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.

Am I paranoid or could he be cheating?

(290 Posts)
amijustparanoid Sun 21-Jul-13 18:57:59

DH and I went to his works summer party on Friday night and something that I witnessed with him and a female colleague has been bothering me ever since. When we got there he seemed to make a big effort to sit us on the same table as her - throughout the meal she seemed ok, they were friendly but not overly friendly but later on when I was away from the table I saw him get up and move seats to sit next to her (it was late and people had started to move around/leave so at that time it was only those two at the table) and as he sat down he squeezed her thigh. It was very quick but it definitely happened. Then as I was watching they sat and chatted and while chatting he was helping himself to her drink. She didn't seem to react to either and didn't look surprised at what he was doing.

When I asked him about it on the way home he denied it had happened and when I brought it up again yesterday and said I'd definitely seen him do it and I thought it was inappropariate, he made light of it and said he was drunk and would just have been being friendly. I said I wasn't comfortable with him being that 'friendly' with another woman - especially one that he spends all day at work with but now he says I'm being ridiculous.

What do you think? Would you do something like this if drunk even if there was nothing going on with the person? He says the drink thing is nothing but I wouldn't help myself to someone elses drink unless we were close and used to sharing.

My friend thinks he was being a drunken idiot and says that if there was something going on with her then he would have tried to keep us apart and not sit us with her but I can't shake how uneasy it's made me feel. Before that night I had no suspicions anything was wrong, I'd never even heard of her before but now I'm sitting here dreading tomorrow knowing that he'll be with her all day at work.

Am I being silly over a couple of minor things or would this bother you?

NanaNina Fri 02-Aug-13 10:18:22

Do you really think sh that firing questions at the OP is going to bring her back! I popped in hoping that she was getting some good support, but if she's any sense she will stay away from this thread, which I think is not helpful to her.

Smilehappy Wed 31-Jul-13 08:51:33

Op I hope you are not being side tracked by the people disagreeing with each other within your thread, has he admitted anymore? How did it go with the timeline request? Has he informed you of exactly when it started? And is he actively seeking new employment or is he just saying he is?

Hope your holding up ok x

Ochanticleer Tue 30-Jul-13 12:28:14

I agree with everything schmarn said

NanaNina Tue 30-Jul-13 12:21:16

I think human relationships are very complex and I have a problem with anyone being definitive about what has happened or what will happen. I am signing off the thread as I don't think us disagreeing with each other is going to help the OP.

NanaNina Tue 30-Jul-13 11:23:00

I did read the whole post schmarm - hope you are not getting confused or annoyed OP by us disagreeing with each other.

schmarn Tue 30-Jul-13 10:43:55

Nana, it would help if you had read the whole post and not just the last 7 words. I did not say "there is no hope for your marriage". I said "Until he is prepared to come clean and tell you the whole truth (and you will know it when you hear it), there is little hope for your marriage."

There is a big difference between the two. I'm not saying LTB - I'm saying he needs to be a man and accept responsibility and share the truth. If not (and only the OP can set a timeframe for it) then it will be over.

I'm happy to provide the OP with some hope. Many adulterous men are able to reconcile with their wives and go on to have happy marriages, but the common thread in all cases is that the cheating party must respect their spouse by answering their questions truthfully and honestly. Without that, trust can never be rebuilt.

At the moment, the OP's husband is not even close to it. Even now, he is snapping at her for asking questions and changing his story every two seconds. He also doesn't appear to have the emotional or mental intelligence to make his current story remotely believable. I don't think any of us would be doing the OP any favours by pretending otherwise.

Succubi Tue 30-Jul-13 08:51:01

OP ultimately it's your decision whether you want to give your marriage a chance to overcome what has happened. To my mind this can only happen if there is complete honesty on his part failing which the doubt and lack of trust is likely to be a killer in the end. This is of course assuming he deserves you enough to be given a second chance given his abhorent behaviour. Ultimately it must on your terms and your terms alone.

Succubi Tue 30-Jul-13 08:47:28

Debi I concur with everything said by AF. I am not sure how your post is helpful to the OP at all. Not only are your views offensive to women but also to men. As the mother to two boys I find your views hugely offensive and I hope that when my sons become men they marry women who have the strength and confidence to not tolerate this type of emotional abuse and I hope I raise my boys better than your most offensive of comments:

"Any man can be seduced and it’s not because of any failings on a wife part."

MadAboutHotChoc Tue 30-Jul-13 07:34:54

Nana - we post what we like as long as it is supportive and useful.

I agree that Schmarn's post is very helpful - sadly she is right when she says that without truth, honesty and openness, there is very little hope for the marriage. How can it be otherwise?! confused

The cooncept of the affair script is well known on here and again he is following it which is why his behaviour is so easy to predict.

I have experienced infidelity and it was the help of wise MN posters with tough advice and insights that saved our marriage.

ProphetOfDoom Tue 30-Jul-13 02:42:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NanaNina Tue 30-Jul-13 00:45:15

Sorry Schmarn but I don't think you (or anyone else for that matter) is in a position to tell the OP that "there is little hope for her marriage" - I also think some of the content of your long post putting forward your views on the sequence of events of what typically happens in an affair are not helpful. The OP is aware that her H has betrayed her and she is feeling I'm sure like many of us who have been in that position, and over time she and her H will decide whether their marriage will continue.

I think if I was the OP I would stop posting as posters are disagreeing with each other and I know I have just done the same, but I honestly don't understand how people can be so definite about what will or won't happen in someone's life, just based on a few lines of text on a laptop!!

schmarn Mon 29-Jul-13 16:10:26

There is one thing the OP can be absolutely sure of. All affairs escalate - they do not get close to climax (pardon the unintended pun) and then subside to mere flirting again. He is taking you for a fool if he expects you to buy that.

Affairs typically begin by flirty emails and chats closely followed by coffees/lunches a deux - the two star crossed lovers cannot get enough of each other's company. He thinks he has found someone who understands and appreciates him for what he is (unlike 'er indoors who weighs on him like an albatross). Before they know it, they think nothing of contacting each other a dozen times a day even on weekends - contact from their new love is like the oxygen that sustains them. This goes on for weeks and soon they think of each other night and day, dreaming of spending time together away from the drudgery and anodyne commitments of their day to day real life. They start to imagine in great detail what it will be like to kiss each other, then to make love to each other. The first kiss is mind blowing and, of course, physically and emotionally, they are desperate to take it to the next level. One day it finally happens, they find themselves alone at the end of a work event.

Now, maybe, just maybe, they stopped at oral sex that night but I doubt it and I think, deep down, you know it is not true. Even if we credit that lie with an ounce of substance, weeks have passed since then and the intimacy of their contact at dinner just a week ago provides you with clear proof that he is still infatuated with her. If he is really saying that they have rowed back since their one night of suppressed passion, why on earth did he choose to sit you, his wife, at the same table as his erstwhile lover? If she means nothing to him, why take the risk or suffer the discomfort of having you close to her? The answer - because he is so desperate to be around her, that just a quick reassuring squeeze of her thigh and some whispered words of adoration made it worth it.

What has gone wrong in this great tale of romance and honour is that you have rumbled him. By fortune, you caught him with his hand on her leg. Just a fleeting glance of a pretty minor moment in their cavalcade of adultery. No wonder he reacted by saying it was nothing because, for him, it WAS nothing. He is now probably trying to work out how he can keep you sweet while keeping his mistress on board. This moment of reckoning has come long before he was ready for it.

Please, whatever you do, do not make the mistake of parsing his words and pinning your hopes again and again on whatever he now says the truth is. Last week, he was your loving and faithful husband who would never look at another woman. What will the truth be next week? Until he is prepared to come clean and tell you the whole truth (and you will know it when you hear it), there is little hope for your marriage.

perfectstorm Mon 29-Jul-13 15:04:12

OP, if I were you I would talk to your friend. You need someone who is totally "on your side", so to speak, but who also knows your husband and your life and can understand the whole context of the situation. This is such a horrible position to be in, and while I completely understand why you might not want to talk to many people, especially as you've not yet got your own head around it, talking to a really close friend could help so much. Apart from anything else, it would clarify your own feelings, as well as providing you with peer support. Girlfriends can be life-savers.

Sorry to have joined in the bun-fight. I resent it when people derail threads on sensitive topics to their own issues, but contributing from annoyance is simply adding to that problem. Mea culpa, and will refrain in future. blush

perfectstorm Mon 29-Jul-13 14:59:02

To be honest, Deb, it's difficult to discern your points when you are so fundamentally challenged on the literacy front, but from what I can make out, you seem to think men on illicit affair websites are sleeping with one another? And that no women have affairs unless themselves single? Because men like to put it around, and women just want babies and monogamy?

Plenty of more knowledgeable research has indicated that not only are your ideas recent (traditionally, female sexuality was seen as more voracious and insatiable than men's) but disproven by science (female monkeys tend to be the sexual aggressors, not the male; women when subjected to MRI scans show every bit as strong a tendency to objectify and are actually more aroused than men by sexual actions on screen, despite men and women reporting opposite levels of arousal in questionnaires, for example). Your ideas are, simply, wrong, and before pontificating on evolutionary psychology with a pile of sexist and dated cliches - coupled with anecdotes from Hello magazine - you might want to actually take the time to learn a tiny bit on the subject at hand? Otherwise, your posts will continue to appear foolish and continue to attract unanimous ridicule. Your choice, of course, but something most people seek to avoid.

if you are genuinely interested in more modern approaches to evolutionary psychology, then as I suggested, start an appropriate thread. Preferably after trying to educate yourself at least a tiny bit first. But please, please stop posting utter, well-nigh unreadable rubbish all over one supposed to be devoted to a specific woman in a vulnerable situation. Your ideas are not supported by anything but your own prejudices, and as such are not remotely helpful to the OP - or indeed, as far as I can see, anyone else.

OP, how are you doing today?

NanaNina Mon 29-Jul-13 12:55:19

Oh lord OP I wonder if all these posts are making you more confused that you already are, and then posters disagreeing with each other doesn't help I'm sure. There will always be the "LeaveTheBastard" people on this kind of thread and how anyone can say that just by a few lines of text on a screen I don't know.

I see you said you were going to ask him for a timeline which is a good idea, but I don't see much point in all this "was it an affair/friends who got too close" or whatever. The important thing is that he has been sexually intimate with another woman and whatever it is called is really a mater of semantics, and this will have left you with a myriad of emotions. The emotion I displayed most when it happened to me was anger and more anger but the anger was really covering up the huge hurt and sense of betrayal that he had caused. It was incredibly hurtful to know they had been "here or there" together and then fitting in what I was doing at the time. I think looking back I would have preferred not to have had all the details.

I agree with 3hotcrossbuns it would be better to be apart while the situation is so raw, and he could stay in a Travel Lodge couldn't he, or with a friend, but then I guess you would be wondering if he was still seeing the OW. I know that's what I'd think. In my view in general the male ego is a fragile thing and is susceptible to flattery, and yes yes of course that's true for women too, before anyone points that out to me!

I think the thread must be helping OP as you are continuing to post. It would be better though if you could talk to someone in RL and you mention one friend, and maybe you can confide in her.

tessa6 Mon 29-Jul-13 12:36:41

The reason you can't get it all straight in your head is because you know on some level it doesn't make sense. Because he's leaving stuff out or outright lying. It doesn't matter whether he calls it an affair or not (it is). That just shows how deluded and far from wanting this out in the open he is. He just wants it swept under the carpet. He cannot seriously expect to go away with her. Yes it may be known about where they work, not at all unlikely, and that is his humiliation not yours.

AnyFucker Mon 29-Jul-13 12:05:06

debi would like to pit women against each other in sexual competition to win the booby prize of a faithless man

not my idea of a healthy relationship, but it works in some circles, I believe

AnyFucker Mon 29-Jul-13 12:02:44

he risked his family for "nothing" ?

he really is a woman-hating piece of shit, isn't he ?

if my H ever strayed, I would prefer it if he gave the other women at least some respect

yuk

Jan45 Mon 29-Jul-13 12:02:13

debi - totally disagree with your whole perspective, you talk about men and sex like they have no control over their sexual urges at all, what a load of bollocks, they have a brain as well as a cock - if a man truly loves their partner then they have no interest in having sex with anyone else. Are you sure you are not a man lol?

Cirrostratus Mon 29-Jul-13 11:59:13

Are you for real, Deb? hmm

debiliem58 Mon 29-Jul-13 11:54:30

Perfect storm, in one of my earlier post I offered my support and granted is was different from the majority… in fact everybody’s, however, for me in an earlier post I offered an immediate coping strategy – others thought it was a 1950’s outlook and you choose to call it game playing.
Hilary Clinton and Victoria Beckham are examples of smart women with coping strategies… examples of women that we have all heard of, and, not what Betty down the street did when she found out her husband had cheated.
Victoria is a rich women in her own right as is Hilary Clinton, I am sure, that if now - should they both wish to end their marriages they could … but on their terms!.
When you get blindsided, hold off and develop a coping strategy. Both women are now in an even stronger position. Victoria now has her own fashion line and Hilary has had a significant career boost .. and yes Victoria does look miserable on camera, however, in her private life … she’s a Five Star General with a wicked sense of humour to boot. She has an incredible business head, everybody gives her the credit for the Spice Girls getting as far as they did, allegedly she engineered for a previous manager to get sacked … so I’ve read. They are just example of smart women – don’t take me literally I know it’s not the norm, on a more realistic level as I suggested in a previous post - get that degree as one example, become that hairdresser, set your shop up – is that game playing – or survival for yourself and children?
I felt everybody else has given enough of their moral and emotional support but there is only so much somebody needs to hear of other people relating to their own experiences and examples of others … although very supportive …. didn’t help with the NOW of her situation. You are asking me to give her support. I was giving her very realistic support, just not in the vein of this thread. Choose another thread to post in? – getting chucked out of the “playground” - am I getting passively bullied? I say let everybody put their own personal views on the situation out there without the risk of being shot down.
I was very much focussed on OP situation and her needs …. my message was .. go and get your husband back…. at least for the time being.
Perfect Storm - you referred to my own fantasies? Given the opportunity the majority of men are serial adulterers. Sex is as necessary to men as food and water is to us. Men don’t have sex with other women because they don’t love or want to be with their wives – they are genetically programmed to have sex – who was porn invented for, why do we have Babe Station on our telly, why do we have brothels ? The internet – Illicit encounters – the U.K. largest dating site for married men?.... and although … of course I wouldn’t dream to underestimate the devastation a woman feels when her husband is unfaithful … should we be really surprised when it happens to us or it is a fantasy to think it won’t happen to us?. Any man can be seduced and it’s not because of any failings on a wife part.
OP ….. I will stick my neck out again…. If you want to lose your husband ask him for all the minute details…..as some have advised - for sure it will drive him away.. is that what you really want? When a wife is giving a husband/t*at/c*nt a “ hard time” at home and the mistress/lover/slut is all … love, sweet and happiness….because she wants your life-style – she’ll get it…all your emotional, physical, financial investment in your marriage …. could be at her discretion.

Jan45 Mon 29-Jul-13 11:12:14

Sorry you are going through this hurt but glad the truth is coming out at last. He's had sex with her so he's had an affair, only stopped by you probing - he says she meant nothing which is even more worrying, would he just jump into bed with any woman who offered it up to him, sounds like it. I don't know how you will get past this, maybe you will but just remember you deserve better than a guy who so easily drops his pants and the drink sharing and thigh squeezing is just the ultimate nastiest thing to do in front of you, what a lovely pair they make eh, are you sure he's not still lusting after her, I know he says not but I'd be inclinded to take whatever he says as the opposite.

clam Mon 29-Jul-13 10:09:17

He has Simply. No. Idea. what he's done, has he? I was going to say that it doesn't matter whether he calls it an affair or not, but actually, it does. If he seriously thinks that he can share a bed with another woman, fool around with her sexually (whatever that means), exchange numerous texts, yet regard it as just "getting too close to someone," then he is on another planet.

Not to mention lying to you and accusing you of obsessing and being paranoid.

altostratus Mon 29-Jul-13 10:08:57

That sort of sexual activity 'everything but', I don't know about other people, aside from my own friends/acquaintances (thinking of oral) I'd find more intimate than actual intercourse, and something which would be a stage or so after sex.
But it's utter tosh that they haven't had sex. Even so, the mind boggles that he's saying it's not an affair! Wondering what the criteria would be to qualify exactly confused

ProphetOfDoom Mon 29-Jul-13 08:54:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now