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Husband lied about daytrip with a woman from work

(96 Posts)
Leadingavocado Thu 22-Nov-12 12:36:26

We live abroad and my husband has some foreign travel. He had a trip and asked me if it was ok to go a day early over the weekend as he would have a daytrip with a male colleague out there and a couple of other people. When he got back I asked about the daytrip and could sense he was lying. I checked his Blackberry and saw an email from him to a woman he works with (she is based in the UK but comes to our country reasonably frequently). saying he would meet her in the lobby of the hotel onw the sunday morning for the daytrip.

I was very upset and he obviously straight away admitting lying, didn't have much choice. Said I had made a comment about this woman before (cannot remember if I had, but it would have been nothing that pointed). So he lied for. quiet life.

I have since been checking his Blackberry and his emails to her are friendly but nothing more than that.

He has a subsequent trip abroad and texted to say he had managed to get a day off to sightsee and I was convinced it was with her and was very cold when he got back. I found a receipt in his wallett of a meal one evening for two people. He denied it was with her but then I think changed his story as to the third person who came along and paid seperately.

He has another trip away next week and is back in the UK the week after. This woman will be there next week but there is no reason for him to meet her the following week in the UK.

I feel left with a lot of anger about this. The last 5 yrs have not been easy with two small children, overseas, no support. I have been very lonely at times and depressed.

We have spoken about it and I have told him what I consider acceptable and daytrips or dining with a female colleague alone, who you see on a regular basis is not acceptable.

I think he has forgotten about it and wants to put it behind him. I am the one left with the anger and suspicion.

Leadingavocado Thu 22-Nov-12 12:46:14

I guess I want to remain calm about it. I overreacted about the second trip because he did not sightsee with her, rather another, much older female colleague who he sees rarely and does not have much contact with and two other men.

I do not want my marriage to end but neither will I tolerate being lied to. How do you act in the best interests of your marriage? There maybe nothing going on with this woman, it might be a mild infatuation of his part that will fizzle out. She may not have the slightest interest and in 6 months time everything could have changed.

I am the one affected by this and yesterday deleted an email that he received from her on his Blackberry. He had commented on something in a presentation she had done and had come back saying you were the only one to notice. He had marked the email as unread and to my suspicious mind was intending to reply and so get a non work related exchange going. This may not be the case but that is what suspicion does to you. It is very ugly.

He may or may not notice the email has been deleted. It will be interesting to see if he comments tonight as he is normally very half soaked about things .

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 22-Nov-12 12:52:24

Sorry but he is clearly lying and cheating, please do not blame yourself in any way or think you drove him to lie by having suspicions.

He sounds awful, sorry sad

Leadingavocado Thu 22-Nov-12 12:55:42

he said that his friend was ill and he went on the daytrip with other people from work as well.

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 22-Nov-12 12:56:44

Sorry I cant give any advice about saving your marriage as I personally wouldn't want to in that situation.

But, its not you it's him.

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 22-Nov-12 12:57:24

He is lying IMO. Sorry sad

Anniegetyourgun Thu 22-Nov-12 12:59:40

How many of the other people he went on the trip with did he copy in to the email about where to meet? (Will eat my hat if the answer isn't "strangely, none of them".)

Teabagtights Thu 22-Nov-12 12:59:50

Why should'nt he have a day trip with a female colleague? Is he supposed to go away and stay in the hotel room for the duration? YOu have read the emails they are nothing but friendly.

Whats your problem with him having femal colleague friends?

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 22-Nov-12 13:01:08

Pull the other one teabag

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 22-Nov-12 13:04:58

Sorry..but trying to blame the Op for her husband lying so he can go for dinner with a woman? Really?

MadAboutHotChoc Thu 22-Nov-12 13:07:42

I think you are right to be suspicious - otherwise why would he lied repeatedly about meeting this woman? If he is not having an affair with her, he is certainly thinking of having one.

I would get this book:

http://www.shirleyglass.com/book.htm

And talk about boundaries, secrets and friendships. Unfortunately you cannot control him but you can certainly make him aware that his actions are making you unhappy.

MadAboutHotChoc Thu 22-Nov-12 13:07:55
CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 22-Nov-12 13:08:05

I think you have to be open, mature and realistic about what you expect from each other rather than get bogged down in a vicious cycle of suspicion and lies.... which can become self-fulfilling if you're not careful. I disagree with the above to a point i.e. if you give someone a hard time when they tell you the truth, don't be surprised if they start withholding information.

You're obviously very uncomfortable with him having dinner with a female colleague. Is it simply because she's female? Is it because he's been unfaithful in the past? Is it because your relationship is unhappy anyway and you're feeling insecure?

You can't veto him having dinner with colleagues on the basis of gender. If he's got a history of infidelity, stop wasting your time and get shot. If your relationship is unhappy or you're feeling insecure, address that head-on.

Leadingavocado Thu 22-Nov-12 13:08:11

no I have just checked with his colleague from the us who has helped me before with my computer and at the end of the conversation i said i,m sorry you didn't make it on the daytrip and he said yes he got sick and could't go and i asked if some colleagues from the local office had gone and he said yes. So i think he is telling the truth when he said it was a last minute thing to ask this woman and she was free for the day.

Marrow Thu 22-Nov-12 13:11:17

I can see that him lying is a problem but I don't see that going on a day trip or having a meal with a female colleague is anything to get upset about.

However if he knows that this is how you react then he probably lied for a quiet life. My DH regularly works abroad and it has never crossed my mind to worry when he has been with a female colleague. I trust him and look forward to hearing about his trips when he gets back.

Leadingavocado Thu 22-Nov-12 13:12:26

i agree with you cogito. I don't want to get bogged down and the last trip I jumped to a false assumption about the daytrip.

I stand by what I say about the dinner. There is no need to have dinner alone with a female work colleague and someone you see regularly I think could become inappropriate. There are generally plenty of other people around so I still say there is no need.

No to my knowledge he has not been unfaithful but early in the relationship he had inappropriate texts and phonecalls with a mutual work colleague. She told me as she thought whatever had gone on between us was over. So he was found out pretty quickly.

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 22-Nov-12 13:12:29

He shouldn't lie whether for a quiet life or anything else, this is NOT the OP's fault!

Leadingavocado Thu 22-Nov-12 13:16:55

I am a SAHM with no independent income. i do not consider myself vey attractive And my life is the day to day of children etc. yes compared to a single, fairly high flying female colleague with no children, no ties, with whom one can be lighthearted and forget about the drudgery. it is hard to keep your feeling of self esteem.

I agree a lot of it is about me.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 22-Nov-12 13:20:32

"There is no need to have dinner alone with a female work colleague and someone you see regularly "

I don't accept that's inappropriate. I regularly travel overseas ... lone female... and my male boss will often meet me for dinner when I arrive so that a) I have some company and b) we can go through topics prior to the day's work. If my boyfriend tried to tell me this was a wholly inappropriate thing for me to do and we're only trying to get in each other's pants I'd think he'd gone loco hmm

It is not your fault that he's lying but you're not being entirely rational about this either.

Leadingavocado Thu 22-Nov-12 13:23:32

Ok That is you view. But now he has lied about this woman then I feel this is one person who he should not dine with or daytrip with.

Leadingavocado Thu 22-Nov-12 13:32:41

I have never commented about his trips before. He is not the type to volunteer information but it has never come up before. After the trip when he lied, it is now a problem.

Maybe I would not have said that about the female colleague, but he has a history albeit a long time ago and nothing physical took place.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 22-Nov-12 13:34:50

If you genuinely think he's screwing around, please accuse him directly rather than doing this jealous wife from afar act. If you object to being lied to, challenge him head-on. If you're lonely and depressed, get him to understand that you need support, affection and companionship. You cannot seriously go through his list of contacts & colleagues determining which people he's allowed to have dinner with alone and which he isn't. Even if he wanted to keep to such an agreement, he'd struggle.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 22-Nov-12 13:35:28

If he has history, that explains a lot. Stop wasting your time therefore...

Leadingavocado Thu 22-Nov-12 13:43:03

the point is I do not know

the second point is I have two small children to consider.

Leadingavocado Thu 22-Nov-12 13:45:20

Maybe it is an attraction on his part. when we did talk about it he talked about in other circumstances.

marriages are not black and white

i agree that i cannot continue as i am, his behaviour is for him to manage. I do to be an idiot who is lied to for yrs, But then I would not be an idiot. I would be a decent, loyal person and he would be the spineless shit. This is partly my problem and partly his.

Leadingavocado Thu 22-Nov-12 13:46:52

What is has is made me start to get my own life in gear, start to work out what I want, the type of relationship I want.

I do not want to be the bitter, twisted, suspicious wife.

FushiaFernica Thu 22-Nov-12 13:49:00

What is your husband like to live with on a day to day basis, i.e. is he happy, good with you and your children?

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 22-Nov-12 13:53:37

As the saying goes.... 'Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.'

If he's been unfaithful before, you can't trust him now and you're checking his e-mails and wallet contents. You've spent five years struggling with depression, loneliness, anger and your self-esteem is already in peices on the floor. Let's consider those small children for a second. Why would you carry on living in such a state of emotional torment, anxiety and self-loathing and expect your two small children not to be negatively affected? Marriages may not be black and white but I know stress-related illness when I see it.

confusedperson Thu 22-Nov-12 14:04:27

I am double-sided on this. If the text was about meeting in the lobby, then surely then probably they didn't spend the night together. If there are no kisses in the texts or emails, then it is a positive sign. I actually believe that he may be only lying for quiet life, but if you continuing looking for "the truth" he may seriously go into affair.

You asked what can you do in the interest of marriage. Stop hassling your DH as much as possible on those short moments at home, but continue to check his emails/texts. So you are the king of the situation. Modify your behavior accordingly. My DH tends to lie for quiet life, but I find out about things by regularly checking his email (I found out his psswd accidently), so I know that they are white lies. However, once after a sexual draught at home, he registered with a dating website. I am glad I caught it on time and made effort to reinvent our intimate life. He never went back there (2 years now). Well men are like children, and I like to be in control.

You are in a good position that you can check his emails and texts. I think the best bet would be to make sure that he is satisfied and happy at home and is looking forward to return from that business trip. If he starts cheating, you will likely to find out and you can change your tactics then.

Charbon Thu 22-Nov-12 14:07:34

I think the point is that you probably wouldn't be feeling this way if he'd been trustworthy throughout your relationship and didn't lie to you. Your response to this is entirely rational in the circumstances and it's really got nothing to do with your partner having female friends at all.

So you need to tackle the real issues once and for all and resist any attempts by your husband to sweep this under the carpet and forget about it.

If your husband has poor boundaries and lies to you, no amount of policing and monitoring of his activities is going to stop him having a secret affair. It will be a horribly unproductive waste of your time too.

What won't be a waste of your time is to have a proper discussion about trust, boundaries and truth-telling. I'm guessing that didn't happen the last time he was untrustworthy and so it's no huge surprise that this has happened again. You can also get some help with this as a conversation by asking him to read the book that was recommended upthread, which is completely pertinent to this situation.

I would stop thinking that these are 'your issues' and have any great connection to your personal circumstances and self-image. Even if you had the highest self-esteem, it is likely that you would still be feeling aggrieved about a man who's been untrustworthy in the past, proving he's untrustworthy again. That is the normal, healthy, self-protective response to this threat and don't let anyone convince you otherwise.

If your husband refuses to discuss this, blames you for 'having' to lie, won't read that book and disengages, make a different decision but don't continue to monitor what he does, because it's pointless, demaining of you and most of all, it doesn't work.

I'd recommend trying the approach I've suggested and if that doesn't work, give yourself permission to leave a relationship with a man who you'll never trust and who has no interest and investment in his relationship with you.

MadAboutHotChoc Thu 22-Nov-12 14:12:54

Men are NOT like children - how patronising.

They are capable of controlling their thoughts and actions.

They are capable of having firm boundaries and having mature and healthy relationships.

As I have said before there is very little you can do to stop him if he is embarking on an affair but you can talk to him about secrets/boundaries etc. I wouldn't bother monitoring his emails/texts unless you really feel he is having an affair - but then he will probably cover his tracks more carefully from now.

I also think you are sensible to do more about investing in your own life.

I would be interested to know how he is at home - is his distant, critical, withdrawing from family life etc? These are all red flags.

Charbon Thu 22-Nov-12 14:14:26

demeaning not demaining!

Oh and BTW, no surprises here but I disagree with the 'give him more blow-jobs, carry on snooping and men are like children' variety of advice.....

confusedperson Thu 22-Nov-12 14:20:57

MadAboutHotChoc perhaps they are capable but so many chose to be lead by the other part of their body that I started to think perhaps polygamy should be legalised.

confusedperson Thu 22-Nov-12 14:23:09

Charbon and what is the alternative advice? "You deserve to be happy", "make decision and leave" etc? OP asked what she can do in the interest of marriage.

MadAboutHotChoc Thu 22-Nov-12 14:24:53

yes that is a choice immature selfish and entitled people do make - women do have affairs as well as men.

MadAboutHotChoc Thu 22-Nov-12 14:26:41

A marriage can only work if BOTH spouses work at it - if OP's DH is not prepared to grow up, establish boundaries and invest in his marriage, there is very little OP can do about it.

OP can only voice her view and feelings. The rest is up to DH.

Thelifeofpie Thu 22-Nov-12 14:28:42

Could not agree more Charbon.

Make him look forward to coming home? How about he does that for himself? Men are not bloody children, they are quite capable of not telling lies etc. The reason that he lied is because he knew the OP would be upset. So HE made a choice to lie to make it easier for HIM. Not the OP!!!!

It absolutely sickens me to see women give other women advice like this. I despair sometimes i really do!

MadAboutHotChoc Thu 22-Nov-12 14:31:32

Confused -
Yes that is a choice immature selfish and entitled people make - women do have affairs as well as men.

confusedperson Thu 22-Nov-12 14:33:27

I personally follow this: this
No need to advice on divorce every time when OH lies (this tends to be mumsnetters' credo).

Charbon Thu 22-Nov-12 14:41:23

Look I don't want to be unkind to a woman whose partner lies to her and goes on dating sites, but no individual can control another's behaviour. Your partner doesn't lie to you or attempt to be unfaithful because of anything you personally do or don't do. He does that because he wants to deceive you and because he wanted to have sex with someone new. The only behaviour you can control is your own - whether that's deciding that living with an unfaithful liar is not something you want to do, or deciding that a life of constant surveillance and man-pleasing in case he looks elsewhere, is a sensible life choice for an adult woman.

AThingInYourLife Thu 22-Nov-12 14:51:49

Pretty much all lies are "for a quiet life".

Only the dishonest or stupid thinks that's any kind of defence.

Not wanting to bear the consequences of your actions is a reason to lie if you are a liar, but it doesn't justify the lie.

"How do you act in the best interests of your marriage?"

You can't when the interests of the two parties to the marriage are not aligned.

Such as when one of them lies to the other.

In that circumstance, you act in your own interests.

HoleyGhost Thu 22-Nov-12 15:52:09

Could you tell us more about the history? As it was nothing physical, he may feel you over reacted.

I suspect the real problem is that you are desperately unhappy. Do you want to move back home? If so, start planning!

Leadingavocado Thu 22-Nov-12 15:59:15

Normally things are fine at home. It has just been bl8dy hard with two very small children and spending a lot of time on my own. He does help a lot but I think his patience with me saying how hard it can be is wearing thin.

Nothing happened with the mutual work colleague and that was over 10 yrs ago. I do not believe he is having affair but I think he likes this woman in what capacity I do not know.

He bought me a lovely present from the last trip and said he had taken a long time to choose it and I threw it back in his face (metophorically) because it felt tainted, like a guilt thing. But maybe it wasn't. I behaved shamefully.

I like where we live but i feel vulnerable having no income of my own. i also feel incredibly angry that he should enjoy himself with another woman when I am stuck at home with two kids. He does not need to daytrip with her there and he does not need to dine alone with her.

Leadingavocado Thu 22-Nov-12 16:05:37

I also feel angry that I am left with this sh1t whilst he has probably not given it a second thought.

Leadingavocado Thu 22-Nov-12 16:09:42

He said after we spoke following the last trip that people don't go looking outside the marriage if everything is ok at home. things have been hard butare getting better. and he also made reference to if one's circumstances were different. I do not believe that he would try to start something with this woman but who knows. It is the emotional deceit and the lack of trust.

I want the marriage to work and I am going to do my best and my outburst after the last trip was stupid, as was deleting the email yesterday.

Charbon Thu 22-Nov-12 16:10:52

What do you mean nothing happened? You said that he had been engaging in inappropriate phone calls and messages with a colleague who was led to believe by him that he was single and that your relationship was over. I don't think that's 'nothing'.

And he lied to you about making arrangements to see another woman recently. Then lied again about another encounter and amended his story.

What are you most concerned about? That you're feeling vulnerable and jealous that he can opt out of family life occasionally by having these trips abroad?

Or that you don't trust him not to have secret interactions with other women and lie about them?

Even if you had an income of your own, the chance for breaks away yourself and had high self-esteem, it wouldn't eradicate the second problem you have, would it?

FanjoForTheMammaries Thu 22-Nov-12 16:13:00

You aren't being stupid. It is natural you don't trust him when he has lied before and is doing it again.

Leadingavocado Thu 22-Nov-12 16:13:05

the text messages incident was 10 yrs ago, nothing physical happened.

ArtfulAardvark Thu 22-Nov-12 16:13:18

I worked with people who were often away setting up conferences and it was pretty much standard for them to spend the down time together eating out and socialising.

I have also been the young, single, fun girl in an office full of men whose wives looked at her like I was after their men and believe me nothing was further from the truth.

If he has previously been devious once your relationship was established then perhaps I can understand you feeling unsettled - if he was hedging his bets right at the beginning of you seeing each other then that is pretty much par for the course.

Leadingavocado Thu 22-Nov-12 16:15:39

I have nothing concrete to go on except the lie about the daytrip. I just wonder if he has some feelings for this woman and would lie to me to keep things easy for him.

I do not like him being away so much and the main reason is my lack of trust.

Charbon Thu 22-Nov-12 16:16:22

He said after we spoke following the last trip that people don't go looking outside the marriage if everything is ok at home.

Oh yes, they do.

But this is something people who are about to be unfaithful often convince themselves of, because it's a handy excuse for behaving badly.

If your husband really believes that nonsense, you've got a major problem I'm afraid.

Leadingavocado Thu 22-Nov-12 16:29:55

the incident 10 yrs ago was silly in that we kept our relationship secret from work colleagues. It was silly to cover things up. I do not believe he would have gone into marriage lighthly, although I do remember he did not want to say til death do us part.

Day to day things are fine, we had a loely trip away together alone earlier in the yr and in october managed one night away and we are planning a trip in the spring(parents in law permittting).

i guess i have never quite shaken the feeling that i am not good enough, but I think some of that is my own low self esteem.

his mother is the perfet cook, homemaker, gardener etc and i wll be amazed if his father has been faithful ( husband once caught him in a clinch with a woman at a party when drunk, husband was aout 10 and mom was sat downstairs)

but now his parents are still married and quite content with one another.

i will never be the homemaker his mother is.

if i were working with a career of my own i think i would feel better about myself and would this would not loom so large for me.

I have ended up financially dependent on a man, something I swore i would never do.

I feel so angry thaht I get the squabbling, whining and stress of two small children every afternoon and when he is away and he gets to swan around with another woman.

Leadingavocado Thu 22-Nov-12 16:33:17

he said that he had less respect for his father.

Leadingavocado Thu 22-Nov-12 16:35:43

I am now listening to a screaming 3 yr old because she does not want to eat her tea but wants dessert, to which i have said no and i feel so angry with him

I need to do something to move forward.

Leadingavocado Thu 22-Nov-12 16:36:58

I do believe the marriage is worth trying at.

Cahooots Thu 22-Nov-12 16:56:12

I would mad about the lying but I would not mind my DH meeting up with colleagues while he was travelling. Unless there was some reason I knew I couldn't trust him. I lived abroad with my DH and DC and I did not think anything if my DH travelled or socialised with women. I used to feel sorry for my DH, he did not enjoy travelling and I knew he would prefer to be at home. If I had doubts about my DH's trustworthiness it would have been very difficult.
I would be worried about accusing him of having an affair, unless you have reason too. I would kick up a haute fuss about the lie though.
It is very sad that you can't trust yourDH to go for supper with a woman. He may be enjoying having a meal out with a collegue but I bet hope he would prefer to be at home with his wife and DC's.

confusedperson Thu 22-Nov-12 16:58:35

Am I the only one not seeing a major problem with OP's husband? I think sitting at home with the children is eating your self-esteem. Just try to improve your own life with things you enjoy - work, perhaps?

Charbon Thu 22-Nov-12 17:01:49

Your MIL's experience should show you - and him - that being a stepford wife and superwoman combined, does not prevent a man's infidelity.

You're not really responding to suggestions or advice, so maybe you need to think about all of this and come back to it when you've got more uninterrupted time.

higgle Thu 22-Nov-12 17:02:47

cp, I agree, when my DH goes away I don't track his every move and trust him to behave appropriately. I wouldn't mind him having dinner with a woman colleague. I went away on a course once with a male colleague as we were the only two people interested in the subject. I would have been pretty cross if DH had objected.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 22-Nov-12 17:03:55

"he gets to swan around with another woman."

I can't work it out now. Was he actually unfaithful in the past or not?

If you don't like him travelling have you ever actually suggested that he gets a nice local 9-5 job instead? If you don't like being home with small children (and amen to that) have you looked at getting a job outside the home and going the child-care option? If you think he is 'swanning around' when working away are you really trying to find a way of controlling him? Restrict his freedom?

MadAboutHotChoc Thu 22-Nov-12 17:10:33

He said after we spoke following the last trip that people don't go looking outside the marriage if everything is ok at home.

The prevention myth - good people in happy marriages do have affairs. This is why being the perfect wife will not work.

We always say on here LISTEN to your instincts and sadly I think you are choosing to ignore yours at your peril sad

Chandon Thu 22-Nov-12 17:14:17

Avocado, just want you to know that I know how you feel! I have gone from being a woman with her own job, independent, to being a SAHM in South America with 2 little children.

And it was HARD.

The who balance in the relationship shifted.

I think the are a couple of issues, and maybe deal with them seperately.

My DH used to go out with this single female colleague, and he raved about how wonderful she was....

Telling him that, obiously I know he would never take it further, his wanting to spend 121 with ehr made me feel crap, that I felt very emotionally vulnerable.

I said that he can be friends with women, of course! If she is so great, invite her over for dinner so we can all be friends, after all I was lonely. She did come over once, she was nice ( bit distracted by massive plastix boobs in low cut top, but loads of women over there look like that) but somehow that friendship fizzled out. DH agreed with me that it was maybe inappropriate for a married man to go on non- work outings with a single female.

Anyway, I have no solutions but I know how you feel, it is a rotten feeling.

Could you get a part time job teaching English? ( that is what I did) or a language course? You need to get out of the house, and start rebuilding your own life, have some friends of your own, earn. Bit of cash of your own. Or write articles ( another thing I did) or start a new hobby. Anythng really, gte a part time nanny and get out! Being cooped up with the little ones n a foreign country leads to cbin fever

Xxx

Chandon Thu 22-Nov-12 17:15:33

Sorry for typos, really do not get on with effing ipad

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Thu 22-Nov-12 17:24:08

On the contrary I think OP's instincts are sounding loud and clear. By the sound of it this has snowballed over time, from you making a huge effort to support your husband's career by relocating far from your support network of family and friends to five years' on feeling increasingly isolated and suffocated. He is no doubt enhancing his career and perhaps earning big bucks for the family's future so you feel both guilty at begrudging his escape hours spent working with additional trips away, establishing financial security, and resentful at being left in charge of childcare and domestic drudgery.

I'm guessing on some level he realised you'd be less than charmed to know he'd voluntarily gone for a jolly outing with a female colleague. I'm not a believer that men are like children, imo that lets them off a big fat hook. As adults we make knowing choices. He 'gave himself permission' to lie by omission, always a slippery slope.

Now you're checking his Blackberry and wondering whether he's crossed a line at any point since inappropriate communications 10 years' ago. I think you have hit a crossroads and how you react now is key. You can't police him 24/7 but you can make it clear you are not happy. Please talk face to face with DH don't bottle it up. Does he know you've been lonely and depressed? Frustrated at your distant memory of work, status? Please be honest and see how he responds so you can better see the lie of the land.

Autumn12 Thu 22-Nov-12 17:31:26

I have been on several work trips abroad with male colleagues. We have had dinners together, drinks, been out sightseeing etc. It was that or sit alone in our Hotel rooms. Travelling for work can be lonely and having a colleague to share dinner with makes it a little more bearable. I'd hate it if my colleagues wife's were suspicious over it.

MadAboutHotChoc Thu 22-Nov-12 17:36:20

Autumn - I agree BUT

OP's DH has been telling lies.

He has a history of inappropriate contact with women - and that was never really resolved properly.

No wonder OP is suspicious sad

Abitwobblynow Thu 22-Nov-12 17:51:49

Avocado I hear you. This is exactly what my H did, but unlike you I was unaware and so did nothing.

But, once I had become aware that something was wrong? It would have been too late, he had crossed the line and was addicted. He is also a selfish man and I had no idea how secretive.

Charbon's advice to you is the correct one. Get a hold of your rage (valid) and exhaustion, go online to Shirley Glass's website, and then have a chat to him when he comes back.

About windows and doors, about lying and secrets, and warn him what will happen if he choses to do this. That you will return instantly to the UK and that he will lose his family. That you will NOT tolerate being disrespected and reduced to a home appliance, and that he will have destroyed his family. If that is what he wants, to go for it but he must be aware he made a choice.

That if he is feeling angry and resentful you go to counselling together, because actually you are too.

How I wish I had done this, but I had no idea.

How isolated are you in this country? Can you get any home help?

Abitwobblynow Thu 22-Nov-12 17:53:36

PS a straight, firm, icy chat laying down what you will and will not tolerate, and what will happen as a result of any dishonesty. No crying, wailing, raging begging or pleading.

Waterwater Thu 22-Nov-12 18:00:52

Abit : I agree . Could I ask, do you believe if you had known in your case and stePped in that you would have had a different outcome. Would you have forgiven the 'permission' your husband had given himself to embark on the slippery slope?

Chandon Thu 22-Nov-12 18:01:14

Autumn, that argument does not make sense here, as OP s dh took an EXTRA day away from his wife to allow for this trip, that is diffenen from making the best of it, as you do.

Also, going out with a group of guys is different from taking an extra day off to spend 121 with her, do you see the difference? He created a day to spend with her.

StillSquiffy Thu 22-Nov-12 18:03:36

Everything cogito says.

Inappropriate texts at the very beginning of a relationship when the two of you were yourselves 'in the closet' about seeing each other is a long long way from 'a history of lying'

You've posted a couple of times commenting that he shouldn't be having dinner with lone women or socialising whilst on business trips. Sorry, but that is totally OTT. In jobs with lots of team travel you have to be part of the team or you would never get on in the role. And, speaking as a woman who has often been the only female in groups of 10 or more, I would have been furious if I'd just been left to sit by myself in a hotel room. I've also (when I ran the business for one continent) arranged day trips and tours for colleagues, and I wouldn't have thought twice about accompanying them if I fancied it.

That makes me wonder if you do get a bit unreasonably jealous? You quizzed him, then checked his blackberry, searched his wallet, and are now - 6 months on - still looking for evidence and now deleting work emails? And you checked his story with his work colleague? Sorry, but that sounds OTT. As does I have told him what I consider acceptable and daytrips or dining with a female colleague alone, who you see on a regular basis is not acceptable

There are two scenarios:
1) He is innocent and does this behind your back for a quiet life
2) He is acting inappropriately and embarking (or trying to embark) on an EA

TBH if I were him and had my DH laying down ground rules about how I conduct business trips I might consider that I had two options: carry on and be surreptitious about it all, or sit down and have an almighty big discussion regarding trust within the marriage. Changing my behaviours on work trips would not figure as one of the options I would ever consider.

NamingOfParts Thu 22-Nov-12 19:08:57

As a regularly travelling lone female I have lost count of the times I have been stuck as Billy No Mates either sitting eating dinner on my own in a hotel restaurant or eating room service. Each time the person I was visiting has said 'I would have had dinner with you but couldnt because.......'. Once or twice I could understand but every damn time?

Not all travelling business women are single and on the pull. I have never met a single one in fact. Most of my colleagues were like me: middle aged with their own families at home.

Taking visiting colleagues out is a courtesy whether they are male or female especially when that visitor is on their own.

When there is a lot of travel involved in a role many people add an extra day to the trip to have time to relax or acclimatise. On the whole I tended not to as I wanted to keep the trip as short as possible but sometimes the extra days are in fact part of the overall trip and not going is a discourtesy to the host.

HoleyGhost Thu 22-Nov-12 19:12:25

It is all a red herring - OP have you had counselling? Your unhappiness is palpable.

NamingOfParts Thu 22-Nov-12 19:16:11

Basically everything that StillSquiffy said except that I have been that poor sod left in their hotel room.

I had assumed that the reason people didnt want to take me out was that they didnt want to be seen out with me but now I am wondering if the problems were domestic.

arthriticfingers Thu 22-Nov-12 19:26:45

If we forget the business trip, it is clear that OP is very unhappy, feels very unloved and thinks that her H is a lying cheating tosser.
Now - the deep unhappiness is not being questioned.
The feeling unloved unappreciated and unattractive, can, I think, be accepted.
As to the H being a lying cheating tosser - well, he already seems to be doing very little about the first two points, and experience shows that it is a very good idea to trust your instincts on matters regarding tossers.
So, I, too, would very much recommend reading the book 'Not Just Friends'

cronullansw Thu 22-Nov-12 19:40:01

HoleyGhost has it spot on I reckon.

OP's unhappiness, low self esteem, crying children, not being a good enough cook, and it's all DH's fault for being courteous and accompanying a colleague to dinner in a public room.

Charbon Thu 22-Nov-12 19:42:12

Before we get any more posts from trustworthy people who work abroad and/or have utterly normal, innocent friendships with men and good relationships with their partners, this really isn't the issue. Although they reinforce the fact that collegiate and personal friendships between men and women are absolutely fine, this doesn't address the issues in the thread.

Which are that there was untrustworthy behaviour at the start of the OP's relationship that only got uncovered when the woman involved informed the OP, that her husband lied to her about meeting a female colleague for a day trip, then lied to her again about a second occasion and only changed his story admitting she was there, afterwards. The OP is feeling in a vulnerable place right now WRT her personal circumstances and is feeling understandably hard done by with the contrast in their lives, but her husband doesn't want to discuss the issues and she has got him under surveillance and is tampering with his communications.

How trustworthy people behave in healthy relationships is IMO, completely besides the point.

FlaminNoraImPregnantPanda Thu 22-Nov-12 20:55:19

I can sympathise with where the OP is coming from. You cannot under estimate how being totally dependent on another person in a foreign country makes you feel. Even with the most trustworthy partner in the entire universe, you still feel vulnerable in a way you wouldn't if you were in the UK. The safety net of friends, family, social security, knowledge of 'the system' etc isn't there. You don't have the choices available to you that you used to have and lack of choices undermines your confidence and can make you much more needy.

Add to that mix a bit of dishonesty and the results don't bare thinking about.

Chandon Thu 22-Nov-12 21:34:35

Agree with Charbon ( our names ar hard to tell apart sometimes)

Feckbox Fri 23-Nov-12 00:29:39

agree with holeyghost and think OP is massively over reacting because of understandible exhaustion and low self esteem.

Everyone here seems to be saying it's not the meeting it's the lying. But that is not what OP says ( obviously the lying is not good either and compounds her feeling shit about the situation )

The OP said at the outset "I have told him what I consider acceptable and daytrips or dining with a female colleague alone, who you see on a regular basis is not acceptable"

That's a whole other ball game. Banning opposite sex friendships is strong stuff. That gets called controlling when the genders are reversed.

I would not tolerate a marriage where I was banned from meeting male colleagues/friends . or one where my phone was being checked for that matter.

But as Holey says, all that is a red herring. OP is a worn out wreck and no wonder

OP, I hope you can sort it out. It can't be easy with small kids in a country that is not home.

Cahooots Fri 23-Nov-12 01:03:41

OP, do you anticipate moving countries anytime soon? 5 years of struggling with no support, feeling depressed etc would take it's toll on any marriage. Are you planning on returning to the UK? Do you think you would feel the way you do if you were living in the UK (or your home country)?

Mimishimi Fri 23-Nov-12 02:02:48

Where are you OP? If you are in HK, we could meet up for a chat?

deXavia Fri 23-Nov-12 02:47:59

I'm abroad (HK too - neighborly wave to Mimi) It is a huge step to make the move with small kids and also no job or independent income. Honestly I would turn the focus back on yourself. Frankly whether he is having an affair or flirtation or he is just a wee shit for lying - what is obvious in your posts is your sadness and dissatisfaction with where your life is. You can tear yourself to shreds about this woman or the emails but honestly I don't think that's the biggest problem.

Living abroad can be very lonely but equally can be a great chance to rediscover or reinvent yourself. How old are the kids? (I see one is 3 what about the others) Do you have help in the house? Do you get anytime by yourself or to do what you want? Start finding things that make you feel good about yourself. Can you work from a visa perspective and how supportive is the expat or local community? If you genuinely can't get time to do things for you - have you reached your limit if expat life, would you prefer to 'go home' and is that even an option? Also don't forget 'home' is probably very different to when you left depending on your kids ages, where home is etc.

None of this solves the issue of your husbands behaviour but it may help clarify what you want out of this life - if you stay married that cant be a bad thing and if it is all your worst nightmare and you do separate gives you more of a foundation to get use to starting over again.

I could join the discussion about the rights and wrongs of people traveling on business or the one about whether he is dishonest and for what reason - but really really I urge you to think about what can help you, your sadness is so clear in your posts.

Leadingavocado Fri 23-Nov-12 11:19:29

Thank you for the messages, I have taken a lot of it on board. Yes I will stop checking his Blackberry. i need to for my own self esteem. And you are right. This is about me and about how i want my life to be.

Like a lot of expat wives I would be in pretty deep trouble if the marriage ended. I do not believe it is healthy to be financially dependent on someone else. But that is a choice that has been made.

Yes i am probably being unreasonable about the dinners etc. I certainly think it is possible for a pattern to emerge if too much time is spent with one colleague and as I say, only he knows his own feelings.

I do not feel that I have a husband who madly loves me and that saddens me, but how many marriages are like that? Aren't a lot of marriages about compromise and enjoying the day to day. I can drive myself mad wondering wht he thinks of me of anyone else etc. At the end of the day, he has to take responsibility for his feelings and behaviour, as do I.

HoleyGhost Fri 23-Nov-12 11:55:44

I think you should see a counsellor to help you work out what you want to do next.

Just because you made a decision back then does not mean you need to stay exiled forever. Even if you choose to stay where you are you should be able to find a way to make your life more fulfilling and happy.

MadAboutHotChoc Fri 23-Nov-12 12:19:14

Op - are you going to talk to him about boundaries etc?

FushiaFernica Fri 23-Nov-12 12:42:46

Did your husband once 'madly love you' when you first started dating?

Abitwobblynow Fri 23-Nov-12 12:59:50

Avocado, don't lose yourself like that, don't give up.

IMO Feckbox is 100% wrong, this as Charbon said isn't just 'nothing' and it certainly isn't an overreact and it isn't happening because you have got low self-esteem.

Trust your instincts, they are your soul talking to you.

FanjoForTheMammaries Fri 23-Nov-12 13:01:58

I agree with wobbly.

If you were fulfilled and happy there it would mean it was fine for your DH to lie to you as you could cope with it better? I still think not.

FushiaFernica Fri 23-Nov-12 13:16:14

My question above doesn't make sense I meant have you always felt your relationship is a 'good enough' match more than 'head over heels' one? I can't really tell from what you have written.

NotQuintAtAllOhNo Fri 23-Nov-12 13:26:05

You seem very jealous and resentful.
I wonder if your husband is picking up on that? You have no trust in him.

Is there anything else aside from that indiscretion 10 years ago?

To be honest, I dont see why he cannot have dinner with a female colleague when on a work trip. Should he eat alone?
I think it would be very unprofessional to refuse eating out with colleagues whatever their gender. Why should he single out ONE colleague when other people from the office went on a trip? I dont get it.
I am not surprised he lies to you, to be honest.

What is left of your relationship when trust have gone?
Why not try find a job where you live? Get some self esteem, make friends?

OneMoreChap Fri 23-Nov-12 14:12:02

... And you deleted some of his work email
... And you "chucked a gift back"
... And you told him he mustn't have drinks/ meals with female colleagues
... And the dodgy behaviour was 10 years ago when you were hiding a relationship?

You do need to talk to him.
You both need to establish clear boundaries.

If you are so unhappy with him, and trust is gone, maybe it's better you end it. Good luck with whatever you decide.

Feckbox Mon 26-Nov-12 20:59:31

and you would be 100% right, wobbly?
what an interesting life you must lead with always being right and others not just wrong , but A HUNDRED PERCENT wrong.

WOW hmm

iwasyou Tue 27-Nov-12 10:18:36

I've been in your position OP, years ago, and I know how you feel.

I was stuck at home with young kids and sometimes felt pretty aggrieved about DH's work trips abroad .. which all sounded pretty glamorous from my perspective, although he always said he'd rather be at home.

Long story, but he also lied for a quiet life.. about an overnight trip with one female work colleague. I knew he particularly liked her and I wouldn't have been happy about it - although I wouldn't have stopped him going, I have to be honest and admit he would definitely have got some earache about it. And so I did contribute to the situation arising in a way. However, when he got home the next night he felt guilty about it and told me the truth.

Nothing had happened (she was happily engaged to a nice guy, and I'm sure not interested in DH), But I can't tell you how much the fact that he'd lied hurt me. It took a long, long time to get over. In his mind, he'd done nothing wrong while away - which I do believe - and just wanted to avoid any aggro. Not good enough, but the norm in his family while he was growing up.. to avoid telling the truth if it would lead to any unpleasantness.

Some people are concluding that your DH has been cheating, some that he is totally innocent. Of course none of us can really know, and I'm surprised that people feel able to declare with certainty that they do. Personally, I think it's quite possible you have nothing to worry about regarding him being faithful. But you do need to talk to him. Not to accuse him, but to help him understand how you feel.

You sound insecure and unhappy, and possibly depressed. You need love and reassurance from your DH. That's going to be hard to get in the midst of accusing him of stuff he may well not have done. He should really be able to have dinner with a woman colleague, for example, and I think you need to accept that.

Just to let you know, we are fine now. I know, looking back, that if I'd been happier and more confident in myself, I would have coped better during the time when DH was working away.

I hope you can talk with him honestly and that it's helpful. Also that you can find a way to make your own day-to-day life happier and more fulfilling, because I think that will be the key to making things better.

Leadingavocado Wed 28-Nov-12 07:32:08

I agree about the keeping quiet for an easy life and he is like that. He does not volunteer information. I guess another part of it is how he has certainly become more lax about contacting me and the children when he is away. Yes sometimes there are time difference issues but speaking to the children once a day is I would say a good thing to do and there is always email to contact me. He would not send me an email saying what he's done that day, even when it has involved something other than meetings, like a day trip or arriving in a place he has not been before. So I feel out of sight out of mind. I don't want him to do it because he should, but because he wants to.

I am sorry I sound so bitter, it is not a nice place to be. I am very upset about this trip and the lies and I do need to deal with it.

I have read some of the stuff on the Shirley Glass website and whilst i do not believe he is having an affair, I still do not know if there is an emotional closeness to this work colleague that is inappropriate.

I do not want to rehash all the stuff about dining with female colleagues etc, but what I am saying is that if he feels a closeness to her, if he is actively seeking her out then he should stop that and not be with her alone. If it is entirely innocent then I do not have a problem, but I do not know whether it is entirely innocent.

Charbon Wed 28-Nov-12 14:00:23

I agree with you OP. I think you're right to feel threatened by this particular friendship. It's not unreasonable to believe that your husband might not have lied about a friendship that was entirely innocent. You're also very wise to notice that he is distancing himself more from family life when he is away, than he used to in the past and that there is a possible link between this and the worries you have.

Have you had any more thoughts on how you can tackle this as a couple?

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