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Husband lied about daytrip with a woman from work

(96 Posts)
Leadingavocado Thu 22-Nov-12 12:36:26

We live abroad and my husband has some foreign travel. He had a trip and asked me if it was ok to go a day early over the weekend as he would have a daytrip with a male colleague out there and a couple of other people. When he got back I asked about the daytrip and could sense he was lying. I checked his Blackberry and saw an email from him to a woman he works with (she is based in the UK but comes to our country reasonably frequently). saying he would meet her in the lobby of the hotel onw the sunday morning for the daytrip.

I was very upset and he obviously straight away admitting lying, didn't have much choice. Said I had made a comment about this woman before (cannot remember if I had, but it would have been nothing that pointed). So he lied for. quiet life.

I have since been checking his Blackberry and his emails to her are friendly but nothing more than that.

He has a subsequent trip abroad and texted to say he had managed to get a day off to sightsee and I was convinced it was with her and was very cold when he got back. I found a receipt in his wallett of a meal one evening for two people. He denied it was with her but then I think changed his story as to the third person who came along and paid seperately.

He has another trip away next week and is back in the UK the week after. This woman will be there next week but there is no reason for him to meet her the following week in the UK.

I feel left with a lot of anger about this. The last 5 yrs have not been easy with two small children, overseas, no support. I have been very lonely at times and depressed.

We have spoken about it and I have told him what I consider acceptable and daytrips or dining with a female colleague alone, who you see on a regular basis is not acceptable.

I think he has forgotten about it and wants to put it behind him. I am the one left with the anger and suspicion.

cronullansw Thu 22-Nov-12 19:40:01

HoleyGhost has it spot on I reckon.

OP's unhappiness, low self esteem, crying children, not being a good enough cook, and it's all DH's fault for being courteous and accompanying a colleague to dinner in a public room.

Charbon Thu 22-Nov-12 19:42:12

Before we get any more posts from trustworthy people who work abroad and/or have utterly normal, innocent friendships with men and good relationships with their partners, this really isn't the issue. Although they reinforce the fact that collegiate and personal friendships between men and women are absolutely fine, this doesn't address the issues in the thread.

Which are that there was untrustworthy behaviour at the start of the OP's relationship that only got uncovered when the woman involved informed the OP, that her husband lied to her about meeting a female colleague for a day trip, then lied to her again about a second occasion and only changed his story admitting she was there, afterwards. The OP is feeling in a vulnerable place right now WRT her personal circumstances and is feeling understandably hard done by with the contrast in their lives, but her husband doesn't want to discuss the issues and she has got him under surveillance and is tampering with his communications.

How trustworthy people behave in healthy relationships is IMO, completely besides the point.

FlaminNoraImPregnantPanda Thu 22-Nov-12 20:55:19

I can sympathise with where the OP is coming from. You cannot under estimate how being totally dependent on another person in a foreign country makes you feel. Even with the most trustworthy partner in the entire universe, you still feel vulnerable in a way you wouldn't if you were in the UK. The safety net of friends, family, social security, knowledge of 'the system' etc isn't there. You don't have the choices available to you that you used to have and lack of choices undermines your confidence and can make you much more needy.

Add to that mix a bit of dishonesty and the results don't bare thinking about.

Chandon Thu 22-Nov-12 21:34:35

Agree with Charbon ( our names ar hard to tell apart sometimes)

Feckbox Fri 23-Nov-12 00:29:39

agree with holeyghost and think OP is massively over reacting because of understandible exhaustion and low self esteem.

Everyone here seems to be saying it's not the meeting it's the lying. But that is not what OP says ( obviously the lying is not good either and compounds her feeling shit about the situation )

The OP said at the outset "I have told him what I consider acceptable and daytrips or dining with a female colleague alone, who you see on a regular basis is not acceptable"

That's a whole other ball game. Banning opposite sex friendships is strong stuff. That gets called controlling when the genders are reversed.

I would not tolerate a marriage where I was banned from meeting male colleagues/friends . or one where my phone was being checked for that matter.

But as Holey says, all that is a red herring. OP is a worn out wreck and no wonder

OP, I hope you can sort it out. It can't be easy with small kids in a country that is not home.

Cahooots Fri 23-Nov-12 01:03:41

OP, do you anticipate moving countries anytime soon? 5 years of struggling with no support, feeling depressed etc would take it's toll on any marriage. Are you planning on returning to the UK? Do you think you would feel the way you do if you were living in the UK (or your home country)?

Mimishimi Fri 23-Nov-12 02:02:48

Where are you OP? If you are in HK, we could meet up for a chat?

deXavia Fri 23-Nov-12 02:47:59

I'm abroad (HK too - neighborly wave to Mimi) It is a huge step to make the move with small kids and also no job or independent income. Honestly I would turn the focus back on yourself. Frankly whether he is having an affair or flirtation or he is just a wee shit for lying - what is obvious in your posts is your sadness and dissatisfaction with where your life is. You can tear yourself to shreds about this woman or the emails but honestly I don't think that's the biggest problem.

Living abroad can be very lonely but equally can be a great chance to rediscover or reinvent yourself. How old are the kids? (I see one is 3 what about the others) Do you have help in the house? Do you get anytime by yourself or to do what you want? Start finding things that make you feel good about yourself. Can you work from a visa perspective and how supportive is the expat or local community? If you genuinely can't get time to do things for you - have you reached your limit if expat life, would you prefer to 'go home' and is that even an option? Also don't forget 'home' is probably very different to when you left depending on your kids ages, where home is etc.

None of this solves the issue of your husbands behaviour but it may help clarify what you want out of this life - if you stay married that cant be a bad thing and if it is all your worst nightmare and you do separate gives you more of a foundation to get use to starting over again.

I could join the discussion about the rights and wrongs of people traveling on business or the one about whether he is dishonest and for what reason - but really really I urge you to think about what can help you, your sadness is so clear in your posts.

Leadingavocado Fri 23-Nov-12 11:19:29

Thank you for the messages, I have taken a lot of it on board. Yes I will stop checking his Blackberry. i need to for my own self esteem. And you are right. This is about me and about how i want my life to be.

Like a lot of expat wives I would be in pretty deep trouble if the marriage ended. I do not believe it is healthy to be financially dependent on someone else. But that is a choice that has been made.

Yes i am probably being unreasonable about the dinners etc. I certainly think it is possible for a pattern to emerge if too much time is spent with one colleague and as I say, only he knows his own feelings.

I do not feel that I have a husband who madly loves me and that saddens me, but how many marriages are like that? Aren't a lot of marriages about compromise and enjoying the day to day. I can drive myself mad wondering wht he thinks of me of anyone else etc. At the end of the day, he has to take responsibility for his feelings and behaviour, as do I.

HoleyGhost Fri 23-Nov-12 11:55:44

I think you should see a counsellor to help you work out what you want to do next.

Just because you made a decision back then does not mean you need to stay exiled forever. Even if you choose to stay where you are you should be able to find a way to make your life more fulfilling and happy.

MadAboutHotChoc Fri 23-Nov-12 12:19:14

Op - are you going to talk to him about boundaries etc?

FushiaFernica Fri 23-Nov-12 12:42:46

Did your husband once 'madly love you' when you first started dating?

Abitwobblynow Fri 23-Nov-12 12:59:50

Avocado, don't lose yourself like that, don't give up.

IMO Feckbox is 100% wrong, this as Charbon said isn't just 'nothing' and it certainly isn't an overreact and it isn't happening because you have got low self-esteem.

Trust your instincts, they are your soul talking to you.

FanjoForTheMammaries Fri 23-Nov-12 13:01:58

I agree with wobbly.

If you were fulfilled and happy there it would mean it was fine for your DH to lie to you as you could cope with it better? I still think not.

FushiaFernica Fri 23-Nov-12 13:16:14

My question above doesn't make sense I meant have you always felt your relationship is a 'good enough' match more than 'head over heels' one? I can't really tell from what you have written.

NotQuintAtAllOhNo Fri 23-Nov-12 13:26:05

You seem very jealous and resentful.
I wonder if your husband is picking up on that? You have no trust in him.

Is there anything else aside from that indiscretion 10 years ago?

To be honest, I dont see why he cannot have dinner with a female colleague when on a work trip. Should he eat alone?
I think it would be very unprofessional to refuse eating out with colleagues whatever their gender. Why should he single out ONE colleague when other people from the office went on a trip? I dont get it.
I am not surprised he lies to you, to be honest.

What is left of your relationship when trust have gone?
Why not try find a job where you live? Get some self esteem, make friends?

OneMoreChap Fri 23-Nov-12 14:12:02

... And you deleted some of his work email
... And you "chucked a gift back"
... And you told him he mustn't have drinks/ meals with female colleagues
... And the dodgy behaviour was 10 years ago when you were hiding a relationship?

You do need to talk to him.
You both need to establish clear boundaries.

If you are so unhappy with him, and trust is gone, maybe it's better you end it. Good luck with whatever you decide.

Feckbox Mon 26-Nov-12 20:59:31

and you would be 100% right, wobbly?
what an interesting life you must lead with always being right and others not just wrong , but A HUNDRED PERCENT wrong.

WOW hmm

iwasyou Tue 27-Nov-12 10:18:36

I've been in your position OP, years ago, and I know how you feel.

I was stuck at home with young kids and sometimes felt pretty aggrieved about DH's work trips abroad .. which all sounded pretty glamorous from my perspective, although he always said he'd rather be at home.

Long story, but he also lied for a quiet life.. about an overnight trip with one female work colleague. I knew he particularly liked her and I wouldn't have been happy about it - although I wouldn't have stopped him going, I have to be honest and admit he would definitely have got some earache about it. And so I did contribute to the situation arising in a way. However, when he got home the next night he felt guilty about it and told me the truth.

Nothing had happened (she was happily engaged to a nice guy, and I'm sure not interested in DH), But I can't tell you how much the fact that he'd lied hurt me. It took a long, long time to get over. In his mind, he'd done nothing wrong while away - which I do believe - and just wanted to avoid any aggro. Not good enough, but the norm in his family while he was growing up.. to avoid telling the truth if it would lead to any unpleasantness.

Some people are concluding that your DH has been cheating, some that he is totally innocent. Of course none of us can really know, and I'm surprised that people feel able to declare with certainty that they do. Personally, I think it's quite possible you have nothing to worry about regarding him being faithful. But you do need to talk to him. Not to accuse him, but to help him understand how you feel.

You sound insecure and unhappy, and possibly depressed. You need love and reassurance from your DH. That's going to be hard to get in the midst of accusing him of stuff he may well not have done. He should really be able to have dinner with a woman colleague, for example, and I think you need to accept that.

Just to let you know, we are fine now. I know, looking back, that if I'd been happier and more confident in myself, I would have coped better during the time when DH was working away.

I hope you can talk with him honestly and that it's helpful. Also that you can find a way to make your own day-to-day life happier and more fulfilling, because I think that will be the key to making things better.

Leadingavocado Wed 28-Nov-12 07:32:08

I agree about the keeping quiet for an easy life and he is like that. He does not volunteer information. I guess another part of it is how he has certainly become more lax about contacting me and the children when he is away. Yes sometimes there are time difference issues but speaking to the children once a day is I would say a good thing to do and there is always email to contact me. He would not send me an email saying what he's done that day, even when it has involved something other than meetings, like a day trip or arriving in a place he has not been before. So I feel out of sight out of mind. I don't want him to do it because he should, but because he wants to.

I am sorry I sound so bitter, it is not a nice place to be. I am very upset about this trip and the lies and I do need to deal with it.

I have read some of the stuff on the Shirley Glass website and whilst i do not believe he is having an affair, I still do not know if there is an emotional closeness to this work colleague that is inappropriate.

I do not want to rehash all the stuff about dining with female colleagues etc, but what I am saying is that if he feels a closeness to her, if he is actively seeking her out then he should stop that and not be with her alone. If it is entirely innocent then I do not have a problem, but I do not know whether it is entirely innocent.

Charbon Wed 28-Nov-12 14:00:23

I agree with you OP. I think you're right to feel threatened by this particular friendship. It's not unreasonable to believe that your husband might not have lied about a friendship that was entirely innocent. You're also very wise to notice that he is distancing himself more from family life when he is away, than he used to in the past and that there is a possible link between this and the worries you have.

Have you had any more thoughts on how you can tackle this as a couple?

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