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I have to share this: I can't bring myself to trust DP

(39 Posts)
StellaBrillante Thu 17-Jul-14 14:20:44

I am sitting at work and this is all I can think about. I don't know whether it's me being insecure, paranoid or...I simply don't know. So apologies if I am just rambling on but writing it down and hearing what others have to say (regardless of whether I agree or like what their opinions!) always seems to help me get some perspective.

DP made himself unemployed a few months ago and has struggled to find a job. Money-wise, he's paying his way so no problems there but I have no idea when his money is going to run out. I only mention this because there's a part of me that's scared that I am being used (which doesn't make sense as he spends as much as I do if not more on groceries, etc and even before, he's always gone out of his way to make sure that we have really good, hearty meals on the table) and because I feel that he's getting up to no good as a result of having so much free time at home.

First there are the random emails to his ex-wife (divorced 8 years ago, sees her every other week when he sees his children) such as "Just sat down with a cake and a coffee...". I can't say that I've come across anything that I would describe as inappropriate but... Then he's been looking up porn and lots of sex pictures of women. And searching exes... I know, I shouldn't have snooped but do you ever get the gut instinct that tells you that something is up?

And again, I wonder how much of it is down to me being terribly insecure! He drops me off and picks me up from work every day, makes my lunch, makes dinner, shops, sends me nice messages and is always thinking of things for us to do. At home, we get on incredibly well and I have his undivided attention. He's always been rather protective of his phone but by the same token, he very rarely checks it but it's always face down and after a couple of incidents, he's obviously changed his settings so that the message no longer displays on the screen.

We went weeks without me feeling unsettled or suspicious but I now feel on full alert, so to speak. I went on a huge snooping mission this morning, trying to get confirmation of my so-called 'gut instinct' is telling me to watch out for. It probably back-fired big time though as I ended up finding a memory stick with lots of sex photos of him with his ex from 3-4 years ago and videos too - not what you want to see, trust me.

I try to put myself in his shoes in terms of being at home. I've done my bit of mindless googling or internet searching, checking out whatever somebody is up to just out of sheer boredom when I've had a bit too much time in my hands. And I am guessing that although he's created this situation himself, and he won't admit it, it can't be doing him any good applying for all these jobs (and he is genuinely doing as shown during snooping sessions) but not getting anywhere.

I talked to him about how one goes about drawing the line as far as contact with exes go. Quite simple: if you are not comfortable with me coming across it or can't tell me that I am being unreasonable then you're drawing the line in the wrong place. I reckon he suspected that I had read something... Oh well... And without boring you all with the details, he HAS given me reason to not trust him so this is not all 'out of the blue' paranoia!!! He hasn't cheated (or not that I know of anyway) but there have been lies and he likes to have his ego stroked - not a good combination.

Phew - sorry, essay over :-)

AmenGirl Thu 17-Jul-14 14:28:53

Ugh I'm sorry you had to see those pictures! Why does he still have that memory stick??

If there is no trust now there is really no relationship. This man seems to be taking you for a ride.

You are convenient to him currently, you work whilst he sits at home and messes around with his ex wife. He is not a very nice person at all and probably thinks that you will forgive him for all these transgressions that he has made.

You can do better than him; all he is doing here is dragging you down with him.

StellaBrillante Thu 17-Jul-14 14:38:04

There's loads of work stuff, folders, business plans but also some personal pictures including some which were obviously from the ex's memory card / camera (with pics and videos). One could say that I deserved it for invading his privacy but why indeed. It was odd seeing a few photos with two different exes taking in places abroad that we've visited together - sense of deja vu with the posing in front of iconic sights...

bleedingheart Thu 17-Jul-14 14:40:14

Boredom, rejection (from employers), opportunity; are all combining to create a set of circumstances where you feel he might be tested. I'm not sure what you can do about that feeling. He has given you reason before to doubt him now.

StellaBrillante Thu 17-Jul-14 16:13:39

Yes, I am trying to work out how much is down to previous incidents and how much is me being terribly insecure. One thing is for sure, I don't think I will ever look at his 'private bits' in the same way again, not after having seen the pictures and videos. I feel a bit dizzy just thinking about it...yes, self-inflicted.

chaseface Thu 17-Jul-14 17:38:30

Stella I really feel for you. I know I couldn't un-see those pictures. I'm very jealous, irrationally so, so can relate but I think it's made more complicated in your situation if he has given you cause to distrust him. I have learnt though not to "see" anything that I will struggle with if it pre-dates me. I'm sure I would snoop if I was ever looking for evidence of a current affair, but I wouldn't go looking at old photos and certainly not old explicit photos. Everyone does have a past, I just believe in firmly packing it away.

On the sex in general, what I would do is vividly remember all the dirtiest, most satisfying moments from your own past... and then remember how little they mean now. Likewise on the deja vu, what have you repeated from past relationships? I know I would be gutted to know how old hat some of my DP's favourite tricks and places are, but I also know that I've taken him to special places etc that I've visited with others. My DP has even developed an in-joke in our relationship which is near identical to an ex's, and I don't have the heart to tell him to stop.

I have developed the habit of being very honest with my DP when I'm feeling insecure and this has helped. However, again this is because he can reassure me and will do everything he can to do so. I imagine it would be much more cathartic if lies did become apparent. But I see no harm in having a discussion with your DP about boundaries. There is no reason for him to email his ex wife for friendly chats. Sometimes men are so eager to be the good guy and remain on good terms that they can't see how inappropriate their behaviour is.

StellaBrillante Thu 17-Jul-14 18:27:20

chaseface thank you for your kind words.

I don't know what to make of this situation and I am going through what feels like a torrent of emotions at the moment. I agree about reminding oneself that we've got a past too (and replicate things as we go along), that's what I've been doing all day.

I also believe in firmly packing it away, you see, and DP wouldn't find anything remotely inappropriate in my photo albums or laptop. I suppose it makes me wonder why he feels the need to keep those - I was looking for evidence of whatever is troubling me at the moment - but as another poster mentioned above, men sometimes like to collect trophies. I can't remember much from past relationships to be honest but it's good advice that you've given there.

He likes the adulation, the attention, and that's all I think there's to the emails with the ex (and God knows who else!). Additionally, without trying to justify it, although he's keeping a brave face, I can't even imagine how shit he must be feeling about the job situation. He left his job as he had something else on the side and assumed that he would more or less 'walk' into a similar post. It hasn't happened and the bit on the side has crumbled too and he's been left with his pride pretty dented. Basically, all the things that empowered him before have disappeared so maybe I too would be looking for some form of attention or a bit of an 'ego-stroking', even if I had no intention whatsoever of taking it any further.

One picture in particular has really stuck in my mind...yuck! He's emailed me twice to check that all is ok as he hasn't heard from me. How on earth am I going to pretend tonight????

StellaBrillante Thu 17-Jul-14 19:57:23

And there's no way that I can tell DP what is troubling me, is there? I can't possibly justify or explain how I came across them...yuk!

Scornedwoman67 Thu 17-Jul-14 21:06:49

shiela im really sorry to read how you are feeling. I have been cheated on and the question I would now be asking myself if I was in your position is 'what can he say that is going to reassure me?' I got to the point where my xh had told me so many lies that I knew it couldn't be fixed. Only you know the answer. What I would say is don't keep putting yourself through the mill and live in a state of anxiety if you know you will never be happy with him.i hope things get resolved for you

Scornedwoman67 Thu 17-Jul-14 21:07:26

apologies. .stella doh!

LizzieBelle Thu 17-Jul-14 23:23:18

I once found a naked photo of his ex wife in a book. He detested her, so I left the photo where he could find it so he could throw it away... he kept it. hmm

Boomerwang Thu 17-Jul-14 23:31:48

I would say to trust your gut feeling. And I only say this because you seem to be quite reasonable and level headed rather than an insecure control freak. It might not be what you imagine, but it IS something. Try a date night where you are focussed on each other. Suggest the relationship has altered somewhat and can he think of why that might be?

Only1scoop Thu 17-Jul-14 23:37:27

It's horrible finding stuff like this. Always trust your gut feeling I find its seldom wrong. I think you sound like a very calm and rational person. It's hard to trust after one incident let alone a catalogue of concerns.

Roseflowers Thu 17-Jul-14 23:38:27

Stella, it's really horrible when the trust evaporates in a relationship and I well remember the gut wrenching feeling you get knowing your partner is being shady with their phone etc. Sadly if I was in your shoes I would be suspicious too, I don't think your feelings are unfounded. My last partner was a model boyfriend, caring and lovely, would come pick me up from work, make me dinner, incredibly affectionate, always gave me his full attention...he would behave in all the nice ways your partner does. Sadly he was also chatting to numerous girls on facebook. I had a nagging feeling but no real evidence, and so I held on until I saw something concrete (naked pictures ahoy!) and confronted him. The phone face down thing to me is an incredible screaming read flag, another ex did this all the time and he was up to all sorts. In short, I don't think your mistrust is unfounded.

Its up to you if you want to try and have a calm, adult, reasoned conversation with your partner about how you're feeling . I think his reaction in response to that could potentially speak volumes about what (if anything is going on). Hugs to you x

AndTheBandPlayedOn Fri 18-Jul-14 01:19:29

This is awful. I also am a proponent of 'trust your gut'.
Sorry, but the first thing that came to mind...could he have photos of you as well via hidden camera?

The particular attentions he is giving you may be a strategy of distraction; look at all the things my right hand is doing for you, pay no attention to what the left hand is up to. Such a manipulation! With all the great things he is doing for you, how dare you complain? Even if at 99%, the good can not override the nastiness of the betraying 1%.

Branleuse Sat 19-Jul-14 15:11:02

trust your gut feeling here. We have instincts for a reason

SirRaymondClench Sat 19-Jul-14 18:13:01

How did you get through the evening with him Op?
I'd be livid about him keeping videos and photos of his ex.
I think you're right to trust your gut instinct with this one.

LizzieBelle Sun 20-Jul-14 18:36:06

He sounds a tad controlling. Is he just cocklodging?? If so, you need to get rid of this lodger before his money runs out and he has an excuse to stay

StellaBrillante Wed 23-Jul-14 23:24:02

Hi all, sorry it's taken me a while to post an update but I've been working really long hours every day.

Right, the ex-girlfriend (not the ex-wife): as I said before, I think the 'trophy' situation may be a very strong explanation for the pictures and videos. Basically, it's a folder in a USB stick which has got loads of old and more recent stuff on it - work stuff, CVs, a few pics of his children, pics of him with another ex-girlfriend but nothing indecent (he obviously didn't lock himself for 7 years after his divorce) etc. The guilty folder looks to have come from her camera and she obviously named it and you know what? I actually feel guilty that I saw them - we all have a past and whatever they did as a couple is none of my business. Back to him keeping them though, the USB wasn't hidden but it was put away with other rather unimportant stuff. And two things here: 1. she is famous (very famous in her field of expertise, as in television appearances / newspaper interviews famous) and she's a whole 17 years younger than him. Sooooo... on that basis, he would save those, wouldn't he?? For a split of a second, I was tempted to post them all on to her twitter account. Joking!!!

It took me a couple of days to put the images aside in my head but I think I am there now. I do think that I invaded somebody else's privacy and I still have pictures with my ex in a box in the guest room although I've never been trusting enough to have racy moments photographed or videod so all pretty generic moments.

The mobile phone: I did question that and DP just said that he's always done that so nothing falls on the screen. He also pointed out that he's always done so but would stop if it bothered me. On that note, he is very careful with stuff and is always telling me off for leaving my watch face down etc. Plus DS knows the password for DP's phone and is often using it to remote control the music system. Basically, the phone can be found pretty much around the clock on the kitchen bench as opposed to hidden somewhere.

I don't think he's controlling as such but rather insecure. Somebody who enjoyed the limelight in his heyday, who likes attention and needs to have his ego stroked. Hence why I suspect that the job situation is having a much bigger impact than he's prepared to admit. He's gone from trying to impress me with his past achievements, a stable job with a very good salary and the attention that he was still getting, to suddenly not having an income, no limelight and most probably worrying that I will decide that this isn't for me.

As it stands at the moment, we've moved on to another problem which is that he's been finding it more and more difficult to have sex or to climax. He wants to but he can't maintain his erection. He is still an extremely attentive lover and he always makes sure that I am satisfied but there's obviously an issue there. The first few times when we had sex, he also seemed to go soft halfway through intercourse and at the time it was clear that he found it disconcerting. That passed and I put it down to nerves; but now it's happening again although he claims that there's nothing wrong...

heyday Thu 24-Jul-14 06:49:15

I think this very insecure time has caused a loss of self confidence in both of you. This is manifesting itself in him having erectile dysfunctional problems.
You snooped, you discovered things you wished you hadn't and it's cast a dark shadow over your relationship. I too have had to do this recently (not going into details) and it has left me shattered. Not that I found anything terrible but I had to face up to the fact that the person whose privacy I invaded, had a whole private life that I knew nothing about and I wish to god I could undo some of the things that I read and saw.
He is in a difficult place right now, what with having no job and his partner questioning his faithfulness to her.
There will be a divide between you both now and you have two choices: either let these doubts continue to wreck your relationship or draw a line under this episode and try to build the bridges. I think you need to tel him that you felt/are feeling very Insecure at the moment and that you need some reassurance. Hopefully he can give you that reassurance so that you can then reassure him in return that you love him, find him attractive and have belief in him to find a new job.
You need to reconnect again, find the romance again, learn to trust again and hopefully this will bring back his self confidence enough to regain his sexual ability to perform.

StellaBrillante Tue 29-Jul-14 04:18:43

I've been tossing & turning, wondering what to do. Last night he blew something very small out of proportion, made some little speech about asking whether he should go away for a few days to give me some space and then went to sleep in the guest room. I would normally interpret the little speech as attention seeking and I've said it before that if he's got somewhere better to go to then by all means.

Up until that point, it had been a perfect day but I am tired, I've been working very long hours and hadn't had a day off in over a week. I snapped because he spends all the time when I am at home demanding my attention and I just wanted to sit quietly with my book for a little bit. I apologised immediately for how I had responded but instead of just letting it go, he decided to get all worked out and talk about giving me space. Today was the first time when I felt suffocated as he's always around and obviously took offence that I wanted to be left alone - I am not here to entertain him, ffs!

Anyway...I can't sleep and in the meantime, I have come across emails from him to another ex-girlfriend, calling her by his pet name for her and asking about the weather, her holiday etc. I couldn't see a reply but where does this end and where do I draw the line??? He makes himself look pathetic as he's got pictures of us both on facebook for the world to see (with nice comments from his mum), his status shows that he's in a relationship, but nevertheless he's obviously not getting enough... attention (???) at home! And he also makes me look like a fool for being with a guy who's seeking out exes for an ego-stroke or whatever it is.

Soooo... I have done something that I may regret: I emailed his message again to her and copied him in, from his mailbox, so it looks like he's re-sent the message to her and himself twice. He can't raise it with me without getting into trouble but he'll know for sure that, quite frankly, 'game is up'. Rather childishly, I've also gone and hidden my status on facebook (we are not friends anyway) and replaced a photo of us two with a photo where I am alone.

Any thoughts?

mum2bof31986 Tue 29-Jul-14 04:33:35

I couldn't keep it to myself. I would have yo bring it up. If he tried to blame me for snooping i would simply say you had a gut instinct and it was right! I don't think talking to ex's unless its essential should be allowed. Why ask about her holiday unless he is trying to spark a conversation... Why do it?

Jan45 Tue 29-Jul-14 10:54:05

Two things, why was it ok for him to make himself unemployed and where is `his` money coming from....???

Secondly, why does he need his ego stroked when he has you - OP, sorry but I wouldn't trust him at all, god knows who he is talking to when sat on his laptop all day.

Bloody awful, contacting his exes when he's with you, he has no respect for you OP, no morals either by the sounds of it, oh, and no job, get rid, seriously.

StellaBrillante Tue 29-Jul-14 15:20:55

I suppose better now than after we got married... This is madness though. Why do this to me and to us? I don't get it. No justification but I can only think that he's trying to sweeten her up to see if she can get him a job - she's a director at the company that he left. As for the money, they paid him off when he resigned.

He's gone from Knight in shining armour to not much of a catch, hasn't he?

I've never gone through something like this before...

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