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My husband has left me

169 replies

sykes · 20/05/2003 12:01

Was going to change my name but can't be bothered. In brief, my h has been having an affair for about six months - altho only really "known" the person for two weeks. After two attempts to leave and begging to come back he's now gone and is living with her (she's 26, already married) in a flat. He's 37, married and we have two small daughters - 18 months and 3.5 years. As stupid as I sound I'm trying to believe it's a mid-life crisis and it can be resolved. we've both made mistakes in the past but have had masses of pressure. Or is he just an idiot who thinks he's in love. He's justifying his actions by saying our relationship would never have worked - not true in my eyes and after 13 years don't you expect rough patches? I think I'm hanging on to something that may no longer be there and he's obviously left. But my daughters and I deserve more than a pathetic attempt at repairing our family life. We were such a great couple once. Any advice? HAve managed to drag myself back to work after eight days since he left.

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sykes · 20/05/2003 21:12

Thanks to all - just got elder dd off to sleep - not surprisingly she's rather upset as dh (dh???) was v hands on. I sent him an e-mail today NOT asking him to come back but pointing out how cruel it is for a three-year old to have a chart on her wall for when she "meets" her daddy - lots of other poignant points which I hope make him feel like the bastard he is for not pointing two tiny girls before his own inadequacies. Not that I mentioned inadequacies. Have also sent him a note re bills to which I've added on my therapy sessions and botox injections (not needed as yet - but you never know ...)First therapy was okay so that's a step forward. Thanks to all and it really, really helps.

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WideWebWitch · 20/05/2003 21:14

Sykes, I'm really sorry to hear this too. I'm afraid I don't have any great advice though, only sympathy. What is it with men and their mid life crises? I really dislike this idea that we should all indulge them and wait it out, although I'm absolutely not criticising anyone here and I can understand why people do. It's just maddening to hear about this happening to yet another woman I 'know' - it doesn't seem to me that many women run off in this way. Sorry, I don't suppose that's helpful sykes but fwiw I do think it's unlikely that he's truly in love with her and this is very possibly a short term thing. Yep, you do expect rough patches after 13 years, of course you do but I think you're quite right, your h is trying to justify it by saying your relationship never would have worked - doesn't necessarily mean he believes this really deep down. Cyber hugs from me too.

sykes · 20/05/2003 21:16

Thanks - patience and understanding running out and wondering whether he's fit to be a father - just found eldest dd on the stairs screaming for daddy. I could lynch him.

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sobernow · 20/05/2003 21:30

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

robinw · 20/05/2003 21:34

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mammya · 20/05/2003 21:35

Sykes, I'm so sorry to hear what happened to you, I haven't got any advice I'm afraid, just thinking of you and your dds. Hope things will get better one way or the other. Keep posting if it helps.

sykes · 20/05/2003 21:36

I know what you mean - I do assure you I'll be making him feel as guilty as hell but as he really is such a brilliant dad am v confused as to how on earth all this happened - as are all our friends. Such a cliche, I'm sure. Am beginning to think if he is so weak and can get so infatuated at his stage and responsibilities in life then it probably is pointless. Most people try to see both sides but my sister would try to have me certified if I did consider a reconciliation - can rather see her point. Thanks again. Off for a glass of pinot grigio before the onslaught of a 6:15 wake up with two wee ones and then not home till 7pm. He's visiting tomorrow but has to leave before I'm home.

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Rhubarb · 20/05/2003 22:17

Sykes, I'm really sorry for what has happened here. You probably want to hear how he will come back to you and all will be forgiven and forgotten. But does he deserve you now? Not only has he hurt you, but your daughters too, if he loved you all that much, would he put you through all this? Yes you can blame it on the mid-life crisis, but I bet you don't go off with someone everytime you get PMT do you? It's an incredibly selfish thing to do. I wonder if perhaps he knows that you will wait for him, so in his eyes he has nothing to lose. He has a younger lover who at the moment is attentive to his every need, and a wife who is waiting patiently in case everything goes wrong with his lover. Would it bring him back to reality if you saw a solicitor and starting threatening divorce? You don't have to go through with it obviously, but it would make sense to see a solicitor anyway as you will need to sort out your finances, etc. If he realises that he stands to lose you for good, he may rethink his situation.

Finally, are you prepared to give him that chance? What happens if he does come back, how will you trust him? I know you want to protect your daughters, but surely they would be happier if the both of you were happy, rather than staying in an unhappy marriage. Kids do pick up these vibes and they will know if you are just going through the motions. Also your daughters may be looking to you as their role-model. So if you teach them not to put up with a cheating partner, they may just respect you more for it.

You are worth more than second best. You have put a lot into this marriage, how would he react if the tables were turned? Be strong and be brave, show him that you are not to be fooled with. Even if he doesn't come back, you will respect yourself more for it, and so will your children. You don't have to put up with this, so please don't.

Carmel · 20/05/2003 22:31

Your right with what you say,but sometimes are hearts take over are heads !

sykes · 21/05/2003 09:10

thanks again. The irony is that I was always the dominant partner and probably took advantage of him in the past - hence my conciliatory approach now. I have contacted a solicitor and have an appointment for next week. Also, seeing elder dd crying for daddy last night when he's shacked up with some tart from the office is making rather a massive impact. She doesn't need a yoyo daddy who's so insecure he succumbs to flattery. My resolve is strengthening. But then I think how great he is with dds and how they love him. Gosh it's confusing.

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wiltshirelass · 21/05/2003 09:19

I'm really sorry to hear this. I have limited experience (only indirect watching others relationships on the sidelines) but from what you say it does sound like your husband has been overcome by the excitement/sex/thrill of it all and it is probably too early to know how serious a relationship it is underneath it all.
If you think you may want him back I would echo the others advice (although bloody difficult to follow) and stay civilised, strong, etc so that he has to admire you in the circumstances and can feel able to come back if he realises he has made a horrible mistake. Also, to be machiavellian about it, use the new woman to your advantage. She is 26 - if the children are missing him so much, send them to stay with their father (and her) regularly. Too many romantic weekends "ruined" by them and she may realise that she has bitten off more than she can chew - and any attitude she has which is less than adoring to your children will diminish her in his eyes. Also, the more upright and reasonable and admirable you are, the more likely she is to feel insecure and misbehave/show her age/make unreasonable demands on your ex.
And if at the end of it all, if it does turn out to be a lasting relationship that you can't fight against, at least you will come through it with your dignity more than intact, and your children having maintained their relationship with their father.
I do feel extraordinarily for you, it must be incredibly difficult. I think you are very brave. Good luck.

Mum2Toby · 21/05/2003 09:25

Sykes - I know it's very easy for me to say this coz I'm not there, but he's moved in with her!! It's not like he's had a drunken snog or even a one night stand that could be forgiven as a one-off mistake. He's moved in with her! Which, in my opinion suggests he's thought about it lots and is trying to move on. I think it's an awful thing for him to do and it must hurt like hell, but why would you want this man back?? He's left once, what makes you think he wouldn't do it again....and again.... and again!

You are being very amicable about this. It always amazes me the advice people get in this situation. Why should you be nice to him?? What has he done to deserve that?

My Mum blanked my Dad's affair for years.... she was going to leave, but never did. She has HATED him for years. They still live together, but she doesn't have a nice word to say about him and refers to him as an a*rse most of the time. It was very distressing for all the children then and still is now. Reconcilliation is not always the best way to go.

Stay strong.

sykes · 21/05/2003 09:25

Thanks and I understand your logic - but really don't intend that my dds should be subjected to the other woman. I don't intend that they'll meet for at least a year - presuming the relationship lasts that long - as I don't want to cause any distress with such a ridiculous set up and my dds seeing their father in bed with someone else. Acccess is totally on my terms and based around our house - just him. He had this stupid idea that they(him and her) would provide SO much support and the kids would stay over. My solicitor says he's living in LaLa Land. What I do find frightening is that he thinks that would be okay with our dds. I do intend to bugger up their weekends though and have told him that if he plans any holidays/weekends away in the next six months I'll have his guts for garters. Ironically we're supposed to be going to Sardinia en famille first week of June - my lovely nanny is now coming. So he can holiday then. V cross today.

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sykes · 21/05/2003 09:32

M2Toby, I know and he's sent me his new address advising me not to call on the landline unless I want to run the risk of speaking to her. I think I may be in denial but it just seems so ridiculous. I do believe that he has thought about it for a long time - we have a few counselling sessions, he had a few therapy sessions and Jan and Feb seemed fine - even put an offer in on a house and he was sending me e-mails saying how easily led astry he was, weak (I know, not a good recommendation) and I believed him. However, as soon as she gets in touch he can't help himself. He didn't seem to get that it would take a year at least to get over the affair and lots of heartache. Maybe you're right, he says he's been unhappy and has thought about nothing else since Christmas. I just find it hard to accept and rather sad that he didn't stand on his own two feet for a while. Other issues have bothered him - he did 70% of hte childcare, much more housework than me etc and I thought it was an escape route. I'm probably just fooling myself. But it just hurts SO much for me but, more importantly, for two tiny girls.

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Mum2Toby · 21/05/2003 09:39

SYkes - by your posting I think deep down you know that if he came back you'd never trust him again. Don't you DARE blame yourself for this. His weakness is not your fault. He's being pathetic.... the solicitor is right. He wants the best of both and everyone to live happily ever after, but that'snot going to happen. If anyone is in denial it's him. He is completely blanking out all the hurt he is causing. Reality will hit him soon.

Does he know you've spoken to a solicitor?

BTW, I think you are absolutely right about the access 'they' have to your children. Good on you!

wiltshirelass · 21/05/2003 09:46

Yes sykes, I can see that my suggestion was a bit simplistic, of course you don't want this woman anywhere near them.
I don't feel I can help you in any way, but I do think it sounds like he is extremely confused and not entirely sure what he wants. yes, he has moved in with her, he is trying that, but he also tried not to, if you see what I mean. I guess it will need time for him to get everything straight, meanwhile you are left with all the most difficult bits, dealing with your hurt and trying to make things better for the girls. Aughhhh.

aloha · 21/05/2003 10:06

I can totally understand your anger, sense of betrayal and sadness in this horrible situation, but I hope you will continue to be saintly and encourage contact between the girls and their father. They obviously and understandably miss him and are caught in the middle of this. My dh's ex girlfriend left him for another man leaving their dd (my stepdaughter) with him but he never, ever stopped his ex seeing their daughter at weekends (she went to the ex's new house) and she saw her mum's new boyfriend quite often. Ironically, though, contact only became a problem when I met dh and the spiteful cow was so jealous that I was seeing 'her' daughter that she tried to cut my dh's contact down from 3-4weekends a month to one and told dreadful lies to the court about him. (oh, and se tried to get our house too)!! This really, really upset my sd and our relationship with the ex have never, and will never recover.
I think your husband is behaving like a total arse though.

aloha · 21/05/2003 10:07

BTW, why do we think Norman Cook is fantastic for getting Zoe back, but there seems to be a perception that it is wrong for a woman to take back a straying husband? Not criticising anyone at all, but it does seem to be the case sometimes.

sykes · 21/05/2003 10:09

thanks again. The worst thing is the confusion and uncertainty. I think I have to emotionally distance myself from him - not exactly easy - and try to start moving on with our lives. It's just SO hard when you know he could transform our little dds lives if he had a bit more backbone and resolve. To add insult to injury his mother thinks we're reconciled - saw us together after Christmas - he left us on Boxing Day (nice) and I left to go to San Francisco to stay with my sister. A friend met me at the airport and got us all upgraded to Business Class - nevertheless 12 hours of endless weeping and two little dds who didn't sleep on the plane was awful - the airhostesses had me on suicide watch. After he'd begged us to come back and promised to do ANYTHING we went to see his mother in hospital - she has leukaemia - gave her a huge boost - and his father, understandably, doesn't want her to know he's since left again as he thinks it will set her back. So I have to lie if his mother calls. He hasn't of course thought about the fact that it means she won't see me/children for ages and ages as he can't ask the dds to lie and elder dd thinks daddy lives in a boy's house. How is he going to explain that? He has NO idea of the destruction he's causing.

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sykes · 21/05/2003 10:11

I'd never stop him seeing the dds (we've agreed every couple of days) - he's seeing them this evening and tomorrow evening. I don't think he deserves to be a father at the moment but my dds deserve a dad.

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wiltshirelass · 21/05/2003 10:13

you can't lie to your mother in law. I know she is ill, but you have no control over what your daughters say to her, and that would be a dreadful way for her to find out. and it is too much to ask of you. much better if you tell her honestly - this has happened, I don't know where it is leading too but it doesn't look good - we are coping although very sad - it won't change my or your granddaughters relationship with you.

aloha · 21/05/2003 10:26

I agree. Don't lie for him. He has to take the consequences of his actions. It won't be you hurting his mother, it will be him. I think the way you are handling this is amazing.

Mum2Toby · 21/05/2003 10:44

Aloha - I didn't even know Fat boy had taken her back, when did that happen? I don't think he should've. She had a very public affair and humiliated him!
I just really don't agree with the concept that ANYONE male or female should sit back and wait until their partners have had a bit of fun.... tasted the other side of the coin and then come running back coz they didn't like it afterall. If that's the case, then both should be allowed to fool around for a while.

Anyway - that's besides the point. Sykes - I agree with the others. I think you should tell MIL.... or just not lie the next time you speak to her.
I really hope things work our best for you and the kids.

sykes · 21/05/2003 10:58

I'm not happy about lying and I'm not really even that fond of his mother but I really don't want to hurt her when she's so vulnerable. He's got to sort it out and I will eventually tell him that but in the interim I intend to keep quiet. My sister says I should use it as leverage against him in case he gets difficult about money ... can't you tell she's a finance director.

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doormat · 21/05/2003 12:04

Sykes I am so sorry to hear of your situ. I have been through this with ex husband and a relative of mine has recently had this happen.
If so I would advise you to
dont nag or moan at him when he visits you or your children.
hold your head up and ACT like you do not need him and that you are coping extremely well (even if you are not just ACT)
start doing yourself up ie get a new hairdo, new wardrobe, a bit of make up etc
ACT (again) that you are busy all the time and going out enjoying yourself with friends etc

The reason to do all of the above is that most men truly can not handle the fact that WOMEN can cope without them. They get extremely jealous and possesive. Even if you are having the c**pist day ever and he is due around do not let him see you like that. Be strong and act like you have never acted before in your life.
If this does not work after a few months I am sorry but he must have feelings for this other woman.
Just to point out my ex husband came back and my relatives husband is now screaming to get back. She wont let him at the moment as she is enjoying herself. Maybe it will work for you. I hope so. Take care for now. Keep your chin up.

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