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Can I have some objective opinions on this? History of and suspected possible current cheating.

(69 Posts)
PollyNC Sat 08-Nov-14 16:03:20

I'm going to try to be as objective as possible with this because I don't want to cloud this by saying who I am in the scenario, just want some detached opinions, hope that's okay. I am a regular but namechanged (penis beaker, gluezilla, pombears etc).

'Rick' and 'Karen' have been married for 12 years. They have two DD's, ages 9 and 7. They live in a small town in the midlands and work in connected roles (for the same big company but in different departments). They are both in their early to mid 40s.

Six years into the marriage, Rick nearly cheated on Karen. He 'crossed the line' with another colleague 'Laura' (in another department to both of them) but the contact between them was nipped in the bud before it became an affair. There was a kiss and some inappropriate messaging etc but Laura's DP found out about it and confronted Rick and it ended. Karen found out and for a while there was some doubt as to whether the marriage would survive, but it did.

There years after that, Karen suspected again that Rick was cheating, this time with another colleague, Melissa. Karen confronted Melissa and it turned out she was wrong, there was nothing going on. The suspicion was borne out of Melissa being out of the office at the same time as Rick and neither of them being contactable on their mobiles. Karen accepted she was wrong and maybe hadn't accepted Rick had changed from three years before but they moved on. Nothing changed between them and it was all just swept under the carpet.

In the years since then, Karen hasn't had any reason to suspect Rick of cheating and the marriage has been good. She has been what some people may describe as 'controlling' of Rick, in restricting who he sees socially/where he goes without her, but this has got less so to some degree over time.

Two weeks ago, Rick went AWOL for the day again. As far as Karen was aware, he was at work but none of his work colleagues knew where he was and hadn't heard from him. Rick later told Karen he was ill so stayed home for the day, but no one at work was aware of this. Karen suspected (and still suspects) that there is more to this but has no reason (other than history) to account for this so hasn't accused Rick directly.

Perhaps pertinent, is the fact that Rick is by nature quite flirty and so could be accused of being overly friendly when there's nothing going in. Also, Karen has very low self esteem and is deeply unhappy with her body, with her weight creeping up post DD's being born. Rick has never said anything to make Karen think he doesn't find her attractive, but this is a view she struggles with.

Do you think Karen is right to suspect Rick, or should he be given the benefit of the doubt? Since he hasn't cheated since the Louise incident six years ago should Karen accept this was a 'blip' and try to move past it, or continue looking for clues Rick will do it again (do leopards ever change their spots?)?

Any other comments or opinions welcome, and thank you for them in advance.

LiviaEmpressoftheUniverse Sat 08-Nov-14 16:15:45

Karen should stop blaming herself, Rick's infidelity is something he's been hoping for/working on for years. Time for Karen to get angry.

PollyNC Sat 08-Nov-14 16:19:17

Karen isn't blaming herself. I didn't think I'd given that impression, so sorry if I did. What makes you say Rick's (possible) infidelity is being worked on/hoped for for years? And why would Karen get angry now?

Sorry to pepper you with questions, and thank you for your response, I just don't quite understand where you're coming from.

sillymillyb Sat 08-Nov-14 16:21:13

I think the trust was broken by rick the first time this happened, and he should be bending over backwards to reassure Karen and not disappearing for the day when it suits him. I think Karen should trust her gut feelings and I hope she is ok

Joysmum Sat 08-Nov-14 16:22:40

Doesn't sound very happy to me. I feared my DH's infidelity (but due to my previous relationship history, not DH) and I never took to controlling him.

If you're that mistrustful still and it's turned you into a controlling partner, I think you're in the wrong relationship. It's no wonder you've got low self esteem.

simontowers2 Sat 08-Nov-14 16:23:44

I think Karen needs to shit or get off the pot. She had her warning of what she was dealing with when the first dalliance happened but chose to carry on. This is what life is like with those who are partial to cheating from time to. If living in a constant state of mistrust isn't for Karen, she needs to exit the relationship.

PollyNC Sat 08-Nov-14 16:27:05

sillymilly - Rick didn't disappear for the day, the first time when Karen thought he was with Melissa he was in an area where there was no phone signal for the whole day. The nature of his job is such that this is not that unusual and there was nothing going on anyway. Melissa and Rick didn't even like each other as friends. The time two weeks ago Rick is adamant he was ill and there is no reason this can't be true. The suspicion here is from the fact he didn't tell Karen (she left for work a lot earlier than he was due to) and his colleagues didn't know.

Thanks for all posts. smile

magoria Sat 08-Nov-14 16:27:25

Karen may have better self esteem not being with a man who only doesn't cheat because he is caught, goes no contact and then dissapears for a day.

That has to destroy a part of you little by little.

If he was ill enough for a day off work how would his wife not know?

InfinitySeven Sat 08-Nov-14 16:28:54

You are Karen, correct? Because that's the only point of view which seems personal enough to be correct!

I'd say Karen should have decided back at the Laura/Louise incident whether she trusted him, because living like this leads to resentment. If you can't trust, you don't have anything.

Now Melissa needs to be ignored if everyone is completely happy that nothing was happening there.

So you come to the latest incident. Would Rick usually tell Karen if he was going home sick? Would he usually be in contact? Is there anything else that suggests inappropriate content between Rick and someone else that he'd have been with that day?

Its impossible to tell from this whether he's cheating. It does seem that there is no trust, so no relationship, regardless of whether he is cheating at the moment.

Karen made a bit mistake continuing the relationship when she couldn't trust him, and she's paid for that with all the worry. It sounds like it is time to fix that mistake.

LadyLuck10 Sat 08-Nov-14 16:29:50

IMO Karen was a massive fool for continuing the relationship. It was only nipped in the bud because Laura's husband found out. Who knows it could have gone on further.
Rick didn't respect, love and care for Karen enough to work out whatever problem he had that made him want to cheat in the first place. He broke her trust and once it's gone it really is gone. Karen will always have that doubt in the back of her mind.

PollyNC Sat 08-Nov-14 16:30:33

Oops sorry, accidentally used two different names with Laura/Louise. Neither is the actual true name though!

I'd rather not say who I am, sorry. Experience tells me objective opinions go out the window when people know who you are.

TheJiminyConjecture Sat 08-Nov-14 16:31:25

I think both of them are probably miserable and deserve better. The only way this will happen is if they split up.

AnyFucker Sat 08-Nov-14 16:31:58

Would it be possible for you to stop talking in the 3rd (4th ? 5th ?) person. It would make it a lot easier to reply as I am struggling to frame a response in kind.

AnyFucker Sat 08-Nov-14 16:32:41

Ah cross posted. Does anyone really "know" who you are here ?

PollyNC Sat 08-Nov-14 16:34:05

AF, sorry you're finding it difficult. I doubt I can do that without actually saying which one I am. I don't mean to sound rude but if it's too difficult for you to reply without knowing who I am then it might be best if you didn't reply. I really am sorry but I don't want to say who I am.

FYI, Melissa doesn't work with Rick anymore.

AnyFucker Sat 08-Nov-14 16:35:14

Are you JustineMN ? smile

InfinitySeven Sat 08-Nov-14 16:35:42

My advice stands whichever woman you are.

Karen needs to move on.

TheJiminyConjecture Sat 08-Nov-14 16:36:15

Going out on a limb here - you're rick and you want us to say how hard you have it and how terribly you're being treated?

BuzzardBird Sat 08-Nov-14 16:38:15

If he was so ill that he couldn't be contacted all day then I am surprised he only took the one day off. Miraculous improvement I think?

I don't think Karen will ever be at peace when she has to worry constantly about what he is up to.

FelicityGubbins Sat 08-Nov-14 16:39:46

I would find it odd as hell that anyone would take a day off sick and not tell their spouse or employer hmm regardless of any past transgression!

Pastperfect Sat 08-Nov-14 16:40:32

Karen should leave.
Rick is unfaithful and doesn't care enough about Karen to give her the reassurance she deserves

BuzzardBird Sat 08-Nov-14 16:41:54

AF, it is confusing but basically Rick is a flirt and has history of cheating and doing inappropriate stuff with work colleagues, did a disappearing act for a day recently and wasn't contactable as so ill...but was back at work next day.
Karen wonders if she should trust him as she has to control his life now so that she knows what he is up to all the time...I think.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Sat 08-Nov-14 16:41:56

I suspect Karen is a bit of a joke figure in their joint work and whatever she decides to do wrt her relationship, she must STOP accusing female colleagues of sleeping which her husband and checking up on his whereabouts on a daily basis. They are in separate depts, so she needs to not be popping in, asking round, etc.

Although that is of course a side issue.

The trust is gone in this relationship, which is of course because of Rick's actions 6 years ago. They need to have a full conversation about this and what she needs to have to restore the trust. It may be that this isn't possible - rick may be so fed up of the constant suspicion that he won't be interested in investing in his relationship. And of course, he may be cheating, but there's no real evidence of this.

ATM this relationship sounds horrid. Karen is controlling, Rick is unhappy. But nothing can change that except lots and lots of proper communication. It is indeed, as a pp said, time to shit or get off the pot.

FelicityGubbins Sat 08-Nov-14 16:44:07

I don't think a day off necessarily means Rick is having another affair, the fact he had an emotional affair and has through idiotic behaviour left himself open for another accusation of it, proves he is a thick twat...

PollyNC Sat 08-Nov-14 16:45:06

Rick says he didn't think to tell Karen he was sick he just stayed home. Yes I would agree this is weird, especially with Karen working for the same company he does. As for not telling his boss, yes again I agree weird, but he logged this as sick when he returned and I suppose a lot of this is taken on trust. He has worked there a long time and is respected.

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