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Am I right to think hmmmmmmmmmm?

(58 Posts)
Puzzledandpissedoff Sun 10-Feb-13 15:24:22

Can anyone tell me what they think of this

A few months ago oh got involved in sexting some young woman (he's 60) and everything went apeshit when I found out. However after a long marriage which seemed too much to chuck away I've stuck with him, and since then things have got a lot better with constant little messages from him telling me how much he loves me, nice times and holidays planned and other good stuff

After what happened I used to check his email facebook and stuff, but haven't done it for ages. But yesterday something made me check again, and there's a message to another friend saying he's created a new email address "if you want to chat on that" I know about this friend, he's never hidden that he messages her, and has even mentioned me (nicely) in a lot of them, so there shouldn't be a problem

Thing is, they used that new address for about 6 messages then just went back to using facebook, so now I'm confused. Part of me thinks ok, maybe fb was glitching, but then why not use his usual personal email, why create a new one that he's never mentioned. There are also no other messages on it to anyone at all. The obvious thing is just to ask him, but should I keep it to myself for now and monitor if anything else gets sent on it?

Tell me if I'm just being stupid and there's an obvious explanation I haven't thought of, but right now I'm totally confused and feeling a bit uncertain and I'd be grateful for anyone's opinion

Puzzledandpissedoff Thu 14-Feb-13 17:27:20

I certainly have, Elephant - though I should explain the girl he was emailing honestly isn't my issue here, she's waaaaaaayyyy too young. It's more about him having a new email address AT ALL, so I've laid it out plainly about boundaries, in case the emailing habit should spread any further

Of course he replied that "he hasn't done anything wrong" which may well be true at this exact moment, but my remarks about it all still needed saying. It's a bit hard to know what else I can do at the moment, but at least he's in no doubt as to what will happen if he makes any further mistakes ...

TheElephantIsADaintyBird Thu 14-Feb-13 13:21:36

So have you spoken to him about him still messaging other women? I wonder what his reaction to that would be...

Puzzledandpissedoff Wed 13-Feb-13 19:02:18

Forgot to mention I have to go out in a bit - this is very kind of you all, so please don't think I'm being rude if I don't respond tonight :-)

Puzzledandpissedoff Wed 13-Feb-13 18:58:51

Hmmm - thanks, fiveinthree and HotChoc, you make some very valid points there. The sexting he did was last summer (I found out on 2 November, a day I'll never forget) and admittedly he didn't have any face to face stuff to deal with as it was all on the net, but that's not the point

It also sickened me that we were on holiday during the period it was happening. Of course he swore that he didn't send any then, but I'm not that stupid, and it's hard to look at the holiday pics of his smiling face and think "yes, and you were betraying me that day"

As I said - hmmmmmm ....

MadAboutHotChoc Wed 13-Feb-13 18:02:32

five - yup hmm

Its so easy for men to come out with stuff about how hard it is to talk about feelings and women to put up with this crap.

OP - your H has no choice really if he wants to prove that he is committed to you. He fucked up and he needs to clean up the mess he made....and that means having to talk about "feelings".

fiventhree Wed 13-Feb-13 17:35:06

Mad, it amazes me that any bloke can claim to be too bashful to acknowledge his deeper motives to his own wife, yet instant message all kinds to girls young enough to be their daughters, plus a decade.

Wondered about that alot, as you know.

I do wonder when the original incident happened Op. Because I took your view when it happened to me, 15 months ago, and now I occasionally can feel pure rage about it, even tough most of the time I forget it. It doesnt just go away for the not talking, it makes it worse over time, and therefore in our case we still sometimes have to talk about it.

So dont be afraid to open it up again.

MadAboutHotChoc Wed 13-Feb-13 17:25:51

It's a fair point, HotChoc, though I'm not going to be able to change the "man of few words" which he is, into a touchy-feely, let-it-all-hang-out type. That would be to change his entire personality and he's a bit old for that!

Its not about completely changing him, its about addressing certain character failings - selfishness, sense of entitlement, arrogance etc. He is selfishly putting his own needs first - of course its easier for him not to have to open up and to have things swept under the carpet. This is one of the main reasons why they cheat again and again.

Also I have to say that its amazing how these men of few words manage to have meaningful and deep exchanges with the OW hmm

fiventhree Wed 13-Feb-13 17:24:56

And whilst I'm on a rant (!), he presumably is too old to manage a change in his living arrangements, too.

See what I mean? We can all manage some change, if we try, and often we have to. As you have.

Sorry for the row of posts- your h has tried the same line as mine, and really it doesnt wash!

fiventhree Wed 13-Feb-13 17:21:07

That is what I mean by your boundaries. As in, what YOU need him to do, and not what HE is willing to do.

Otherwise its a case of 'he cant this , so I have to that'.

When did this happen, by the way, the original incident?

fiventhree Wed 13-Feb-13 17:18:31

This is tricky.

I agree that in a ideal world we all want to have an h who didnt do this, and if they had, then they are prepared to go the full hog to find out why. We dont all get the full text book approach, sadly.

Mine didnt read or attend sole counselling either, although he was in joint counselling with me prior to the revelation (less of a revelation and more that he realized through Relate that I would leave him unless he admitted what I clearly knew to be true).

He didnt read as such, but he would read a bit here and there which I showed him, or discuss what I found out. He was very determined that sole counselling and psychological approaches werent his thing.

He is also a reserved character, but I had to be uncharacteristically firm that he simply had to agree to discuss it fully, and as long as I wanted, and from all angles. This has been largely successful. It simply isnt good enough for him to just sweep his own discomfort under the carpet and leave you to manage yours as a result.

Believe me, I have had to use those words quite literally from time to time.

On this occasion, he has to be at least prepared to meet you half way on what you need, especially given you are accepting around the edges that some things wont work for him.

Fuck him if he's uncomfortable.

My h is 50, by the way, and not such a catch as he thinks he is.

Puzzledandpissedoff Wed 13-Feb-13 15:32:02

It's a fair point, HotChoc, though I'm not going to be able to change the "man of few words" which he is, into a touchy-feely, let-it-all-hang-out type. That would be to change his entire personality and he's a bit old for that!

This is partly the problem, I know he's thoroughly ashamed of himself (his own words) over the past, but there's no chance of a deep conversation about it. Similarly, several people we know won't have anything to do with him now. I know he realises why, and it makes him very uncomfortable, but again he just doesn't know what to say, and settles for "least said soonest mended"

Don't get me wrong, I fully realise this is his issue not mine, but it does make things like this very hard to address.

MadAboutHotChoc Wed 13-Feb-13 15:08:36

I would talk to him and insist that if he is really committed to the marriage that he needs to work a lot harder....

MadAboutHotChoc Wed 13-Feb-13 15:07:03

Fully agree that the bit you mentioned is useful, HotChoc. No, he hasn't read it himself, he's not a big believer in what he calls "psychobabble self-improvement books" Why am I not surprised?!

Aha...that does not surprise me given how he is crossing boundaries already so soon after last time.

What has he done to work on himself then? Has he offered any insights as to why he felt justified in cheating as a way of resolving his problems?

The problem is that unless the cheater has worked on himself, attended therapy, read books and so on to gain an insight into what was in him that led to the affair and to address these issues and traits, he is likely to do it again sad

Puzzledandpissedoff Wed 13-Feb-13 14:22:28

"Vulnerable to other women" yes that's true, only he would call it "being open and friendly". Also true that most of the friends he's ever had have been women rather than men. Nothing wrong with that, he certainly wasn't shagging them all, but of course I feel a bit more "hmmmm" about everything now.

Trouble is, talk about boundaries can so easily become "don't you want me to have any friends at all?" As I said, why do men havge to be so bloody insensitive sometimes?

Puzzledandpissedoff Wed 13-Feb-13 14:17:55

Fully agree that the bit you mentioned is useful, HotChoc. No, he hasn't read it himself, he's not a big believer in what he calls "psychobabble self-improvement books" Why am I not surprised?!

fiventhree Wed 13-Feb-13 14:16:57

Yes I did. I agree with MAHC .

He has shown he is vulnerable to OW, hasn't he? So I don't think he should have private chats with them, and most certainly not on secret email.

My h sometimes had to meet women after work as part of his networking but I would be less comfortable about it now.

MadAboutHotChoc Wed 13-Feb-13 14:00:25

Re read NJF's sections about walls and windows - very good explanation of how boundaries are crossed.

Can I ask if HE has read the book?

Puzzledandpissedoff Wed 13-Feb-13 13:49:46

Fiveinthree, did you mean "Not Just Friends"? I've got that one and very good it is too, but I'll definitely also get hold of that one about boundaries. You're right of course that the important thing is how this matters to ME, since he was the one who chose to cheat. Believe me I'm not in any doubt about that, but getting it across isn't always easy

Frankly I just wish I wasn't in this position at all, but I am and it's got to be dealt with, unfortunately

fiventhree Wed 13-Feb-13 13:28:57


Stating not staying

Also "With a great heap of"

fiventhree Wed 13-Feb-13 13:26:24

Can I suggest you read the Shirley Glass book and also possibly Thompson and Cloud on boundaries.

The issue is less what he thinks is right or ok( obviously that is an issue but a separate one.)

The real issue for you is being clear about what is acceptable and why, and being clear about staying that.

I always used to think I was fairly smart and assertive, and possibly come over that way, but I found that over this stuff I was a lot more muddled than I had believed myself to be, both in what I wanted and how I went about getting it.

After that, it's up to him.

Even 15 months on, I find it hard re trust , but then mine was broken over a 5-6 year period, but a great heap of lying and denial thrown in.

Puzzledandpissedoff Wed 13-Feb-13 13:07:50

That's it fiveinthree, THAT'S EXACTLY IT. I realise these emails are (probably) innocent, and if it wasn't for what happened before I might not give it a thought, but it DID happen, which is why I'm jittery now. It's also true he can be careless about boundaries, not that he does it deliberately I'm sure, he just doesn't see the impression it can give.

I've actually spoken to him about this already, which is perhaps why he's being very open about the emails now. He tried to say "what's the problem, there's nothing harmful in it", but I explained that he really does need to be more careful. Whether it will make any difference I just don't know, but I can only try. I really hope I'm not being naive here and that this latest thing is truly innocent - god, why are these men so STUPID sometimes?

fiventhree Wed 13-Feb-13 12:13:56

I also have an h who cheated for years via the net ( only the net, he says), and it took me a long time to discover it, despite earlier suspicions.

I would NOT be at all happy for my h to be having private chats on gmail with any women, at all, after this.

I would NOT be happy to find he had set up a private email address again either, given he did this before.

I don't think your h is demonstrating that he is managing his boundaries very well, and he certainly lacks the insight to imagine how it might look and feel to you.

I should put him right on that. If he can't manage his boundaries, I think you should clarify with him what yours are, and stick to them.

TheElephantIsADaintyBird Wed 13-Feb-13 08:28:48

It could be that he's not doing anything wrong, it does sound like he's being open and honest from what you've said.

There's probably people on here that can advise you on this better than I can, but I do think you both need to look in to why he did what he did. I may be wrong but it sounds as if you found out, kicked off, he said sorry and it was never spoken about again, or something along those lines.

Obviously you know him best OP, but just don't tie yourself up in knots over what could be nothing.

Puzzledandpissedoff Tue 12-Feb-13 19:11:31

Well, I bought myself a new smartphone today, I think I said before my previous one was dying. OH has been genuinely helpful setting it up, and keen to point out that this gmail thing is okay but he didn't find it the best one to use himself. As I said, he went back to FB chat himself and says this is why, interesting that he was extremely open in talking about it. Hmmmmmm - I don't think I've got much choice but to just continue with the monitoring

piratecat Mon 11-Feb-13 23:37:50

it could be innocent with the chat thing. like 'have you got the g mail chat its much better than Facebook ' and he thought oh sounds good oh i need a g mail account for that.
i don't know how you can move forwards when your trust it broken like this op .sad

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