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Should I tell my H that I have known his email password all along…?

(35 Posts)
littlecrystal Mon 22-Apr-13 14:57:23

.. and have been checking his email for the last 2-3 years. He left his password written on a piece of paper (unconsciously), I spotted it and since then keep silently working as a detective. In his email I found things that I didn’t like, i.e. multiple applications for credit cards, applications for a personal loan with fake payslips, buying shares with borrowed money, few job applications for a job abroad, booking tickets for 5 weeks of holidays in his home country without telling me, a couple of times signing up for marital affairs website (not full profile only checking for a limited period of time… so far) etc. I mostly kept quiet except from several hints letting him know that I will not tolerate affairs.

He has been distant and secretive. He does not do talking. He does not believe in talking or counseling. We either talk nicely and casually without going into serious discussions, or don’t talk at all. We are not close and I do not confide in him. He lacks emotions, but I don’t know is it just for me or him in general. He always blames me that I am very controlling, meaning if he is late from work I cannot call him and ask when he will be back because this would be an example of “controlling”. He is quite mean to our DC, he does not interact with them, does not spent any quality time, doesn’t go to parks or does not teach them anything, doesn’t take part in their school or church activities etc. Basically he is not present in their lives despite of living with us. I used to push him but I am tired of his resistance. The best he can do is take them to a shop and buy an (unhealthy) sweet once in a while. He knows he cannot have any more children, but this does not prevent him from being a very mean dad.

So our relationship is non-existent and the only things keeping us together are practicalities i.e. 2 small DC, sharing childcare costs and childcare when necessary and a bit of intimacy. My general feeling is that he is not committed to the family, perhaps does not love me (or never loved me?) and could leave us at any time convenient for him. He adores his home country and that’s where I think he would head off.
On the positive side he is very self-contained, non-drinker, no smoker and is quite pleasant to be around, and we can have a pleasant chat when in a mood.. but that’s about it.

I still quite like him (from what is visible on the surface) and ideally would like to work it out. However I am aware that people don’t change and I have to prepare for the worst. My friends tell that I should kick him out. If we cannot fix it (and we cannot – not possible without talking!) then I tend to wait until financial strain of having 2 DC in childcare will ease (2-3 years). I am quite cool minded having known his secrets and pretended for a long while but even the cool “me” is starting to wear down. Due to his recent signing to affairs website, I keep checking his email 10 times a day and it makes me terribly shaky and anxious. It is getting too much.

I could try to have another word with him but I am becoming increasingly tempted to reveal that I know his password and I know everything he did not want to tell me. He will get terrified and change the password. I will have no idea what he is up to. He may even leave us. But I can barely continue like this anymore. What should I do?

Ledkr Mon 22-Apr-13 15:02:05

Oh my goodness what an earth are you getting grin this relationship? Anyone who was mean to my kids would be out on their ear tbh.
Read your post again as if it was a stranger. What would you tell them.?

arsenaltilidie Mon 22-Apr-13 15:02:13

Some people may flame me but if he has given you a reason not to trust him then I wouldnt.
You never know nwhen you will need it.

bumhead Mon 22-Apr-13 15:04:00

This relationship sounds just awful.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 22-Apr-13 15:04:18

"I still quite like him (from what is visible on the surface) and ideally would like to work it out."

Then you're a bloody fool.

hf128219 Mon 22-Apr-13 15:04:31

Fake pay slips? That is very dodgy.

kittybiscuits Mon 22-Apr-13 15:05:38

I wouldn't tell him. Screen shot is your friend. I can't imagine how knowing what he is up to might have eroded you over the years. Have you got any support? Can you see a counsellor? What would draw you to a relationship like this? You have no security sad

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 22-Apr-13 15:06:00

The children should not be the glue that binds the two of you still together.

Is this really the relationship role model you want to be showing your children?. Both of you are teaching them damaging lessons as to how relationships are conducted.

You write that ideally you would like to work it out - why exactly when he is clearly not at all bothered with any of you?.

This relationship is dead in the water, what do you get out of this relationship now?.

Dahlen Mon 22-Apr-13 15:09:36

There's so much wrong here I don't know where to start.

Everyone has a right to privacy and no one should demand to check all their spouse's correspondence, but IME in healthy relationships most couples are mostly privy to each others correspondence without having to ask, e.g. they'll check emails while sat next to each other (even if they haven't given over the password), open post in front of each other, etc.

Your paranoia is incredibly damaging - but mostly to you. You feel the need to do this because your H has proven himself to be fundamentally untrustworthy. He is secretive, he makes unilateral financial decisions that affect you both, and he's flirting with the idea of extra-marital sex if he hasn't already taken advantage of it. I'm not surprised you're compulsively checking his emails. But it's like constantly picking at the scab of an infected wound. Not only are you preventing it healing but you're doing nothing to address the underlying problem. Which is him.

He's controlling (controlling people frequently tell their partners they are being controlling when they're actually just making perfectly reasonable demands), he's distant from you as a wife and he's uninvolved and uninterested in family life. What has he got to offer? You say he can be "pleasant to be around", but when? When he's not being a PITA as you otherwise describe? And as for being a non-smoker, etc. So are 75% of the rest of the population. That's hardly a good enough reason to bother keeping him as a husband.

If he leaves you, what's the worst that would happen?

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 22-Apr-13 15:15:12

"the worst that would happen?"

The child-care costs would be a financial strain apparently.... hmm I am quite honestly staggered that anyone in their right mind would spy on someone for 2 or 3 years, prove beyond all reasonable doubt that they are married to a gold-plated turd, and then plan to do the same thing for the next 2 or 3 years rather than kick them bodily out of the house....

BeCool Mon 22-Apr-13 15:25:56

I wouldn't tell him about password. And I'd divorce him PDQ.
Take screen snaps/print of any useful info from the emails and start to get yourself free from this joyless marriage. You and your DC deserve so much better.

littlecrystal Mon 22-Apr-13 15:27:02

MN is always a good eye opener. Why I am still with him, firstly because his presence at home gives me the freedom to pursue my career (a bit of business travelling), have a bit of me time (he does the basics like feeding and changing DC etc) and I probably still hope for a miracle. I didn’t know he will be like this when we got married. As I said he looked good on the surface. He became more secretive over recent years. I can also justify him a tiny bit. Life has been hard on him. Perhaps he didn’t bring enough of family values from his family. These are stupid things to do but perhaps he can learn from them, everyone does mistakes. That’s why I never told him that I know what I know. Except from the affairs dating website. I hinted from a different angle so that I don’t disclose what I know.

We are independent financially and his financial affairs will not affect me, but if he leaves and I have to find 1k to cover childcare by myself, it will be struggle (if not bankruptcy).

I know if things don’t improve by a miracle, there is not much good in it, but I felt it is more beneficial for me to wait for a couple of more years.. .it is just the fact that it is starting to get to my nerves too much. I thought I will handle for the next 2-3 years and then will decide what to do. It is just too much. I am a victim of my own nosiness.

Dahlen Mon 22-Apr-13 15:32:31

I am a single parent and have been for years. It hasn't stopped me pursuing my career (though it certainly limited it for a few years) and I still get plenty of me time (in fact more than when I was living with their father since I had one less child to care for once I'd left wink). I have no family and most of my friends work so I was reliant on professional childcare only. Although I am doing ok these days, in those days I was earning slightly less than national average earnings, and it was hard, but I did it. And in the process I discovered strengths and a confidence I never knew I had.

It is never a mistake to be armed with knowledge. However, it would be mistake to stay in a shit life because you lack the courage to strike out on your own. It is something that eventually will make you loathe yourself, which will ultimately serve to keep you trapped in your miserable marriage indefinitely as your lack of self esteem saps you of any motivation to achieve change.

Charbon Mon 22-Apr-13 15:32:42

Okay so in essence you are saying that you are staying with your husband for selfish reasons and that you put your own comfort above the children's needs to live their lives without a 'mean dad' in it?

fedupwithdeployment Mon 22-Apr-13 15:37:39

I am no expert, but you sound pretty independent with a good career. Why oh why would you put up with him? I have read your responses, and simply don't understand. I have had to deal with an absent DH (not entirely his fault - he was away with the Navy) for months and it is hard being a single mother, but not impossible.

Extract yourself now, and get him to contribute to childcare expenses. And then start living your life.

Dahlen Mon 22-Apr-13 15:41:34

BTW my childcare costs were in excess of £1200 pcm in those days. I got help from WTC with that - as will you as a lone parent (although it may be universal credit these days).

You will also get CB and CTC to top up your earned income, possibly a little HB and CTB depending on what you earn, and don't forget your outgoings will reduce as well as you have one less adult to buy for. And that's before you even consider maintenance.

Get onto CAB or do some online research to find out exactly what you could get. Inertia is your enemy and wastes lives.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 22-Apr-13 15:41:40

"I am a victim of my own nosiness."

Correction. You're the victim of a liar for a husband. Choosing to suppress this information for your own reasons is why it is 'getting on your nerves'. Sticking your head in the sand rather than face and deal with the reality is always an exercise is self-delusion...

dopeysheep Mon 22-Apr-13 15:42:39

You aren't a victim of your own nosiness.
But your children will be victims of your terrible decision to stay with this emotionally stunted deceitful man.

2 to 3 years and then decide? He won't change.

littlecrystal Mon 22-Apr-13 15:47:06

Charbon quite in opposite. My DC are still small and they don’t know any different and although I am not 100% sure but having a dad is better than having no father/male figure at all? Or having home is better than risking of losing if I struggle to cover all expenses? Dahlen I get what you say but not quite ready to make the move. This is my second marriage and knowing that it failed is much more painful than the secretive distant husband. I want to be 100% sure that I want a divorce…

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 22-Apr-13 15:47:27

"I thought I will handle for the next 2-3 years and then will decide what to do".

Perhaps you won't do anything then either because there will be some supposed reason (birthday, school, Christmas) to stay within this dysfunctional mess you have both created for yourselves to live in.

My friend wasted a couple of years on her man hoping against hope that he would somehow have an epiphany and become a better person but guess what he did not. Such entitled and selfish men do not change.

During this time too more of your own self esteem and worth will be sucked away by this person whom you have chosen to saddle yourself with. Also your children will become more affected by all this unspoken chaos going on within their parents disintegrating marriage; they are not completely unaware but are unable to articulate their own unhappiness.

Not the legacy you want to be leaving them at all.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 22-Apr-13 15:53:29

My friend also extricated herself from her own second marriage for not too dissimilar reasons. She does not think of herself as a failure; far from it. She saw the effects too that he was having on their child.

Having a dad who to quote you directly "He is quite mean to our DC, he does not interact with them, does not spent any quality time, doesn’t go to parks or does not teach them anything, doesn’t take part in their school or church activities" is frankly damaging to their own social and emotional development. They'd be far better off having some other decent minded male and female role models than this person that is their Dad. What has he ever brought to the table?.

The one who has failed here is your H and he has done so completely and utterly. He is and remains controlling; I note that he has said same of you, this is projecting behaviour on his part.

Dahlen Mon 22-Apr-13 15:53:54

You clearly will not leave, which I think is a far bigger mistake than getting a second divorce. However it's your life.

If you're going to stay though, take some steps to protect yourself and your DC. Stop sleeping with your H or insist on him using a condom. Start saving into an escape fund and ensure you have a separate place (e.g. at work) where you can store copies of bank statements, etc. Have a separate savings account solely in your name and do not tell your H about it. Ensure you put something into it every month without fail. Develop your own interests and hobbies but make sure you do things with your DC so they feel important to one parent if not both of you sad. Try to develop loving, fun relationships with friends and family so your children at least have some idea of what a normal, loving relationship looks like.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 22-Apr-13 15:54:34

" having a dad is better than having no father/male figure at all?"

You mean your DH would bugger off if you kicked him out? Would drop all contact with his children? He'll always be their Dad regardless of where the two of you happen to live.

And 'home is where the heart is'... not where the BMW is. Children are adaptable and would probably be quite happy in a tent if they had you all to themselves.

littlecrystal Mon 22-Apr-13 15:57:55

If I find the courage to ask him out, do I give him reasons that he is distant and not caring and doesn’t look like he loves us? Do I just leave that email thing and the other knowledge out?

Yes I am quite independent but even so I am terrified of being on my own, telling everyone that my marriage was a failure, thinking of myself as a single mother and raising my kids on my own. H is an orphan, has a terminal condition and has not been successful in his career, and I do feel for him in a way.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 22-Apr-13 16:12:45

You've got to confront him with something. I'm sorry he's terminally ill but that still doesn't give him the excuse to behave the way he's been doing... Protecting him to your own detriment isn't working.

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