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Suspicious behaviour - not sure what to do, feeling sick

(616 Posts)
abneysporridge Sat 28-Sep-13 09:22:46

Have come here to reach out as I really don't think I can tell anyone my suspicions in real life. Have been with dh for 13 years - 6 married - and have 3 ds's age 4, 3 and 7 mths - so life is pretty mad as u can guess! For a while now dh's behaviour has been really strange and at first I thought it was just stress from work combined with the mentalness of home life, but alarm bells rang when we were at a friends party about 3 weeks ago and he got really shit-faced and was great fun with everyone else but really confrontational with me - accusing me of eyeing up 'that guy' over there and how I'm not interested in him any more. It really blindsided me - we've never rowed or broken up, always been a good team, it was just so out of character. So I started noticing everything at that point - how disengaged he was with the kids, and my daily chatter about them, his over- zealous personal grooming and my god the diet he's on is just insane - it's working he's lost loads of weight - but he's starving himself, and mainly how he never NEVER let's his mobile out of his sight.
Recently I got him a new contract under my account as we can get a discount - his old phone smashed and we did all this quickly before he really had time to think about it - which allows me to look at the itemised bills online (I don't think he knows I can do this) and there were hundreds of texts and short calls to this one number - sometimes at odd hours - which I knew to be his female colleague. When he was in the shower one morning (he'd brought the phone into the bathroom) I checked his messages to see what on earth he's been chatting to her about and he'd deleted them all. Which is very suspicious I think. Honestly I don't know what to do with all this - I don't even know if its really an affair so if I start accusing him it could be a disaster and I don't want to tell any family or friends in case they hate him and it will never be the same again. I feel nervous all the time like my ears are ringing and I'm drowning , but I've got to try and be as normal as poss for the sake of the kids. Admittedly I've been distant and putting him way down the priority list for years, so maybe this was inevitable, I just never thought he was the type of guy capable of doing this. I hate feeling like my world is on shakey foundations, I work so bloody hard to give our kids a good life, which means putting my needs absolute last, I don't get why he can't do the same - maybe men just can't, selfish creatures that they are.
Sorry for sounding off in an essay basically! I just don't know what my next move should be - this past week I've been really positive and kind to him in the hopes he can see he has all he needs at home, but I don't feel connected to him at all anymore - like maybe he's got one foot out the door. So depressing. I always thought we were solid hmm

lottieandmia Sat 28-Sep-13 13:53:50

Yes I would be tempted to swap the number definitely

Thisisaeuphemism Sat 28-Sep-13 13:54:01

Agree with tessa. Sorry op.

TheCrumpetQueen Sat 28-Sep-13 14:08:07

What if she texts him first? Then he will know

abneysporridge Sat 28-Sep-13 14:13:58

Swapping the number that's a good one. I feel very sad if he has 'checked out' of our relationship , don't know how we could recover from that.
I've been thinking alot about the psyche of men and their egos, and how they just completely lack the patience to wait for better, easier days, which are in their future if they could just hold on. My godfather had an affair just after his wife had their third baby - thankfully he came to his senses and their still together 20 odd years later. And my uncle nearly left my aunt when their kids were young coz he said he felt pushed out of her life. Maybe men are just rubbish at not putting themselves first??

tessa6 Sat 28-Sep-13 14:15:13

that's the risk. Though you can save two different numbers under the same name.

tessa6 Sat 28-Sep-13 14:20:53

This isn't a male/female thing, abneys, as much as I know it's tempting to see it that way. I know stacks of women who've had affairs (been one too) for very similar reasons to the ones you're describing and loads of others too. The horrible truth is that the vast, vast majority of infidelity is never uncovered at all, and of that which is, almost all of it is downplayed or minimised or lied about by the perpetrator, meaning that the small minority of infidelity which is uncovered is never admitted to in its full extent.

So can you see how unlikely it is, given that, that the stuff you're encountering is innocent? It takes a lot of emotional warning signs for a normal person to get suspicious in the first place and it takes a lot of entitlement for another person to get relaxed or stupid enough not to completely cover their tracks. it's a horrible warning I know, and I don't think it should mean writing off cheaters as evil people, but all visible infidelity is likely to be the tip of the iceberg.

Please stop making this about gender. It is about your relationship and his personality. saying it's a man thing is a way to protect your subconscious from knowing you have to do something about it. It is not 'just how it is', blokes is blokes. You have to act.

ILoveMakeUp Sat 28-Sep-13 14:22:08

Block her number, delete all your old texts, then save your number under her name. So, if she texts he won't get it, then he'll text her, you text back... sneaky, but I believe that if a person is in a committed relationship and is suspicious, there is nothing wrong with a bit of covert behaviour.

FrancescaBell Sat 28-Sep-13 14:23:34

Oh sweetheart it's so obvious he's having an affair. I can just hear him now droning on to some twitty woman that he's a poor neglected little bubba who has needs dontcha know. hmm

The very reason you're feeling responsible for this is also the very reason some other woman has allowed herself to be this twitty. Women feel responsible all the darned time for making men feel good about themselves. If she stopped and thought about this (but maybe she's childless and hasn't a clue) it might occur to her that you're the one with the rough deal, trying to keep a family going with a manchild who thinks all the attention ought to be on him.

Maybe her more sisterly friend said as much and told her to stop being such a twit?

You don't actually need any more evidence than you've got and the swiftest way of bringing this to a head is to say as calmly as you can that you have reason to believe he's having an affair and so you'd like him to leave. You don't have to say how you know, just that you do.

And you do know. It just couldn't be more obvious.

FrancescaBell Sat 28-Sep-13 14:29:40

Oh and while I agree that women have just as many affairs as men, I don't think we should under-estimate how much men are socialised to think of themselves as first in the pecking order and that family life, childcare and housework are women's work. But some selfish men think that the women in their lives should do all that virtually single-handedly and be the benign, adoring sex-kitten wife as well.

The poster who asked you how adoring he was to you had it bang-on.

skyeskyeskye Sat 28-Sep-13 14:32:05

My XH walked out with no prior warning, came back for 6 weeks, then left again. I then discovered thousands of texts to his best mates wife. They both denied that anything was going on. her H denies that there is anything going on. i got a divorce as XH was adamant that he no longer loved me.

The point is, that while he was texting OW all day long, from 8am til midnight, that he wasn't thinking about me or his then 3yo DD. All of his waking thoughts were took up with OW, first thing he did in the morning was text her. he emailed her right through the family holiday.

all the time I was treading on eggshells so that he wouldn't leave again, because of course it was all my fault that he had to go, all that time that I was in turmoil and feeling upset, he was emotionally engaged with that woman.

he is taking you for a fool and you have a chance to do something about it.

tessa6 Sat 28-Sep-13 14:32:23

Bear in mind what I said about nearly EVERYONE minimising an affair or outright lying when confronted. The OP sounds like someone who fears holding her ground in this situation, hence her needing solid evidence. But what would be good enough? Actually catching them at it?

I think it's worth just saying that almost everyone outright denies out of shock, and some people actually get angry, forcing the adrenaline they feel at being caught out towards something else they can hide behind, like righteousness and aggression.

It's actually VERY unusual for innocent people to get angry when confronted. The normal response is bemusement, confusion, or even laughter and immediate reassurance.

So I'm just trying to make sure the OP doesn't allow herself to be made to feel crazy. This is clear as day, even if we don't know the length and breadth of the thing.

FrancescaBell Sat 28-Sep-13 14:37:32

Yes of course he'd deny it if confronted.

But what the OP needs to do is to tell herself that that's normal and typical and it doesn't matter.

She knows. Him not being able to admit it is besides the point and irrelevant really.

Although I do get that for some women, they need to know if it's a sexual affair, because for some that would be the ultimate deal-breaker. It's hard to know why. The man's treatment of her as a discrete entity should be the deal-breaker, not what he's done with someone else.

noddyholder Sat 28-Sep-13 15:07:05

Don't bother with all the cloak and dagger just ask him outright.

abneysporridge Sat 28-Sep-13 15:33:43

Thanks all posters. I don't think this has become a sexual affair as I don't think they would have had opportunity - I don't think. But I can't see why he would delete her texts if there was nothing incriminating.
You're right whoever said I'm afraid to confront him - I'm not a confrontational person and I'm afraid for the future tbh. I mean what kind of male role model will my 3 sons have if they know what their dad did.

FrancescaBell Sat 28-Sep-13 15:58:25

Oh there's always the opportunity. If he spends more than 45 minutes out of the house or from your side, there's opportunity. They might both take days off work, or meet afterwards and pretend they are 'working late' or use other leisure activities as a cover for it.

Have a think about the female role model you're giving your boys. It's understandable you're afraid because that's human, but a lot of men treat women badly because women are often useless at confrontation. Better to give your boys a role model of a woman who won't be treated this badly and who shows cheats the door. If anything is likely to deter them from being cheats themselves in the future, it would be that.

tessa6 Sat 28-Sep-13 15:58:35

That's very sweet of you, abneys, but really that's his problem. 1. You don't necessarily need to tell them, either now or in the future. 2. It is his actions that would affect them and he who should manage and remedy that. 3. Your sons need a strong female role model just as much and with just as much importance and abneys, with all the respect in the world, being afraid to confront their father over something HE is doing wrong is really really not that, and troubling to hear.

onefewernow Sat 28-Sep-13 16:01:04

Francesca- don't forget the job- many cheaters expect you to work too, whilst they are about it.

OP, they always find time. I've lost count of the threads in here where a woman started with " he is always here at night and doesn't have the time/opportunity", and then discovered otherwise .

FrancescaBell Sat 28-Sep-13 16:04:26

Ooh yes I agree about picking and choosing the bits of 1950s life that suit their agenda. But if a woman is working and finds herself in this situation, I always celebrate that. It means she's got her independence.

FrancescaBell Sat 28-Sep-13 16:09:17

I just bet he's written some horribly cheesy, vomit-inducing song for her of late too.

I think if you feigned a sudden interest in his latest dire offerings, he'd be suddenly reluctant to share this hobby he thinks you've got no interest in.

tessa6 Sat 28-Sep-13 16:09:29

They work together, right? You sound really sweet, abneys, and I have no idea what the truth of it is but if they work together they have opportunity all the time, I'm afraid.

There's a lot of language in all your posts which is very very masochistic. About putting yourself absolute last and all your worries being for your children, or about everyone hating him, never for you. Are you aware of this? Can you see that you might be responding to this turn of events in this way? Do you agree that this might lead you down a very dangerous, weakening and resentful path? Does it ring any bells regarding your family or models you were exposed to growing up? I wonder if you might need help to start seeing yourself as an autonomous, breathing individual with rights and feelings and demands not a fearful, frustrated welcome home mat for the posse of men in your house.

mum11970 Sat 28-Sep-13 17:49:06

If his phone is on your account you may be able to retrieve his deleted messages from your provider.

MajesticWhine Sat 28-Sep-13 18:23:16

I am going to go against the grain here, but I think there are cases where both partners have to take some responsibility for an affair. And this acknowledgement of responsibility on both sides is the healthiest way for a marriage to survive an affair.
OP, you say "Admittedly I've been distant and putting him way down the priority list for years" and " I honestly don't care about his 'art'".
So of course he is to blame for cheating (and it sounds to me like he is cheating) but also, surely not taking an interest in him for years has a part to play in all this as well?

abneysporridge Sat 28-Sep-13 18:34:48

Sorry just been feeding my posse of men smile
I don't mean to be a martyr , I've just found that I should expect my needs to be last, so that I'm pleasantly surprised if I do get a break! But yeah I have definitely lost track of 'myself' - I do work part time (on maternity at the mo), so if I had any other interests I just don't know when I would fit them in.
With regards to my own role models, my parents were very happily married, a great team, no real bumps in the road at all. Sadly my dad died last year very suddenly, otherwise they would have been married 35 years last month. This has been hard on all of us, as dh and my dad were good mates. Thinking about it, his own role models are a bit pants as his dad left when dh was 4, and his step-dad was never what you'd call fatherly.
Has anyone got any experience of couples counselling? I wonder if that might help us both with our marriage issues and the bereavement.

CupOCoffee Sat 28-Sep-13 18:36:32

There is always opportunity for it to have become sexual. I once had an affair with a man i worked with. We waited until everyone had left and then had a quicky on the premise. It made us both only a tiny bit late so no suspicions aroused. Or we would meet up the road and do stuff in the car. Very easily done.

Also why would she say she was guilty if nothing has happened?

abneysporridge Sat 28-Sep-13 18:42:42

Majestic - I'm glad u offered another take, it's all food for thought. One thing this has made me realise is how I am guilty of taking him for granted and not really showing much interest in him personally. And obviously that includes the bedroom dept - I just can't be bothered with all that business after a mad day! So yeah, I would take some responsibility for this situation...some.

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