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To wonder if DH is having an EA

(204 Posts)
youvegotmail Tue 30-Jul-13 21:27:30

I've never heard of an EA before being on Mumsnet, but now I'm wondering if DH is having one.......

He's had a friendship with a woman he works with for over a year now, and I've never been totally comfortable with it, but I thought I was a jealous hag (she's young and bloody gorgeous of course)

She and my DH get on really well - they work in different offices for the same company, and he is senior to her. They met when he was doing her induction and he came home and told me they'd hired this great person for the role and how pleased he was, how lovely she was etc (so not hiding anything). Then their contact from then on is mostly through email although about six times a year they have to do presentatons together in the same place. I know they email a ton and it's not all work related - lots of jokes (like ones between just them - stupid stuff) and chatting as they like all the same things - I thought DH and I had shitloads in common but now I think they have more. I know this because his work emails come through to our iPad so are open for me to see - he's never hidden them. It pisses me off though to see a string of 10+ emails over the course of the day just chatting and making stupid fucking jokes. Theres an accasional Facebook message too.

I have said something about her a couple of times to him, when the friendship/EA/whatever really seemed to be taking off and the contact was high. I said that he was being unprofessional and inappropriate and that they were getting too friendly and I was uncomfortable and he didn't agree but both times he then totally toned it down for a few months and went all brusqueu with her, but then it builds again.

I've met her three times at work functions and I'm quite ashamed to say that I was not friendly - in fact DH afterwards said he was embarrassed and that I made it very awkward for no reason. She does seem really nice - but I can't get over the feeling she's getting too close to my husband and shouldn't be emailing him in a friendly way - he is her senior at work and they are both married (we have 3 DCs age 17, 15 and 11 and she has a very young DC not sure of exact age).

There is never anything at all flirty, sexual, suggestive or even much personal in their messages its more just the sheer volume of them and the fact that he clearly thinks shes really funny and clever - their banter really gets under my skin.


TallulahBetty Tue 30-Jul-13 21:30:28

Doesn't matter if the content isn't incriminating. Any contact that isn't work-related, and makes you feel uncomfortable, is unacceptable IMO.

LalyRawr Tue 30-Jul-13 21:32:57

Forgive me, but this seems more your problem than hers or your husbands.

I have male friends/work colleagues who I am close to. We have inside jokes, we text/facebook outside of work. Just because he is married it doesn't mean he isn't allowed to be friendly.

You say yourself, he is open, there is nothing flirty or suggestive.

I would be pretty pissed off if my OH was openly rude to my friends and demanded I only be cordial to them only speak about work things.

celestialbows Tue 30-Jul-13 21:35:35

Ah I don't know the answers but I agree with the above poster, if it makes you uncomfortable your dh should respect this. The trouble is that if it is innocent and he's worried about upsetting you he might start hiding stuff and making things ten times worse. Can you post in relationships as well? Hope it's all above board x

phantomnamechanger Tue 30-Jul-13 21:37:11

I would feel as you do OP.

To the poster who said its just banter between colleagues, nothing more than being friendly - this is only true if there is a similar amount of interactions with other (male) colleagues.

Several interactions a day, just because, does seem like a hell of a lot to me.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 30-Jul-13 21:38:53

I think if office banter is taking up home time then it invades your family life to an extent.

maddy68 Tue 30-Jul-13 21:46:32

Tbh I think it's you with the problem not your oh. If he is openly leaving messages where you can see them this is just a friendship.

I ae similar emails from my (male) friends at work. I would be livid if my oh was rude to them or thought they were inappropriate. These are my friends as I assume she is his friend.

ElephantsAndMiasmas Tue 30-Jul-13 21:52:49

They are friends. She can't help that she's a woman or that she's younger than him, they obviously just get on. Do you really think it's acceptable to be rude to someone on the basis that they are a friend of your husband? It sounds to me like either you have low self-esteem, your husband is doing a really bad job of making you feel loved, or this woman is being a bit snide to/ about you.

Hemlet Tue 30-Jul-13 21:58:41

I would be uncomfortable with my husband having that kind of relationship with another woman. I wouldn't like it and I know he wouldn't either if the roles were reversed.

Do you think he'd have an issue if you had a male friend you bantered with so frequently?

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 30-Jul-13 21:59:17


But he can help that he's upsetting his wife.

And if I were her I'd want to make it clear that I was a friend of him as a whole person, a person who is married and has a life outside of work. I think not being a "friend of the marriage" is dodgy.

A new friendship, in this context would worry me too.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 30-Jul-13 22:00:06

.. by her a meant the friend, not the OP.

youvegotmail Tue 30-Jul-13 22:00:07

Ok, but why are they friends? He is her senior - does nobody else find that inappropriate? Would you all be ok with your husband chatting to another woman all day including sometimes in the evening from home sending a message or two. I know my dh too and know that hes spent time thinking up the clever jokey emails to her as I can tell from the way hes worded that hes trying really hard to impress. Sometimes he tells me funny or interesting things shes said but more often than not its all private from me and he doesn't let on that they are such good friends. He doesn't know I look at his mails on the ipad but hasn't locked them or anything either so don't know if he's totally open or just doesn't think Id check.

Maybe i'm just jealous but I can't help feeling that this young, attractive woman who clearly likes my husband an awful lot - its often her that takes the subject away from work - and who my husband thinks is so great is a threat to my marriage.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 30-Jul-13 22:01:47

OP I would.

I've been with my DH for 20-odd years and a new friendship with a younger woman would make me suspect that he is feeling quite flattered and putting emotional energy into someone else.

Morgause Tue 30-Jul-13 22:05:52

It's the 21st century now so I don't think it's in the least inappropriate. Workplace friendships are a good thing and break down barriers.

They aren't hiding their friendship from you, because there's nothing to hide.

My DP and I both have friends of the opposite sex - it's normal.

TiffanyAtBreakfast Tue 30-Jul-13 22:08:10

I'm on the side of those who wouldn't be okay with it. I have male (and female!) friends from the office and they are exactly that - Friends from the office. When I get home I don't keep emailing them. Occasionally I might every now and again, but certainly not numerous times a day.

Just because the flirting is not sexually suggestive and is open to viewing doesn't necessarily mean the OP has to feel alright about it.

dementedma Tue 30-Jul-13 22:13:16

Oh dear. My male boss is 10 years my senior and we email out of work time with jokes etc. We have a great relationship but there is nothing inappropriate whatsoever. We just get on well.
Totally disagree with the poster who says if it is making you uncomfortable then it is unacceptable. Why? Do you have the say over who your husband can or cannot be friends with. I lost a very good male friend because of a very over-possesive wife...pisses me off that people are so bloody suspicious.

youvegotmail Tue 30-Jul-13 22:17:07

My dh also has other female friends and im fine with it. I don't know why this one feels different. sad On the occasions when they do have to get together they sometimes go out for lunch or drinks (again hes open about this) but I just keep thinking that something could happen between them. I stalk her on facebook through my DHs account (again, open but hed probably be annoyed with me as it wouldn't occur to him id check) and on here (which she knows he can see) and in the emails she does mention her own DH and DC and seem happy so I should feel ok about that. Its just reading their strings of emails....... it just seems like two people working really hard to impress each other. A few times shes said stuff like 'oh you're so nice' or 'thanks for being so lovely' when hes helped her with work stuff but he never says anything like that to her. They have bought each other small gifts before - they both have the same hobby (can't say without potentially outing myself!!) and have got each other something the other one wanted cos they saw it.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 30-Jul-13 22:18:55

I think all of this would be OK if I felt as much attention was being paid to me, and me to him (if it was my DH).

maddy68 Tue 30-Jul-13 22:19:49

Well actually I'm the boss of one of my male friends who has been texting me random bantery stuff and also on our Facebook pages. Nothing inappropriate and all in the open

Beastofburden Tue 30-Jul-13 22:25:56

I don't think you can control where people meet new friends. We all make close friends every so often and sometimes they are of the opposite gender, sometimes not. You can't expect him to have no emotional investment at all in any of the people he works with, ever.

Try to forget she is female. There is no suggestion that he is going to get off with her. As for friendship, close friends do matter and it should be ok to be fond of them.

I would suggest that you normalise this relationship. Have her and her DP and DC to a family lunch. On your turf. Let our DC be lovely to her little one, and you can be nice to her DP. Let her show that she respects your place in his life and is not trying to compete with you. Let her DP see her with our DH so she has to behave in a way he is also happy with.

I know we all expect to be our DPs best friend, but we can't expect to be their only friend. I am sure your dp is upset that you are upset, but it is a lot to ask for him to drop a friend because you are irrationally against the friendship.

Sorry, OP, with every sympathy for how you feel, I personally think you ABU and that you can make this whole thing go away by accepting the friendship and having it out in the open, both families together.

maddy68 Tue 30-Jul-13 22:27:12

I'm even more convinced its just a friendship after your last post. Be careful your doubting him doesn't affect your relationship because if I found out that my oh was Facebook staking or checking my emails as if they doubted me that would seriously be a game changer for me...
They are clearly just friends.

AnyFucker Tue 30-Jul-13 22:27:46

it doesn't matter what any body else does, and how they have all these fabulous mixed-sex friendships that would never develop into anything else, woopy-doo-dah

what you know is that your husband is saving the best side of himself for a woman that is not you

that's gotta sting, and personally I would not be standing by and watching it happen right under my nose

in plain sight does not = undamaging and respectful

BergholtStuttleyJohnson Tue 30-Jul-13 22:30:54

I'm not sure OP. I don't think I'd mind if my DH did this, he has male friends that he emails/texts several times a day, not every single day but certainly a lot. I don't see how this is any different, she's just a different sex that's all. I tend not to differentiate much between men and women though and I don't get jealous. I think Yabu because he hasn't done anything wrong as far as I can tell from your op. This sounds like your issue rather than his.

SmiteYouWithThunderbolts Tue 30-Jul-13 22:33:33

Unless he is sharing deeply personal and intimate information about himself with her and not with you, I don't think I would call it an emotional affair tbh. Nothing you've described goes beyond friendship.

Maybe I'm biased because I have male friends I'm this chatty with and DH has female friends of the same ilk, and vice versa with friends of the same sex. It's just a non-issue because nothing ever crosses over into that "this is stuff I should only share with a significant other" territory.

I just can't see how the husband in this instance is behaving disrespectfully towards his wife. I DO see an awful lot of insecurity in the OP which is being projected onto a perfectly innocuous friendship.

youvegotmail Tue 30-Jul-13 22:35:48

wow, really mixed responses.

Those that think he's doing something wrong - what should I do? I've tried telling him I'm not comfortable with it and he just says that there's nothing to be in the least bit concerned about and even kind of says that shes a bit full on and over friendly and that hes just being friendly back (ie its her pushing it not him but im not sure).

Its hard to invite her for lunch because she lives far away but I guess I could try socialisting with her at the next thing. Last time I was cool to say the least and kept dh away from her and then when I went to the loo I came back and they were chatting and I just went in and 'borrowed' him (but it annoyed me he went to her when my back was turned). I know there's an element of jealousy as she is a real looker but I don't think its just that, its more about how close they seem. there is a real affection between them I feel. sad

I have had a bad experience in the past which may have affected me but I sort of cant see how a young, gorgeous woman who he has tons in common with and contacts several times a day and makes lots of effort to be jokey and friendly with is not going to make him think of her in 'that way'??

Viviennemary Tue 30-Jul-13 22:39:52

YANBU to not be happy about the level of closeness your DH has with this person. It doesn't matter that lots of people would be happy with this. You're not. And I don't agree with trying to get closer to this person. Why should you.

Ouchmyhead Tue 30-Jul-13 22:39:58

This isn't an EA, it's just a friendship! And emotional affair is flirting, hidden messages, intimate messages - this just sounds like two people who work together, and get on - which must be nice in the workplace! It'd be rubbish if everyone at work was all business. The pr

Ouchmyhead Tue 30-Jul-13 22:41:12

sorry I hit send too soon! Meant to finish with the problem is your jealousy, your husband is completley honest and open with you - what more do you want? You can't ban him from talking to any female you deem younger and prettier!

ageofgrandillusion Tue 30-Jul-13 22:43:33

So is the issue basically because she is really fit OP?

AnyFucker Tue 30-Jul-13 22:47:42

I hope you don't regret posting, OP. Some of these replies are verging on downright nasty.

You are allowed to feel any way you like. Unless you make a habit of becoming a shrieking harpy every time your H passes the time of day with anyone in possession of ovaries, I think you should trust your instinct

Isn't that the Mumsnet Mantra ? Trust your instinct

It has done many women on here a great service (depending on which way you look at it). And well done to you for refusing to play "cool wife" when you don't feel remotely "cool" at all.

youvegotmail Tue 30-Jul-13 22:48:01

age No it's more the closeness tbh - the effort they both put into the daily contact, the in-jokes, the efforts they go to to make each other smile and to look clever, the level of contact. It doesn't HELP that she looks like a model though........

dementedma Tue 30-Jul-13 22:49:17

"I stalk her on Facebook through dhs' account"
If you were my dp doing that to me, I'd be packing g my bags.

AnyFucker Tue 30-Jul-13 22:57:48

Let's summarise

1) Op's H is this woman's senior and it will be clear to co-workers that they are getting closer and closer. This, at the very least, will make them (and indirectly, OP) an object of office gossip. I would not forgive that lightly...I am more than capable of making a fool of myself I don't need my H to do it for me

2) Contact with this woman continues outside of work, about non-work related things. I assume this is taking away from family time. The saving of "jokes" and the thought put into the "banter" (what the fuck is this "banter" ? my day, that was called flirting ..) for her, makes OP feel second best

3) The buying of intimate little "gifts" for each other, that exclude the OP

4) When OP tries to make her H understand how she feels uncomfortable with the level of contact, he runs down this other woman down (that he was enthusing about, remember), implies that she is doing all the chasing and he is just being "polite" in replying. Really ? Then don't pretend to cool it off for a while, before revving it back up again as soon as OP STFU

4) OP is being made to feel this is her problem, reinforced by some of you on here. Really...all of you would have no issue with this ?

If this is being a "cool wife", count me out, and OP if you want to be counted out too, fair play to you

AnyFucker Tue 30-Jul-13 23:00:15

OP I suggest you buy "Not Just Friends" by Shirley Glass and take it from there. Good luck x

LemonPeculiarJones Tue 30-Jul-13 23:01:04

He is putting way too much effort into this friendship. He sounds really invested in it.

She's young and beautiful and clever and funny and it sounds like he is preening, slightly desperately, in her regard.

Whether it never goes any further or not I too would feel uncomfortable with this level/tone of contact.

It sounds as if he isn't putting much effort into your relationship, or making you feel amazing and alluring. There is an inappropriate imbalance there.

youvegotmail Tue 30-Jul-13 23:08:34

Thanks AnyFucker - you make me feel less insane!!

I do think that the bit outside work bugs me the most - when I see a message that hes sent when weve been together watching tv or hes been watching our youngest at swimming or something it just feels like shes always on his mind and a bit ever present. I also feel like he uses work as an excuse to contact her when its not necessary - like his messages will start witih the most miniscule thing about work that could have been saved for another day or could have been bundled into one email and then move onto chit chat.

I don't know if its flirting. What make flirting flirting? There is never any suggestion of anything sexual or personal in that way - hes never once said anything about her looks even when she seemed to try to elicit it, going on about how awful she looked in front of some clients because they got into a rainstorm on the way there (he said 'you looked absolutely fine' and that was after a few 'fishes' from her). They'll talk about what they were up to at the weekend (sometimes he mentions me totally casually so no hiding me) and so on. So all that is fine. But I still get this weird vibe from their conversations. This vibe like hes the big boss and shes a bit giggly and 'you're so wonderful' and he laps it up, and then at the same time they have lots in common, make joke after joke after joke after flipping joke in a bit of an up themselves kind of way tbh and sometimes I wonder how they get any work done. Every time there's a meeting coming up that they'll both be at I feel uncomfortable. I also think he dresses 'young' for these meetings but could be way overthinking things.

AnyFucker Tue 30-Jul-13 23:11:00

He thinks up and plans these little "jokes" and repartee while he is watching the kids swimming, or on the surface spending time with you ?

His mind is elsewhere that is clear. Not acceptable for him to make you feel like that.

Beastofburden Tue 30-Jul-13 23:17:45

Lets separate the two things if we can.

I expect the OP is happy with her DH having close friends, but perhaps they are not usually this close? Is this the first friendship that you can see he really cares about and you can see him putting effort into? IME all friendships need effort, and many of us wish our DHs would make more effort to keep their old friendships going. I put effort into my own close friendships, it's not necessarily sinister.

I expect you have a very close female friend. Imagine that DH asks you to cool it with her, see less of her, stop having private chats, etc. I think it would feel like a big ask. There is a sense in which our DPs "belong" to us, but also a sense in which we always share them a bit with others. In the longer term, a DP with no really close friend is a liability because he depends utterly on you.

Quite separately, is she a threat to the marriage? That is a perfectly fair concern. Model looks, etc. We all know, though, that men get off with all sorts, being pretty doesn't make her that much more dangerous than all the other people he is surrounded by.

I don't know- cant know- if this might become an affair. It looks very open at the moment. But perhaps this post is more about the importance of close friendship. Is it a betrayal of us, if DH loves a friend? Obv it is easier if that friend is male, but its the same issue really.

I want to feel free to love my own best friend, though obviously differently. It follows I can't refuse the same to my DH.

I can completely understand why she freaks you out. I do think it might be better if you could get to know her, and then she will just become a normal woman in the normal light of day, who happens to be a really good friend of the family. And the friendship is new, it's all still discovery time, it is bound to become more pedestrian with time.

ilovesooty Tue 30-Jul-13 23:18:44

Well, the thing that strikes me is that you've become totally obsessed with the situation. Perhaps he needs to know how you feel, but you can't be completely open about that without revealing the extent to which you've monitored all his interaction with her.

FWIW I don't see any evidence of an EA.

Beastofburden Tue 30-Jul-13 23:24:13

Though there are elements that sound a bit like a mid life crisis which might concern me.... Another reason for getting her round WITH her child and partner, make sure your DH doesn't forget they exist.... Though I understand the distance issue.

AnyFucker Tue 30-Jul-13 23:29:28

Have you decided what you are going to do, OP ? if anything.

youvegotmail Tue 30-Jul-13 23:36:32

I don't know AnyFucker - half the people on here are telling me I'm a nutjob jealous obsessed person whose husband should leave her for checking his facebook (I know that's not ideal but still...... ) and half are saying they understand and that hes crossing lines.

Ive spoken to him a couple of times and I know he will just say that its not a problem and then go all cold on her again - actually the last time he did this it made me cringe as he just became really brisk and professional with her and you could tell she was thinking WTF as it was so different to how he normally is, I felt it almost made more of an issue as he was being borderline rude then. He can't just subtly dial it bloody down!

I keep checking because I want more 'evidence' but then theres never anything solid that I can use.............. just lots and lots of chatting, flirting or banter or whatever it is and a sense of warmth and admiration between them.

What should I do?? sad

Thanks also beast I really appreciated your thoughtful post and will give it some thought.

formicadinosaur Tue 30-Jul-13 23:38:36

Could they just get on really well but have no attraction. People can be friends and they are both unavailable. I think you have to trust your DH. He is with you because he loves you. If he has an affair, that's different of course.

AnyFucker Tue 30-Jul-13 23:39:52

I can't tell you what to do, love, none of us can. This is your marriage, your husband, your feelings. If his behaviour is making you unhappy and insecure and it hasn't previously wrt to his female friendships, then you have to trust yourself.

HomelessAngua Tue 30-Jul-13 23:40:12

Wossa a EA?

formicadinosaur Tue 30-Jul-13 23:40:45

At the same time I would be reading the emails too though!! But maybe you should stop?

formicadinosaur Tue 30-Jul-13 23:42:12

Extramarital affair.

AnyFucker Tue 30-Jul-13 23:42:37

Unfortunately, it would seem that the Pandora's box of email checking has been well and truly opened

I don't blame you though, OP. I would have done it too.

AnyFucker Tue 30-Jul-13 23:43:42

in this context, EA means emotional affair

have you anything useful to add now, HA ?

youvegotmail Tue 30-Jul-13 23:44:46

Emotional affair Homeless

He's had lots of female friends. He's a very warm and lovely guy and women really like him. I've never had an issue with this before at all. This includes being fine when he went on a work trip abroad with another of the senior female colleagues who he is friends with (she lives closer and I do know her a lot better though). This one just doesn't sit right with me. Its the fact he goes back to it daily to fuel it, put so much effort into it........ and yeah, the fact she's shit hot. grin Reading their emails they sound like theyre so so so alike.

I should stop reading the emails but its far too easy and far too tempting and I'm a worrier. sad

formicadinosaur Tue 30-Jul-13 23:45:30

I think your DH needs to make you feel more secure and valued. I think it's ok to be friendly but not ok to be overly flirty.

AnyFucker Tue 30-Jul-13 23:49:33

YGM, do his interactions with her echo the ones you had with him when your relationship was at it's first flush of excitement ? Perhaps the naysayers would understand that ?

everlong Tue 30-Jul-13 23:51:11

I get you OP.

Tbh I don't think his actions are very professional seeing that he's her senior.

I don't think the fact that's she's young and gorgeous is a red herring either.

PicardyThird Tue 30-Jul-13 23:54:23

Oh, I'm right on the fence on this one <extracts splinters from arse> I can see the merit in what both sets of posters are saying. But thinking about it, and certainly reading your latter posts, OP, I do think that boundaries are quite possibly being approached, it not (yet) crossed. You're usually fine with his female friends, but not this one - I think that's quite a strong indication in itself. AnyFucker makes a very valid point about instinct. i also think her point about the emotional energy, the 'best of himself' that he is giving away outside the marriage is a highly pertinent one.

Things between them may remain at this pitch for a while and then fizzle out. He certainly doesn't sound like he's really taking the opportunities she may be giving him (not at all sure on this, just going on what you post) to escalate things. He may be enjoying the interaction and allowing his ego to be massaged but far from thinking anything sexual of it.

I agree with those who suggest, if she is such a good friend, that you invite her over with her dh and dc. Take the claims of friendship at face value. Your dh's reaction to this proposition might tell you a lot, one way or another.

WinkyWinkola Tue 30-Jul-13 23:55:22

It's the sheer volume of contact that suggests suspicion.

Would he make this much effort with a male friend? Would there be as much effort into active contact after work?

I can't think of anyone I'd spend that much time bantering with. Got too much else to do.

AnyFucker Tue 30-Jul-13 23:56:58

At the very least, I would be embarassed by him and angry that he was making himself (and indirectly, me) an object of salacious gossip. How are relationships that cross professional boundaries viewed in his profession, btw ? Especially those between senior and junior colleagues ? Does he have any line management responsibility for her ? Potentially very dodgy (and job-risking) ground...

I would just think he was acting in a ridiculous manner. I can't respect people who act as if they had a frontal lobotomy in their lunch hour, tbh. What next...the rat's tail ponytail, facial hair topiary a la Craig David, the weasly goatee, the Harley Davidson, the whole new wardrobe that is 15 years too young for him?

he needs to get a fucking grip, to be perfectly honest

phantomnamechanger Wed 31-Jul-13 00:00:41

I agree with everything AF has said. I am sorry OP.
He is contacting her while on the surface supposedly spending time with you? Not good.

This is EXACTLY how affairs start, forced contact at work, shared interests, mutual admiration, shared humour, one person then initiates it and the other reciprocates because they are flattered that their friend whom they know so well feels that way....its a natural progression. That is not to say that platonic friendships do not exist - they just don't invade a couples private space like this seems to be. He is not investing the time in his relationship with his DW. even if nothing physical were ever to happen with OW, the feeling that he has such a strong emotional attachment to another woman, someone else he may confide in about little domestic rucks etc, someone else he is joking with online when OP is sitting there....all not good.

This scenario sets lots of alarms ringing (though without knowing either of them cant say who is the instigator) and if your DH cant see how damaging this is to your relationship, and how and why it makes you feel as you do, he is either a fool, or does not care because his thoughts are elsewhere.

OP you need a serious lay it on the line heart to heart. Hope he sees sense.

AnyFucker Wed 31-Jul-13 00:04:28

Really, OP. you need to get a copy of "Not Just Friends" and when you have read it, make him read it too

methinks there are few peeps on this thread for which it is also required reading

farewellfarewell Wed 31-Jul-13 00:11:02

no, this would not work for me at all.yanbu

Seenenoughtoknow Wed 31-Jul-13 00:12:58

Anyfucker I am totally with you, I've seen this happen a couple of times (in a previous job) and the friendships built up over a period of time, with both ending in affairs. I would listen to your instincts OP.

AnyFucker Wed 31-Jul-13 00:18:54

I don't understand some of the earlier posters who appeared to take pleasure in making a distressed woman feel worse

As is usually the case, people don't post stuff like this on a whim. It comes as a result of a long period self doubt, second guessing, sleepless nights and worry to the point of spoiling your daily life

Dismissing her in such an offhand way is shit behaviour. Waaay to go all the cool wives, rah rah for you... this wife is feeling hurt and looking for support.

Seenenoughtoknow Wed 31-Jul-13 00:26:21

I agree, all marriages are different and friendships are too, but I would NOT be cool about this one. I think the OP shouldn't be persuaded that this is fine.

Buttercup4 Wed 31-Jul-13 00:50:27

anyfucker I agree, where's the support here?!

I would feel uncomfortable if my DH was getting too close to a colleague, and I would put myself in the bunny boiler category so I don't think YABU. As long as you don't stop him from talking to any females you consider to be good looking and you have grounds for your concern then that's fine, IMO.

This could be the beginnings of an affair. If it doesn't feel right, OP then you are entitled to feel concerned. Your DH's priority should be you. Although his intentions may be honourable, hers may not be. If it was me I would want to see them talking to each other at the next work function to assess interactions, to see if my concerns had any grounds, if I didn't think so I would drop it.

celestialbows Wed 31-Jul-13 06:39:14

I'm with anyfucker. I am sooooo bored of the cool wife attitude e. It's not realistic and is denying basic human feelings.

Back2Two Wed 31-Jul-13 06:53:16

even kind of says that shes a bit full on and over friendly and that hes just being friendly back (ie its her pushing it not him but im not sure)

This is a bit of a lame excuse isn't it? When he's sending her jokes whilst he's at home with you and spending time with his kids?

If it was me in your position OP I'd not like this relationship at all. Different couples obviously have very different relationships and boundaries of what is acceptable. If my dh did this I would resent the time invested in this woman. I would see this as a problem in my relationship, especially if I'd told him and he continued to do it to this extent.

My dh can have friends of course and he is a "woman's man" in a way....but I'm his best friend and I deserve his best.


dollius Wed 31-Jul-13 07:01:04

FFS, who sends 20-odd emails a day to a friend anyway? I get on with lots of people well at work, I don't email them all evening or when I am watching my children do sport etc, or even at all outside work really, unless for work reasons. I don't email any of my friends that much.

This is an emotional affair - and, no, you don't have to be mooning all over each other for it to be that, just investing emotional time in someone other than your spouse.

ageofgrandillusion Wed 31-Jul-13 07:50:55

I'd be annoyed at the outside work bit. I'd be really interested to know what her other half thinks of her fawning all over her boss.

Snugglepiggy Wed 31-Jul-13 08:34:17

I am with AnyFucker on this one totally.And the book Not Just Friends.We had to read it after DHs friendship with with younger woman who loved to share 'banter' with him got out of hand.Wish he had read it sooner.He was open and honest about it for several years.And guess what like your DH OP warm.funny friendly and lots of female friends that I trusted.But this one was different and way too familiar and the first time I met her I had a gut instinct about her.We were out socially and she happened to be there and came up behind my DH and wrapped her arms around his shoulders from behind and giggled.
I berated myself for feeling disquiet and not wanting to seem old fashioned,uncool and controlling tolerated his friendship.Well OW proved me right when I found out that they were seeing way more of each other than necessary for work and exchanging sexual texts.When it all blew up her initial defence for contacting him so much out of work was they were just friends and it was just 'banter'.20 odd texts a day.20 odd e- mails a day.Way too much.Sorry you've been given a hard time.

Beastofburden Wed 31-Jul-13 08:38:19

It's very difficult. The original question was about EAs but I think the consensus here is that there is a significant risk of a sexual affair. I think that YGM agrees that she has been badly let down before, and is a worrier, and is now very very worried about stairs and doesn't quite know what to make of it all.

YGM, I would ask someone you trust in real life, who knows your DH, what they think. It is terribly difficult for us to give advice, not knowing you. I do think that it is possible to have close friends across gender barriers, but of course a midlife crisis is possible. Other posters have very strong views that it is almost certainly going to become an affair, and they may be right. If they are wrong, though, in this case, it could be very difficult for you.

And I still think, whichever situaton u may be in here, the best defence is to get to know her yourself if you can. Actually the very best thing would be for her to have another DC. Maternity leave and something new for hire, a clear reminder to your DH, if he needs one, that she is in a relationship with someone else. But I guess even MN can't arrange for that.....

Beastofburden Wed 31-Jul-13 08:41:16

Stairs? I think I meant situation.

ageofgrandillusion Wed 31-Jul-13 08:49:09

Another dc beastofburden? Bit drastic. You cant just go pumping more sprogs out every time you think your husband is getting too friendly with a member of the opposite sex.

VitoCorleone Wed 31-Jul-13 08:50:35

I would be fucking livid if this where my DP.

I dont give a shit about trying to be "cool" and "laid back" about stuff like this, he's disrespecting you

The question is what are you going to do about it?

VitoCorleone Wed 31-Jul-13 08:53:17

Fucking hate the term 'banter' aswell. What a crock of shite

Smilehappy Wed 31-Jul-13 08:56:16

I think mumsnet has made you paranoid

Cherriesarelovely Wed 31-Jul-13 09:02:37

I am not a particularly jealous person but I wouldn't feel comfortable with this either OP. The things that would really bother me are that he is constantly in touch with her, even during your family time together, and also the gifts. I think it is significant that you have never been bothered about his other female friends but that you are about this woman. I suppose you can only tell him once again how you feel. The only other option is trying to get to know her a bit yourself, that might make you feel completely differently. I do understand why you might not want to though.

ilovesooty Wed 31-Jul-13 09:08:16

I think it might be worth considering why you feel the need to stalk your husband, obsess about the situation and can't discuss it with him, whether the issue is your feelings of insecurity or his overstepping of boundaries. Since the beginning of the thread I don't necessarily see an EA but I do see a situation where you feel really uncomfortable and. he is moving outside accepted norms. If the current situation goes on it will fester and it will become increasingly hard to redefine the relationship and redraw the parameters.

You need to talk about this but I'm not sure where the openings are to do so. I'm sorry you are so unhappy and hope that it can be addressed and acceptable boundaries can be put in place.

Cherriesarelovely Wed 31-Jul-13 09:10:47

I also think that any woman with sense would have an inkling that a very close friendship like this could make a DW feel excluded and uncomfortable. As a result most people in this situation would be falling over themselves to be friendly and to reach out to you too precisely to make it very clear that there is nothing suspect in their intentions.

mayorquimby Wed 31-Jul-13 09:13:37

From the ops own telling of it she was really nice when she met the op and the op was embarrassingly rude.
So she has tried to be friendly

Wowserz129 Wed 31-Jul-13 09:16:39

I don't have much too add that hasn't been said but I just wanted to say that I would feel uncomfortable with that level of contact and if alarm bells are ringing I would trust them as you are his wife and can read the situation best. If you have spoken to him about it and said you feel uncomfortable I don't get why he's still doing it.

ilovesooty Wed 31-Jul-13 09:18:06

She has trued to be friendly and pleasant while the OP was rude. However her husband could reasonably have seen then that the situation and everyone's roles within it needed some serious reflection.

funkybuddah Wed 31-Jul-13 09:20:44

I think that it is more your problem. Everythign is there for you to see, he is not beig secretive and you were rude his workmate.

I spend hours on the phone each week talking to male workmates, always have done, that is in addition to texts/tweets and whatsapps.

I meet them for dinners, occasionally spend time with them when dc's are at school etc.

One male friend I go on drunken nights out to London, just the 2 of us.
(No one would raise an eyebrow if it was with female friend, how sexist)

If DP told me to stop he would get the sharp edge of my tongue, Im doing nothing wrong other than having friends I can have a laugh with (my female friends are general on manhunts when we go out, I like the casualness of the other friendships) if he cant trust me its his problem, not mine.

I dont keep anything a secret (like your DH) so I wouldnt expect to be given grief about it when all Im doing is having friends.

All you can do is speak to your DH about how this makes you feel, you may find it sets your mind at ease. Who's to say she even finds your DH attractive?

JamieandtheMagicTorch Wed 31-Jul-13 09:34:22

I agree with so many of you who have articulated it better than me

Any insecurity is slapped down as "just jealousy".

When you have been with someone a long time, you know them. You know when something feels wrong

JamieandtheMagicTorch Wed 31-Jul-13 09:35:06

When people are beginning an emotional attachment they don't necessarily hide it.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Wed 31-Jul-13 09:37:33

And Cherries. I agree with that (mentioned it earlier).

Any woman who had any sisterly understanding would go out of their way to include the wife.

Any male friends I have, I am very respectful of their partners - talk about them, ask after them, meet them

JamieandtheMagicTorch Wed 31-Jul-13 09:37:54

..... and not take up family time

tumbletumble Wed 31-Jul-13 09:39:47

OP, I really feel for you because I have been in a similar position. A few years ago DH became close to an attractive married female colleague who he seemed to have lots in common with. They were working together very closely at the time.

I am not a jealous person at all and am very happy for DH to have female friends (he's the kind of man that gets on well with women), but this one was 'different'.

It sounds to me from what you have said that he is flattered and is enjoying the attention, but has no desire or intention of being unfaithful to you. The problem is that if you tell him you have been 'stalking' him / her or you ask him to stop contacting her, you come across as the unreasonable one (and tbf you are being unreasonable based on facts rather than feelings).

My advice would be to sit it out. Work on your relationship with your DH - make sure that you are pouring your efforts into that, rather than worrying about him and her. Try to stop checking his emails obsessively, try to give her less of your head space, it's not good for you emotionally.

My situation came to a head when the colleague tried to kiss my DH when they were sharing a taxi to the station after work drinks. He was genuinely shocked (I wasn't) and came home and told me about it. After that he backed away from her and soon afterwards she transferred to a different office. I was pleased that he had been the one to take the initiative to cut contact rather than me telling him to.

Good luck OP. I hope it works out for you.

ilovesooty Wed 31-Jul-13 09:44:29

The gap between the husband's boundaries and the OPs feelings is the issue. I don't see why the colleague should be expected to demonstrate "sisterly understanding". Basic manners are another matter.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Wed 31-Jul-13 09:46:40


Ok, basic manners. An awareness that a wife might care about this level of contact. Unless she's getting a bit of a thrill out of it.

skyeskyeskye Wed 31-Jul-13 09:55:02

OP - I agree that if it makes you feel uncomfortable, then it is out of order.

The very first email that I saw between XH and OW was discussing his blood pressure, because OW has high blood pressure too, she was giving him advice. He said to her

- You are a very clever girl to know so much -

I read that and instantly had chills, because it was flirty, it was praising her, it was after he had left me and come back again. The email was deleted fairly quickly, I only saw it because I happened to be sat at the computer when it came through.

Sometimes your instincts are just spot on and your H needs to understand how and why you feel like this.

itsallaboutyoubaby Wed 31-Jul-13 09:58:23

I have a good male friend who o email maybe two or three times a day. we just chat mundane stuff about our days, honestly as boring as what we've had for dinner.

im a sahm and enjoy having some adult chat throughout the day - he gets bored at work so breaks up the day chatting to me.

there is no flirting or attempting to impress each other, no sexual undertone at all. I view my relationship with him in exactly the same way I do my female friendships.

like your dh I was open about our contact as I honestly felt I had nothing to hide.

last year dh told me he thought our relationship was weird
it really upset me - I would never cheat on dh, emotionally or otherwise.

equally, why should a friend be cut out or viewed with suspicion just for being male?

Beastofburden Wed 31-Jul-13 10:05:41

not another DC for the OP- another DC for the woman he is (possibly) having an EA with... and it wasnt serious, just it would get her off the scene for a bit...

Nanny0gg Wed 31-Jul-13 10:15:00

I think AnyFucker summed it up really well.

And for those saying 'ignore the fact she's female' - I bet this wouldn't be happening if she were a bloke.

Cherriesarelovely Wed 31-Jul-13 10:19:35

Why not Ilovesooty? I would. Most women would realise that someone's wife might find this level of contact disturbing and make it clear that they were not a threat by including them sometimes. I think that is one of the things that is absent in this and that would bother me. Presumably this woman knows she makes op uncomfortable, you would therefore expect her to back off a bit or make an effort to reassure her.

ilovesooty Wed 31-Jul-13 10:27:20

I just think the term "sisterly understanding" is cringeworthy. I think the woman is obliged to be polite, and should be respectful of his family life but ensuring the OPs well being is not herresponsiility. I think that's a matter for the husband / wife to consider.

LazyFaire Wed 31-Jul-13 10:29:16

I am on the fence here too I think - my question is, does he invest this much emotional contact in you too? Do you get a random jokey text at lunch, a gift bought for your favourite hobby if he 'just sees it', etc? So if he does do things like that for you, I would say not to worry. If she is getting more attention than you do, that is what I would address rather than the possibility of an affair. He should be able to balance a friendship so it does not infringe on your family life...

That versus the texting while your DCs swim or while you are having time just the two of you would concern me. The energy that should be going into his relationship with you, is being spent on another person. I don't actually get gifts for my friends randomly, if I see something they love I might get it and keep it till their birthday, for instance.

The fact that YOU are uncomfortable and he dismisses that or makes a 'big deal' out of cutting down the friendship, alarms me somewhat. But since I don't know all the ins and outs its hard to know if he is a) not handling your nosiness into a perfectly normal friendship well, and therefore making you more paranoid, or b) not handling his or the OW's emotions well, and trying to hide the start of an EA.

Good Luck.

ArtemisFoul Wed 31-Jul-13 10:35:11

I have no friends that I have that level of contact with continually. Odd days when something bigs happened but not continually. The only time I have that sort of contact is when I'm interested in a relationship.

Does he text/email you during the day OP or is he 'too busy'?

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Wed 31-Jul-13 10:44:08

Gosh, OP why don't you understand how these things work?

Random Mumsnetter X, sitting at her laptop in Hull, has a perfectly above-board platonic friendship with a member of the opposite sex. Ergo: all friendships between two members of the opposite sex are OK and above reproach.

Didn't someone explain this to you?!

You've just gotta love people piling onto the thread, to tell us alllllll about their friendship with Tom, Dick and Harry as if it's got anything whatsoever to do with the OP's situation.

My DH has three really good women friends. All of my exes has women friends. One of my Dad's best friends is a woman. We ALL know male/female friendships are normal, run-of-the-mill every day occurances, that most people have no problem with.

The OP clearly isn't posting about one of these friendships. Her DH has had friendships with women in the past, and it's never been a problem. This one has her spidey-senses tingling.

She can stick her head in the sand if certain posters really think that is the best way to handle it. Or she can tackle it front on. Why do people have a problem with the latter? I genuinely can't figure it out.

phantomnamechanger Wed 31-Jul-13 10:47:04

really LF? so it's OK that he's sending loads of random fun texts and buying little gifts for this OW, as long as his wife is treated the same?

No. His wife should be treated 100x better and have far more contact/input/random gifts.

And reading between the lines I get the feeling the wife is being treated less favourable than the OW, possibly unintentioanly and with no mal-intent at this stage, but it is still very worrying.

LazyFaire Wed 31-Jul-13 10:50:20

Yes, That is what I mean by the time and energy he should be investing in his wife, the OP, is being spent on the OW. maybe didn't explain myself clearly...

Nanny0gg Wed 31-Jul-13 11:01:45

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper made some very good points. It's how the OP feels about the specific situation she is in.
They've been together a long time and she's never felt this way about any of his other female friendships.

That means something.

LessMissAbs Wed 31-Jul-13 11:14:41

He's getting an ego boost out of it and they are both flirting with each other. She might be doing it for the attention, ego boost or to use him as a contact in the company. Whether you want to put up with is entirely up to you.

I know I wouldn't. I expect to be the apple of my DH's eye and if he didn't give me enough attention due to him giving it elsewhere, id warn him it was putting me off him and id have to find someone else myself, provably someone younger than him since i find those annoying middle aged men at work who try to flirt with you and be all friendly deeply irritating.

I dont really believe in running around after men, suppressing my own discomfort, so they can enjoy flirting with other women.

Id also be concerned that he isn't focusing on his work in the workplace.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Wed 31-Jul-13 11:20:57

for those of you who have good male friends and this level of contact:

Are they new friends?

JamieandtheMagicTorch Wed 31-Jul-13 11:22:34

Good post DonDraper

JamieandtheMagicTorch Wed 31-Jul-13 11:23:40

and yy LazyFaire

phantomnamechanger Wed 31-Jul-13 11:25:43

actually, given that he is in the senior role at work, he could be landing himself in a whole pile of trouble if the OW wants at some point to claim harassment or wrong doing on his part.

say her DH gets unhappy with their friendship and she says she just has to put up with it for the sake of their working relationship. Say she were to eventually try it on, and your DH wasn't having it but she tried to make revenge for being shunned and made up a pack of lies? He is in danger of not only upsetting his wife but making himself look a fool or worse at work.

shotofexpresso Wed 31-Jul-13 11:35:14

I'm inclined to agree with AF, do you get this treatment OP, with gifts and socialising??

itsallaboutyoubaby Wed 31-Jul-13 11:45:17

Actually, dondrapers, I posted about my friendship not because it says anything about the OP's husband's friendship. But to explain to her how hurtful it is when a partner is suspicious of something entirely innocent.

I have no idea how innocent her DH's friendship is. I didn't propose to, or to offer any advice on it.

I don't really understand the need for the belittling tone in your post, but I guess that's just how you conduct yourself.

Surely the point should not be whether there is in fact more than a friendship going on?

Irrespective of whether this is a totally innocent friendship or not, the OP for her own personal reasons in uncomfortable with it. They might just be friends, but if the OP feels that her DH is putting a lot more time and effort into this friendship than into their marriage then surely her DH should listen and understand that?
Why would you continue to do something that constantly upsets the person you love?

Yes, of course no one can dictate who people are friends with, but I would like to think that given a choice between continuing with a situation I am very unhappy about, or continuing to carry on a non professional email relationship with a colleague, my DH would choose our marriage, wouldn't most people want that?

Auntfini Wed 31-Jul-13 11:56:55

I would feel just as you do OP, and I don't know why posters were portraying you as the 'uncool wife'. He is emotionally investing his energies into another woman.

I have close male friends at work. We get on well and have a lot of banter and a good laugh. They are married, and I would count myself as good friends with them. What I don't do though, is email/ text them throughout the weekend, maybe an odd text every now and then if either of us sees something that makes us laugh. Furthermore, I know their wives and children. And while I wouldn't say I was close friends with the wives, I would count myself as a friend of the marriage, eg I or my DP would babysit while the husband and wives go out, or we'll all socialise together sometimes. That is normal behaviour, not developing a close, cosy little friendship with someone you work with, and letting it envelop a huge chunk of your life.

GoodTouchBadTouch Wed 31-Jul-13 12:03:53

YGM, Ive got nothing to add, but Id feel really sad if it were me too. I agree with AF, its not on. After all this time, you know if something is not right. I know exactly what you mean about being able to tell he has spent ages thinking of a funny way to word something... that's not you being paranoid, its what happens when you know somebody so well.

I know this is largely irrelevant, but is he attractive? If she is young and beautiful and he is middle aged and bulgy, isn't the chance of there being any feelings from her side much reduced?

Obviously anyone can fall in love with anyone, but if hes not a looker, then it could just be she is flirting with him to get ahead at work, but wouldn't dream of taking it further. So any shallow feelings he might have wont lead to anything anyway.

Not that that makes any difference to the fact he is ignoring your feelings.. I hope you work it out xx

itsallaboutyoubaby Wed 31-Jul-13 12:12:21

"for those of you who have good male friends and this level of contact:

Are they new friends?"

I've known my friend 6 years and been with DH 9.

I wouldn't say we have that level of contact though - my friend lives 100 miles away and I never physically see him in person. So the email contact we have is the only contact we have (we never text, either). He is, basically, a pen friend.

OrmirianResurgam Wed 31-Jul-13 12:19:55

Are you usually a jealous person? If the answer is no, I would go with my gut instinct. I was never jealous - in 30 yrs I had never felt jealous or possessive of my H. Until about 2 yrs ago when I began to have niggles - he had got too close to someone at work and ended up having an affair. He told me all about her, her problems, what they spoke about etc... no secrecy at all...until the affair become more intimate and they told each other how they felt about each other. Funnily enough I didn't hear about that hmm Your DH and the woman may not be in an affair yet, but I would suggest they are building up to one.

BTW I'd have been one of the gungho posters on here saying 'Ooh no, not inappropriate, just good mates' before the affair. I am a bit more cautious now. And yes, I have got close to people at work and yes, in one case I was in an EA but in those days I didn't call it that but I still knew it was wrong. I know better now.

funkybuddah Wed 31-Jul-13 12:36:01

Re length of friendship the one I spend most time in is a friendship of about 1.5yrs, with dp for 15. (May end up spending the night with this week as there is a party dp is not invited to, but nothing going on, other friends there etc)
Most of my close friendships are new ish due to turnover of staff, they generally are in their early 20s due to the nature of the job, they don't have kids so are unaware of these weekend restrictions.

CinnabarRed Wed 31-Jul-13 12:48:26

I just wanted to post to answer your original question of AYBU.

FWIW, there's nothing in your posts that set my spidey-senses tingling. Actually, the fact that she had been friendly towards you on the occasions when you've met gave me some reassurance.


Your spidey-sense are tingling. If you'd said that they tingle every time your DH has contact with a member of the opposite sex then I'd have gently suggested that your senses needed a re-tune. However, given that she's the only one that sets you off makes me think that there might be something more here.

So, on balance, no YANBU.

What to do next? I don't know. The Shirley Glass book might have some helpful suggestions.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Wed 31-Jul-13 13:20:37

"And yes, I have got close to people at work and yes, in one case I was in an EA but in those days I didn't call it that but I still knew it was wrong. I know better now"


Me too

Cherriesarelovely Wed 31-Jul-13 14:01:30

My dp had a close friendship with a colleague that bugged me. I really didn't suspect anything untoward but everytime dp spent time with her (we are all women, gay relationship) she would come home making remarks about how Dd was too shy or our house wasn't tidy enough or we were doing this or that wrong as parents. I got absolutely sick of it and told dp. She took it on board, respected my feelings and stopped doing it.Unless Op is constantly jealous of her dh's female friends he ought to be taking her feelings seriously and sorting it.

whois Wed 31-Jul-13 14:30:55

I think this is a difficult situation. It could be nothing than a pure friendship or it could be heading towards an EA.

I've got a really good male friend at work. We just 'clicked'. We share a hobby, an he was up or doing active things in the evenings sometimes. We used to take in things to do with our hobby for each other too quite often. He is good looking and my age although iI was technically his superior. We would gravitate towards each other at work social events as we enjoyed each others company.

I talk in the past tense about some things as I've moved cities now. I'm still with the same company and we still email each other a lot but don't meet up any more.

Big difference is that when my boyfriend came to a work social event they both ended up chatting away for the whole night together. My friend is 'our kind of person' if that makes sense and so my boyfriend liked his company too. I think he wasn't threatened as our friendship was based on something concrete (hobby) and not on just 'going for a drink'.

On the flip side, my boyfriend threw a huge strop about the motives of two other guys I was friendly with.

With the roles reversed, there are some girls in 100% fine with my boyfriend doing things with, but I defo have pangs of jealousy about other girls when he just reports something funny they've said at a networking event or something.

So basically, I think it's hard to say OP is being U or not U!

thefattwins Wed 31-Jul-13 14:44:20

What LessMissAbs said "I dont really believe in running around after men, suppressing my own discomfort, so they can enjoy flirting with other women"

He is getting a big ego boost out of having so much in common with this person and how she finds him soooo interesting. Such an ego boost, in fact, that he would rather keep feeding it than stop it and keep his wife feeling secure.

Knowing you as he does, he will know that you aren't a jealous, suspicious, or possessive wife. So your concerns should have been listened to. Can you ask him why he is disregarding your feelings in this way?

AnyFucker Wed 31-Jul-13 15:06:18

Op, you haven't been on for a while, are you ok ?

fluffyraggies Wed 31-Jul-13 15:40:39

I've read the thread and i'm glad the later third of it contains a higher number of supportive posts from women who would feel the same as you OP.

My heart was beating faster reading your posts, imagining how i'd feel in your situation. Yes, i'd be pissed off and highly 'uncool' about this too. Small things you've said about the way she communicates with him has struck a chord. I think she IS fishing, and even if he doesn't see it he should respect and care about you enough to put a lid on this.

My DH wouldn't be too happy about me emailing another bloke (and after work hours it would be 'another bloke' to him) and i wouldn't blame him.

Hope you're ok.

fluffyraggies Wed 31-Jul-13 15:42:36

Should have put - DH wouldn't be too happy about me emailing another bloke to that extent and i wouldn't blame him.

fluffyraggies Wed 31-Jul-13 15:44:17

Actually OP, i wonder if you should ask MN to move this thread into 'Relationships' for you.

burstingbaboon Wed 31-Jul-13 15:57:23

I am for "friendship doesn't have age,sex or race"!!! But if it makes you feel
the way you feel then it's on your DH to deal with a things in a proper way! Maybe to tone down contact !!! Not to stop,that's not fair to him,he has got right to have friends but to understand how you feel as his DW.
Maybe someone will disagree but if my DH is not happy about me spending too much time on phone/txt/facebook or email with my male friend i would tone it down!!! But i wouldn't stop friendship if there is nothing to hide or sinister going on!!!!!!!!I didn't read whole post,so forgive if i am missing the point but at the same time i wouldn't like my DH to be close with some other woman!!!! I am having panic attack just thinking of that scenario!!!
You need to be clear with your DH about your feelings and communication is very important!!!!

thebody Wed 31-Jul-13 16:02:22

I wouldn't like it either op.

Cherriesarelovely Wed 31-Jul-13 16:26:42

Otoh it could be that he is SO confident that he doesn't have any untoward feelings towards her that he's not taking your feelings seriously enough. Hard to say but in any case he ought to be taking your concerns seriously and acting accordingly.

GoshAnneGorilla Wed 31-Jul-13 19:08:15

Another one who not buying the "cool wifey" stuff.

You know what's normal in your marriage, this obviously isn't and you should not be afraid to say so.

dementedma Wed 31-Jul-13 20:32:23

First time I've been called a cool wife, but I can live with it. Op I genuinely hope things are OK but can I ask why, if everything is out in the open, on Facebook and texts which you can access, you think it is an affair? Surely if there was malintent it would be conducted in secret. And he knows you know...and isn't bothered.
If I was going to have an affair - emotional or otherwise - I would be trying to hide it, not conducting it under DPS eyes.

navada Wed 31-Jul-13 20:41:17

It's defo an emotional affair - I'd be fuming tbh.
How would he feel if it was you emailing the office hunk 10+ times a day, for no other reason than you really 'liked him'.?

waterrat Wed 31-Jul-13 20:54:59

please believe and listen to your own instincts. Your husband is making you feel sad, lonely and uncomfortable through his - completely unnecessary - friendship with a colleague. If he cared more about you he would cut back on the friendly banter, emails and little gifts.

Trust yourself that's all I can say. I think if you are really miserable about this you need to tell your husband that you are hurt and feel a lack of attention yourself - see how he feels with an ultimatum.

IN the end, nobody online can see the real state of your relationship - and if you feel you are being excluded here, then you are.

You should go onto the relationships board and repost.

AnyFucker Wed 31-Jul-13 21:01:35

DM, sometimes people do bad stuff in plain sight

just because he isn't hiding stuff, doesn't mean he isn't being disrespectful to his wife

in actual fact, he is flaunting the fact that he is showering attention on another woman, coldly withdrawing it when challenged, then ramping it up again when he feels like it

this man has an ego the size of a house, he thinks he is so clever

I hope OP bursts his self indulgent little bubble very soon

however, I think she has possibly been scared off by the people who have called her jealous, paranoid and hell bent on wrecking her own marriage

just lovely

navada Wed 31-Jul-13 21:05:26

Totally agree AnyFucker. Well said.

ageofgrandillusion Wed 31-Jul-13 21:15:18

I agree a bit with AF. However, on a practical level, i'm not sure how you'd resolve a situation like this. Who says what to whom?

AnyFucker Wed 31-Jul-13 21:19:07

I know what I would do.

youvegotmail Wed 31-Jul-13 21:36:38

Thank you for all the replies, just been reading through them and feeling a huge wave of relief to be honest as there seemed to be more people supportive than when I read this last night. I am sorry if I miss any questions but to answer one that sticks in my mind, my DH is an attractive man - obviously older but good looking. I am in ok shape too so its not like my self esteem is totally given over to this woman but she has 20 years on me/us! I think that is the other thing that confuses me in that I don't have any male frieinsd who are that much younger than me because I can't think that wed have much to say to one another.

Another question - he is her senior but not her line manager, hes just higher up than she is.

I had another look at emails tonight to see what today has been like and today has been the same as ever - a string of 7 emails in a backa nd forth banter about something stupid, the first one sent at 7am when he must have just got up and the last one from her about 8pm and also two other ones that are both work related but have other stuff attached (chit chat). In the midst of that they both mentioned her husband though in a casual way about something so as usual I dn't know what to think.

Honest I don't think there's something sexual going on but I think he fancies her and she him and why should he get to play that little game even if it doesn't go anywhere?

I desperately want to see his phone but hes always got it with him.

kitbit Wed 31-Jul-13 21:50:48

He mailed her at 7am??
No no no no.
He shouldn't be thinking about a platonic friend regularly at that hour enough to immediately jump onto email. His mind is elsewhere and he's justifying it because nothing physical has happened. It's not right and your instincts can feel him pulling away from you, OP.

Stick to your guns and trust your instinct.

Cherriesarelovely Wed 31-Jul-13 21:53:41

She emailed him from 7 am till 8 pm? Oh come on! People would seriously not be bothered by this sort of contact between their partner and a colleague? Sorry Op, this would drive me insane. I would have to tackle my Dp about it till it was sorted and clearly understood that I was NOT happy with the situation. Not telling you what to do, just sympathising with your understandable frustration and concern.

AnyFucker Wed 31-Jul-13 21:54:33

At 7am, he should have been having a sneaky shag with you before the kids wake up

His first thought should not be contacting Little Miss Wonderful

You are being made a fool of, love sad

tumbletumble Wed 31-Jul-13 21:57:50

The thing is, I agree with AnyFucker that this is not right.

But when you say I know what I would do then what do you mean? Forbid him from having any more contact with her (even though you will come across as jealous and untrusting)? LTB (even though he hasn't actually done anything worse than a little flirting)? What would you actually do?

youvegotmail Wed 31-Jul-13 22:01:09


Yeah I think you've got it in one there - she was the first thing on his mind when he woke up and she was still thinking about him this evening when she was back home presumably with her DH.

It is the EVER PRESENT nature of her that is bugging me now cos evern if were together if hes on his phone or laptop or the pad then I just wonder if hes either mailing her or thinking of his next funny thing to say to her.

I don't know how to bring this up though without admitting ive been snooping as since the last time he hasn't mentioned her much at all so ive got nothing really to go on (last two times he had been quite chatty about mailing her and 'listen to this' reading me funny thing she did said or telling me about a work thing with her and I just got it into conversation that way about how he was always on about her and I wasn't happy about it). I know hes not telling me stuff because ive been annoyed with him so its my own fault in that way and now I have no real way to raise it with him.

ageofgrandillusion Wed 31-Jul-13 22:05:47

Just tell him youve been snooping. Who gives a fuck? You wouldnt have been reduced to this if he wasnt being such a fuck-wad.

AnyFucker Wed 31-Jul-13 22:06:05

I wouldn't care how I came across, because my husband knows me and that I know him

I don't care about being laidback, cool wife...I'm too old for that shit

I would say everything I have said on this thread and him, and not sugar-coat it. Why should I...if he was making me feel like a fool I would be beyond furious . I would tell him my distrust of him had made me read his messages (because he knows that I would only do it under duress). Nobody treats me like this, and still lives with my goodwill.

Little gifts to her, first message of the day to some workplace paramour at 7am instead of a sneaky shag with me , blowing hot/cold with OW, making a tit of himself at work, treating me like some 1950's hausfrau who should STFU if I know what's good for me ?

I wouldn't stay married to a man who made me feel like this, so all bets would be off, tbh. Let the cards fall where they will. He would be on the doorstep with his rucksack and my boot up his arse, told to go to somewhere else that fed his puny little ego.

I want a grown up, not an attention seeking manchild.

You did ask.

kitbit Wed 31-Jul-13 22:07:18

You don't need an excuse to raise it. 'I can tell you're still frequently in touch' is good enough. He is, so he won't say 'how do you know'. His response will be quite telling although he'll probably be telling himself all is well,

I know, I had an EA many years ago before dh. You allow yourself to flirt and think it's ok because only shagging equals being unfaithful doesn't it?? I was kidding myself and thinking I was on safe ground. I wasn't.

AnyFucker Wed 31-Jul-13 22:08:20

But no, I wouldn't "forbid" anything. he can do what the fuck he likes. Away from me. The choice is his, like the choice if mine if I accept it or don't And I would not.

kitbit Wed 31-Jul-13 22:08:23

and what AF said x 1000 ^

AnyFucker Wed 31-Jul-13 22:08:34


Beastofburden Wed 31-Jul-13 22:09:11

Yes, this level of contact is weird. It is more than a normal friendship.

I think you will have to confess to the reading of emails. Otherwise you just look paranoid. Admit it was wrong, but say that you are justified by what you saw when you read them- not the content, but the frequency, which was obvious to you by just watching him. If he still denies that he is doing anything unusual, ask to see his phone.

ageofgrandillusion Wed 31-Jul-13 22:09:15

Af - that's class.

angelicstar Wed 31-Jul-13 22:12:03

Another one agreeing that his behaviour is totally inappropriate. Does he spend all day emailing his male friends funny and well thought out emails from waking up until bed time? Does he buy them little gifts "just because"? I would really be fuming if my DH brought another woman gifts and the fact is that as soon as he wakes up he want's to email her which would worry me.

I think that he has crossed a line here and you should raise it with him before it gets any further. Remember you are his wife and mother of his children you have a perfect right to raise it with him. I certainly wouldnt' worry about seeming jealous or not being a cool wife! Tell him you feel it is not right and you are beginning to feel it is detrimental to your relationship and you wish it to stop. I would just tell him that you stumbled upon the emails whilst going on the computer and felt so upset by them that you wanted to check more and that this has given you a cause for concern.

I certainly would not try and befriend this woman and invite her over with her DH as some posters have suggested. She is not a friend of yours or of your marriage and ideally you want her as removed from yours and your DHs life as possible. If you accept her as a friend then it just legitimises the situation and gives him even more opportunity to see her!

AnyFucker Wed 31-Jul-13 22:12:56

I dunno, Ageof

to some on this thread that is bunnyboiling, paranoid, control freakery

standing up for your rights as a woman to not be treated like shit is often viewed that way, I find, even by other women sometimes

I would only like to add, OP, that you need to work on strengthening your relationship wit your DH. After all, you have dch together - an area of his life that she doesn't share - and you have one other thing in common that he doesn't have with her wink so maybe it's time for you, as a couple or a family, to take time out and have a little holiday together? If her brings her with him on holiday, so to speak, then I would really lay down some boundaries and say that he has gone too far!

I wonder how her DH feels about their friendship?

xylem8 Wed 31-Jul-13 22:18:52

This would be ringing all sorts of bells with me OP.
Sorry to be brutal but if he isn't shagging her already, it is on the cards.

AnyFucker Wed 31-Jul-13 22:19:06

miranda...having a little "holiday together" is verging into "rewarding him for bad behaviour" territory, IMO

good will should be withdrawn in a situation like this

no sexual competitiveness, no making yourself sweeter to reel him back in, no child free treats or weekends away, no extra blow jobs

tell him straight

family life with, yes, it's sometimes daily drudgery or off you go, sunshine

Beastofburden Wed 31-Jul-13 22:23:33

Well, my suggestion of inviting her over was made up thread, and as more has emerged about his behaviour, I think it is quite likely he has already gone too far for this to become a family friendship, so I agree it wouldn't be a great idea now.

Seenenoughtoknow Wed 31-Jul-13 22:39:51

Am still with Anyfucker totally on this...including the ultimatum.

CookieLady Wed 31-Jul-13 22:39:58

Op, please listen to AF. He's crossed the line and taking you for a fool. You're worth more than this. You deserve to better.

Cherriesarelovely Wed 31-Jul-13 23:19:16

Completely agree with AF, tell him asap and don't apologise for anything.

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Thu 01-Aug-13 08:51:15

...but can I ask why, if everything is out in the open, on Facebook and texts which you can access, you think it is an affair? Surely if there was malintent it would be conducted in secret.

Others have answered this, but... maybe because it's still in the pre-affair, emotional affair stage? People don't meet someone and - bam - enter into an affair seconds later.

Unless it's a ships-that-pass-in-night-drunken-ONS, then there is almost always a very protracted build-up of getting to know each other, having a "celestial connection", flirting, bantering, yada, yada, yada period, where things move from being totally acceptable, to being something most people wouldn't want their partner to indulge in,min the slightest.

This seems to be the bit that a lot of people struggle to understand when they share the circumstances of their own, perfectly legitimate platonic friendships. These platonic friendships are a different kettle of fish from the build-up to an affair friendships, altogether.

And a lot of people seem not to realise that, again, affairs don't spring from nowhere. They evolve over time, under exactly the sort of circumstances the OP describes. The OP feels this isn't right because it doesn't feel right. And this is why people coming on to share their apples experience with the OP's pears situation is irrelevant.

GoodTouchBadTouch Thu 01-Aug-13 09:40:53

Right OP, just the fact that she is a different generation would surely exclude her from the best mate category.. like you say, do you have any close male friends in their twenties? Weird.

I agree with Don, it sounds like the lead up to an actual affair.

I don't know what I would do, I don't think Id be strong enough for the ultimatum suggested by AF. But Id definitely confront him, tell him what you know. See what his reaction is when you ask why he emailed her almost the moment he woke up.

Thinking of you YGM. I would feel totally miserable and scared in your situation xx

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 01-Aug-13 09:41:38

In answer to those who say : Why isn't he hiding it?

It's because he's feeling quite happy. He's started to forget how important his wife is, started taking her friendship for granted, and has no idea what he stands to lose. In short - he is in a little bubble.

myroomisatip Thu 01-Aug-13 09:43:17

You say you would like to see his phone, well then, sit him down at a time when you wont be interrupted and ask to see it. Do not accept any excuses, or give him a chance to delete anything. You will learn a lot from his response I am sure.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 01-Aug-13 09:44:00

I would guess he probably isn't shagging her, but he's thinking about her a lot, sharing himself with her, sharing his happiness with her. It's an outrageous betrayal but he's not even aware of it yet.

OP I'm so sorry for your position and you need to get coldly angry. You have every right.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 01-Aug-13 09:49:04


I think there is an underlying fear in women to not be accused of being a nag, a harridan, a control freak, jealous.

In short, fear of asserting oneself and legitimate expectations and emotional reactions to men

Well. sod that. We aren't teenagers.

tittytittyhanghang Thu 01-Aug-13 10:06:07

Personally i think it comes down ultimately to do you trust your husband? I don't think of this as cool or hip or whatever derogatory term some people upthread have classed it as.

If you dont, and think that this friendship (and that is what it is at the moment) is the very very beginning of an affair then why would you even consider wanting to stay with a man that in your view, is capable of cheating on you? And whose friendships you feel the need to 'monitor' to make sure he doesn't have an affair.

And if you do trust him, then from your posts, id suggest the problem is not that he is too involved with his friend but that he is not giving you the same amount of attention.

CuppaTeaForTheBigFella Thu 01-Aug-13 10:06:22

I agree with AF and Jamie. It's one thing emailing each other at work, to help pass the time of day, (if its innocent chat) but first thing in the morning and evening is not good IMO.
He sounds like he is getting a bit infatuated with her, or at least, the friendship. You need to put a stop to it OP, otherwise surely they are just going to get closer to each other.
If he loves and respects you, he will cool this friendship down, for good this time. If he doesn't then you have some thinking to do...
I'm sorry you are in this shit situation, I know how much it hurts! sad

Buttercup4 Thu 01-Aug-13 10:36:07

why wouldn't he hide it

Simple - it may not have become a physical affair yet and, therefore, in his head, it isn't a an affair. Sadly, OP, it certainly looks like its heading that way.

I think some people here seem to be of the opinion that there isn't an affair until sex, for the OPs sake she needs to stop anything before it gets that far. Why wait until it goes that far, it can't be undone at that point.

OP, You have said he has cut things off before and been rude, to be honest if it was my DH & I in this situation I wouldn't care if he cut her off in a rude way. She is disrespecting you and your DC by taking up time with their your husband and their father in the evenings. If she wants to be friendly at work, by all means. There is a line your DH needs to understand that it's been crossed and you need to tell him how much this is upsetting you and that you are not going to tolerate ths behaviour making you feel ths way.

The bottom line is, does his friendship with this girl mean more to him than your feelings.

shotofexpresso Thu 01-Aug-13 11:59:20

Have you said anything to him yet OP?

impatienttobemummy Thu 01-Aug-13 12:11:46

i'm with myroomisatip that is EXACTLY what I would do. Sit down and say i'd like to see your phone right now. You have MORE than enough justification to do it. The fact that his phone isn't readily available to you is setting bells off for me. My DH leaves his phone all over the place and i could pick it up anytime I like. I would be hopping mad about this if it was my DH and i'd have pulled him up on it and given an AF style kick up the bum ages ago. You should be his priority.

Snugglepiggy Thu 01-Aug-13 16:21:37

Hope you are OK YGM? I would ask to see his phone knowing what I know retrospectively about how these 'friendships' build and cross boundaries.This is so reminiscent of my DH chuckling over a text early one morning whilst we were having breakfast, it was a little in - joke from his 'friend' and an oh so helpful little comment about the road conditions - it was winter and snowy - and I queried genuinely and in a very relaxed way why she was texting as as far as I knew she was only a very passing acquaintance.I was totally trusting at that point.But that was enough to make DH wary and I realized not much later that's when he started to delete their texts.
I would want to see all their recent conversations now,without giving him any warning.And then have a serious discussion about respect for you and your marriage.

MissMarplesBloomers Thu 01-Aug-13 18:31:57

Agree with the AF camp, summat is not right. He guards his phone, but is open asbout other emails.....hmm that smacks to me of providing a smokescreen.

If I were the Op (but I'm not so just speculating) I'd love to invite Miss FlashyKnickers over for supper with the DH/DP & watch the body language & tension.

YANBU Something Is Going On.....

Maggieshack Thu 01-Aug-13 23:20:09

oh dear i had this my husband used to talk and text all day long, all they do is take everything from your relationship and ruin it i never knew anything about this other woman till i hacked into his mobile phone account and found text messages hundreds through the day and when he went out with his mates on a friday night and phone calls that lasted sometimes an hour when i was at work on a saturday when i confronted him he didn't see what the problem was until i expained then it finally sunk in its called an emotional affair and its worse than any other affair please sort it out before its too late

phantomnamechanger Thu 01-Aug-13 23:39:55

OP, I have felt similarly betrayed - in my case it was discovering my straight as a die noble upright moral christian DH had developed a fondness for very soft (but still not acceptable in OUR marriage) online porn.[please porn lovers don't come on here to slag me off about being boring frigid unrealistic etc - I had enough of that back then when i posted, as the op has done, trying to find help in dealing with it all. i just wanted to share with op something similar]

I gave him an ultimatum - I challenged him. he admitted it all and was mortified at how he had allowed himself to get drawn in and become addicted, curious, immune to the feelings that he knew it was wrong. I was angry, hurt, we both cried. he described it as being in a bubble, that he had convinced himself it was not real etc. He had not thought about how this would impact on me at all.

he vowed never to hurt me again like that and bucked his ideas up, investing more time in me and us, he totally got that I wold have trouble trusting him again but 3 yrs on we are stronger than ever (married 16 yrs in all)

Your DP needs to see sense like this - to admit he is in the wrong and that his actions have hurt you, the most important person in his life.

If he is not man enough to do this and there is any hint of denial or this all being in your jealous little mind and nothing untoward, or that its somehow your fault for not giving him the attention she does, then he's out the door. It really is that simple - does he want his flirtatious email affair , or you and your marriage and family life. If he picks the former he is an arse and you are well rid.

thefattwins Fri 02-Aug-13 07:07:22

Have you spoken to him OP? How are you?

fluffyraggies Fri 02-Aug-13 07:29:19

OP i think you have to allow yourself to be angry. To hell with the snooping or not snooping. Don't let it even register in the conversation.

If it was me - honestly - i'd have lost my rag by now and told him i know exactly how often he's thinking about her and talking to her and what is being said and i'm fucking furious and if he wants to stay with me then it stops. No if's or buts's. And i'd be angry enough to pack his bags, i'm afraid, if he didn't make exactly the right noises. I love my husband dearly - it'd hurt like hell - but i wont be made a fool of.

There's no need to get into a discussion about what you know or how you know. In fact, keep that your secret. If there IS more than you know then he'll be anxious that you've found out, and if there isn't more than you know then - good! But he still needs a wake up call.

You can't go on like this.
How's it going?

spotscotch Fri 02-Aug-13 08:09:18

I can't really tell if there is anything going on here, there is a significant chance that it could be completely innocent, but you obviously feel something is up.

However, there are some ridiculous and hilarious assumptions being made about the ops husband! How can people possibly know that 'it's defo an emotional affair' or that her DH has 'an ego the size of a house'. It is possible to give advice to someone without making totally derogatory wild assumptions about the sort of person their DH is.

skyeskyeskye Fri 02-Aug-13 10:01:14

After my XH left and came back, he talked about OW all the time. Unknown to me, he was texting her and emailing her all day long. As soon as he left the house at 8am he started texting her, right through the day, up until bedtime, it turned out to be thousands of texts a month.

He talked about her incessantly, what she was doing, how her H was being mean to her (his best mate), how her H didnt understand her, blah blah blah. XH deleted all emails, texts, facebook chat, everything

My gut instinct when I saw that very first email was that something was up. I didn't act on it, because I couldnt believe that my XH would do that to me and I was terrified that he would leave again if I upset him confused.

In the future, I would not hesitate to discuss inappropriate contact with a partner, as it is very damaging to your relationship.

OrmirianResurgam Fri 02-Aug-13 11:07:02

"In the future, I would not hesitate to discuss inappropriate contact with a partner, as it is very damaging to your relationship"

Yep. 100%

SarahBumBarer Fri 02-Aug-13 12:25:22

I would just be telling him that I wanted to see his phone and his email. MY DH would give them to me if I was really upset/concerned about something. He would absolutely reserve the right to be furious with me afterwards and make me face up to whatever issue had lead to me demanding that of him - but he would give them to me if I asked as I would him.

Tell your DH that you want to see his phones/emails. Right there and then at the point of asking, no time to delete or modify anything.

You already know that he has crossed a line and that the level of communication is inappropriate and intolerable to you. You now just want to know the full extent of it by seeing his phone/emails so that you can both have a proper talk about how (if at all) you move forward with the benefit of full information.

phantomnamechanger Fri 02-Aug-13 17:46:03

How are you OP, I do hope we haven't scared you off.

You have had some sound advice on this thread but only you can decide how you handle this. Have you spoken to DH about how hurt you are feeling yet? You know, you HAVE to tackle him , it's not fair that you end up the one festering away when he's having a whale of a time.

best of luck x

Angelfootprints Fri 02-Aug-13 18:00:40


I think, if he wasn't emailing her so obsessively there could be a small chance it is innocent. If the "banter" was just being held work hours , we could pass it off as reliving work boredom, trying to create a good working relationship etc

However ,as it has been said further up this thread, the fact he thinks about her from the moment he wakes up... ouch.

I don't think your DH thinks, in his own head, he is doing anything wrong.

Its impossible to say if he fancies her. It is highly plausible he finds all of this attention exciting and flattering though. However that is selfish.

My bottom line is partner is always first. Otherwise why promise loyalty and commitment? What's the point?

If the contact between them is causing you this much distress (and rightly so) he should completely respect that and put his wife's feelings first (I would also say this if genders were reversed).

Its all about putting your loved ones first.

I agree with AF- don't degrade yourself by competing against this woman whatever you do.

You tell him how it is. Family first, or he can trot off have a brilliant life with this woman instead. You are no fool.

ProphetOfDoom Fri 02-Aug-13 18:25:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

What would annoy me about this is that he is investing family time in maintaining his relationship with her instead of maintaining his relationship with you. I would be tempted to challenge him on those grounds rather than making it directly about her e.g. when he picks up the phone / ipad to email at 7am or whilst you are watching TV together asking him what is so urgent that he needs to do it now as its family / couple time.

DH has female friends some of whom I have never even met (old work colleagues) which he contacts and goes out with but there was one who bothered me. I did tackle DH directly when I saw a particular text she had sent him wishing we were no longer together because it was an insult to our relationship and I wasn't prepared to accept it. We often use each other's phones so I hadn't been snooping and DH wasn't hiding anything.

The women isn't the problem in my view, the problem is your DH and the time and energy he is investing in his relationship with her.

skyeskyeskye Fri 02-Aug-13 18:40:02

That's what upset me, once I realised how much XH was texting OW. Right through our family holiday when I thought we were working on our marriage...

I remember being at Peppa Pig World and watching DD splashing around and looking at him to say aw isn't she having fun. He was busy on his phone. When I later realised what he had been up to, it felt like a total betrayal investing time in her when it should have been in his DD.

ProphetOfDoom Fri 02-Aug-13 18:42:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Angelfootprints Fri 02-Aug-13 18:45:26


You said; "My gut instinct when I saw that very first email was that something was up"

Do you mind me asking what the rough content of that first email was?

(Tell me to do one if that's private of course!)

That's a fair point. Only the OP knows how he will react.

That must have really hurt. sad

AnyFucker Fri 02-Aug-13 18:53:36

I see the Op hasn't been back for a while sad

We are chatting among ourselves now, perhaps ?

Anyway, I just wanted to say I don't see my approach as particularly controversial or all that "kick ass"

This man is taking the piss. Would any of us allow anyone else to take the piss out of us in such a regular and sustained way ? I think not. So what is so special about any man that we swallow our pride and overlook the most blatant disrespect in order to not rock the boat ? It makes no sense at all, because the boat is heading for capsizing anyway....

I don't expect any answers btw, because I have been guilty of doing this in the past. We all have, to some extent. Never again, nope not ever again and I will continue to persuade others to not fall into that particular trap too for the sake of some bloke who certainly isn't spending hours on an internet forum angsting about his partner's respect for him.

It's madness, IMO

Samu2 Fri 02-Aug-13 18:58:27

I am with Anyfucker, that girl speaks a hell of a lot of sense in relationship threads! You should write a book AF!

It is either a EA or bordering on one. This would not be ok with me and I would expect my husband to respect my wishes on this one just like I would him.

His mind is obviously on this woman a lot. Alarm bells ringing everywhere.

Some of these replies are mind-boggling. Mind you, this is probably the fourth thread I have read today where people have seemed to have enjoyed someones pain and telling them what a fool they are for their feelings.

AnyFucker Fri 02-Aug-13 19:01:04

"the girl" I like that one smile

myroomisatip Fri 02-Aug-13 19:05:41

AF thank goodness for your straight talking. smile

I have never found you to be unkind towards a poster, you just tell it as you see it. I can appreciate that because I had literally years with such a subtle abuser that even now, divorce over, I still doubt myself. I minimised and blocked out so much and I would still be there now if it was not for the way he started on our daughter. She comes out with things that happened that I have totally 'forgotten' or rather I chose not to remember.

So I understand how the OP reacts (or rather fails to) when faced with a situation that they would rather not be in.

I hope that this OP comes back to her thread.

AnyFucker Fri 02-Aug-13 19:09:05

thanks for the kind comments x

I wish Op would come back though sad

youvegotmail Fri 02-Aug-13 22:15:28

Hi everyone and thanks for the further replies. Sorry for not coming back to this as soon as I should. Truth is I have not done anything and I feel embarrassed as I think you are right that is what I should do is confront him. I think I will end up looking like a crazy lunatic though as there is nothing to see but banter. sad

AnyFucker Fri 02-Aug-13 22:28:06

Thanks for coming back. No need to feel embarassed, you are among friends here smile

We were getting worried about you, so chatted among ourselves. Hope you are ok.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 02-Aug-13 22:29:58

Hi, youvegotmail

It gets pretty intense on here, but don't feel pressurised.

Wishing you well

Nanny0gg Fri 02-Aug-13 22:33:24

As has been said, doesn't matter if it's 'only' banter.

It's the when, where and how of that banter that's the issue. And if you can, that's what he needs to understand.

Mumsnetters can be a huge source of support if you want. Ask for this to be moved to Relationships if you want more/continuing help. But don't be embarrassed. It's your marriage. What you do about it has to be your decision.

Angelfootprints Fri 02-Aug-13 22:45:44

You don't have to do anything right now ( or at all ) OP.

There is nothing wrong with biding your time imo.

NameChanges2013 Fri 02-Aug-13 22:51:53


I've name changed for this, so I can tell you my story. I've been in the sameish situation as you, and it almost ended my marriage.

My DH re-found a friend from his childhood & they met up for a coffee to catch up. All above board & fine, until they discovered just how much they had in common.

My DH was flattered by the attention - they were texting back & forth all day long (one month, on top of his free 1000 texts, his phone bill was higher than usual to the tune of an extra £90) and showing off/preening a lot.

This really, really affected my self confidence - it really hit rock bottom. I was starting to have panic attacks & suffer really badly from anxiety. He wouldn't stop contact until I absolutely insisted (after a lot of rows and late night heart to hearts). Like your DH, he couldn't see anything wrong in what was going on.

It's been about 18 months now & it's still not entirely gone - It sounds daft, but I asked him to change his message tone as for so long it had made my stomach churn when it went off, I still get a horribly churny feeling in my stomach whenever he talks about, completely unrelated to her, the things they had in common, the things I know they spent time discussing and even the school she works in.

I'm not sure this will ever go away.

I don't know if it is help to you, but I thought I'd share my story.

ProphetOfDoom Fri 02-Aug-13 22:52:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cerealqueen Fri 02-Aug-13 23:01:19

YANBU. I hope I'm wrong but it sounds to me like they are getting closer and closer, undeniably. They have a connection. All relationships start somewhere and this could be a slow burner, not flirty/sexual now but in time....

Serious talk needed would he feel if you did this? Ask him.

ageofgrandillusion Fri 02-Aug-13 23:14:28

OP. you dont sound like a crazy lunatic. You sound very level headed while, in the meantime, your partner is acting like a bit of a tit.

masirah Sat 03-Aug-13 00:02:41

YGM, be wary! As a male I can see where he is going with this 'banter'. He may think that it is harmless and say so to you, BUT, one little innocent response can be interpreted as a meaningful suggestion and the slippery slope appears. You have two choices, nip this in the bud NOW and persevere through the inevitable rows OR put up with it and hope that the younger perceived competition has the common sense to see what grief this 'lighthearted banter' is causing you.

Just hope that he doesn't react in such a way to the termination of this friendship that he causes irreparable damage to his marriage for what appears to be a likely passing episode.

I have been married for 35 years (to the same woman) and as a bloke could say stupid things like, leave him alone, it's harmless, but sadly that is not my experience of other couples problems. Good luck.

Beastofburden Sat 03-Aug-13 00:47:37

Hello YGM. I am not surprised you are feeling overwhelmed, as it is a big step to confront him when, as you say, it is so difficult to know the truest ate of things.

Perhaps if you start by saying that you KNOW (hope!) it's only banter and there is nothing to see, BUT he is thinking of her at 7am and last thing at night, that makes you very uneasy as it is not a normal level of friendship.... Then you could have a conversation about the dangers of this kind of friendship. Which means you can raise your fears without accusing him. This assumes he is basically a good bloke who loves you but needs a wake up call, which I hope is the case.

MysteriousHamster Sat 03-Aug-13 01:02:02

It's a tricky one because to confront him at this stage, he probably will tell himself he's being totally innocent and you're being ridiculous. He won't want to allow the possibility he was enjoying being flattered and that he was thinking about OW when he should have been thinking about and talking to and sharing with you.

You could always ask him 'do you still talk to X a lot' and take it from there?

Of course he will probably minimise, but this should be where he realises and pulls away.

MysteriousHamster Sat 03-Aug-13 01:02:29

btw I'd post in relationships if I were you

skyeskyeskye Sat 03-Aug-13 01:06:57

OP, if you report your own thread, you could ask them to move it to relationships for you.

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