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Having panicky attacks about my marriage

(63 Posts)
Charlie1972 Tue 30-Jul-13 13:02:26

Advance Warning: Male poster alert!

Feeling kinda scared about posting up on a) an internet forum and b) as a male poster on a female board but i'm past that now. Deep breath.

Me, 40, Been married 5yrs, gorgeous daughter nearly 3. DW, 35

I found out last Thursday that my world has been turned upside down with revelations about my marriage which has yet to truly subside.

Had a phone call on Thursday from my parents who asked me to come over after work. Thought that someone had died, so arrived already in a state of apprehension and when I found my rather solid parents on the verge of tears, to hear from them that my wife had blurted out earlier on that afternoon that our marriage was in tatters and all sorts of things were 'wrong' that I just couldnt contain myself. Burst into tears and couldnt stop. Easily the most embarassing, emotionally humiliating and disturbing 1-2-1 i've ever had with my folks in my life.

Went home later that evening and had a frank chat with DW, and if it couldn't get any worse, I found that she's slept with a male friend down the street and I totally lost it. Never felt so angry, betrayed, hurt and just dead inside. I was just screaming my face off into a pillow. I think if I'd just heard that my parents had died or something, I'd have reacted less than that. DW seemed unphased with telling me and apparantly because ive been neglectful of our relationship - which I refute - and that she has low self esteem and that new 'friend' made her feel special – A bloke who I actually quite liked TBH, nice enough, a mans man man IYKWIM.

I knew that DW was flirting with another local male friend over the last three months via text/phone but apparently came to nothing but saucy photos and innuendo and I believe that story and before we were married, I knew of a 'kissing' relationship with one of her work colleagues which I just put down to a bit of silly pre-marital flirting.

The more recent emotional flirt has got me down over the last few months and I' decided to keep schtum to keep a marriage and family going, turning a blind eye hoping it'd blow over, which I think it did, but the sex relationship has utterly floored me and the mental images of them at it just won't leave my head days and days later. I'm not sleeping, feel like a volcano all the time, and I can t really focus on work properly.

I'm trying to play happy families and I want us to work on the issues that involve me that do have merit - household stuff - but they're driven by the fact i've been harbouring knowledge of whats been going on. Its circular. But nothing's that 'bad' that warrants this event whatsoever.

I'm rambling sorry.

I dont want a divorce and having to go through all the crap that entails, we've got a daughter who deserves two committed parents and I dont think I can cope with a split, especially with the raw deal Dad's get from the justice system ;-(. The dark thoughts i've had in the middle of night awake in bed about all of that scare me utterly witless and i'm sure its classed as a panic attack.

All through this, DW seems completely unphased, and remarkably calm. Maybe masking emotions too, or maybe further down the line of the siutation than me - I just dont know.

I don't even know where I'm going with this post now, I'm lost

Thank you for listening, reading. Its cathartic to have written that.

CatsAndTheirPizza Mon 05-Aug-13 00:21:16

OP - you may be better on a forum your estranged wife isn't already on. There are others around and as others have said, the last time a breakdown was played out on here, it wasn't pretty.

Charlie1972 Sun 04-Aug-13 23:43:56

Trusted friends who know us and me, folk who know our character, trusted work colleagues i can cry on occasionally, not random people.

Noregrets78 Sun 04-Aug-13 13:33:06

agatha RL support yes, but OP has stated all sorts of folks, rather than trusted friends. Also the subject seems to be how incapable his wife is, rather than getting support for himself.

OP do correct me if I'm wrong!

Noregrets78 Sun 04-Aug-13 13:28:18

And still amazes me that you're writing all this knowing she's a mumsnetter. Am i right to assume you're hoping she's reading this? What message are you hoping that she takes away?

You are currently coming across exactly as faberge describes. I'd have a think about what you're trying to achieve.

AgathaF Sun 04-Aug-13 13:24:02

Most women in this situation are advised to reach out to RL friends/relatives etc to get as much support as possible. I am surprised that some people think that a man shouldn't do the same thing.

fabergeegg Sun 04-Aug-13 12:12:57

Just to reiterate, like other posters have said, you need to stop talking about the situation with 'all sorts of folks who know [you]'. That's incredibly immature. I'm unsure what you think it's going to achieve, other than possibly controlling your wife into feeling so isolated that she decides she can't go it alone - although that isn't going to work because she has been able to leave. Be in no doubt - it won't save or help your marriage and it won't impress your wife one little bit.

I'm not sure you sound as if you'd be able to support your marriage in a way that will lead to a stable environment suitable for a child. You don't seem to love or respect your wife, and you have no qualms about bad-mouthing her to others and using social pressure to isolate her. Personally, I would be desperately unhappy in a marriage with such a person. I would not stick around to explain why I needed to leave, only to be repeatedly told that I was being a 'daftie'. And I wouldn't go to counselling either because I would assume that you wanted to do the number you've been doing on your shared friends - convince the counsellor that your wife is in the wrong and thereby engineer a situation where she is at fault if she doesn't follow the counsellor's advice to stay home etc.

Instead of all this, why don't you concentrate on looking at yourself and how your behaviour could be exacerbating this situation? Why don't you focus on becoming a person your wife will feel safe with? Why don't you focus on letting her know that if she wants to talk, you're there - that you're desperately sorry things have come to this and you respect her need for space? That you would love to have access to your child in order to play your part in providing a stable, loving environment? That you're keen to work together to move towards whatever situation is going to be best for everyone?

This is your only option, in my opinion, aside from also being the decent thing.

fabergeegg Sun 04-Aug-13 12:02:13

OP, you are being ridiculous. Of course the people you've talked to are going to give you the impression that your wife can't manage without you. Why do you feel you must discuss the situation with lots of other people and get as many as possible on your side? I'm feeling huge amounts of sympathy with your wife. How dare you say she isn't capable of looking after the child simply because you and other 'friends' have decided this?

Savings have nothing to do with it, because you will be paying maintenance so I'm afraid that isn't a reason to consider taking the child away. Work arrangements - well, you have no idea how she is responding to the situation. She's capable of leaving, so who is to say she isn't capable of putting new arrangements in place? Regarding the support network - I'm really not sure what you mean. When a woman flees a broken marriage, she is often a little low on support networks. You clearly don't think she is capable of thinking for herself so it doesn't surprise me that you think she needs a support network in order to parent. You only have a support network, I suspect, because you're going round the houses putting your side of the story in first and describing your wife's behaviour in a way that makes her sound irrational. If your wife is used to this, I'm not surprised that she isn't trying to engage. There are often posts from women on this board who have left their husbands and aren't trying to engage with shared groups of friends because they know their husbands have managed to turn everyone against them.

This is an adult you're talking about. Given the fact that you speak to her and about her as if she was mentally challenged, she has no option but to consider leaving you. I would find it much more frightening if she was staying.

You sound awful, to be honest.

JustinBsMum Sun 04-Aug-13 10:11:38

Most people don't want to get involved in someone else's marriage problems so it is not very relevant what others think.

Can you shift your thinking to your new life separate from your DW.

Noregrets78 Sun 04-Aug-13 09:34:13

In what way were you discussing with all types of folks? Were they informing you she's not capable, or were you informing them?

She will be perfectly capable, that's not the issue.

Vivacia Sun 04-Aug-13 07:11:26

Neither of you should be trapped in a relationship due to practicalities though. If you both manage now, in terms of money and time, you would manage if separated.

Charlie1972 Sat 03-Aug-13 22:39:04

Unfortunatly, the texts were all on her phone, so have no direct evidence.

The bank situation is that we've got individual accounts and a joint account we pay the basics from, so its just a kinda slush fund arrangement, it only has at best, a couple of grand and is whittled down to a bare couple of hundred so no concerns of note there.

Still today, flat refusal to discuss why she wont discuss counselling, and i'm going to give up on that. Having discussed with all sorts of folks today who know us, she's not capable of supporting our child with her savings, work arrangements, or support network, its scary she's even contempleting divorce.

Utter madness. Stubborness like i've never seen her before. Not good.

JustinBsMum Fri 02-Aug-13 22:02:08

Do you have the flirting texts or emails as proof of her behaviour.
Can you change your working hours to spend days with DD if you split?
Are your finances sorted?
etc

JustinBsMum Fri 02-Aug-13 21:56:54

She might empty your bank accounts. Can you take your share first? Though might not be possible as banks check up on suspicious withdrawals. Anyway you might want to check on that. She could go abroad. Could you contact mortgage people for a copy of documents.

fabergeegg Fri 02-Aug-13 17:55:41

OP, I'm sorry to be the one to say it, but your wife is perfectly within her rights to leave you. She doesn't need to explain at this stage if she doesn't feel she can. I appreciate her actions are not considerate or mature, but there is no law saying they have to be - and many women have very good reasons for leaving suddenly. There is no way for us to know if you have placed her in that camp, or not.

You do have a right to know where your child is over the longer term - and, provided you're a fit parent, to have access - but this may well be something that your wife is planning to give you. No, she shouldn't have put you in the position of not knowing where your child is right now - but as I've said, many women have good reasons for that.

Some posters are suggesting that your wife's behaviour is irrational and suggesting that your child is at risk as a result. In your last post, you seem keen to interpret events in that light. I can see nothing that indicates to us how rationally she is behaving, because we don't know the circumstances from her point of view. It may be perfectly rational. And no, not placing your child in childcare on Monday does not constitute inadequate parenting!

If you were found to be mentally controlling and manipulative, keen to discredit your wife's powers of reasoning and quick to turn others against her, that would be justification for her decision to leave without discussion. You do seem a little bit like that, from what I'm reading. Does your wife have to be 'a daftie' to do what she's doing? And perhaps she wanted a backup hard drive for very good reasons of her own! I can think of a few.

AgathaF Fri 02-Aug-13 13:48:14

If you are seriously worried about her mental state then I think you are perfectly within your rights to speak to the police over this. She has done an appalling thing, apparently without good reason.

Charlie1972 Fri 02-Aug-13 13:42:00

I had one call to her last night (or was it two) asking why she wasn't home, got the reply that she's gone away, taken DD with her and I found out over the last 12h, that things all over the house are missing.

The joint documents we have for things, house, bank, mortgage, which we have a filing box for, has gone My own hard drive backup has been unwired, unplugged and gone (random, or not...??) and a fair chunk of clothing to last a while.

I'd kept the call civil and told her not to be a daftie, and she's just noit listening. The barriers were well and truly up. There was no getting through, no emotion, its all planned out IMHO and the whole charade is playing out and i'm the one sitting here at work, trying to hold my together in an office of blokes.

I tried to call her folks for a chat last night, they immediately hung up. So they're not going to be helpful which is a shame,

Id almsot go as far to say she's mentally flipped out, and god knows what she's planning.

She'll have work on Monday, and childcare. If she's not back for that, i'll consider that a pretty big indication of inability to look after the welfare of the child, or is that unfeasible?

Brain is doing 100mph - still....nearly 24h on.

PS, and no, i've not got another MN account, dont be so bloomin horrible,

Vivacia Fri 02-Aug-13 13:04:31

"Isn't it a bit odd that she's felt desperate enough to go AWOL?"

That's dreadful. I can't imagine a female poster getting asked the same question.

zeprocrastinator Fri 02-Aug-13 08:47:58

OP, you need call a solicitor first thing this morning. I am not sure the police will be interested in getting involved at this stage, unfortunately.

zeprocrastinator Fri 02-Aug-13 08:44:34

Random question. How do you know the acronyms that are used on mumsnet? It seems strange to me.

The acronyms used on Mumsnet are a) very easy to pick up and b) are used all over the Internet! They're universally used on forums. They aren't Mumsnet's special little language. It's really not strange that anyone who is technically literate would know them or be able to find out/work out what they were in less than 5 minutes.

I am always baffled by this idea that Mumsnet is a private of 'safe space'. It's a very high volume and very public forum. It has over 4.3 million unique visitors a month and posts are public and indexed by Google. There are other forums were you need to be a member to view posts and the posts are not cached for perpetuity like Mumnet's are - I would understand this sentiment a lot better if Mumsnet was a small forum were discussions were hidden, but this is one of the biggest UK site and wide open.

AgathaF Fri 02-Aug-13 08:41:38

Please don't start with the troll hunting. Just report the posts if you think they are suspect.

MalcolmTuckersMum Fri 02-Aug-13 08:04:18

Isn't it a bit odd that she's felt desperate enough to go AWOL? Is there a lot more going on than you've told us? And your posting style seems awfully familiar - have you been here before under another name?

karmabelieversnamechange Fri 02-Aug-13 07:57:38

I would also call a solicitor - not certain but I think you could possibly get a court order stopping her from moving your child away from the home

karmabelieversnamechange Fri 02-Aug-13 07:44:51

call the police - she has abducted your child. I would be concerned for their safety, because she is not acting rationally.

JustinBsMum Fri 02-Aug-13 07:38:16

Don't think I'm surprised, she has planned this out, using your DPs to do the dirty work, being unconcerned at the fall out - you should be planning how to manage a future apart, how will you care for DD, will you move out/she move out etc , but she's pre-empted you.
If she moves far away how will you get access to DD?
You need to sort your position out.

AgathaF Fri 02-Aug-13 07:23:51

What an awful thing to do. I've no idea what you should do now, although I think in your shoes, I might be phoning the police and certainly taking legal advice.

What did you parents say about how she was when she arrived to take your DD, and did she mention her plans to them?

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