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DH was very cagey with his phone last night

(43 Posts)
ALeetleBitWorried Wed 23-Oct-13 10:45:08

DH was very cagey with his phone last night and it got me a bit worried.

Things aren't great between us at the minute. Nothing terrible happening but just not very close. We have a 16MO who sleeps well etc but after baby bedtime we spend a lot of time in separate rooms, go to bed late, don't have sex that often. It's like there has been a gradual rot setting in and I don't know what to do about it.

Last night we were actually talking for a couple of hours, relaxing together. But when I picked up his phone for some reason (can't remember why) he just looked really stressed. Got it back off me very quickly. We were looking through baby photos on my phone and I asked to see the photos on his. He gave me the phone but seemed very relieved to get it back.

There was one time when he lied to me about a big financial thing (I was pregnant at the time with v high blood pressure so I kind of understand) and it has left me a bit wary.

I did think about confronting him last night, demanding to see the phone but I didn't. I didn't get a chance to look at it either. After the financial thing (he lied a lot, it involved him staying ON in a different place but it was ages ago) I told him we needed to sit down and be totally upfront about money, finances etc but it has just never happened. I also told him there should be nothing on his phone / email etc that I can't see - because he could go through mine at any time.

Sorry this has become so long blush I don't know if I am reading way too much into this. I've been feeling a bit low recently although fighting it. DH is also paying for everything at the minute as I am working freelance to build up something but at the minute it's all childcare and no profit. So I'm wondering if there is resentment there too. He bottles things up instead of talking about them.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 23-Oct-13 11:26:41

This is why it's so hard to have a relationship with a liar. Once you know they're a liar you're always on the look-out for the next lie, whether you're conscious you're doing it or not. If you're also feeling low, financially dependent, unloved etc that feeds into the suspicion because you know you're in a very vulnerable position with a man you don't trust.

So you need to find some time to talk and everyone has to be 100% honest about the phone, the money, the way you're feeling, the loss of intimacy/affection & how the big financial thing has knocked your trust in him. If he bottles things up and you're feeling low/suspicious and saying nothing then all you're creating is tension that will eventually blow up in your face.

ALeetleBitWorried Wed 23-Oct-13 11:45:44

Thanks Cogito I know you're right. FWIW the time he lied I think he did it for the best of reasons but I was so shocked because it seemed completely out of character. (He did immediately come clean when I caught him, he really isn't a practised liar!)

BUT - it DID leave a doubt. I told him months later out of the blue that it had damaged my trust in him and I know in my heart of hearts it still has.

Any practical suggestions on how to bring it up? Should I wait till baby is in bed and then do the 'I think we need to talk' thing? Or how should I word it that doesn't sound really accusatory?

lottieandmia Wed 23-Oct-13 11:50:09

I'd be suspicious too. When people do this they are usually hiding something. I agree with Cogito - it's really hard to trust someone again when they've lied.

ALeetleBitWorried Wed 23-Oct-13 11:57:43

I'm getting more worried now sad Also part of me is scared that he is going to admit to something - not an affair as I don't think he would have the opportunity but maybe to being interested in someone at work or something.

I do love him but I've felt quite flat and numb recently, which made me wonder if I am a bit depressed. I haven't been very affectionate to him because I seem to shower so much affection on the baby. I'm also really narky and critical at times sad

So part of me feels like I'm letting things slide and that it would be my own fault if he got up to something. But then I think if there are problems he needs to be prepared to say something or try and salvage things, rather than just assuming I will.

This is making it all sound so much worse than it is. I just feel like we're a bit disconnected at the minute - living like flatmates. Plus me working at home means that I feel like I have nothing interesting to say to him. Sometimes I feel like I can go whole days without speaking to other people so I have nothing to tell him when he comes home.

lottieandmia Wed 23-Oct-13 12:01:35

Well if he has done something it is not your fault. It's as much his responsibility as it is yours to be willing to address any problems you may have in your relationship.

ALeetleBitWorried Wed 23-Oct-13 12:37:40

He really isn't good at talking about personal things to be honest but it doesn't help that so much of the early evening is now spent with the baby, so there's less opportunity to talk.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 23-Oct-13 12:39:06

'We need to talk' isn't a bad place to start and yes, pick a moment when you're both calm, relaxed and you've got the time. I'd place it in a context of you love him .. BUT... you're worried about the way the relationship is going, that you're drifting apart, disconnected, and that this together with the financial cover-up is making you suspicious more generally. For example.... and this is where you bring it in.... the way he was with the phone.

Then the challenge is for everyone (not just you) to address the problems. How to be closer, more open, better communication and so forth. If he treats it as accusatory and goes on the defensive rather than wanting things to improve then you reach your own conclusions.

Jan45 Wed 23-Oct-13 12:45:20

I would concentrate on getting your love life back to some kind of normality as that brings you closer anyway and helps open up the lines of communication, perhaps he had a bit of porn on his mob to help him out now and again?

ALeetleBitWorried Wed 23-Oct-13 12:51:49

Yes, sounds like a plan thanks Cog. I don't think he'll get defensive - more likely to just try and minimise problems rather than have to confront them.

Jan I did wonder about the porn thing although I'd be surprised if he was using his phone rather than the computer. As for getting love life on track, I had been thinking about an early night last night but the phone strangeness put me off doing anything.

Keepithidden Wed 23-Oct-13 13:53:11

It may not be porn (or worse) he's hiding, there's plent of stuff on my mobile phone internet history that I'd rather others (including DW) didn't find. MN for example! Counselling and self help websites, Amazon books I've been reading reviews of that kind of thing. Even NHS direct for symptoms enquiries...

ALeetleBitWorried Wed 23-Oct-13 14:12:16

Keepit I would be really hurt if it was any of those things and he didn't feel like he could tell me sad Symptom checks and all I mean. I don't think he's the counselling type although it would be good if he was.

Charbon Wed 23-Oct-13 14:15:39

I have a different reaction to this than others.

I'm wondering whether the reason you've been feeling so unconnected, flat and numb recently is because something in your subconscious has registered a change in him?

I've heard lots of people now talk about the period before an affair was discovered (and even before it started but the OW/OM was on the scene in some capacity) and it's very revealing indeed. So many people report feelings of disconnectedness, rot setting in, depression or fear and it seems most people find some other reason to pin these feelings on, either different motivations in a partner's life such as work stress, or in their own such as work stress or health concerns.

It's very profitable asking people to look back and recall how they were feeling when unbeknowns to them, their partners were forming secret associations. This is reassuring because it reminds people that their bodies and psyches are working normally and tried to warn them of imminent danger, even if it wasn't recognised in a cognitive way.

Pay attention to it, is my advice. These feelings you're experiencing might be a response to something you've subconsciously registered in your partner.

Your first exploration should of course be with him, but pragmatically if there is someone else involved even at the initial stages, it is perhaps unrealistic that he will disclose this straight away or even at all, especially as he has antecedents for lying to you. Neither do I think if someone else is involved, it will necessarily halt it in its tracks if you make efforts to revive your relationship.

I'd be inclined then to talk about how a habit for telling lies about one thing can make permissions easier to lie about something else. There is never a justifiable reason for lying about big matters such as joint finances or fidelity. You might also want to discuss your fears about infidelity and explore his own compass about this issue - and your own of course. It's a good thing for couples who are going through the difficult and intense child-rearing or career years to discuss how they will protect themselves as individuals from the quick-fix ego boosting attentions of an affair.

Keepithidden Wed 23-Oct-13 14:15:47

Fair enough. Just another possibility I thought I'd suggest...

Charbon Wed 23-Oct-13 14:23:38

If there is any mileage in the suggestion that there is porn on his phone, this wouldn't reassure me in the least if I were you. There is often a link between secret porn use and infidelity plus I'm not going to assume that porn use is acceptable to you in your relationship. It might not be, for reasons other than the effect it might have on your personal relationship.

AcidNails Wed 23-Oct-13 14:31:18

Has he always been possessive of his phone, or is it a recent thing? Only reason for asking is that I'm a very private person, and my phone is absolutely off limits for anybody to look at. Not that there's anything incriminating to hide, but it's my private space.

ThreeTomatoes Wed 23-Oct-13 14:35:03

Very quick thing that jumped out for me (sorry, no advice about the phone thing, others best placed to advise on that) -
DH is also paying for everything at the minute as I am working freelance to build up something but at the minute it's all childcare and no profit. So I'm wondering if there is resentment there too.

Sounds like DH isn't paying for everything, aren't you paying for child care? If that were me I'd be resentful, not DH!

Roshbegosh Wed 23-Oct-13 14:41:52

You have to trust your instincts. He seems to be hiding something and you need to find out as it is your business.

ALeetleBitWorried Wed 23-Oct-13 15:09:37

Charbon that was really interesting but I think in our case it has been more of a change of work pattern for me, where I've gone from being out of the house working to working at home. I think I've been missing the interaction at work. I would be fairly disgusted at porn but it wouldn't be an automatic deal breaker.

Acid I think there is some truth in that (he is private with his phone) but there was a kind of anxiety about him last night that concerned me tbh.

Three sorry I didn't make that clear. He is paying for the childcare too - what I mean is any money I make is currently tied up in the business but we need childcare to enable me to do it IYSWIM.

I do think he has issues around being very secretive about money. For example I found out by chance that he has been paying a lot of money to a relative overseas who has fallen on hard times. I know the relative (they are lovely) but he didn't tell me he had been doing this for quite some time and he just mentioned it out of the blue one night. I was a bit shock that he had never discussed it.

We got married late and are so used to having separate finances. I'm not sure either of us has got out of the habit of it, especially him because he's good with money.

ALeetleBitWorried Wed 23-Oct-13 15:11:33

And Charbon that was great advice at the end, thanks. I think I am feeling a bit insecure because I could definitely see the attraction of a quick fling as an ego booster for DH and he gets the opportunity to meet lots of people in his work.

Charbon Wed 23-Oct-13 15:33:13

So this sending money to the relative and secretly doing so was in addition to the lies of commission you mentioned earlier?

Are you saying that he failed to tell you about two issues that had an impact on you?

If so, it needs pointing out that these could be only the two you know about and you cannot rule out there are others.

Do keep an open mind about your feelings and their root cause. How people have described this to me is that their logical brains could see there were legitimate reasons for worry in their lives and feelings of disconnection with a partner, which is why they were able to rationalise those feelings as having a justifiable cause.

But occasionally, they wondered why they were feeling quite so scared, or disorientated, as those feelings seemed unusual and disproportionate to the suspected cause of the worry. Some people had visited GPs because their heartrate seemed to be quicker (as it is when we're experiencing adrenaline and fear) and others had assumed they were depressed.

It's hard when you don't have anything to compare it with and you might tell yourself these feelings and rifts in your partnership are normal in a couple with a first child, money issues and a start-up business.

Keep an open mind, don't discount what your inner voice and your body might be trying to tell you. And yes, do talk with him about how you'll both protect your individual selves from getting involved elsewhere, especially when the opportunities for it are plentiful.

ALeetleBitWorried Wed 23-Oct-13 15:45:55

Yes it was a different issue sad

If you're talking about instincts he mentioned a name a few weeks back - a woman who has just started working there. It was once in passing but something made me sit up. I started quizzing him a bit and he got very edgy, which I dismissed as me being a bit intrusive. Name has never been mentioned since mind you so could be nothing.

I am increasingly feeling depressed. I think I am depressed to be honest. It has been about 6 weeks now and I feel like I'm getting worse not better. I've been trying to go for walks and meet up with people but I am feeling very flat and on the edge of tears today, probably not helped by worrying about bloody DH's phone!

Charbon Wed 23-Oct-13 15:49:32

There could be a link between the mention made about the new starter, your gut instinct when she was mentioned and his edginess - and your depressive feelings. I wonder whether this woman started at his work place 6 weeks ago, when you say you started feeling depressed?

holstenlips Wed 23-Oct-13 16:06:34

What Charbon says is so true.. sorry to gatecrash but I was off work for 9 weeks with depression. I was just recovering when I found texts/messages on fiances phone. Now I had remembered instantly that I had had a bad feeling about this woman and him mentioning her..before I became ill. The mentionitis stopped and again I felt uneasy. Now I am wondering if this inner anxiety actually caused my illness.

Charbon Wed 23-Oct-13 16:13:40

You aren't gatecrashing at all. It's especially helpful to see posts from people who've experienced this themselves and will I think, be enormously insightful to the OP and other lurkers. I hope you're feeling better now holstenlips and that it helps to look at your anxious feelings through a different lens.

ALeetleBitWorried Wed 23-Oct-13 16:16:17

He's coming home from work a bit early so we can chat. I phoned him and told him I feel really low and down and like everything is going wrong. I don't know what to say to him, other than that I feel low and that I feel a bit wary and untrusting at the minute.

ALeetleBitWorried Wed 23-Oct-13 16:20:04

I wonder if I'm acting like a crazy person at the minute. Nothing has happened. He has done nothing wrong as far as I know. But I feel completely miserable. I don't know if I'm depressed and imagining things or if something is really wrong.

Charbon Wed 23-Oct-13 16:31:54

How about being honest and taking a risk with your own vulnerabilities?

You could explain to him that you acknowledge this is notoriously a difficult stage in a couple relationship and that it's easy to form close attachments to others as a way of escaping from the pressure and to get a quick feelgood factor into a daily life that it otherwise full of responsibility. So you wondered how he would stop himself getting too close to someone else if an opportunity presented itself?

You might say you're especially worried because in the past, he has kept secrets from you rather than discussing matters that affect you and have a bearing on your own life decisions and you also noticed his caginess last night when you had access to his phone.

I have to tell you there is a risk that this will probably cause him to be more covert if something with another woman has already started, but talking about infidelity and the risks of it in this way might cause him to rethink his actions (assuming he's not already addicted) or nip it in the bud.

You might also tell him what actions will result if a secret infidelity is discovered later, after he had this golden opportunity to be honest.

Charbon Wed 23-Oct-13 16:32:47

is otherwise

holstenlips Wed 23-Oct-13 16:34:16

Thats exactly how I felt Aleetle. Although obviously I dont know if your partner has done anything. I felt paranoid, depressed and I even said to him "something s not right, my body is telling me" it was like a scream in the background that I was ignoring.
I finally just grabbed his phone chucked him mine and saw 3/4 months of messages and 'sexting' .
If youre going to confront him I woukd say do it without giving him a chance to delete stuff. My x managed to delete or doctor some of the stuff. And that kind of says it all really. Good luck. Remember if he loves you he will really want to reassure and support you.

holstenlips Wed 23-Oct-13 16:38:05

And Charbon thanks to you I can now really see a link between my mental health and this relationship. I was always feeling anxious with him because he had started something similar at work with another woman when we first dated he explained it as "his sense of humour" and I remember him saying about said woman that he wouldn't touch her with a shitty stick. Which disgusted me at the time too.

cjel Wed 23-Oct-13 16:44:39

Hope this evening goes well for you OPx

loopylou6 Wed 23-Oct-13 16:45:14

You must speak to him asap, I hope its nothing x

Charbon Wed 23-Oct-13 16:49:25

I was on a thread a long time ago when we were discussing how helpful it would be if GPs had the time and the insight to ask patients about their relationships, before reaching for the prescription pad. But I can also see that many people are blindsided about their relationships or partners being the root cause of their anxiety and if an enquiry were made, might reply in 'scripted terms' about being in a good relationship with a supportive partner. It often takes a while for people's cognitive brain to catch up with the subconscious signals another part of the brain is transmitting.

I'm glad this helped you today.

holstenlips Wed 23-Oct-13 17:01:49

Good luck OP. I think talking to him now is essential for your own sanity. Hope its all sorted and nothing untoward. X

ALeetleBitWorried Thu 24-Oct-13 11:05:00

Just a quick update to thank you all for your advice yesterday.

I'm as sure as it's possible to be that nothing untoward is going on (I would say 100% but I've read too many MN threads to EVER fall into that trap sad ) We had a good talk and have both acknowledged that things are not how we want them to be. We have a few ideas for how to improve things (early nights, more sex, more us time, booking a babysitter more often) but I know saying and doing are two different things so we will see how it goes.

One thing we did realise - we are both novices at long-term relationships. Both of us were very career driven in our twenties and thirties and had numerous short relationships (from a few months to two years) but never anything longer. Because of that I think we really are in unknown territory at the minute. It's hard to know how relationships change in general over the time we have been together, never mind all the job and life changes that have happened (DS, career change, some close bereavements, a house move, moving hundreds of miles from family and friends).

So if any of you have any tips for keeping things fresh longterm I would be really glad to hear them. I think we have both fallen into the trap of taking each other for granted.

Anyfuckergate Thu 24-Oct-13 11:11:50

Be open and honest with each other and PLAY, go out together have some fun, comedy nights, paint balling, murder mystery nights..... what ever makes you laugh together. I think as adults we loose sight of playing for the sake of it. We get stuck in the humdrum and loose sight of the fun we can have together as couples.

ALeetleBitWorried Thu 24-Oct-13 11:20:00

Thanks AFG (The real AF is going to find it so bizarre when she returns and all the names changes in her honour grin ) It is hard because we live so far away from family because of moving so babysitters are expensive. As DS gets older it will be easier to leave him with my friend's teenage daughter but at the minute we are having to use a childminder who is quite expensive. I did say to DH last night that I missed how we used to go out and do things.

ImperialFucker Thu 24-Oct-13 12:50:10

Charbon, I think I was on that thread, or anyway on a similar one.

When my ex husband was having an affair, I didn't know about it, but I felt like I was going mad. I couldn't put my finger on it, it was as though the world had tilted very slightly on its axis and nothing was as it had been before. It was literally as though I was walking on very thin ice.

I went to the doctor (told my ex beforehand) and told him this. I've known very doctor very well since I was 21. He prescribed me ADs. I took them and felt a bit better in that I could "park" bad thoughts and ignore them.

Eight years later I found out that my husband had been having an affair throughout that time. He never stayed out overnight. He didn't come home late, etc. She was married too and most of it went on at work.

I came off the ADs immediately - there was no longer any need once I knew what was going on in my world.

The next time I spoke to my doctor I told him about this and he said, "Yes, I remember wondering at the time whether anything like that was going on." I was angry with my doctor and felt he should have said something before handing over drugs. He admitted he should have said something "but I didn't want to upset you."

amverytired Thu 24-Oct-13 13:06:45

So, are you not worried anymore about him being cagey with the phone the other night? Did you sort that out?

ALeetleBitWorried Thu 24-Oct-13 15:33:45

Imperial it is really shit that he let you believe it was you being paranoid all that time sad I can see how that would be a difficult thing for a GP to broach though.

Amverytired I did ask him about that and didn't get a totally satisfactory answer. He said he didn't want me messing with the settings on it and I was a bit hmm as in why the hell would I mess with settings, which I told him. He is a bit possessive of his phone and always has been in some ways - he doesn't like me playing games on his phone for example so it might be a bit like AcidNails said upthread - just a bit possessive over his phone. He did hand it to me there and then to check (which I didn't) but I told him I expected to be able to see his phone at any time, as he could see mine.

I did tell him that the big money lie thing really dented my trust in him and in his defence he has never denied it was a stupid thing to do, nor did he deny or minimise it last night. I also told him that we still think too much like two single people rather than as a unit - we have always been independent (part of what drew us together) but that we have maybe taken that too far.

ALeetleBitWorried Thu 24-Oct-13 15:38:40

And as Charbon said I did admit that I was feeling vulnerable and feeling a bit frumpy sat at home and that I was concerned that we were drifting because it created the danger of feeling disconnected and meeting other people for a quick buzz in the face of daily life.

I don't really think I could have done anything more. All I can do now is do my part to stop the rot before it really sets in. DH is a good man and a very moral, traditional man in many ways - but I have read enough threads here to know that even men like that can behave appallingly. The truth is I don't think he has done anything inappropriate - I think we've both been horribly busy and a bit overwhelmed and we've let things slide. So thank you all for the good advice because I think by having the chat now we are giving ourselves a chance to regroup before things go wrong down the line.

Leavenheath Thu 24-Oct-13 16:01:55

Just read this. Some really good posts.

So he'll show you his phone and his phone bills yes? In this spirit of openness, co-operation and transparency?

Your trust has been dented by 2 fairly major lies and that's understandable. It would be a really good way to build up trust for him to show you that you had no need to be concerned about him getting close to someone he'd kept secret from you.

I hope you'll ask for that. Will you? Or might he volunteer it, which is what I would do?

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