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I don't know if I'm being unreasonable so I'm asking for an MN perspective

(62 Posts)
IUsedtobeMe Mon 20-May-13 17:50:41

Name changed as I think DH has started to browse my posts.

I may drip feed because I'm all over the place, and I'm not sure what's relevant and what's not, but I'll try not to.

DH works away from home. He has a female friend (I know I should be ok with this part, but self-esteem issues are blurring my feelings on this). She works with him, they have worked together for 3 years (2 diff companies), but the friendship is more recent (not sure how recent, I think it was when they both changed jobs a couple of months ago). He talks about her (too much) and is quite open. I know he sees her outside of work i.e. lunch together, walking together. I think it's platonic as he has told me about a health issue that would make her celibate and it sounds legit.

Now this is where I'm unsure about whether I'm being unreasonable.

He has apparently discussed our relationship with her, we have issues, she has told him that it's his fault (apparently), lent him a self-help book and given him some pointers.

I was miffed about this - but see disclaimer about SE above, so I let it go.

Today his mobile phone bill arrived. I handle the accounts so I open all post (we're ok with opening each others post, especially as he is away during the week). The bill was a bit high so I idly looked at the back to see what was outside of the call allowance and was shocked by the number of texts he's sent. He's a typical bloke and, until recently anyway, hardly texts. 80% of the texts are to same number, which I assume is this friend. I checked the calls as well and there's a few of them, but not tons.

Having stewed for a bit, I checked other bills, and it's the same. I have only gone back about 5 months (to before they both changed jobs) and the pattern is still there.

As I said above, he works away during the week. He rings me every evening. He texts me work stuff (I run his business), or household stuff, never chatty. He is not a chatty person in RL, and not really romantic.

Would this bother you? Should it bother me? Should I ask to see the texts?

CloudsAndTrees Mon 20-May-13 17:52:58

Yes it would bother me. I'd have it out with him. Not because there is a problem with him having a good female friend, I love the female friend my DH has, but because he is getting to emotionally involved with this woman.

fuzzypicklehead Mon 20-May-13 17:57:29

It would bother me. But having said that, I never text DP. I know he won't check them.

However, I do occasionally have surreal text-a-thons with a bloke from work who has a similar geek sense of humor to mine. I don't tell him about the inner workings of my marriage, though.

Not convinced that asking to see the texts will help. It sends a clear message that you suspect him, while giving him the opportunity to hide anything that is there.

phantomnamechanger Mon 20-May-13 18:01:23

I think given that you legitimately open his bills and were not therefore "snooping" you ought to make a lighthearted comment "crikey DH your phone bill was huge this month, what have you been up to LOL" - and watch for his reaction - if he's evasive or defensive, he is hiding something sad.

If he says "X has been having problems so I hvae been phoning her a lot to see how she is" or something else like that, I think you have nothing to worry about. Then again you might be able to tell he is lieing?

I understand how shitty this feels, have been in a simialr predicament myself and I totally get the low SE issues.
But IME, men dont talk all the time about women they are having affairs with! getting too attached and her being his best friend instead of you is another matter, but still hurtful and he needs to know that.

IUsedtobeMe Mon 20-May-13 18:18:31

Thank you! Now I know I'm not being totally unreasonable!

If I speak to him, he will spin it back on to me "always accusing him of having affairs" (I did it twice, I was half right the first time, and I cannot prove the second but I'm pretty sure there was casual sex, if not a full blown affair), not trusting him (part of our problem is that he lies), etc etc. If I challenge him, he will lie, so no point in doing so.

If, on the other hand, I demand to see his phone immediately, then I may find out the truth. Or I may find all the texts to her missing, which is tells it's own story.

But what will happen then?

ChocsAwayInMyGob Mon 20-May-13 18:21:19

Oh dear. So this is not the first time he has given cause for concern? In which case, stop blaming your self esteem problems and start blaming your shifty husband!


EleanorHandbasket Mon 20-May-13 18:23:49

You don't have 'self-esteem' issues.

You have 'my husband is a cheating skank' issues.


threesypeesy Mon 20-May-13 18:26:07

Yanbu I would be most annoyed that he had discussed problems n you're marriage witb another woman, I find that unacceptable and a bit of a slap in the face tbh. I would definitely discuss this with him and make it clear to him where your problems lie with it all.

TheCutOfYourJib Mon 20-May-13 18:31:00

I would check his phone without asking him, it's the only way you'll know for sure.
He sounds a bit obsessed with her if he's talking about her all the time.

IUsedtobeMe Mon 20-May-13 18:31:55

If I said he had discussed our problems with his friend and didn't mention that the friend was female, would this be different?

IUsedtobeMe Mon 20-May-13 18:34:19

I can't check his phone, it's always locked (not suspicious of this, there's client confidential stuff on it)

I can ask him direct to see his phone. If he lets me, then it's probably innocent and I will have to apologise. Or it will be empty and that, in itself, will make me assume it's not innocent. Or he will refuse, and that will also give me the answer sad.

badguider Mon 20-May-13 18:36:27

when i read your first post i was going to say that i wouldn't be bothered if the person my dh turned to was a woman or that he was texting a lot - though i would mention it.

THEN i saw your second and see that your dh has proved himself totally untrustworthy and unfaithful in the past... so i take it all back. it's not about your S-E it's about him being a twat!!

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Mon 20-May-13 18:37:34

Eleanor has a good point! Your husband is lying and is a cheat. It pisses me off that so many women blame themslves when their male partners are fuckwits.

IUsedtobeMe Mon 20-May-13 18:56:17

I have no proof he cheated. The first time, I know he was "chasing" someone, but she turned him down. It could have been harmless, male ego flirting, he may actually have run a mile if she had said yes.

The second incident, I just wish I had had MN then. He went away for a night (this is normal). He said he would be meeting up with an old colleague and would take her out for dinner to catch up. When he came home, he emptied his case, mostly into the washing basket, and then left it open. In among some hankies I could see something poking out. Yep, a condom (in it's wrapper). My argument was that he wouldn't presume to take condoms unless he'd been there before, and felt a reasonable chance of going there again. He said it must have got caught up in the hankies when he picked them up from his drawer. We had some left over from before he had the snip, I thought there were 3 left, he said only 1. I couldn't be sure which of us was right so I had to let it go.

IfNotNowThenWhen Mon 20-May-13 19:18:20

Men dont text women endlessly if they are not interested in them sexually. They just don't. does he have male friends he texts all the time? I doubt it.
It doesn't mean he is neccessarily cheating, or that he even would if it came to that, but it does mean more than just mates.
I have one or two male friends who I sometimes get texts from. Its usually when they have broken up with someone and the texts are usually flirty, just chancing their arm. Its not usually serious, but if my do was doing this with another woman, i would a) get his phone and look for myself and if i found saucy or romantic texts, given his history, i would sack him. Easier said, I realise. Sorry for being brutal op.

IfNotNowThenWhen Mon 20-May-13 19:19:31

How many usuallys was that !

fabergeegg Mon 20-May-13 19:21:56

Whether or not your DH is being unreasonable, you sound like you both have trust issues. Perhaps it would be helpful to try Relate.

Can't imagine how painful this must be for you. flowers

threesypeesy Mon 20-May-13 19:29:13

It would be different for me if it was a male friend yes to discuss it with a female imo is a very intimate thing to do and for me I wouldn't want my dh confiding or looking for comfort from another woman.

IUsedtobeMe Mon 20-May-13 21:47:11

IfNot - no, he rarely texts male friends or me for that matter.

threesy - but why? If it's a platonic relationship it should be alright, but it's not is it? I think he feels it's ok as she is helping him to make our relationship better - except it's not.

Is an Emotional Affair as bad as, worse, better than a physical one?

StuntGirl Mon 20-May-13 21:56:39

Equally bad in different ways imo, but your opinion is the only one that matters here.

Lay your cards on the table and tell him he's a cheating twat and he either bucks his ideas up and takes positive steps to end the flirtation/affair/whatever and seek help for his philandering ways or you're off.

Agree with whoever it was upthread who said you don't have self esteem issues, you have my-husband-is-a-bellend issues.

OrangeFireandGoldashes Mon 20-May-13 22:04:52

"The first time, I know he was "chasing" someone, but she turned him down. It could have been harmless, male ego flirting, he may actually have run a mile if she had said yes."

It wouldn't matter to me whether this woman was interested or not. The fact that HE was sufficiently interested in another woman to get as far as being turned down would be enough. Didn't he stand up in front of your friends and family and promise to "forsake all others"?

As for this latest woman, I'd be livid that he was talking to her about intimate issues within his marriage. And, rightly or wrongly, I'd see her giving him a self-help book, which she presumably knows/guesses he will take home with him, as a message to you - it's a tangible, physical thing that says "Look! Your husband has been talking to ME about the things making him unhappy in your marriage! Me! Not you!"

I have a (married) male friend, an ex-colleague. We meet for lunch occasionally and when we worked together we used to walk round the block together now and then. I've known him for four or five years and in that time we have never discussed anything more intimate than our shared sporting interets, our respective holidays and various people we both know or knew through work. If he suddenly started blurting out his intimate marital problems I'd change the subject as quickly and politely as I could. I don't want to know; that's not the role our friendship has in each other's lives.

Corkyandviolet Mon 20-May-13 22:11:15

You don't know for sure that the texts are to this woman, you might want to be certain before you confront him. Also, if they are to her, is it possible the texts are work-related rather than social? I'm not making excuses for him, but if you're planning on confrontation then you don't want to end up with egg on your face! I realise it's difficult to check the texts, could you ask to borrow his phone to make a call or get a friend's number or something, and then have a look when his back's turned?

IUsedtobeMe Mon 20-May-13 22:23:46

Good point Corky.

They won't be work related, they work for the same company but 2 different, unrelated, departments. The times are also all wrong for work ones.

If it's not her, then I would be even more worried, as the pattern would only fit with a close friend sad

KhaosandKalamity Tue 21-May-13 06:10:56

Past posters are right, men do not txt women for a chat. My best friend is male, he has been living overseas for 2 years and I have heard from him twice. When he gets back we will likely see him at least 3 times a week, but until then radio silence is the norm. The same friend regularly came to me for relationship advice, but as you would a sister, he just needed someone to translate the female reaction in to male speak that he could understand.

If he regularly txt you, his wife who he spends most of his time away from, as well as the other woman it might be a different story. But I would be highly suspicious if I were you, especially considering his history. Also if he has told you about her private medical issue which makes her celibate I would be worried about what he has told her about you.

KhaosandKalamity Tue 21-May-13 06:15:55

Just realised how unhelpful my last post was, sorry. Attempted remedy: Don't let him, or yourself, blame your self-esteem issues. This is not about your lack of self esteem, it is about your lack of trust in him, for good reason. If he is a prone to falsehood as you say, he will be geared up to convince you that it is your problem and your fault for being paranoid. Stand strong and remember it's not paranoia if they really are out to get you. Have cuppa, sounds like you need one brew

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