My Husband Had An Affair

Three years ago my husband had an affair. I’ve never written about it before, I don’t talk about it and only a few people know it happened.
Things hadn’t been perfect in our marriage. We were new parents and finding it hard. I was suffering from PND but refusing to acknowledge it. I obsessed about my new son, I was convinced I was a bad mum, I wouldn’t leave him with anyone else, I pushed my husband out. This doesn’t justify what my husband did.
I knew things weren’t going well, but I hoped we could talk things through. I left it too late, my husband’s behaviour changed. He worked late and went out a lot with a new group of ‘friends’ I never met. I tried to talk to him but he wouldn’t open up he just said he was unhappy. I asked him if there was someone else and he denied it.
Things got so bad he moved out. After a month he came back but we didn’t get on. Something about him had changed and I knew he was lying to me about where he went and what he did. So he moved out again. This time for six months. It was just me and our young son, luckily he was too little to understand what was going on.
My husband and I met at weekends to talk about what we were going to do. We had fallouts and reconciliations. It was confused. Friends kept giving me advice which I didn’t want or need. The most helpful people were those who listened and gave me a hug. They didn’t judge or tell me what to do. During a brief reconciliation with my husband I fell pregnant. I used to scorn people who fell pregnant accidentally, how stupid were they? I’ll never scorn anyone like that again.
Now things were in a real mess. The pregnancy was progressing well, but I had terrible morning sickness and lost half a stone during the first three months. My husband tried to move back in but it didn’t last long. We couldn’t get on and then there was talk of not continuing with the pregnancy. It breaks my heart to write it here. However I decided that my marriage and my children were separate. I wasn’t going to stay in an unhappy marriage for the sake of my children and I wasn’t going to end a pregnancy for the sake of my marriage. I told husband I was carrying on with or without him. By this stage, I was certain I’d be a single mum.
So we tried again to work things out. And I could tell this time he was really making an effort. We got through a Christmas together but by New Year I knew things weren’t right. The misery had been going on for over a year and I told him the marriage was probably over. That’s when he gave in and told me about the affair. He told me about everything that had been going on, everything he’d been doing and how he’d been feeling. He broke down. I’ve never seen him like that before.
I felt like all the breath had been knocked out of me. I left the house and walked up the hill. I took off my wedding ring and prepared to throw it into a building site I passed on the way. But I changed my mind and left it in my coat pocket. There was a bench in the churchyard which I sat on and watched a cat stalking a pigeon among the headstones. I was worn out, I’d just marched up a hill while five months pregnant. My mind felt blank and I wanted to be sick.
When I returned home I asked my husband to leave. I could tell he was upset but I didn’t want him there any more. For the next couple of weeks I tried to ignore his text messages and phonecalls. I avoided text messages and phonecalls from most people. I hid away and focussed on getting me, my son and the growing baby through each day.
Eventually I agreed to meet my husband. I asked him about the other woman. It was someone he’d worked with, things had started on a drunken night on a business trip away. She knew he was married with a young son. It lasted four months. She hadn’t meant anything to him, she’d just given him a lot of attention while he was low and fed up. I wanted to know if she was attractive.. (Why?) And he reluctantly said she was. Tall, slim and pretty. He ended it with her because he wanted to work on our marriage. He’d been determined I would never find out because he didn’t want to lose me. All the guilt and angst about what he’d done had caused the huge problems in our marriage. She left the company when he ended the affair and hassled him with calls and texts until he agreed to meet up with her eight months later. When he did, she begged him to leave me. He told her he wasn’t interested any more.
I gave this a huge amount of thought and finally agreed to give the marriage one last go. Everything was now out in the open, there were no lies any more. I wanted to try now we had this new foundation to build on. Yes I was hurt and upset. I’d been betrayed and I still blamed myself for some of it. Despite everything, I still loved him and I knew he loved me. A few friends thought I was wrong to get back with him.
This post has gone on long enough and I could document how we pieced things together but I won’t. Our second child arrived a few months later. It took a long, long time to repair the damage in our marriage.
But we got there, and not only did we manage that but our marriage is now stronger than it’s ever been. We have two beautiful children, soon to be three (not an accident this time). The experience changed us both, but we want the same things in life and we want to do those things together. I still get upset about what happened.. I don’t like looking at our wedding photos because he broke his vows. Marriage doesn’t mean anything really. What does matter is knowing what you want, communicating that to each other and sticking together through the crap life throws at you. Never take what you have for granted.
Do I trust him? Not completely. Have I forgiven him? I don’t think so, I can’t really work out what forgiveness is. Do we talk about it any more? Never.
I sometimes think about the other woman. I know her name and the town she lives in. I often think about tracking her down and confronting her, that would give me a lot of satisfaction. But it’s drifting into history now so what’s the point? She must be a sad, lonely person to chase after other people’s husbands. Apparently it wasn’t the first time she’d got involved with a married man. Maybe she did us a favour by turning those fissures in our marriage into huge cracks, leaving us with something we had to sort out.
It’s taken me a long time to write this and I’ve found it upsetting. But I think many other people have been through a similar experience and don’t talk or write about it for obvious reasons. It’s intensely personal and people are very quick to judge the decisions you make. Writing this down has helped, I would like to talk about it on my blog but probably never will. If you’re still with me at the end of this post, thanks for listening!



12 Responses to “My Husband Had An Affair”

  1. 1 TheMadHouse November 17, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    I am sat here with tears in my eyes. My heart yous out to you for your bravery and for the fact that you gave things a chace, that you didnt write things off immediatly and gave things a go. I am not sure I would have been string enough to do that, so I bow down to you.

    I am so glad that for your sake and the sake of the children, you managed to find somthing of your friendship and love for each other to make your marriage work.

    Having a baby changes dymanics in a family and it can be so hard to find a way through those hard, hard times.

    So hats off to you, I wish you a healthy, happy third preganancy.

  2. 2 Jordan November 17, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    Such a brave & courageous post to write. Thanks so much for sharing.
    I have no idea how it must feel & have felt being in that situation & hope i never will, but i have the upmost respect for you sharing this with us.
    Sending hugs your way,
    J, x

  3. 3 Liz (LivingwithKids) November 17, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    I do feel for you. It takes so much to be able to forgive and forget such a betrayal xxx

  4. 4 Tim November 17, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    Brave post… I’ve been there (as the innocent party, I hasten to add). It’s awful.

  5. 5 Home Office Mum November 18, 2009 at 10:14 am

    Very brave post and very courageous of you to give your marriage another shot.

  6. 6 Potty Mummy November 18, 2009 at 11:52 am

    You’re clearly a very strong and courageous woman. Your children are lucky to have a mother like you. Thankyou for sharing.

  7. 7 Cafe Bebe November 18, 2009 at 10:49 pm

    Amazing post…thank you so much for sharing. You’re very brave and strong…I don’t know if I could do it!

  8. 8 Iota November 19, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    I’m glad you found that helpful to write. You are a brave woman, and I think you have a bright future ahead of you, if this post is anything to go by.

  9. 9 Iota November 19, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    I once saw an interview on tv with John McCarthy, who had been held hostage in the Middle East. He had lost years of his life in enforced captivity. The interviewer asked him if he could forgive his captors. He said something along the lines of “I’m not sure what forgiveness really means, but I acknowledge that a bad thing has happened to me and I’ve moved on from it”.

    I have often thought of that. If anyone would have an opinion worth listening to on the subject, it would be someone who had been through that kind of sustained cruelty.

    I don’t know if this is a helpful thought. If so, I’m glad. If not, then let it drop and don’t spend time on it.

  10. 10 Little Wing November 24, 2009 at 10:22 am

    Wow. You are truly amazing and I take my hat off to you. It takes so much courage and strength to move on from something like that. You’re a heroine, you really are.

    Good luck with your third baby!


  11. 11 Muummmeeeee! November 24, 2009 at 11:54 am

    What an amazing post – you were so strong and I’m so pleased that your family survived such trauma. I don’t think I would ever forgive my husband or truly love him again but unless we experience these things for ourselves, I guess we don’t know how we’d react.

  12. 12 Magic Mummy December 2, 2009 at 9:47 am

    Thank you for taking the time to post about your experience, I am sure you are right and it happens to more people than we know and I think your post will help others who may find themself in the same situation.

    I am so pleased that everything has turned out well for you.

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