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To wonder if DH is having an EA

(204 Posts)
youvegotmail Tue 30-Jul-13 21:27:30

I've never heard of an EA before being on Mumsnet, but now I'm wondering if DH is having one.......

He's had a friendship with a woman he works with for over a year now, and I've never been totally comfortable with it, but I thought I was a jealous hag (she's young and bloody gorgeous of course)

She and my DH get on really well - they work in different offices for the same company, and he is senior to her. They met when he was doing her induction and he came home and told me they'd hired this great person for the role and how pleased he was, how lovely she was etc (so not hiding anything). Then their contact from then on is mostly through email although about six times a year they have to do presentatons together in the same place. I know they email a ton and it's not all work related - lots of jokes (like ones between just them - stupid stuff) and chatting as they like all the same things - I thought DH and I had shitloads in common but now I think they have more. I know this because his work emails come through to our iPad so are open for me to see - he's never hidden them. It pisses me off though to see a string of 10+ emails over the course of the day just chatting and making stupid fucking jokes. Theres an accasional Facebook message too.

I have said something about her a couple of times to him, when the friendship/EA/whatever really seemed to be taking off and the contact was high. I said that he was being unprofessional and inappropriate and that they were getting too friendly and I was uncomfortable and he didn't agree but both times he then totally toned it down for a few months and went all brusqueu with her, but then it builds again.

I've met her three times at work functions and I'm quite ashamed to say that I was not friendly - in fact DH afterwards said he was embarrassed and that I made it very awkward for no reason. She does seem really nice - but I can't get over the feeling she's getting too close to my husband and shouldn't be emailing him in a friendly way - he is her senior at work and they are both married (we have 3 DCs age 17, 15 and 11 and she has a very young DC not sure of exact age).

There is never anything at all flirty, sexual, suggestive or even much personal in their messages its more just the sheer volume of them and the fact that he clearly thinks shes really funny and clever - their banter really gets under my skin.


skyeskyeskye Sat 03-Aug-13 01:06:57

OP, if you report your own thread, you could ask them to move it to relationships for you.

MysteriousHamster Sat 03-Aug-13 01:02:29

btw I'd post in relationships if I were you

MysteriousHamster Sat 03-Aug-13 01:02:02

It's a tricky one because to confront him at this stage, he probably will tell himself he's being totally innocent and you're being ridiculous. He won't want to allow the possibility he was enjoying being flattered and that he was thinking about OW when he should have been thinking about and talking to and sharing with you.

You could always ask him 'do you still talk to X a lot' and take it from there?

Of course he will probably minimise, but this should be where he realises and pulls away.

Beastofburden Sat 03-Aug-13 00:47:37

Hello YGM. I am not surprised you are feeling overwhelmed, as it is a big step to confront him when, as you say, it is so difficult to know the truest ate of things.

Perhaps if you start by saying that you KNOW (hope!) it's only banter and there is nothing to see, BUT he is thinking of her at 7am and last thing at night, that makes you very uneasy as it is not a normal level of friendship.... Then you could have a conversation about the dangers of this kind of friendship. Which means you can raise your fears without accusing him. This assumes he is basically a good bloke who loves you but needs a wake up call, which I hope is the case.

masirah Sat 03-Aug-13 00:02:41

YGM, be wary! As a male I can see where he is going with this 'banter'. He may think that it is harmless and say so to you, BUT, one little innocent response can be interpreted as a meaningful suggestion and the slippery slope appears. You have two choices, nip this in the bud NOW and persevere through the inevitable rows OR put up with it and hope that the younger perceived competition has the common sense to see what grief this 'lighthearted banter' is causing you.

Just hope that he doesn't react in such a way to the termination of this friendship that he causes irreparable damage to his marriage for what appears to be a likely passing episode.

I have been married for 35 years (to the same woman) and as a bloke could say stupid things like, leave him alone, it's harmless, but sadly that is not my experience of other couples problems. Good luck.

ageofgrandillusion Fri 02-Aug-13 23:14:28

OP. you dont sound like a crazy lunatic. You sound very level headed while, in the meantime, your partner is acting like a bit of a tit.

cerealqueen Fri 02-Aug-13 23:01:19

YANBU. I hope I'm wrong but it sounds to me like they are getting closer and closer, undeniably. They have a connection. All relationships start somewhere and this could be a slow burner, not flirty/sexual now but in time....

Serious talk needed would he feel if you did this? Ask him.

ProphetOfDoom Fri 02-Aug-13 22:52:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NameChanges2013 Fri 02-Aug-13 22:51:53


I've name changed for this, so I can tell you my story. I've been in the sameish situation as you, and it almost ended my marriage.

My DH re-found a friend from his childhood & they met up for a coffee to catch up. All above board & fine, until they discovered just how much they had in common.

My DH was flattered by the attention - they were texting back & forth all day long (one month, on top of his free 1000 texts, his phone bill was higher than usual to the tune of an extra £90) and showing off/preening a lot.

This really, really affected my self confidence - it really hit rock bottom. I was starting to have panic attacks & suffer really badly from anxiety. He wouldn't stop contact until I absolutely insisted (after a lot of rows and late night heart to hearts). Like your DH, he couldn't see anything wrong in what was going on.

It's been about 18 months now & it's still not entirely gone - It sounds daft, but I asked him to change his message tone as for so long it had made my stomach churn when it went off, I still get a horribly churny feeling in my stomach whenever he talks about, completely unrelated to her, the things they had in common, the things I know they spent time discussing and even the school she works in.

I'm not sure this will ever go away.

I don't know if it is help to you, but I thought I'd share my story.

Angelfootprints Fri 02-Aug-13 22:45:44

You don't have to do anything right now ( or at all ) OP.

There is nothing wrong with biding your time imo.

Nanny0gg Fri 02-Aug-13 22:33:24

As has been said, doesn't matter if it's 'only' banter.

It's the when, where and how of that banter that's the issue. And if you can, that's what he needs to understand.

Mumsnetters can be a huge source of support if you want. Ask for this to be moved to Relationships if you want more/continuing help. But don't be embarrassed. It's your marriage. What you do about it has to be your decision.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 02-Aug-13 22:29:58

Hi, youvegotmail

It gets pretty intense on here, but don't feel pressurised.

Wishing you well

AnyFucker Fri 02-Aug-13 22:28:06

Thanks for coming back. No need to feel embarassed, you are among friends here smile

We were getting worried about you, so chatted among ourselves. Hope you are ok.

youvegotmail Fri 02-Aug-13 22:15:28

Hi everyone and thanks for the further replies. Sorry for not coming back to this as soon as I should. Truth is I have not done anything and I feel embarrassed as I think you are right that is what I should do is confront him. I think I will end up looking like a crazy lunatic though as there is nothing to see but banter. sad

AnyFucker Fri 02-Aug-13 19:09:05

thanks for the kind comments x

I wish Op would come back though sad

myroomisatip Fri 02-Aug-13 19:05:41

AF thank goodness for your straight talking. smile

I have never found you to be unkind towards a poster, you just tell it as you see it. I can appreciate that because I had literally years with such a subtle abuser that even now, divorce over, I still doubt myself. I minimised and blocked out so much and I would still be there now if it was not for the way he started on our daughter. She comes out with things that happened that I have totally 'forgotten' or rather I chose not to remember.

So I understand how the OP reacts (or rather fails to) when faced with a situation that they would rather not be in.

I hope that this OP comes back to her thread.

AnyFucker Fri 02-Aug-13 19:01:04

"the girl" I like that one smile

Samu2 Fri 02-Aug-13 18:58:27

I am with Anyfucker, that girl speaks a hell of a lot of sense in relationship threads! You should write a book AF!

It is either a EA or bordering on one. This would not be ok with me and I would expect my husband to respect my wishes on this one just like I would him.

His mind is obviously on this woman a lot. Alarm bells ringing everywhere.

Some of these replies are mind-boggling. Mind you, this is probably the fourth thread I have read today where people have seemed to have enjoyed someones pain and telling them what a fool they are for their feelings.

AnyFucker Fri 02-Aug-13 18:53:36

I see the Op hasn't been back for a while sad

We are chatting among ourselves now, perhaps ?

Anyway, I just wanted to say I don't see my approach as particularly controversial or all that "kick ass"

This man is taking the piss. Would any of us allow anyone else to take the piss out of us in such a regular and sustained way ? I think not. So what is so special about any man that we swallow our pride and overlook the most blatant disrespect in order to not rock the boat ? It makes no sense at all, because the boat is heading for capsizing anyway....

I don't expect any answers btw, because I have been guilty of doing this in the past. We all have, to some extent. Never again, nope not ever again and I will continue to persuade others to not fall into that particular trap too for the sake of some bloke who certainly isn't spending hours on an internet forum angsting about his partner's respect for him.

It's madness, IMO

That's a fair point. Only the OP knows how he will react.

That must have really hurt. sad

Angelfootprints Fri 02-Aug-13 18:45:26


You said; "My gut instinct when I saw that very first email was that something was up"

Do you mind me asking what the rough content of that first email was?

(Tell me to do one if that's private of course!)

ProphetOfDoom Fri 02-Aug-13 18:42:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

skyeskyeskye Fri 02-Aug-13 18:40:02

That's what upset me, once I realised how much XH was texting OW. Right through our family holiday when I thought we were working on our marriage...

I remember being at Peppa Pig World and watching DD splashing around and looking at him to say aw isn't she having fun. He was busy on his phone. When I later realised what he had been up to, it felt like a total betrayal investing time in her when it should have been in his DD.

What would annoy me about this is that he is investing family time in maintaining his relationship with her instead of maintaining his relationship with you. I would be tempted to challenge him on those grounds rather than making it directly about her e.g. when he picks up the phone / ipad to email at 7am or whilst you are watching TV together asking him what is so urgent that he needs to do it now as its family / couple time.

DH has female friends some of whom I have never even met (old work colleagues) which he contacts and goes out with but there was one who bothered me. I did tackle DH directly when I saw a particular text she had sent him wishing we were no longer together because it was an insult to our relationship and I wasn't prepared to accept it. We often use each other's phones so I hadn't been snooping and DH wasn't hiding anything.

The women isn't the problem in my view, the problem is your DH and the time and energy he is investing in his relationship with her.

ProphetOfDoom Fri 02-Aug-13 18:25:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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