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.
ZOMBIE THREAD ALERT: This thread hasn't been posted on for a while.
Am I paranoid?(15 Posts)
DH and I have been having a few problems for a while and this year has been quite stressful. I have a 12 year old and a 2 year old. He told me a couple of months ago that he wasn't happy but wouldn't elaborate and has seemed ok if distant and quite critical since. It has all come to a head recently with a few issues.
I pressed him on why he was unhappy and he gave me a list of things that were all things about me eg, my baggage from the past (I have had abuse in my past and I have put a lot of work into recovering from this and have had, and am still having a lot of therapy), my attitude to his family (his mum has anger issues and I disagree with the way she speaks to her grandkids) my jealousy (I got very jealous 4 years ago before we got married about his wanting to go away camping with a group for his stag do that included two girls) and since the only other time has been when I met a girl who he works with who was obviously attracted to him. I have told him I know I'm not being rational but that I just for some reason feel really insecure about his relationship with her.
He is her boss and she was being bullied by another member of staff recently so she has been doing a lot of crying onto his shoulder. She is 10 years younger than me, attractive, blonde and her boyfriend is the spitting image of DH. She has been telling DH about her relationship problems as well and it was because of this intimacy that I said something in the first place. He has bent over backwards in supporting her.
We have had other big problems recently in that he told me that he didn't like my eldest DC as a person. I was, and am still devastated about that and we are on very rocky ground. As far as I have always been concerned we come as a team and I cannot believe he could dislike a child he has known since she was 6. She is an amazing kid, bright, funny intelligent and she has tried so hard to love him but has been met with indifference. It has been an issue that has raised it's head so many times. He isn't horrible to her or anything, he just doesn't really notice or talk to her very much and it has really hurt me to see her being rejected by him when he is such a good dad to our DS. DD still sees her dad and he says that is why he doesn't bother as she doesn't need him.
He has said at my insistence that he will seek some sort of therapy to figure out why he feels like that but then cancelled the appointment and part of me feels like he has given up on us.
Just to complicate matters I am 3 months pregnant.
He often works late and seems to be working late more than normal. Most nights he is at least 30 minutes to an hour later than he says. As he made a massive deal out of the jealousy I have not said a word since and tonight I picked up his phone to look at his screen pic of DS as I hadn't seen it before. I asked for the passcode and he gave me the wrong one. He then took it back off me and put the right one in but then wouldn't let me look at the phone and just walked off.
My stomach is churning. I actually said to him recently that on paper it doesn't look good and he actually agreed with me but assured me that he wouldn't have an affair. Up until the last 6 months I would have thought that too. He has never cheated in previous relationships but we have had issues with porn, but he assures me that he doesn't do that any more.
My head is a mess, I feel like my life is in tatters and I don't know how to fix it. I thought we were solid. When pressed he also said he hasn't felt the same about me since we had a really bad row about 6 months ago. I was suffering badly with anxiety at the time and wasn't my best mentally. I apologised at the time and nothing like that has happened since but he says he thinks about me differently now.
Sorry this is so garbled, I just don't know what to think or what to do. Any help or advice would be very much appreciated.
What good reason would he have to refuse to let you onto his phone? Trust your instincts if you have suspicions, they are rarely wrong.
I'm sorry that he is being unsupportive of yourself and also your DD. At your times of crisis he should be your pillar of support. How dare he say it has affected his feelings for you. It must also be heartbreaking for your DD to be met by his indifference, she deserves to feel loved and cared for. His excuse of her Dad being around doesn't cut it.
I'm so sorry, but I think he's having an affair.
If he's using a timescale of 6 months since he felt more for you, I doubt that had any connection with any rows you had and had more to do with the beginnings of an affair.
Try to recall when he first started working with his colleague and see if there is a correlation between this date and the start of your problems.
The clues are too multitudinnous to ignore here: The inappropriate support of a colleague who caused your instincts to kick in, the secrecy with his phone, his reports of unhappiness without any offers to resolve on his part, the listing of your faults, the porn use (a major trigger for infidelity) and the scapegoating and dehumanising treatment of your daughter.
For many women in your position, subjecting your child to any further life with a man who speaks of her and treats her in this way, would be their line in the sand. I'm hoping that will be yours too.
I'd advise a twin approach.
First, tell him that you can no longer be in a relationship with someone who feels this way about your daughter and who is so ambivalent about his feelings for you and secondly, visit a solicitor to check your legal and financial position. As you are pregnant, please ask your caregivers to test you for sexually transmitted infections and start getting some support from others.
Usually, I would suggest you start to make your own covert enquiries about the suspected infidelity, but for me his treatment of your daughter would render any infidelity a drop in the ocean as regards marital and parental offences.
I think the safest, healthiest thing for you and your daughter is to end this relationship.
I could have been reading about my ex and a 'friend' he met at work. She too cried on his shoulder about her terrible marriage. He put himself out for her and belittled me and called me jealous. The are now living together.
Trust your instincts. It sounds like he's checking out of your relationship.
Also, I would find it very difficult to be with a man who acted like that towards my child. In fact, that alone would be a deal breaker.
Are you happy about the pregnancy?
Ur story sounds exactly what I have been going through. This culminated in him cheating on me last week and I found out he had been on match for a month! All my insecurities with him were true, even down to him clearing his satnav history, he finically admitted he did! I threw him out of the house (fortunately it is my house) and now he is trying to play the perfect partner/dad/stepdad. He was always indifferent to my 8 year old daughter, this always hurt me and he often said the bond isn't the same when a child isn't ur own. We have two babies together who he dotes on. I found emails on his iPad eventually, rang the girl concerned and that's that. He now has to live with the consequences and so do I. Follow ur instincts....
He seems to be totally indifferent to your feelings. Overly critical and insensitive to you yet highly sensitive in himself - still smarting over a 6 month old row? Really, does it matter if he's having an affair? I'd be out the door anyway if I were you.
Thank you so much for the replies. It looks awful seeing what I wrote there in black and white.
I feel like my heart is breaking. I have had so many shit relationships before this. DH has always been loving, respectful, supportive, pulled his weight and treated me like an equal and I have never had that before. This baby was planned and I really didn't see this coming. He doesnt seem really happy about the baby either which has really upset me. We got caught in the first month of trying so he has said it is just the shock of it happening so fast.
This woman has worked with him for 18 months. He has said recently that things havent been 'right' for the last two years. I've met her a few times and she is super nice to me but her body language towards him was unmistakable to me. I can read body language quite well and I found it obvious that she was attracted to him. I do see it a lot though, he works with a lot of women and he is good looking and has also started a programme at the gym recently to beef up and get muscly.
We have been going round in circles re DD for a long time. He is ok for a while and makes an effort with her, then goes back to not really bothering, I have a go at him, he is better for a while, then it goes back to how it was. I kept pushing for an explanation as he knows it is a dealbreaker and I couldn't understand why he had a problem with something so fundamental to this working. When he said what he said I felt like he dropped a nuclear bomb on our marriage and am so hurt by this. I told him that I would never have married him if I had known he didn't want to be a good stepdad.
Despite that, he has been making more of an effort since with her. She isn't that bothered really, her dad is an arse but she has a good relationship with him and we are very close. She just accepts DH the way he is as she's known him for half her life.
What a fucking mess. Thank you again for listening I feel like I'm going mad here.
He has backdated his 'unhappiness' to 6 months before he met this other woman. Normally these arbitrary dates are used in order to post-rationalise why an affair started when it did, even if the affair at that point was in the person's head.
Think back to two years ago. Did he seem unhappy and uninvested then? A memory of an occasion might help with that process - and a diary if you keep one.
No you're not going mad, here, sit with me with a
I think your instinct is right. I think he is being awful to you in the hope that you will leave, therefore leaving him the injured party
and free to continue seeing ow
There are several red flags dotted through your posts....
Late home from work
Going to the gym
Not over the moon re new baby
Body language of
New Passcode on phone
In isolation they don't look much, and in isolation they wouldn't be anything. But added together with your instinct......
You could sit down and talk to him, but will prob be accused of being jealous again. You're not jealous though, you have been made to feel insecure and unloved.
If it were me I would dig around a bit if I could. Carefully though. Is he attached to his phone, even taking it into the bathroom in the morning...?
PM me if you want to
Thank you for the support. I just can't believe I am in this situation. After leaving my abusive ex h I really thought I had found happiness again, how could it all go wrong like this? I love him but don't feel like I know him, I thought he was my best friend.
If he repairs the relationship with dd then that would go a long way. I just can't believe he would cheat on me.
I have looked at his phone before which is how I found out about the porn. I also found pics on a hard drive accidentally which was why I looked.
I told him then it was me or porn. He had claimed to have a low sex drive but was using porn every few days. Since then (about a year or so ago) sex wise things have been better and he says he has stopped using it. I have looked at the iPad occasionally but not found anything since.
I'm scared of looking at his phone in case I'm wrong and he finds out and says I'm destroying everything with my jealousy.
Do you really think an affair would be worse than the way he treats your daughter?
You sounds scared of him, you need to stand up for yourself and not allow his disrespect of you to continue - you also have choices, not just him! As for the way he treats your daughter, well, sorry but that will continue to affect her self esteem, she'll feel it without him saying it. So you get your list written out and confront him with that, I bet his looks a lot worse than yours does!
He sounds like he doesn't give a stuff and the signs are all there re an affair, sorry, and, if he doesn't like your DC as a person then he's basically saying he doesn't like you! Maybe time to be showing him the door, sounds like he's looking for a way out anyway. What a way to treat someone, even worse that you are pregnant.
Lord preserve us from partners playing knight in shining armour to co-workers in distress!! DH did the same. Pathetic!
I don't think you are paranoid. By the way saying he would never have an affair might mean that he wouldn't have sex with her - that doesn't stop him having an emotional affair (which may or may not lead to sex further down the road).
Affairs change people's behaviour. There has to be a degree of selfishness in the first place to have one, but what tends to happen is that what was there already, gets worse. So somebody who was mildly selfish and occasionally critical becomes extremely selfish and blaming and someone who was extremely selfish will often become abusive and cruel.
If you've had abusive relationships in the past, you might have been so conditioned to accept terrible behaviour that your husband seemed like a saint in comparison. However, to someone who's never been in an abusive relationship, he might have presented numerous red flags some time ago.
Saying he doesn't like your daughter is a very damning statement that is not retractable. Even if he attempts repair of their relationship, it is not going to alter that dislike and it cannot be unsaid.
It's not unusual in an affair to demonise everyone and everything connected with a spouse, so even previously loved in-laws and friends become an irritant and sadly even own children get caught in the crossfire, especially if they are being seen as a barrier to leaving.
But if his disaffection with your daughter pre-existed this other relationship, it is far more serious and is likely to have damaged her already to some extent. If he's now saying he dislikes her and acting as though he does in a more pronounced way, I think you're going to have to protect her because no-one else will.
Join the discussion
Please login first.