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Is DH secretive?

(16 Posts)
Piggles Tue 19-Jul-11 22:11:39

Back Story: My DH broke up with his long-term girlfriend just weeks before he met me, it was his decision to end their relationship and she took it really badly - and she blamed me for being the cause of the end of their relationship.

She made a real nuisance of herself turning up, phoning and emailing DH demanding he take her back. Not great behavior on her part - but understandably she was hurt and angry that things had not worked out the way she wanted them to.

Then she somehow got hold of my email adress and phone number and started pestering me too - alternately saying she was having an affair with DH behind my back, that she'd win him back, that I was welcome to him because he was so hateful and abusive, that she loved and needed him and I had to let her have him, that she didn't want him anyway as he was so crap... confused etc.

I did a pretty decent job of ignoring her and not really engaging with her bullshit, and eventually after months of being a low-level irritant she backed off. I breathed a sigh of relief and figured that was the end of it.


That was years ago, DH and I have since bought a house, got married and started TTC. We are very happy together.


Today I picked up the laptop and went to check my Gmail. Then I realised DHs account was still logged in, and right near the top of his inbox was email from the ex. I'm not a mad snooper by nature, but that was a bit too much for me to just ignore, especially as it had been replied to multiple times - if you use Gmail you know what I mean.

I scrolled down through his inbox and there are dozens and dozens of emails from her which have mostly been replied to. So (okay I am nosy) I clicked on some to see what was what.

Sometimes she writes that she still misses him and wants him back and she will 'forgive' him hmm for being with me - to which he replies something like: "Sorry. Not happening."

Sometimes she is demanding something really random (eg - "I saw you in X shop near where I live, that's nowhere near your house - how dare you come in there, what if I need to shop, I don't want to see you with the bitch! I need to be able to shop without that worry. I can't shop there if you are there with HER and I need that shop. I fucking NEED it! How can you do this to me?!?" and he replies: "Don't worry, it was a one-off, we don't usually shop there.")

Is DH being a bit unusually secretive to keep these emails to himself? Or is it a case of His ex and His problem and I should remove my nose from the situation?

Having read what I did, I do almost feel like I should be looking over my shoulder now, as she obviously hasn't moved on and a lot of her emails sound really venomous and full of hate.

I'm not sure if I should talk to DH about this, or just pretend I know nothing and let him keep handling it?

Thoughts anyone? Besides that I am a total Muppet for snooping - I've realized that much already!

Sorry it is long <hands out medals and wine to everyone who made it to the end>

thesunshinesbrightly Tue 19-Jul-11 22:20:03

He doesn't sound as if he is engaging with her.
Can't you change email addresses? she sounds like a totally loon. Send her a link for therapy and say you and your DH wish her well.

NickRobinsonsloveslave Tue 19-Jul-11 22:20:36

I personally think you have nothing to worry about. It seems obvious from DH replies that he's not interested.
She, on the other hand, sounds like a right bunny boiler.
Your DH seems to be trying to placate her crazy behaviour to protect you. In one way this is good but whilever he keeps replying to her she will keep thinking she still has a chance with him.
TBH I would be quite worried for my own safety with regards to her comment about you, the bitch, shopping where she shops.

I would talk to DH about this as he must be really stressing about this. She does seem to have genuine mental problems and you both need to do something to get her out of your lives once and for all.

madonnawhore Tue 19-Jul-11 22:22:44

Sounds to me from what you've said that he's trying to handle it without telling you and upsetting you.

Maybe he feels a bit guilty that you had to put up with so much shit from her when you first got together and he doesn't want to put you in the firing line again.

She's obviously a bit unhinged so isn't going to suddenly be like, 'oh well, he's not interested, better move on'. Even replying to her in the negative is giving her the attention she wants. As long as he keeps engaging with her, she will keep bothering him.

The right way for him to handle it would be to tell you what's going on and adopt a policy of totally ignoring her. But I don't think you should be too harsh on him for handling it badly.

Really torn between you telling him you snooped or not. I don't think I could know something like that and not say anything because then the secrecy is just compounded and she is successfully coming between you IYSWIM?

Can you not just say, did you realise you left yourself logged into my laptop? I saw there was an email from X in your inbox, just wondering if everything's ok or should I be worried she's going to go off on one?

SingingTunelessly Tue 19-Jul-11 22:24:02

So after all the grief she had given you he hasn't told you about the contact he has been having with her? I would be seriously hacked off tbh. Why hasn't he said anything?

buzzsore Tue 19-Jul-11 22:26:57

Hmm, I disagree with sunshine - he is engaging. I think by responding to her, even as briefly and innocuously as he apparently does, he's keeping her going. I think he needs to tell her to stop contacting him, then stop responding to her at all, set his email account so emails from her are sent to junk or blocked, and potentially think about sending a solicitor's letter or get an injunction against her if she won't go quietly.

I think you might need to talk to him about it because this should not go on for years and years like this. Why is he keeping her hanging on?

NickRobinsonsloveslave Tue 19-Jul-11 22:27:48

Singing, DH hasn't said anything because he is trying to protect OP from all the crap he is getting from this freak.

Rindercella Tue 19-Jul-11 22:47:17

I think you are going to have to put your hands up and admit to your DH that you saw the emails. Say exactly how it happened - I use gmail and can easily see how tempted you would be seeing a chain of scores of emails all bunched together.

I think your DH has probably done what he thought was the best thing - to try not to do anything to upset her, but also to say nothing to encourage her either. Unfortunately, by even replying to her - acknowledging her emails -he has probably added more incentive for her to keep sending emails to him.

She sounds completely unhinged and I would actually be quite concerned for your own safety. It may well be an idea to suggest to your DH that you print all the emails off and take them to the police. Then your DH really must change his email address, block her from any other means she may contact him and to cease to engage with her on any level.

Oh, and based on the evidence above, I would really not worry about your DH being secretive. He was probably trying to do what he thought best and to protect you from this person. I would still be a bit miffed though to see someone refer to me as a bitch and not have my husband defend me though (although I do understand why yours didn't in these circumstances!).

Piggles Wed 20-Jul-11 01:27:38

Thank you all for your replies.

I suppose he could be trying to shield me from her continuing pestering. I just felt it was a bit secretive of him because if an ex of mine was harassing me I don't think I'd be able to keep quiet about it - or indeed want to be quiet about it.

Even if he hadn't wanted to discuss it or show me the emails, he could have at least given me a heads up that she is still in the picture - and apparently still a bit bonkers. I know the chances of her actually being a danger to me are very, very slim - but still, I'd liked to have been warned that she hasn't moved on I guess.

I'm not actually angry with him, more confused that he didn't see fit to confide in me than anything. I was a bit cross initially (especially that he didn't defend me when she called me names - though I suppose I see why he didn't) but it isn't like he asked to have a crazy ex who won't get lost.

I agree that him responding to her (even with his polite impersonal little notes) may be seen as encouragment by her. Like a naughty kid she might feel that any attention is better than no attention.

I don't think I will do very well with keeping what I read a complete secret - It'll only bug me I think. I like the idea of saying to him that he left himself logged in, and I couldn't help but notice she'd been emailing him and is everything okay? So I can see how he reacts and proceed from there.

HairyGrotter Wed 20-Jul-11 07:31:02

I would be a bit miffed, but then, men don't really think like women. I would assume he's trying to protect you in terms of not dragging you into it, although by doing that he is making the situation worse. I bet he doesn't want to 'hurt' her anymore than he has done, and being a nice guy is responding to her although, all it would take is a quick email to say 'No more contact' and then stand by that.

I would speak to him, tell him the truth and say you're not angry but just a bit miffed.

He sounds like a stand up guy who just hasn't really thought through what he's doing

LoveBeingAbleToNamechange Wed 20-Jul-11 07:41:50

I agree by replying he is engaging her, he sounds like he's trying too be too nice tbh.

LadyLapsang Wed 20-Jul-11 11:55:18

I think it sounds like his ex needs some professional help to heal and move on. Are you absolutely sure your DH is telling you the whole story though - had they properly broken up when you two first got together; has he seen her on his own since? If he has lied to her e.g. you had started seeing each other behind her back then maybe it will help her move on if he aknowledges this. Nevertheless, I think he needs to send one last email saying if she ever contacts him or you again you will be forced to seek legal advice. The he needs to follow through and not engage with her in any way and then take any emails / phone messages to the police / a solicitor. Regarding your DH I think you should just tell him you read the emails as you were worried and concerned.

HerHissyness Wed 20-Jul-11 12:39:23

Ok, I don't think this woman IS still in the picture.

Your DH has said 'Not happening' to her which is pretty blunt tbh, without being rude.

My X used to keep his GF hanging on, by being nice and lying to her. Your H doesn't seem to be doing this.

It sounds to me like he thought she'd eventually bugger off, so didn't tell you about the first email, or the second, but now is in too deep to come clean.

Thing is love, he has got himself a clingon - she is stalking him. she harassed you, and tbh, you ought to have contacted the police, but it's all done now.

Thing is with persistent harassers/stalkers, if they call you 100 times and you answer on the 100th, they will not learn that you wish they didn't call, they only learn that if they want to speak to you they have to call you MORE THAN 100 TIMES.

My advice to you is to sit your DH down and explain what happened truthfully about his email, apologise, say you don't know why you did it, but it's human nature, but that somehow you are glad you did. Tell him what you saw and that you realise that he may be out of his depth and that you are here to help, advise and not to chastise. Tell him you really genuinely don't have an issue with him at all and love him dearly. tell him that you know he's not to blame for this, and that the pair of you can handle this together, not him alone.

Then get some advice from the local stalking and harassment teams. My bet is that they will tell you to not reply to anything, for him to create a new email for his day to day, and gently phase all important contacts over to the new address, so it's just left to her. Keep the emails, for evidence, but don't reply. If he can change his phone number etc, it also might be a good idea. Get advice from the non-emergency police service.

Piggles Thu 21-Jul-11 06:47:10

Thank you all very much for all the intelligent thoughts.

I finally got time with DH for a quiet non-confrontational chat.

He was startled at first when I said I needed a serious chat. But I quickly explained to him that in my pre-coffee state (not pretty or witty) I'd opened Gmail on our laptop, but he'd left himself logged in and my eye had fallen on the exes name (very distinctive name it is too) before I'd even had time to process that it wasn't my email account... and would he like to share why he was exchanging so many emails with someone who'd tried to break us up.

He seemed a bit relieved really that it was out in the open, and said that she'd actually not been in contact on a constant basis for the last few years, but that her re-establishing contact was something that only happened back in February when her brother had died and he thought she was just reaching out to anyone for a bit of support. He was kind and sympathetic to her (because DH is far too sodding nice for his own good) and of course she glommed onto that bit of niceness from him and clearly thought it meant more than it did. So the giant prat has been politely replying as distantly as he can and hoping he will eventually disentangle himself ever since.

I do feel a bit sorry for her now though (and less ready to rip her head off for trying to move in on my husband) but have told DH that if she needs someone to talk to (which she obviously does) she can find a professional or someone else and he is not responsible for her mental well-being. He wants to write her one last message to let her know she will not be getting any more replies from him, he wishes her well but can't be what she needs etc and has agreed to cut contact after that. Which I think is fair enough.


I didn't ask him about the timings of the end of their relationship, because I am 99% sure that he really did break up with her before he met me, because when we first met he told me that he'd just come out of a long term relationship and wasn't really looking for another one just yet (!) - so either he'd left already, or was planning to anyway.

I don't think it was an unreasonable assumption on her part though - dumped, and then your ex is prancing about madly in love with a new lady less than a month later. In her shoes I'd probably be smelling rats too.


I think we will hang fire on actually reporting her to the police or even threatening her with them (though will definitely keep the emails) as DH the giant prat has been responding to her of his own free will and although he has politely suggested in some emails that she stop contacting him, he has never told her to fuck the fuck off either.

She has never actually been a 1000 calls a day nightmare even at her worst (perhaps I made her sound a bit worse than she is) but she was distinctly a nuisance at times during the early months of our relationship and has clearly been a bit of a burden to DH for the last few months.

Hopefully if DH disengages and stops giving her any attention to feed on she will eventually give up as she presumably did before.


Why can't I write short succint posts like normal people? <offers wine and apologies>

HairyGrotter Thu 21-Jul-11 07:15:21

Sounds like you guys have dealt with this in a great communicative manner! Fair play. She has my sympathies, but time really should heal that but if her brother died, I can imagine that messes with ones head.

Glad to hear that you guys sorted it out though

LoveBeingAbleToNamechange Thu 21-Jul-11 07:43:47

Glad you've talked.

I doubt your dh is upset at your snooping, he us probably glad it's out in the open, maybe why his ac was left logged in?

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