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?

TheChaoGoesMu Wed 29-May-13 23:06:51

Op I've been in this position before. Dp told me it was innocent, insisted I was paranoid and untrusting. Stupid me believed him and went against my own instincts. Until I found a spare mobile phone in the house that he had been using. It was not innocent at all. I was so angry with myself for not trusting my instincts. And so so sad. It dragged things out and took so much longer to get over due to dp's lies which went on for months and months. Those were bad times. Look after yourself op. Maybe your dh isn't lying, I don't know him, but I would suspect he is.

IUsedtobeMe Wed 29-May-13 22:45:38

Well, through a weird set of circumstances, he had to give me his phone and tell me the unlock code.

And guess what?

Yep, no texts! Crap excuse about it filling up. Had to point out that I've had my phone for much longer and don't even know how to delete texts.

I've also been cyber stalking. She's blond,pretty, about 10-12 years younger than me, thin and very fit. I am not blond, I am menopausal, fat, frumpy, and very unfit - it's a bit difficult to fit the gym into your lifestyle when you're running your DH's business, your own business, and full time carer to your son sad. It's not helped the self-esteem issue.

I now need a get out plan, for a very difficult situation. I guess I need to head over to relationships.

Bunznroses Thu 23-May-13 21:20:24

Sounds to me like they're planning to move in together! (Sorry OP)

The thing about the stabling is a complete red herring. Cottages with stabling are usually at a premium rate due to housing and stabling opportunities.
Why would stabling in this instance include a cottage for the same price? Why would she even look at stabling that is included with a house?
Sorry op, it sounds completely wrong.
Good luck

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Thu 23-May-13 14:33:50

I don't know.

He certainly doesn't sound like he has behaved in a very loving or respectful way towards you, so I wonder why it is that you don't want anyone else.

Does not wanting anyone else actually mean though that you love him and don't want to be with any other person? Even though he treats you badly?

I think that you need to spend some time working out what you feel. Because in order to know what you want to do, you have to know how you feel and what you want.

He's certainly very very emotionally intimate with this woman.

lottiegarbanzo Thu 23-May-13 13:29:18

Hi, yes, I'm not saying this friendship is ok, the secrecy does make it sound really suspect.

I impressed that you've explained all your past issues and he's listened. I wouldn't have expected that from what you've said. So the ball is in his court really, you've explained the problems, he needs to address them. Have you told him what you expect, what would count as resolution?

IUsedtobeMe Thu 23-May-13 12:52:08

Hi Lottie, thanks for your thoughts.

Normally I would agree with you about female friends, but due to the secrecy and lying it makes it difficult to trust him. Also, if he was home everynight, again I would be happier with the situation.

Bringing up the past issues is hard to describe. Normally, if something has happened and can't be altered, I kind of pigeonhole it in my mind, I don't dwell on it etc. Because he's been trying to change, because he's been talking about things, all these "pigeon holes" have opened up and all the past grievances have flooded out. I think it's to do with, if he wants to "fix" the problems then he needs to know what they are. He and his friend decided the problem was lack of affection - he now understands I'm unhappy because he's a fuckwit, and the lack of affection is a symptom and not a cause. The cause is lack of respect.

I have to give him his due, having said that he doesn't make mistakes etc, he has taken the blame for the problem, and he has taken some pretty mean things on the chin. I've finished now, I've told him everything, all the pigeon holes are resealed.

Your last question I cannot answer. I have quite a nice, comfortable life. Changing that will be hard, not so much on me but on DS, the dogs, and the PiLs. This is why I cannot do anything about any of this until I have had time to think and work things out. After all, I normally only have to put up with DH 2 days a week, unfortunately it's 4 this weekend, and we'll be working closely together. But I'll cope.

lottiegarbanzo Thu 23-May-13 11:52:56

A few thoughts. Generally, I think men form friendships only with women they are attracted to. That doesn't mean they have or are going to sleep with them. It usually means they've thought about it at some point.

That's not a reason not to have friends of the opposite sex. Usually I think you find out early if there's relationship potential and, if not, or if one runs its course, friendship can follow. That's no reason for a partner to feel threatened, if everyone is honest and open. DP and I have a good relationship with an ex of mine and his wife and I know he used to fancy his female best friend but nothing happened, for example.

If he was concerned about your feelings and seeking to reassure, he'd probably suggest you meet her.

Secrecy and flirty texting are big worries. From what you've said though, your H has developed a habit of secrecy and lying, because he cannot cope with being wrong or apologising, so he will behave this way about anything and nothing, as well as something. That habit is a real barrier to a successful relationship and needs to be addressed for you to have any chance of a future (or he with anybody).

Your description of bringing up past issues every time you talk is really problematic too. Why would he want to talk to you if nothing is ever resolved and you always find something new to throw back at him? That must be quite isolating for him. That's not to say these past issues aren't real or don't need to be addressed, they probably need to be worked through more directly but in a way that allows for resolution.

Ultimately, do you want to work through and resolve things with him? Can you imagine getting to a situation where you might have a future? Or has too much happened already that is unforgivable or has destroyed trust? Can this man ever make you happy?

TroublesomeEx Thu 23-May-13 11:18:41

Mm, for several years I knew that I didn't want anyone else either but do you know what? I'm now happily single and I also know that I don't feel that way anymore.

IUsedtobeMe Thu 23-May-13 11:13:24

ImTooHecsy - truthfully? I really don't know. For several years I've known that I don't want anyone else, but that is not the same is it?

IUsedtobeMe Thu 23-May-13 11:12:13

The OCD bit came out soon after meeting her, so I do believe she has it. The sex bit ....oh, that bit of info was recent, so yes, probably cover story.

FolkGirl - same set up except the other sibling is a sister, and has just ditched her 3rd husband, and has had 2 affairs. Funnily enough, me and her had a massive bust up and the PiLs (especially FiL) took my side. FiL took several years to forgive her, Mil 2 weeks before she started making excuses, although did agree what SiL said was unforgivable.

When he first told me I told him I wasn't happy with him talking to her about us. He made it sound like I was being unreasonable - he can have friends can't he? I can talk to my friends about relationship stuff so why can't he? I did point out that he must have spent a great deal of time with her to get this amount of helpful info, but he blustered and lied and said it was the occasional lunch, or they sat together on train etc.

He's currently renting a room at a house in a village just outside the city he's working in. Which, coincidentally, is next to the village she lives in.

She has several horses, she needs to get new stabling for them (don't know why, think it's because she's got another horse and there's not enough room in current stables). She's looking to rent stables and fields for them, and this one just happens to come with a cottage but costs the same as others. I'm sorry, but you just can't make this crap up - unless you've been encouraged, all your life, to lie and make up stories, and have got away with it.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Thu 23-May-13 11:02:35

Do you still love him and want to be with him?

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..

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

did not do

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 00:03:37

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!

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.

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

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