My husband, in his 50's, of nearly 30 years had an affair with a girl about 28 years younger. They met in Nairobi where he was on business. This continued for about a year. I found out. We went to Relate. he promised to give her up. I then found out he hadn't so he left home but we continued to see each other. After about 6 months he said he wanted to return and he had told her there was no future for them. He said he wouldn't see her again. He continued to go to Nairobi and I found out that he had sen her (he says just to talk - ha ha). He then agreed with his employers that he would not be sent to Nairobi and he hasn't been for the last 18 months and I thought we were getting our life back. I have since found emails from the time they were together and him asking to return to me when he professed his undying love for her - using real Mills and Boon language - said he wished he had the courage to ask her to marry him etc. She told him to be nice to me and then I wouldn't suspect they were still seeing each other - she by now had a boyfriend. Over their time together they obviously had a great time - in hotels on expenses - she alos got him to pay for her university fees, rent help, presents, even capital to start a business but according to the emails they were really in love. My husband has not seen her but I feel he will always carry this perfect image of her and what might have been and not really ever connect with me again. Whay if they still have text/email contact. I will never know. Should he have taken the chance with someone 28 years younger, different culture, race etc. Could she really have loved him (the emails said she did) or was it the obvious sugar daddy role. I just feel will he ever get over this idolised person/ What should I do/
His "image" of her should become reality when he gets all the bills AND realizes there is a line in the sand YOU drew -
Oh h-h-h!!! - DID you EVER draw a line in the sand about this? You seem very passive about all this behavior, like you are watching a series sit-com on the TV.
Follow the money trail to see if it's "over." But don't count on it. She sounds very deceiving and knows how to work a "sugar daddy."
Agree with SusieQ. Oh DOESN'T she just! But aren't we overlooking something? That's equally YOUR money this man has unilaterally decided to repeatedly donate large sums out of! What are we talking here - tens of thousands?!
With this the case, if I were you I would - even on that basis alone - divorce him toute suite so as to secure (what's left of) my present wealth and assets and safeguard my comfort of retirement years from any more such charitable donations against your knowledge (let alone say-so). If he then wants to try to convince you to re-marry him, he knows just what to. After all, he's been getting loads of repeat practise lately, hasn't he, so he should be an expert by now.
Stop letting this woman push him around as has him now pushing YOU around. See a solicitor urgently.
It is not about the money - we are not talking large amounts just a few hundred pounds now and then but that does seem to have stopped. When I confronted him about the money he said he just wanted to help - we have so much in the western world and they have so little, she is not manipulative just poor and he likes to be generous. As to it being our money after the share of bills etc what we each have left over we can use how we want.
What is eating me up is whether he will ever get over her or forever be mooning over what might have been. I think he still believes it was true love and her his soulmate - can we believe this. The fact there was no reality just life in a bubble the two of them every few weeks for a week in a hotel although it did last a few years. What did she do when he wasn't there? He never met her friends/family like a regular boyfriend he says because they only wanted each other. The fact she speedily seemed to acquire a boyfriend when they split up but was happy to see my husband when he visited and truly would love him forever. I just need to know if the fog will ever lift or will I spend my life thinking he still wishes he was with her and maybe one day act on it even though it has now been 18 months since he went to Kenya.
Oh, when you said "university fees, rent help, presents", and especially, "even capital to start a business", that didn't instantly equate to me as just a few hundred pounds. So what was the so-called business? A street lamppost rental so that she has a regular pitch every night? (meow)
Just poor and not manipulative, my arse. Or - what - is every single woman from Nairobi or any other impoverished third world country, right here right now busy helping every single man from the Western world destroy his marriage and family life? No, they're not. Funny, that. They deal with their poverty in other ways - ones that DON'T include taking advantage of the neediness of others (husband's case - for being adored and idolised by someone who'd be so easily and overly impressed) whereby the other gets to take advantage right back.
There are pirhanas in denial, Lettie. You'd better wise up or you're going to get bitten.
Do you know for a FACT it was just a few hundred pounds "now and then" or is that just what he's TOLD you is the amount? Do you even know for the fact that the funding has since CEASED? If not, given his word as proven to be worth diddly-squat, I would find out for sure with your own eyes if I were you (and cross your fingers that you don't get a nasty shock).
Whatever. SHE'S not your problem. She's a financially needy thus mercenary woman from an impoverished country who's behaving in reaction to environmental pressures IN TANDEM WITH HER LACK OF MORALS. I doubt very much that it was/is him she "loves". He was/is just deluding himself via getting out his wallet all the time. It was/is basically prostitute and punter, except where the commodity is love- not EVEN love, just a delusions complicity. She 'lies back and thinks of Nairobi' and says all the things his ego needs to hear, and in return he keeps funding her. As clearly do god knows how many OTHER men.
She's just a symptom. And a catalyst.
But it doesn't change the fact that this man you married and vowed to be true to you come what may - this disease-on-legs -  had/is having a giant mid life crisis (or always was a walking crisis as has lately come to a head, and you just didn't see it before now) ALL OVER YOU, and  clearly had/has zero respect for you, his so-called wife. OR for propriety. OR Relate. OR his employer and their expenses budget. Or bloody anyone by the sounds of it.
He couldn't afford to feel any respect, could he, because it stood between him and his wholly selfish, self-obsessed, self-gratifying ego feast. Ergo, out the window it went. So in his mind, you bet your bottom (because this is a classic textbook phenomenon), he'd have spent ages demonizing and running you down to the point where you "were" a nasty b*tch, possibly outright insane, to whom marriage had been "hell" and who had "made him" have to do it (to "keep his sanity"). The nicer and better wife you are, the greater and longer the need to demonize. To counter any sense of guilt.
And neither have you shown respect (or enough of it) for YOURSELF, Letty, if you would only go through the motions of drawing a line in the sand by chucking him out, only to then continue seeing him despite he apparently not only hadn't done a thing towards restitution, let alone demonstrate contrition, but - as you found out - the *complete opposite* of round two (ding-ding).
And whether a cheater, after having majorly transgressed the first time, pulls himself up sharp and changes his whole tune - including the afore-described evil-sounding one playing secretly in his head - so that he won't just repeat the crime the minute another prime candidate crosses his path - is what tells anyone all they need to know regarding whether a cheater was worth trying again with or, this case, was better off dumped toute suite.
"Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on ME".
For if he HAD made reparations - noteworthy ones - I'm pretty damn sure you'd have listed them ('How doth he love me once more and regreteth his actions, let me count the ways...').
So am I surprised his affair/punter-dom x 2 THAT LASTED TWO WHOLE YEARS MINIMUM(!!!) and all the associative details are still bothering you? NO, NOT REMOTELY. Because the only way they can cease bothering a betrayee is when the betrayer has more than made up for his crime, BERBOM. All the bad experiences and resultant anxieties get overlaid then outweighed (until they disappear from your instant recall into the mental box marked, Past/Gone Forever) by newly POSITIVE acts and behaviour, including the man falling over himself with verbal gushiness to suit.
HE RE-WOOS YOU VIA WORDS *AND* ACTIONS SO THAT YOU WON'T LEAVE HIM, IN OTHER WORDS. *If* he truly wants to keep you.
People treat you (or in his case, continue to treat you) as badly as you LET them. If he hasn't done what it takes to make your mind draw a line under that whole episode as if it were all just some bad dream, then what on earth are you going to do if you ever find out he's having another affair - this time with a European woman with financial needs to match?
Since second events showed he was impervious to counselling (Relate) due to it being during the midst of his (hopefully temporary) insanity, and if you really can't bring yourself to file for divorce (yet), I strongly suggest you insist he attend another course on pain of dead serious ultimatum.
If he really idolised her he wouldn't have returned to you and stopped going back to her. Somewhere he also knows that she is not right for him. Don't go by his emails. Thats probably a fantasy of his that he tried to live out.
If he is in touch with her or not you might not know. But I think you are going off focus here. The real issue you are facing is that the relation between you both is not satisfying you. Try to analyse where are the issues between you both and focus on improving those with him. Talk to him about those and make the necessary changes which in turn will improve your relation and give you the mental peace and confidence you require.
Thanks Shivangi. The problem really gets down to the fact that because of his betrayal I feel he does not love me and I am losing any self-respect. I feel I can't trust him or believe anything he says. He says we should put it all in the past - he says look I came back to you, trust me. I think he lost his nerve about marrying her because of all the differences betweeen them and came back only for ease and he still hankers after her hence the contact. He said in his emails he wished he had been braver and been with her. Can I live with being 2nd best or can I think he was just ridiculously infatuated and manipulated and it wasn't the true love they proclaim. He says the problem between us is my not letting it all go.
Easy for him to say you should put it all in the past, isn't it. No, you DON'T just - "click!" - make a decision to put it behind you (oh, how easy for the transgressor - let's just pretend it never happened). The perpetrator has to compensate you in kind for all that he took away or smashed... Trust and love has to be re-built. For starters, as you rightly say, you don't know whether he chose to come back to you because you meant more to him than her or anyone or anything, or whether she or the situation left him no choice - because, again as you say, he went on to commit the relationship crime *twice*. And you WON'T know unless he does the WORK known as restitution.
So, in fact THAT - not you - is the problem between you.
And how regretful over his actions are we to believe he is if he's blaming YOU for the current, major consequence(s) of you being unable to - "click!" - just simply let it all go.
The capability-to-forgive ball is in *his* court, not yours.
This incident was no mere mistake, was it. It was a product of his skewed attitude(s), surfacing to wave hello.
Counselling. Quick. Find out if this relationship is at all salvagable. Sooner you find out and take appropriate action, sooner your mind can find peace again. Don't keep sitting there torturing yourself out of a futile hope it'll somehow fix itself.
See he is a manipulator. He twists things in his favor each time. But having said that, he too had the same doubts about this girl that you have (which is why he came back to you). Obviously he cannot tell her why he didn't have the guts to marry her. Somewhere he also knows that it would never have worked out.
As for her manipulating him, sure she did. Now if he realised it or not ... only he can tell.
Why did he ask his employer not to send him to Nairobi? You insisted or was his decision?
You know what she would be thinking? She would be thinking she is 2nd best which is why he came back to you. You are his first choice not 2nd. Again I repeat ... DON'T go by his emails .... they have been manipulated to suit him. Go by his actions. His actions have been he has come back to you. He has stopped going to Nairobi (Out of sight will be gradually out of mind too).
Now you have to decide, do you want this marriage to continue or not?
If you want it to continue, you HAVE TO STOP thinking of the past and focus on the present. Will take a while for you to put it entirely behind you (there is no magic formula for it) but unless you make a constant effort how will it be accomplished? Each time you think about his emails tell yourself "He chose me finally over her and thats what matters. I won, she lost. She would be regretting that she lost her free finance bank. Too bad for her. She manipulated him and he manipulated her ... where was the love between them (only in words?)? Love is not just sugar coated words and selfish actions. Love is what I have given him. I have stood with him in all situations. I have sacrificed so much for him. I have accepted him with his mistakes. Somewhere he knows I am the best, which is why he chose me over her." Keep telling yourself such things which will build up your confidence and better your relation with him too. When you react in the positive, he will also put in efforts towards that direction. When you react in negative, he will start adding his negatives to it and the marriage will eventually fall apart.
Thanks again for your reply. I agree I must be positive if I want our relationship to work. It was just seeing the emails declaring love forever etc really unsettled me as it was at a time he was so saying the opposite to me but I agree negativity breeds negativity. By the way it was me who siad he coukld no l,onger go to Nairobi as I told him my nerves would not stand it as i copuld never trust him there so he did actually agree to that. As i say the emails unnerve me and I just hope he does begin to forget.
I'm sorry but I disagree. If the true situation *is* negative then reacting to it with forced positivity will breed nothing but a false, self-delusional situation for you. And delusions are what set you up for disappointment and disillusionment, this case 'further'. I would wait until it all comes out at counselling in order that you know what is the CORRECT way to react to what's on the REALITY plate rather than the wishful-thinkings menu.
Plus if you act with loving positivity, what on earth incentive does he have for agreeing to counselling?
Meanwhile, it wasn't his unilateral decision to refrain from visiting her again so this particular action, like all actions, doesn't point to there being just one possible attitude and aim behind it. There are quite a few regarding why he agreed to your rightful protestation. He might not have been able to afford it; he might not have wanted to face going through a divorce and losing his lifestyle and half his wealth and assets as he knew it and had spent years of toil building it; he might have realised this woman wouldn't ever want to ever leave her country and home and didn't fancy making his life there; he might have been put off by the thought of having to basically fight another man for her... (the list is endless). He might have realised it was mainly a fantasy situation, but that DOESN'T mean he regrets it because of the damage it's done to you and your marriage and shared future.
He might well have had the affair in the first place deliberately to force you to sit up to greater attention and fight for him, i.e. negative attention- and greater power-share seeking, called a Leverage Affair. The huge clue that points to this is: you found out. He LET you find out. It's not that hard to keep an affair forevermore secret if that's what a man wants; millions before and alongside him have managed it. So WHY did he let you get wind of it? Because he wanted you to get reminded by fear of loss of what you've got before it's gone, or because he didn't have the guts to confess and leave so wanted to get fired instead?
Again, we humans have a limited range of actions for expressing myriad feelings, aims and agendas, so you have to look at ALL the actions together to work out where someone's coming from. But one cannot say that he CHOSE you over her if the choices were to all intents and purposes made *for* him, and nor can one claim he's regretful enough through still loving you enough to remain fit to continue being your lifelong mate that the situation warrants an attitude of optimism and positivity on your part WHEN HE'S GOT THE CHEEK TO BE BLAMING *YOU* FOR THE PILE OF SH*T HE PLONKED ONTO THE MARITAL CARPET BECAUSE YOU INSTEAD "COULD BE" CHOOSING TO JUST IGNORE IT!
Counselling, QUICK! Truth always outs but this is known to speed up the process.
Eek so unsure. Feel being positive is good but am I being a mug? He is totally disinterested in going to counselling just wants to get on with life with me. Says it is all over, will never happen again. I think I believe him but it doesn't answer the question does he still love her rather than me but gave her up as it would have been very complicated and returned to me as he didn't want to be on his own. How can I make him see it was not a healthy relationship just illusion however enjoyable. She surely cannot have loved him (other than his wallet) and he was being a fool as she made him feel young. I know I shouldn't be focusing on this aspect but it haunts me. again.
"We went to Relate. he promised to give her up. I then found out he hadn't"
Has it not occurred to you WHY he refuses to go back to counselling? As I said - truth outs and that much faster even under just neutral questioning or salient commenting/repeating (and this time you might get a more proactive, no-nonsense counsellor who *does* subtly question him on your behalf due to recognising that your mind is too addled and your courage and resolve kicked out of you). He doesn't WANT you knowing the truth and what it means and what choices you should make in light of it, he wants you to IGNORE it.
Says, says, says. As the above data shows, what he says and what he does or goes on to do are two very different things.
And what do you mean HE is totally disinterested? Er, excuse me, but this so-called team consists of TWO, it's not all just about what HE wants and needs and s*d you! Suggest you issue him a genuine ultimatum that if he refuses to go to counselling despite his action of having repeated the crime demonstrates irrefutably that counselling is still vitally needed, you are going to file for a divorce and 'how does he like THEM apples'! Oh, does he not want his marriage to you to continue enough just to go once or twice per week for a chattipoos? Gosh, how very queer. What *does* he want it enough to do? Let's SEE the actual size and scope of his 'want', shall we?
Want schmant! A man who truly loves a woman and is terrified at the thought of losing her from his life would do whatever it reasonably took to persuade her to stay. Whatever it reasonably took. Fact.
Whether it wasn't a healthy or real relationship is neither here nor there, so cease concentrating on it. It's whether YOUR relationship with each other is healthy enough to remain viable that's in question here. For if he's emotionally attached, still, to another woman, by whatever degree, then he cannot be attached to *you* to the degree that warrants marriage or this case *staying* married.
This aspect is not haunting you, you're haunting *it*. And you're doing that because you're for whatever reasons too scared or too loath (or both) to face what is on your reality to-do list and thereby get on with getting on with your own life.
What are you scared of? List your fears, please.
What am I scared of ? Of losing him, of being on my own with next to no money in my late 50's. It is a frightening prospect. Scared of finding out that he doesn't care about me. All these things. What is the point of counselling though as he can lie his way through it and seemingly say the right things while there - I have to admit I do not have much faith in the process,
1. Why are you scared of losing him? Describe what you see your life as being like if you did.
2. Why is it you seem to think you'd be left with next to no money? Who told you that?
3. Don't you ALREADY feel that doesn't care about you - certainly not as much as a loving, life-long spouse should do - considering he did what he knew would devastate you if you found out (yet was careless enough TO let you find out) - not once but TWICE? So isn't this fear already a reality?
4. Clearly, given his dirty deed repetition, it doesn't take much of a stretch of the imagination for anyone here to realise he did lie through the first session and act like butter wouldn't melt. But different counsellors, depending on their professional background, have different personalities, different theoretic and first-hand practical knowledge, different life experiences and differing levels of efficacy (like in any profession).
If I'm honest I agree with you, in that Relate counsellors seem to include too many staff who've trained for only 2 years or so to learn how to become counsellors, rather than having a solid psychological/analytical career behind them, meaning it's a bit of a lottery which type you'll get. So were I the one wanting marital counselling and married to a man that was constantly lying through his "I'm a Nice Guy" teeth, I'd be far more inclined to go onto the BACP website (British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy) to ensure I got to appoint someone in my area with an analytical working background or training, a member of the BPC (British Psychoanalytical Council) who'll know to probe deeper into all surface answers and statements rather than sit there swallowing them as fact just because he knows how to come across as benign and willing. Don't let the failure of the first attempt put you off, in other words. You just need a more heavy-duty therapist when dealing with a devious type like him.
However, getting him there is your first hurdle, hence you do need to issue that ultimatum in order to get him taking you and your resolve seriously. You have to admit, your attitude and actions haven't exactly put the wind up him so far. He can no doubt SMELL the desperation on you. So make him realise that, YES, you're scared but you're going to 'feel the fear and do it anyway', that being scared is not going to stop you from standing up for yourself and the better life you deserve.
Alternatively, you may feel, what's the point if he's not willing and even NEEDS an ultimatum. But unless you take proper, no-more-nonsense action one way or the other, you're just going to end up leaving emotionally but staying physically (as in presence) - paralysed - in Limbo - unable to leave but hating being there. That state of existence is neither healthy nor productive and will over even just a short space of time leave you even LESS capable of improving or extracting yourself from your situation.
I mean, I take it it's occurred to you that this whole situation tantamountedly places you as an emotionally *and* psychologically battered wife? Has it?
Nobody can help you unless you help yourself, Letty, because helping is teamwork between two people, meaning each has to make 50% effort or the exercise won't work. But first off, let's see if we can deal with your uppermost, clearly altogether highly common and bog-standard fears, and send them packing. You also need to realise the position of *power* you're in as opposed to your incorrect delusion about being his helpless victim. 'You game?