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DH meeting other women (poss clients but could be more) - what would you do?

(23 Posts)
stepfordmum Mon 01-Aug-11 14:48:40

Apologies because I think this is going to be a long one! DH's job involves a lot of socialising and taking out clients, etc, who are mostly male. Given his history of late nights and drinking (and prior to me infidelity) I don't really trust him 100% and must admit that after some very late nights I have checked his mobile phone. Last year I found an email with a photo of him with his arms round a woman who I had never met. I had it out with him and he said that she worked for one of his clients and they often all socialise together but he just sees her as a mate and it was all totally innocent. Plus he needs to take them out as they keep him up to date with client info. I did eventually believe him after much studying of the body language in the pic! My biggest concern was that he had apparently known her 5 years and never mentioned her. He promised me no more secrets and he would always tell me who he was meeting up with, etc. Supposedly confessing all, he mentioned one more meeting with another woman for a coffee (he didn't tell me her name). But said that was it.

At the same time I found the photo, there was an email between him and this woman (lets call her B), arranging to meet for coffee, I was a bit concerned but the photo kind of took precedence. He mentioned her again after a corporate sports do saying how another client wouldn't leave her alone (which at the time I thought why did you even notice that unless you fancy her) also I could never previously imagine him taking a woman to a sports things normally.

Anyway last week after another night of him out drinking I checked his phone and found an email between them discussing her potential new job, in which she said if she took it then they "would still be able to meet up smile" and how she had "noticed he hadn't been at her leaving do sad" (from his email it looks like he hadn't got her invite.

That's about it, my concerns are; he obviously hasn't told me that he has been meeting up with her, even though I don't think anything is going on at the moment there is some flirting and if they keep meeting where will it lead.

I don't know whether to confront him or not (if I tell him, he is going to know I have been checking his phone and know they code!) and am I just being paranoid not wanting them to meet up. I don't know what to do, but it is really getting me down wondering every day if he is meeting up with her. If I do confront him he will probably say it is because of potential business, etc.

Thanks for reading, sorry its so long.

niceguy2 Mon 01-Aug-11 14:54:51

What you have is hardly a smoking gun and given half the world's population is female, it's kind of hard for your husband to only "entertain" males in his job.

If the shoe were on the other foot, I'm sure the population of MN would be screaming from the rafters about how dare a man not trust his woman who is working hard to blah blah.

From what you've said here, I doubt he's having an affair. But what I do know is your own insecurity will only make matters worse. If he's going to cheat, nothing you do or say will change that. But you getting all jealous and having it out with him all the time will simply just make him hide things more and him feel like he has a wife who doesn't trust him.

garlicbutter Mon 01-Aug-11 15:32:44

I understand why you don't trust him, based on history. What you've described, though, is normal business entertainment. I might be a little bit hmm about the leaving do remark, but only the tiniest bit. I felt very fond of some of my clients, many of them men, and am still loosely in touch years later.

The pair of you need some workable balance, where you appreciate that business does involve friendship and he understands that you need a bit of reassurance. It might help if he talks more freely about all his jollies and the people there - what do you think? Also, go with him to any events that include partners - there should be a summer one and a Christmas one at the least.

Another thing to consider, perhaps, would be offering to do some entertaining at home? Barbecues or dinners. You'd get to know some of the people (and some of the gossip), plus he can claim the costs on expenses wink

stepfordmum Mon 01-Aug-11 16:42:38

Thank you both for taking the time to reply, I know I am insecure, and I really wish I wasn't, but I do try not to have it out with DH, as I know it doesn't help. It is however very hard not to be, given he is a heavy drinker with a high libido and a history of self confessed infidelity.

What I really want is some honesty on what he has been doing and with who, is that unreasonable? If he was more open then perhaps I wouldn't be so insecure (on one occasion when he left his work blackberry at home, he reset it remotely and cleared everything on it.) To garlicbutter, unfortunately they don't really have one Christmas do which involves partners, DH and some of his staff just take various clients out for drinks at different times. We live along way from London (where most clients are) and although it is a great idea, in the business he does they just don't entertain at home.

garlicbutter Mon 01-Aug-11 16:55:01

I would be totally freaked by the Blackberry clearing, if he knew it was at home. That's not privacy, it's secrecy. And it explains your 'insecurity', I'm afraid. People don't make a special effort to hide things from their spouse unless they've got a reason.

Whatmeworry Mon 01-Aug-11 17:15:38

Uh Oh re Blackberry clearing.

RosyRosie Mon 01-Aug-11 17:17:27

I'd be most concerned about the 'we can still meet up' comment...I doubt anything's happened yet but I'd be wanting to nip it in the bud. But if you've been snooping round his phone and emails...doesn't cast you in a favourable light and may leave you without a leg to stand on!

lubeybooby Mon 01-Aug-11 17:21:58

That does sound more friend/innocent to me and I'm a very, very suspicious type. <shrug>

prh47bridge Mon 01-Aug-11 18:04:17

You say "he reset it (his BlackBerry) remotely and cleared everything on it". However, you describe it as his "work BlackBerry". If it is owned by his employer it will almost certainly have been his employer's IT department that cleared the BlackBerry. Some companies are pretty strict about things like this and will wipe BlackBerries at any hint that a handset is missing in order to avoid information getting out. So I disagree with those who are worried by it, but I may be wrong.

I agree with garlicbutter that everything you've posted so far sounds like normal business entertainment.

BluddyMoFo Mon 01-Aug-11 18:06:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

stepfordmum Mon 01-Aug-11 18:19:42

It is really a culmination of everything that makes me worry.

To RosyRosie, that is my biggest concern and I do feel I need to atleast let him know that I know to nip anything in the bud. But your right my snooping is not great behaviour and how do I even broach it!

To prh47bridge, he is the employer so it would only have been cleared on his say so.

garlicbutter Mon 01-Aug-11 18:56:23

Stepford, I'm going to try a different approach. As you're posting a bit more, I'm getting the feeling that you're not "an insecure person" so much as a woman whose instincts are making rational sense out of an accumulation of small clues. Were you insecure in previous relationships? Were his previous infidelities work-related, and were you one of them??

Lots of the men I worked with were unfaithful. I would say most, in fact. I can't believe their wives never suspected; I believe they were women who made a pragmatic decision to love their husbands as they were, never wondering overmuch about what they were up to or with whom. It is a perfectly logical choice, not all that unusual in the scheme of things.

But how would you feel about it? Can you decide to leave his out-of-home life to him, and still be happy? Or do you feel a fierce urge to know?

MadAboutHotChoc Mon 01-Aug-11 19:16:36

I think your instincts are telling you something - I so wish I had listened to my instincts. Even though I put down these niggles to being insecure, in hindsight, signs of my H's infidelity such as being protective of his iphone were actually fairly obvious.

Garlicbutter - I think you would be surprised at how many wives actually do not suspect. I really did trust my H 100 per cent, after all we had been together for 22 years, had experienced/seen the devastating impact of infidelity in his family and he was devoted to his children. A long marriage does tend to make one complacent...

garlicbutter Mon 01-Aug-11 19:25:22

Thanks, MadAbout - some of the wives, I'm sure had no idea (they were the ones we all felt sorry for ...) I probably chose to delude myself about the majority; the thought of all those women finding out & having their worlds turned inside-out is just too sad.

Several of my friends knew and stayed, though. I can't say I ever saw it as the recipe for a wonderfully happy marriage - but a functional, supportive one: yes. You seem to be having some difficulty currently, Stepford, with the supportive aspect of things. Would it be a good idea to decide how you'd really feel if you knew he was cheating, and go from there?

stepfordmum Mon 01-Aug-11 19:27:05

Garlicbutter, no I wasn't insecure in previous relationships and yes, I was a work related infidelity, I'm not sure about others I don't know details.

I am pretty certain since we have been married (9 years) he hasn't been unfaithful but I am concerned about this current "flirtation" and where it is going.

I have been asking myself for the past two weeks could I live with it and I still haven't come up with the answer. I know that I have felt very low just thinking about the what if, which is why I think I feel the need to air my concerns to him but I don't really know how without causing huge conflict.

garlicbutter Mon 01-Aug-11 19:54:10

Oh dear, Stepford. I am sorry you're going through this. Everyone has different feelings on the issue - I used to think I wouldn't snoop but, having learned from these threads why snooping can be constructive, I wish I'd snooped harder! As it was, I snooped half-heartedly and made things more difficult.

The worst thing, for me, is the deception. It undermines so much of what a long-term relationship is about, and shows a funny kind of respect for you ...

A very honest heart-to-heart could be a good starting point; try getting him to understand that you're concerned about this specific relationship, and why. Is that do-able? I imagine you'll know if he tones it down.

bail Mon 01-Aug-11 20:08:13

Obviously you know your DH, but based on the information you provide I strongly suspect that nothing has actually happened but something is almost definitely brewing. This woman is getting her nails into your husband, those are flirty messages, inappropriate for a woman to be sending to a married man. Period.

Generally speaking I am very relaxed in my posts on Mumsnet, advising posters to chill, take stock etc. However, this really set off alarm bells.

You need to act. Speak with your husband, pick your time carefully. Be strong and quite forceful. You could nip something in the bud I think.

MadAboutHotChoc Mon 01-Aug-11 20:12:42

I think you and your H need to discuss and agree on boundaries re contact with other women/socialising/client entertaining etc as its so easy for friendships and work relationships to cross the line and become more involved.

Shirley Glass's Not Just Good Friends might be worth reading.

bail Mon 01-Aug-11 20:14:13

As for how to broach it, what about saying something along the lines of "look, I am genuinely embarassed and sheepish about this and you have the right to be p*ssed off with me, but in a moment of madness I read your messages and now something is bothering me and I would really like to talk to you about it"

garlicbutter Mon 01-Aug-11 20:33:58

Wow, Bail, you've had that conversation too?!

I second the recommendation for Not Just Friends.

stepfordmum Mon 01-Aug-11 22:02:42

Thank you all. I know I do need to talk to him I just need to feel ready and pick the right moment if there is such a thing.

garlicbutter Tue 02-Aug-11 23:45:51

Hope you manage to get it all out, he listens & understands, and your niggly feeling goes away smile

Er ... if not, post. Good luck!

DioneTheDiabolist Tue 02-Aug-11 23:54:52

It doesn't sound to me as if there is anything going on. If there was, your DH would have been at her leaving do. He would not have needed her to send an invitation.

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