I don't know if I'm being unreasonable so I'm asking for an MN perspective

(62 Posts)
IUsedtobeMe Mon 20-May-13 17:50:41

Name changed as I think DH has started to browse my posts.

I may drip feed because I'm all over the place, and I'm not sure what's relevant and what's not, but I'll try not to.

DH works away from home. He has a female friend (I know I should be ok with this part, but self-esteem issues are blurring my feelings on this). She works with him, they have worked together for 3 years (2 diff companies), but the friendship is more recent (not sure how recent, I think it was when they both changed jobs a couple of months ago). He talks about her (too much) and is quite open. I know he sees her outside of work i.e. lunch together, walking together. I think it's platonic as he has told me about a health issue that would make her celibate and it sounds legit.

Now this is where I'm unsure about whether I'm being unreasonable.

He has apparently discussed our relationship with her, we have issues, she has told him that it's his fault (apparently), lent him a self-help book and given him some pointers.

I was miffed about this - but see disclaimer about SE above, so I let it go.

Today his mobile phone bill arrived. I handle the accounts so I open all post (we're ok with opening each others post, especially as he is away during the week). The bill was a bit high so I idly looked at the back to see what was outside of the call allowance and was shocked by the number of texts he's sent. He's a typical bloke and, until recently anyway, hardly texts. 80% of the texts are to same number, which I assume is this friend. I checked the calls as well and there's a few of them, but not tons.

Having stewed for a bit, I checked other bills, and it's the same. I have only gone back about 5 months (to before they both changed jobs) and the pattern is still there.

As I said above, he works away during the week. He rings me every evening. He texts me work stuff (I run his business), or household stuff, never chatty. He is not a chatty person in RL, and not really romantic.

Would this bother you? Should it bother me? Should I ask to see the texts?

MummaBubba123 Tue 21-May-13 06:21:46

Yes, deeply. And then I read more about his history and its really no surprise that you'd accuse him. Dodgey!

Twattybollocks Tue 21-May-13 06:35:38

I've said this before on other threads, but the reason you smell a rat is because there is a rat. Plain and simple he's up to no good. Don't do what I did and pretend its not happening and waste 15 years with the cheating toad.
I'll bet my beer money that if you look at his phone there will be almost no texts on there, his text history will be suspiciously clear, if that's the case, almost no one does that unless there's something to hide, although he will probably spin you some bullshit about it being because his phone memory was getting full. if there are some text convos on there, you need to read them however unpalatable it may be.
I have caught my soon to be ex husband out with texting other women so many times over the last few years and he sounds pretty similar to mine.
I loved my husband, wanted to trust him, made excuses for him, etc but I finally had enough and kicked him out. I deserve better and so do you.

MumnGran Tue 21-May-13 06:44:47

I think what you are feeling is betrayed - and you have been. It doesn't matter whether or not he has slept with her (well it does, but ....), the fact is that he has developed a very close relationship with someone else which he has largely kept you unaware of. Certainly you have not been aware of the extent to which they have become emotionally involved with each other.....even if it is only deep friendship.

It is so easy, when low self esteem is involved, to accept that you are being unreasonable. I think most wives would feel completely betrayed to discover their partner had this level of interaction with another woman and discussed the most personal details of their life with that person.

As a previous poster commented "if it smells like a rat, it probably is a rat". This rat may be of a different colour to most......but its still sitting there!

Twattybollocks Tue 21-May-13 06:48:44

Oh and have you always had self esteem issues? I didn't used to have but 15 years of being cheated on by that ratbag I married certainly gave me them!

OnwardBound Tue 21-May-13 07:18:07

Your husband sounds like a wrong 'un sad

Please don't blame yourself for SE issues and lack of trust.

Rather consider these as a highly developed 'early warning system' or 'gut reaction'.

As Twatty said, if you can smell a rat it's because there is a rat.

Even if, best case scenario, your DH hasn't slept with his female friend, he is still spending far too much time and emotional energy on her. He is telling her intimate details about your lives. He has previous history for flirting and cheating. He denies he has done anything wrong and instead tries to blame your paranoia or lack of self esteem hmm

Even if he is not currently cheating, he is still just not a very nice man.

I think you deserve to get good and mad OP but I also understand just how painful this is.

I would recommend couple counselling tbh. If DH refuses or says he doesn't need it I would suggest going by yourself.

You need support from someone trained and who will help you to decide how you want to move forward, whether that ultimately be with DH or without.

Best of luck OP. You deserve better, you really do.

landrover Tue 21-May-13 09:52:03

Hi, Iused, as others have said I would check his phone. I know you have said its locked but you can always borrow it if yours has stopped working cant you or use another excuse?
Im forever leaving my phone at home and have to use hubbys!

IUsedtobeMe Tue 21-May-13 10:33:03

K&K no need to be sorry, all posts are helpful at the moment.

Twatty - When did the SE start? It's difficult to say. I've had quite a bit of bad luck in my life and I just carried on getting on with it. Highly stressful career etc, no time to dwell. Then everything changed. I MC'd a most wanted baby (6 years of trying for a second), I went into meltdown, DH was great and changed his career so I could give up mine to regroup. Then stuff just kept happening, including 2 more MC, the 3rd nearly killing me. I was depressed but no-one knew, I just got on with it as always, hid my feelings, did what I had to. DS got ill, and I am now his full time carer. My weight ballooned, money worries. There's nothing that could be done, so I just got on with it.

I'm now coming out the other side, and that is part of why DH has identified that there is something wrong - I now don't stand for any shit. If he does something to annoy me, I call him on it. And all this relationship stuff has back fired on him. I've told him I was depressed, and why.. Every time he tries to talk, I remember some past hurt and tell him of it, things I've kept buried.

This is why I wasn't sure if I was being unreasonable, was all the emotional stuff I'm feeling at the moment why I wasn't happy with him talking to her, or was I right, and this level of talking is just too much?

MumnGran - " It doesn't matter whether or not he has slept with her (well it does, but ....)" This made me laugh in a sick way. I can remember screaming this at him (I'm not a screamer normally btw, but this warranted it) whilst we were getting ready to go out with friends. I then continued with, "it's the fact you are nicer to her than me that's the issue" - this was regarding the one that turned him down.

Doubtfuldaphne Tue 21-May-13 10:43:25

If he doesn't let you see the texts he has something to hide. Simple.

IUsedtobeMe Wed 22-May-13 10:49:03

I've been snooping. The texting started the day after they left the first company.

At the previous company they sat next to each other, so no need to text.

The texts have increased in quantity.

And yes, it is definitely the person I suspected. I rang her during the day when I knew she wouldn't be able to answer, and her VM states her name. She also sounds a helluva lot younger than he told me.

As mentioned above, he rings me daily. Last Wednesday he was rushed, he said because he was playing golf that evening with a male friend. At the weekend he was telling me an anecdote about her dog, from a walk they had on Wednesday. I know I said he lied, I didn't say he was any good at it though.

My next move is to read the texts, I'm going to find:

a) they're innocent
b) they're innocent but inappropriate
c) they are not innocent
d) they are not even there

But timing is everything. If it's a) I will apologise. But b,c,and d will challenge our already very precarious relationship.

I also need to work out what I want to happen in each scenario.

IfNotNowThenWhen Wed 22-May-13 13:13:10

God you poor thing! What a rough ride you have had lately. I still think its dodgy, and you are doing the right thing finding out. Knowledge is power etc.

SpanishFly Wed 22-May-13 14:13:03

I hope you can get to the bottom of things, and things change for the better (whichever way that is)

ChocsAwayInMyGob Wed 22-May-13 15:54:09

Whether its "innocent" or not, the fact remains that he devoting more time and care to this other relationship than he is to his marriage. And that's not on at all.

loopylou6 Wed 22-May-13 19:12:27

You are deffo nbu, the cynical side of me is wondering if he's purposely led you to believe she can't have sex to throw you off the scent. I hope you get your answers soon x

ChocsAwayInMyGob Wed 22-May-13 19:29:14

Sounds like he's going to use the old line about it not being infidelity because they haven't had sex. It's clearly an emotional affair at the expense of his relationship with you OP.

He's got you believing your doubts about him are all about your "self esteem" issues. In fact, he is destroying your self esteem by making you think that this is your fault.

IUsedtobeMe Thu 23-May-13 00:03:37

You won't believe tonights phone call - I think I'm actually living in a bloody Soap, except I'm not sure even the cheesiest writers would use this as a story line.

He had some potential good news. It appears his friend needs to hire some stables and they happen to come with a cottage. She doesn't need the cottage, so he can live there rent free whilst he's working away. She will need to come and tend to the horses early morning and then after work - I bet you can all write the next bloody installment can't you.

I've just read that back and I sound like a bloody troll, it's so unbelieveable.

He is home tomorrow. I will have him here 4 days and cannot say or do anything to alert him to me knowing.

It's really complicated and I can't LTB until I've got stuff sorted, so I have to act normal. Not just around him and DS, but we're doing some work with the PILs all weekend, they live with us (sep annexe) and we need to do a major maintenance job. They are doing dinner for us Sunday after we've finished. It's been difficult for the last couple of days as I've had to act normal around them (we get on great and they are half the reason it will be difficult to LTB). MiL will pick up on anything that appears to be upsetting me. I don't dare drink as I get too honest. WTF am I going to do!

IUsedtobeMe Thu 23-May-13 00:10:43

The not having sex thing is kinda believable. Long before I suspected anything, he told me about someone with really bad OCD at his work. To the point that if someone borrows her pen she can't then use it. He was telling me as some people were muttering about if she was so bad how come she could cope with mucking out horses and having a dog. He knew I would understand as I have OCD in a mild form but dealing with the dogs has never bothered me, but I can't handle tissues, dirty clothes etc without having to wash my hands several times and sterilise them.

I asked bluntly about how she handled sex as it was when he first told me she was "helping him understand where he was going wrong". He then said she had confided in him that she couldn't have a relationship as she couldn't bear to be touched. Knowing DHs bad hygiene, if she has OCD then it is entirely believable that she wouldn't want to have sex with him.

IUsedtobeMe Thu 23-May-13 00:14:24

And after those 2 posts you'll now know why I daren't drink on Sunday round the inlaws grin

I think I'll go to bed now.

Twattybollocks Thu 23-May-13 06:32:01

God you poor thing. It's so bloody humiliating isn't it. The house/stables thing is rather too convenient isn't it, and not very plausible. A bit like when I found out a couple of weeks ago that he has bought someone a tumble drier with our money, because he felt sorry for them, and then completely failed to mention it, you guessed it, the person he felt sorry for is female, young and attractive. Felt sorry for her my arse, fancied her and is probably shagging her more like. You don't just buy random strangers tumble driers and then fail to mention it.
They must think we are bloody stupid.
Re the inlaws thing, I don't know about yours but my PIL are completely in the picture and are disgusted with his behaviour. They obviously still love him, and will support him through the separation, but are not trying to defend his actions, this means that I am still able to have a good relationship with them and they will still be seein a lot of the kids as they have always been a big part of their lives and I want that to continue. They haven't done anything wrong.

neontetra Thu 23-May-13 06:59:31

My dh has a close female friend whom I assume he texts/emails a lot in the day, as he always seems to know what she and her dh are doing. I presume he would turn to her for support with our relationship, as I know she speaks to him about hers (because he tells me). None of this bothers me, tbh. But you know your own husband best.

IUsedtobeMe Thu 23-May-13 10:28:23

TB - That's awful sad

I'm glad about your inlaws though. I'm not sure about how mine will react. MiL is very good at ignoring things she finds unpalatable, it's part of the problem DH & I have. He has never, ever done anything wrong, so he never ever has to apologise, or even accept that he may have done wrong. He now appreciates that this annoys me somewhat - if I do wrong, I make amends, I apologise and we move on, if he does wrong he doesn't know how to act (as he never learnt as a child) so he storms off if he's called on it - think of a petulant 9 year old! He also has her annoying habit of making pathetic excuses to show he didn't do wrong.

Neon - I'm glad it works for you, but this one doesn't have a husband, if she did, I would feel somewhat safer.

In the cold light of day (and with no alcohol in me) I think he may feel that this is entirely innocent. He can really be that naive. So, if he has done anything wrong, it is to betray my trust by telling another woman MY secrets.

it's bullshit, he's feeding you lies. OCD and celibate sounds like a bollox cover up to make you feel safer. That bit gave me the rising hackles from the first post then i read the rest. He's a cheat, even if he never has sex with this woman their friendship is inappropriate for a married man with children.
My dh has female friends, they speak or FB each other about once a week. I have a very very dear male friend who is an ex as well, and we talk to each other once a week. I don't text him every day, he doesn't use facebook. This is not a platonic relationship. Ok no sex may have happened (yet I seriously doubt that) but it's all wrong.

The stables and cottage thing does seem very... odd. How come the rent on the cottage bit is so negligable that he can stay there for free? Where does he stay in the week at the moment, and who pays?

While he's home can you talk about it at all? Not the texts specifically. Just more saying, that you don't like him spending such intense time with her, and the cottage arrangement is only going to increase that. Or do you think you've tried similar conversations already.

TroublesomeEx Thu 23-May-13 10:44:58

I've just read this thread and I'm so sorry that you're going through this.

I don't really have much to add, except this. My stbxh was the apple of his mother's eye. His brother is 'a bit of a lad' always getting into trouble, in and out of work etc, where as the one I married is a graduate who wears a suit to work. Because of this, his parents wouldn't hear anything wrong about him.

My stbxh had an affair - claimed it was 'just' emotional and not physical until we separated; he lied about it to me; he blamed my reaction on low self esteem and my "inability to love or be loved" hmm.

When I told his mother, she was stunned. She called him a "fucking bastard", an "arsehole" and 'the C word'. We get on great now and, if anything, better than we ever did do.

He doesn't really believe any of this is innocent - he certainly wouldn't think it was innocent if you were in his shoes, it would just suit him to say that it was all innocent. I thought my stbxh must be really naive to begin with, but no, he just thought that if he played the naive card he'd come out of it looking like the hapless good guy. He didn't.

TroublesomeEx Thu 23-May-13 10:45:10

did not do

ladyjadie Thu 23-May-13 10:59:10

Wow, well if she's buying a cottage just for the stables, and your H can stay there for free, why not suggest, in an innocent way, that you move in there too, you'll save loads on mortgage/rent....

I'd be interested to see his reaction to that suggestion! It could be telling..

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