Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

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

WinkyWinkola Sat 28-Sep-13 18:48:58


You did not force him to go and put his penis into another woman.

He chose to do that. He has free will.

His affair is not your fault.

CupOCoffee Sat 28-Sep-13 19:00:42

Does he take you for granted as well? Its not just a one way street. You already said he's not interested in what you have to say.

Has he ever tried to do anything about it? Arrange babysitters and romantic things for you both to do? Has he talked about it?

classifiedinformation Sat 28-Sep-13 19:07:20

Tbh op, whilst having an affair is never justifiable it seems that you have checked out of the relationship emotionally too. No interest in him or his music (which seems important to him) and infrequent sex (although understandable with young children) is probably making him feel you have detached from him also.

He is an idiot if he is having an affair, but there is something that has got you both to this point and you need to really look at how you both feel about each other.

By all means try and gather more evidence of his infidelity if that makes you feel better, but what you should both be doing is sitting down and having a big heart to heart about how you both feel about each other and your relationship.

Do you remember what attracted you to him originally? Do you still find him attractive? Are there things you can both do to improve the marriage. I think couples counselling would be very helpful and insightful for you.

As I said, I don't condone cheating in any way, but I believe that honest communication is the only way to even start to sort out your problems. I wish you luck in whatever you decide to do.

FrancescaBell Sat 28-Sep-13 19:07:35

No you mustn't take responsibility for anyone lying to you and cheating on you.

Even if this man was desperately unhappy (it doesn't sound like it) what he decided to do about that was his choice and his choice alone.

In a case like that, the responsible thing would be to discuss it, look at his own behaviour and how that might be contributing to the unhappiness, identify ways in the relationship that could improve his happiness, offer solutions, suggest counselling. The most irresponsible thing is having a secret affair.

I have seen it said time and time again on here that the people most likely to cheat are the ones who give less to the relationship and family life. And the ones most likely to be the victim of cheating are people who take on too much responsibility for everything, which sounds so much like you.

So if you're going to look at your own behaviour, look at how much you might have been putting up with all this time, how little you've been accepting from him and how much has fallen on your shoulders. But whatever you do, do not blame yourself for his choice to have an affair.

FrancescaBell Sat 28-Sep-13 19:16:47

I was saying upthread that some people think women are responsible for men's happiness and their actions if they aren't- and you can see that now in print. It's a massive crock of shit, but you really can see how that mindset allows some women to have affairs with men and blame their wives for it happening. Please don't buy into that victim-blaming crap.

ownbrand Sat 28-Sep-13 19:25:29

Tessaall visible infidelity is likely to be the tip of the iceberg.

This horrifys me. Im recovering from infidelity and im constantly haunted by the thought that it wasnt a one off . I dont know whether he was so stupid he didnt hide it very well or just very entitled .

How can a person tell ?

tessa6 Sat 28-Sep-13 22:59:05

Don't worry, ownbrand, I don't necessarily mean within the relationship. I just mean across society. It's very rare in my experience from my social circle to find a long term relationship where one of them hasn't crossed a line, even if it's just a cheeky but hurtful snog.

You can't tell. Unless you drive yourself mad. You just have to look at now and whether you have the sort of relationship/partner you want and deserve. If so, and you have reason to think your partner feels the same, it's unlikely there's cheating going on.

intheduskwiththelightbehindher Sun 29-Sep-13 07:22:26

abneys - yes, you may also have not put as much into your relationship as you could have, BUT (as in my case) if he wasn't happy, he should have talked to you about it, and not run off to someone else to have his ego stroked. HE made the choice.
Musicians eh? IME they have the most fragile egos. Plus there is a 'what happens on tour stays on tour' mentality.
Sending hugs.

TiredDog Sun 29-Sep-13 08:01:15

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

This is very insightful following just after a post telling you you possibly have neglected him.

A) Your needs are last
B) Pleasantly surprised to get a break
C) Doesn't know when she'd fit 'self' into life

Picture of a busy mum anyone? Who's just been told to not neglect her husband because that's why he has gone off with another women?? angry

The energy he puts into texting another woman and finding time for his music could be put into wooing his wife and giving her 'me' time.

Fucking ridiculous to blame a new mum with 3 under 4 for her husband straying.

abneysporridge Sun 29-Sep-13 10:18:01

Thanks tiredog - I feel you've got my back! It's just so depressing to think we've got to this point. I've always said we need to keep the communication channels open, and til now I thought we were, but he's obviously being secretive about stuff - I also discovered he 's been secretly using those 'adios' tablets for weight loss by putting them in his tub of saw palmetto, so I would think he's just taking his herbs like normal. hmm Why why why.

holstenlips Sun 29-Sep-13 12:35:31

Sorry abneys :-( I think the weight loss thing is par for the course too as is the hiding virtually everything (new clothes etc etc) My x fiance messaged ow to say how much weight he had lost when he was trying to hook her . Im mostly pissed off that he never admitted that hehad gone out of his way to arouse her sexual interest but put it down to his sense of humour and my overreaction.
Have you thought about confronting him at all?

Jux Sun 29-Sep-13 19:02:48

Abneys, I wholeheartedly agree with TiredDog.

How about doing that setting the alarm for 3am and checking his phone when he's dead to the world.

IME of musicians, they are no different to other men, who are no different to other people. They either are trustworthy and faithful or they are not. I have spent my entire life with professional musicians, and can assure you (and everyone else) that as a profession they are as capable as any other profession of loving and cherishing their partner and children, being responsible and kind and patient and honest. You don't have to be an accountant, for instance, to be a decent human being. Sorry, the sort of generalisations on this thread have made me a bit cross!

TiredDog Sun 29-Sep-13 19:30:48

abney - you need to sit down with partner at some point. I understand your need for evidence but set yourself a date by which you have the conversation, evidence or not. A date soon. This is going to cause you huge stress until it's out in the open.

I think you need to establish if he has 1) checked out altogether, 2)made a mistake and can recognise that mistake and come back (if you want that) or the worse case scenario where he is 3) guilty but hides it and pretends you're mad to think otherwise (hence need for evidence)

You also need to think about what you want to go forwards.

Plastering over the cracks is NOT an option. So regardless of his confession or not, you need to face this full on.

For me a lack of confession would decide the future. I can't live with lies. It would be over.

If he confesses you need to establish if he is willing to work on whatever weakness is inherent in HIM (not you as a couple) that allowed him to think this was acceptable.

Regardless of evidence of actual physical intimacy he has undoubtably been emotionally attached to her and also spent time and energy on her and not his family. What is he going to do to rectify that and what do you need and want?

I imagine you can't think straight and also have the demands of 3 young children. Is there someone you can trust to help you

Fairenuff Sun 29-Sep-13 20:17:31

all visible infidelity is likely to be the tip of the iceberg

Yep, absolutely agree with this. Loads of text messages, taking care with appearance, phone glued to side. This is an affair. No doubt about it.

Who is responsible? Well him, of course. He is 100% responsible for his own choices.

The poster suggesting that you share some blame should be ashamed of themselves.

gnittinggnome Sun 29-Sep-13 20:53:09

Sorry, agreeing a little here with Majestic. You want to know if he is walking out on this relationship, but there are a few phrases you use that suggest you have also walked out of the part of your relationship that is the two of you together. If you honestly can't be bothered with something that he holds dear, and don't consider your relationship important compared to raising your children, I can see why the two of you might not be as solid as you first assumed.

Before you get the wrong idea, I am not suggesting this is your fault at all. He is a grown man, and it takes two to let a relationship die a slow death, and it has also apparently been his choice to look elsewhere rather than do what a mature, loving person would have done and address his issues with you directly.

Agreeing also with posters above, you need to work out what you want out of all this - if he is having an affair, emotional or physical, do you want to try to work it out? Would you rather let it go and separate? Is there anything in the relationship that is worth trying to save? What would "proof" of his guilt or innocence actually help you decide?

* 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.*

You need to talk to him.

FrancescaBell Sun 29-Sep-13 21:24:51

Walked out on a relationship that is 'the two of you together'?

This woman gave birth 7 months ago and she's got 3 children of four and under.

Most parents in those circumstances wouldn't have the time nor the energy to be a frustrated rock star, or to have any really time-consuming hobby.

It's beyond self-indulgent for a parent with so many young kids to be wailing "what about meeee!" and criticising the person who, you know actually gets that young kids need the lion's share of attention in these infant years.

OP let me ask you a couple of questions.

Exactly when did he start complaining about you 'never being interested in his songs and stuff'? Pound to a penny it was after he started seeing this woman, like his nasty outburst at the function the other weekend was after he started seeing this woman.

When did he last come to you and say "We really need to get our personal relationship back and put our marriage first for a change. I've organised a babysitter and we're going to treat ourselves to a night/day out?"

Or "You keep putting your own needs last, love. Take a day out to do what you want while I look after our kids."

Yes, those questions are rhetorical, but my word those actions would achieve a closer relationship with a partner than having an affair, bawling her out at a party and blaming her for not being interested in his 'art'.

abneysporridge Sun 29-Sep-13 22:00:12

Francesca I think u best sum up what I've been feeling - really really frustrated that after everything I do for him and the boys he still wants more. I don't have the energy or the brainpower frankly to remember to bolster his self-esteem, maybe if he showed some gratitude now and then for all the daily drudgery I go through I might feel more inclined. And your right, his relationship with this woman, whatever it is, has spurred this behaviour on in him. I'd forgotten that the night he got all confrontational at the party he'd seen her during the day.
But I really really can't confront him without solid proof or I won't be able to hold my ground.
I'd like to think I am a strong woman - I certainly used to be - but I can't risk rocking the boat unless I really can convince him that what he's doing is wrong.

tessa6 Sun 29-Sep-13 22:04:51

but I can't risk rocking the boat unless I really can convince him that what he's doing is wrong.

This is such a sad sentence. Why should you have to 'convince' him? Even SHE is saying she feels guilty about it for god's sake. What do YOU think?

Who is at fault is a pointless game (clue though, it's him)

Just out of interest, why won't you be able to hold your ground? What's the dynamic you fear would play out?

TiredDog Sun 29-Sep-13 22:06:36

I can't risk rocking the boat unless I really can convince him that what he's doing is wrong

It doesn't actually matter if you convince him tbh. It's about YOU and what you feel.

Any remorse has to start from him in response to what he's done to you.

flippingebay Sun 29-Sep-13 22:10:18

I agree about not saying anything until you feel you've got what you need. Keep your powder dry for the time being.

If you confront him and he can deny, and does ( he may not ), then all that will do is drive it more under ground and he'll be more careful.

That said, his behaviour of late has been shitty and there's nothing wrong with calling him on that. Don't be a door mat.

I hate to say it but IMO men don't invest that amount if time and effort, and hide it, without there being something untoward going on hmm

Fairenuff Sun 29-Sep-13 22:10:53

I think it will be fairly easy for you to find the proof you're looking for. He is not being that careful, he thinks you're an idiot. Sorry.

FrancescaBell Sun 29-Sep-13 22:24:26

Yes what we need to do for you as respondents to your thread is to convince you and support you in coming to the conclusion that you don't need any more proof and you don't need to convince him he's in the wrong.

This isn't a court of law where you have to prove something beyond all reasonable doubt.

It really is enough to say 'I'm very unhappy about the way you're treating me. I'm unhappy in this relationship. I have reason to believe you're having an affair and I want out of this relationship.'

But before you get to this point, you maybe need to think about your own lines in the sand.

You know he's having an affair, so what would you do if he admitted it/confessed before you confront/you found incontrovertible proof? Would you follow the most sensible advice and ask him to leave, so that you can think things through? Or would you instantly forgive if he promised to end it?

How will you cope if this relationship ends? Practically, it sounds like you do everything anyway, but have you looked into what your finances would be as a lone parent? They might not be as bad as you think.

Information is power, as they say. It might help if you try to get a solicitor's free half hour/visit the CAB/check your entitlements and align this to getting as much information you can about his activities, if it's going to strengthen your resolve.

Jux Sun 29-Sep-13 22:38:50

You don't need to convince him. He knows what he's been doing is wrong - whether it's got to the physical stage or not - or why would he be secretly taking weightloss pills, hiding his phone, bawling you out, and all the thngs you've picked up on?

He knows very well he should be spending his time, efforts and energy on his family and he kows that he isn't doing that.

He sounds like if you were to confront him he's the type who will duck and dive and twist it so that it's your fault. Am I right? Is this why you don't feel you can just ask him about it?

Fairenuff Sun 29-Sep-13 22:57:24

Oh yes, deleting the messages and keeping his phone close is a dead giveaway that he knows he has crossed a line. When phones come with waterproof cases, cheaters will be taking them in the shower with them.

Until them, take every chance you get to check that phone. It won't be long before you find something more.

TiredDog Sun 29-Sep-13 23:03:44

I always smile at the deleting messages and keeping phone close= cheating because my phone is mostly within reach and I delete all messages daily. I'm not a cheater. I'm just tidy and want to know if I get a tex

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now