Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Found out that DH has been sending messages on Adultwork for years. Gutted and so unsure of what to do/believe

(445 Posts)
SoUnsureNow Tue 18-Sep-12 16:24:30

This morning, my bus to work didn't turn up. We live rurally and another wasn't due for over two hours, so I went back home to look up the online train timetable for an alternative. I picked up DP's iPad from the kitchen table - and the screen was open to a message inbox on Adultwork, an advertising site for sex-work and escorting. It was DH's account. There were possibly 50 or so sent messages in there, dating back to late 2006 (a year before we got together) and right up to some dated only last week. Even more sickeningly, some of them were titled 'Bareback?', so this is obviously what he's been asking for. I couldn't read the actual messages, the account had automatically timed out so I could just see the last page viewed/inbox home.

When he got out of the shower I asked him what he was playing at. He claims that it's all him just messing around - that he gets bored working from home and being on his own all day, so he created a profile and sends the odd message on and off to "create a bit of fun and excitement" for himself during the day. He likes the anticipation of asking for a meet (escort appointment, I suppose?) with a special request and then waiting to see what the woman he's messaged replies to his request. He swears that he's never, ever bought sex, has never once met up with any of the women he messages during our relationship, would never put our relationship or my health at risk by having sex with women from Adultwork.

When I'm a bit bored at work, I might go and watch a funny video or two on Youtube or read the news on the BBC website. I don't create profiles on sex-buying sites/dating sites and message people to see what they send back.

I asked him to log me in to the account so I could read the messages he's been sending and receiving. I just wanted to see whether there was anything really incriminating there, like actual arrangements ot appointments, or post-appointment messages which would make it clear he's been buying sex. He refused, saying that even if there was nothing of that sort there, I'd still just think what I wanted to think.

Even though him saying this makes part of me almost certain that I'd find exactly what I think is there, my gut still believes him that he was just messing around online and hasn't ever taken it further. I don't know which is most likely. I don't know whether my 'gut' is just trying to get me to protect what I have rather than believe the worst.

Please hold my hand. I've been a mess all day. I don't have any family up here and not even one friend and not even an acquaintance, really - we relocated several hundred miles away from where I call 'home' last year, when DH was promoted: I sold my single-girl flat to help buy our house, packed in my (good, well-paid) job, left my friends and family behind. I have nowhere to go if I decide it's over. My job now is several paygrades below my old one and I can't afford to pay the mortgage on our house plus the rent on a new flat/even a room for myself.

I almost wish I hadn't seen what I've seen. I keep on thinking how could it happen, my bus is usually so reliable, why did it have to be AWOL today?! Stupid, I know. Our relationship is great - I'd have said near-perfect. We have a lovely home and a pretty carefree lifestyle. We rarely argue, and then only short rows about domestic or silly stuff. We'd decided to start TTC in the next couple of months. We still have sex most days: he can't claim that he sends sexy messages because he needs an outlet for his sex drive.

That's all, really.

AnyFucker Tue 18-Sep-12 17:41:30

yes, ATIYL, and pigs may fly

TheFidgetySheep Tue 18-Sep-12 17:42:36

Am pretty sure bareback is not considered dirty - more high-risk - which is why it is more expensive.

I ache for you ladies (not empty words, truly), but you will survive.

Mellower Tue 18-Sep-12 17:43:20

Oh I wondered what it meant too blush Not at all what I thought, I have never heard of this website. I don't think I want to!

Mumsyblouse Tue 18-Sep-12 17:44:16

I wouldn't be happy about him emailing prostitutes, full stop. I wouldn't be able to be with someone who thought that was an ok use of his spare time. What he's admitted to (the 'better' version) would be too much for me.

If it's worse than that, which of course it is, do you really think girls on the site have nothing better to do than email men who ask for information and never meet (I bet he's well known after 6 years), I would be out of there tomorrow.

lotsofcheese Tue 18-Sep-12 17:50:34

Could you ask him to leave for a bit, OP?

AlmostAGoldHipster Tue 18-Sep-12 17:51:10

After 6 years, he probably gets discount!

I'm so sorry, OP, but your relationship has been a lie. You don't know this man at all and I'm so angry for you that you gave up everything to be with him. This may sound harsh but my feeling is that women who stay in unhappy relationships for financial security don't really have the moral high ground over women who have sex with men for cold, hard cash.

If you choose to stay with him, he will continue to do whatever he likes, whenever he likes and you will just have to put up with it. I couldn't but it appears that many women do. It's your life and it's short and you must live it how you wish. Think carefully before making a decision - this really is one of those life-changing events that could haunt you for years to come.

I am very sorry for your pain.

AnyFucker Tue 18-Sep-12 17:54:38

Bricks and mortar shouldn't influence whether you stay with a person like this

DisabilEightiesChick Tue 18-Sep-12 18:08:35

I am very sorry this has happened to you, but he has been having sex with prostitutes, probably throughout your entire relationship. The situation you've discovered and his reaction says very clearly this is not just a fantasy. Not that it would be ok if it was 'just' that but I'm afraid it's much worse.

Believe it or not, you're lucky not to have had kids with him. There's time to change your life.

HistoryNerd Tue 18-Sep-12 18:15:55

Prostitutes is a huge deal breaker. Any man who thinks its ok has fuck all respect for women.

catsmother Tue 18-Sep-12 18:46:43

If, as he claims, you'd think badly of him whether you see messages or not then in that case it'd make no difference - by his reckoning - if you did see them. What a pile of crap ! He was buying time ..... if you plead with him to let you see by now he'll have got rid of messages anyway, and I bet anything you like if he does let you "see" into his account later the arrogant shit will act like he's doing you a favour and will turn all of this back on you, as in, "see - I told you there was "nothing" to find, see, it was all "just" a stupid bit of mucking about" etc etc. Treating you like you're a fool.

In any case ..... as so many others have said already, even if he's not actually turned fantasy into reality he's still been interacting with real life women .... getting his rocks off by treating women like lumps of flesh. It's disrespectful to them - even if that is their "job" - and my god, it's contemptuous towards you.

If you do believe that you can recover from something like this - the lies, the disrespect, the complete lack of remorse or apology, the scummy attitude to women in general .... then think very hard about how you'll ever be able to relax again, how you'll ever be able to trust him (about anything), how you'll be able to live with the knowledge that he holds you in such high regard (not). I should think it'd destroy most people's mental health TBH. I know couples do get through infidelity etc but only with absolute remorse, transparency, willingness to make an effort, lots of reassurance, lots of talking (if wronged party wants to), and total honesty. So far it's not looking good for any of that TBH is it ?

I'd be pretty tempted in all honesty to nick the bloody iPad and see if some IT bod couldn't hack it in some way just so I at least got to the bottom of what had really been going on and was left in no doubt - whatever was uncovered. And then I'd tell him to eff off .......

Mintberry Tue 18-Sep-12 19:25:19

Have had a similar experience but with Craigslist here, he made the same excuses as your OH, I still haven't worked out if I actually believe him or just really want to believe him.
Even if he's telling the truth about what he's doing, you're still going to have doubts in the back of your mind for a long time or even the rest of the relationship. I know I still do. Can you really put up with that indefinitely? It's terrible because like your situation, everything seems perfect apart from that.
At least be firm with him and give him an ultimatum-he should show you the messages! Though if they were incriminating he likely deleted them. You need to make him realize that this is NOT a game, and you are considering leaving him over it. I regret not stressing this.

Apocalypto Tue 18-Sep-12 19:35:02

Obviously he has been shagging prostitutes.

There are thousands of prostitutes in this country. Who's keeping them all paid? Isn't this the very model of a punter?

Otherwise what are you to believe? That there are men who email them but simply waste their time and never meet them, and that the actual sex these women sell is happening between them and quite different men?

eitheror Tue 18-Sep-12 19:41:40

After a strenuous namechange, hope I won't get flamed for this but am hoping I can advise.

In a past life I was a user of Adultwork (AW) as a worker in the sex industry. It's a very, very well known and popular site and well known for not only facilitating contact with 'ordinary' prostitutes but also for providing access to sex workers who provide specialist services. Even among sex workers there is a lot of unhappiness about the fact it does not regulate its members in any way and there are a lot of women offering bareback (unprotected) sex.

Anyway. As someone familiar with how the site works I will say that I think your husband is lying. Six years is a long time to be a member of AW without 'doing anything'. Similarly 50 messages is just what you saw on the computer screen at one time, and maybe does not even reflect the extent of his messaging, as members manage their inboxes just like Outlook etc, deleting the old and irrelevant.

If you can recall the username your H used on AW it might be worth doing a google search or if you can stomach it go on to AW and do a search on there. A lot of the male members (service users) do things like give ratings and write 'field reports' if they have met up with an escort. For the purposes of the site it is a way of both parties to show they are genuine, reliable, not 'fakes', 'safe' etc (I know, I know).

Men who message escorts repeatedly without making any bookings are generally given short shrift and regarded as 'timewasters'. They are unlikely to last six years doing it especially under the same nickname. For what it's worth, your H's comment about 'moving on to make arrangements by phone' probably has some truth in it. Many, perhaps most escorts on AW quickly go from email to phone contact because you need a phone number as a point of reference and to finalise booking details in person. He was trying to put you off the scent there but actually what he said is exactly how it works.

Your H will have deleted all his messages by now but a google search might flag up if he has used his nickname elsewhere on similar sites.

An associated search for clues might be to look at your joint finances and see if there are any unusual or significant withdrawals of cash, and whether their timing is significant. You might also wish to be on the look out for second/spare phones or sim cards (they all have one) and secondary, 'hidden' email accounts.

I hope I haven't offended anyone by posting. Good luck and I'm so sorry.

gimmecakeandcandy Tue 18-Sep-12 19:44:13

Sorry he is lying. If he hadn't been lying he would have immediately shown you his account.

You deserve more and you deserve a real man - get out and rebuild your life. X

OrangeImperialGoldBlether Tue 18-Sep-12 19:46:47

Turn back the clock and go to live near your friends and try to get the same sort of job again.

Forget this man. He's a liar and a cheat.

I do think you're in shock - it's a really awful feeling.

UnbridledPositivity Tue 18-Sep-12 20:00:03

Speaking from experience (was in exactly your situation a few years ago) - this is the tip of the iceberg. Get out while the shock is still fresh! He will tell you all sorts of lies so he doesn't have to admit what kind of person he is, and after a while you start thinking it'll take too long to find someone else to TTC.
Would you want your children to be looked after and influenced by someone who has done this?

UnbridledPositivity Tue 18-Sep-12 20:01:51

Oh yes, also: he can delete his messages, but not the log of webcam and phone sessions. Check local escorts for reviews by his username. Also check all credit card statements you can get your hands on.

Insist that he give you his login.

DisabilEightiesChick Tue 18-Sep-12 20:03:13

eitheror No offence taken and no flaming from me. It's for all of us to remember that it's the lying cheating man here that deserves the blame, no one else. Thanks for posting that information.

dondon33 Tue 18-Sep-12 20:06:56

I'm so sorry OP, what a fucking shitty thing to find. Sorry to the other's too who now know what this site is and that their OH have been accessing it.

OP, do u remember the username/email that was on the screen?
If yes, go to AW and click the forgotten password link, you'll need to know his email address that he registered with but hopefully it's his usual. You can then hopefully change his password and access his account.
Or if not, what Eitheror (Not offended BTW) said about looking on the site at his username to see if he's rated anyone.
Good luck at the STI clinic, I hope he's not been sleeping with prossies for your sake but to be honest it's not sounding very good. Over the next few days when it sinks in I hope you see that there is a way out and you don't have to stay. let him go riding bareback all he fecking likes and get cockrot of the worst kind
Take care x

eitheror I think it's good of you to be so candid

OP I am with the majority here and don't believe for a minute that he never made physical contact with anyone

Regardless..

So what? It's a dealbreaker as is. Both in terms of lying but also exposing the kind of man he really is and the moral code (or lack of) that he lives by.

There is a silver lining, a massive one, and that is that you don't have children. If and when you do walk away, it will be desperately hard but once it is done it is over and you will never have to have contact again. Infinitely easier than ending a relationship that has produced DCs.

I know that all sounds very final and dramatic, but personally, in your shoes, there would be no other option. Six years FFS!

I am so sorry for you

Chubfuddler Tue 18-Sep-12 20:09:52

His reaction is pretty telling. Instead of being horrified at being confronted and overcome with contrition, he pulls a poor me act and starts deflecting blame onto you claiming you won't believe him anyway. He is not a nice man op. whatever you do don't get pregnant by him.

DisabilEightiesChick Tue 18-Sep-12 20:10:25

OP, also, with regard to telling people like your mum, I would pare it down to the heart of the matter and say 'He cheated on me and I realised I would not be able to trust him not to do it again'. You might choose to go into more detail with trusted friends but don't feel you have to do chapter and verse with your mum. The statement above is all the justification you need.

carlywurly Tue 18-Sep-12 20:21:29

What a horrible shock for you. Thank goodness you don't have children with him, and you are free to go, no matter how it seems.

I put up with some shenanigans from XH, but nothing on this scale. You're bound to be in shock now, but as realisation dawns, expect to feel livid with him.

He's betrayed you in a horrible way, and also put you at serious risk by this kind of sordid behaviour. I hope you can find the strength to leave him. He isn't father material, I'm afraid.

AThingInYourLife Tue 18-Sep-12 20:22:05

I don't think the cheating is the heart of the matter, it is the fact of paying to use women's bodies like pieces of meat.

Thanks either for weighing in smile

Losingitall Tue 18-Sep-12 20:27:01

What a shock for you.
Do you have access to bank a/c? I recall a thread on here last year where someone had found the name on statements.

This thread is not accepting new messages.