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Think (D)H is having an affair. Should I confront or gather evidence first?

(55 Posts)
moobrain Thu 06-Dec-12 21:46:54

Over the last few months DH has become surgically attached to his phone - slips it in his pocket whenever he leaves the room. He had recently got an iPhone so initially thought he was just keeping it protected from DD who loves a phone.

However bided my time and I know it's naughty but earlier this week he left it unattended so I looked. There is a friend of his that he has texted 4-5 times every day. Nothing totally incriminating but very jokey and most nights there is a 'night night you' text which is inappropriate I think. She is married and lives 90 mins or so away so really don't think there is an scope for physical action except for one night when he met her for dinner at a hotel (pre me seeing the texts and I've always trusted him 100% so nothing to worry about I thought). However I do not know what time he came home - 2am he says but I was asleep when he got in (as I knew he would be late).

Even an emotional affair is too much for me to tollerate. Should I wait and assume he will slip up and I'll see a more 'sexual' text or would you confront now and risk him deleting anything cos he knows I'm suspicious.

I will divorce him if he is cheating

Jemma1111 Thu 06-Dec-12 21:56:20

Don't confront him now or he will try and make you feel your'e paranoid and will completely deny any wrong doing.

Gather more evidence then take him for everything you can !

TurnipCake Thu 06-Dec-12 21:56:52

What is your gut feeling telling you, moo?

Abitwobblynow Thu 06-Dec-12 21:58:32

This is what I wished I had done. Brought up in conversation what cheating meant to me (betrayal, deceit, the worst violation of marriage there is), and that here were the consequences: instant ending, no home, no family life etc.

Then looked at him and said 'I hope if you are getting in deep with someone you shouldn't be, you weigh the odds and don't lie or keep secrets from me because that will not be tolerated'.

It won't make any difference once it has started (affairs are addiction), but I ran away from what you are facing, and it made it so much worse and I hurt myself really badly witnessing an infatuation I shouldn't have had to bear.

doinmybest Thu 06-Dec-12 22:51:58

I confronted too early. I was then convinced I was paranoid. So when I kept thinking these 'paranoid' thoughts i brushed them to the back of my mind. Now he has left to be with OW Im kicking myself because it was so bloody obvious all along.
I did explain - as Abitwobbly suggested - that if I was right then thats it, no excuses, no going back, but he still convinced me it was all in my imagination. When he eventually fessed up about OW through pure guilt and 'Icant take this anymore' I told him he knew the score and therefore by continuing to see her had made his choice everytime he dropped his trousers but I still wish I had the evidence originally and not played my hand too soon. hindsight is a marvellous thing

moobrain Thu 06-Dec-12 22:52:56

What happened wobbly if you don't mind me asking. I presume your suspicions were right?

I'm fairly sure dh knows my views on infidelity. I've always shown contempt for the celebs that cheat and said things like I'd never stand for that.

Suspect he is either sailing close to the wind or doesn't think I'd be strong enough to actually go.

My gut feeling is he's def involved with her but maybe not physically. I'd never text night night to anyone else and def not nearly every night.

Are deleted texts saved anywhere on an I phone.? I don 't have one so am not sure

moobrain Thu 06-Dec-12 22:55:46

Doin - yes thinking shouldn't play my cards too soon though is sooo hard to keep quiet.

Am hoping he'll get cocky and lazy and I'll find something that cannot be explained as anything else

Flumpyflumps Thu 06-Dec-12 22:57:00

I would say bide your time there's nothing concrete there and painful as it may be you do need concrete evidence so say nothing for now.

This is just from a friend of mine who's gut was right but confronted too soon and ended up in a manipulative situation.

SpoonyFuckersWife Thu 06-Dec-12 22:57:10

so really don't think there is an scope for physical action except for one night when he met her for dinner at a hotel..However I do not know what time he came home - 2am he says but I was asleep

hmm sounds like there's probably already been some physical stuff going on, op.

moobrain Thu 06-Dec-12 23:02:35

But would it be worth it just for one occasion? I honestly do not think there has been any other chances as he is short term being sahd so would have had to take our 2 yr old along to any meet ups- so a bit of a passion killer

MrsFlibble Thu 06-Dec-12 23:11:36

Moo, it would be the first time a cheater has involved his kids in affairs, it happens and its not nice.

MrsFlibble Thu 06-Dec-12 23:11:56


Brycie Thu 06-Dec-12 23:19:43

Yes I think it sounds like an affair. He's already been cocky and lazy allowing you to see those texts. Five texts a day and "night night you" is not normal.

My opinion is this: he feels safe that whatever has happened, or is happening, won't endanger or threaten his "real" life because she's married and lives a long way away. This could very well be more of a thrill that gives him a hard on than something that involves feelings and emotions, regular or planned meet ups. It may be the sort of thing that could be dropped like a hot potato if he got any sense that you knew or strongly suspected.

I only say this because this might affect the way you proceed and the actions you take. I don't know what you should do, I don't think this scenario is better or worse or anything, it's my opinion that this is the most likely scenario.

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Fri 07-Dec-12 07:39:42

I think you should talk to him. You'd be amazed how easy it is to find a half hour window in your day for a quick knee-trembler.... even with a toddler in tow. Doesn't have to be all guns blazing accusatory - you can be cleverer & more subtle than that, I'm sure - but it's important you let him know that you know IYSWIM. Don't stoop to playing private investigator... if you don't trust someone, that's enough.

AfishhCalledElvira Fri 07-Dec-12 07:44:13

The Shirley glass book totally opened my eyes to the boundaries of 'normal' friendships. I can't unlearn what I know now. I'd recommend getting a copy (not just good friends)

Abitwobblynow Fri 07-Dec-12 08:00:51

Hi, Moo, my H had plenty of evidence what I thought of affairs (my reaction to the affairs in his family) - sadly we don't have any control over the issues that go on in another person. Marriages do NOT cause affairs: the internal coping skills of the person choosing to step outside his marriage is what causes affairs.

Basically what happened is I enabled two years of emotional abuse and witness his commitment and devotion to another person which is hurt that cannot be undone. If there is any recommendation I can give you, that is you MUST protect yourself (and remove yourself from his presence).

I think you do have to communicate your boundaries to him. 'This is what I think of betrayal and this is what will happen if I find you have stepped outside your commitment'. You can't do nothing and THEN zap. Speak clearly and warningly of your concerns and consequences, then zap. He might get enough of a fright to stop.

The problem is that once the contact (flirting, letting the other know they are available, finding out the other is available, extreme arousal, sex) has happened, they enter 'lust-crazed dementia'. At this stage you are dealing with addiction as powerful as crack which lasts about 2 years (see above). They become someone you do not recognise. There is NOTHING you can do, not do, say, not say, be, not be; to stop it.

So I would say for your own self respect you need to do two things:

1. communicate your boundaries
2. set your boundaries (removing him from the home) once you find the OW/proof. This is to protect YOU - I promise you, watching him not care whether you are breathing let alone hurting whilst he is clearly obsessed with another, will strip you of self-respect that makes you doubt you are worth living. Get him out!

There is a fantastic download by Linda J macdonald called 'what will you become'? She describes this letter as 'a hard-hitting book for people in the beginning stages of an affair who've lost their ability to be objective about the danger of an outside romance. This is my attempt to shake up a hormone-crazed spous and motivate him/her to wake up and smell the coffee before it is too late. Also useful for hurt spouses who want to understand the roles that hormones and rationalizations played in their partner's affairs'.

It is a right kick in the nuts so I hope you confront him before he gets too deep Don't close your eyes to what is happening. I would not wish my humiliation on my worst enemy - and I brought it on myself for refusing to believe that the love of my life would want anyone else.

MrsFlibble Fri 07-Dec-12 09:15:19

Moo, my partner had just a "good friend" 300 miles away, and i saw loving and sexual texts between the 2, "Night Night xxx" was aways on there with a "Good morning babe", i stupidly let it carry on for 8 months in which he left me after i was so depressed i tried to commit suicide, he left the same day.

What im saying is, if you dont like it, and it seems abnormal then it is, and if you say something, he will make you feel paranoid, my ex did.

fiventhree Fri 07-Dec-12 10:03:16

I think it is too early to confront . It is true that you don't need proof but only if you feel certain in yourself that it has happened. I don't think you are convinced, as you are not as suspicious about that hotel dinner as many would be.

My own h managed nearly 6 years of online cheating because I confronted far too early . He was careful as hell after that and whilst I never got proof I did over time reduce myself to a paranoid and depressed wreck. ANd it didn't do the kids any good either.

I would say now that your gut is almost certainly right and let's. be honest, you already have more than enough evidence. If you won't leave him without proof he has slept with her then really it would be best to wait to get it.

AmberLeaf Fri 07-Dec-12 10:08:42

You don't go to a hotel for a meal, you go to use a bedroom.

Will you leave him?

ClippedPhoenix Fri 07-Dec-12 11:24:06

I personally think you have all the evidence you need. Whether it has been emotional or physical, he's having an affair.

Rugbycomet Fri 07-Dec-12 11:27:57

You don't go to a hotel for a meal, you go to use a bedroom.

Will you leave him?

How I wish there was a like button!!! smile

AmberLeaf Fri 07-Dec-12 11:36:11

Rugbycomet smile

Sorry this is happening to you OP, but I think if you wait for 'proof' you may wait for a long time.

Often you never get solid proof, it is also hard from where you are to see things for what they are.

From the outside looking in, it looks like he has crossed the line.

Rugbycomet Fri 07-Dec-12 11:41:52

Op...I am not meaning to take your situation lightly but I do think amberleaf has a point.

I hope things turn out ok for you.

Distrustinggirlnow Fri 07-Dec-12 12:03:04

Don't make any hasty decisions just yet. Also, don't try and decide what u will do, because if this hasn't happened to you before, then you won't know how you will feel.
Is he still a sahd? Do emails go thru to phone? If so check his sent mail box. Don't confront too early. I did as did many other sand they just delete everything then deny it all.
If u find any emails, send them to yourself.
If he has access to a car during the day, I'd check mileage too.
Sadly amberleafs comment is correct....
Hope you're ok

moobrain Fri 07-Dec-12 13:06:51

Thanks all for so many replies.

Amberleaf - I know what you mean about the hotels. She was staying in the hotel overnight for work reasons (or so they say) and so he went to meet her for dinner as he doesn't get much adult time whilst he is being a sahd.

Distrusting - yes he does have a car. I never use his car. Ever. Don't think I could even get into it to check mileage. It is a 2 seater so I've only been in it about three times since we've had DD as we can't all get in it so we just use my car. He does have email on his phone. I will check this but again it might be another few weeks before the phone is left unattended.

I'm kind of thinking over Christmas obviously I'll be around more, we'll be drinking at times, lots will be going on and so hopefully he will become lazy and I can check the phone.

I don't want to be a private investigator but like others I'm worried if I do say something too soon he will just be ultra careful because he is a very in-control, methodical and rare to slip up type of person.

If I have the hard evidence then yes I will leave him. He's not the greatest husband anyway. I will be Ok on my own. I have a good job. I could survive financially. I think he'd be in more trouble really as he is currently between jobs. I think being a sahd is denting his confidence and this could be the catalyst for this behaviour.

The texts that I have read although not totally incriminating are definitely VERY friendly, and the night night xx really is playing on my mind. I have close male friends that I would never ever ever text in that manner or that frequently and there is noone else (male or female) that he contacts even half as often.

I've never met her, but what I've heard makes her sound like a proper wifey, a practicing catholic... but then I expect he tells me what I want to hear anyway.

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Fri 07-Dec-12 13:10:58

"a practicing catholic"

Means nothing whatsoever. People used to think priests were utterly above reproach once, didn't they?

AmberLeaf Fri 07-Dec-12 13:49:43

Again Moobrain, so sorry you are facing this as its horrible.

I do understand the 'need' for proof. But it can be so hard to find and in looking for it you can feel like you are going crazy.

I glad that you feel positive about being single, as the fear of that and the financial concerns often stand in the way of making a break.

If you fears are confirmed or even if you feel you can't continue with the uncertainty, you will be fine.

Trust you instincts, they are based on what you see before you.

Good luck and chin up.

TalkativeJim Fri 07-Dec-12 13:50:11

But you have to be very careful here. If he is a SAHD, then there is potentially a case for him arguing to stay in the house with the kids, and have YOU support HIM while you move out...

How long has he been a SAHD, how established is this?

If it were me, I would go very carefully on mentioning divorce. If he's cheating and you want him out, I'd be making sure you get him out be insisting on a separation and him being elsewhere for a while as he has cheated, which gives you time to establish yourself as the main carer.

AmberLeaf Fri 07-Dec-12 13:51:13

Good point TalkativeJim.

Conflugenglugen Fri 07-Dec-12 14:37:09

moobrain - You say he isn't the greatest husband anyway, so my suggestion would be to act based on what you know and not what you can find out.

If you have to resort to finding evidence, then a marriage is already over. If you're right, it's over, and if you're wrong, I think you've already crossed the Rubicon ... and probably did some time before.

dervlam Fri 07-Dec-12 14:48:22

I've been there and I hope that it is innocent but from what you've said it sounds like all the signs are there.

talkativeJim is right. My advice would be to meticulously plan and consider all eventualities. if he is having an affair, your advantage is that he will be busy thinking with his dick and preoccupied with covering his steps and lying through his teeth. This gives you time to plan what's best for you. It's important you see a solicitor for a one off advice session. The last thing you need is to be paying him monthly maintenance payments for the foreseeable future just because you spoke out too soon. Knowledge is power and £150 to a solicitor now could save you thousands in the future. I speak from bitter experience.

If you're able to carry on as normal now, it will be better for you in the long term - Tempting though it will be to put him out now.

There's a wealth of experience on here for you to turn to. And finally, if he is having an affair, never under estimate the lies he can tell.

SleighbellsRingInYourLife Fri 07-Dec-12 14:49:49

What Talkative said.

Or wait until he gets a job.

moobrain Fri 07-Dec-12 15:28:56

I think you've hit the nail on the head. I don't know when he'll get a job. He has been sahd about 2mo now. He's had one interview but not really applying. The only reason I work full time is because he has persuaded me that it is necessary as I have stable work and he tends to do short term contracts.

If we split then I would without a doubt drop down to 3-3.5 days per week. I could still manage to survive if I bought a small house and was careful. My thinking is that if I had the definite evidence that he was cheating that I could take to a solicitor then I would just arrange to reduce my hours without consulting him and then I would be the equal carer (although the only one currently bringing money into the house).

I would want to move out as our shared house has too many memories. I'd want a fresh start. I'd want DD with me but would never deny her access to her Dad.

Surely if he was the one in the wrong and I'd done nothing wrong the courts would be on my side. Until 2 months ago he was working away Mon-Fri so I was doing full time and all the childcare. (obviously potential affair time then too though I never doubted him and he was never careful with his phone then).

So confused and tired. Perhaps I need a solicitor sad

KirstyWirsty Fri 07-Dec-12 15:49:46

moobrain I am so sorry you are going through this.. I went through the same a year ago

If you confront him without evidence he will deny and make you feel as though you are a paranoid idiot

Sounds as though you aren't too upset if the marriage was to end so you don't really NEED the evidence - just tell him you're not happy and it's over (but I wanted the proof myself)

Do a bit of digging and get some advice ...

Good luck and chin up - I am happier than I have been for years smile

ImperialBlether Fri 07-Dec-12 15:55:51

Be very careful about leaving while he is off work - you could end up paying for him to have the children living with him.

I would be looking at some way of monitoring what he's up to before saying anything. PM me if you want some advice on that.

Stay calm and stay in control for now. If he's a crap husband, you can bide your time.

moobrain Fri 07-Dec-12 16:22:44

Kirsty - I think I need the evidence partly for me as I'm a black and white type of person and then I can leave with my head held high knowing that I could do nothing more, but also if there turned out to be a massive custody battle I think this might help?

Imperial - exactly. My biggest nightmare. Paying a cheating husband to stay at home and look after our child when actually I want to be that person staying at home with her. I've PMed you. Thanks

janelikesjam Fri 07-Dec-12 16:51:28

Legally - never assume anything.

Can I suggest - not only get legal advice - but get a second-opinion-legal-advice - in case solicitor no. 1 misses anything, important!

That way also, if you ever did need to get divorced, you would be in the position of choosing the best solicitor.

I am really with the idea of free advice or a few hundred can save you thousands of pounds in the future (plus even some of the emotional turmoil; because you will know where you stand). Don't scrimp on that. Good luck.

Lavenderhoney Fri 07-Dec-12 18:40:29

Does he go out in his car to unspecified locations? You say he was working away from home during the week, til 2 months ago- when did he have this hotel dinner, was it during the last 2 months? Could he have been seeing her before?

Will you see a solicitor anyway, to know where you stand?

If you swipe left on an iPhone you can search a name, but it doesn't bring up deleted messages. Just tried itsmile but you could google it anyway, just delete the history after.

Horsemad Fri 07-Dec-12 19:31:13

You need to see a solicitor ASAP because of risk of him getting residency by being sahd.

That would indeed be most galling sad

imdreamingofaskyebluechristmas Sat 08-Dec-12 00:11:14

if he has only been SAHD for 2 months, then I really don't think that is long enough to give him grounds for custody....

trust your instincts... my XH had emotional affair, the first inkling I had was an email, in which he told her "you are a very clever girl to know so much".... just those words sent a shiver down my spine and I instantly started to think the unthinkable...

after XH walked out on me, I started to remember how the iphone was glued to him at all times, how OW got an iphone and he helped her to set it up, how he started staying up later than me, how he slept with the phone beside the bed.... when I checked the phone, all emails and texts between them had been deleted.

so, see if you can check his phone when he is asleep.... dont give him any idea until you have found what you want or need to, take copies of texts or emails if you can, just so you have proof.

I hope things work out for you, whatever happens

MrsjREwing Sat 08-Dec-12 00:26:47

You need to get alternative childcare sorted, he has a very good chance of getting residency, as you say you will be supporting a cheat and the Catholic cheat living in your house.

Don't confront him until you get childcare sorted.

MrsjREwing Sat 08-Dec-12 00:28:33

There is a way to catch out a cheat pm me and I will check you are a long time poster.

MyLittleFireBird Sat 08-Dec-12 00:43:37

Surely if he was the one in the wrong and I'd done nothing wrong the courts would be on my side.
No, who did what wrong in the marriage is not taken into consideration when considering childcare arrangements at all - only what is in the best interests of the children.

NaiceTurkey Sat 08-Dec-12 00:43:57

I think gather more evidence.

You could try 'tricking him' for the sake of your sanity but it might not give you hard evidence.

i was thinking something like texting him from a completely random/unknown number, something like

hi babe, it's me. Lost my phone, so on this one for a while xxx

And see what comes back.

It's vague enough that if she texts him five mins later, he will just assume it was wrong number.

BadLad Sat 08-Dec-12 02:05:49

"You don't go to a hotel for a meal, you go to use a bedroom."

Not always - some hotels have very nice restaurants in them.

Abitwobblynow Sat 08-Dec-12 13:02:35

"hi babe, it's me. Lost my phone, so on this one for a while xxx - wasn't [date of hotel visit] wonderful. What do you remember best?'

[but then I am evil]

clam Sat 08-Dec-12 13:38:27

But you are then banking on them calling each other 'babe.' <boak>

AmberLeaf Sat 08-Dec-12 13:42:46

That text would scream fake at me! Too probing.

janelikesjam Sat 08-Dec-12 14:21:59

I wouldn't do the kind of "surveillance" that has potential for you to have egg all over your face. Cool and cucumber are the words that come to mind ...

I also think that SAHD for 2 months does not scream SAHD but rather looking for work. And a temporary SAHD who will not look for work screams bit-of-a-cocklodger to me. But what people like me think no substitute for proper legal advice...

p.s. if he is dragging his feet looking for work for selfish even calculating reasons, perhaps you could look at changing your hours part-time to finish at 3p.m. if helps you assume more childcare.

Anyway, legally, you have to be canny, though sounds like you are already.

AfishhCalledElvira Sat 08-Dec-12 15:35:08

Do you have an iPad? The app 'wheresmyiphone' is great as it maps any linked iPhones. My friend caught out her lying husband ths way as he had no idea she could see where he was on the map! She tracked him for 3 weeks before confronting.

moobrain Sat 08-Dec-12 17:01:48

I have an iPod touch? Could I get the App on that? Although it only works when I have wifi (ie at home) so might not be that informative,

AfishhCalledElvira Sun 09-Dec-12 12:32:42

I have no idea if you can get apps for that. I can link my DHs iPhone ( and mine) to my iPad and it tracks where we are via the app. I think there are other apps that do similar ( aimed at people who lose their phone or have them stolen). It even shows up when the phone is off we discovered. Great if you both have nothing to hide! Am sure someone who knows more than me can confirm tho?

AfishhCalledElvira Sun 09-Dec-12 12:33:18

My iPad only works when I m at home too as its connected to the wifi too

TwoFacedCows Wed 19-Dec-12 00:52:25

how is it going OP? any update?

MissDiscombobulated Thu 20-Dec-12 01:12:35

I would (and did), bide your time and wait for evidence. As hard as that is, it will make your decision easier if you do find out that he is having EA or PA. I was in the same situation with an ex. My gut instinct from the start was that all was not right and I did confront him on some issues only for him to deny everything and charm me into thinking I was the only one. I became the private investigator and eventually caught him out. I was madly in love but the decision to leave was very easy. Sadly it has stayed with me into next relationship and I have major trust issues (and have been known to snoop)
It doesn't help that OH is a flirt, watches porn, checks out other women and has in the past lied to me. I might be able to handle all of this better if I had half of the self-esteem I used to have.
I hope it turns out for you to be benign. The waiting and watching consumes you and I really do feel for you.

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