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Affairs: Can you really get over one

424 replies

Disbelief · 01/09/2005 20:49

I found out my husband was having an affair three months ago and athough we are both trying to make a go of our marrigae and sort things out I wonder will the pain ever really go, also if they stray once is it likely that they will do it again????

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soapbox · 01/09/2005 21:12

I went through this many years ago now and after some counselling decided that I wasn't the type of person who could have let it drop and manage to move on.

I made the decision not to get back together again as a result of this.

Plenty people do get through it though. How they manage it is beyond me!

I think those that have been most successful are where the straying party was chucked out then had to jump through a fair number of hoops before being allowed back - and after some considerable time.

I can't imagine how you can live with someone in the immediate aftermath of discovering an affair. That must be very hard indeed.

I'm sorry you are going through this and hope some others will come along and answer your question too

MrsMiggins · 01/09/2005 21:35

I would like to CAT you
I just dont know how to get over this.
r u around tomorrow
I dont work Mon/fri and would be nice to chat

thinking of you

Disbelief · 01/09/2005 22:03

MrsMiggins please CAT, I am working tomorrow but can pick up my mails at work. It was your thread that prompted me to start this thread.

Soapbox thanks for your message, did it take you long to come to the decision to end the relationship? Although my h was gone for a few weeks when he did come back it was made easy for him, we are having counselling which does help but as you both know its so hard.

Take care both

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kath4kids · 01/09/2005 22:08

I hope we can get over this but it's so damn hard. Whenever he goes out i think that hes going there even though my gut feeling is he's not. I feel really angry at him coz our whole lives have changed but i sincerly hope we can get over this. Otherwise what are we doing? Maybe i shouldn't be reading this thread.

soapbox · 02/09/2005 00:23

Disbelief - about 6 months or so. We had jsut got to the point of thinking it might be possible to make a go of it and I think as soon as I realised I had 'won' the battle with the other woman the reasons for wanting to be with him had gone. Which is pathetic really.

In that time there were so many things I had found out about the affair - eg he called her from his mobile when he went out to get the papers at the weekend. And I just knew that every time he left the house to go to the paper shop I would be wondering what was going on.

I just thought that the negative far outweighed the positive. In the end I just felt that I deserved better - and you know I did and in time I got it

The big 'but' though is that we did not have children. I can't say what I would have done if I had had children - I strongly suspect I would have stuck it out for longer although I'm fairly sure the long term result would have been the same!

I suppose I thought that I could forgive but I couldn't forget and I didn't want to live life haunted by that!

Disbelief · 02/09/2005 11:54

It is really hard, it comes into my head and I still get that feeling of utter disbelief that this has happened. I did turn to my friends at the time of finding out as my first reaction was I could never take him back and now I feel really stupid. Most people say that they understand giving it another go but you still feel humiliated. Its kind of embarrassing being out with him in public but a part of me wants to show that we can get over it! Now he has started to want to avoid places and people because he is so ashamed of what he has done he said he feels like people are judging him and he is embarrassed. Why cant they see this when they get themselves into this situation. I do think that if a women strays are they better able to keep it under wraps so no one finds out. I have never strayed by the way.

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expatinscotland · 02/09/2005 12:00

Personally I couldn't, but it's different for othrs I'm sure.

ChaCha · 02/09/2005 12:02

Disbelief - Not having been in your situation I can't really contribute to the thread but it was the cause of my parent's divorce and I lived through everyday of it.
It's hard to judge. Now that i'm older and married myself I can see both sides of the coin, however, I've come to the conclusion that if you have to have an affair, just make it easier on the other half and separate/divorce.
I'd just like to say that you are a really strong and brave woman. You must love your partner a lot and I hope that it all works out for you. Well done for trying to move on

Disbelief · 02/09/2005 12:17

Thanks Chacha, its funny that you should say I am a brave and strong person because I have always been a strong person (certainly the strongest in the relationship) and as a result of having him back and trying to make a go of things I now feel pathetic and week. I now worry that as I have taken him back once does this now mean that he may think he can do it again.

He swears that he would never ever go down that road again, now that he knows the pain it caused but he always said he would never be unfaithful - dont they all.

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Cranberry · 02/09/2005 12:46

Disbeleif - I can't really say much now but I am in a similar position as you. It's nearly 6 months since I found out about my dh's affair and it has been a very tough time. I decided that I would give him a second chance because I know he loves me very much and was terrifeid of loosing us. No two situations are the same so there is definative answer it's only you that can decide and only time will tell.

ChaCha · 02/09/2005 12:53

FWIW, I know for a fact that if my mother could have turned back time she would never have done it but sadly that is not the case.
My friend's father has just had an affair and her mum took him back, nothing to do with the kids as they are all grown up now and knew what was going on. Anyway, he made all his promises but has been caught seeing the same woman again -needless to say his wife is heartbroken but is STILL not convinced to say good riddance to him!
On the other hand, there are those of us who make mistakes that we genuinely regret and avoid repeating them again. Perhaps it was just a phase - work, stress, low self esteem - did you know the other person involved?

Disbelief · 02/09/2005 13:16

No, I didn?t, they met in a club and she comes from the other side of town. Although I did make it my business to find out, I had a mobile number for her and phoned her straightaway but she would not speak to me initially, then she did after a few days and fed me a load of bulls**t, she said that now she knew he was married she would not ever see him again she lied to me about times and dates and continued to see him. Anyway I was able to find out a lot, I got her name and address and over the first few weeks was able to put the pieces to the jigsaw. I felt that I needed to know all the details and this was very upsetting and hurtful in one way but in another way it was better for me to know the truth as my imagination imagined things to me much worse (if that was possible) As bad as the truth is I would prefer to know than to be always wondering what really went on.

I have seen her and there was quite a lot of trouble but she would not give up on him at first and kept driving around my road / area. I think she has the message now but who knows, last night we had a bit of a row and I thought to myself I wonder will he contact her now. I regularly check his phone but I know that if he was gong to contact her again he would not be as stupid to use his own phone. I know that since he has been back he has had no opportunity to see her but who knows for the future.

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kath4kids · 02/09/2005 14:21

I know exactly what you mean on all fronts really. Everytime i mention it or I have an off day I think to myself What if he goes to her now because he thinks I don't love him. Our husbands have to rebuild that trust. They have to reassure us everytime we doubt and if they want to save the marriage then they will be willing to do that.

I too wanted to know all the details, I've always said I can cope with what i know I can't cope with not knowing and having to fill in the gaps myself - I think knowing the truth however hard it is to hear is part of the healing process.

I wanted to know all the details of where, when, why. Especailly when he has 4 lovely children.

If he is truly sorry and you want this to work then it's going to be a long road. Have you thought about counselling for both of you? I think that has to be the way forward.

beckybrastraps · 02/09/2005 14:42

I think it all depends on how much you want to be together. I would genuinely rather not have found out, but I love my husband and am happier with him than without him. I also know that to refer to it and check up on him would lead to the breakdown of our marriage. I have told him that I will not stand to be humiliated, and have left it at that. My situation is different, as I found out after getting married that he had been unfaithful before we were married (but living together), so I have that more recent commitment to hold on to. Still, it's not easy. I suspect this makes me sound like a feeble woman, but that is not the case. It is a choice. Good luck with yours.

Disbelief · 02/09/2005 15:03

But how on earth can you not refer to it and check up on him, I know it annoys my hd when I bring it up up but tough I need to know the answers and I need to know that he is sorry and I need to know that he back with me because that is what he truely wants.

I wish I had a calmer temperment but I was so angrly, and could have killed her and him at the time if I had got my hands on them.

I am normally quite a diploamtic and rational person but I was none of these things when I found out.

Does anyone ever want to blame the other person as well as your dh, I have so much anger for her as well.

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Disbelief · 02/09/2005 15:03

But how on earth can you not refer to it and check up on him, I know it annoys my hd when I bring it up up but tough I need to know the answers and I need to know that he is sorry and I need to know that he back with me because that is what he truely wants.

I wish I had a calmer temperment but I was so angrly, and could have killed her and him at the time if I had got my hands on them.

I am normally quite a diploamtic and rational person but I was none of these things when I found out.

Does anyone ever want to blame the other person as well as your dh, I have so much anger for her as well.

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beckybrastraps · 02/09/2005 16:48

As I said, my situation is different because I didn't find out about a current affair. I'm sure it is much harder to keep it all in in your situation. Of course I get suspicious now, and I'm sure it comes across sometimes. I just know that if I keep on about it, my husband will probably leave. And I want him to stay.

kath4kids · 02/09/2005 20:40

I felt more betrayed by her than i did my dh. She was my best friend and she should have known better, after all she is a woman and a man can compartmentalise his life women don't do that and she was here every day. so yes I do blame her as much as him if not more.

nooka · 02/09/2005 23:09

Thanks for starting this one Disbelief, as I have read recent threads and thought I'd really like a discussion about this, but not wanted to hijack threads which were about supporting people in crisis. My dh had an affair about two years ago now (I finally had it out with him just after Christmas last year). We are still together, but it's incredibly ropy. Not because of me, but because of him really. I think (probably deluding myself!) that I am over it, and wanting to move on, together. But he has always struggled to think positively, and although he says he wants to work things out, I think that he is actually sinking into depression. The affair was a mid-life crisis/effect of babies on a relationship sort of thing. He thought he was deeply in love (I have found some truely dreadful poetry!) but it was all escapist fantasy and he hadn't thought things through at all. Recently I told him that I had told my brothers and sisters, and he was really upset and said that he would never feel comfortable with them again. I said maybe he should tell his sister (thinking that he needed support) and he did last weekend, but came back saying he thought his father "deserved to know" and has hardly said a word to me since (he went to bed at 9.30 tonight). My ds (6 1/2) is getting concerned for him (he is a SAHD) - told me that "Daddy has a broken heart" and I am starting to wonder what I should do. I am of course glad that he realises that what he did was a terrible thing, but to be really honest I'm a bit bored with the past - I want to plan for the future now! I'd be interested to know if anyone else has found similar behaviour post affair, and if so what they did (that worked or didn't work) and how they got back to a happy family situation. When I was having counselling (which I would recommend to anyone) my counsellor suggested that maybe he had some really deep seated problems, but I haven't managed to persuade him to go along yet.

As for myself, in answer to your actual question yes the pain does go, but every now and then it will spring upon you in a weird way (memory that resurfaces, wording someone uses, anything that feels similar, things you think when making love/having a row etc). Dunno about the restraying - I think that depends on the reason for the original affair.

nooka · 02/09/2005 23:17

Oh, yes the other bits mentioned here. I despise her really, but it's him that was supposed to be faithful to me (she has since left her husband, but I don't know the circumstances of her marriage to judge). I try to think of her as an ex. But if the children tell me that Daddy has been on the phone I am instantly wary. I've never felt that it was a competition between her and me, but maybe that's because in the real world I know I'd win hands down (maybe not in my husbands crazy view!) oh, and she doesn't live in this coutry.

Actually I think that women are capable of compartmentalising - I know that it's the only way I survived the six months of suspicious hell followed by six months of fall out.

I have checked up on him - feel that I need to every now and then, but the need is fading over time. I do know that if I did find him straying again he would definately be out. I don't feel humiliated by this, if anything I feel stronger - agter all I'm the one in the right, no questions asked! But, I think he does, and that's not a good place for anyone to be.

nuffsaid · 03/09/2005 00:37

This is long. Sorry.

7 years ago my DH started an affair with someone and I knew within days that he was up to something.
He had an evening job in a nightclub as a bouncer. We needed the money and the pay was really good. Within weeks of him starting this job he changed. He became obsessed with his appearance etc.
The job gave him a new life. He wasn't just a Dad and Husband anymore. He was someone who people looked up to and was respected by all the "club goers" and by his employers.

Then SHE came into his life. I understand the reasons why SHE became the one. Lots had happened in our life and he connected with her.

I followed him one night and watched him whilst he was working. I saw them leave the club together and followed them to her home. I sat outside her house knowing my DH was inside. I couldnt bring myself to go and face the music so I drove home and waited for him to arrive.
Still I did nothing.

He would be late home from work but always had an excuse as to why he was so late. He would leave home earlier and earlier every morning just so he could pop in and say "hello" to her before he went to his day job.

He would disappear on Sunday afternoons and be gone for 3-4 hours. I would joke with him and say "I hope the other woman was well". All of the time he would tell me "I was mad" and that "I was the only woman for him".

Finally things came to a head. Our relationship was falling apart. I knew what he was doing but couldnt pull my head out of the sand. I was scared that if I faced him, with what I knew, that would be the end of us. I just knew how sad I would be without him in my life. He was my best friend, my soul mate, my childrens father.

SHE wanted more and he wouldn't give it to her. He told her he had a family and that he loved me. SHE didn't like that so she took an overdose and cut her wrists.

I will never forget the call I received from the hospital. SHE told the hospital that my DH was her partner and that they needed to contact him.SHE told the nursing staff that I was DH's sister and that if I answered the phone it would be OK to tell me what had happened.SHE gave them our home telephone number and I took the call.

DH was in the shower getting ready to go to work and my world was falling apart.

I walked calmly into the bathroom and told DH that he needed to go to the hospital urgently. That SHE needed him. He looked so shocked and cried like a baby. All the time I just felt so relieved that finally this was all over.

We both went to see her in the hospital. I was really calm and held it together.Three days later I even collected her from the hopspital and took her home. I knew that if I became a "friend" to her then she would open up and SHE did.

SHE told me everything. How it all started, how she had wanted the things I had in my life, the nice house, the nice car, the nice loving husband etc etc.

SHE knew it was all over between them and even admitted that for the last few months SHE had been trying to blackmail my DH into seeing her.

SHE told me she was even trying to get pregnant by him so she could trap him.

His affair lasted three and a half years and three and a half years later we still have our moments.

He would phone me constantly to let me know where he was. He even stopped and wound the window down in his car once and asked a passer by to tell me where he was because he was stuck in traffic. All these things he did to try and make me see that he could be trusted, but what he didn't realise was, he was suffocating me.

We went to Relate and had long and teary sessions.
It helped us both and cleared the way for our future together.

There are times when I get so mad and angry with him because I remember all the wonderful times we have had as a family and he could have so very easily thrown that all away.

A song comes on the radio and triggers memories of that period in our lives and I get angry with myself for letting it affect me the way it does.

DH has told me that it was the biggest mistake of is life and how he wishes he had told me after the very first time he had strayed. The time his affair went on is the one thing I can't understand. He tells me he was trapped by her. That he was scared that if he didn't see her she would tell me.

SHE even told me that once she stood next to me whilst I was in Boots. Whilst standing next to me, she was on the phone telling DH that if he didnt go to see her that night, after he had finished work, she would tell me there and then all about their sordid little meetings!

So to answer your question can you get over it and does the pain go away?

Yes you can get over it, but sometimes it hurts like hell and at these times your DH needs to be aware of the reason why you are hurting so much. You can't throw it in his face. You have to just tell him you need some space to think and sort the feelings you have out.

The counsellor from Relate told me "It hurts because you care", but you have to care enough to allow the hurt to run its course and then the pain is'nt so intense.

magnolia1 · 03/09/2005 09:43

Blimey Nuffsaid, you are such a strong woman and your dh is so very lucky to still have you

compo · 03/09/2005 09:47

I have had an affair in the past and yes, we haveall moved on, but I'm not sure dh fully trusts me. It was beofre we got married so we started anew as it were but I still have no idea how hard it must be for him to accept that I did that to him.

maturer · 03/09/2005 15:20

Disbelief,I am so sorry you are going through this. As another "victim" of a dh's affair, 2 years ago- I still can feel the absolute agony, disbelief and bewilderment you are going through now. Time is a great healer and talking- honest spare no feelings talking- from both of you. Itis I believe a kind of grieving process you are experiencing now and you have to go over it again and again until it makes some kind of sense and stops hurting all the time. I recommend counselling for you and individually for him. I discovered as many of the others have said that affairs are not always about a problem in your relationship. they are escapism and fantasy and that's why they don't usually last once reality hits and it's out in the open.My dh had a kind of mis-life crisis in response to work/ career change problems and had an affair with a very needy woman at work who ultimately took a long time to get the message when it was finally over and it was like a cancer in our lives.
Two years on it still hurts at times as if it happened yesterday but most of the time we are great and have become closer and stronger. he knows he hsa to put up with the questions and the pain as he caused it and gradually the trust comes back ( he's just worked away for 3 months- something i couldn't have let him do if i didn't trust him!)
so please believe you can survive this if you WANT to and make it work but you both- him especially have to be prepared to face the pain full on and be as honest as you can about your feelings. he probably doesn't know how to answer many of your questions yet- especially the why? one it took time and counselling before my dh could even start to answer that because we had had 16 fantastic years together and 3 great kids before all this happened and it was so out of the blue!he couldn't say why. Don't bottle it up, make time to let yourself feel and grieve and heal it will happen if all is out in the open. take care honey , keep talking!

MrsMiggins · 03/09/2005 22:45

Hi Disbelief
Still feel like sh#t but feel numb at same time.
DH is being v attentive & affectionate & trying best to reassure me but I cant help myself.
I want to look at his phone
I even want to get into his work laptop but cant.

I know I need to deal with this but dont know how.
The strange thing is (and this may be denial or wrong) but the thing that worries me most is me putting the effort in / forgiveness & him still leaving.
have told him this & he tries
to reassure but how do I trut him again?

feel so alone & miserable

hes in bed now - passed out from drinking alcohol - watched England match down pub with my brother while I looked after kids

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