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Paranoid - Something, or nothing?(2 Posts)
This is my first time posting on MN (although I've been reading for a while), so please go easy on me
Bit of background - Married to DH for 11yrs (together for 15), and we have DC's. The issue is that unfortunately DH has a bit of a history of f'ing up in the weeks/months post-baby. It started when our first was about 7mths old and I walked in on him watching porn, which resulted in me feeling really inadequate, unattractive, and basically put me in a bad place. He promised that he would never do it again after seeing how it had affected me.
Then, when our second was a few weeks old I saw a notification pop up on his phone of a Facebook message from another woman, seeming a bit overly familiar for my liking. Fueled by suspicion, I got in to his FB account and found that in messages to this woman he'd told her how 'hot' she was looking. She replied with something along the lines of 'I bet your wife would slap you for saying that', to which he replied 'just because I'm on a diet, doesn't mean I can't look at the menu'. I confronted him and he told me that it was just banter, that it meant nothing and he hadn't realised how she might have perceived it as anything more(!). It also transpired that she was an old secondary school friend who used to have a 'thing' for him back then, which just made him appear even more stupid for thinking that she wouldn't read more in to it (although I don't believe for a minute that he actually thought that, he must have known!). He was really sorry about it and on my request he messaged her to put things straight, and then unfriended her. The whole thing obviously caused more issues for me, but we worked through and got past it.
When our third was a few months old I just had a feeling that he was up to something, and it wasn't long before discovered that he'd been watching porn again, despite the promise he'd made previously (there was also more to it this time regarding the totally inappropriate times that he chose to look at it, but I don't want to go in to details). Again, this took me right back to feeling like shit basically.
I've forgiven these things, but certainly haven't forgotten, and now here I am a few weeks after giving birth for the fourth time, feeling paranoid and so, so anxious that history is going to repeat itself, and wondering what
I do/don't do it is that makes him do these shitty things when I'm feeling at my most vulnerable. I've dealt with my issues regarding him watching porn, so that isn't a problem for me any more, it's the worry of him embarking on so called 'banter', with someone else
I have actually discovered something on FB again, but it's from 2 1/2yrs ago and may or may not mean anything. It's messages between him and a female work colleague, a very short conversation they had one evening, initiated by her, about nothing at all really. It seems innocent enough at that point, but then she sends him a message the following morning saying 'hey hot stuff!' and this is what I'm not comfortable with. Am I reading too much in to it? Could it actually be harmless 'banter' between colleagues/friends, or is it more likely to be what I fear it is, which is her making moves on my man? He never replied to her as far as I can tell, but I'm not sure if that means anything when they would have had other means of communication through work (mobile, email, and obviously face to face).
Despite him being almost permanently attached to his personal mobile, I have manage to sneak the odd peek at it and nothing looks suspicious there. His work mobile has a password and I don't know what it is (I tried a couple of his standard go to passwords without luck), and there are no other clues/reasons to think that anything could be going on now. I've tried thinking back to 2 1/2yrs ago, but can't recall anything significant that could point to something having gone on at that time. So, all I have is that one comment from this woman to go on, and surely he would have deleted it if it was incriminating, especially after what happened previously, so maybe that's a good sign that he ignored her advances, if that's even what it was? I'm so confused and just don't know what to do. Do I just admit to having snooped (again) and tell him what I've seen and see what he has to say, or do I just try to forget about it, as I don't have anything else to suggest that it was anything but innocent or that he actually responded to her advances?
I know that all of this makes him sound like a complete twunt, but he really isn't, he's made mistakes in the past and he knows he has and is really sorry and remorseful about them, and other than the above he is an amazing Husband and Dad, which is what makes this so difficult.
Thanks in advance for any words of wisdom.
This is tricky because, you're right, he does sound a but twunty here. A bit of an office flirt - a bit...lairy if you like? Obviously there is absolutely nothing here to indicate he has been unfaithful to you but I think it's worth thinking about a few things.
What sort of person is he, that he comments on other women's photos online with the fact she's 'hot'. I don't mind if guys do that who are single, it's fair enough flirting online, and in real life, but someone married did it I'd think they were a real sleaze. Why is that different for him, in your eyes? What is his personality like? Who are his friends?
Secondly, he broke a promise to you. This is important. Was he unrealistic in what he promised and ignorant? Or did he just not care? One is stupid, one is selfish, they are different. Have you broken promises to him? How central is this wrecklessness in him for honesty/behaviour? There's the kind of guy who tried really hard but couldn't resist all the porn out there, and there's the kind of guy who just said it for an easy life.
And thirdly, why does he have a passcode on this other phone? And why have another phone at all ?
There may be good answers to all these. I do not believe any of what you say necessarily points to infidelity. But I think when people who do not generally struggle with jealousy issues (do you?) have hunches, they are really worth listening to. Without making you paranoid, I would suggest that you posting on a forum like this might mean you've read too many threads of others' or else something in you is alert to his character being vulnerable to this and your gut is warning you. The vast majority of infidelity is never discovered. So I think the main thing is to think quite hard about who this guy actually is, and what it is that's making you uncomfortable.
I am also concerned about your vulnerability right now, your self-blaming which is totally unfair and about you saying 'making moves on my man' etc. Considering you know nothing of their work relationship, how he presents himself and how he behaves, it is perfectly possible she was not making advances at all, or not the first person to make those advances. It is also 2 and a half years ago. There's a lot of blame going all sorts of places and an awful lot of defence of him already.
What's going on now, post-baby? and congratulations. It's sad this happy time has such bad memories for you.
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