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Am I right to think hmmmmmmmmmm?

(58 Posts)
Puzzledandpissedoff Sun 10-Feb-13 15:24:22

Can anyone tell me what they think of this

A few months ago oh got involved in sexting some young woman (he's 60) and everything went apeshit when I found out. However after a long marriage which seemed too much to chuck away I've stuck with him, and since then things have got a lot better with constant little messages from him telling me how much he loves me, nice times and holidays planned and other good stuff

After what happened I used to check his email facebook and stuff, but haven't done it for ages. But yesterday something made me check again, and there's a message to another friend saying he's created a new email address "if you want to chat on that" I know about this friend, he's never hidden that he messages her, and has even mentioned me (nicely) in a lot of them, so there shouldn't be a problem

Thing is, they used that new address for about 6 messages then just went back to using facebook, so now I'm confused. Part of me thinks ok, maybe fb was glitching, but then why not use his usual personal email, why create a new one that he's never mentioned. There are also no other messages on it to anyone at all. The obvious thing is just to ask him, but should I keep it to myself for now and monitor if anything else gets sent on it?

Tell me if I'm just being stupid and there's an obvious explanation I haven't thought of, but right now I'm totally confused and feeling a bit uncertain and I'd be grateful for anyone's opinion

scarletforya Sun 10-Feb-13 15:40:55

I think it's supicious too OP. You're no being supid. Far from it.

Dryjuice25 Sun 10-Feb-13 16:09:49

If he has done it before then he can do it again. I'd keep an eye on it so you know whether he really meant it last time or he just told you what he thought you wanted to hear. mid life crisis bastard

MajesticWhine Sun 10-Feb-13 16:13:30

I would keep an eye on the email account, rather than mentioning it, but I am a suspicious type. It does sound like maybe he is looking for a chance to cheat.

TheElephantIsADaintyBird Sun 10-Feb-13 16:15:31

There's not much there to draw a conclusion on so if I were you I'd keep it quiet for now, if he is up to something then you don't want to show give it away too soon.

MadAboutHotChoc Sun 10-Feb-13 17:49:47

There should be total transparency, no secrets and honesty and given his history its even more important that he is open about his friendships with the opposite sex and that he has well established boundaries...

No wonder you are very suspicious - I would think he is looking for new opportunities to cheat.

This is a good link that you may want to use should you decide to talk to him:

dondon33 Sun 10-Feb-13 18:35:23

No! your not being stupid, that's highly suspicious behaviour.
I would hold my tongue for now and continue monitoring until you have something concrete to confront him with. At the moment with nothing, he can give you any reason he wants and then become more secretive.

Rooneyisalwaysmoaning Sun 10-Feb-13 18:38:12

have you got to grips, both of you, with the reasons behind the other thing that happened? because until you do, you'll never be able to relax iyswim...he may well keep doing it.

Puzzledandpissedoff Sun 10-Feb-13 19:54:31

Thanks very much for everyone's great replies, and to HotChoc for that excellent link. The thing of keeping it to myself for now is what seemed best to me and because most of you say the same that's probably what I'll do. It's true that I can't accuse him of anything when there's nothing there, which is why I wondered if I was being silly. It's just that, after before, I suppose it's natural to wonder - I mean, what other reason is there to create another email account? I just can't think of one, unless anyone else can?

Rooney, he said at the time the sexting was just a bit of excitement which he wasn't proud of himself about. He's not a man who likes to keep dragging things up so he wouldn't appreciate me going on about it, and like I said he really has made much more of an effort since. As I told him though, a long term marriage can't compete with that kind of "excitement" and I've said clearly that he won't get a second chance

I suppose I just feel a bit unsteady at the moment :-(

Hassled Sun 10-Feb-13 19:59:47

I take it you've looked at the deleted messages folder for the new email account?
It is all bloody odd and it's not surprising that you're feeling wobbly - I think if that were my DH (i.e. even with no sexting history) I'd be very disconcerted. You do need to talk to him about it, but I think maybe bide your time for a bit first. Give it another couple of weeks and then have another look.

Puzzledandpissedoff Sun 10-Feb-13 20:06:54

I sure have Hassled! I've gone through every setting and folder on it I can discover and there's nothing on it at all except those few (harmless) messages they sent before returning to chat through facebook. I'm going to feel a fool now if it's really nothing, but I've got to be aware these days and it's just so damned ODD. If I say something now and it IS iffy, he could just create yet another email account I don't know about, so yes I'll keep schtum but keep looking

Slippersox Sun 10-Feb-13 20:09:42

Puzzled I am not able to say much at mo but will PM you in next day or two because several months after discovering my DH - in early 50s - had been flirting and developing a text / sext relationship with OW we had a big set back in recovery when I looked on his phone for first time in weeks and was upset by just one text.We got back on track again,but it was a major wobble.Almost worse than the original shock as I was struggling to rebuild trust.Every situation is different ,and I am no expert,just someone with a previousllong and happy marriage who was so badly hurt,but I will be in touch

AnyFucker Sun 10-Feb-13 20:12:47

Fool me once....

izzyizin Sun 10-Feb-13 20:19:05

It's called 'keeping a watching brief', honey. And it sounds as if you'll be best advised to keep it for the next 15 years or so unless your local vet will take care of him for you.

Puzzledandpissedoff Sun 10-Feb-13 20:21:53

Slippersox for pete's sake don't PM me at the moment. It goes to an email account he can see if he wants to, and I wouldn't want him to read what I've put while I'm trying to keep what I know to myself. Of course I could create another email account I suppose, but it would be a bit rich after what I've written about his!

Anyfucker, I don't understand the post, is there more of it which follows?

Puzzledandpissedoff Sun 10-Feb-13 20:23:55

I like your bit about the vet, izzyizin! I hope it doesn't come to that though!

BesameBesame Sun 10-Feb-13 20:26:03


Keep an eye on but keep quiet.

Helltotheno Sun 10-Feb-13 20:26:46

unless your local vet will take care of him for you.

Bwaah hah!! You're evil you smile

Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

Is that it Any?
I agree too. Lord at his age you shouldn't have to be chasing him to make sure he's not chasing skirt. Does it never end?
Hardened cynic at this stage

Puzzledandpissedoff Sun 10-Feb-13 20:29:26

Ah I see what the sentence means now, Helltotheno :-) And no I don't intend to get fooled again if I can possibly help it, like I said he won't get a second chance. As for his age, tell me about it! Maybe it's a middle age crisis after all, but that doesn't make me feel much better to be honest

izzyizin Sun 10-Feb-13 20:30:13

'Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me'

If we all had to spend time cross-stitching this slogan on a cushion cover, we might be more inclined to remember it - and act on it.

AnyFucker Sun 10-Feb-13 20:42:13

It doesn't mean you are a fool, love

I means heis the fool, and you are just a secondary role in his fuckwittery

Is that what you want ?

Puzzledandpissedoff Sun 10-Feb-13 21:24:53

Definitely not, Any! Like I said if there's anything really going off here he's out, I won't go through that again. Okay so he did something stupid and cruel, he's honestly tried to make amends, but it's no use me pretending I can trust him like I did because I can't

Another thing that surprises me is that he's used his usual password for the new email account. I know it too and he's aware of that, so I'd have thought he'd pick another one if it was dodgy, but I just really, really hate having this hanging over me. Anyway I'll check it again and see what if anything happens

gruffalobore Sun 10-Feb-13 21:33:25

Sorry to hear you're going through this Puzzled. Just a thought - on this new email account did you try to recover any messages that were deleted from the deleted box (if that makes sense)?
Like you say it's suspicious when they could've just talked on facebook.

Puzzledandpissedoff Sun 10-Feb-13 21:40:15

Yes I did Gruffalo, I even went into the recycle bin on his laptop, and the only deleted stuff in there is harmless. Okay I'm no computer whizz, but neither is he and he'd struggle to do a really professional cover up job

Unlike when he was sexting that girl before, he's not possessive with his phone now either, in fact he lent it to me to try as I'm thinking of getting a blackberry too. What I really need here is a crystal ball !

gruffalobore Sun 10-Feb-13 21:44:22

I don't really want to go into why I needed to on here, but I once installed a key logger on the laptop that logged every key stroke and website that was made/visited. It was hidden on the computer and only the person who installs it can bring it up.
I don't think posters are a fan of it on here as it just leads to more feelings of distrust and paranoia. But as you are already looking at emails etc I guess it's no different. Just an idea so you can know for sure.

Puzzledandpissedoff Sun 10-Feb-13 21:51:43

An interesting idea about the key logger, but with firewalls set so high don't they get detected? I know the people who sell them say it can't be done, but they're obviously going to say that! Hmmmmm I might just check the account myself anyway, unless there are any experts out there who can shed any light on the logger things? Got to go offline in a moment, but will log on again tomorrow for everyone's very gratefully received words of wisdom!

gruffalobore Sun 10-Feb-13 21:59:09

The one I used gave instruction on how to allow it via your antivirus settings. I just Googled 'free key logger' and searched through a few until I found one that was truly free and easy to use. I've uninstalled it now but wish I'd noted down the name of it so I could pass it on in times like this. Might look tomorrow to see if I can find it and post again if you want to go down that route.

piratecat Sun 10-Feb-13 22:03:47

Are you happy with the content of the deleted emails to the woman you know?

I did wonder though, what's to say there aren't more emails that have been deleted permanently? You wouldn't know their content.

Snazzynewyear Sun 10-Feb-13 22:10:03

I would guess they have gone back to Facebook because given that you know they chat, it would look more suspicious to just stop talking altogether. I can't think of any reason for the new email other than keeping inappropriate conversations secret. You may have missed anything of that sort so far but people almost always slip up when something dodgy is going on, so I think you're right to keep quiet for the moment and just keep monitoring the account. Not great that you have to, of course.

Rooneyisalwaysmoaning Mon 11-Feb-13 07:14:45

I think this is because of the previous activity, the thing is however innocent it might be, you're suffering because of his actions - and you'll keep worryign and suffering until he apologises properly, figures out what made him do it before and you both feel confident hewon't do it again.

If you haven't yet processed the last 'affair' (strong word for it but still) then you've not much hope of ever getting past it. It's still hurting you and having an impact. And if you're really at the point where you would consider installing a keylogger then it shows how much damage it actually did to your marriage.

There's no trust any more. Can you really live like that? I'm sorry, I don't mean to be so bleak but I think it needs sorting out so you can move on or you'll be tearing yourself apart over (possibly minor) stuff like this for ever.

Puzzledandpissedoff Mon 11-Feb-13 12:29:57

There's a lot of truth in that Rooney, but he's aware he made an awful mistake, maintains it would never happen again so it's hard to see what else I can do, short of any actual proof

An update is I asked to borrow his Blackberry last night, I wanted to see the reaction. No hesitation giving it, and the new gmail address was there as a screen icons. I couldn't say nothing so acted surprised, he said he installed gmail because this friend uses it and it has a chat facility, but that they'd hardly bothered with it and use Facebook instead, which appears quite true. Also yes Piratecat, the deleted messages are totally harmless chitchat

BUT FACEBOOK HAS AN INSTANT CHAT FACILITY AS WELL so why the hell install another one? I'm really sorry to faff about like this but it's messing with my head. As he's said, he can't prove a negative and if there's really nothing to this I'm being a fool over nothing, but all my instincts are on red alert, and MNers says always to trust them

Does anyone have any good ideas for how I can answer this once and for all?

Pilgit Mon 11-Feb-13 13:28:26

The facebook chat function can be very slow and the gmail one may be more user friendly (don't use either as a bit of an ignoramus when it comes to these things). He may have installed it to avoid junk mail - the amount of junk email I get I had to change my email address a while back as the only way to deal with it all. Suspicious behaviour does not always have a suspicious motive but only you know how you feel and just because there is no evidence doesn't mean there isn't something there. Instincts are often right.

Technoviking Mon 11-Feb-13 13:36:55

The fact that you're this suspicious should be all the evidence you need. You can't trust him, so I would suggest focussing on what you're going to do next, rather than waste energy trying to catch him.

piratecat Mon 11-Feb-13 23:37:50

it could be innocent with the chat thing. like 'have you got the g mail chat its much better than Facebook ' and he thought oh sounds good oh i need a g mail account for that.
i don't know how you can move forwards when your trust it broken like this op .sad

Puzzledandpissedoff Tue 12-Feb-13 19:11:31

Well, I bought myself a new smartphone today, I think I said before my previous one was dying. OH has been genuinely helpful setting it up, and keen to point out that this gmail thing is okay but he didn't find it the best one to use himself. As I said, he went back to FB chat himself and says this is why, interesting that he was extremely open in talking about it. Hmmmmmm - I don't think I've got much choice but to just continue with the monitoring

TheElephantIsADaintyBird Wed 13-Feb-13 08:28:48

It could be that he's not doing anything wrong, it does sound like he's being open and honest from what you've said.

There's probably people on here that can advise you on this better than I can, but I do think you both need to look in to why he did what he did. I may be wrong but it sounds as if you found out, kicked off, he said sorry and it was never spoken about again, or something along those lines.

Obviously you know him best OP, but just don't tie yourself up in knots over what could be nothing.

fiventhree Wed 13-Feb-13 12:13:56

I also have an h who cheated for years via the net ( only the net, he says), and it took me a long time to discover it, despite earlier suspicions.

I would NOT be at all happy for my h to be having private chats on gmail with any women, at all, after this.

I would NOT be happy to find he had set up a private email address again either, given he did this before.

I don't think your h is demonstrating that he is managing his boundaries very well, and he certainly lacks the insight to imagine how it might look and feel to you.

I should put him right on that. If he can't manage his boundaries, I think you should clarify with him what yours are, and stick to them.

Puzzledandpissedoff Wed 13-Feb-13 13:07:50

That's it fiveinthree, THAT'S EXACTLY IT. I realise these emails are (probably) innocent, and if it wasn't for what happened before I might not give it a thought, but it DID happen, which is why I'm jittery now. It's also true he can be careless about boundaries, not that he does it deliberately I'm sure, he just doesn't see the impression it can give.

I've actually spoken to him about this already, which is perhaps why he's being very open about the emails now. He tried to say "what's the problem, there's nothing harmful in it", but I explained that he really does need to be more careful. Whether it will make any difference I just don't know, but I can only try. I really hope I'm not being naive here and that this latest thing is truly innocent - god, why are these men so STUPID sometimes?

fiventhree Wed 13-Feb-13 13:26:24

Can I suggest you read the Shirley Glass book and also possibly Thompson and Cloud on boundaries.

The issue is less what he thinks is right or ok( obviously that is an issue but a separate one.)

The real issue for you is being clear about what is acceptable and why, and being clear about staying that.

I always used to think I was fairly smart and assertive, and possibly come over that way, but I found that over this stuff I was a lot more muddled than I had believed myself to be, both in what I wanted and how I went about getting it.

After that, it's up to him.

Even 15 months on, I find it hard re trust , but then mine was broken over a 5-6 year period, but a great heap of lying and denial thrown in.

fiventhree Wed 13-Feb-13 13:28:57


Stating not staying

Also "With a great heap of"

Puzzledandpissedoff Wed 13-Feb-13 13:49:46

Fiveinthree, did you mean "Not Just Friends"? I've got that one and very good it is too, but I'll definitely also get hold of that one about boundaries. You're right of course that the important thing is how this matters to ME, since he was the one who chose to cheat. Believe me I'm not in any doubt about that, but getting it across isn't always easy

Frankly I just wish I wasn't in this position at all, but I am and it's got to be dealt with, unfortunately

MadAboutHotChoc Wed 13-Feb-13 14:00:25

Re read NJF's sections about walls and windows - very good explanation of how boundaries are crossed.

Can I ask if HE has read the book?

fiventhree Wed 13-Feb-13 14:16:57

Yes I did. I agree with MAHC .

He has shown he is vulnerable to OW, hasn't he? So I don't think he should have private chats with them, and most certainly not on secret email.

My h sometimes had to meet women after work as part of his networking but I would be less comfortable about it now.

Puzzledandpissedoff Wed 13-Feb-13 14:17:55

Fully agree that the bit you mentioned is useful, HotChoc. No, he hasn't read it himself, he's not a big believer in what he calls "psychobabble self-improvement books" Why am I not surprised?!

Puzzledandpissedoff Wed 13-Feb-13 14:22:28

"Vulnerable to other women" yes that's true, only he would call it "being open and friendly". Also true that most of the friends he's ever had have been women rather than men. Nothing wrong with that, he certainly wasn't shagging them all, but of course I feel a bit more "hmmmm" about everything now.

Trouble is, talk about boundaries can so easily become "don't you want me to have any friends at all?" As I said, why do men havge to be so bloody insensitive sometimes?

MadAboutHotChoc Wed 13-Feb-13 15:07:03

Fully agree that the bit you mentioned is useful, HotChoc. No, he hasn't read it himself, he's not a big believer in what he calls "psychobabble self-improvement books" Why am I not surprised?!

Aha...that does not surprise me given how he is crossing boundaries already so soon after last time.

What has he done to work on himself then? Has he offered any insights as to why he felt justified in cheating as a way of resolving his problems?

The problem is that unless the cheater has worked on himself, attended therapy, read books and so on to gain an insight into what was in him that led to the affair and to address these issues and traits, he is likely to do it again sad

MadAboutHotChoc Wed 13-Feb-13 15:08:36

I would talk to him and insist that if he is really committed to the marriage that he needs to work a lot harder....

Puzzledandpissedoff Wed 13-Feb-13 15:32:02

It's a fair point, HotChoc, though I'm not going to be able to change the "man of few words" which he is, into a touchy-feely, let-it-all-hang-out type. That would be to change his entire personality and he's a bit old for that!

This is partly the problem, I know he's thoroughly ashamed of himself (his own words) over the past, but there's no chance of a deep conversation about it. Similarly, several people we know won't have anything to do with him now. I know he realises why, and it makes him very uncomfortable, but again he just doesn't know what to say, and settles for "least said soonest mended"

Don't get me wrong, I fully realise this is his issue not mine, but it does make things like this very hard to address.

fiventhree Wed 13-Feb-13 17:18:31

This is tricky.

I agree that in a ideal world we all want to have an h who didnt do this, and if they had, then they are prepared to go the full hog to find out why. We dont all get the full text book approach, sadly.

Mine didnt read or attend sole counselling either, although he was in joint counselling with me prior to the revelation (less of a revelation and more that he realized through Relate that I would leave him unless he admitted what I clearly knew to be true).

He didnt read as such, but he would read a bit here and there which I showed him, or discuss what I found out. He was very determined that sole counselling and psychological approaches werent his thing.

He is also a reserved character, but I had to be uncharacteristically firm that he simply had to agree to discuss it fully, and as long as I wanted, and from all angles. This has been largely successful. It simply isnt good enough for him to just sweep his own discomfort under the carpet and leave you to manage yours as a result.

Believe me, I have had to use those words quite literally from time to time.

On this occasion, he has to be at least prepared to meet you half way on what you need, especially given you are accepting around the edges that some things wont work for him.

Fuck him if he's uncomfortable.

My h is 50, by the way, and not such a catch as he thinks he is.

fiventhree Wed 13-Feb-13 17:21:07

That is what I mean by your boundaries. As in, what YOU need him to do, and not what HE is willing to do.

Otherwise its a case of 'he cant this , so I have to that'.

When did this happen, by the way, the original incident?

fiventhree Wed 13-Feb-13 17:24:56

And whilst I'm on a rant (!), he presumably is too old to manage a change in his living arrangements, too.

See what I mean? We can all manage some change, if we try, and often we have to. As you have.

Sorry for the row of posts- your h has tried the same line as mine, and really it doesnt wash!

MadAboutHotChoc Wed 13-Feb-13 17:25:51

It's a fair point, HotChoc, though I'm not going to be able to change the "man of few words" which he is, into a touchy-feely, let-it-all-hang-out type. That would be to change his entire personality and he's a bit old for that!

Its not about completely changing him, its about addressing certain character failings - selfishness, sense of entitlement, arrogance etc. He is selfishly putting his own needs first - of course its easier for him not to have to open up and to have things swept under the carpet. This is one of the main reasons why they cheat again and again.

Also I have to say that its amazing how these men of few words manage to have meaningful and deep exchanges with the OW hmm

fiventhree Wed 13-Feb-13 17:35:06

Mad, it amazes me that any bloke can claim to be too bashful to acknowledge his deeper motives to his own wife, yet instant message all kinds to girls young enough to be their daughters, plus a decade.

Wondered about that alot, as you know.

I do wonder when the original incident happened Op. Because I took your view when it happened to me, 15 months ago, and now I occasionally can feel pure rage about it, even tough most of the time I forget it. It doesnt just go away for the not talking, it makes it worse over time, and therefore in our case we still sometimes have to talk about it.

So dont be afraid to open it up again.

MadAboutHotChoc Wed 13-Feb-13 18:02:32

five - yup hmm

Its so easy for men to come out with stuff about how hard it is to talk about feelings and women to put up with this crap.

OP - your H has no choice really if he wants to prove that he is committed to you. He fucked up and he needs to clean up the mess he made....and that means having to talk about "feelings".

Puzzledandpissedoff Wed 13-Feb-13 18:58:51

Hmmm - thanks, fiveinthree and HotChoc, you make some very valid points there. The sexting he did was last summer (I found out on 2 November, a day I'll never forget) and admittedly he didn't have any face to face stuff to deal with as it was all on the net, but that's not the point

It also sickened me that we were on holiday during the period it was happening. Of course he swore that he didn't send any then, but I'm not that stupid, and it's hard to look at the holiday pics of his smiling face and think "yes, and you were betraying me that day"

As I said - hmmmmmm ....

Puzzledandpissedoff Wed 13-Feb-13 19:02:18

Forgot to mention I have to go out in a bit - this is very kind of you all, so please don't think I'm being rude if I don't respond tonight :-)

TheElephantIsADaintyBird Thu 14-Feb-13 13:21:36

So have you spoken to him about him still messaging other women? I wonder what his reaction to that would be...

Puzzledandpissedoff Thu 14-Feb-13 17:27:20

I certainly have, Elephant - though I should explain the girl he was emailing honestly isn't my issue here, she's waaaaaaayyyy too young. It's more about him having a new email address AT ALL, so I've laid it out plainly about boundaries, in case the emailing habit should spread any further

Of course he replied that "he hasn't done anything wrong" which may well be true at this exact moment, but my remarks about it all still needed saying. It's a bit hard to know what else I can do at the moment, but at least he's in no doubt as to what will happen if he makes any further mistakes ...

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