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I'm pretty sure DH has had a fling. What do I do now?

(154 Posts)
HmmmWhatAMess Tue 19-Feb-13 07:42:39

Firstly I have namechanged. I haven't told a soul about this and from my posts under another name I could be identified.

Ok, DH works in the UK but regularly travels abroad. I have never had any reason not to trust him, whilst here and when he was away. He's always been a good dad - although sometimes has a short fuse. With me if has always been my biggest fan, even though we have had some tough times adjusting to becoming a family.

This time if was gone longer than normal and tbh I was a bit concerned how he would cope without the dc's and I. I needn't have worried. In fact he even said on the phone how much if was enjoying it/been out drinking and clubbing with 4 girls from his hotel (alone) and also mostly with the group of men that he was working with. I encouraged him to make the most of his evenings because due to childcare he doesn't get out much. Also, I have a close male friend so I thought it couldn't be one rule for one and not the other.

So if has come back. Has about 5 photos on his phone of him and a young woman. A few are close ups of her face (in one she is wearing his hat). Others are taken in the hotel she works in (the one in which he stayed) with their arms around each other. He showed me these saying he had nothing to hide.

His phone hasn't left his side for the week that he has been back. I have discovered that he wiped messages from his work mobile that he sent to his personal and left just one with her email address on. If has also signed up to WhatsApp and deleted all old texts. He has received 120 and sent 65.

AnyFucker Tue 19-Feb-13 16:53:45

You are a sick bunny, bunny. Do hop off.

NanaNina Tue 19-Feb-13 17:00:49

Hi there OP - I can imagine how you are feeling, and it's crap as I know from experience. I agree you need to tell him you know (or collect more evidence) and you will be able to tell from his reaction. I think the tears today were because he knows you know and is feeling hugely guilty. Some suggested sending him away for a weekend while you think things through - NO not another weekend away!

OK so let's assume he was flattered by the attention of young women and was in an usual situation and has made some kind of "connection" with 1 girl. I suspect that the photos he showed you were not the girl with whom he maybe had a fling.

Agree that bunny is possibly projecting and is not being helpful as she is ramping things up to an unecessary degree. It is not for us to take sides as all we know is a few lines of text on a screen. Have you a trusted relative or friend with whom you can confide in OP because that might help instead of it all going round and roundin your head. Oh god I know those tapes that go round in your head and somehow won't stop. It hurts.

I hope you can resolve this one way or the other, but don't take precipitate action while you are feeling so crap.

Abitwobblynow Tue 19-Feb-13 17:07:07

Anyfucker, just note the emotion of Bunny, understand that whilst it is very strong it has clearly happened to her too and hear her pain. A bit of compassion, really. (And for your information, in the land of HIV Africa they are looking at making rape whilst HIV+ homicide).

So lets all support eachother here, OK? This stuff -having your world and trust and love blown apart - is incredibly painful.

Yes OP I am afraid the crying is a real giveaway. Please show him the door (he can take the children with him, he is a good father and their crying for you might REALLY pour the water on his jets) and ask for a separation for maybe a week and then you can talk.

AgathaF Tue 19-Feb-13 17:09:24

She needs to log this with the police straight away - I can just imagine the police response if you phoned them to say that your husband may or may not have been unfaithful.

Hmm - is there any particular reason why 50/50 custody would be an issue and reason for you to stay? Apart from, obviously, missing them.

I hope you get the answers you need very soon.

AnyFucker Tue 19-Feb-13 17:09:32

Abit, the Op has enough problems without someone coming onto the thread to insinuate that her children are at risk of sexual abuse from her husband

I will not support crap like that

AnyFucker Tue 19-Feb-13 17:10:58

Abit, you need to hone your skills in spotting the hairy-handed, seriously

minecraftfansmum Tue 19-Feb-13 17:16:34

I love that saying 'don't get mad get even'. In a few years time you could look back on this and see it as a blessed release. If he's the type to be short-tempered and irritable then perhaps he's the type to be discontented and this could follow him through his life. He's having his ego stoked - very flattering. Don't see yourself as being haggard from what comes across as a very busy life. If there is a young woman involved how foolish of her to be having anything to do with a married man with children, I wonder if the novelty will wear off when reality sets in. Working 16hrs a week means you are eligible for child tax credits, working tax credits and child maintenance. Never say anything about their dad to the children always be neutral and possibly without having an old grump around

Coconutty Tue 19-Feb-13 17:22:58

Fuck off Bunny, this isn't the time or place for games, she's obviously upset.

OP until you know the truth, you will not be able to move forward. Speak to him and when you have all the facts you will be able to decide what to do next.

Sorry this has happened, sounds shit.

THERhubarb Tue 19-Feb-13 17:26:01

My radar is bleeping away with bunny. How anyone can come onto a thread like this and start to cause trouble is beyond me. Whoever they are, they are one sick fucker.

Report and ignore.

OP. Only you have the answers to this one.
It is puzzling how he would leave the photos on his phone to convince you that he has nothing to hide whilst deleting texts. Why not just delete them all? Why give you that unwelcome insight? Why text you from the hotel to tell you what a great time he is having with 4 women? What is he trying to say?

I would say that perhaps he wants to be caught out but he's deleted those telling texts so maybe not?
Who knows what is going on in his head. I certainly can't work it out.

I think you are right. You need to know what is going on so read those deleted texts once you get half a chance. Only when you have the evidence should you confront him.
Yes it is snooping but I think you have a valid reason for that. Your marriage is under threat.

If it comes to a separation then you can arrange it all without involving the courts. If you can both agree to 50:50 and resolve it amicably it will save a lot of heartache. But it may not come to that yet. Don't jump the gun. Find out what has been going on and then think about what you want before you talk to him.

This woman might only see him as a fling. After all she is probably single and she's young, why would she want to be lumbered with a married man with 2 kids? Perhaps she doesn't even know he's married. I reckon if he did try to have a full blown relationship with her it wouldn't last long.

But that's his problem, not yours. We can all go out without our partners and kids, get pissed and get laid. I bet if you arranged a weekend away with a few friends you'd probably get loads of male attention too. Most of us however just feel flattered and leave it at that. I wouldn't dream of taking a picture of any man who chats me up so that I can flaunt it to dh! That would be cruel and completely inappropriate. Your male friend is presumably someone you have known for years as a platonic friend. If you went out with him would you take a picture of yourself with your arms draped around him for your h to see? Of course not!

Goodness knows what he is trying to prove here but either way he's being a dick. Be kind to yourself and remember, this was completely HIS choice, nothing has forced him to act this way.

I hope tomorrow brings a resolution of sorts.

Fairypants Tue 19-Feb-13 17:32:41

I'm afraid it does sound suspicious. I would suggest you think carefully before looking up those messages though- from experience, trying to find evidence can be quite addictive and unhelpful. If i suspect there is something to find but don't find it, I take it as proof of guilt that the evidence was hidden (being innocent is not an option!!!).
If you trust your ability to winkle the truth out of him with questioning, I would say you have enough just based on the pictures and weird behaviour to ask what's going on.
As an optimist, it is possible to put this behaviour down to horrible guilt over a snog or giving a number out - the likelihood of this depends on your DH but I think I would probably behave a bit like that if I had snogged someone whilst drunk.
Good luck op. x

Sallyingforth Tue 19-Feb-13 17:43:49

OP You are right to look at ALL the options.
But when I re-read your posts it seems there are many positive aspects to your relationship. His tears, if genuine, suggest that he is sorry/ashamed for whatever it is that happened. That might be a basis for a reconciliation if you are prepared to try. Certainly you need to have a very long talk about what's gone wrong - perhaps with an intermediary?
Whatever you decide, good luck!

minecraftfansmum Tue 19-Feb-13 21:45:52

Another way of seeing this - I have a friend whose partner was her first boyfriend, she had her first child with him at nineteen years of age and after ten years or so he had an affair with a girl from his work. However my friend and her partner managed to get through this and put it behind them - they are still together and their relationship appears to work well.

In your case maybe it could be seen as a 'wobble' - it can be so easy perhaps to get carried away in a situation which contrasts with the normal day to day routines. It could be just a case of flirtatious behaviour in clubs and as fairypants has said he is flailing about, guilty and upset - there might not be anything wrong in your relationship together.

My friend did stipulate though that her partner change his working conditions so he would not to be in the same situation again - in case she may fret that it might re-occur. They are both happy with this arrangement and have put it behind them. My friends are in their late 30s now, they had another child and seem to be solid.

Abitwobblynow Wed 20-Feb-13 04:41:57

Abit, you need to hone your skills in spotting the hairy-handed, seriously - yup, need to adjust to bi-focals [shame]

HmmmWhatAMess Wed 20-Feb-13 12:20:11

Just wrote an epic post and lost it. Damn.

I got his phone last night and couldn't back-up the bloody deleted mesages. I had worked myself up so much that I woke him up and demanded to know what was going on. He was quite taken aback although knew the girl that I was referring to.

He said that she was a girl that worked in the bar of the hotel that he stayed in and over the two weeks they got to know each other through friendly chit-chat. They went clubbing after a week - in the company of others (when his mates went home he was with the four girls, her being one of them) and this is where she expressed her interest in him.

He spent time in her company every evening after dinner whilst having a few pints and her working. On his last day he met her when when was off-duty and he took her to Starbucks for coffee. This is where three of the photos were taken. They are close-ups of her face and in one she has his hat on (which he put there). I told him that he doesn't have photos of me like this.

He maintains that there was no physical contact throughout this time although she was willing. He said that he liked her company and did find her attractive but did not act on it because he loves me and has too much to loose. He said the messages were mainly like a conversation (so I guess that would explain the high volume) although he understands that it is excessive and that they were not of an emotional/sexual content. She did express that she missed him. He said that he deleted these messages because he didn't want be to know that she missed him and that he didn't want me to be suspicious.

WRT the photos. I told him that I was unhappy with these. I was unhappy with the pose (taken in the hotel bar) and that they looked like they were on honeymoon rather than 'friends'. He said that nothing physical happened so he didn't feel the need to hide it. I told him that he kept the photos of her for memories and his wank-bank. No other reason.

I told him that it wasn't so much the physical aspect of it that I wouldn't have a problem with (although this didn't happen), it's the emotions that get involved. I don't want him to fall in love with someone else. A regrettable snog on a dancefloor is not ideal but I could completely move on from that. It's the prolonged contact back in the UK that I have an issue with.

With his crying yesterday morning. I do believe that it was partly to do with this. Although delayed jetlag and two young children, combined with a recent bereavement may have contributed.

I am not going to ask him to leave. Partly because I believe that he was being 'friendly' in these messages and not getting emotionally attached and also because his family are 400 miles away. I initially told him that I would keep his phone today to assess the nature of her messages but i'm not going to play games. He has taken it to work today and she has already messaged him and he severed contact. I will not check his phone unless I have reason to believe, but I have told him that I will not hesitate to look again. I will check his phone later to see the conversation but that's it. I'm not going to get obsessive over this.

So I guess I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt. Possibly very naively, but it's the way that I am. Although I have told him that he is skating on very thin ice. In the UK he has very little to no opportunity to behave like this so I am not too concerned, but there is to be no secrecy now.

I think it's also because I understand sexual attraction. I would be lying if I said that I haven't found men attractive/wanted something more, but you have to walk away. He agreed that it really stroked his ego. I bet it did. Now he needs to get a grip and put his ego to one side.

I wanted to thank you all for your help and advice - even though I haven't really heeded it. I appreciate the time that you have taken to respond and I have taken it all in. Hopefully this is the end of this saga. I feel that he has been well and truly shaken and hope that I one day I won't eat my words. thanks

THERhubarb Wed 20-Feb-13 12:32:03

Look, you know your dh and we don't.

Tbh that would explain why he didn't delete the photos but did delete the chat. If he was having an affair or had more to hide then why would he keep the photos? Surely he would hide it all?

I do agree though that he should not have encourage her knowing that she had feelings for him. Once she told him that he should have walked away and not taken her out for meals - that's just stringing her along. I can understand that he wanted his ego stroking a bit more but he has a wife and family at home and you don't play with fire when you are a loyal family man. He has basically encouraged her and led her to believe that she's in with a chance.

I admire you for staying in control. Your dh is a very lucky man. I'm glad he realised that he had so much to lose if he carried on acting like a dick. No doubt he is counting his blessings now.

You still need to chat about loyalty, respect and trust. He is away a lot and you need to know that you can trust that he'll not do this again. What more does this man want? He has a loyal and loving wife at home who gives him plenty of space, support and encouragement. He has 2 brilliant kids. A good career. Plenty of time to himself. Why on earth would he want to ruin all that?

You did well. I hope it all works out for you both.

NanaNina Wed 20-Feb-13 12:36:15

I think the OP is saying that she does not want the thread to continue, but has thanked people for their posts. Is that right OP? If it is then I think we should respect her view on the matter.

MadAboutHotChoc Wed 20-Feb-13 12:44:19

You may find this link useful when discussing boundaries:

www.shirleyglass.com/quizfriendship.php

Good luck.

perceptionreality Wed 20-Feb-13 12:54:27

Has he ever cheated before? If not then I think it's reasonable to give the benefit of the doubt but, TBH I would have a very hatrd time believing nothing physical happened if she is still texting now.

izzyizin Wed 20-Feb-13 13:28:18

They are close-ups of her face and in one she has his hat on (which he put there)

Putting his hat on this young woman in a one-to-one setting denotes a certain intimacy which belies his words.

Everything you've said about his behaviour since his return indicates that he had an intense physical affair with this young woman and it was his intention to maintain contact with a view to meeting up with her again.

I suspect he'll buy himself another phone today and either keep it at work or well hidden from your view.

perceptionreality Wed 20-Feb-13 13:34:28

I'm afraid I think Izzy is right. Sometimes people mix lies with the truth because it ultimately makes the lies more believable.

MrsFrisbyMouse Wed 20-Feb-13 13:36:50

Hmmmm. I have been with my H since I was 17. Some 23 years now! In that time we have both had 'complications' in the form of emotional/physical affairs.

What I can honestly say is that they had very little to do with anything about each other and our relationship, but were very definite reflections of issues in ourselves. Things like childhood issues, low self esteem, family bereavements, classic midlife crisis etc.

At each point we came back together, reassessed our own relationship, and supported each other to deal with the underlying issues. I suspect your H doesn't know why he did this, I suspect there is still more to the story than he is letting on. But I would also suspects this is pointing to some big issues in his own life that he isn't dealing with. He is also now facing the fact that he is acting in ways that don't fit with his self image of good father, husband family man. Trying to reconcile our image of ourselves as a good person, when we have done something destructive and hurtful is really difficult.

it will be difficult, but you and him can find a way through this and be able to create something stronger. But only if he is able to self reflect and commit to working out his problems.

Sitting here today, I find it hard to reconnect with my younger self who made all those silly mistakes, but I know that my marriage now is stronger and more real and stable because we were able to accept that people do make mistakes and you really can learn from them.

Good luck

Doha Wed 20-Feb-13 13:38:01

I think he has managed to worm his way out but l don't believe a word of it- not for one moment.
I wish you luck OP because l think you will need lots of it. I wouldn't trust him as far as l could throw him.
I think you should go for an STI check to be safe

Technoviking Wed 20-Feb-13 13:39:08

OP, sorry I haven't read any other posts yet.

The only thing you can do is ask him. If you don't believe him you say "I don't believe you and until you can convince me otherwise, I can't trust you. If I can't trust you, it's over and you'd best find somewhere else to live.".

If he genuinely had done nothing, he'd move heaven and earth to prove it. If not, then he won't bother. No point trying to work it out or find evidence, you'll just age yourself with worry.

Technoviking Wed 20-Feb-13 13:40:35

One other thing, sorry.

The cheated often worries about the repercussions of throwing the cheater out. What will happen to them, the family, the house, money, etc. The cheater never thinks about any of this, they are purely selfish. Then act all sorry for themselves when caught.

carmenelectra Wed 20-Feb-13 13:41:31

Oh god, sounds like another sucker.

If muy dp went abroad and took 4 young birds clubbing and all the other shit this bloke did,he would be forgiven so quickly(or at all).

Its the usual case of op back peddling and defending her man when faced with critical comments.

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