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Possibly overreacting, but instinct has kicked in

(15 Posts)
breakingbadness Fri 19-Jul-13 12:48:06

I've name changed for this one. I had a look at dh's texts last night (he's constantly glued to his phone). You may think I invaded privacy but I was wondering why he is constantly texting these days.

There were a series of texts yesterday afternoon (previous were deleted) with a female work colleague, the content was fairly anodyne but the tone of the messages and the style were quite flirty (hello, hello back, you are nice).

I confronted him because even if nothing else he never uses text niceties with me. It it totally out of 'text character' if you know what I mean and I would never ever text a male colleague or a client in that way.

So no smoking gun so to speak but an uneasy feeling. He says he was just being nice and I have it all wrong and then get a message from him this morning about how he knows we need to pay more attention to each other which is an odd leap?

I know it might seem minor but something's not right. How should I play next steps?

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 19-Jul-13 12:59:01

Being charitable, it sounds as though he knows the text content was a over-familiar & that he's overstepped the mark. Being uncharitable there's something nastier going on. However 'needing to pay more attention to each other' could be taken either way.... is he saying he's flirting with this woman because you haven't been paying him enough attention? Or is he apologising and saying he should be paying more attention to you? Or .. face value... the relationship needs some tlc all round. That's probably where I'd take it next.... a grown-up conversation about the consequences of taking you for granted.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Fri 19-Jul-13 12:59:38

I think he's realised that his text relationship is wrong, and would like to mend his relationship with you. Do you think you've both been a bit too relaxed around each other? It's very easy to fall into a rut.

breakingbadness Fri 19-Jul-13 13:23:26

Thanks for answering. Have 2 small dcs, don't sleep, don't have much sex, money worries, bickering. So yes, relationship is not priority for either of us.

Not sure i can talk reasonably to him though, it's so hurtful to think of him getting close to someone else even at this seemingly early flirty stage

OldLadyKnowsNothing Fri 19-Jul-13 13:30:25

I can see why you feel hurt, but hopefully he has realised in time for you to work it out as a couple. Try to look forward, not back.

It's exhausting when you have young children. How much time do you get for yourself? How much time do you and dh spend just as a couple, not as "mum and dad?" It's sooooo easy to lose sight of what brought you together when your life is a whirl of nappies and nurseries and school schedule and general drudgery.

breakingbadness Fri 19-Jul-13 16:53:08

We go out now and again but not a regular thing. Sort of joint childminders at the minute. Also means bugger all energy to make an effort although looks like he has energy, just badly targeted energy

MadAboutHotChoc Fri 19-Jul-13 17:14:28

Go to Shirley Glass's website and look at the quizzes...

Bigwuss Fri 19-Jul-13 17:19:17

Tell him it bothers you and you want things to change and see what reaction you get.

It may be a wake up call for him or both of you that your relationship needs a bit of a kick start.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Fri 19-Jul-13 17:40:46

Well, he seems willing to target his energy on repairing his relationship with you. Perhaps he could "woo" you some? You two loved each other enough to settle down and have kids once, you need to nurture that love and bring it back.

It can be done, but you both have to be willing to put some effort in.

MadeMan Fri 19-Jul-13 18:02:00

It's much easier to 'up-the-ante' and be more confident with the flirty chitchat using text messaging and other social media than in real life situations. Your DH might not have recognised or thought that he was overstepping the mark and simply got a bit carried away.

Vivacia Fri 19-Jul-13 18:20:26

My impression is that you and your husband have caught this before things escalate. It also sounds as though he wants to work on things with you.

To be honest, those comments seem the least threatening flirtation I could dream of.

SawofftheOW Fri 19-Jul-13 19:38:35

Breakingbadness, I'm sorry to go against the grain of the other posters, but there are big warning bells ringing on this one. Get hold of Shirley Glass's book 'Not Just Friends' - it charts how the 'coffee with a work colleague' slides very rapidly down to full-blown affairs. The texts seem not full on, but the fact is that the boundaries of your marriage, that space reserved just for you and your DH, are being breached and gradually demolished by his relationship - whether it be flirtation or something more by his collusion with this OW. Soon the affair flood water starts rushing in and then you are faced with the situation that so many fellow Mumsnetters have had to deal with or are in the throes of still doing so. He, and you, need to rapidly start shoring up those defences by re-focusing on each other. He has already said that and I accept that that perhaps is to his credit, but I am concerned it is a ploy to throw you off the scent and he and she can continue whatever they've started but more carefully, such as only using the work email system or setting up email accounts you don't know about, getting a second phone etc. I am sorry to sound so damning of him and I know absolutely what it is to be in this horrible situation, but as thousands on this site can testify, the betraying partner's words and actions often follow a pattern and a script that is almost a parody, yet they all believe that the OW/OM is their 'true soul mate' and that no other couple has ever experienced such romantic rapture. Meanwhile the DW or DH are condemned by their previously loving partners as no longer fit for purpose. Try also anything by Andrew Marshall (he also has an excellent website), but his book 'I Love You But I'm Not In Love With You' is brilliant and again deals really well with the ''bubble world' of affairs and how to try and regain the balance in your relationship.
I do also wonder if he is thinking, Phew, got away with that, if you seem reasonably satisfied with his responses. Can you see his mobile bill online? My husband said he had only exchanged a 'few' texts with a very attractive female colleague but made sure I couldn't see his online account or the secret email he had set up. It was only when a wonderful female work colleague of his had the courage to tell me what she thought was going on that I was able to discover a complex web of lies and deceit that encompassed a very high-tempo affair of already nine month's duration, time away together under the cover of work and literally thousands of emails and texts. And he too was adamant that we 'needed to focus on each other' when I first discovered a seemingly innocuous text. He told me afterwards that when they texted out of work time when she knew he would be at home, that they kept it 'simple ' so he could explain them away if I discovered them. Good luck,OP - I sincerely hope I am wrong in my suspicious response to his reaction. But please don't be thrown off the scent TOO easily. X

AndTheBandPlayedOn Fri 19-Jul-13 20:25:28

A bit suspicious here too...
Shouldn't the "we need to pay more attention to each other" feeling be delivered in person instead of the impersonal communication of a text?

Good point of view in your post Sawoff, sorry you went through that. Thanks for the recommendations on books/websites (thanks, also MadAbout).

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Fri 19-Jul-13 21:03:34

Shouldn't the "we need to pay more attention to each other" feeling be delivered in person instead of the impersonal communication of a text?

Yes, it should have. This was the one thing that jumped out at me from your OP.

You need to put down the phone and start talking to each other now.

breakingbadness Fri 19-Jul-13 21:30:37

Thanks everyone. I'm too shattered tonight after working, dc bedtime, heat, stress so am in bed. We are not speaking don't want to shout in front of dc and we will shout regardless of how it starts.

I don't think I have any way of finding out what is really going on so I have to decide if I trust him or not maybe weekend will bring clarity...

I did one of those quizzes and got 'choppy waters'!

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