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Is it possible to move on from an affair?

(83 Posts)
mrscraig Thu 03-Oct-13 16:09:03

I found out just over 4 months ago that my husband had been having an affair with a much younger colleague. To say it came as a huge shock is something of an under statement- I've known him for most of my life and thought I knew him better than anyone.

At the time he moved out and, after a lot of soul searching, I decided to try again. Over the last few months though I have uncovered the depth of the affair. Including details of how many times they had sex, initially he swore that hadn't happened.
I have two daughters and feel wretched for them. I also really deeply love my husband - this in itself makes me feel weak and desperate. How pathetic am I??!
He is entrenched in my history and I never imagined being in this situation. He is trying to make amends but we are so uneasy with each other. If feels like we take one step forward and two back all the time.
To write down the extent of my excruciating pain would take forever. A million thoughts, ideas and images trawl through my mind constantly.
I read a lot of threads on here by women in my position. I know I'm not alone.
I read on another thread yesterday about how you should have a 'bottom line' of what you will not accept. In truth, what he has done falls below that bottom line. I feel so torn though- I feel I should give things more time and not make a hasty decision. But I am just so do tired and exhausted of feeling so utterly bewildered.
I'm also aware though that divorce on grounds of adultery you have a 6 month window- if we do divorce I bloody well want the truth on that certificate!!!!
I'm sorry for the ramble. Do i make any sense????
I suppose what I really want to know is can you ever really recover? Or am I going to live with this haunting us and never able to truly move on? My heart is just broken and I feel so so sad.

itwillgetbettersoon Thu 03-Oct-13 16:20:54

Mrscraig, I'm not sure whether you recover from such betrayal from someone you thought you could trust but you can move on. It is like a death, you wonder how you will continue with life but ultimately humans are very strong and we continue.

My STBXH also had an affair with a younger colleague (20 yrs age gap). Eventually I kicked him out as I couldn't trust him, he was still working with her and also was still in touch with her. He now lives with her And most of the time I think she is welcome to him. In 14 yrs time he will be 60 and she will be 40 that is a huge gap I think. Most of the time I am happier. There are occasions when I think I miss him - or rather - the life we had but I try to think if other things as it isn't helpful.

It is hard. I have lost friends because of it and have gone from a full social life to rarely bring able to go out. Couple friends we had do not invite me out so that is sad.

I'm not sure what you should do in the long run. I found I was driving to work crying every day that's when I knew he had to go.

Good luck x

Jan45 Thu 03-Oct-13 16:21:03

You are making perfect sense, esp under such stressful circumstances. 4 months is nothing. It doesn't sound like he left for long? Perhaps you need more time on your own, it's hard to fathom out what you want when the person who has caused you so much pain is there, constantly.

Some people can recover from an affair, others can't, you probably don't know yet what bracket you fall in but one thing is for sure, the trust is broken forever so even if you do stay with him, you will always have that piece of broken that can't be glued together again.

I think you need time out from him, even when confronted he swore there was no sex, what else has he sworn that is not true.

You are not pathetic for being loyal and loving your husband, he's the big let down, not you!

mrscraig Thu 03-Oct-13 16:26:02

I cry on the way to work too. And been known to let out ear piercing screams!
I am so so torn. Some days are good and I think I see light at the end of the tunnel, others are just wretched and full of despair.
My self esteem and sense of worth is on the floor. You probably wouldn't think that if you knew me. I feel my life is a constant charade.

mrscraig Thu 03-Oct-13 16:28:04

Itwillgetbettersoon- did you initially try again with your husband.
I'm so pleased you're happier now. Being truly, heart singingly happy seems a long long way off for me.

meditrina Thu 03-Oct-13 16:29:31

You don't have to decide straight away.

If you separate before the 6mons is up, you can still use adultery as a grounds. But if your personal timings are different, it can still feature in an unreasonable behaviour petition. Do not let the legal timelines override your personal ones.

Reconciliation is bloody hard, and you have bipoth to be utterly committed to it. It's not surprising that, after only 4 months you are still unsure what is best. There is no crystal ball about what course of action will bring you enduring contentment. Take all the time you need now. You don't sound ready to make such a big decision. There's no timetable for when you will be.

ScrewtapesOppositeNumber Thu 03-Oct-13 16:31:02

I don't have any emotional advice but I would say - PLEASE don't force yourself to stick to the time window of 6 months to file for adultery. Filing for adultery gets you no advantages whatsoever (in terms of settlement etc.) and you can file for unreasonable behaviour at a later date. All it does it put pressure on you and raise the risk that you make the wrong decision.

You're not pathetic. Good luck.

mrscraig Thu 03-Oct-13 16:36:38

I suppose wanting to get to 'adultery' on the certificate is pretty vengeful. I want their bloody names on there so it's their shame, not mine.

mrscraig Thu 03-Oct-13 16:39:42

I found out 6 weeks ago they had had sex. I feel like such a massive fool. He swore on our girls lives they hadn't. I believed him. I am completely humiliated.

joblot Thu 03-Oct-13 16:39:47

I'm very sorry you're in such limbo. What you need perhaps is him to be honest now at least about why and how he is going to make amends. I'd want massive effort on his behalf and major changes. Or it'd have to be over. He's treated you like shit, can you be sure he won't do so again?

ScrewtapesOppositeNumber Thu 03-Oct-13 16:40:48

Yeah, except it doesn't actually matter what's on the certificate. No one ever sees it. Lawyers have seen it all before (and then some, believe me) and are not interested. Bit of a pointless revenge, really. Surely the point is to get a divorce in a manner convenient for you. Also, if you name the other woman in the divorce then you make her a party to the divorce, which means she will be sent copies of absolutely everything that happens as part of the divorce. Also, she could be very obstructive if she felt like it. If you see a solicitor, s/he will explain that to you more clearly.

mrscraig Thu 03-Oct-13 16:42:17

He is trying....for now. I've read on here that the ones who have the affair put least into marriage and take most out. That was him really. Didn't see it at the time, it's as clear as day now. Now, I would say its more equal.

mrscraig Thu 03-Oct-13 16:44:41

Does it make me spiteful that I want her to see the consequence of their actions? I know it sounds spiteful and I'm putting blame on her- I'm really not but I can't help feeling that I want her humiliated too.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 03-Oct-13 16:44:44

I'm so sorry you're in such a wretched situation. I can only give you my personal experience which is that 'no', it's not possible to come back from having been so badly betrayed. I did exactly what you are doing at the time and vacillated between being desperate about the future, wanting to kick him out and feeling I ought to give it another try. I recognise the screaming and the million thoughts going through your head. It's panic, grief, anger and it's not conducive to making any kind of rational decision.

In my case, once he came back I felt relieved, the panic subsided and I thought we might have a chance. But one day, I woke up (figuratively and literally) looked at him with fresh eyes and realised that I despised what he'd made me become.... pathetically grateful for someone else's cast-offs.

Don't be anyone's second choice.. Good luck

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 03-Oct-13 16:46:02

"Does it make me spiteful that I want her to see the consequence of their actions?"

It's human to cast blame but it's not her actions that are causing you pain, it's his decisions. Go after the OW and you gain nothing.

mrscraig Thu 03-Oct-13 16:47:02

Thank you cogito. You are so much more eloquent than me. I feel like I'm arguing with myself a lot of the time and lack coherence. There'll be a whole other train of thought tomorrow.

mrscraig Thu 03-Oct-13 16:48:39

Cogito- out of interest, how long after discovery did you reach your decision?

herald Thu 03-Oct-13 16:49:57

mrscraig I recently (3 months ago) found out my stbxw was having an affair , I could not forgive her because of the loss of trust and I didn't want to spend the rest of my life wandering why she was home late or the affair coming up in every argument.

I have filed for divorce on grounds of adultery, but i have not petitioned against the other person, it serves no purpose,can delay the divorce and run up the solicitors fees if they do not respond. You need to maybe have a separation for a while and see how you feel after some time apart, because you still don't know the extent of the affair, but that decision can only be made by you.

All the best for the future

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 03-Oct-13 16:51:49

I think there was about a three month period (I've blocked a lot of it out smile ) between discovery and the end. After he returned and things had calmed down he booked us on an exotic holiday to talk and patch things up allegedly. I discovered him calling his OW from the lobby in the hotel and I realised I couldn't be bothered to be angry. I just didn't give a shit about him any more.

herald Thu 03-Oct-13 16:53:29

Also to add cogito gave me loads of advise and helped more start to move forward

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 03-Oct-13 16:54:15

Thanks herald. smile

mrscraig Thu 03-Oct-13 16:56:27

I know. Have read much of her advice. She's a wonder!
Good luck to you too.

mrscraig Thu 03-Oct-13 17:03:01

Any positive stories though...?

MyBoilsAreFab Thu 03-Oct-13 17:07:29

mrscraig I have not been in your position but have done a lot of matrimonial work in the past. Please don't focus too much on either the timescales, or reason for raising a divorce action.

If you go for adultery as the grounds, all it means is that is what will be narrated on the papers, and on the divorce certificate - neither of which anyone will really see, and which believe me will not give you the satisfaction/feeling of revenge you might think it would. Also it could potentially draw out an action - making it not only stressful but costly. Of course, if it comes to divorcing for financial reasons you can still use unreasonable behaviour, or indeed adultery, but it is better to see it as a means to an end, not a way of closure.

That said, I totally understand why you would feel like you do, but the only one who will ultimately suffer by thinking of these things will be you, as they will take up energy and feelings that can be much better used by you in other areas of refocusing yourself.

All the best for the future, because although it doesn't feel like it now, you will have good things ahead of you in time.

MyBoilsAreFab Thu 03-Oct-13 17:08:35

I should add that I am in Scotland, and don't know much about the English system, so forgive me if I am talking bollocks!

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