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I really don't know what to do/ think.

(57 Posts)
NeedToSleepZZZ Tue 06-Nov-12 15:17:18

I found out last night that my OH has been having extremely flirtatious conversations via facebook with someone that goes to the same aikido class as him.

This is the third time he has done this (different women and over 3 years)and although there has never been any physical cheating (to my knowledge) I am bereft. We have a 21 month old ds and, after the last time I thought things were really different for us. I was so happy with him and I thought he was with me. Things have just started to improve (new job for him, possible new house) and I felt so close to him.

He had a problem with alcohol and one of my requests was that he sorted this out if we were to stay together. He saw a counsellor and has been dry for a year now, he really wanted to show I could trust him and that he loved me.

Sorry if this is a bit muddled, I am all over the place. I have packed him a bag to collect after work as I think I need time to think about what to do next but inside I'm desperate for him to just hug me and for us to work it out.

I hate the thought of ds growing up without his dad at home, I had a bad experience with my biological father so this may be clouding my judgement.

Not sure what I'm asking for, maybe some ideas on what to do or stories from anyone that's been through this would help. I do love him dearly and he is a good man apart from this.

Lovingfreedom Tue 06-Nov-12 15:37:13

If you're pretty sure it's not physical yet then tell him to get his act together very quickly or you will be sending him packing on a permanent basis. You've already put up with his alcohol thing and well done to him he's through that...but you've had enough. If he gets up to any more of this nonsense then he's out the door for good.

If you think there is more to it...chuck him out....and let him convince you that he's ready to come back and commit properly to the relationship....if you still want him back...when you're ready.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 06-Nov-12 15:37:57

You've given him plenty of chances to reform & he's opted to carry on as normal. Great that he's given up the booze but he's fallen very short of his promises of trust and love. He's not a 'good man', he's a pretty stupid and untrustworthy one. What would you be thinking next time he's at a class? You'd be on pins wondering if they're getting jiggy in the car-park

Saltytomato Tue 06-Nov-12 15:38:21

Really sorry to hear about your situation.

He sounds like he is a decent guy, apart from the online flirting. I know it must really hurt you, especially since he has done it before. If it was someone who lived a million miles away and he never saw them in real life then I wouldn't be too worried, but the fact he sees this woman in day to day life makes it an issue in my opinion.

I grew up without knowing my biological father and I think it makes me forgive my husband for most things now that we have a son, but I draw the line at cheating. I think you just need to decide if you think this flirting is emotional cheating. I also think you need to make a stand because this is the 3rd time, he obviously didn't understand the seriousness of it the first 2 times! If you decide you can forgive him then you need to give him an ultimation, and make sure t is the last time, and get his Facebook password!

ShamyFarrahCooper Tue 06-Nov-12 15:41:18

I think at the least getting some space from him for a few days is a very good thing. This incident isn't a one off and he needs to have a think.

I fully appreciate how difficult this is for you but getting time away from him will give you a chance to organise your thoughts

NeedToSleepZZZ Tue 06-Nov-12 15:47:15

Thank you for your replies, it really helps to have some objective advice on this.

Cogito It is the trust thing that gets me, I just don't have any left for him. You're right about me wondering what he's doing but it's when he's on his phone/ laptop more than anything.

He honestly is a good man in so many ways and has been in tears since I found out and telling me he knows how stupid he's been and what is at stake. Ds absolutely adores him and they have so much fun together, it will break his heart to not have his dad around. God, this is so rubbish. My father stopped contact with me completely this year and I've been sort of grieving about him a lot, I feel as if I don't want to lose someone else if that makes sense?

Sorry if I don't reply for a while but ds is a toddler (enough said!).

Looksgoodingravy Tue 06-Nov-12 15:47:48

Have you confronted him with this? If so what has his reaction been?

Looksgoodingravy Tue 06-Nov-12 15:49:02

X post.

How do you know it's not gone further?

Hassled Tue 06-Nov-12 15:50:01

Why do you think he needs to flirt? Usually it's insecurity - does he need to know all the time that other people find him funny/interesting/attractive? Is there an obvious reason for that? I don't know what you should do - but there's no rush. Take your time - try Relate counselling maybe (alone or together).

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 06-Nov-12 15:53:09

Then let him go off, cool his heels and really, really THINK about what he stands to lose. Ignore the crocodile tears - actions speak louder than words. If you want to give him yet another chance he has to come up with a proper plan how to regain your trust and walk the talk. I would say, bare minimum, the aikido classes stop & he only uses the laptop when you're in the room ... but he has to come up with these ideas, you're not his mother. When your trust has been severely challenged, I think you have to be very clear that this is the last chance saloon and be 100% prepared to carry through on your threat if he puts a toe out of line.

NellyBluth Tue 06-Nov-12 15:55:15

Have you ever asked him to leave before? If it has been confrontations before without him having to move out for a while, this might just be the wake up call he needs.

If you do decide to take him back, I would personally insist on being able to check his activity online, read his emails and Facebook, so that you feel you have an element of control. I'm not one for snooping but there must be something practical you can do to help restore your trust in him. Counselling or Relate could be helpful too.

Thisisaeuphemism Tue 06-Nov-12 16:05:32

You've forgiven him twice, is that right, and he's gone on to do it again?
I would say he has no respect for you. sad

NeedToSleepZZZ Tue 06-Nov-12 16:14:30

Looksgood I don't think it has gone any further as I contacted the current OW and she said nothing had happened and I just don't think it has if that makes sense.

Hassled I agree that he flirts to boost his ego. He is a bit shy and insecure and used to use alcohol to boost his confidence and now he can't. We don't have sex very often as we are both so tired (ds doesn't sleep very well and is very demanding) but we do cuddle and kiss all the time.

I haven't made him leave before and I am pretty scared about it tbh (not of his reaction, he will do whatever I say but being alone is a scary prospect). I truly hope this is the kick he needs to really grow up and commit completely. I have told him he can take ds to his parents' tomorrow for dinner as he desperately wants to see him but I've told him that I don't want him here.

The stupid thing is, I already have access to his e-mail, fb account etc, I just never thought I needed to check up on him. I only came across the messages by mistake whilst he was out last night. Feel so sick about it all, can't believe he's done it again.

BethFairbright Tue 06-Nov-12 16:50:11

I'd just accept that this man is never, ever going to be faithful to you.

If you forgive three acts of infidelity in 3 years, accept that there will be more to come and that they are likely to get worse.

His respect for you probably walked out of the door the second time you forgave.

Why would you want this life?

NeedToSleepZZZ Tue 06-Nov-12 19:46:24

Well, I gave him a huge bag of his things and asked my dm to give it to him at my front door so he didn't come in and we didn't speak.

Had a long talk with my dm and step-dad; they both agree that he's been incredibly stupid and said they will support whatever decision I make. My step-dad said he doesn't think it's a black and white scenario and it's all about how much he's willing to do to regain my trust as well as if I'm prepared to let him.

I suffer badly with mental health problems (extreme anxiety, depression, emetophobia and agoraphobia sporadically) and find the idea of being solely responsible for ds frightening, I'm so scared of failing him. I know that isn't a reason to stay with OH but it's adding to how I feel.

So far, he's respecting everything I've asked of him.

Saltytomato Tue 06-Nov-12 19:50:33

I think it's a bit harsh to call it infidelity. I think it is stupidity and insecurity. Im not trying to make excuses but lots of people on here will be quick to tell you to ditch him. If you love him and want it to work, especially with a baby I think you should try and get it to work, but you will have to lay down the law... And no more aikido classes!!!

NeedToSleepZZZ Tue 06-Nov-12 19:57:43

Thank you so much Salty, your words just brought tears to my eyes <hyper emotional wench today>. I do love him, that's why it's so flippin' hard.

I think that if we were to try and work things out then we would have to go to some kind of couples counselling and definitely no more aikido! It is good to have this time to assess things and clear my head though.

BethFairbright Tue 06-Nov-12 20:19:06

If you want to parent another child instead of having an equal relationship with an adult, then sure go ahead and monitor his activities to within an inch of your life. Ban him from hobbies where he'll meet other women and remain in a state of permanent surveillance and vigilance. Of course like a child, he will find a way to escape all these measures and it will become even more of a game to get one over on nasty mum who curtails his freedom.

If you actually want a relationship with an adult though, I'd suggest you look elsewhere because that's just not going to happen with this man.

Thisisaeuphemism Tue 06-Nov-12 20:35:12

I might have said that too, salty, if it were the first time. But presumably she has done this once - she's told him how much it hurts her and he's promised to change, then he did it again, ditto, and now he's doing it again. He really isn't bothered.

Saltytomato Tue 06-Nov-12 21:31:55

The thing is, he has changed his drinking, so obviously need means a lot to him. That must have been difficult.

He probably doesn't see Internet flirting as something serious, because he probably never intended to do anything physical, and was using it to flatter his ego rather than an actual precursor to cheating. I think you really need to lay down the law though, because it is unacceptable and he needs to see it through your eyes.

Honestly, im not trying to downplay what he did, but I can think of a LOT of worse things that a partner could do. He sounds like he is genuinely upset and I think you just need to keep him on his toes for a while and make him see how much it has hurt you so he doesn't ever do it again. If he can stop drinking then I'm sure he can stop online flirting once he sees that he won't have another chance to be with you if he continues....

Counselling sounds like a really good option cos a mediator will be able to validate your feelings on the issue.

hugs

essejay Tue 06-Nov-12 21:58:01

I would be concerned this is the third time in three years. I suffered the same with my H. Every year over the course of five years I would discover yet another EA nad each time I would convince myself it wasn't any thing physical and didn't want to change my whole life based on that. In reality I can now see each time it happened it eroded more of my self esteem and I found myself building a brick wall to lessen the hurt each time. We are now in the process of separating.

My advice to you , if you wish to stay in the marriage is to ensure your DH knows the full consquence of his actions. I'm sure they think showing the tears and forlorn side will soften their actions and think we will 'come round' in the end. I was so adamant that I did not want to be a single mum or have DS come from a broken home that H thought I would never show him the door and continue to think he could get away with it. But enough is enough and I do wish I was strong enough the first time round. I'm only 5 weeks in but already comimg through the other side and DS is fine too.

I don't condone anyone for wanting to save their marriage and shouldn't walk away without exploring all avenues but sadly its really upto whether you think your DH can and is prepared to change.

NormaStanleyFletcher Tue 06-Nov-12 22:30:53

If you really want to stay together (and I am not saying you should)

Get the shirley glass book (just good friends) - 2 copies. Both read it, and work through why he is doing this. Joint counselling would be a good idea too. This is not your fault. But it might Gove you, and him, some insight.

ledkr Tue 06-Nov-12 22:33:25

Hi needto sorry you are going through this after everything else. You are getting some good advice here and I'd agree who wants to spend their life checking up on their adult partner or worrying about when it will all blow up again. If he hasn't physically cheated and is prepared to see a counsellor then maybe there is hope.
I think he needs to feel the consequences for a good few weeks though it will do him some good to be away from you and N and feel how it feels to lose his family. Make him sweat.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 07-Nov-12 07:46:23

"He probably doesn't see Internet flirting as something serious, because he probably never intended to do anything physical"

A lot of 'probably's there... If this was some stranger in a distant place who he had no contact with, you might be right. But if he's engaged in chats of a very sexual nature with someone he not only knows but then spends the evening with allegedly doing an exercise class, they could easily be using the sexy chat to get each other warmed up for the real thing. It's a fairly classic technique in affairs... sexting as foreplay.

MadAboutHotChoc Wed 07-Nov-12 09:06:02

This link may help:
http://www.shirleyglass.com/reflect_infidelity2.htm

Seriously, this is not the first time he's done it - all he has to do is produce crocodile tears and then all is swept under the carpet until the next time.

He really needs to get to grips as to why he is cheating on you in this way - people cheat because of their issues and until these are explored, they will do it again and again.

He also needs to feel real consequences and that means loss - tell him to go away for a few days to give you space. It may make him realise what he really stands to lose.

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