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Husband and female friends

(91 Posts)
SmilingSadLady Mon 11-Apr-16 15:24:05

I've name changed for this. Been around a while, had a lot of support in a difficult pregnancy and a couple of people from that board know me in real life. This is a long post. It's helpful just to write it all out sometimes.

My husband and I have been together for 4 years and have two children. At the very beginning of our relationship, he lied about contact with an ex-girlfriend. I rang him one evening and he said he was on the tube, but his voice didn’t sound right and at that time phone reception underground was awful, there was no wifi at stations, so I thought he was being dishonest. I then found out through Facebook, that he, together with several other people, had dinner with his ex girlfriend who was only in the country briefly. She had called him on a previous visit when he was at my home, asking to meet him and he said no. He admitted he had been out with her and a group of people but said he lied to avoid upsetting me. He then subsequently omitted to tell me about other female friends and would arrange to meet for lunch without telling me. I told him early on that I expected to be introduced to his friends and that it was the secrecy and lying (eg simply not mentioning it or saying he is somewhere else) that I find hurtful. The ex-girlfriend and I later met and she is very likeable.

We hit a rough patch in our marriage when I was pregnant with our second child and it has only recently started to improve. Two big stressors were his unemployment and my postnatal depression. I felt unable to have a proper break from work (I am self-employed) after our child was born and ended up doing work that was very stressful and often distressing which I am sure made things worse in terms of recovering. I resented him for putting us in this situation, even though it is not all his fault. I also felt very upset over the state of our sex life, which was really difficult to have a conversation about. In essence, he lost interest in me when I was pregnant and after months of trying to rekindle something, I just gave up as well.

About six weeks ago I had a sense he was keeping something from me and asked several times. He denied anything. I then found out that he was secretly watching porn on his computer. I know a lot of men do this but I had previously discovered porn, told him how I felt about it and he promised not to do it again. I also discovered that he is having lots of conversations with another female friend. He was at university with her and they have a lot of common interests. I have never been completely convinced that he isn't romantically interested in her. When we were first together, I accidentally found a present he bought for her birthday and a card which he hid from me, instead of just leaving where we'd leave things to take to the post office and his furtiveness made me suspicious. She is young and attractive and has been depressed recently. I found out that on several occassions he has sent us the same photgraph, of a lovely view, of something lovely he has seen on a walk, but with different messages. My perception was that messages to her are usually warmer than the ones to me. He also sent her a message on Valentine’s Day, sending ‘love and light’. He signs all his texts to her ‘with love and light’. The tone is friendly but they often seem romantic (not sexual) to me. I have some male friends, a couple are close confidantes and I wouldn't send them messages of love on Valentine's Day or send them texts about how beautiful the moon is.

Right at the beginning of our relationship, we had a conversation about the type of messages I would and wouldn't find acceptable. He had lied about seeing another female friend and told me he was meeting 'people' he used to work with. After meeting the friend, singular, female, he sent her a message saying how stunning she looked, what a head turner etc and I said, look, if you are going out with me, that isn't really on.

After my recent discovery, I confronted him about the porn and about the messages. He said the female friend was ‘vulnerable’ and had been unwell and he was supporting her. I found out too that he speaks to her on Skype regularly with our youngest child. We are often both at home at the same time and have computers in a shared study. He has never called her on Skype or mentioned calling her, even in passing, when I am at home.

To complicate it (in my mind) this friend is a godmother to our youngest child. She didn’t attend the christening because of her mental health issues, but wrote saying she was pleased to be involved in our tradition, even though she has no religious beliefs. I was totally blown away by this. We are church goers and faith is an important part of our lives. I have some very good friends who I consider important role models in my children’s lives but who I would not have asked to be godparents because of their different faiths or none. I felt very upset when I found this out and thought it was more about their friendship that about our child and I felt weirdly excluded.

I have had some problems with my physical health and am having some investigations to see if I might be having a premature menopause. It’s been quite tough and last week there was a day when I felt really unwell. On that particular day, my husband took the dog for a walk and then said he wasn’t able to come out with me because he had some work to do. Today I discovered that he was phoning his female friend from the dog walk and Skyping her, ‘to support her’ while I was feeling like shit and running errands. He completely omitted to tell me that he had been in touch with her.

To put it in context, we were both married before. His marriage split up because his affair (the same ex-girlfriend he met for dinner secretly at the beginning of our relationship), was discovered. My ex-husband and I speak perhaps a couple of times each year. Last week, the husband of a mutual friend died unexpectedly and I contacted him to tell him. I mentioned it to my husband and also told him I had emailed my ex-husband some contact details. I feel I make efforts to be transparent and give him no reason to distrust me.

This morning I told him I was cross he lied to me last week. I feel annoyed because we have been paying for additional childcare, so that he can fill in job applications without having to look after the children. It pisses me off that he then uses this time to watch porn or send romantic sounding messages ‘I send you the stars’ to female friends. He told me that he and this friend have 'always' sent each other messages like that and told me I could read them all. I don't want to read them. I want to be able to trust him and I don't want my husband to send romantic sounding messages to other women and have secret conversations with them.

I have what therapists would probably call 'trust issues'. My father was (is) a compulsive liar and when I was growing up often lied to me, to others in front of me and often told me I was lying when I wasn't. I was also lied to in quite an extreme way in a significant relationship as an adult, when my partner seriously misrepresented himself and almost everything he had told me about himself turned out to be a fabrication.

Am I over reacting? I feel betrayed and hurt, again and I just want to sound a few people out.

Jan45 Mon 11-Apr-16 15:41:12

I gave up after your third para, the man is a serial cheat and not to be trusted, no matter how many times you tell him he still carries on like some kind of Lethario.

His nerve is actually jaw dropping, this is not a marriage OP, it's not even an equal relationship, it's totally fucked up and all in his favour.

Up to you, but I'd not be sticking around for the next revelation, there are men out there who don't do this and are trustworthy, he sure isn't.

huskylover Mon 11-Apr-16 15:44:27

You're not over reacting. I would hit the bloody roof! He sounds like my ExH. You'll spend the rest of your life looking over your shoulder. I would tell him you're not happy, you feel he is over invested in female friends and ask him to move out. If that doesn't shake him out of this, nothing will. You don't even have to mean it. Try to shock some sense in to him.

Mishaps Mon 11-Apr-16 15:47:12

If a couple cannot trust each other then there is no real relationship. Do not let him make you fel that the absence of trust is due to some sort of failing in you (I an sure that will be how he will try to read it) - your absence of trust is because he is behaving in an untrustworthy way.

hellsbellsmelons Mon 11-Apr-16 15:51:12

He's a liar and cheat.
Put up with it or get away from the scumbag.
Up to you!

rumred Mon 11-Apr-16 15:52:01

He's playing a game. Testing the waters with various women and staying just the right side of inappropriate. Only just. He's got form too. No wonder you're uncomfortable. Sounds awful for you.

AgathaF Mon 11-Apr-16 15:58:41

That all sounds like a whole lot of hard work. Is he worth it?

SmilingSadLady Mon 11-Apr-16 16:03:28

Thank you everyone. It is really reassuring to know it is not an overreaction on my part. I am not sure AgathaF. We are good friends and apart from this, our relationship is better than it has been in a long, long time.

I do feel the relationship is skewed in his favour, but maybe that is just from my perspective. It is hard work, far harder than I think it ought to be and I am just so sad that this keeps happening and that he can't see why I am upset.

Buzzardbird Mon 11-Apr-16 16:06:50

I just don't think I could be bothered with him. He sounds like a sleaze who goes for vulnerable women and ex's because he thinks he has a chance with them.

What on earth did he settle down for if he likes the thrill of the chase so much?

Too much hard work OP

Jan45 Mon 11-Apr-16 16:07:49

No not just from your perspective, we can all see it too OP, he's no good.

Joysmum Mon 11-Apr-16 16:10:17

You don't have trust issues, you have a man who isn't worthy of trust. Big difference!

SmilingSadLady Mon 11-Apr-16 16:10:55

He does seem to like the thrill of the chase and does seem to want to 'look after' people. I don't think that there is anything physical going on with anyone else. The woman he Skypes (the godmother) is in another country. I just hate the emotional intimacy, especially as we have really lacked closeness for a long time and it just seems to be coming back. It is as if he has to undermine any closeness we have by behaving like this and then blaming me for overreacting.

Joysmum Mon 11-Apr-16 16:14:22

He isn't looking after your feelings with his behaviour and his behaviour is so important to him that he rather lie than think about you.

He's not worthy of your trust.

To put this in context, I'd NEVER willingly continue with any behaviour that upset my DH because if he hurts, I hurt.

SmilingSadLady Mon 11-Apr-16 16:19:30

Thanks Joysmum. It is the first time in a long time I haven't thought it was my fault for being too suspicious. Whenever I get upset and angry, he says 'we are not feeling well again. You are being irrational.' I have stopped showing how hurt I am after a terrible argument when he screamed at me to take medication. Mostly I focus on the good times but I wish we could talk openly and that he would behave in ways that are respectful.

AnyFucker Mon 11-Apr-16 16:20:11

You have "trust issues" because your partner is not trustworthy

As I read that complete catalogue and deceit and pisstaking I began to wonder why anyone would stick around to be made a fool out of

He is having a series of emotional affairs and making it quite clear you are bottom of the pile where his affections and consideration lie. He has devalued you in his eyes and that will not ever recover, I am afraid

NeckingtheNightNurse Mon 11-Apr-16 16:21:58

Yes that all seems too much secrecy and that must feel painful. If he is lying then he is hiding things. How would he feel if you had done any one of these things ?

hellsbellsmelons Mon 11-Apr-16 16:24:10

Oh good grief you latest update is not good.
Please don't put up with this.
So whenever you disagree you are the 'crazy lady'!!!??
Charming. They all say this to deflect from their actions.
Do NOT listen to this.
It's a crappy, manipulative, misogynistic thing to say.
You have basically confirmed, right there, exactly what your 'D'H is actually like!
He's a twat - get away!

SmilingSadLady Mon 11-Apr-16 16:26:27

Anyfucker you've put it well. I felt that it was all the intimacy and betrayal of an affair, with the secrecy and emotional distance but without the sex, which I suppose he gets from porn instead. It has seemed for a long time as if he is just not 'there' to have a relationship with, although recently it seemed to be getting better. I just don't want to be hurt over and over.

Necking I am not sure how he would feel if I had done these things. He thinks behaving like this is normal.

AnyFucker Mon 11-Apr-16 16:28:02

If he thinks behaving like this is "normal" he wouldn't lie about it

Unless he thinks everyone lies to their partner, in which case he is completely wrong

BolshierAryaStark Mon 11-Apr-16 16:29:59

Fuck me, got yourself a real prize there my love.
He's a cheat, it's that simple. I'd cut my losses if I were you & dump the twat.

SmilingSadLady Mon 11-Apr-16 16:34:35

hellsbellsmelons I agree. I would also say it is a misogynistic thing to say. Unfortunately I had been diagnosed with a mood disorder and had refused to take the medication prescribed. I also held down a highly responsible, pressured and very senior role, ran most of the household, kept an eye on our finances, do the bulk of the nurturing side of childcare, so I refuted that I was that ill. My belief was that I had postnatal depression and would have recovered faster with a break from relentless pressures. I couple of months ago, I became very suicidal, couldn't sleep and was scared I wouldn't live to see my children grow up, so thought 'fuck the money' and gave up the most stressful bit of work. I have other work, we won't be poor or lose our home and I literally count my blessings. Since stopping that particular bit of work, I feel much better, can sleep and am no longer depressed. But yes, if I disagree, I am crazy, not well, under pressure, not seeing it properly. If I have a view, he 'has to argue'.

SmilingSadLady Mon 11-Apr-16 16:35:38

Anyfucker he doesn't lie when I confront him. He lies (by omission) and that is really unsettling. He doesn't see anything wrong with 'inadvertently not mentioning' and leaving me with the wrong impression.

SmilingSadLady Mon 11-Apr-16 16:37:45

He says they have been friends for 12 years, so is this an emotional affair? I am still wondering if I am overreacting?

opensideno7 Mon 11-Apr-16 16:41:47

* I wouldn't send them messages of love on Valentine's Day or send them texts about how beautiful the moon is.*

I suspect he has given up interest in sex and he is clearly Gay!!

rumred Mon 11-Apr-16 16:45:48


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