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My DH is conducting a flirty private message chat on Facebook - not with me!

(747 Posts)
JoySchtick Wed 20-Mar-13 23:41:40

I saw on my DH's Facebook messages that he has been flirting with a woman - 'ooh you're so sexy', 'you're very cute', she putting kisses on messages.

It is definitely in no way innocent and just friends but I really don't think they have DTD. It all seems like the beginning of something rather than that they have gone the whole way.

I had an inkling there was something not right and so I snooped.

I do not have any DCs - he does, not with me, from a previous relationship.

I feel weirdly calm and shaky at the same time but what do I do?

Do I confront him? But that could just mean that he is more careful to hide it in future. I don't want to bust in all guns blazing - I want to do what is right for me! I just don't know what my options are.

I hate lies and I can't cope with them at all.

Advice anyone?

QuintessentialOHara Wed 10-Apr-13 11:39:14

Do you really think him capable of such self insight, and such uncomfortable self insight, as such?

mathanxiety Tue 09-Apr-13 14:42:03

Joy, really -- don't waste your time trying to get him to see himself as others see him. He is never going to own up to any of his choices here.

There are people who have no self awareness and then there are people like your H who actually turn things around and accuse others of being the problem when they are the ones who have done the shitting from a great height. He takes it to another level entirely -- the level where he throws you and the relationship under the bus in order to preserve his own completely inaccurate self image.

SundaysGirl Tue 09-Apr-13 14:11:18

I think the trouble comes when someone would rather do what suits them best than spend any time in honest self-reflection. As other posters have said and you quoted we all have our moments, but the difference is what we choose to do, or if we make a mistake how we choose to deal with it, whether we repeat it or reflect and so on.

I think the most miserable people are often the one's who just keep repeating the same old crap over and over again rather than spend any real time working on themselves or accepting responsibility for their piss poor behaviour.

I would bet on some level your husband knows how entitled and selfish he has been, but he just does not want to face up to it. So he'll hop onto the merry-go-round with someone else or something else and distract himself from facing up to his actions.

But It will always be there in the backgroundm chewing away at him.

JoySchtick Tue 09-Apr-13 11:58:19

* his shameful behaviour does not diminish you

* It's normal to trust people, within reason. It's healthy.

* People are very seldom all good or all bad. We all get the urge to behave badly when motivated by greed or spite, lust, jealousy etc. but it takes strength of character to behave with integrity in spite of those feelings.

* It's not your fault Joy


You are all so good. Thank you all.

I struggle to see H as someone who was coldly calculating all along, right from when we first met. I don't think even he knows about how selfish, entitled, wrongheaded and weak his behaviour can be. Therein lies the problem - lack of insight and self-awareness.

mathanxiety Tue 09-Apr-13 05:46:48

How long into the relationship was it before you became aware he had an image of himself as a person with high moral standards?

It is very hard to look back and see the bits that all add together into a stranger in front of your eyes.

It can be the equivalent of a hit from a stun gun. The only antidote is a plan to end it, leave, move on with a much happier life. Your H isn't ever going to say he is sorry.

I know you don't have any plan to get away from it right now, but don't let the grass grow under your feet here for too long because it will turn you into a shell of yourself if you do.

Midwife99 Mon 08-Apr-13 22:08:00

My ex was fun, sexy, enthusiastic & "swept me off my feet". He texted & phoned me all the time & made me feel really special. After the wedding he became selfish & emotionally abusive. After I became pregnant he became physically, sexually & financially abusive too. I now know that the over the top stuff in our early days were big red flags. But then it just felt like being swept off my feet.

something2say Mon 08-Apr-13 21:48:29

In many DV cases the true colours only show after the wedding, when they think they've got you. Sometimes it is after the pregnancy, again when they've got you.

It's not your fault Joy xxx

Ponyinthepool Mon 08-Apr-13 19:46:39

People are very seldom all good or all bad. We all get the urge to behave badly when motivated by greed or spite, lust, jealousy etc. but it takes strength of character to behave with integrity in spite of those feelings. You didn't choose a bad person per se, just a weak one, with a startling sense of entitlement. Don't for a second think that the current situation is down to poor decisions on your part.

Midwife99 Mon 08-Apr-13 19:42:46

Hey honey we've been there. Perfect gorgeous sexy guy who changes after the wedding. Red flags before that we didn't see because of our childhoods or past abusive relationships. It's not your fault he tricked you.

perfectstorm Mon 08-Apr-13 19:32:00

There's no way you could have known.

There's also something else worth considering: what sort of calculated weirdo carefully inspects the behaviour of someone they love, looking for evidence of sociopathology? It's normal to trust people, within reason. It's healthy. And it's a particularly insidious form of victim-blaming to ask a victim of abusive behaviour to examine whether they should or could have spotted warning signs, because an emotionally healthy, open, normal person just wouldn't go about expecting that sort of behaviour.

My husband is the best person I ever knew. I think I'm so lucky to have him. He has genuine integrity and real insight into his own motives, and takes responsibility for his actions. My ex was an abusive narcissist, I think probably literally, who has left a trail of emotional destruction in his wake. Yet he was and probably still is very charming. It took me a while to be able to trust again - and yet that ability has meant I've been happily married for 8 years and with my DH for 12. Don't knock your own capacity to love genuinely, just because a shit has exploited it. Don't forget that your normal and healthy willingness to accept blame and fault in a relationship has been turned against you as a weapon by someone unscrupulous. That ability to compromise and accept a degree of fault is absolutely essential in any normal, healthy relationship. Your husband's using it against you to force his own way doesn't change that.

There's nothing wrong with you at all. You've just had the bad luck to end up with someone fairly expert at emotional exploitation. But you've also had the good luck to find out when you did - imagine the legal fights he'd involve you in if you had had a child with him.

Finally, if you are financially secure and have a loving and supportive family, you might always consider single parenthood, given your age. It's not for everyone (and you'd definitely need your parents on side, I think) but it can work well for some. You have options, don't think otherwise. You also have some time still, too.

AgathaF Mon 08-Apr-13 19:06:54

By which time it is too late, Joy. He knew how to play it. If he was a model future husband before the wedding then how could you have seen warning signs?

JoySchtick Mon 08-Apr-13 18:16:26

AgathaF That's what I've been questioning. Were there signs which I ignored?

I was always aware that H was pretty controlled in his own life; always prepared, always prompt, always foreseeing potential danger and disaster to the point where it is a family joke. He never, ever, ever tried to control me, where I went, who I saw, what I did.

I was listening and paying attention. The only time alarm bells started going off was after the wedding.

JoySchtick Mon 08-Apr-13 18:10:12

It felt as if he started to test the boundaries after we got married.

These things happened after we got married. I was unwilling to accept such an unequal state of affairs. That has been a cause of difficulty between us since we got married and started living together.

There are very few things I can think of from before we got married that I can see in retrospect as being warning signs.

The only one is that he told me about his best friend's girlfriend had banned her partner from going out with my H. The GF didn't trust her partner to not flirt / to be faithful. H criticised her for this.

I really thought nothing of this at the time. This couple had apparently also tried to matchmake DH with a close friend but it had been a disaster and H said that had been awkward.

In retrospect H was perhaps testing my boundaries on fidelity.

Snazzynewyear Mon 08-Apr-13 18:06:44

So he threatened you physically over the possibility you might tell OW's husband? That is crossing quite a line for me, to the point where I would consider a police report. That could be a prelude to speaking to the husband, and you can then respond to your H saying that any further intimidation will be taken seriously and the police will be involved. He is really a nasty piece of work.

QuintessentialOHara Mon 08-Apr-13 17:52:58

Seems to me he has been unpleasant since the very beginning!

What do you want to do now?

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 08-Apr-13 17:52:19

Salesmen know how to make someone interested, businessmen and politicians put on the face their audience want to see.

Once the deal is done they stop trying.

AgathaF Mon 08-Apr-13 17:47:43

Your last post doesn't really describe such a nice husband or partner. Perhaps you ignored, knowingly or otherwise, some of his less pleasant traits.

JoySchtick Mon 08-Apr-13 17:25:27

I have shown my H some of the messages I have, the ones where they are plotting to hide what they are up to and where they make some reference to sex scenarios. So H knows that I have these. He tried to pass them off as just a joke.

I am not going to tell her Mr OW-H just now because my H started to get physical with me when I telephoned OW. If H was prepared to physically intimidate me over that I have to assume he could do the same again if he felt he has lost control of the situation. I am not going to risk my safety even a tiny bit.

I am very uncomfortable with not passing on the info I have to OW-H. I feel that I am colluding with H and OW in deceiving him. I am also shielding H from the consequences of his actions.

I keep pondering how I could have been so mistaken about H. I really thought I had found someone lovely and trustworthy. All of my friends and family liked him straightaway and several people commented to me how humble he was and how he didn't impose his ego on everyone else, despite having a very senior job.

It felt as if he started to test the boundaries after we got married.

He insisted on having his own way about us living in his house. When we first discussed where we would live it was just that, a discussion. Then it became 'logical' to live in his house. He dismissed anything I had to say on the topic. Then I became 'selfish' and was rejecting him by not just moving in. Finally it became something which meant our marriage was doomed from the start.

It rather left me with the feeling that he had never just said what he really felt and instead had an undeclared agenda all along.

There are many examples where H agreed to something and then when it came to the crunch changed his mind and accused me of being selfish (always that word) and impossible.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 08-Apr-13 17:04:18

Is her H on FB?

If you are stuck in a limbo that is okay but if you are scared to confront the true person your H has turned out to be, remember his shameful behaviour does not diminish you, he opted to play away and damn the consequences. In no way is this your fault for trusting him or for accepting the man he portrayed himself to be.

Midwife99 Mon 08-Apr-13 16:55:09

I wonder if you should send her H copies of the messages? They have no regret at all do they?!!
Is it that you haven't because you don't want to burn the bridges of your marriage? I do understand that. There is plenty of time after all. Meanwhile middle distance staring is very helpful I think!

Ponyinthepool Mon 08-Apr-13 16:49:25

Joy, does he know that you have copies of the messages? Have you simply told him this or have you shown him? Sorry if I missed this upthread.

I don't know how you've managed to restrain yourself from speaking with her husband, she's just asking you to do that. Frankly, given the choice between that and what amounts to colluding with them to keep their dirty secret (while she rubs your nose in it) I know which I would choose......

JoySchtick Mon 08-Apr-13 15:24:47

Interesting what you say about taking offence perfectstorm.

The more I think about it the more shocked and baffled I am by H and OW's behaviour. Someone said upthread that surely if you were married and had been caught out sending sexually explicit messages to someone else's partner that you would just keep quiet and not post goady things on Facebook. Really astonishing.

I do wonder if perhaps my H has not told OW that I have copies of their actual messages. In their ahem correspondence he did say that no one would be able to guess his password. grin

I think it's quite possible that H has not told OW that I have evidence and so she thinks that she only needs to defend herself against public posts and 'likes' on FB.

I've read somewhere that cheating partners will lie to both their spouse and the OW /OM. That would make sense.

Anyway, I would rather try not to think about them too much and focus on myself. I am surprised at how reasonably okay I am feeling at the moment. I haven't been able to face doing too much - so I just haven't. I've stuck to work and safe TV which does not involve any couples or children - so re-runs of the Great British Bake Off basically. Also staring into mid-distance is good.

For anyone going through this with children too look after - you have my utmost respect.

The thing I am finding hardest to accept is that I cannot fix this. I have been wanting to say, do, be the right thing that will make H take responsibility and work with me on this. But that must be down to him, not me.

It is very hard to believe that he is not half the man I thought he was.

whethergirl Sun 07-Apr-13 22:44:43

If it had been a pack of biros, I would have said keep them, at least they'd come in useful, but a wanky set of fountain pens - and who can write with them - is as useless as the current owner.

You need lots of TLC JoySchtick, your mind, body & spirit are totally drained. You will get your spring back in your step one day, but meanwhile be kind to yourself, it really does help, showing yourself the love and respect you deserve. Spa days, being near to nature, allowing yourself to take a day off work if you need to...basically, this is the time you put yourself first.

perfectstorm Sun 07-Apr-13 21:04:40

A comedian had a go at another about rape jokes, and he made a very incisive rebuttal to the "taking offence" argument (the quote you gave earlier was Stephen Fry, talking about people taking offence about trivia - totally inappropriate for obvious reasons). He said:

Offended hasn’t got anything to do with it, moron.

People have wounds, and those wounds are painful. That doesn’t have shit to do with the weak concept of “taking offense.” If someone talks about Texas being a shitty state, I might “take offense” at that. Fine, whatever. All of us who like comedy are generally in agreement with the idea that “taking offense” is lame, and a comedian should be willing to “offend” whenever he or she wants to.

But causing pain is quite a different fucking matter. And if you don’t get that, you are a fucking bully, and I’ve got zero time for bullies.”

I think all of us will agree that causing that pain, then thinking it's okay to jab and sneer at the person you're hurting, is taking bullying into a whole new realm.

You've been hurt, and then when you showed your reasonable, justified and rational distress, you were bullied. I'm glad you yelled at him. I'm just very sorry his personal inadequacy is so immense that he is still refusing to face his personal responsibility for being such a snivelling, pathetic and thoroughly nasty excuse of a man.

Hang on in there. This too shall pass, and you've been tremendously dignified and courageous throughout. Which at least makes one of you.

JoySchtick Sun 07-Apr-13 16:46:49

I’m feeling steadier. I’ve been burying myself in work, which has been a help.

It really, really frustrates me that H has dropped all this on my lap (or head) and feeling floored and upset about what he has done is stopping me being able to give my energy to my own life. I’m sure you are all right about the distress passing in time, once I’ve had a chance to get my breath back.

I had a go at H about everything the other night. It didn’t really achieve much but it did make me feel better.

It’s all very well being dignified but I also wanted to let him know that he had really hurt me and that I was shocked by his lack of respect or remorse.

I asked him if he was ashamed and he said he was. He insisted that he had already sent me a message telling me this but in fact his message ( which I haven’t posted on here) was just entirely self-justifying / blaming. I also told him that I was glad he’d found XX as she was about his level blush.

whethergirl I think you suggested upthread that I should use the infamous pens to write ‘I know’ and show it to H. That made me smile.
H has now taken back the pens at my suggestion, I explained that I had no use for them as I can’t write with fountain pens .

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