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online flirting,is it ok?

(14 Posts)
Ariel Tue 27-Nov-01 13:36:58

Ive recently discovered my husband has been chatting to other women online,not just one but a few he also has exchanged photos.He thinks there is nothing wrong with this,i feel quite upset that hes doing this,he says im being over sensative,maybe i am.Im 4 mnths pregnant and feel quite teary, What do other members think,. I certainly wouldnt consider flirting with men i didnt know neither with men i did know.He certainly wouldnt flirt with a woman face to face,so what is differant with flirting with a faceless person.

Chanelno5 Tue 27-Nov-01 14:20:33

Ariel - I don't think that you are being over-sensitive at all, I would feel exactly the same. I really think that men (my dh top of the list, bless him) show an astounding lack of commonsense sometimes. I'm sure that it is harmless enough, and quite honestly I've got no idea what my dh gets up to on the computer half the time, although he's probably having sneaky looks on the Hornby collectors website, so you can understand why he might want to keep that one quiet. The only thing that worries me about chatting to strangers over the internet is that you really do not have a clue who they are, their circumstances or their motives. The exception to this is Mumsnet as it seems quite safe, but you should still keep your wits about you.

I don't know if you will find this funny, but it might just cheer you up a bit (it made me laugh at the thought of it) Does your dh really know that these are women that he is chatting to? It's just that I have visions of a big, burly bloke sitting at home on the computer wearing a dress and long blonde wig acting out a fantasy double life as 'Selena'! Sorry, not trying to be flippant! Hope you feel a bit better for knowing that I'm on your side.

Lisav Tue 27-Nov-01 14:49:19

I don't think you are being over-sensitive either, that's just him defending what he is doing. He is leading these women on, does he tell them that he is married and his wife is pregnant? Find out what he is telling them. There is nothing wrong with a bit of fantasy, but not when it's being played out right under your nose.

To be honest, if that were my husband I would shove the computer somewhere where the sun don't shine!

Bugsy Tue 27-Nov-01 15:09:06

Goodness Ariel, that must have been a shock for you. What exactly is he chatting to them about and what sort of chat board is it? For example, if it was a household tips site and he was telling them how to unblock their drains I would be less worried than if it was a lonely hearts site. I'd still be curious why it was necessary to exchange photos though!
It could be that your husband honestly doesn't realise he is flirting - it is hard to know without actually seeing what he has written. Men can be a bit dim about these things sometimes & he may just think it is his equivalent of Mumsnet.
If you are sure that he is deliberately flirting, then I think you feeling upset is not an over sensitive reaction.

Harrysmum Tue 27-Nov-01 15:11:29

Hi Ariel, if this were my husband I would be upset too particularly if this were something I had stumbled across and was otherwise secret. A similar (but not identical) situation is ongoing like this between my mum and dad; his primary reaction was to say that we (mum, my brother and I) all overreacted, jumped to the wrong conclusion and explained it all away. He put us on the back foot by making out that it our upset was our own fault, he was the righteous indignant and we should be ashamed of our reactions. Looking back I hope that I never make anyone feel the way he made us feel - if nothing else being upset indicates your depth of feeling for him and not wanting it to continue is asking for respect for your relationship. I suppose much of it depends on the content of the correspondence - is he flirting or is it an email version of having a penpal (with whom you would without question, probably, exchange photographs). Dad managed to convince/shame us into believing him that the correspondence that we had come across which as obviously sexual was just their being good friends and a harmless flirtation. 18 months later (and 3 years after he first met her) it's still going on (after he decided that if we were going to be so dreadful then he wouldn't see her or correspond with her again) (they live in the same city). Now the dilemma is whether or not to tell my mum.

At the end of this long ramble, based entirely on my own (bad) experience - talk about it, find out all that you can and make a balanced (but not brow beaten) judgement. And if it upsets you, then cry!

Tigermoth Tue 27-Nov-01 16:09:01

As Bugsy says, can you ascertain if he is chatting or flirting? is it the equavalent of mumsnet? I think you are within your rights to ask him what sites he uses and then say you might visit the chat rooms yourself sometime. After all if he was out for a night with friends, wouldn't he tell you where he was going and if you surprised him by turning up unexpectedly, he wouldn't be horrified, would he? After that... hmmmm ....I just don't know. Just as you wouldn't open and read his post, can you expect him to let you read everything he's put on screen - and if he did, would he then feel he had a right to look at all your postings?

Taking out of its virtual context. Does your husband have many femail friends? are they old ones dating from his single days before he met you, or new femail friends? What's going on in his life right now? has he sought out lots of femail company recently?

And some people just like making friends. I'm married to one. It has been known for a woman I am only slighty acquainted with to phone us at home, say a quick 'hi' to me, ask if my husband is in, and then invite him out for a drink with her and her friends. This type of thing has happended a few times in the last 10 years. Tests my patience a bit, but I keep saying he's just a very sociable and, as far as I know, extremely loyal person.

I don't think you are being oversensitive, though, especially as he didn't tell you about his friends - you discovered it. I think you have a right know who he is spending his time with, virtual or not, and agree with him on ground rules about what you do or don't say on line, and to whom.

Tigermoth Tue 27-Nov-01 16:37:11

Spelling!! female not femail of course. I'm not a committed reader of the Daily Mail, honest!

Robinw Tue 27-Nov-01 21:17:07

message withdrawn

Jasper Wed 28-Nov-01 00:00:52

Personal confession here. I have an ongoing stormy/unhappy marriage. We have many problems but our two (soon to be three) kids are not among them. Some months ago after yet another row I logged onto some internet dating website (dating or similar)sort of out of spite but also because I was drunk, upset, and curious to see what kind of men were out there in the world should I decide to ditch my dreadful husband...( you know I am being flippant here but you get the point). In a fit of pique I even registered my details!!!( incidentally this is not how I would go about looking for a man should I become single again, this was strictly in the realms of fantasy, but I would not call it harmless fantasy) Your email address is not made available, anyone wishing to contact you gets their message forwarded via the website operators. I completely forgot about it until about three months later got a message from dating direct to say they had a message for me! In all, over a period of about three months I got four messages. One was really interesting and I confess I was really tempted( drunk again) to reply, in other words to deliberately start up an online flirtation. However I was not that drunk so did not do anything about it. The point is I did deliberately place myself in that position because I was fed up with my husband.
Now, another scenario. I used to be a member of an online support group for people trying to get fit/lose weight (bodyforlife). It is very American so when someone from the UK logs on they stand out. I contacted a man from the north of England who was following the programme, and we corresponded regularly for several months, offering tips and support. We freely discussed our partners and families. It was in no way a flirtatious thing, and did not develop into one because that was never the intention.
Sorry to be longwinded...I'm getting to the point, honest.
Anyway, which of the above two categories of online "relationships" do you think your husband's falls into? If the former then I think it is of concern, if the latter, much less so. If he is unwilling to discuss it, it is definately a problem.
How are things in your marrige in general?
is this your first pregnancy?
Good luck.

Ariel Wed 28-Nov-01 10:03:49

Thanks everyone,i feel better now,Jasper,if things were tough between us id think id worry more,this is my 3rd baby and things havent gone to plan,my 2nd baby was prem and had loads of problems and ive had 3 bleeds so far in this pregnancy,i worry about this side of our marraige as sex(sorry to be so blunt)is none existant on advice from the doctor.Im pretty sure he doesnt tell anyone about being married and his family.sometimes i feel theres little wrong with this type of freindship,but when i ask him about downloaded pictures he deneis any knowledge of them,which i think is just stupid as how else did they get there.I think alot of this is down to peer pressure from work freinds,alot of them see nothing wrong in this or looking at porn on the web,.anyway thanks again everyone .

Lisav Wed 28-Nov-01 13:44:12

Oh Ariel, poor you! It makes me seeth when men act like this, does he not see the stress you are already under? You are 4 months pregnant, it's not an easy pregnancy, you have 2 other children to look after and have no sex life, yet I bet if you logged onto a chat room to flirt he would go nuts! Give yourself a break Ariel, leave him with the kids for a few days whilst you chill out somewhere. I'm sorry to say this, I'm sure you know your dh better than I do, but he sounds like a selfish pig. Even if he is getting peer pressure from friends, you should be his first priority right now.

Ask him to go to the doctors with you next time you have a check up, so he can understand why you cannot have sex right now and why you need his love and support at this critical time.

You are being far more tolerant than I would be Ariel, he doesn't deserve you!:) Hope things work out.

Joe1 Wed 28-Nov-01 14:53:38

I would flip Im afraid. Chatting to women at work and friends is different, but sending his photos out, nop would not put up with that. I can try and talk through some karate moves with you if you like, wont put any strain on you but will give him something to think about.

Janus Wed 28-Nov-01 20:39:51

If he's just looking at porn on the internet or logging on to a similar crappy site then I really don't think this is too much to worry about. I think a huge amount of men use the internet to look up some sort of porn and I'm not exaggerating. I worked in an office with mostly blokes and they were always calling up sites and then forwarding certain images to everyone (including me!!) or getting emails from friends with porn attached and then forwarding it. I even bought my computer from Comet and it was the store demo (we really wanted a computer that day!) so they boxed it up and gave it to us. When I got home and got set up there was all types of porn sites popping up!
I would worry more if it was a dateline sort of site as this is more of a looking for someone to meet, ie not just fantasy.
Do you know what sort of site he's on? If some rubbish porn 'cum and talk to me' type of bullshit I wouldn't really worry but if it's a dateline then I would start questioning him about why he needs to do this.
Hope this helps.

Bugsy Thu 29-Nov-01 10:00:15

My poor dh buys FHM, which has loads of women with very little clothes on. He also recently purchased FHM Women of 2001, which is FULL of women with very little clothes on. However, he is very upfront about it and doesn't hide it at work or in his briefcase. I expect he has probably looked at sad porn websites too. I have to say I can't get too worked up about it. In fact I really don't care but I would mind desperately if he was seeking companionship or friendship with other women, through the internet or lonely hearts etc.
I hope your pregnancy will settle down soon Ariel. Please believe me, you are not the only one not having sex with their dh while pregnant and that is no reason for him to feel hard done by!
Good luck.

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