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.

DH and e-mail from work colleague

(133 Posts)
Canthpfeelinglikethis Sun 05-Jan-14 02:28:26

Hi looking for others take on this.

Married 6 years together 20 years. Very happy with two DC. DH very outgoing, the type that gets on well with everyone, very well liked by everyone and a bit flirty by nature.

A couple of years ago he became friendly with a work colleague. I was not fully aware of their friendship at the time. He did speak about her a bit as she had broken up with her bf and was internet dating so he would tell me about this and I would ask how she was getting on etc etc. After a while I started to get a little bit wary of their relationship - not sure why just instinct I suppose. Then one evening I was on his emails (he was fully aware of this) looking for something and came across an email from her to him that didn't sit right with me. It was from her saying "where will we go for lunch sexy". His reply suggested "get something and have it in his office or go to the usual cafe". Then her reply "yes your office as have no money. We can lock the door of your office right!!!!" Then him - "cop on you tart" then followed by lunch arrangements. Now at the time I found the e-mail I was very hurt as I felt very betrayed that he would think that this was ok. I confronted him and he said absolutely nothing going on, just friends, office banter and that was just her personality and how she was with other people. I told him I thought this was completely inappropriate and was not how I thought a married man should act. I asked for full access to his e-mails, phone records etc which he gave me and I looked back over all their e-mails and other than this mail there was very little else. I do have a suspicion that he may have called her once on a night out when he was drunk but found no evidence of this. It didn't stop me from being very upset and I told him to tell her how I felt and to tell her to stop this "banter" with him. He said he never viewed it the way I did but he could see how it looks to me. He did (after he spoke to her) suggest I meet her but I didn't want this as my take is that she owed me nothing and it was him that I was in a relationship with. After a lot of tears and talking I was satisfied that it was just a bit of flirting. Since this we have had another DC and are as happy as ever.

My issue - Since this happened I have to be honest that I find it hard to trust DH. 99% of the time everything is great but there is always something in the back of my mind and I feel like I am always on high alert. Reason being that I had no idea of their friendship. When this happened it turned out that they had regularly gone for lunch but he would never have told me. Every day we would ask each other what did you do for lunch but he never once told me that he had lunch with her. I found this very odd. We bumped into her and her new bf recently and since then it has brought back everything that happened a few years ago. She introduced me to the bf and said DH had already met him. DH never mentioned this. They still work together but he never mentions her and I never ask. I have no reason to doubt him at all. He is a great father and DH. We don't go out separately very often and I have no reason to think anything but I just wonder because I never knew the last time either as everything was happening during work hours.

My question is will the doubt ever go away?? Sometimes I think I am being totally irrational but I can't help how I feel. I have been reading here about EA and how most people are repeat offenders and it has just got me thinking. I hate feeling like this and wish that I could have that feeling of complete trust back again.

Thanks for reading and all comments welcome.

OpalQuartz Thu 09-Jan-14 14:39:19

I hadn't read your 14.23 reply when I added my 14.30 one

Allergictoironing Thu 09-Jan-14 14:33:54

Well I look on going out to lunch, or even drinks after work, as something I do with friends (of either sex), so wouldn't see there being anything not quite right with that just because it was a male friend. But as I said earlier - everyone has their own view on where boundaries lie, so I'll get off the subject so we don't derail the thread.

OpalQuartz Thu 09-Jan-14 14:30:29

Yes but that's not quite the same as "Suggesting that someone can't be good friends with a member of the opposite sex without there being "something going on" and that it's not possible to "get on well with a man on a platonic basis" which I never actually said and indeed mentioned platonic friendships of my own.

Allergictoironing Thu 09-Jan-14 14:23:29

Yes Canthpfeelinglikethis has summed up what I meant exactly. The sad reference wasn't to you personally, more that the fact it still isn't socially acceptable by some people to have as close a friendship with a member of the opposite sex as with the same sex and I think it should be acceptable.

Canthpfeelinglikethis Thu 09-Jan-14 14:17:41

OpalQuartz - I did not see your post as being "sad" and it definitely was supportive.

I don't want to speak for the other poster but I think when she says it's "sad" she is referring to the fact that you said you wouldnt feel right going to lunch alone with your mail colleagues. I think if they are the boundaries you are not comfortable with then that is fine. It's proof that everyone has their own limits and thoughts on what is acceptable.

OpalQuartz Thu 09-Jan-14 13:53:11

Sorry, that should read "no evidence that her husband had been unfaithful"

OpalQuartz Thu 09-Jan-14 13:52:04

I thought my post was quite supportive of the OP. I tried to reassure her that there was no evidence that her husband had done anything wrong, so I'm surprised that my post seems to have been interpreted as saying otherwise and of being "sad."

OpalQuartz Thu 09-Jan-14 13:33:52

Suggesting that someone can't be good friends with a member of the opposite sex without there being "something going on" is rather sad in this day and age, why shouldn't I get on well with a man on a platonic basis?

As I mentioned in my post I have had very good platonic friendships with men myself, so I wasn't suggesting that someone can't be good friends with a member of the opposite sex without there being "something going on"

Canthpfeelinglikethis Thu 09-Jan-14 10:45:34

Sorry, My post should read "I don't see anything wrong with going for lunch with a member of the opposite sex not same sex as posted.

Canthpfeelinglikethis Thu 09-Jan-14 09:40:55

Tonandfeather - thanks for your good wishes

GarlicReturns - that is the conclusion that I have come to too.

Allergictoironing - I agree. I said it in an earlier post that I don't see anything wrong with going for lunch with a member of the same sex. I also think you are right when you say it shows how peoples views differ. I can't see any reason why you couldn't be friends with someone on a platonic basis no matter who or what they are. I now think that the key to this is each partner in the relationship knowing boundaries and what is acceptable to both parties. If everyone stays within these limits then there should never be an issue.

Allergictoironing Thu 09-Jan-14 08:05:18

What I wouldn't have done is go for lunch with any of them on my own. I would see that as not quite right

That's a very good example of where people's views differ. I see absolutely no difference between going for lunch or for a drink with a male or female friend - they are a mate, I go out with them & their sex (and sexual orientation) is irrelevant.

Suggesting that someone can't be good friends with a member of the opposite sex without there being "something going on" is rather sad in this day and age, why shouldn't I get on well with a man on a platonic basis? Would there be the same assumption if someone went out with a person of the same sex who was gay - that there must be fancying going on by at least one party maybe both?

GarlicReturns Thu 09-Jan-14 01:24:28

Tbh, Cant, I don't think 100% trust is very grown-up. It smacks of complacency - either that, or you consider your partner so boring & undesirable that he'd never get it together to cheat!

We can never control the world around us, only our interactions with it. Couples need to discuss this on a regular basis smile

Tonandfeather Wed 08-Jan-14 21:44:05

Good luck "Can't".

Canthpfeelinglikethis Wed 08-Jan-14 19:53:54

Piperchapman - I do know that some posters will still think that he has just "convinced me" again but i am confident of my decision so that is ok. I don't expect people to just suddenly agree with me iykwim. Nothing that has been asked here since I have spoken to him has made me rethink how I feel. I do believe him so I am not "troubled" by any posts. Only I fully know our conversations etc as although you can say a lot in a post it is sometimes hard to put into words. Thanks for your post.

SlightlyTerrified Wed 08-Jan-14 18:17:15

Thanks Cant this thread has actually really helped me too. I feel a bit more confident about moving on from it all. I hope it all goes well for you too.

PiperChapman Wed 08-Jan-14 16:59:17

I also find it outrageous that certain posters are still trying to put doubt in your mind. OP - they're definitely not helping you!

How the hell do they know what he did or didn't do? To keep banging on now, after you've said you've talked to your husband twice, is just plain rude.

Yes, your husband was inappropriate. That's about it from what I can see and from what you've explained. It's probably time to accept what he says. I trust that you've made your position very clear on wha would happen if he gets carried away like this again.

I'd step away from the thread now if I were you and away from the poster who seems insistent on telling you your husband had an affair. That's not her call to make

Canthpfeelinglikethis Wed 08-Jan-14 15:56:29

Cat98 - Sorry to hear your story but it sounds like ye now have a good relationship. The trust thing is the hardest part. I now can see that I need to believe that he never ever wanted anything to happen and if I can believe that then that is going a long way to rebuilding the trust. I do believe that now.
I suppose it has really taught me that you can never be complacent in a marriage whether or not you have a reason. I do wonder if there is such a thing as 100% trust though - is there not always a bit of us that holds back a bit sort of like a coping mechanism just in case. I have only just thought of this so maybe that sounds barmy!

Canthpfeelinglikethis Wed 08-Jan-14 15:10:49

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage - yes I would agree with that. You might not be talking here about my situation at all , maybe you are just talking in general but I do think that my scenario was different. I wasn't asking why they went for lunch. My original question was "are ye having an affair" so in this context the answer "we are just friends" is I think appropriate when trying to explain the relationship. I think it depends on the question asked really but I am not sure either why anyone would say "I went to lunch with x as a friend".

Cat98 Wed 08-Jan-14 15:09:57

I was in a very similar position to you, op, a few years ago. Emails were not quite so blatant thought! It was however coupled with dh becoming withdrawn and moody at home, and short tempered with me.
We nearly split up tbh. I'm quite an insecure person anyway and we went through a really rough time. He lied to me several times.
He now works in a different place and the colleague it concerned it married with a baby. I am still not 100 per cent sure what happened between them (he swears blind nothing physical) but as a result I live my life with one eye permanently open. I always ensure that if the worst happens I have a plan b, and sadly the 1% trust hasn't returned for me.
I have no reason to doubt him now btw, he is very loving and attentive, lets me check his phone whenever I ask, etc. but I am not as blindly 'in love' as I was before. Or trusting.

I don't think that's a bad thing though. We do have a good relationship now but there are different rules with regards to transparency etc than there were. But in my experience that grain of - wariness I suppose - will always be there.

Canthpfeelinglikethis Wed 08-Jan-14 14:43:59

JoinYourPlayfellows - yes she did call him sexy. My comment wasn't meant to read that he wast aware it was happening. He was absolutely aware but never saw any intent from either himself or her (like you say). My main point in that sentence was that he never felt like she ever wanted anything more, hence he didn't think she fancied him.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Wed 08-Jan-14 14:23:14


Canthpfeelinglikethis Wed 08-Jan-14 14:17:51

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage - I think I get what you mean. You would just say "we are going to lunch that's all" as opposed to "we are just friends". Why would you even mention being friends cause that's kind of obvious.

JoinYourPlayfellows Wed 08-Jan-14 14:14:44

"He said he never once got the impression that she was interested in him in any other way other than a friend. She never tried to come on to him, suggested anything or made any kind of advances."

You see, this doesn't ring entirely true for me.

HE was the one who interpreted her suggestion that they lock the office door as being sexual - "cop on, you tart".

As I read your first post I was wondering why she was suggesting the door be locked. There are plenty of things two friends could do in a locked room that are not shagging - bitching about the boss, drinking, sleeping, watching a movie.

Also, she called him "sexy" (didn't she?), which certainly indicates AT LEAST that her pretending to have designs on him was part of their banter.

So while it is plausible that he thought there was no serious intent behind the things she was saying, it is not plausible that he didn't notice them because he was responding to them.

Canthpfeelinglikethis Wed 08-Jan-14 14:06:56

OpalQuartz - I quiet often go out with a male work colleague for lunch just the two of us. I would never think that I shouldn't. Actually, it would never cross my mind. I very very rarely go to lunch with anyone else from the office other that this person unless it was for someone leaving etc but this would be in a group setting. Like your relationship with your colleagues this is 100% platonic. People view things differently don't they.

I definitely think he knows where he went wrong and would not repeat it. I do believe that now. He said he never once got the impression that she was interested in him in any other way other than a friend. She never tried to come on to him, suggested anything or made any kind of advances. So I am not sure whether she did fancy him or not but that doesn't really matter I suppose. So long as he didn't fancy her and I now believe that he didn't see her like that.

SlightlyTerrified - I think it sounds like your DH cut contact for exactly the same reasons that I think mine did. Not because he couldn't cope with me being jealous of her or worse because it was too hard for him to just maintain a non-banter friendship but because I meant more to him than that and he cared too much to let anything compromise us. With regards thinking about it again, I think now, that this is always going to be the case as no matter what you can't erase it from your mind. DH said this to me last night. He said that he knows that I will never forget this - I might forgive but won't forget. He finds that very hard that he can't make it right but he can't so I have to get on with it. He is right because it's not possible to forget it.
Next time it comes up for me I will speak to my DH straight away as in all of this he is the only one that can give me the answers I need. That's not to say that a forum like this is not helpful because it actually has been very helpful for me.

I hope your feelings of insecurity subsides. Maybe try speaking with your DH as it sounds to me like he cares for you an awful lot. I hope you get to work this out xx

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Wed 08-Jan-14 13:27:25

Nah, still wouldn't feel the need too.

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