I will try and keep it brief - haven't been happy for a number of years due to communication issues, different sex drives, husbands emotional and, sometimes, aggressive behaviour and now my husband has had an affair. I asked him to leave and he eventually did but has had several emotional breakdowns throughout all of this whereas I am being realistic and trying to be honest about the problems we had. He has now, he says, completely finished the affair and wants to move back in but I really can't decide whether to let him or not and keep swinging in how I feel about it. I know I don't love him any more and find a lot of things he does irritating, but we have two children 11 and 13 and I know he will make life very difficult if we stay separate i.e. making it difficult for me to take them away on holiday as he wants to see them every day. The children don't seem bothered about going to stay with him which makes me feel like I am pushing them out of the house each time but if he moves back in I feel we are both potentially losing the opportunity of being happy either with or without someone else. I also feel with him that it is not so much me he wants but the family and am thinking about what happens when the children are older. I know nobody can make the decision for me but I would be interested to hear what others think.
I know I don't love him any more and find a lot of things he does irritating, but we have two children 11 and 13 and I know he will make life very difficult if we stay separate
This is very telling.
In the end it ultimately boils down to: Are you happy with him? Can you see yourself overcoming all of the issues and rebuilding your relationship? It will take lots of work and commitment from both sides. Counselling could help too.
If you feel in your heart and know that you are over and done, don't prolong the inevitable.
That is, if you're 100% sure you're done.
If not, give it another shot. He has a lot of work to do.
Thanks Jellybeans, but I am finding it difficult to be 100% sure because of the children. We have a joint counselling session tomorrow and I am going to lay my cards on the table and see what comes of it. I find him difficult to talk to normally because of his emotional outbursts and feel that in a controlled environment I may be able to say what I think and he will have to listen - what happens after is a different story as I have no doubt he will go into meltdown again when there is noone but me to witness it! I will update the posts as I go along but my feelings about him are not changing. Thanks for your reply.
Had my daughter on the telephone in tears tonight as she is finding it hard going between two houses and isn't really keen on going to her dad's at all! I had got to the stage today where I was going to contact a solicitor to find out where I stand regarding custody as my main fear is the children being unhappy, but now I am just feeling really selfish about hurting my children. In answer to Luckyman's post - I think it would be extremely difficult to stay with my husband after everything that has happened but am really torn because of how my children are feeling. He never really had much to do with them on his own and is now struggling to make them feel at ease in his company because they want me to be there with them. I am wondering if anyone else has managed to keep things going with any success, simply for the sake of the children?
If you loved him before, there IS a way to recreate that. It involves doing what you do did when the love was previously created. You guys, I'm sure, spent tons of time together and you were meeting each other's needs. It's a difficult task because of where you're relationship currently stands, but it is not impossible.
Read "Surviving An Affair" and it will give you an idea of the emotions you are experiencing as well as a plan to implement if you decide that you want to try to rekindle with your husband.
Why do you have to make a decision now? He is the one who had the affair; he can wait until you feel more certain. Talking to a solicitor is an excellent idea. He may have suggestions you would not even consider. It is too bad your kids feel disconnected from their dad, but they also deserve time to reconnect and he cannot force them to connect faster than their pace. I hope you discuss this with the solicitor, too. If he shows patience with them, giving them time to adjust to being with him on their own (ie, starting in very small doses), then it will be much less difficult for the kids. Too bad if he is lonely; he just has to wait this out.
I always advise against staying together for the kids. The biggest reason is, do you really want your kids to grow up seeing a relationship dynamic where the parents don't get along? Do you want them to think YOUR loveless relationship is normal?
In my opinion, two loving homes are better than one loveless home. However, if you feel you can truly reconcile, then go for it. It is my experience that staying together, "for the kids" usually doesn't work out "for the kids".
I'm a product of 'staying together for the kids' myself so I should already know that it doesn't work and leaves people with hangups. He is a difficult person to deal with and is very unhappy at the moment, comes round to the house all the time because he desperately wants to be back home and doesn't really know how to just relax with the children and have fun. He wants to have them to stay as often as possible and part of me feels that, although he loves them, some of it is because he doesn't want me to have them. They see lots of him because he won't stay away and don't really have the inclination to go to his house as they don't have time to miss him. I have asked him to stay away but he won't do thiis because he wants to see them as much, if not more, than before we split up. I don't love him and feel we have very little in common other than the children but am desparately worried about causing upset to the children. I still think I will see a solicitor as I need to know where I stand with it all even if I decide not to go for a divorce at this stage. We did our joint counselling last week with another session tomorrow but I can't seem to enjoy any time I spend with him. He is trying to explain his behaviour over the years using various books ' Men are from Mars' etc but to me, although I understand why he has done things, I still don't feel that they were justified and I really feel that fundamentally he won't change. Thank you for all your replies by the way - it does help to hear the views of others.
I don't love him and feel we have very little in common other than the children
One of the reasons you don't have very much in common, I would guess, is that you 2 probably led separate lives. He did his thing and you did your thing. This is just a guess, but I feel like you both probably stopped making time for one another to spend time giving each undivided attention.
At one time, you had a lot in common. If not, you wouldn't have felt the desire to commit to spending the rest of your life with him. You had a lot in common back then BECAUSE you spent a lot of time together. When that is no longer the case, you can't help but GROW APART.
I'm not saying that your husband is faultless by any means, but it takes 2 people to create either happiness or problems within a marriage. I would strongly suggest you read "His Needs, Her Needs". There you will understand exactly what I'm talking about. There you may find out that the reason he may not have been giving you what you want out of a spouse is because somewhere along the line, you stopped giving him what he needed. You may have been giving him what you thought he needed but you were missing the mark.
In your very first post, you said that he is ready to come home, because he has finished with his affair, now? If the affair was still ongoing, would he be so anxious to return to the nest?
He didn't care anything about your feelings when he was having his affair. He still isn't caring anything about your feelings; it is still all about him and what he does and doesn't want. Has he actually said he loves you? If you give in and agree to try to continue the marriage, he's going to want to have a sexual relationship, too; can you even consider being that close to him?
Examine your feelings very carefully, and try to leave out the guilt over the kids. Just concentrate on how you would react to seeing him right there beside you, when you wake up in the morning. How you would react if he reached for you and you were still half asleep.
You said you don't love him. The children are already experiencing a separation; if you reconcile and then realize that you can NOT handle being with him all the time, they will have to re-experience it.
I know I am being very blunt, but those are the things you need to think about before you take any kind of next step.
a question that only your husband can answer is this: Is your husband regretful, repentant, and willing to COMMIT to only you? If he answers all of these things with a yes, then there is hope? The second question that only you can answer is this: If he repents and is willing to commit only to you, then are you willing to fully forgive him and have both of you work on your marriage together. I wrote a lot about the process of reviving a relationship in my article: How to Save a Marriage. Staying with you husband to help your kids is a noble, but answering the hard questions about your relationship will reveal the possibilities that you and your kids need to have answered.