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DP thinks he should meet GF from 40 years ago!!

(117 Posts)
SisterSludge Thu 07-Nov-13 20:59:33

Regular poster but had to set up new name for this one. Me and my DP have been together for 30 years and have 3 DD together. A few weeks ago, he received an email from a GF he went out with when he was 19; he lived with her for about a year. He broke it off with her because she slept with someone else. The GF wanted to know if he could remember anything about those times, it's a bit complicated but basically someone had died and that person's son wanted to know more about what had gone on. This got my DP digging out some diaries that he kept over a period of about 10 or 15 years, and really going into detail during an email correspondence with this old GF, reliving this intense relationship that took place so long ago. To give him his credit, he told me about it right from the first email he received, although I haven't read the emails they have exchanged since as he says he wouldn't want me to read them. The GF knows where he is, has said she doesn't want him to track her down and I clocked that he doesn't even know her married name. BUT she has told him that she is not sure that her marriage is going to last (although she has told her DH that she is in touch with m DP). All this has had some strange effects on our relationship--it has caused us to become much closer in some ways, it has made us discuss how our sex life has withered in latter years (might start a second thread about that one!), and my DP has said in no uncertain terms that he knows his future lies with me, he wouldn't risk what we have together for anything. He has found it really quite traumatic going over the minutiae of what was a very difficult period of his life and he says I have been a great support to him in helping him to deal with it.

Having said all that, he thinks that they will eventually meet!! (No, I don't think I am invited.)

There was a bit of a crisis last week when they exchanged photos of what they are like now. He realised that by viewing the photo of her now, he was abandoning the "ghost relationship" that had been going on--corresponding, in other words, with a memory.

I have read the post from July this year, originally by Hillfort, see link here:
and there are some similarities. But also quite a few differences, especially the timescales involved!

My DP has said that he wants to tell me everything, and that he wants me to feel comfortable with it going on (whatever "it" is), because he didn't want to find himself in a situation where he was doing anything behind my back.

I can't decide if I should feel worried. Please advise. My gut reaction is that it is playing with fire. Having read the Hillfort thread, I also wonder whether, if there is a meeting, it should be one where both families meet.

Mumistheword1 Thu 07-Nov-13 21:23:59

its in the past and should stay there

Mumistheword1 Thu 07-Nov-13 21:27:08

how would he feel if you met old boyfriends?

you should be able to trust him but my woman's intuition is saying its not quite right

Vivacia Thu 07-Nov-13 21:28:03

I agree it's be best to let sleeping dogs lie, but if there's a meeting you should definitely be there.

something2say Thu 07-Nov-13 21:30:09

Stop being silly. Support him in rehashing this bit of his past. She will mean nothing to him now. You never know, he may wonder what all the angst all those years ago was about.

We are married to human beings x they have pasts and we don't own them or their pasts x

lunar1 Thu 07-Nov-13 21:37:40

It doesn't feel right to me and I have no problem with dh keeping in contact with his ex wife, in fact she comes round for dinner.

I think the difference is that she is dh's ex, but the moved past that and have a new relationship as friends which includes me. You dh and this ex are chatting and mailing in private about their old life and relationship and that just seems odd.

pigsDOfly Thu 07-Nov-13 21:41:54

I think it's wise to leave it in the past.

How do you know she'll mean nothing to him now Something2say? I had a very intense relationship with a man many years ago and when we ran into each other 33 years after I'd ended it the spark was still very much there. We went onto have a 5 year relationship.

sarfush Thu 07-Nov-13 21:47:47

As your husband has involved you from the start, I think he is coming from a good place. It is awkward, as you can't know (and he might not fully know) his reasons for wanting to meet up - quite possibly resolving a traumatic time in his life, by re-visiting a person from that time, but from a much stronger and happier perspective.
Can you talk to him about your fears? Tell him that you know its silly, but it does make you feel uncomfortable / insecure. I gather from how you describe him that you are able to have an open emotional discussion. As long as you use lots of "when you ... it makes me feel" and ask him questions about why he thinks he wants to go there: "Have you thought about why you want to meet up? What have you imagined it will be like? Are you imagining that it will be something that will continue? As she has implied that her marriage is not going well, what does he think her intentions are?"
As long as you keep him talking by using prompting questions, he might come to conclusions better and be able to communicate to you his thoughts more easily and reassure you.
Whether or not that ends up with you meeting as families or him meeting her initially on his own, would be for you both to work out. I don't envy you your situation, but it sounds as though you have a loving husband.

Val007 Thu 07-Nov-13 22:11:44

Playing with fire... might get you burnt hmm

Dahlen Thu 07-Nov-13 22:32:43

Why? I bear my old Xs no ill will and would be delighted to hear happy tales of what they've been up to, but I have no desire to meet them at all. I find that quite strange TBH. But each to their own.

This sounds more like exorcising past demons than an affair in waiting, but unless he had old wounds that really needed to be re-opened in order to heal properly, I can't understand why he'd have renewed the acquaintanceship. My guess is that he may well regret the path he's set himself on but now feels powerless to step off it and is hoping that meeting the XGF will lay her ghost to rest once and for all.

As long as you and your DP have thoroughly discussed this relationship and you are secure in your own, trusting him to maintain his boundaries and be respectful of you, I think you have to let him go - on his own.

Twinklestein Thu 07-Nov-13 22:39:10

I would have no issue with my h meeting up with a past partner, but I wouldn't be that happy not being allowed to see emails. It's not that I'd particularly want to see them, but I wouldn't want to be banned either. It would make me wonder if there was something to hide after all.

I also wouldn't be happy to be excluded from them meeting up, why can't she just come round and have lunch with both of you?

Equally, I would never send private emails to an ex that my husband couldn't read, or expect to meet up without him.

Twinklestein Thu 07-Nov-13 22:42:07

I couldn't actually be bothered to meet up with them anyway...

halfwayupthehill Thu 07-Nov-13 22:43:36

I know a woman whose h of 30plus years left her to emigrate to oz to reunite with a gf from his youth with whom he reconnected on the internet.

frustratedandfailing Thu 07-Nov-13 22:47:55

It all sounds like it's coming from a good place. Rehashing parts of your past that you haven't fully dealt with can, I'm sure, be intense...but this just feels off, and I say that as someone who is not jealous usually. I can't really put my finger on it but this was done with years ago and while there is obviously an element of unfinished business I can't see why that cant be dispensed with at a distance.

loopyloulu Thu 07-Nov-13 22:48:20

I don't think anyone here can tell you what to do. Having said that, you might like to consider this-

It's about trust and the quality of your marriage/relationship.

If you feel insecure then yes you might object to this contact or a meeting. If you don't then you should be more relaxed about it.

You can't make someone stay faithful by prohibiting them from doing things or seeing people. We all meet people day to day who we might be attracted to but don't take it further. Yes, there is nostalgia with an old flame, but IMO it's far better to 'give him permission' to see her than forbid it and they see each other anyway in secret, or it becomes an unfulfilled desire to meet that eats away at him and becomes far more important than it ought to be.

I don't agree that you should read the emails. These are personal and nothing to do with you. You should be honest with yourself about why you feel threatened, or insecure, and work on that within your marriage. You have to learn to trust people and if you don't then the relationship is built on sand.

Twinklestein Thu 07-Nov-13 22:50:28

Yeah I think the problem is that people do. The OP is in a difficult situation because if she's too trusting she risks being taken for a mug, if she's too untrusting she looks insecure.

The way around that is to be allowed access to emails and any meeting. Then everyone knows where they are.

LessMissAbs Thu 07-Nov-13 22:51:39

I can't see a problem with this. I recognise there is a small risk, but I wouldn't want to restrict the man in my life to such strict rules of who he can and cannot have platonic contact with. I wouldn't want to live my life like that, constantly on the lookout for threats.

Twinklestein Thu 07-Nov-13 22:52:01

@halfwayupthehill ^

BibbleBabbleBobble Thu 07-Nov-13 22:55:37

Don't give it the status of a banned love.

loopyloulu Thu 07-Nov-13 22:55:47

Why is being trusting equal to be treated as a mug?

That's a very cynical and pretty silly thing to say,imo.

With our kids we trust them to make the right decisions as they grow up- giving them our trust and our blessing gives better results than locking them up and forbidding them to do things.

People respond far better if you say 'yes go ahead, I trust you'- than' no, you can't, I don't trust you.'

I think they key to this poster is that their sex life is in the doldrums, and the relationship is not that great so she feels threatened.

BibbleBabbleBobble Thu 07-Nov-13 22:58:39

I think it's terrible that people are saying you should have access to the e mails. That's basically saying that if you're in a relationship you don't have a right to a private correspondence. I would tell a partner to fuck off if they suggested that.

Twinklestein Thu 07-Nov-13 22:59:24

looopyloulu it's not either she allows him to meet up alone or they meet up in secret - there's middle ground where they all meet up together.

I'm not one for reading emails, but equally I would never ban my husband from seeing something if he wanted to. If an old bf got back in touch and he was at all perturbed by this, I would want him to read them to set his mind at rest.

MadBusLady Thu 07-Nov-13 23:01:31

I haven't read the emails they have exchanged since as he says he wouldn't want me to read them.

Is this a typo? He doesn't want you to read them or she doesn't?

Bit odd that they are already having intimate chats about the state of her marriage, and makes me wonder what he says to her about your marriage.

MillyRules Thu 07-Nov-13 23:07:05

I understand your concern. She is thinking that her marriage is going to end (maybe her husband is having an affair) and she has remembered her first love (your husband) and maybe he was the one that got away. So she has contacted him just to see where it goes and how they being too short and all that. Even though he has included you in it from the start and says that you and he are the real thing and he would never throw it away etc.......things happen. This has already started to read like an emotional affair and its getting stronger and stronger each time they email. Feelings are being re ignited aren't they?
Its dangerous territory. All the threads on here about husbands leaving wives is enough to show you that although people don't intend for this to just does.....way too often. By the sounds of it, it has already gone too far and I don't think he would stop communicating with her now even if you asked him. You seem worried and duly so and even though you trust him, there is now uncertainty there. In some ways she has already come between you in a way. I think I would be concerned about her reasons even though you want to trust him.

Twinklestein Thu 07-Nov-13 23:07:46

It's got nothing to do with saying you don't have the right to private correspondence, of course you do, but this is an unusual situation, due to problems in the relationship, the OP feels threatened, that's fair enough.

My husband & I don't read each other's emails or phone messages etc, but there is nothing he couldn't see if he wanted to. And I would never be so disrespectful as to go chatting privately to an ex when we'd had been having problems in our relationship.

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