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Paranoid spiralling or justified concern? Epic post.(29 Posts)
Sorry, this is going to be long and I'm quite prepared to be told I'm a paranoid harridan, but its all very real to me at the moment.
OH works away, and has just returned from a long stint. We have 2 kids who are very pleased to see him back (as am I, most of the time), but we got into an argument about his socialising a few weeks before he returned, and it has spiralled from there. Bearing in mind that when we had been together a few years he went away for a weekend with the intention of cheating (whether he did or not is still unresolved), I asked him if there was anything he wanted to tell me about when he got back. The answer, of course, was no.
I'm not proud of it, but I now have an unhealthy compulsion to check up on his phone/search history, etc, knowing full well that he uses an incognito browser and is quite capable of deleting anything at any time. Following a conversation about me needing reassurance because I'm obv still doubting over the weekend incident (which was many years ago), he told me that at that point he took a condom away with him because he didn't think the sex was very good at the time and thought he might get lucky, although he didn't pursue anyone and in fact didn't cheat in the end. I was hurt by this, as he hadn't mentioned anything at the time. So why wouldn't he do it again? For eg, after our first kid? Apparently, then he realised he was being selfish, and is now a changed person.
What worries me:
- his search history shows a search for tinder (yes, THAT one) at 3.30am, following a boozy party. He can't explain it, as he 'doesn't remember doing it'. The next day he had a story about being told someone he works with being on it, so maybe he checked because of that? When I told him I had 'found something' he thought it was 'scantily clad ladies'....which I actually haven't found.
- in a convo about what he did look at while away, he was really angry and adamant he wasn't going to show me. He did in the end but if he had told me the day before that he was going to be open and honest, why did he only show me after serious pushing? (it was gonewild on reddit, not the worst I could imagine!)
- he has a history of having one good female friendship wherever he works. The other evening a girl he works with messaged him at home ranting about a work colleague. The conversation continued with my input, though he said he didn't want to encourage her. While away they had a few long messaged convos, including her sending him pics of her cocktails (WTF?) and telling him she needed a massage. She also stole a pint glass he had admired at a bar, and left it in his room for him.
- the data usage on his phone shows data being used at odd times in the early morning or when we are asleep (?), he can't explain it, reckons its apps updating, although my phone doesnt update at that time, and I've never noticed it before. Not sure what to think about that.
- he had a new, private password on instagram (installed while away), which he 'couldn't remember' when asked. (We generally have the same shared group of passwords for stuff like that.)
- had an argument last night about the data usage, he told me to fuck off, as in somewhere else.
- pretty paranoid now that he's planning on leaving. And posting for advice on MN (!) I've compromised on life to let him get to the damn good position he's in. I'll have and be nothing if we split.
- don't really want to split up, but can't stand feeling like this, all he says is I can only trust him. I know he's going to be away again and I'm not sure if I can do this all over again.
What would you think? (He thinks no-one else would be worried about this stuff.) Any advice, please?
Even if he's not cheating, sounds like he isn't exactly trying to allay your fears. Question is whether you want to live your whole life like that.
No, mimi, I really don't. But I could be imagining things that aren't there and ruining (what has otherwise been, I thought) a good relationship. I know he would want to stay together for the kids (or does he?? see recent posts in relationships...)... so confused and wondering if I'm justified in my concerns, or just paranoidly accusing a decent (innocent) person. Although it's adding to my fears that he once said a long time ago that he may as well cheat, because I don't trust him anyway. Sadly,I did actually trust him until this whole thing blew up.
Op this is no way to live.
You sound like you eat, drinking and sleeper. Anxiety levels must be through the fuckin roof!
My marriage was like this and it's hellish. He is no good and you know it deep down. You are getting good evidence that he has or is intending to cheat.
Rip the plaster off and your anxiety will become relief.
It is so so hard to think clearly when you are being confused all the time.
He took a condom with home op! Say those words out loud and then repeat.
If he hasn't already, then he will.
I hope that doesn't nasty.
Thanks oddsocks. I really, really want to believe that I can trust him, and wanted to know how this would look to someone with a clear head. I guess you are saying that in my position (as it sounds, you have been), you'd be concerned also. May I ask If there was anything particular that resonated with you? I hope you have found peace and happiness after moving on .
Cross post there . I know, I know, it was a long time ago, denied doing anything. Apparently people can change, this he realised after our first child was born...
There must be plenty of ppl who would trust again after that first incident, can you believe they have 'seen the light' and are trustworthy subsequently? I imagine this takes a lot of work on my part, but don't know where we would start. Conversations obv go downhill rapidly....
Oh I've been there, for fifteen years!!
How I fuckin hate him now and I'm so sad that he gave him so many years of my life. I was with him from 21 to 35.
The thought of him makes me cringe!
The bit that resonated with me was when you said that you would have and be nothing without him.
Does he tell you that??
Does he make you some cons guess yourself with little comments?
I used to think I would never be able to be on my own with my kids.
Left him two years ago. I replay the look on his face when I told him it was over.
He had smacked me in the face with a laptop.
A couple of years before that he head butted me.
Before that he broke three of my ribs.
Before that he kicked the shit out of me in his mothers living room and I had carpet burns on my face.
The list goes on and on......
Leave op, you will be driven into the ground and you drive yourself crazy. This is a bad movie that plays again and again.
OMG oddsocks, that sounds awful! You def did the right thing getting out! Good on you.
OH has never been violent (apart from storming around a bit and kicking a dent in the kitchen bin (!) at some point after our first child was born). I don't think I have to be afraid of that, fortunately. On the other hand, I'm literally driving myself insane trying to 'prove' something...Previously it would all settle down when I couldn't find anything (apart from the secret porn viewing, nothing that bad though, lady pics)...for some reason its worse this time. The things he can't give an answer to are preying on my mind, I guess. Which makes me worse...
Oh, he doesn't talk me down either, I think he's very careful not to criticise or speak his mind, which is why the 'I did it because I thought the sex wasn't very good' comment stings. Surely he should have said something, but I'm not sure I can get him to say what he really thinks unless pushed pretty hard. Why? I don't know.
Listen to your gut op.
This kind of relationship is so fucked up! You are looking for something to prove because of his behaviour and admission that he was going to cheap. He is one step ahead of you op so covers his tracks.
And I think it's only a matter of time before he becomes violent towards you.
OP i can see why you are clearly confused, i had a partner that was very good at giving an answer that seemed satisfactory but inside there was always that little doubt, if i tried to explain things to friends etc sometimes they thought i was seeing something out of nothing, and of course it is so frustrating when you can see something in someone that others can't. Ask yourself this, and ask him why is he not always honest/forthcoming with his answers. Do you feel he's just saying what you want to hear? You said you both normally have the same password for sites so why is he having a different one that he apparently 'can't remember' If you have feelings something isn't right 9 × outta 10 your gut is right. When you talk to him make it clear that you don't want to argue but you have to get answers that you just want to know what he thinks about it. Put your worries back to him and say what would you think if i was doing this behaviour? Try just to get him to see it from your point of view. Good luck, hope you get something sorted & don't worry if your fears are confirmed, you'll get there if you decide to end he relationship because you shouldn't put up with this for next so long of your life. Your with more than that, and as your children grow up they'll see your unhappy also something i learnt while going through something similar is what example are we setting our DC but especially our daughters, we're telling them its okay to be treated badly from a partner
There are those who have trust issues, then there are those with partners that aren't worthy of trust that's the real issue.
Yours is the second. I'm not sure many could live like that for any length of time without it harming them
How can you trust him, he went away with a condom with the intention of cheating on you and said the sex wasn't good, I mean, what else does he need to do!
So, no, he's not trustworthy and you should expect a hell of a lot more than the lip service he is paying you.
Just to jump in OP with regard to the phone updating and data usage - my phone does actually do that and so does stbxh! - I have no idea why - does it at random hours through the night. I know that doesn't solve all the issues, but he is very likely to be telling the truth as far as that's concerned anyway.
This man is not your friend. He does not cherish you.
What he said about taking the condom to cheat as the sex wasn't good is unutterably cruel. He considers your feelings so little that he couldn't even be bothered to buy some at a shop if needed. He took them from home because he didn't care that you might find out - he probably loves playing with your mind with his little games and special female friends - keeps you on your toes and in his control and unhappy.
Thanks for your comments x
torn - good to know there may actually be a genuine reason for this!
adora/spooky - I know, I'm finding this really difficult to process. His reasoning is that is was so long ago, things change, so why is it affecting my thoughts now? We had a long discussion/ argument last night about various things, he genuinely doesn't think that he/his actions might seem secretive/dismissive/deflective etc. When I said that any woman finding a search for tinder in the early hours after a party while OH was working away would be concerned, he thought they would just think 'oh, what an idiot'....it's like we're seeing different things completely. I don't know if the initial incident has screwed my trust in everything else that has followed, every time I notice something that could be suspicious, I immediately think it is...(although I have had very long periods without being worried at all, before it's again triggered by something).
Update - he said he sat down with his (less drunk) friend who he was with that evening to work out why he'd searched for tinder...due to time zone difference he reckons it was only 00.30 when they were being driven back, the driver (a friend of his friend) had apparently met his wife on tinder, so they must have looked it up although he was so drunk he couldn't remember the discussion. See, completely plausible!
I honestly do not know if you have reasons for your paranoia, apart from the first incident, but it does sound like it is no way to live. Not pleasant for you and not pleasant for him.
Atenco, I totally agree. Most of the time things are fine, until something comes up which I think he should have been open about and wasn't...triggering the doubts, paranoia, etc. He knows how I feel about secrecy, but does not think there is a problem with anything which I find an issue. I'm not always having a go - he works in a field which is notoriously rife with bad behaviour and cheating, he has even told me about ppl he has worked closely with over the years behaving inappropriately. We've been together for 20 years, I have accidentally come across a few things over this time which triggered this paranoia, and therefore asked him if he has been cheating - maybe 3 times in that whole period?. If you asked him, he would say I'm always accusing him of something.
OP i do wonder if he really does think that different to you or he's just saying this so you aren't justified in what you are saying? Also think it would be different if his mate was telling him things - just exactly what you have been through with him - that he was experiencing in his relationship, would he be telling him aw that's nothing to worry about, your just paranoid!? Also mind people who do these things are normally very adept at playing mind games with you and being deceptive. I wouldn't want to say for certain oh something's going on but you had said you can be fine for a while and then something happens to make you think twice all over again, maybe that's because he is being deceptive then getting complacent with you because you haven't said anything or we.. Then when he's relaxed you pick up the changes and mention your thoughts and he's on the defensive all over again? Really hope you get something sorted. Second guessing yourself is no way to live 😔😔 x
Sorry doesn't seem to have changed but i was user146.. Yesterday. Do you mind if i ask what that field is?
He's in the Navy, has been away on quite a few long deployments over the past few years, also has spent most of the working weeks (and some weekends) away in the inbetween times. I know it's the nature of the job, but it's getting v hard to stomach lately, and I know loads of ppl go on about the weekends away of other partners...needless to say, I hardly ever know where my partner is, unless he calls and says at that precise time...
Although in his defence, when he is based at home, he doesn't go out in the evenings/weekends with friends...???
I had a relationship with this level of anxiety. The checking phones, doubting him etc. Stuff just did not add up & my gut instinct was screaming at me.
I've since gone on to meet someone where I have absolutely no desire to do any of that. And I realise that it had very little to do with my previous trust issues & everything to do with the fact that my ex just was not trustworthy - I could sense that & that's why I was so anxious all of the time.
You don't have to live with that, Op. The relief is enormous & it's hugely enlightening when you meet someone else & realise that you don't feel any of that with them.
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