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Did I overreact?

(121 Posts)
ToTrustOrNot Wed 08-Jul-15 13:00:51

I have been on here for 10 years but have name changed for this. I have never posted on relationships before but have been reading it for years.

DH and I have been together for 16 years, married for 12 and have x2 DCs aged 10 and 5.

The last 10 years have been rough. Horrific sleep deprivation for me. A nasty injury whilst heavily pregnant, underlying health problems with DC1 and severe mental illness for me which has basically swallowed up 2 years of my life.

Over the years, DH has stepped up doing things on a practical level, but he has never been any use at supporting me emotionally. It is no surprise that our sex life was non existant for many years.

I was exhausted, stressed, turned off by his complaining if I said no, feeling like a burst blow up doll when he sulked and huffed out of the room if there was nothing on the cards. All about him and his "needs". Comments about how men should be allowed a harem (basically saying you are no use to me, I wish I could fuck someone else). No thought to my needs for emotional closeness or cuddles with no pressure to have sex. None. No thoughts like Jeez, my wife is absolutely exhausted and falls asleep in the car any time we drive further than a couple of miles, what can I do to help her.

After I became mentally ill, the pressure to have sex stopped, thank god. I assumed he was masturbating, which I have no issue with and I guessed he was probably using porn, which I do have an issue with, and he knows it, but I was in no position to address the issue. Sometimes, getting through the day was a struggle enough.

Anyway, DC1 now has access to the laptop, so we put parental controls on the broadband a while back and it blocks dodgy stuff on any devices using the wifi. It is my email address which is the log in for the providers website and I started getting emails telling me that my parental web controls had been changed. Always when I was out, always in pairs around half an hour to an hour apart, presumably the controls being switched off then back on again. No prizes for guessing why they were being changed.

This went on for a while and I changed the password with the broadband provider and also my email password so that he couldn't change the controls. I thought it might prompt a conversation if he asked me what the password was. We are normally open with all our passwords etc and it was out of character for me to change them without telling him, but nothing from him asking why.

So, last night, I left the house to go to my usual thing I do on a Tuesday. The kids were both away on sleepovers. I got as far as the car then realised I had forgotten to bring a letter that I was going to post and went back to the house a few seconds later for it, only to find the door locked which was a total giveaway. I had left my email open on the laptop by mistake and it later turned out that he was straight in there resetting the password with the broadband provider so he could change the parental controls. And of course when I arrived where I was going, I saw there was an email on my phone confirming that the settings had been changed.

I am finally well and I have now got the mental strength and physical energy to deal with this, so when I got in (late) I went through his wallet, his email account, his facebook, his other email account. I picked up his phone and had a look through that. Nothing to be found other than some dodgy looking spam email which had been deleted, unread. I get spam for viagra and hot chicks looking for sex and all that, so I know that it happens innocently. I am the named account holder for both our mobiles and I have full access to the details of his calls and texts. Again, nothing.

My issue is that I have no idea what he has been doing while the parental controls are switched off. It could be "just" some porn, or it could be sex chats or web camming or hook up sites or anything. I've been on here long enough to know what some blokes are capable of. Secret email addresses, secret credit cards, affairs, prostitues etc etc. Like I say, I am not naive about what can be going on right under the wife's nose.

Anyway, he woke up when I picked up his phone so I had it out with him. He lied at first saying he was on a facebook group from when he was in the military (he was, and is on 3 such groups) and sometimes there were dodgy videos on there that he needed to switch the controls off to see. I had already looked through the groups on his facebook account and there is some nudity and stuff, but I saw nothing posted in the last 2 years that would be blocked.

But, it was a red rag to a bull for me. He lied. I know that they lie then minimise. It is the script.

I gave him the opportunity to tell all and said in no uncertain terms that he had better explain everything because if I find anything else that you have failed to mention then it is over.

He said he had "only" been looking at some normal porn and definitely nothing dodgy or illegal. I asked what constituted "normal porn" and he said lesbian sex, only free stuff, he'd never paid for anything online etc etc.

All our bank accounts are held jointly, we go through them regularly together and there have never been any suspicious transactions or withdrawals of cash that can't be explained, or even a tenner here and there that could be stashed. His salary is paid straight in every month and I see his payslips and P60 when I do the tax figures and deal with all the admin. I am at home during the day and there has never been any mail or anything else that has ever made me suspicious. There are two women at his work, the rest are men. One is gay and the other is a lot older than him, so I really don't think there's anything going on there. I've met all his colleagues.

He struggles with neck and shoulder pain and has been a couple of time for a Thai massage which he agreed doesn't look good. But, I have seen the payments leaving the bank account and there is nothing I can find anywhere on Google to suggest that this place is anything other than legitimate. Unless I am looking in the wrong places!

He says he only looks on his phone, never on any of the other devices that the kids can use, and of course with private browsing, there is no history to be found anyway.

He probably is telling the truth, but I have no way of knowing 100% what he's up to. The fact that he didn't even twig that I was getting emails every time he changed the controls kind of tells me that he would probably be shit at hiding things if there was anything going on. But again, I have the niggle from what I have read on here over the years and I know I would be foolish and naive to trust him 100%

Did I overreact and what do we do now?

Jan45 Wed 08-Jul-15 13:10:39

Nope you didn't over-react, from what you say, he's completely unsupportive of your needs, not good news for a life partner. Seems you are living separate lives, where his involves some kind of sex, whether watching, taking part or meeting up, I don't know either.

He clearly wants a sexual relationship, if you do two, I'd suggest you both sit down and discuss how you can achieve this, if you don't, and he does, you'd be better splitting up, I know I couldn't live like this, it's all the sneaking around that would bring me down.

Fearless91 Wed 08-Jul-15 13:16:05

I'm sorry you're going through all this.

But I'm also sorry but I think you're over reacting.

Before going into reasons why you don't have sex, if you two aren't sleeping together I don't see the problem with him "releasing" himself by looking at porn. And I think as long as it's legal, it doesn't really matter what porn it is?

I don't think him looking at porn is the issue here.
It's the lack of trust/communication/sex life that are the issues.

Have you ever sat down and told him what you need from him?
Explain to him if he made you feel better and helped you out emotionally then you would feel in the mood for sex? You would actually want to have sex?

Also, his comment about men being able to have a harem, are you sure he wasn't joking? Or being sarcastic? I've never known a man to actually think that..

Another thing - you both share bank accounts and go through everything together which is great, but why was it only you who had access to the parental controls?? And why did you change the password? To be honest I think that's unfair..

If there's no sex (for whatever reason) I don't blame him for watching porn. And as long as he puts the parental controls on properly afterwards, I don't see the harm? But for there to be a none existent sex life, and for you to then change the password and email for the parental controls so therefore trying to prevent him from watching porn, I find that quite unfair.

You both need to communicate massively!

ToTrustOrNot Wed 08-Jul-15 13:25:34

Fearless you seriously think I haven't tried to talk to him about this before now? I have explained what I would like and need umpteen times over the years, but he either doesn't get it, or he chooses to ignore it.

The issue with the porn is that we have discussed it before, he knows I don't like it (your views on porn are irrelevant here) but he sneaks around doing it anyway.

I had access to the parental controls because there is only one email account linked to the broadband provider and it happened to be mine because I deal with all the admin stuff.

And no, he bloody well was not joking about the harem.

Stubbed Wed 08-Jul-15 13:26:55

Yes you are over reacting I think.

What do you want from him? He doesn't appear to behaving an affair - and you don't want sex - what else can he do? You have no evidence that he's doing anything illegal.

Book a weekend away, without the children, spend some time together & decide if you want to have sex together?

ImperialBlether Wed 08-Jul-15 13:30:14

The thing is, OP, your husband thinks your views on porn are irrelevant. He wants to be able to access it and tries again and again. Tbh I would be furious if my husband put parental controls on the internet to stop me looking at anything. You are treating him like a child when you do that.

I'd be more worried about the massage tbh.

ToTrustOrNot Wed 08-Jul-15 13:32:49

Imperial it was him that put the controls on in the first place to stop DC1 accessing anything dodgy accidentally.

HappyGirlNow Wed 08-Jul-15 13:32:53


You are acting like his mum. Odd dynamic.

You feel he's been unsupportive, and maybe he feels he's tolerated a lot over the past few years. Doesn't sound like much fun for either of you tbh.

ToTrustOrNot Wed 08-Jul-15 13:34:17

Acting like his mum????

Please explain

HappyGirlNow Wed 08-Jul-15 13:44:43

Deliberately stopping him changing settings, policing him, raking through all his things...

ToTrustOrNot Wed 08-Jul-15 13:49:27

Looking for evidence is the standard advice on here if there are any suspicions.

Screen shots, forwarding yourself copies of the emails etc before they get deleted.

Do you not read the relationship boards? Why is it ok on other threads, but not this one?

Gilbert yes, the massage is worrying. I know their website is not going to advertise anything dodgy, but there really is nothing I can find anywhere to suggest it is.

DorisDazzler Wed 08-Jul-15 13:49:31

I think this could have been an opportunity to talk honestly about the state of your marriage. Instead you've shamed him and immediately assumed he was having an affair. Regardless of your feelings about porn , it's sad that he masturbates secretly to a machine. It also sounds like you've not forgiven him for not supporting you when you were ill.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Wed 08-Jul-15 13:53:27

I'm sorry that you've been ill, OP. It puts a lot of strain on your body and it must also have put a strain on your whole family, it always does when a family member is long-term ill. You say that your husband physically stepped up, which is good to hear, but that he didn't meet your needs emotionally. Did you have a conversation about this, about how both of your emotional needs would be met?

Regarding the porn; you have a problem with it, he doesn't. It sounds as if you have a decision to make. He is entitled to look at porn if he wants to, you are entitled not to like it. The imposed sex-ban, necessary as it was, didn't mean that you weren't both able (presumably) as a couple, to discuss emotional needs and his physical needs (if not yours).

Regarding the passwords, you are not the 'boss'. He put in the parental controls to safeguard your children from harm and that is a good thing, you would have done the same. He is the other adult in the family and is at liberty to change the controls for his purposes, he changes them straight back again. You're being a bit controlling with the passwords - give him the password and don't change it again. Speak to him about porn again if you want to but bear in mind that he has free will as do you.

I hope that you can spend some time together as a couple, as suggested, because it sounds as if the illness has taken a heavy toll on your relationship as a couple. It is always about the couple, ie. two people, not just one and this is what needs addressing now. If you can't bring yourself to discuss with him the way forward and make changes, then be honest about it and plan to separate in a way that will have the least impact to your children.

A man with his sense of entitlement about sex, it's not going to seem too far out of character for something else to happen; also, are there no massage facilities at the gym?

I feel for you. He could have spent this time helping you out and investing his energies in your marriage. Perhaps you'd have energy for the sexual side of marriage, if you felt the love was there on his part.

BlueBlueSea Wed 08-Jul-15 13:59:28

I also think you have over reacted.

I understand that you have had a really tough few years and you do not feel that he has been supportive.

Though this is a different issue, you have demanded to know what he is doing in his private time on the internet, gone through his phone and checked what he is spending his money on. I would not treat my teenager like that.

You may not agree with porn and want him to undersatnd that and not use it, but why can he not have his own opinion and you respect that too.

You need to talk openly to each other and appreciate that you are both entitled to privacy and a sex life.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Wed 08-Jul-15 13:59:35

Doesn't that also work the other way around, Gilbert, them being a couple?

GummyBunting Wed 08-Jul-15 14:04:52

To answer your immediate question, yes I think you overreacted.

Regarding the porn issue, my sypathies are with your husband. He can't have sex with his wife, he isn't cheating, he needs something. He's trying to scrape together a little bit of a sex life by using porn... he's somewhat between a rock and a hard place. As an above poster said, he's entitled to use it, you don't have to like it.

Bigger picture, he is acting like a bit of a twat.

PeppermintPasty Wed 08-Jul-15 14:05:28

What do you want to do now? The issues you have with him seem to run deeper than parental controls and access to porn. Do you see yourself staying with him?

But the OP has been mentally and physically ill, LyingWitch. I don't think she's been an evil sex-withholder.

Jan45 Wed 08-Jul-15 14:06:59

I think the whole situation just highlights the massive divide that is between the two of you, don't get me wrong, if my partner was not there for me emotionally, I would seriously question the whole relationship, esp if he was hounding me for sex and going in a huff, I can totally see why you have got to this stage OP, he's kind of made it that way when he's changing controls the minute you leave the house.

ToTrustOrNot Wed 08-Jul-15 14:09:30

Do I see myself staying with him?

I don't know.

There has been more than one occasion in the past where I wanted to leave but remember I was in no fit state to do so. When I say I was mentally ill, I am not talking "a bit of depression" (not to minimise depression), but serious illness which was bad enough for me to be sectioned, although thankfully, I wasn't.

I really do feel that his lack of emotional support contributed to my illness somewhat. Or possibly a lot more than somewhat.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Wed 08-Jul-15 14:10:42

I didn't say she had, Gilbert, what an odd and diverting thing to say.

onereminder Wed 08-Jul-15 14:13:45

No sex. But no porn.

You're treating him like a eunuch.

And yes, I do think YABU.

Perhaps you could explain what you meant then? Sorry if you thought what I said was "odd and diverting", I was reacting to the posts I'd just read directly under yours, which effectively said it's no wonder he's looking elsewhere, poor man etc.

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