Note: Mumsnetters don't necessarily have the qualifications or experience to offer relationships counselling or to provide help in cases of domestic violence. Mumsnet can't be held responsible for any advice given on the site. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

I don't know what to do.

(29 Posts)
PregnantAndStupid Mon 04-Nov-13 21:13:01

I've name changed for this as I have told my best friend and she'll know it's me.

Married 5 years, 2DC and 1 on the way. 16 weeks pregnant.

DH away with work in the US. He has an ex I have never liked him having contact with, gut feeling. They went out, she dumped him and kept him dangling for a good few of years. He met me, and that was that. Whilst he was dangling she got married and had a child with someone else, got back briefly with DH but they had a platonic friendship for about 2 years before we met.

Never lived together, or got engaged, but I thought she treated him badly and told him I didn't understand why he wanted to be friends. However, left him to it.

Anyway, I came across his old phone. Thought I would see if he had had any contact with her, had seen texts off her before wising him merry xmas, happy birthday, always with lots of kisses and it pissed me off. DH has never hid his phone, I know all his passwords, he knows mine etc.

Anyone there were sporadic texts from the last 18 months or so, fairly inoffensive.

But there were a couple from when he went out and got hammered last year, just under 12 months ago. He sent the following

"Lol miss you so so much xx"

she replied saying how hard a time she's having and how difficult life is.

He replied

"you also happen to be friggin wonderful and my god do I miss you xxx night night gorgeous"

shock

He then sent a text the next morning after she asked him how his head was saying he meant every word from last night.

Fucker.

After this she sent him an "I love you loads" message which he ignored.

Next text was xmas and her saying merry xmas and him sending back a non reply of you too, same happened at new year. Nothing since.

I know I should have waited until he got back from US but I called him up and went ape shit, telling him if he missed he could have her, how inappropriate it was, how does he think its okay to send bollocks like that when he's married. I have since refused to speak to him.

He's texting saying he wants to come home, he's an idiot, he only loves me etc etc. And I don't know what to do.

I suffer with anxiety and depression anyway, I have a complicated job and I have 2 babies and another one on the way. The oldest is only just 4. What do I do?

I can't believe he's done it. He is/was wonderful. His only saving grace is that I know that nothing has happened since. I can tell from the texts and also checked all other contacts and facebook etc and there is nothing.

I don't know what I'm posting this for to be honest, I know it's nothing compared to some of the problems on here. I just want someone to help.

JoinYourPlayfellows Wed 06-Nov-13 12:47:25

Glad to be helpful smile

Hope you are feeling a bit better and will kick his arse a suitable amount when he comes home. And then go back to enjoying your pregnancy.

queenbitchapparently Wed 06-Nov-13 09:40:10

what and that obviously grrr

queenbitchapparently Wed 06-Nov-13 09:39:41

god yes pregnant and join my DP has the knight in shining armour complex.
I have had to remind him on several occasions to remember wgat something tgat he thinks are nice platitudes might sound to someone in a bad place.
the same thing happened to me with I guy. who was down and I told him he was lovely and kind etc etc.
it ended up in an awkward situation with us in a pub with him telling me he loved me.
your DP is fir me guilty of nothing but being an unthinking dick.
we are all guilty if that, that should not diminish your hurt however.
he needs to be 100% in the ball from now on.

PregnantAndStupid Tue 05-Nov-13 18:35:20

"Based on your most recent message it seems like all he's really guilty of is getting a kick out of being the knight in shining armour to an ex who plays to up that with frequent crises." Yes you are completely right with this Join, completely. He is very much a people pleaser, he recognises this, and often stresses himself out trying to be all things to all people. He's not a let down though - he does do what he has said he will however many hours it takes. He has started saying no thankfully.

"I think with that propensity unchecked, he might have been an affair risk (not with her, he doesn't seem interested enough) in the future. Hopefully now he will be able to see that kind of self-indulgent romantic hero for the tawdry crap that it is."

That last sentence made me grin. Tawdry crap absolutely. Thank you for taking the time to reply, it's been really helpful thanks

JoinYourPlayfellows Tue 05-Nov-13 12:07:30

"He didn't meet up with her when he was drunk, it is quite clear from the texts also that they are the only texts if you see what I mean?"

Yes, I actually saw that myself when I reread your message. I thought they had been out together, not that she had just texted him while he was drunk.

Which makes a pretty big difference really. I thought this was texting after a night of intense telling each other how great they were and how they should really be together.

But it was just a man flattering a woman he used to date to make her feel better. Which is pretty twatty, but given his subsequent lack of contact, not really that big a deal.

I said that doesn't matter really, it's changed how I view him as a person. I thought he was one of the good guys. As my best friend said "good God, he was the one man I thought wouldn't be a knob. How disappointing". She's right

Is she?

It's changed how you view him as a person now because you're (understandably) really pissed off. And hurt.

But even the good guys sometimes act like knobs.

Based on your most recent message it seems like all he's really guilty of is getting a kick out of being the knight in shining armour to an ex who plays to up that with frequent crises.

It's not the nicest attribute in the world, but if he recognises now how twatty it is to give someone to believe you have romantic feelings for them just to make them feel better about themselves, then has any real harm been done to you?

I think it is important though to nip this whole "I was just being a nice guy" thing in the bud.

It is NOT "nice" to pretend to have feelings for someone just because they present you with a sob story. It is dishonest and if you are married it is disloyal and dangerous.

I think with that propensity unchecked, he might have been an affair risk (not with her, he doesn't seem interested enough) in the future. Hopefully now he will be able to see that kind of self-indulgent romantic hero for the tawdry crap that it is.

PregnantAndStupid Tue 05-Nov-13 11:20:13

God that's epic. Sorry blush

PregnantAndStupid Tue 05-Nov-13 11:19:10

No Mrs you are right. It is the only thing I have ever been uncomfortable with, his friendship with her.

He knew this as I told him I didn't know why he would want to be friends with her, as she treated him so badly, and I thought she just liked having him in the background. He said no, they were very casual friends - I trusted him in the sense that I didn't push it but occasionally (about once a year maybe if that) looked at any Facebook messages from her - his account is always logged in on our computer. And I'm nosy.

He got a message off her just after dc1 was born saying how she was struggling, lost her job, what should she do type thing, and he answered saying that was sad to hear, always a tough time and fingers crossed things would pick up for her. And then left it.

As for her being the love of his life, I don't know. I think I am. They went out when they were in their early 20's. After her marriage ended she made it clear she was available I think (never really talked about it) but DH had moved on - not with me - and was dating other people. So he could have had her I think. Certainly he could have carried on seeing her in some capacity.

He didn't meet up with her when he was drunk, it is quite clear from the texts also that they are the only texts if you see what I mean? It reads as a very long spaced conversation. I have told him I noticed I was never mentioned, even though she referred to our family pics and his birthday, and that regardless of the content of the text messages he should not be sending kisses to ex partners. By ex's father died recently and he let me know and I didn't send him kisses, but my condolences.

He agrees with me, says I am right blah blah, but Gin and Join you are right. It doesn't mean anything. The only thing that does mean something at the moment is he hasn't mentioned me going through his phone, and he has deleted all contacts from her without me asking. He said he'll do anything to win my trust back.

I said that doesn't matter really, it's changed how I view him as a person. I thought he was one of the good guys. As my best friend said "good God, he was the one man I thought wouldn't be a knob. How disappointing". She's right

Plus points is that she's gone now. I was always uneasy and I was right to be. He has had the shock of his life I think. In some ways I am glad these messages were 12 months ago because I know nothing has happened since. If they were last week then I would be worried things would progress and I had stopped them. I'm not worried about that though, she sent the love you loads texts and big hugs to you texts afterwards and he ignored them.

By the way his reasoning for sending the morning after text (this was about 5 hours after the pissed texts so I shall refrain from saying he was sober) was that he was trying to be nice, she was having a shit time (she has a lot of them) and he was just trying to say what a great person she was.

That hasn't gone down well. I told him perhaps he should be telling the prick who was sat at home looking after his children what a great person she is.

Have to agree with Join , the drunk texting I could get past but the fact he told her he meant every word whilst he was sober is what stands out... Sorry.

JoinYourPlayfellows Tue 05-Nov-13 10:03:38

"He then sent a text the next morning after she asked him how his head was saying he meant every word from last night."

THIS is what you need to believe.

This is what he said to her when he was sober.

That "everything he said last night", most of which you don't have access to, but which you know including telling her how much he missed her and that she was gorgeous, was true.

You can't FORGIVE that.

You can decide to get past it.

But it wasn't a "mistake", it was something he did deliberately, with feeling, knowing it would hurt you, and presuming you wouldn't find out.

It's obviously bullshit that it's "always been you".

Quite clearly from these messages it has always been her, and possibly you as well.

You can try to pretend that he just said those things without meaning them. But that seems extremely unlikely, particularly given that he reiterated them the following morning.

You also don't know what was said that night when they were together. Did you know he was meeting her?

If you really want to get to the bottom of this, I think you need to stop believing the first thing that comes out of his mouth "it was a mistake, it meant nothing, it's always been you" and start trying to find out the true feelings of this man you are married to.

What is the story he tells himself about his life?

I suspect that she has been (until now at least) the love of his life and you were the consolation prize that made things better when he couldn't have her.

Are you happy to be that person? Is he happy to live that second-best life?

There is a chance you can rebuild a better, more honest relationship if you face this stuff face on.

But accepting the obvious face-saving nonsense he's coming out with now will just bring you to a slightly-worse relationship than the one you had before.

mrsmalcolmreynolds Tue 05-Nov-13 09:54:53

This may come across wrong but it is truly meant to be supportive and constructive.

On reading your posts OP I do wonder a bit whether you are being totally honest with yourself about how confident you were in your marriage before all this blew up. You say you thought you had a lovely marriage etc but if so surely you trusted him completely. If so it doesn't really fit that you looked through his old phone - subconsciously did you somehow expect what you found?

If so I think it is important to be honest with yourself and recognise that your cause for concern goes back further than your recent discovery.

BTW I not saying there was anything wrong with checking the phone (there wasn't) and I agree with PPs that this does sound salvageable.

BlueSkySunnyDay Tue 05-Nov-13 09:51:07

He's definately crossed a line but it looks (from those messages) as though he realised this and once she started trying to reel him in he backed off.

Obviously you will not trust him any more and I think he needs to have no contact with her whatsoever from now on as obviously the possibility of this relationship damaging yours is there.....not even a "happy new year" her number needs to be deleted. If he is not willing to do that then personally I would be seriously considering if he is necessary to your life.

Thisisaghostlyeuphemism Tue 05-Nov-13 09:41:31

Hope you are ok today op.

Hopefully he will realise it was a really stupid thing and will understand why he did it and understand the pain it's caused.

I agree with others, unfortunately it is easily done.

bigbrick Tue 05-Nov-13 09:17:37

He should have no contact with her. He's married with 2dc & one on the way. This is his responsibility now and he has to step up to this and meet the needs of his family. This ex has no respect for his family and he needs to show her that he does have respect for his children & wife and that is why he is breaking contact.

Anniegetyourgun Tue 05-Nov-13 09:08:29

I think the most healthy thing about this is that he's gone into full-on apology/grovel mode instead of blaming you for looking at his phone! He never deleted it or tried to hide it, indeed he seems to have forgotten about it, and when she tried to follow up on his drunken message of the night before he didn't reply, which I think is what most people would advise if it was the drunken text-er posting here. Of course you are hurt and furious, who wouldn't be? But at least he's behaving like a decent person who made a mistake rather than a sneaky bugger who got caught out.

Hopefully he'll be watching himself like a hawk from now on.

mammadiggingdeep Tue 05-Nov-13 08:20:50

I agree with Abbie.

I think texting makes it very easy to cross lines without it seeming as 'real' as if he'd had to get on a train and meet her in person to say it. If that makes any sense??

Good luck xx

PregnantAndStupid Tue 05-Nov-13 07:18:35

Thanks Abbie I think you're right.

We will be apart for a couple of days anyway due to work, which I think is a blessing really. Then we can have a chat when we finally meet up.

Abbierhodes Mon 04-Nov-13 23:19:10

Do you know what? I think he's human and has made a stupid mistake.

I don't know either of you, so there may be more to this, bu from his reaction I'd say your relationship is salvagable. It does sound like one night of stupidity followed by very little else.

And the fact that his immediate reaction is to apologise, grovel, accept that he's in the wrong etc indicate that he's a decent bloke at heart. He's not trying to wriggle out of it.

If I were your friend, Id say take some time to think. Reflect. Consider your feelings. Let him see how hurt you are and let him grovel.

But don't write off your relationship just yet.

Good luck.

PregnantAndStupid Mon 04-Nov-13 22:56:34

Thank you for the words of advice, it is helping.

I have spoken to him, and he wanted to try and come home early to talk about it. I said there was no point, nothing will change in 24 hours.

He was saying I can have access to all his phones, emails, ipad but I said I'm not prepared to live like that, watching his every move. Either I trust him or I don't. He said that if I looked at messages I would see apart from those they are just niceties. I said I had noticed that there were no mentions of me, that I wasn't impressed with the odd reminiscing that went on, and I don't understand why contacting her seemed more important that my dislike of him doing so.

Has said he agrees completely, I said how would he feel if he read that about me - if I was texting some ex about how much I missed them, and he said he would be gutted.

I also made it clear I am not about to hold on to anyone who doesn't want to be here - he misses her, he can go and get her. Up to him. But not if he's with me. He agrees, said he will do anything to make me trust him, win me back. Hasn't said a thing about me checking his phone in the first place, which is a small point in his favour. Will never have anything to do with her again.

I said what hurts most is that he isn't the person I thought he was and I don't see that will ever change back now. He asked me to forgive him and I told him to do one. He asked if I was throwing him out, and I said I won't at the moment. I think it will be more effective to have him here to be honest and seeing how much he has upset me.

What a mess sad

Handbagsonnhold Mon 04-Nov-13 22:18:23

Feel for you....I know it makes you doubt everything and you really don't need this on your plate right now.

Make him grovel and tell him you don't want anymore vile surprises.

Be kind to yourself
Good luck x

Lweji Mon 04-Nov-13 22:15:41

BTW, not saying he's blaming you or playing the children's card. Just pointing out attitudes that would not help his case, if he shows them, IYSWIM.

Thisisaghostlyeuphemism Mon 04-Nov-13 22:10:51

Your hurt and anger is, IMO, entirely proportionate.

I would be gutted.

I hope he works very hard to put things right.

Lweji Mon 04-Nov-13 22:06:54

The amount of hurt is perfectly natural, that is why you should take your time to decide. Possibly even to talk to him about it.
At this moment you are more likely to do or say something you may regret later.

It doesn't mean that you are more likely to forgive him over time. But it should become more clear to you whether you can or not.

On his part, he should be reassuring you and not trying to blame you in any way. Certainly not playing the children's card. This should be about your relationship, not forcing yourself to forgive because of the children. It would be a recipe to disaster and it might well drive you mad.

PregnantAndStupid Mon 04-Nov-13 21:58:56

Contact def initiated by her mostly. But my ex texts me every now and again, I don't tell him I miss him and I never ever send kisses. Although he is a knob so that's quite easy.

PregnantAndStupid Mon 04-Nov-13 21:56:19

He says he went too far, he's a fool, it's only ever been me etc etc.

I just thought we had this lovely marriage where we always put each other first (after the dc) and it kills me to think that regardless we will never have that completely innocent relationship again if that makes sense?

But I do think I will be able to trust him.

I know it would be ridiculous to leave him and take 3 children away from their father for a couple of stupid messages. But the amount of hurt I feel seems disproportionately large.

I'm sorry and I'm just rambling. Thank you for replying x

queenbitchapparently Mon 04-Nov-13 21:49:15

I would be hurt too, but I think if he was drunk and hasn't repeated saying dumb stuff like that then I doubt he has any intent.
Seems like from what you say his contact has been minimal and initiated by her.
Is it possible he reaslised he went to far?
Only you can know how you feel about it and if you can trust him.
Xx

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