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.
Suspicious behaviour - not sure what to do, feeling sick(616 Posts)
Have come here to reach out as I really don't think I can tell anyone my suspicions in real life. Have been with dh for 13 years - 6 married - and have 3 ds's age 4, 3 and 7 mths - so life is pretty mad as u can guess! For a while now dh's behaviour has been really strange and at first I thought it was just stress from work combined with the mentalness of home life, but alarm bells rang when we were at a friends party about 3 weeks ago and he got really shit-faced and was great fun with everyone else but really confrontational with me - accusing me of eyeing up 'that guy' over there and how I'm not interested in him any more. It really blindsided me - we've never rowed or broken up, always been a good team, it was just so out of character. So I started noticing everything at that point - how disengaged he was with the kids, and my daily chatter about them, his over- zealous personal grooming and my god the diet he's on is just insane - it's working he's lost loads of weight - but he's starving himself, and mainly how he never NEVER let's his mobile out of his sight.
Recently I got him a new contract under my account as we can get a discount - his old phone smashed and we did all this quickly before he really had time to think about it - which allows me to look at the itemised bills online (I don't think he knows I can do this) and there were hundreds of texts and short calls to this one number - sometimes at odd hours - which I knew to be his female colleague. When he was in the shower one morning (he'd brought the phone into the bathroom) I checked his messages to see what on earth he's been chatting to her about and he'd deleted them all. Which is very suspicious I think. Honestly I don't know what to do with all this - I don't even know if its really an affair so if I start accusing him it could be a disaster and I don't want to tell any family or friends in case they hate him and it will never be the same again. I feel nervous all the time like my ears are ringing and I'm drowning , but I've got to try and be as normal as poss for the sake of the kids. Admittedly I've been distant and putting him way down the priority list for years, so maybe this was inevitable, I just never thought he was the type of guy capable of doing this. I hate feeling like my world is on shakey foundations, I work so bloody hard to give our kids a good life, which means putting my needs absolute last, I don't get why he can't do the same - maybe men just can't, selfish creatures that they are.
Sorry for sounding off in an essay basically! I just don't know what my next move should be - this past week I've been really positive and kind to him in the hopes he can see he has all he needs at home, but I don't feel connected to him at all anymore - like maybe he's got one foot out the door. So depressing. I always thought we were solid
poor childhood is the reason/excuse I let my H get away with abuse for so long. It is always a reason but never an excuse! If he was that damaged by it then he has a responsibility to get help for it, not just escapism.
I don't know if they are all like it. people tell me they aren't but who knows!!!
Also second that your dcs have a loving family around them and will be fine. Upset and confused for a while but aren't we all?
I'm really sorry that he's left Abney, but unless he fully admits what he's done and takes responsibility for his actions, then it's for the best.
The comment about pants and socks says it all. His concern should be for you, and perhaps time away from the house will demonstrate what he's lost. It takes two people to make a marriage, and if he felt lonely he should discuss this with you, not sleep with someone else.
You deserve more.
"Is this what men are like?"
"I always knew they were self-absorbed overgrown toddlers."
You were wrong.
"surely there's hope they can mature with enough motivation??"
No, there is no hope that a man child will mature with enough "motivation".
If he had that motivation he would have matured without your input.
And he will only learn that motivation by facing the consequences of his poor actions.
Well done for holding it together. You've been great. I know it's a gut lurching nightmare but keep hold of what you know which is that you are a good woman and a good mother and you will be fine. I promise.
A few things.
Try and come to terms with the truth they have slept together. It doesn't matter too much in the scheme of things but we all of us have an 'honesty bias' which is how we make sense of the world. A tendency to assume we being told the truth by people, especially those we know. You are going to have to cultivate a healthy scepticism towards him, even when he seems to be telling the truth.
This is not a gendered thing. Women behave similarly when they cheat. This is, unfortunately, a people thing.
The only motivator that is meaningful is LOSS. Your DH has probably been promising or exploring with the her the possibility of leaving for a while now. He thinks he is in love. THe worst possible thing that can happen now is an extension of what has gone before, where she becomes his partner and you and he are involved in a protracted 'will he won't he' come back. terrible as it sounds, this will just involve the same situation as the affair, except you become the OW. His thinking will be that he isn't sure what he wants, and his inclination will be to keep both options open still. That way he has as little loss as possible. It's tempting to pursue this because it means the least possible change to one's life but it can bleed into months of a disintegrating sense of self and a lack of independence and esteem. I would suggest looking to do things which will give you a new sense of YOUR life and work to be as independent as possible. Every single text or phone call, even if it's antagonistic, is an emotional investment in the relationship with you and as long as he has that, he can feel it is ongoing. Get support around you and do not keep it secret or try and pretend it hasn't happened And do not be tempted to preserve as much status quo as possible. Take a look at the bottom lines you had for yourself and stick to them. He has to do the work, not you.
Do not make excuses for his narcissism. Every single abusive or infidelitous person can find reasons for it in their background and childhood. That is why they are the way they are. That does not mean you should forgive them, but consider very carefully as to whether they are actually a good partner with all those things in mind. He is not the exception because he has reasons, he is the rule.
The 'lonely in the marriage' thing is classic rationalisation and totally meaningless. It is his way of giving himself permission to have an affair. Anyone who really felt this could say so or address it immediately. He has skulked around for a long, long time (they are in love, this doesn't happen overnight) and didn't come to you at any point, so he would just have continued doing so ad infinitum if you hadn't raised it. This is not the behaviour of someone brave or someone intent on fixing the weak ass situation he has outlined.
Well done Abney. You have been very brave. You have a new reality to catch up with now - treat yourself gently as someone who is in shock.
Tessa6- really wise words. Such a helpful post.
Thinking of you abney. Hope you're ok this morning x
Thanks tessa. Very sage advice as always! I'm going to start a new thread I think as this is so long now it takes me about 10 mins just to scroll to the bottom. Ill call it something like 'abneys aftermath'.
abney, feel free to start a new thread but you can always use the "flip this thread" option (under the plus sign, top right hand corner on apps) and then scroll back through the last few postings til you find your place
or sign in and click on "bookmark" to save your place.
Actually I think a new thread is a good idea.
I have been following this thread since day 1 and we have been with you through suspicion, discovery, hurt, realization and then the confrontation. Through it all you have shown amazing strength (and frankly I wouldn't worry too much about you DC, with you as a role model they will be fine!)
This is the next stage for you. This is the bit where you focus on what is right for you and your DC. You don't need to keep revisiting the old thread unless you need to remind yourself of the anguish he put you through. I would say the next stage is not an aftermath though, its more of an awakening.
Sorry for rambling, I hope this makes sense.
Just a lurker wishing you well Abney. You've done brilliantly.
Well done abney - you should be proud of yourself - most of us wouldn't be able to do what you've done.
Start a new thread and post a link here so that we know where to go
There is a new thread here. Hope it's ok to link it.
Join the discussion
Please login first.