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Over or under reaction

(104 Posts)
gonnabehappy Fri 09-Oct-09 10:00:10

I will really appreciate some input here - my brains are scrambled. Most of the story is on 'healing after the affair' so I will just describe this week.

Eldest son's best mate took an overdose last Sunday. For very complex reasdons she effectively has no parents and her grandparents who were supposed to be caring for her were out of the country. Son and I spent Sunday night, Monday and Tuesday at the hopsital (I was shocked to find that if there is no 'responsible' adult she would not be supplied with toothbrush and toothpaste after vomiting for hours, neither could she activate the TV when moved to an ordinary teen bed without a credit card - what on earth is happening in the NHS...but that may be for another thread). As you can imagine is has been a truly terrible few days, and son is exhausted emotionally and physically. I guess so am I.

Then just as things have settled, I get a telephone call from the school. It appears that middle son had saved up his pocket mney to buy a BB gun (something he knew he was NOT allowed to have under any circumstances). Of course he took it into school to show off to his friends, and accidentally fired a shot (I am pretty sure he did not realise it had any ammo in it, it did only have one pellet). Quite properly he is now excluded from the school for a day and may receive a talking to from the police when he returns next week.

Then, having got upset about the level of deceit I deceided (WHY????) to look at husband's phone. Yep - although he now is aware enough to wipe all texts emails etc if he does not want me to see them it was possible to see that he had been searching his address book for OW contact details. Of course I went upstairs and asked him what this was about. He said he could not remember.

I then went back downstairs and tried to get back into his facebook and personal email - those he used to stay in touch with OW before. I couldn't - no surprises there I knew he had changed passwrds. He came down and asked what I was doing. I told him and asked him to let me see his facebook. Guess what - he could not remember how to get into either facebook or hotmail! However he did 'remember' that he had been told at work that OW's mother had died. He had searched for her contact details in order to send a message of condolence. He says he thought better of it and did not make conatct.

This week he has been very very down, almost tearful. He says that this is because he is depressed about money. Last time he was like this it was to do with OW.

My brain is churning - is this the lie that ends it all? Is he really trying to repair things? If so why does he keep secrets and lie? He said over and over again that he loves me. But all I can hear is all the things he said when he was being so cruel last summer.

This morning I said I was going to try and go away for the weekend (a friend has a place by the sea I can sometimes use). I said I would take the boys. He obviously does not want me to go - and I have not yet been able to get hold of this friend.

What a fucking mess - and I am soooo tired of it all. What should I do? My life feels like utter shit. Have been making a small reduction in ADs over past fortnight - really want to get off them but not good timing for anything.

JeminTheDungeon Fri 09-Oct-09 10:18:35

Sounds like you have an awful lot going on. I'm not surprised you feel overwhelmed.

Perhaps it is not the best time to reduce your ADS.

I hope others will be along soon, just didn't want you to go unanswered.

JeminTheDungeon Fri 09-Oct-09 10:22:30

Why not go away for the weekend by yourself, without the children, to get some space for yourself to think through things?

gonnabehappy Fri 09-Oct-09 10:26:03

Would have to take boys - husband has football

NicknameTaken Fri 09-Oct-09 10:29:15

I think it might be wise to avoid any big decisions right now. There's something to be said for staying in a holding pattern until things calm down a bit.

Be gentle with yourself. It's great that you were able to provide support to your son's friend when she had no other adults there for her.

As regards your DH, you can always leave him later if you feel you really can't trust him. Don't rush into anything at this moment.

countingto10 Fri 09-Oct-09 11:57:40

Gonna, try and get some space for yourself and leave the DC with your H - he can look after them for a while, let him do the work for a change. FWIW, my therapist told DH and me that I needed to get away on my own for a short while, not to have to worry about the DC, not to have to put on make up or dress up, just slob around being me. She suggested a health farm but there is no way our finances will stretch to that but I have managed to get away with DH with out the children a couple of times and it has worked.

It is possible that your DH is depressed as well, my DH went to the doctors yesterday thinking he had a chest infection but she told him he was depressed with everything that has happened over the last few months, his guilt etc, the counselling can also make you depressed as well.

Don't do anything in haste. I don't think your DH is being totally honest with you (my DH deleted his entire facebook entry and hotmail a/cs) I watched him do it. He has his work email which I could look at but I don't, and his mobile is left around for me to look at if I want. In fact he is now paranoid about me and my mobile ie he did it to me so am I now going to do it to him.

Good luck and try and stay calm.

thetattooedmagpie Fri 09-Oct-09 12:18:37

Hi Gonna,

In your earlier thread you talked a bit about your husbands relationship with the OW and how she ended it. Was this a complete ' catastrophic ' ending - as in, do you think there is a chance in hell that it would start up again. Or was it a bit more ambivalent than that ? I know you described her once as the 'bitch who broke his heart' - but was that his words and his description or your own ?

I think given the circumstances - OW ended it and he was sad about this - its likely that he is just looking at her account, maybe she's put some new photos up or similar and this has got him down ? Maybe he doesn't want you to see them or to know he's looked as he thinks this is rubbing your nose in it.

I think you will have a feel for if its likely to be able to start up again - or if its just him being sad and missing her. Is this time of year particularly relevant in the timescale of the affair ?

The thing is, he is likely to still be very unhappy about the end of the affair - and be struggling to move on. This doesn't mean he doesn't want to be with you and make a go of things - but it sounds like he's still grieving and maybe something has triggered off this new bout of sadness - may not be that they are in contact - maybe just him and how he feels at the moment.

I have a photo of OM on my pc and I look at it from time to time - I don't contact him though and know its over - its just when I feel a bit sad about it all, I need to look.

Anyway, hope it helps. Take care.

thetattooedmagpie Fri 09-Oct-09 12:42:43

Just one more thing Gonna - you could try reading TV Explorer's blog - its a blog written by a man who had an affair and it ended badly with the OW. He kept the affair secret and tried again with his wife but the OW confessed to her husband and it all blew up. He really struggled to let it go and the blog is about the conflicted emotions he felt about the situation.

Its american but not cheesy ! It might be useful as it explains the perspective from a male point of view and has many thought provoking comments from various contributors who come from all sides of the adultery coin.

Google 'TV Explorer blog' and it should come up - the language is a bit rich sometimes - but it doesn't pull any punches and is one of the most honest and even handed things I have read on this subject. Its also reassuring as he does move forward over time and things get better for him and his wife.

gonnabehappy Fri 09-Oct-09 15:45:07

I am totally riveted by the tv explorer blog - I will be back. Have just had very teary conversation with husband, trouble is he has lied so many times that I just cant see any way through this now. My heart tells me to have some faith, my head won't let me.

HappyWoman Fri 09-Oct-09 16:50:10

gonna - he still does not get it - no wonder you dont trust him.
He is hiding something 'he cant remember how to access his facebook account'hmm. You dont have to believe him and frankly in your position you would be mad too - i dont trust him and i dont even know him - it is utter rubbish that he has conviently forgotten.

Please do try and get some time for yourself - and maybe dont try and get off the ads just yet.

His football is more important than you feeling better???? - they are his dc too and now is the time he needs to be there for you.

And i am sorry but there is no excuse for him to be looking up her details ever again - he has made the choice now he has to follow that through. He cannot be trusted to not contact her - and especially if he is feeling a bit down anyway (like an alcoholic - who wants to know he can still have a drinkhmm).
He needs to trust you too - i watched my h delete all contact details of ow (of course he could so easily have stored them elsewhere) I also insisted that he give me her address and email address - he did so - he was a bit worried that i would contact her. But if i had to trust him that he wasnt contacting her then he would have to trust me to not do anything either. Trust is a 2 way thing and if he tries to make you feel any sort of guilt for not trusting him then he should be ashamed of himself.

Give yourself some credit - you can go it alone - you dont need him (you may well want to still share some of your life with him) but you will be fine whatever. Feel how powerful that makes you.

Take control and tell him what you need to move forward - complete honesty - dont promise him anything - say you will over time learn to trust him but at the moment you dont (that is you being honest), if he really wants to he will do everything to make you feel safe again.

Good luck and please do cat me if you feel you want to talk more.

WhenwillIfeelnormal Sat 10-Oct-09 13:46:32

Oh Gonna. I'm so sorry. Why does life have a habit of biting you on the arse just when you thought you were making some progress - and when you are exhausted and shattered like you were this week? Well done for being such a decent human being this week - I'm sure your son is really proud of you and grateful that he has a Mum like this.

The thing that worries me, is that there is no sense that your DH was proud of you, or supported you particularly, in your efforts.

You well know that I have always worried about the way you have been trying to resolve your issues. I don't think you have ever got to the bottom of what your DH's feelings about this relationship were - and are. Sadly, I am not surprised by this latest turn of events. Lying becomes a habit I'm afraid and of course, he is absolutely lying to you. I'm also amazed at your thread title - over-reaction or under-reaction?

Over-reaction wouldn't even occur to me in your circumstances. I think you have under-reacted all the way along. Expected the impossible of yourself and berated yourself for not getting over this. How on earth could you have done, with all the "hidden" information in your H?

I once asked you what your H's reaction would be if OW got in touch again. You now have your answer. Even the bit he will admit to is revealing. It occurred to him to phone her about her Mum? Hardly the thought process of someone who never wants any contact with the woman with whom he colluded in hurting you, is it?

These are not the actions of a man who wants to move on - and away - from the affair. Hiding things are not the actions of a man who wants nothing but transparency in the "new marriage". Being passive, inert, down and weepy while your wife is running herself ragged with the crises you faced this week are not the actions of a man who wants to make life easier for you.

To me, this man has never, ever "stepped up" and owned his behaviour. Actions speak so much louder than words. Saying sorry and I love you count for nothing if the behaviour doesn't mirror it.

gonnabehappy Sat 10-Oct-09 16:33:37

Yes, I know.

I don't (can't) trust him. But I do love him, I (perhaps) stupidly do believe he is a good man who has made a huge mistake, and given how boring and tough our life is I really do understand how the excitement etc of the affair took over. For a while he believed he had a chance of happiness. Now he is resigned to family life.

I wish he was proud of me too. It was very hard at the start of the week. It broke my heart to hear this girl talk, I was so proud of my son, I wanted to scoop her up and make her better. But it is not my place to do so. I can and will be a safety net but I can't organise her life for her. I think sometimes it is these limitations on what we can do to help that hurt.

I know that for lots of reasons I need to learn to live with my husband. Trust is such a huge thing to me though. I have difficultly coping with lies from my boys (even though to a certain extent they are a healthy sign of growing independence), lies from husband. That is a whole different ball game.

Last night after some wine husband took home my girlfriend. The same one he snogged on New Year's eve when he took her home. I was waiting in bed for him and he was snoggging her. How on earth do I get all these images out of my mind? I can (and do) recite great chunks of the emails/texts he exchanged with other woman. I torment myself and him with them. I have been low ths week, genuinely wanting to get off the treadmill we call life. I won't - the boys. But how oh I wish I could just shut everything out of my brain.

The girl who I sat with earlier this week calls my son her 'brainguard' - I know exactly what she means. But my God what a responsibility for a 15 year old lad.

I am sorry - this is incoherent. My brain is in overdrive.

Thank you for being there - it does take the edge off of some of the loneliness.

WhenwillIfeelnormal Sat 10-Oct-09 17:24:30

I'm sorry? He snogged a friend of yours this past NYE and not only are you still friends with her, he took her home last night and therefore provided yet another flashback for you? shock

I wish there was a "scratching my head" emoticon at how on earth you are managing to think you can move on, Gonna, but I will of course be here for you.

HappyWoman Sat 10-Oct-09 19:07:14

why is he still in contact with anyone who can make you re-live such images??

sorry but she should not still be a friend of yours - does she know what he has done? If not - why not? She is a friend??????

Sorry to say this but i feel he wants his old life back - with you not really knowing what he is up to.

He needs to understand that that life is gone forever.

If he cant or wont do that then i think you will be better off without him - sorry - i see such heartache in your posts and i just want to reach out to you and make it all better.

I have friends who have come through the other side too and have seen there is happiness. you seem to be living in hell at the moment and you really shouldnt be.

Stay strong - you can do this.

Doha Sat 10-Oct-09 19:40:56

Don't fool yourselt Gonna
This friend in no friend of yours. Is anyone snogged my husband they would be binned immediatly. It takes twoto snog.
Why oh why would you forgive her doing that when you so obviously cannot forget and still to this day have flashbacks. You are just torturing yourself.
And dont balme alcohol

gonnabehappy Sun 11-Oct-09 16:12:02

What a mess. I can't ask him to leave. The boys love him being around so much. Put up and shut up appear to be my only course of action. Thanks everyone. I will try and stop grumbling. i feel like i have to pretend all the time. At least here where no one knows me I can stop the pretense that I have this wonderful family life.

mrsboogie Sun 11-Oct-09 16:37:04

Your boys may love him being around but don't be fooled for a second that your and your husband's unhappiness is hidden from them. You don't know what effect it will have on them in the long run.

Being a good parent does not require you to sacrifice yourself to this degree for the sake of your children. This is your life too and you deserve some peace of mind, if not happiness.

Pipe up and shut up is not the only course of action.

WhenwillIfeelnormal Sun 11-Oct-09 18:17:57

Gonna - you implied down thread that you're thinking was muddled and I'd agree. You don't really think you're staying with him for the boys do you? You see, I think you're staying for your own sake. In a sense, if you were thinking of the boys, you would have the clarity of thought that it would be far better to bring them up in a home where there was less tension and more love.

Have you ever talked to the boys (especially the oldest ones) about your situation? Since their father actually left the family home for 8 months, they must have views on this. That said, although it would be interesting to learn their thoughts, sometimes children don't really know what's best for them at the time. When my own parents divorced, I would have given anything for that not to happen, but as soon as they did, it became obvious how right that decision had been.

Until you've lived in peace for a while and away from constant rows, seething resentment - and in my own parents' case, occasional violence - you cannot see the contrast. I will be forever grateful to my Mum that she took that very difficult decision. They both went on to meet lovely new partners and their lives have been so much happier this past 30 years or so.

It's strange how we all think differently. When my H had his affair, I knew straight away why I was letting him stay. It certainly wasn't for the kids. Perhaps it was my childhood experience that gave me that clarity - I was staying with him for my own sake. Of course, the children's happiness was important - but I knew that suppressing my own happiness was not, in the long run, good for their long-term happiness and welfare. I suppose the other thing is, I just can't fake it.

What worries me about you is that you seem to think that you've got to learn to live with this, but like Dittany and I suggested on your other thread, all your rages and doubts are perfectly normal - it's your human spirit kicking back and saying "No, I deserve more than this!" We had enough information from you in your last thread to advise you that your H wasn't trying to make amends enough - what you've told us in this current thread just compounds the situation.

You also implied on your other thread that you felt that too much time had passed for you to be making new demands, even though you are actually only 7 months down the line from the affair ending. Well, how about using this new catalyst to have that conversation I suggested before, with all the questions I suggested you ask?

Unless I've misunderstood this, from the timescales you've given us, he was still having an affair with OW in December - and still living away from the family home, when he snogged a friend of yours on NYE?

You also seem to almost pity him - poor him having to shackle himself to you and the boys after all that excitement with OW - is that really the value you place on you and the boys?

You cannot shut your brain down Gonna and remove these torturous thoughts and images. And that's a good thing, because I really believe that they are there for a reason - to remind you that this is not resolved by a long stretch. Your angry outbursts are in all probability because in some way, you are angry with yourself - you say, because you cannot let it all go - I say, because you are putting up with this! The intelligent woman and the brilliant Mum (and you do sound an utterly fantastic Mum) is kicking back, you see.

gonnabehappy Sun 11-Oct-09 20:41:19

I feel sick I just want to sleep.

gonnabehappy Mon 12-Oct-09 09:32:39

Yes I am muddled. This morning my overwhelming feeling is that I have let myself down, again. What kind of woman lives like this.

But boys are good reason - they were really messed around last year. Middle one had some counselling but others very disturbed too. they are way happier with their dad here, and I do take on board the need for kids to grow up with parents that provide a HAPPY stable home.

I feel like I just have to keep pretending - makes things happy for them. But on the other hand i am teaching them the lesson that men can treat woman with contempt and life still goes one.

Also my husband really wants to stay here, he says he wants to be with me not just here, I just find it impossible to believe he genuinely wants to be with me. It feels like there is noting he can say or do to make things better - he feels like that too. he says we just need to move on, and yes another loads of promises that he will make things better.

GypsyMoth Mon 12-Oct-09 09:51:35

way happier with their dad there??? how? you said he is v v down,almost in tears.

and this is how they learn about relationships? expect your future daughter in laws to be treated the way you are too.

this nmarriage has run its course...lurked on other thread,but really,you are just getting nowhere at all

countingto10 Mon 12-Oct-09 09:52:10

Gonna, I think with healing from affairs we have to accept there is going to be good days and very, very bad days. I am really struggling atm too, my DH is very depressed and I am just stuck in obsessive thoughts about him and OW. The latest is that he gave her my mobile number so that she could abuse me through texts/voicemails as I refused to speak to her for obvious reasons. I felt that was one things he hadn't apologised for as all he said was there was nothing he could do to stop as she was that type of woman and he was mentally in a very bad place then - so that makes is OK then hmm. He feels he has apologized so many times that he can't apologize anymore.

I know I will run my marriage into a ditch if I keep carrying on the way I do because no one should be expected to live with me like this. I behave like this because I am so hurt and upset by what he has done and I don't feel he is cutting me enough slack, we are only 4 months down the line after all.

I just want to scream and shout and now pretend everything is fine when it so clearly isn't atm but maybe if we convince ourselves everything is OK then maybe over time, we will get there. I know it takes such a long time to recover from affairs and I am trying to be gentle with myself and I want my DH to do the same, but he is not in a good place atm either and neither of us is in a position to support the other.

I've now got to go into the office and apologize for my behaviour.....

WhenwillIfeelnormal Mon 12-Oct-09 10:25:34

Gonna, you just said: "It feels like there is noting he can say or do to make things better - he feels like that too."

Really? I can think of several things.

- Stop lying
- Stop E mailing OW
- Stop contacting her on Facebook
- Stop phoning her
- Not being on your own (in the same situation) with a woman your wife has nightmare flashbacks about, even if she is daft enough to still befriend this woman.
- Giving your wife support when she is the midst of a crisis with YOUR chiidren. Children who were so badly affected by your behaviour that one of them needed counselling.
- Being honest with your wife about your affair, your feelings about it and why you are here now.
- Getting some counselling to get to the bottom of how you could be so cruel to someone you're meant to love.
- Trying to do everything in your power to make your wife's life easier. Understanding that she is still in trauma and needs as easy a life as possible at the moment.
- Being genuinely and visibly sorry. Not sorry that things didn't work out with OW, but sorry that you have ruined your marriage.

....I could go on and on with a myriad of things your H could do, Gonna. I am sad that your expectations are so low and wish I could get you to see this. Every time one of us seems to hit a nerve with you though, you go all passive aggressive and metaphorically take to your bed, saying you are too tired to think. I KNOW you're in bad place and I absolutely understand this.

I know too how Counting and Abedelia feel too, there are truly awful days when we obsess about an aspect of the affair and for a few days, THAT becomes the deal-breaker.

The difference with us all though is that none of us seem to think that is abnormal - and our expectations of our Hs are still high. We might (like Counting) worry that these lows are one day going to destroy us, but we understand why we're having them and realise that these are early days.

Debs came on to this thread and I could have cheered. Debs went through hell with these ups and downs and I know that Happy Woman did too. They are both further along the line than us though and it does bring comfort that time passing - and more openness, reduces these terrible downs.

I said at the beginning of your other thread that it is near impossible getting over this even if your H is doing all the things (and more) in my long list above. If he's not though - there is absolutely no chance of healing.

gonnabehappy Mon 12-Oct-09 11:44:54

Have just walked dog.

I have been trying very hard to work out what I want, how I feel about my husband, what I want to do to make things better. It really is all so muddled. I go round in circles in my head.

I am very sorry if I came across as passive-aggressive - that is something else for me to think about.

The friend - this is a complex situation. She is struggling with a messy divorce and has 'real' (sectioned several times over the years) depression. I can't abandon her. It was a drunken kiss, she was very needy at the time. I just wish she had never told me.

I have made another (very small) reduction in ADs. I know I am depressed but I really think they are adding to the mess my head is in. I feel very numb towards husband at the mo. I can't make myself tell him I love him and find it really hard to hug him. Maybe getting off tabs will help?

I can't face counselling but am working through the compassionate mind trying to find some answers or a way through this.

I am trying to help myself - just have very little energy and brainspace to do it in.

gonnabehappy Mon 12-Oct-09 12:14:21

Have just read through other thread again. My husband does not do 'talking' generally speaking (tho I suspect he talked to OW).Hold on - that might be a lack. How can I blame him for not talking? He says he dreads evenings - mos,t not all, attempts to talk are when boys no longer around.

How do you really communicate?

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