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i think DH might be having an affair...

(64 Posts)
ishereally Tue 08-Jan-13 10:12:33

We have 2 young DCs, haven't had sex in 8 months and haven't really been communicating. I feel taken for granted, unattractive and boring. I am a SAHM and he has a hig powered job. I feel we have nothing to talk about except mundance things. He is very outgoing and gregarious and i am very introvert which has been a problem for many years but has got a lot worse since the DCs came and I stopped working.
We have gone from arguing to just ignoring eachother. He tries to talk to me about our problems but i am just not interested in talking to him.

In the past couple of months DH has seemed a bit happier but been showing some 'signs' that i think he might be playing away (1) surgically joined to phone. Doesn't seem to use it a lot but doesn't leave it laying around ever. (2)A sudden interest in getting into shape... I've been hassling him about this for ages as he's gained some weight over the past year or 2 and he's never been hugely receptive and all of a sudden he is swimming nearly every day. (I know he is swimming and not shagging somewhere as my friend is a lifeguard and sees him there!)

I don't know how to approach this with him and when i look at the 'evidence' in my post it seems pretty flimsy - but i just have this feeling that he has met someone else...

badinage Tue 08-Jan-13 10:15:59

You'll probably get a load of replies saying 'ask him' because some people really believe that in this situation, men who are having affairs will fess up.

But my advice is to look on his phone.

ishereally Tue 08-Jan-13 10:19:30

i looked on his phone and found nothing - but he would surely delete incriminating calls and texts? he's also started going out a bit more than usual but part of our relationship problems are to do with the fact he likes going out and i don't, and i don't like it when he goes out either so he's either found someone to go out with or is just ignoring the fact i don't like him going out.

If I ask him he'll tell me I am crazy and it will start another argument

BabysPointlessPocket Tue 08-Jan-13 10:19:54

Why won't you talk to him about your problems if he's willing to?

BabysPointlessPocket Tue 08-Jan-13 10:21:32

You don't sound very well suited at all.

Sugarice Tue 08-Jan-13 10:22:20

If you can't be bothered to talk in depth with him about issues how can you resolve anything at all, never mind if he may be involved with someone else?

AmberLeaf Tue 08-Jan-13 10:23:31

Why don't you like him going out?

I don't think you sound terribly well suited either.

aufaniae Tue 08-Jan-13 10:24:24

Forgetting about whether there is an affair or not for a minute, I think you are being a unfair to your DH.

You say " He tries to talk to me about our problems but i am just not interested in talking to him." and "he likes going out and i don't, and i don't like it when he goes out either".

How is your relationship ever going to improve if you refuse to do anything about the problems you know you have?

Also, I am sociable and love going out (not that I get any chance these days!) I would feel very controlled by a partner who didn't want to go out, but didn't want me to either, that's not fair at all.

Have you considered or tried counselling? Or just letting him go even? Is this relationship actually making either of you happy?

AmberLeaf Tue 08-Jan-13 10:24:32

It doesn't sound as though him possibly cheating is the main issue.

badinage Tue 08-Jan-13 10:27:31

Phone bills?

If you're a SAHM with young kids, maybe you'd quite like a break in the evenings so I get why you resent him going out.

ishereally Tue 08-Jan-13 10:28:19

2 reasons, firstly I just don't like confrontation and when he tries to talk about our problems it always just feels like he is having a go at me and the fact I am as I am (quite happy staying home alone with the kids on the weekend whereas he wants to be out and about) but secondly I think if we start talking about our problems it will end up in both of us realising that we are not very well suited and I am afraid he will leave me. He is my world and it would break my heart, plus the fact that I don't want my DCs growing up without us both in the same house.

I get jealous when he goes out. He's a good looking, charming, kind guy and I know women look at him. I don't think I am giving him what he wants to have been wondering how long it will take him to look elsewhere.

perfectstorm Tue 08-Jan-13 10:30:18

That confuses me a bit, too. He doesn't sound like someone who was detaching to facilitate an affair, he sounds like he really wanted to work at things. I don't understand, if you were unhappy as well, why you blocked that?

strumpetpumpkin Tue 08-Jan-13 10:31:04

hes going to realise that anyway. Youre being very unfair.

How come you arent having sex?

Sugarice Tue 08-Jan-13 10:31:50

I'm sorry you're feeling like this. sad.

If you haven't had sex for 8 months and you are both at the point of ignoring each other rather than even arguing then you need to talk to resolve these issues.

Sticking your head in the sand isn't going to work.

ishereally Tue 08-Jan-13 10:32:47

He does offer to take the kids so I can do things but I am quite happy being with my boys. We moved down to London a year ago for his job so I don't really know many people (originally from scotland). He has tried to introduce me to the wives of his colleagues (all SAHMs too) but I didn't click with any of them.

His phone is a work blackberry so we don't get the bills.

I couldn't let him go - I would have no-one sad
Maybe counselling would be an option. He has suggested it in the past so I think he would be open to it.

perfectstorm Tue 08-Jan-13 10:33:29

DH is gregarious and I'm not at all, incidentally. He goes out without me, and that's fine. I say no if I'm ill or something, but ordinarily. But we do also go for meals or a film, just the two of us.

I think you sound very depressed, and you feel really worthless. I think you need to see your GP, and I think you need to go to counselling. Honestly, depression with two small kids is really common. It's so hard, the early years. Access help - it is there. And tell your DH you think you're depressed and need his support. Be blunt about it and see how he reacts. It may be a positive surprise, you can't know.

ishereally Tue 08-Jan-13 10:34:30

I guess we went through a bit of a sex drought like lots of couples with young kids and then he stopped trying and i feel undesired. I suppose it was only a matter of time before he went elsewhere for it

ishereally Tue 08-Jan-13 10:35:37

yes, i guess i have to just talk to him don't i?
But what if it's too late and he's met someone else?

perfectstorm Tue 08-Jan-13 10:36:52

Honestly, from all you're saying, he sounds like he loves you very much and is worried. You also sound like you're shy and have been suddenly uprooted - that's really hard on anyone, especially if you find new people tough. I do as well, so I sympathise.

Find a Pilates class just for yourself, or a gym with a creche. Honestly you need to meet people casually, get out of the house. As someone whose mother has accused her of being agoraphobic before I do understand, seriously I do, but with little kids it's essential to see daylight, exercise is a must, and you will feel better once you have your own support structure. And your boys need company, too. Are there mother and toddler groups you go to?

Sugarice Tue 08-Jan-13 10:36:58

Hang on, you don't know he's seeing someone else.

Swimming to get in shape and phone use don't necessarily mean he's at it.

Is he away from home a lot?

perfectstorm Tue 08-Jan-13 10:38:45

Talk to him. Honestly, if you don't things will deteriorate. Explain how terrible you're feeling and ask for him to support you. And please, try to arrange at least one night a week where you and he spend time together, just as a couple. Your kids will benefit from that a lot. Get a babysitter in, even if it's just a film. You need time as a couple quite desperately IMO.

SpringIsComing Tue 08-Jan-13 10:39:25

^ I think if we start talking about our problems it will end up in both of us realising that we are not very well suited and I am afraid he will leave me. He is my world and it would break my heart^
He is not your world if you are willing to ignore his unhappiness because you find communication difficult. He is not your world if you would prefer for him to live in a relationship with the wrong person for him. Think about what it means.

I am sorry that you are going through this and if it turns out he is having an affair. That isn't right. But either way, you do need to speak to him and be willing to discuss your joint pre-existing issues.

isereally you do sound generally depressed and very 'meh' about life in general.

It's fine to be happy being with your children - but for your own self-worth and your relationship with your H, you need to have a balance of time as a couple and time as an adult on your own or with friends - not just being a mother. Everybody needs friends of their own. Otherwise you & your H will drift into seeing each other as nothing but a co-parent and, years down the line when your 'boys' find lives of their own, you will feel like shit!

Your H does sound like he has/is trying to make things work - by trying to introduce you to potential friends and offering to have the DC so you can do something. Please just try it next time he offers. Go out on your own, go shopping and buy something you fancy. Or get a babysitter and go out with your H, to the cinema, for a drink, anything.

You do need a life of your own. Otherwise if your worst fear of your H having an affair does become a reality, what will you do? Just put up with it because you 'have no-one'? sad

ishereally Tue 08-Jan-13 10:41:41

He is away from home a fair bit but has been for the past 5 years so nothing new there. The new things are (1) Him seeming happier when things between us are getting worse (2) clinging to phone (3) more swimming (4) going out a bit more, or wanting to go out a bit more. Whenever i have checked up on his whereabouts he has been where he said he was but there's just this nagging feeling i have.

We do go to toddler groups most days but I find the small talk hard. I have nothing to talk about!

perfectstorm Tue 08-Jan-13 10:41:54

"But what if it's too late and he's met someone else?"

But what if it ISN'T too late, he hasn't met anyone else, you let this situation drift... and then he does?

A sexless, hostile marriage where you are badly depressed is a recipe for a divorce, don't you think? And he wants to improve things, even if he's frustrated and tactless in how he goes about it.

Exercise (to boost endorphins - fantastic natural antidepressant) for you, counselling for the two of you, and date nights. At least try to talk to him with those as suggestions. You don't need to feel this terrible.

SpringIsComing Tue 08-Jan-13 10:42:22

I didn't mean that to sound as harsh as it came out. Do try talk to him though. It's a good sign that he wants to talk to you and try to work on things. Maybe counselling would help the communication be more effective so you could open up and not feel got at.

PS - just read that back and I don't sound very sympathetic - sorry. I do feel for you, but just wanted to say that you do need to try and change the way you are functioning day to day, for everybodys' sake.

perfectstorm Tue 08-Jan-13 10:43:23

Ha, I bloody HATED toddler groups. Lots of people love them, but they weren't for me. A book club, maybe? You can meet interesting people locally that way. You sound like you're thoughtful and intelligent and it might be nice to have some time and space that's just for you, frankly.

ishereally Tue 08-Jan-13 10:46:17

I don't think any of you are harsh - its nice to have someone to talk to - ironically!

I worry that I am not sexually attracted to him anymore. Is it possible to have a long lasting marriage with someone you're not sexually attracted to?

I hated toddler groups too. And you probably have nothing to talk about as you don't do anything much anymore. Even just going clothes shopping or going to the cinema would give you something different to talk about!

How close are either of your DC to school age? I made some good new friends once my DC were at school full time (luckily a couple of them were mothers of my DCs friends so was convenient too!).

Otherwise as someone else said, are you interested in book clubs, or going to a gym or swimming club yourself? You mentioned you have a friend who is a life guard so that's one friend to be starting with! Anywhere that gets you talking to people smile.

I wouldn't look too deeply into how you're feeling towards DH at this point - if you are depressed, or even just a bit 'down', your libido can take a battering. It could be as simple as that, and you could find that once you cure the problem, that 'symptom' could sort itself. smile

Sugarice Tue 08-Jan-13 10:50:14

There is another thread on here about a sexless marriage, no it rarely works unless both parties want that!

The longer you go without sex the harder it is to get back into it.

Would you consider going to the GP to talk about how you feel

It's a new year, arrange a Sitter and go out with your dh for a meal and really talk to each other.

ishereally Tue 08-Jan-13 10:53:57

if it will help save my marriage then a meal out and a trip to the surgery isn't a lot to start with i suppose!

perfectstorm Tue 08-Jan-13 10:54:18

Depression is great at making you go off sex. DH and I went almost a year without when DS was very young, and a few years back when I was very depressed. We generally had (and have again now) a great sex life. It waxes and wanes and that's normal. But no, you won't be attracted to a man you either argue with or ignore, and you won't have much of a libido if you are depressed, either.

I think you need to worry about the depression and the loneliness and the lack of communication. After that, there are definitely ways to spark your libido again, yep. And the less you have sex the less you want it, and vice versa, so most people have less when the kids are very young. But in my view and experience you can very much reignite that attraction, yes. I went through phases when I didn't, but I lust after my husband a lot now. And we've been together 12 years.

Marriages aren't linear and nor is desire. There are peaks and troughs. You would be pretty weird to feel sexy in the situation you describe, in all honesty, and I think that's the least of your concerns right now.

OP yes it's a start, and that can be all it takes to get things moving in the right direction again. You might even enjoy your night out and want another one smile

AgathaF Tue 08-Jan-13 11:02:01

Book an appointment with your GP today, do it now. Then write down how you feel in case you find you don't want to speak when you get to your appointment. Tell your DH what you are doing and use it as a springboard to discuss stuff.

As others have said, you can't ignore all his offers and attempts to help the situation and still expect your marriage to work out.

Think up something to do together at the weekend that you would enjoy and do it.

BabysPointlessPocket Tue 08-Jan-13 11:45:26

Go out with your dc and Dh at the weekends too, like he suggested, a walk through the park (hold hands, bit of romance), hats, gloves, scarves
, a flask of hot choc, a box of sandwiches, apples, a kite and a football, perfect! Just try it.

MamaGeekChic Tue 08-Jan-13 12:51:01

So what do you get from the relaionship OP if you don't talk, have sex or go out together? Maybe your DH has simply decided to get on with his life to ensure he has something left of it should you divorce but getting healthier, maintaining friends and a social life not neccesarily seeing someone else. What does he get from your relationship as it is? Controlling someones freedom to go out is not normal.

I think you need to talk, if he really is your world you'll put all fears aside and realise how important it is for you to communicate.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 08-Jan-13 12:57:47

You don't actually need proof of an affair to express to someone that you're unhappy with the state of the relationship or even to point out that their behaviour is suspicious. You don't have to make heavy accusations or confrontations. It's enough to say ... "you're acting out of character, I'm unhappy/bored/etc and, if we don't do something about our relationship, our marriage is going nowhere."

ishereally Tue 08-Jan-13 13:10:46

just got the laundry out - yesterday's shirt smells of perfume which isn't mine. He was working late last night (which isn't unusual) but why would his shirt smell of perfume sad sad I was right wasn't i sad

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 08-Jan-13 13:15:49

It's not great, is it? confused Time for the conversation, unfortunately.

Sugarice Tue 08-Jan-13 13:26:28

Oh no! sad

What are you going to do?

ishereally Tue 08-Jan-13 13:44:32

suppose i will have to ask him about it. i can't pretend i didn't smell it.
i'll wait till he gets home and then ask him about it.
not sure how to hold it together for the rest of the day though. Boys are going nuts and I can't think about anything else

SundaeGirl Tue 08-Jan-13 14:31:34

I don't think I've ever been on a thread on MN where the question posed was is he having an affair and the answer turned out to be 'no'.

Sorry to be blunt OP but from what you've written it does sound to me as though your DH is having an affair. However, it sounds as though you love each other and are out of sync with each other. So, if it turns out that he is having an affair be kind to yourself, give yourself some space and get some counselling because your marriage sounds salvageable but you will both need to change.

Allergictoironing Tue 08-Jan-13 14:39:07

Whether your DH is having an affair or not, you certainly seem to be in need of some help. Lethargy about life in general seems to ooze from everything you say, which sounds rather like depression to me.

You don't say how old your DCs are - any chance you could have a dose of PND?

SpringIsComing Tue 08-Jan-13 14:44:51

I'm really sorry, OP sad

SomebodySaveMe Tue 08-Jan-13 14:50:09

I don't think that a perfume smelling shirt is conclusive proof. Surely hugging someone wearing a strong scent would do that or being sat close to someone- both of which are harmless.

I think you need to be brutally honest with yourself and ask yourself what you are giving him and what he is giving you. You both need to work at a relationship and from what you've said it sounds as though its just him.

dequoisagitil Tue 08-Jan-13 14:55:57

Even if he is having an affair, you might find you both want to try to make your marriage work. I am so sorry about the possibility he has cheated, and hope it's not true - it's the last thing you need.

You do sound like you're depressed, so no matter the outcome of tonight's conversation, please go to the GP and get some support.

AgathaF Tue 08-Jan-13 15:14:37

OP have you phoned your GP for an appointment yet?

ishereally Tue 08-Jan-13 17:11:14

No - still trying to make sense of the perfume sad

MamaGeekChic Tue 08-Jan-13 18:57:47

If it's any comfort I often smell of a colleague's aftershave as he --bathes in it--applies it liberally and greets me with a kiss on the cheek. I often find myself thinking he's nearby later in the day then realising it's me. I'm also guilty of occassionaly spraying perfume in other's cars (I always ask permission) en route to meetings etc. It doesn't neccesarily mean the worst but please talk to him, tonight.

GregBishopsBottomBitch Wed 09-Jan-13 01:03:54

OP When you know hes due to be home, sit down and make it look like your upset about something (trickery but meh), if he comes to ask you whats wrong, say I just feel so worthless, we dont have sex anymore, we dont talk, i dont feel attractive, i got myself so worked up that i wouldnt surprised if you had someone else, i dont want our marriage to end, i really dont, but i dont know how to make you want me again then sob about, watching for his reaction.

GregBishopsBottomBitch Wed 09-Jan-13 01:08:13

Also have you considered it might be for your benefit, getting in shape, maybe planning something, i wouldnt assume the worst, until the evidence is undeniable, also the perfume thing, if someone else was working with him, its easy to transfer the smell, maybe a woman sprayed some and it got on him.

You need to be clever to work this out, so dont act suspect but keep a look out. Also get someone to watch the kids, get dolled out, and say lets go out, his reaction will say a million words.

perfectstorm Wed 09-Jan-13 01:11:45

To be totally honest, I don't think it wise to start playing games with an already troubled marriage - trying to manipulate with sobs, work out a reaction's meaning by second guessing. He's meant to be (and presumably once was) your best friend. Sit him down and be honest about how low you are, how unhappy, how bad your self esteem. Talk about seeing the GP, say you want things to get better and ask for his support.

Can you all get away for a break somewhere nice? Short one, with good childcare laid on? So you can talk in a nice environment?

Perfume may not mean anything. And your marriage does sound salvageable, because from what you say, he hasn't checked out. Please try to sort something. Good luck, and please do know you have a lot of support here.

GregBishopsBottomBitch Wed 09-Jan-13 01:30:35

Perfect From what it sounds that would be honest, because the marriage has issues, she clearly doesnt want to confront the issue just yet, so a little gathering of points might be needs, til shes stronger to do it.

Take out the sobbing bits, what i suggested is pretty much what she wants to say, so OP just say it, but dont say it in angry manner, be calm.

Sugarice Wed 09-Jan-13 06:45:06

How are you this morning OP, did you talk to your dh?

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 09-Jan-13 07:19:20

"i dont know how to make you want me again"

Getting into shape? Getting dolled up? That just makes the OP look pathetic and perpetuates the myth that women have to make an effort to keep their man. The marriage isn't going well, he's distant, she's suspicious and unhappy. All valid things to talk about as a couple. No need to demean herself.

AllOverIt Wed 09-Jan-13 07:38:34

How are you OP?

GregBishopsBottomBitch Wed 09-Jan-13 09:01:38

Cogito, How is doing something purely for herself demeaning, you have to make an effort for yourself, because if you look the way you feel, you are gonna keep feeling it til it grinds you down.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 09-Jan-13 09:08:15

How is "wouldnt surprised if you had someone else, i dont want our marriage to end, i really dont, but i dont know how to make you want me again "...not demeaning? This is an adult woman with marital problems, not some simpering teen in Jackie magazine.

GregBishopsBottomBitch Wed 09-Jan-13 09:12:25

* rolls eyes* hmm

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 09-Jan-13 09:13:16

rolls them back....

CajaDeLaMemoria Wed 09-Jan-13 09:22:13

It's probably worth noting that if he's started working out, he's bound to feel happier. It releases good hormones, and it feels good to start working on yourself.

Smelling of perfume isn't necessarily saying he is having an affair, some people just use a whole bottle each day and it's impossible not to smell like them. Equally, he could have given someone a completely innocent hug. Be wise, but don't jump too to many conclusions, because his shirt smelling of perfume means at least he had his clothes on.

You need to talk to him. You'll get nowhere if you don't, and your relationship will crumble. You are both unhappy, splitting up has probably already crossed his mind as a possibility, but he obviously doesn't want to give up yet. Get help, and talk to him. Plan something out - a meal, a film, a walk in the park, anything that's just you. And do something to boost your confidence. Put a gorgeous dress on if it makes you feel great, paint something, put your favourite album on. Give yourself a boost. It'll make everything seem less of a challenge.

giveitago Mon 21-Jan-13 15:09:08

If you can't be bothered to talk in depth with him about issues how can you resolve anything at all, never mind if he may be involved with someone else?

It's not all about not being bothered - it's in a lot of cases about treading on eggshells.

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