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.
DH was very cagey with his phone last night(43 Posts)
DH was very cagey with his phone last night and it got me a bit worried.
Things aren't great between us at the minute. Nothing terrible happening but just not very close. We have a 16MO who sleeps well etc but after baby bedtime we spend a lot of time in separate rooms, go to bed late, don't have sex that often. It's like there has been a gradual rot setting in and I don't know what to do about it.
Last night we were actually talking for a couple of hours, relaxing together. But when I picked up his phone for some reason (can't remember why) he just looked really stressed. Got it back off me very quickly. We were looking through baby photos on my phone and I asked to see the photos on his. He gave me the phone but seemed very relieved to get it back.
There was one time when he lied to me about a big financial thing (I was pregnant at the time with v high blood pressure so I kind of understand) and it has left me a bit wary.
I did think about confronting him last night, demanding to see the phone but I didn't. I didn't get a chance to look at it either. After the financial thing (he lied a lot, it involved him staying ON in a different place but it was ages ago) I told him we needed to sit down and be totally upfront about money, finances etc but it has just never happened. I also told him there should be nothing on his phone / email etc that I can't see - because he could go through mine at any time.
Sorry this has become so long I don't know if I am reading way too much into this. I've been feeling a bit low recently although fighting it. DH is also paying for everything at the minute as I am working freelance to build up something but at the minute it's all childcare and no profit. So I'm wondering if there is resentment there too. He bottles things up instead of talking about them.
This is why it's so hard to have a relationship with a liar. Once you know they're a liar you're always on the look-out for the next lie, whether you're conscious you're doing it or not. If you're also feeling low, financially dependent, unloved etc that feeds into the suspicion because you know you're in a very vulnerable position with a man you don't trust.
So you need to find some time to talk and everyone has to be 100% honest about the phone, the money, the way you're feeling, the loss of intimacy/affection & how the big financial thing has knocked your trust in him. If he bottles things up and you're feeling low/suspicious and saying nothing then all you're creating is tension that will eventually blow up in your face.
Thanks Cogito I know you're right. FWIW the time he lied I think he did it for the best of reasons but I was so shocked because it seemed completely out of character. (He did immediately come clean when I caught him, he really isn't a practised liar!)
BUT - it DID leave a doubt. I told him months later out of the blue that it had damaged my trust in him and I know in my heart of hearts it still has.
Any practical suggestions on how to bring it up? Should I wait till baby is in bed and then do the 'I think we need to talk' thing? Or how should I word it that doesn't sound really accusatory?
I'd be suspicious too. When people do this they are usually hiding something. I agree with Cogito - it's really hard to trust someone again when they've lied.
I'm getting more worried now Also part of me is scared that he is going to admit to something - not an affair as I don't think he would have the opportunity but maybe to being interested in someone at work or something.
I do love him but I've felt quite flat and numb recently, which made me wonder if I am a bit depressed. I haven't been very affectionate to him because I seem to shower so much affection on the baby. I'm also really narky and critical at times
So part of me feels like I'm letting things slide and that it would be my own fault if he got up to something. But then I think if there are problems he needs to be prepared to say something or try and salvage things, rather than just assuming I will.
This is making it all sound so much worse than it is. I just feel like we're a bit disconnected at the minute - living like flatmates. Plus me working at home means that I feel like I have nothing interesting to say to him. Sometimes I feel like I can go whole days without speaking to other people so I have nothing to tell him when he comes home.
Well if he has done something it is not your fault. It's as much his responsibility as it is yours to be willing to address any problems you may have in your relationship.
He really isn't good at talking about personal things to be honest but it doesn't help that so much of the early evening is now spent with the baby, so there's less opportunity to talk.
'We need to talk' isn't a bad place to start and yes, pick a moment when you're both calm, relaxed and you've got the time. I'd place it in a context of you love him .. BUT... you're worried about the way the relationship is going, that you're drifting apart, disconnected, and that this together with the financial cover-up is making you suspicious more generally. For example.... and this is where you bring it in.... the way he was with the phone.
Then the challenge is for everyone (not just you) to address the problems. How to be closer, more open, better communication and so forth. If he treats it as accusatory and goes on the defensive rather than wanting things to improve then you reach your own conclusions.
I would concentrate on getting your love life back to some kind of normality as that brings you closer anyway and helps open up the lines of communication, perhaps he had a bit of porn on his mob to help him out now and again?
Yes, sounds like a plan thanks Cog. I don't think he'll get defensive - more likely to just try and minimise problems rather than have to confront them.
Jan I did wonder about the porn thing although I'd be surprised if he was using his phone rather than the computer. As for getting love life on track, I had been thinking about an early night last night but the phone strangeness put me off doing anything.
It may not be porn (or worse) he's hiding, there's plent of stuff on my mobile phone internet history that I'd rather others (including DW) didn't find. MN for example! Counselling and self help websites, Amazon books I've been reading reviews of that kind of thing. Even NHS direct for symptoms enquiries...
Keepit I would be really hurt if it was any of those things and he didn't feel like he could tell me Symptom checks and all I mean. I don't think he's the counselling type although it would be good if he was.
I have a different reaction to this than others.
I'm wondering whether the reason you've been feeling so unconnected, flat and numb recently is because something in your subconscious has registered a change in him?
I've heard lots of people now talk about the period before an affair was discovered (and even before it started but the OW/OM was on the scene in some capacity) and it's very revealing indeed. So many people report feelings of disconnectedness, rot setting in, depression or fear and it seems most people find some other reason to pin these feelings on, either different motivations in a partner's life such as work stress, or in their own such as work stress or health concerns.
It's very profitable asking people to look back and recall how they were feeling when unbeknowns to them, their partners were forming secret associations. This is reassuring because it reminds people that their bodies and psyches are working normally and tried to warn them of imminent danger, even if it wasn't recognised in a cognitive way.
Pay attention to it, is my advice. These feelings you're experiencing might be a response to something you've subconsciously registered in your partner.
Your first exploration should of course be with him, but pragmatically if there is someone else involved even at the initial stages, it is perhaps unrealistic that he will disclose this straight away or even at all, especially as he has antecedents for lying to you. Neither do I think if someone else is involved, it will necessarily halt it in its tracks if you make efforts to revive your relationship.
I'd be inclined then to talk about how a habit for telling lies about one thing can make permissions easier to lie about something else. There is never a justifiable reason for lying about big matters such as joint finances or fidelity. You might also want to discuss your fears about infidelity and explore his own compass about this issue - and your own of course. It's a good thing for couples who are going through the difficult and intense child-rearing or career years to discuss how they will protect themselves as individuals from the quick-fix ego boosting attentions of an affair.
Fair enough. Just another possibility I thought I'd suggest...
If there is any mileage in the suggestion that there is porn on his phone, this wouldn't reassure me in the least if I were you. There is often a link between secret porn use and infidelity plus I'm not going to assume that porn use is acceptable to you in your relationship. It might not be, for reasons other than the effect it might have on your personal relationship.
Has he always been possessive of his phone, or is it a recent thing? Only reason for asking is that I'm a very private person, and my phone is absolutely off limits for anybody to look at. Not that there's anything incriminating to hide, but it's my private space.
Very quick thing that jumped out for me (sorry, no advice about the phone thing, others best placed to advise on that) -
DH is also paying for everything at the minute as I am working freelance to build up something but at the minute it's all childcare and no profit. So I'm wondering if there is resentment there too.
Sounds like DH isn't paying for everything, aren't you paying for child care? If that were me I'd be resentful, not DH!
You have to trust your instincts. He seems to be hiding something and you need to find out as it is your business.
Charbon that was really interesting but I think in our case it has been more of a change of work pattern for me, where I've gone from being out of the house working to working at home. I think I've been missing the interaction at work. I would be fairly disgusted at porn but it wouldn't be an automatic deal breaker.
Acid I think there is some truth in that (he is private with his phone) but there was a kind of anxiety about him last night that concerned me tbh.
Three sorry I didn't make that clear. He is paying for the childcare too - what I mean is any money I make is currently tied up in the business but we need childcare to enable me to do it IYSWIM.
I do think he has issues around being very secretive about money. For example I found out by chance that he has been paying a lot of money to a relative overseas who has fallen on hard times. I know the relative (they are lovely) but he didn't tell me he had been doing this for quite some time and he just mentioned it out of the blue one night. I was a bit that he had never discussed it.
We got married late and are so used to having separate finances. I'm not sure either of us has got out of the habit of it, especially him because he's good with money.
And Charbon that was great advice at the end, thanks. I think I am feeling a bit insecure because I could definitely see the attraction of a quick fling as an ego booster for DH and he gets the opportunity to meet lots of people in his work.
So this sending money to the relative and secretly doing so was in addition to the lies of commission you mentioned earlier?
Are you saying that he failed to tell you about two issues that had an impact on you?
If so, it needs pointing out that these could be only the two you know about and you cannot rule out there are others.
Do keep an open mind about your feelings and their root cause. How people have described this to me is that their logical brains could see there were legitimate reasons for worry in their lives and feelings of disconnection with a partner, which is why they were able to rationalise those feelings as having a justifiable cause.
But occasionally, they wondered why they were feeling quite so scared, or disorientated, as those feelings seemed unusual and disproportionate to the suspected cause of the worry. Some people had visited GPs because their heartrate seemed to be quicker (as it is when we're experiencing adrenaline and fear) and others had assumed they were depressed.
It's hard when you don't have anything to compare it with and you might tell yourself these feelings and rifts in your partnership are normal in a couple with a first child, money issues and a start-up business.
Keep an open mind, don't discount what your inner voice and your body might be trying to tell you. And yes, do talk with him about how you'll both protect your individual selves from getting involved elsewhere, especially when the opportunities for it are plentiful.
Yes it was a different issue
If you're talking about instincts he mentioned a name a few weeks back - a woman who has just started working there. It was once in passing but something made me sit up. I started quizzing him a bit and he got very edgy, which I dismissed as me being a bit intrusive. Name has never been mentioned since mind you so could be nothing.
I am increasingly feeling depressed. I think I am depressed to be honest. It has been about 6 weeks now and I feel like I'm getting worse not better. I've been trying to go for walks and meet up with people but I am feeling very flat and on the edge of tears today, probably not helped by worrying about bloody DH's phone!
There could be a link between the mention made about the new starter, your gut instinct when she was mentioned and his edginess - and your depressive feelings. I wonder whether this woman started at his work place 6 weeks ago, when you say you started feeling depressed?
What Charbon says is so true.. sorry to gatecrash but I was off work for 9 weeks with depression. I was just recovering when I found texts/messages on fiances phone. Now I had remembered instantly that I had had a bad feeling about this woman and him mentioning her..before I became ill. The mentionitis stopped and again I felt uneasy. Now I am wondering if this inner anxiety actually caused my illness.
You aren't gatecrashing at all. It's especially helpful to see posts from people who've experienced this themselves and will I think, be enormously insightful to the OP and other lurkers. I hope you're feeling better now holstenlips and that it helps to look at your anxious feelings through a different lens.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.