09verity Thu 24-Sep-09 21:11:20

hiya, i totally agree with abedelia


Cheryllou Thu 24-Sep-09 21:32:21

Me too. I agree with everything. Maybe that's my trouble. Fuck him, he's history. I quite fancy Jamie Oliver now - is that weird? Perhaps it's the bucket of cheap red wine. Anyroad, just out of interest I had a look at Surprise, surprise, the men look quite normal. Not for now, but I reckon it might be fun trying them out one by one...

That sounds flippant, and I appreciate the time everyone's taken to respond - seriously dudes, I feel all warm in humankind (except men of course). I feel like I've made a whole new lot of friends, so thank you, and whatever you're facing at the moment, best of luck and love. x

ginnny Thu 24-Sep-09 22:21:34

It definitely IS wierd to start fancying Jamie Oliver but we'll put that down to the red wine/stress/temporary insanity!!!

abedelia Thu 24-Sep-09 22:51:23

Good for you, having a prod about online is great if only for the fact that it makes you realise there are actually other men out there that you wouldn't say no to! I sometimes think that it's possible to filter out everyone else you come across when you think you are happy in a relationship and once single again you have to retune your radar to pick up signals...

Have to say I did lay off the wine for ages while all my rubbish was going on, though - it does have a tendency to bring on depression.

HappyWoman Fri 25-Sep-09 07:33:49

well done.
I have no doubt he will regret what he has lost - whether he will actually admit it is another matter.
You do sound so much happier - but do remember it is a bumpy rollercoaster you are on and it is still ok to feel low again.

MorrisZapp Fri 25-Sep-09 16:11:03

Oh bless you cheryllou, good luck and keep posting!

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: