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Family breakdown

Community Member
Almost a month ago I learnt something that completely shattered my family. It was a secret that some had known for many years, some for a couple of years, some for months and others for a couple of weeks. I was the last to know yet the one it affected the most. The cause of it was my husbands fault yet I find myself forgiving him and our relationship of 33 years continues. My problem is that I feel so much anger towards my sister and her family because of the way the news was broken to me. It was the day before my birthday, I had travelled across the world for what I thought was a holiday of a lifetime, they chose that time to tell me. They knew I had been planning and booking hotels etc , I feel ridiculed because they all knew the holiday wasn't going to happen. Why do I feel more angry about this than the actual issue? I feel so betrayed by my whole family, my husband included, although I find I can forgive him but no one else. I understand this might be hard to give advice on without explaining the whole issue, but I just want to get rid of this anger, anxiety and sleeplessness, I can't see an end to it.
8 Replies 8

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Eleventwo, and a warm welcome to the forums.

It is a bit vague on how to reply because it was your husband's fault and isn't it the responsibility for him to tell you, rather than your family.

Have you had the chance to have some counselling either by yourself or with your husband, but I'd like to hear back from you.


Community Member

Actually, I do understand your feelings of betrayal because your family are blood related but your husband is not.

Your immediate family are supposed to have your back no matter what and when they let you down, it cut a little deeper.

Family can be very vexating. They often do what they believe or convince themselves is right for us when really it's just what is convenient for them. They are however human and humans do have their flaws. Some can be reasoned with and some can't. For those you know can be reasonable talk to them and find out what their motivations were for not telling you. Perhaps they were just in denial and although they knew hoped they were wrong. If there are any members of your family that this behaviour is common for. You are just going to have to take a deep breath and except that they will not change or if they do, it is not going to happen overnight. Give yourself some you time and when you are ready forgive them if not for their sake your own. I know it's easier said then done.

Also, you could try channeling your anger and dissapointment elsewhere. I use to make chocolate truffles. Whacking the Marie biscuits into crumbs with the rolling pin for the truffles when Marie irked me made me feel a tiny bit better and baking has always made me feel good. Perhaps you have something similar you could do just for you to help you destress a little.

Community Member
Hi OP,

I have something to share. Recently I found out from one of my cousins that the husband of another cousin had an affair with his ex back when they were first married. It happened almost 7 years ago now and said couple has 2 kids together from the marriage. Since the affair ended a while back, we (the informant cousin and I) felt that there's no point telling on him. His close friends and some of her friends knew at the time but everyone kept a secret.
From my perspective, it's all in the past and they are happy now, so there's very little chance I'd ever tell my cousin of her husbands past infidelity. If I knew of it at the time, I think I would have told her.
I do agree with you however, that the time of their choosing to tell you is puzzling. I cannot comment too much on why they did what they did, but perhaps they did it to try to protect you?
A conversation with them is clearly needed. It might not resolve any issues but best to get the feelings out.
Best luck.

Community Member
Thank you for your welcome. The one thing we all agree on is that my husband should have told me first but he was having discussions with my family months before the trip and was very clear he would not tell me and destroy my life. They could have told me then or at least told me that my husband had something to tell me - ask him. My husband did not believe I would stand by him like I have - if he did he would have told me. My family still decided the moment to tell me, I believe for maximum impact and that's why I feel betrayed by them. I cannot explain why I find it easier to forgive my husband but he is my whole life. I am seeing my gp tomorrow, maybe counselling is the next step.

Hi Eleventwo, thanks for getting back to us.

Yes, for your family to hide this from you is not right, knowing what has happened must be disappointing for you.

I can sort of understand how your husband was thinking about not telling you before the trip, because you might have not gone or the worry would be too excruciating, however, he should have kept his trust, and for you to stay by his side is the trust you promised 33 years ago.

We can never know the whole truth why this has happened so if you predict the reasons, they maybe right or could be wrong, that's what you need to talk about with a psychologist, and ask your doctor about 'the mental health plan', this will entitle you to 10 Medicare paid sessions.

I'd really like to hear back from when available.


Community Member
Thanks for your reply. I did go to the doctor but I don't have a regular gp and unfortunately the one I saw was very unsympathetic. Told me he could refer me to a psychologist but it would involve some paperwork so did I really want to go? I told him not to bother. I have taken things into my own hands and written a letter to my family. Haven't sent it yet, and will probably rewrite it 6 times before I do but it did feel good to write it down. Thanks for your support.

Hi Eleventwo, if you want you can click on 'Get Support' and scroll down until you see 'Find a professional', these are doctors who align themselves BB and may be able to be more supportive towards you on this journey.

It's always good to have a GP you can always rely on because there could be times when you aren't sure of how to approach a situation.

Best wishes.


Community Member
Thanks for your advice I will look and see if there is a local gp on the list. Just chatting on here has helped so much too, so thank you again.