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So I just found my husband's online dating profile.(76 Posts)
Apparently we've been "very separated for a few years now but not looking to upset the status quo at home yet due to children"
He set the profile up while I was on a work's night out last month, my first in years. This is all such a mess, and I don't want to dripfeed, so I'll try to bullet point it.
* I've suffered with depression for years. Last year my period returned for the first time since having DD (3yo). When that happened, my SSRI's lost their effectiveness and I started suffering from debilitating PMT
*Last year I started a new PT job and became friends with a male colleague who I see for maybe 10 minutes each week. We have a similar sense of humor and started to exchange memes via email.
*About 4 months ago I went to the GP for help with my mood swings. Her solution was to slowly wean me off the last meds and start me on something new. My mood has been increasingly low and irritable throughout, which does make me difficult to live with.
*3 months ago, my "email friend" had a depressive episode, and so I increased email contact to help cheer him up.
*Last month I started my new meds and also attended my first work's night out in years. That same evening, my husband set up his online dating profile.
*During the work's night out, it was the first time I'd actually had any real time to chat with this colleague. I realized I was pretty strongly attracted to him, and kind of freaked out about it.
*The new meds triggered 10 days of insomnia and coupled with my strange feelings for colleague I've pretty much had a breakdown. Feeling like both colleague and I were vulnerable, I told him I was feeling too strongly in his presence and wasn't comfortable seeing him in person.
*Husband read my email, and was not pleased. I responded that the silly emails were helping me stay afloat and that I didn't intend to stop the friendship.
*I made colleague aware that emails were being read by my husband, and carried on emailing/texting jokes and support.
*Last night I felt awful and irritable and was cross with my husband, which made him really unhappy. He said something cryptic that made me think. So today, I figured turn about was fair play and logged into his email. There I discovered he's created profiles on POF and Friends With Benefits. I told him I knew, and he says it's my fault because I was texting my colleague, and said I had feelings for him.
I don't even know why I'm waffling on here. It's over, isn't it? Neither of us trust the other, and we're both making each other so unhappy. What do I do now?
I am a fairly regular, under a changed name, btw. I was around for TSC's minge, etc.
It's only over if you or he wants it to be. I know loads of friends who hav been in similar situations and they're still together, the bloody internet has a lot to answer for. It sounds like your OH has done this out of revenge rather than a calculated decision, what do you think?
I'm shocked at his response to you though, he doesn't seem to care that you know, is there a lot of resentment between the two of you?
Only you and him know if this is worth working out.
I think you've answered your own question OP, sorry.
Will an amicable separation be possible do you think?
Sorry you are having such a difficult time.
I would definitely say the relationship seems to have come to an end.
Are you having any counseling?
It sounds like neither of you is in a good place. Aside from your health problems how were things between you and your husband? Do you feel you were living separate lives?
I do believe men and women can be friends but it sounds as if you crossed a boundary with this colleague. I get on really well with my male boss but have no contact with him outside of work.
What's a meme?
No counselling yet, but I think I need to be. Things have been bad between us since DD2 was born. He gives up smoking and then comes home and loses his temper with everyone, which I find really difficult. When I was in labour with DD2, he lost his temper and screamed at me that I was a poisonous bitch, had ruined his life, etc. But then when he starts smoking again he just forgets. So I've put barriers up because after that night, I felt I could never fully trust him.
It's just that when he's not like that, I really do love and respect him. But he hates everything I do. I'm not tidy enough, I got too fat, I spend too much time on mumsnet. And when I'm low in mood, I do cut myself off from everyone else.
But he's finally warmed to being a father and loves the girls--and just when things are starting to work out... all this.
I reckon with therapy you could work out what a possible good solution would be, without having to end it.
It may bring both of you to a place of understanding if therapy beats a path for you to both explain to each other about how various things have made you feel.
I had a debilitating illness in a past relationship and that chronic illness thing affects the other person too. Resentment builds up, weakness creeps in, they feel lacking in attention or like they're not living properly etc.
You seem to have lost communication somewhere along the way.
The key thing here is that neither of you - yet - have cheated. am I right?
And I know I was wrong to tell my colleague I was getting emotionally attached to him. It just felt so nice to chat to somebody who doesn't think I'm shit.
No, neither of us have cheated. But I'm as gutted about losing the friendship as anything.
Who would choose, if it was a straight choice right now?
Your DH, or your work colleague?
I do kind of feel like we've been living seperate lives. I co-slept with the girls, so we don't often share a bed. We haven't been out on a date since our 5.5yo dd was born. But while I've made new mum friends and get to chat over playdates, he's pretty much abandoned all his friendships and hobbies. So he never goes out, does anything different, and it feels claustrophobic.
And whenever I find some new coping mechanism, (mumsnet, a friendship, etc.) he finds fault with it. It's like if HE can't make me happy then nothing should.
Well said sodeveryone, I am so sick of reading replies that say, get rid, pack a bag, I'd be long gone......
I'd also like to think that nobody comes on here and actually takes on board what strangers are telling them and instead, refers to their own judgement and their friends etc for advice and support.
Anything advised on here should be taken with a pinch of salt; if you haven't had the same experience then you really don't know what you would do when faced with it.
By all means use it as a sounding board and a place to vent but really that is all this is.
"It just felt so nice to chat to someone who doesn't think im shit"
Sweetheart, that says it all really
Honestly? Right now, I think I'd live alone with the kids. But that's not to say I wouldn't eventually like to see more of the work colleague, but I really don't even know him well enough to say right now.
I think that if you think he thinks you are shit... it's over.
You sound like one of those couples that, living separately, would be far happier than living together. You seem to bring out the worst in each other. Declaring feelings to a work colleague is infidelity and you have to accept that of course he'd be hacked off finding this out. Him signing up to a dating site is equally unpleasant. Two wrongs don't make a right etc.
I think you need to have an honest conversation about the future. If there's anything worth salvaging, agree to make a serious effort to salvage it together. If it's over, part as intelligently and compassionately as you can for the sake of your children
Only you can know but from what you've said it doesn't sound as if your marriage is unsalvageable if that's what you (both) want.
It must have been a kick in the guts for your husband to read that email to your work friend.
On the other hand if my h shouted at me like that in labour he would now be ball-less.
May I suggest you don't let your GP prescribe your anti-depressants, but ask to be referred to a psychiatrist. GPs have minimal mental health training & psychiatrists are specialists and know the drugs much better. Particularly as your depression involves mood swings & PMT.
Oh, I accept that telling my colleague crossed the line into EA territory. His dating profile was set up before that happened, but that doesn't make it right.
He does often think I'm shit, and isn't shy about telling me. To be honest, I nearly left before I ever said anything to the work colleague. A month ago he quit smoking and lost his temper really badly in front of DD2. He screamed at her because she was putting the wrong amount of cereal into her bowl, and she was devastated. I intervened and picked her up and he went nuts, F-ing and blinding at me. I had to go to work late because I didn't feel comfortable leaving the girls with him, and when I got them to the childminder, DD2 was crying that she didn't want to go home with daddy. I was crying so hard that the CM had to mop both of us up, and I cut work short so I could collect them. But by the end of the day it was like nothing had happened.
I also wonder whether the reason I got attached to the work mate in the first place is because I was depressed and vulnerable...
It's such a clusterfuck.
Do people really think other people are shit? Or do they think they are shit themselves & project it onto others...?
When people are negative they tend to find fault with others...
I'm not convinced that you're the shit one here...
I don't know your history, do you want it to be over?
I think that it would be helpful for you both to find a place that you can talk and that might have to be with a counsellor, Relate etc. Give talking a chance just to see where it takes you. Whatever happens you and your DH have to talk at some point because you have children so maybe it would help to talk about your relationship first. It's been a struggle for you all.
I'm scared of it being over. I feel like I sold him a dream of a loving family that I haven't been able to provide, and that I've failed him.
But I'm also hurt and angry about so many things over the years.
A lot of things you are saying that he does/says to you are very similar to what my Ex (note the Ex bit) used to say to me.
Now I'm not saying that breaking up and being a single parent was easy, but what I will tell you is that I am much much happier.
When I was with him I felt like I was loosing my mind. I thought for sure I was headed for psychiatric sectioning.
Now I feel much better. I don't have suicidal thoughts anymore and I don't feel the constant impending doom I used to.
providing a loving family isn't just down to you. You are not solely responsible for that. You need to talk about the things you are hurt and angry about
You've failed him? Is a relationship all the woman's responsibility? Really???
Well you're not the one yelling at someone in labour, or at your child for putting too much cereal in a bowl.
He's got serious anger issues.
Is it really you that's 'failed' to 'provide' the dream? Because doesn't sound too dreamy himself...
His anger & negativity is what's making him unhappy but it's easier to blame you...
You sound ground down. I don't like to jump on the LTB bandwagon but this relationship does sound dead in many respects & actually he doesn't sound very good for your mental health
It just felt so nice to chat to someone who doesn't think im shit
If your H makes you feel that way then it's a pretty good indicator that things have gone tits up.
Is this smoking weed, hence the anger issues?
Well, he's spent most of the time we've been parents pissed off at me for getting pregnant.
With DD1, I asked if we could start a family, he said ok and 5 minutes later (it seemed) I was pregnant. Then he freaked out, didn't want the baby anymore and we nearly split up. When she was born, we had HV's and home start all over to keep an eye on things, as I wasn't in a great state.
But he fell in love with her and started to really enjoy her. Then when she was about a year old (still hadn't had periods back yet) I fell pregnant again. He was PISSED! Not a happy bunny, he was made redundant, went off sick with stress and spent a month in bed contemplating suicide. (he has managed to block all of this out). So my pregnancy was spent worrying about my fragile husband, culminating in him freaking out while I was in labour. At the time, I was so upset that if I had anyone else to take me to hospital, I would have.
It's taken him a couple of years to warm to DD2, but he's finally got a decent relationship with her. For the past year, he's had to look after the girls one evening a week while I go to work, so he's more used to spending time with them on his own--but he was really resentful about having to do it.
I spent ages telling him how lovely it would be when he bonded with the girls, but now that it's happened, it's as though I have no energy left to bond with him.
No, just smoking tobacco. He's like jekyll and Hyde when he quits. I know it's not easy, I gave up myself years ago. But I didn't then re-start 4 times a year for the past 10 years and make him deal with it.
I do understand that I'm not easy to live with. I get arsey when I'm tired or hungry, and when i'm down I spend too much time on mumsnet/pinterest/blogging, etc. I'm messy, I lose things and forget to do things, so he does feel like he has to pick up a lot of slack for me. But at the same time, I'm responsible for pretty much everything to do with the girls, save his one evening a week, and even then I have to lay out clothes/pyjamas, etc.
I'm not unsympathetic but your heading should have been:' I've been having an emotional affair, been discovered and my DH has retaliated.'
If you are honest with yourself, the 'friendship' you had with your colleague was more than that in your head anyway. I suspect that you put more effort into the friendly banter of those emails than you were putting into real life interaction with your DH- and that for some time you have detached yourself from him.
It's not really on to 'blame' your depression as a reason for forging the contact with this other guy- your DH should be your best mate and someone you turn to when you need support.
It's far too soon to think of splitting up - you have a child.
Both of you need to stop playing games and sit down and have a very adult and serious talk about your marriage and how you can make it better- maybe with some couples counselling from Relate.
To be honest, the friendship was just that, until we went on a work's night out and actually spent some time in each other's company. Prior to that, we hadn't spoken in person for more than a couple of minutes once a week. While I was at the work's do, that's when my husband was setting up his online dating profile. I didn't go OTT and declare feelings for my colleague until about 10 days later, when I hadn't slept for a week and was seriously splitting from reality. So my husband didn't join a dating site in retaliation, it all happened at the same time.
But yes, I did really enjoy exchanging memes via email, and perhaps my husband felt left out--but his sense of humor is different than mine and it just isn't the kind of thing he would find funny. (a meme is an internet joke, usually a picture with a few words across it) But it isn't as though it was putting a lot of effort into banter--just sending funny photos.
Yes, My DH should be my best mate and someone I turn to when i need support. But that's hard when he tells me I'm unattractive, I ruin his life, I'm a poisonous bitch, A common slut, I'm incompetant...
He doesn't really "get" depression (despite having suffered with it severely, but blocking it out of his mind) and has been known to tell me it's "part of my weirdness, that I have special needs". So opening up to him isn't always easy.
And I wasn't trying to "blame" my depression for forging contact with my work colleague. I was trying to say that I don't trust the attraction, because it could just be based on the fact that he was being nice and my husband wasn't.
Screaming at you in labour that your're a poisonous bitch?! Do you honestly think that and the other things you've told us is acceptable? I think the vast majority of women would be depressed if they had put up with that sort of treatment.
Is it going to get better? Probably not, unless you agree to work together as a couple. It's not all up to you, you know.
Look- it's not good to spend time and energy having cosy email chats with a male colleague - and saying you have the same sense of humour is no excuse. Whether you want to admit it or not, you would be detaching from your DH emotionally and I suspect even if he didn't know the details, he'd feel ignored. I find it hard to accept that it was only when you went out that night that you realised there was a 'spark' with this guy. If you are honest , you were flattered by the attention - online or wherever.
The overall theme of your relationship is poor communication- your pregnancies, for starters. I do think he has behaved like an arse from what you say, but he also sounds like one very unhappy guy, frustrated with his responsibilities. You ought to know that it's possible to become PG even if your periods haven't started after the birth, so you were a little irresponsible to saddle him with child no. 2 when he wasn't sure about having child no. 1.
You both need to grow up and start thinking about the other people in your lives caught up in this - 2 kids are involved in this so the best you can do is start a conversation with your DH.
Just read your last post, OP. I'm sorry, I would be telling him to fuck right off. Life is hard enough without that sort of abuse. Because it is abuse.
I saddled him with child number 2? I don't recall asking him to go in without protection. There were condoms in the house, but he couldn't be bothered.
I'm not saying he hasn't got issues- he clearly has and his behaviour and criticism of you is not acceptable . BUT he's doing this for a reason - whatever that is. he is seething with resentment- some of it is maybe slightly understandable if you do detach and ignore him, but it doesn't excuse his immature behaviour. He needs help but you both need help as a couple. Can I ask why you have only decided to talk online now about this when clearly the marriage has been in trouble for a long, long time? it sounds that the dynamics are- he shouts, you ignore and do your own thing without communicating with him.
contraception is a joint decision surely?
Why were there condoms in the house if you were sure you couldn't conceive? Sorry- this isn't making sense.
I may as well come clean and say, that I don't just exchange emails with this one guy. I'm a bit of a meme tart--if I see something that I think will make someone laugh, I email it too them or post it on their facebook. I also blog a lot, tweet and post ridiculous statuses on facebook. I am a little bit renowned for it, and have a fair few followers just for the humor. It's a pretty big part of my personality that my husband isn't into.
There were condoms in the house because I bought them. Nobody said I was sure I couldn't concieve--but having no periods, I wasn't aware of my fertile times to take extra precautions. He was also aware that my periods hadn't returned, but couldn't be bothered walking upstairs to retrieve condoms. It was joint neglect that led to conception.
There's no excuse in the world good enough for verbally abusing a labouring woman. I haven't got the experience to comment on anything else.
so what do you think is the best course of action now?
and given that you spotted your DH's online profile, can you be sure he didn't read your emails?
I don't know- I don't think his behaviour is acceptable - but it's a long time since you were in labour and you've shut up and put up since then.
If you spend so much time online rather than engaging with the man you are married to, I'd be angry too.
Do you do that to avoid talking to him?
is there anything good in your marriage?
But that's hard when he tells me I'm unattractive, I ruin his life, I'm a poisonous bitch, A common slut, I'm incompetant...
I think this is the nub of the problem TBH rather than "communications issues".
This is not normal, OP.
But that's hard when he tells me I'm unattractive, I ruin his life, I'm a poisonous bitch, A common slut, I'm incompetant...
O rly? Well he can fuck off to planet fuck & never come back.
I think you're right to avoid communication with work colleague- that's a complication you don't need.
Not sure how willing I'd be to salvage a marriage with a man who calls his wife a poisonous bitch while she's in labour. So he was giving up smoking and finding it hard- well boo bloody hoo. Sounds like the giving up smoking is just an excuse to be even more abusive than usual. This is the man with whom you are supposed to share the deepest trust, the greatest love, the strongest respect- but he spends all his time telling you what a failure he thinks you are and how you ruined his life by getting pregnant when he couldn't be bothered to take responsibility for contraception.
I feel like I sold him a dream of a loving family that I haven't been able to provide, and that I've failed him
You are not responsible for that! you certainly haven't failed him. That is a totally unreasonable guilt trip to lay on yourself.
Do you think that perhaps your 'refuge' into online chat, blogging etc is a kind of passive aggressive behaviour?
And his behaviour is quite clearly aggressive.
I know his behaviour when you were in labour was indefensible - but you have put up with it and say you love and respect him.
Either you are very tolerant, or have terrible self esteem and feel you deserve no better, or something is holding you together which isn't coming over in your posts.
Husband read my email, and was not pleased. I responded that the silly emails were helping me stay afloat and that I didn't intend to stop the friendship
He asked you to stop the flirting- that's what is was- and you didn't.
Why, if you love and respect him?
I can't see any anywhere in all your posts that you are partly responsible for your marriage-other than your medical history- it's all your DH's fault.
In your shoes, I'd go to counselling on my own and try to sort out the wood from the trees in my own mind and he ought to do the same. Frankly, given the complexity of the situation as it stands, adding a flirtation/dating experience sounds like the last thing either of you needs!
I think it is incredibly hard to judge whether someone else's relationship can survive or not but you both sound utterly miserable, and you need inidividuals to regain a sense of who you were before this awful period and what might make you happy.
Neither of you sounds as though you've behaved perfectly, but then not many people do when they are so depressed.
I agree crazy.
Op my last post was unclear- missed a word out. What I meant to say was that although your DH has not behaved well, to put it mildly, you don't seen willing to acknowledge any wrong doing on your part, (other than your mental health issues which obviously are not your 'fault' in any way.)
you are deffo having n EA with work colleague. It sounds like you are trying to justify your actions. They may well be justifiable, but just know - this is what is happening. He's no angel either by the sounds.
I have no problem with being on the so called leave the bastard band wagon. It's not my default response to any problem, but some bastards deserve to be left. Calling you a bitch and saying you'd ruined his life whilst you were in labour is plenty enough reason. Screaming at a child over cereal is the icing on the cake.
Your entanglement with your colleague is far from beyond reproach but that's all the more reason to ship out. Neither of you are happy, are you?
Clusterfuck - great phrase OP, loving it. Btw, LTB, he sounds truly vile.
He sounds like a poisonous, abusive bastard to be honest. I wonder how much of your depression is linked to his awful treatment of you over the years.
Yes, you were having an inappropriate relationship with work colleague but that's a red herring really. The issue is that you are in an abusive relationship and he is abusing the children too. You can't fix that through counselling.
Sorry but you can fix this through counselling. My very best friend had similar issues with her DH although she was /is abusive back. She'd gone as far as issuing a divorce petition at him and at the last minute they pulled back. They are having couples counselling and individual counselling- he is learning anger management through CBT.
If you say these issues can't be fixed then that's not my experience
Bollocks. Joint counselling is not appropriate where there is abuse ongoing.
Missbopeep one wonders whether your friends problems are actually solved or just swept under the carpet. Either way the op doesn't have to stay in a relationship like this and she shouldn't be made to feel she should.
Sorry but I don't understand your comment about 'being swept under the carpet.' My friend has had counselling at the Tavistock Centre - one of the best centres for therapy in the world. They are both abusive towards each other. Abuse is a type of behaviour. People can change their behaviour.
People can change their behaviour but it's very, very hard & they have to be absolutely determined. It's a lot of hard work.
The quality of the therapist is not really that relevant, ultimately it comes down to how much an individual wants to change & whether they're prepared to work at it 24/7 for life.
Exactly- and after 25 years of marriage they are both very determined.
That's nice. And completely irrelevant to the op. her DH seems to have no interest or inclination in changing and sounds thoroughly unpleasant.
I'm a bit puzzled why you seem to want to have a bit of a dig over this ???
It is relevant if counselling might help.
I don't think the Op has had a yay or nay from her DH on it yet.
I don't want to have a dig. Counselling is not a magic cure all. If he was interested in changing he could suggest counselling after all. He hasn't. It's not a woman's responsibility to police and manage the relationship.
And it is dangerous to have joint counsellor with an abuser, because he is likely to 1) use the sessions to spout abuse at you and 2) use the sessions to learn more about your vulnerabilities. Really, counsellors like those from Relate refuse to work in those kind of settings and refer abusers to a perpetrator program. This guy fits the bill.
How do you know all of that?
Because I have set in that chair and was abused in front of two experienced therapists. The one from Relate refused to take us on because of his abuse and referred him to a perpetrator program (organisational policy), and the family therapist who saw us a year later told me afterwards that joint counselling in an abusive situation is always inappropriate and she would have refused to continue to see us if she had know what was really going on/how scared I was.
My ex became increasingly good at manipulating the professionals around us into thinking he was doing well and I was just high strung. And if he hadn't been too cocky to understand that my SOLO counselling was actually going very well and built me up enough to leave when he progreesed to physical abuse, he would have paced but continued pushing the abuse until there had been people in hospital. Been there, have the t-shirt.
And I know this guy fits the bill because no amount of stress or resentment will make a non-abusive person rage abuse at their partner while she is in labour.
With respect, that's irrelevant because if you read my post I said that in the example I quoted there was abusive behaviour from each of them- mainly verbal. And if it is replicated during counselling the counsellor picks up on it and works through it. And each of the people I know is having counselling independently too. I'm sorry for your experiences but I don't think that puts you in a position to say what is right for every couple, and which goes against the advice of very highly qualified therapists in my example.
Missbopeep no decent or experienced counsellor will see a couple where there is ongoing abuse. The dynamics described above are well researched and documented.
And the same goes for you < works hard to not add 'dear', behind that sentence >.
We are talking about the situation of the OP and as someone pointed out before, it is not like the case of your friends where both are abusive. OP is not screaming. OP is not joining dating sites and then saying something 'cryptic' that makes OP concerned enough to check his e-mails. Yes, she found an emotional connection with someone who 'did not make her feel like shit', but wouldn't you enjoy positive attention if you lived with somebody who clearly does make you feel like shit? Ffs, she stepped back because she saw see was crossing boundaries. Clearly she has some respect for her relationship and her spouse, while he obviously hasn't!
Counselling depends on both being open and vulnerable. If one person genuinly wants to do that while the other one has shown in the past to be perfectly willing to exploit her vulnerability (labour...), they should not start counselling together. Not until there is a level playing field, no power imbalance, not one person vulnerable and another person a bully. Sure, some counsellors will spot the dynamic, but others won't and that is a dangerous gamble to take for OP and women like her (me, previously). And as I said, when Relate counsellors see this, they refuse joint sessions.
OP I think in your place I would split up
Even taking into account the "theres two sides to every story" element the things you have described are off the scale. I daresay your relationship is contributing hugely to your depression etc.
Well, on the bright side, the discussion about his dating profile(s) was calm. I let him know that I was aware of it in a kind of lighthearted way while he was still at work, so that he could take enough time to digest the information before coming home. So by the time he got home we were able to talk reasonably about it.
Although I was initially shocked, We both quickly realized that I wasn't really that upset about the idea of him seeing someone else. Probably a pretty good indicator that the relationship is nearing it's end, but it also weirdly eased some of the tension. We didn't talk about splitting up directly, just that the future may look different than we had both planned.
Someone asked why I posted about this now, when some of the things I've mentioned happened years ago-- Although I do post regularly under a different username, I've always hesitated to post about incidents with my husband because I'm scared of the answers would be. It's not always easy to talk about what's happened, and I'm never sure if it is my fault. "I must be a real bitch or he wouldn't be so angry", and "It's true, I should have been doing housework instead of whatever I was doing"
So missbebop, in answer to your question, I honestly don't know how much of the responsibility for our relationship's downfall is mine. I know I entered into the marriage loving my husband and intending to build a life together forever. But there's a lot of shit that's happened that I never saw coming. Obviously getting a crush on a colleague was an epic failure on my part, but if I'm honest the problems were there before that happened.
For now, I'm going to keep taking my meds and try to get myself on an even keel, before tackling any life changing decisions.
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