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Are they having an affair?(189 Posts)
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I find myself in a difficult and lonely predicament and hope that the Mumsnet community can advise me.
My husband, who I will call Mark, and I have five children. The oldest - a boy - is 18 and due to leave home for university in September. The others are girls aged between 4 and 10. My parents are no longer living and I am an only child, so my husband and children are my only family.
Mark is a successful professional and provides a very comfortable lifestyle for his family. We have been married for 20 years and I have not worked since the birth of my son nearly 19 years ago.
Two years ago we moved from our home in London to a beautiful lochside house in a remote rural area of the Scottish Highlands. Mark works from home most of the time, normally visiting London on business two or three times a year.
Until recently, I was happier than I have ever been and considered myself most fortunate. Our home and lifestyle seemed perfect. I work hard to make a lovely and comfortable home and to keep myself as attractive as possible for Mark. I am in my early forties and realise the importance of not letting myself go. I am a slender size 10 and always ensure that my hair and makeup are perfect.
Mark is the love of my life and we and the children are such a close-knit unit that we have never felt a need for friends outside the family. Apart, that is, from the friend I will call Gina.
Gina and I have been friends since we were in primary school. She and I were together when I met Mark and for a few years she dated one of his friends. Gina still lives in London, but has stayed with us in our new home twice since we moved here. She is the same age as me and although quite pretty, she is a stone or two over weight. I have never considered her a rival for Mark's affection.
The last time Gina visited, she was due to stay for a week, but ended up staying for two weeks. On the last evening of her stay, I observed Mark and Gina by the loch in what appeared to be an intimate embrace. Neither of them is aware of what I saw.
Since that evening I have been in despair. I keep trying to convince myself that what I saw meant nothing. However, in the five months since Gina returned to London, Mark has been 'away on business' six times. Sometimes he has been away for more than a week.
I dare not confront either of them with my suspicions, but I am terrified every time he goes away that he won't come back. I am so afraid of losing him that I am even prepared to turn a blind eye to his infidelity if I have to. I am afraid that if I confront Mark he will leave me for good.
When he is at home he is his usual self, a loving and thoughtful husband and father.
Please tell me what I should do.
I'm sorry you're going through such a hard time. For your own peace of mind, you need to ask him.
I didn't want you to go unanswered.
Unfortunately, sometimes relationships fail no matter how hard we try or how much we don't want them too. You can't make someone stay with you, and someone can't make you stay with them.
That said, the "intimate embrace" could have been something totally innocent. Perhaps while looking out at the loch she expressed an emotion that made her sad and he offered her a hug of comfort. Or perhaps he mentioned something that was stressing him out and she's helping him. Maybe he's planning something as a surprise for the family and she was so happy she hugged him...
If you are going to turn a blind eye in the event of an affair, does whether he's having one or not really matter? Or would you mean you'd be okay with an open marriage?
You've got a few options to address it with him:
1. wow you've been away for work lately, what's going on at work?
2. "hey I forgot to ask, I saw you and Gina hugging last time she was here, what was up with that? Looked pretty intimate [laugh]!".
3. "With you and Gina hugging out on the cliff last time she was here and you going away to work more than you ever have, I almost feel like I should be suspicious something is going on between you two! [laugh] but seriously, what's the deal? She okay? Work okay?"
4. "I'm feeling really insecure about how much you're at work given the intimate embrace I witnessed between you and Gina. I didn't want to mention anything because I feel foolish but I felt I needed to be honest with you. What's going on? What's changed at work? Or is there something I need to be concerned about? I've never had a reason to feel insecure in our relationship before but I really have no idea why you're away so often lately or why you hugged her so, rightly or wrongly, I need some reassurance from you.
I'd do #4 myself simply because it's the most honest and there's no game playing.
When I had my suspicions, which were denied. I finally wrote H a long letter, all my thoughts and feelings, and my suspicions. He admitted what had been going on.
What was this 'intimate embrace?' A hug, a kiss, a touch?
I agree that sykadelic' s #4 is the way to go.
Have you asked him his reasons for working away so much more lately?
Your gut isn't often wrong and you obviously know this man well.
You being a slender size 10 with perfect hair and make up and her being a stone or two overweight (although quite pretty) is irrelevant.
You need to speak to him about it, your only alternative is to stick your head in the stand and ignore it and that's not working for you.
You need some friends and to have more going on in your life than just what you look like regardless of whether he is having an affair or not.
They might not be having an affair. After 20 years, your husband and your best friend may well have a friendship of their own and hugs are allowed in that.
But his working away pattern has changed and you have suspicions, I don't think you have a choice but to speak to him.
I'd be suspicious too, given what you have described. I'd speak to him.
And the #4 option I think is good too, honest, direct but non accusatory...
Oh, hon. You sound so powerless. And deluded. Do people really still think like that?!? Didn't the "elegant and fragrant" Mary Archer chumpiness not teach people anything?
Cheaters will cheat with Godzilla if they want to.
I'd say don't confront him. Go through financials, gird your self for an upcoming battle.Then decide what you want, from a position of strength.
Don't say anything yet.
I would look for concrete evidence first. His phone, his emails, receipts etc.
Then, if you gather any proof, talk to a solicitor first. Get yourself prepared financially.
Then leave him.
But, your story hasn't totally convinced me he's having an affair.
Where are the children?
At the lovely lochside house with lush gardens and fabulous views?
It sounds like you have a lovely life and you sound like a lovely wife but it must be exhausting to have to put on a "show" for your husband in fear of losing him. I love having nice hair and makeup but that's for me and my confidence, not for hubby. Do you and your family to have NO friends? That's a little concerning to me, I don't have a huge amount of friends but the ones I do have are as dear and important to me as family. I hope I don't sound mean or judgemental, the comments above are from a concerned place. If you're happy with your set up (apart from the suspicions of DH's infidelity) then ignore me and tell me to mind my own business. Regards the suspicions I would just ask him. You've been married for long enough to be frank and honest with him. Could you suggest going to London with him next time as a "I would quite like to visit my old town" scenario? Or would that not appropriate??
You have to ask him for your own sanity so be honest and be direct.
Must say, I agree with Preemptive
This also reads like an 1850's drama & without sounding harsh, you need to wake up & smell the coffee. What was this 'embrace'? And the fact a woman is overweight by a stone, will not take her off of a cheats radar, if that is what he is. You need to confront him
Or you can try and put some weight on and tousle up your locks, just a bit.
Mark will either run away screaming or will ravish you in a passionate manner, so then you will know he's having an affair with the oversight hussy Gina.
But what will you do? Having awaken the passion you will have to fight for him!
Wow... Someone people can be terribly sarcastic and unhelpful. I thought the whole point of commenting here was to offer help, support & advice rather than just be catty. OP I think you should just confront your husband and tell him what you saw. Mention the fact you have noticed more trips of late - did your friend stay and extra week at your request?!
Don't tea the piss. I think op has written this really well and has put the attractiveness/stone overweight thing as a way to reassure herself and us that it's not her 'fault', she's not become a 'frump' and driven him away. All bullshit sexist claptrap of course but who hasn't thought and felt all that? It doesn't take much insight to see why the op has written it so give her a break.
Op, ignoring this is like ignoring a fire raging in your living room. You must say something for your own good, your own self esteem. Personally I would try to arrange a weekend away with your h and immediately after a weekend away without him. On the weekend with him, talk. Up to you if you bring up the affair but I would. I'd also make sure it was in the context of a wider chat about your marriage and yourself. Are you happy? Is he? I would simply say "of course I know you're not happy, that's why things have got as far as they have with Gina" and leave it with him.
Then, regroup. Are you fulfilled? Happy?
I'd suggest two things. Stop being as shallow as a puddle & don't give up your day job to be a writer.
Wtf^^ what the heck has the OP done that's so wrong? Described her life?
Lots of jealous posters about at the moment who can't handle the idea that other people have money and a nice life. One thread the other day went batshit when op admitted she had a cleaner and shock! A day a week TO HERSELF! Wind your neck in nasty gang - this is relationships. Not a chance for you to type a spiteful comment then eff off. Bitch plop I believe is the term. Verb: As in "Extrahotlattetogo went on a thread, bitch plopped and then left"
You "observed" your husband in an "intimate embrace" but didn't mention it to him?
No need to agonise over what to say. You say "Right I saw you hugging Gina at the lake. Coupled with all your business trips lately, what's the deal?"
If this is real, don't be a mug.
Oh and a stone overweight isn't much you know. Perfect hair, figure and makeup isn't everything.
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