Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Cheating, evidence and divorce...(28 Posts)
I’ll try to keep this as brief as possible, but its long sorry! DH and I have just “celebrated” our 8 year wedding anniversary. Been together for 10 years. From the start I was aware of his promiscuity in previous relationships (slept with 9 women with his first fiancé!) but he told me I was different blah blah, and being a naïve 20 year old I believed him.
We have a two year old son who took 3 years to conceive (me PCOS). It was me who pushed for a baby; DH wasn’t that fussed (in a nice “all I need is you” way) but now he is here he loves him and wouldn’t be without him.
The first signs of ‘cheating’ started within a year of our relationship. He accidently sent me a message and when I picked up my phone to read it, he smashed it up in front of me to stop me seeing it (first and last time he has ever been physical).
Then the year after I suspected he was contacting another women and managed to get access to his phone bills. Found evidence of hundreds of texts to a women who I knew he occasionally contacted. I confronted him and he passed it off as them chatting etc.
The next couple of years brought more suspicion and evidence of two more women – well, one was a 16 year old girl who he was secretly texting for a couple of weeks and deleting. He started texting her the day after my mum’s funeral – nice!
Every time I had that gut feeling something was wrong, I found something. After the last encounter (a women I didn’t know but he was texting 30+ times a day) I told him if I found anything again we were over.
A couple of years later when I was pregnant with my son, I had that “feeling” again that something wasn’t right….I ignored it. I’ve had that feeling on and off for 2 years. We’ve had a hard two years, our parenting approaches are quite different and we argue a lot (although that had been starting to improve).
Three weeks ago I gave into my instinct, found a number on his phone and synced my PC with his whatsapp (I’ve got to the point where I don’t care if it’s morally wrong I’m afraid!!). The messages started coming through and I think he met this women on a stag do abroad about 2 months ago (she lives a few hundred miles away). The messages have been graphic (mostly from her) but he’s gone along with it…apparently “she could really do with that hard f*cking” he was talking about a few weeks ago. When he came back from that stag do he wouldn’t have s*x with me for about 10days (claiming to have ‘tightness’ which he’s had in the past)…but I’m now thinking waiting for GUM results?!!
He’s such a good liar and very convincing. He’ll deny as much as he can and try to turn around anything he can on to me. So I’ve just downloaded some spyware to recover deleted messages from his phone and will attempt to download tonight. Then I’ll be confronting him. This is affecting me mentally and physically now (heart palpitations/constantly feeling sick). First time I've seen the actual messages. I can’t be in this relationship anymore but I’m held back by how divorce will affect my son. I just keep thinking that he’ll keep doing this and I don’t want to be here in another 10 years...also, how many more have there been!
You may read this and think “why didn’t you leave years ago” but in between this sh*t, things have been good (although not recently, think I’ve lost all respect for him and I’m not sure he ever had any for me).
Writing this has made me realise what a bl**dy mess I’m in!! But any thoughts would be appreciated. I haven’t spoken to anyone in real life about this yet and almost need reassurance that I’m not being ott by considering divorce?!
I’m held back by how divorce will affect my son
For the better. Especially as you have now clearly lost respect and love for your H. If you stay, your son will see you two sniping at each other, lying and sneaking around, and he'll think that's what relationships are like.
By leaving, you're showing your son that you don't stay in a relationship where you're not getting honesty and respect from the other person.
OP huge hugs. You know you're doing the right thing and yes it's sad that a family unit is being broken up but you cant live the rest of your life like this. Once the respect and trust has gone in a marriage it's time to end it. Im desperately trying myself to believe this as am going through similar...just very sad. Keep strong I keep saying to myself in my head...I can do this, I can do this for my children
If this is a pattern that keeps repeating, you don't think he can/will change (and most people don't) and you don't respect him any more, then why would you stay? Just the detail about him apparently grooming a 16 year old is enough of a deal breaker, much less the rest of it. You have a son, don't let him grow up thinking this is how women are to be treated
If you don't mean to stay with him, then gather evidence by all means (unreasonable behaviour is easier to prove than adultery from what I understand), but don't confront him. Get a good lawyer, understand your position, make your plans. Then once you're ready, tell him you're divorcing him. It shouldn't come as a huge shock, he knows he's not doing the right thing, he clearly just thinks he can hide it or bully you into agreeing that he hasn't done the wrong thing.
Don't be held back because of your son. You'll feel a big weight lifted when you stop worrying about his cheating.
He's a serial cheat and he doesn't plan on changing from what you've said.
Be careful he doesn't get violent when you confront him. Cheaters can do that when angry that you've rumbled them.
10 years from now the effect on your son could be worse. He's young and you should do it now.
Hi OP, similar situation here. I think you are doing the right thing for your son. If you think about it this way, if mummy is not constantly worried about what daddy is doing and having to check phones, etc (and I agree that morals are out the window when these things start, his morals went out before yours did!) and you can really spend that time focusing on being happy with your child and not worrying and having to watch out for your partner. He has done it repeatedly and he is the one that is putting your child through the divorce, not you. Take care, OP.
Oh I threw out my persistently cheating ex and it was a weight lifted and I am so much happier. And the dc have dealt with it all so well so far, and we genuinely have a better happier home without him.
And he is better off as well, as it turns out.
Right animal one there. Why is it women seem to attract bastards not so much you but the others involved?.
Best to get yourself to the GUM clinic, with that lot Christ alone knows what he's exposed himself, and you to. Next stop the solicitors.
He won't change so you either live like this or LTB. I know what I would choose, he sounds like a fuckwit. Good luck OP.
I agree, don't confront him. See a lawyer, make all your plans then tell him.
Thanks everyone for replying.
Interesting suggestions to not confront him and just make my plans. I've just booked a solicitor's appointment for Friday to understand my position and options.
My worry about not talking/confronting him is the longer term bitterness which I want to keep to a minimum. He will be annoyed that he has been caught, and this time with much more damning evidence! I suppose I should be the angry one (which I am!) but I'm much softer and to be honest sort of given up caring with regards to his behaviour. I want everything to be "amicable" as possible (if possible?!) with regards to our son. My son is closer to me as he is young and I've been his main caregiver, but I still to make sure he has a good relationship with his father.
In terms of timing we have a lot coming up - a 10 day holiday in Italy, then my son's birthday and then a big family (his side) wedding. I feel at the moment I'm struggling to keep going day to day so I don't think I can last until after that, or even pretend everything is ok. I suppose the coming months are going to be hard and there will always be "something".
With regards to GUM, I have had some recent gynae problems so luckily have recently been checked (GP ruling out infection) and all clear, but I will definitely have a recheck in the coming week, thanks.
A while ago a poster had a similar issue to you Wallace. A chronically adulterous spouse. A very interesting piece of advice given was to tell him that the marriage just wasn't working for her. That she could no longer see a future together. There's the door, good luck and you know yourself.
Serial cheaters are so up their own arses, they can't imagine that their partner wouldn't want them at all.
Could this work for you? Of course if you're divorcing for his behaviour you may need to mention it to your solicitor.
I'm not sure I understand why you want to confront him with evidence .
You know that's a serial adulterer. He's had many many chances to get himself sorted out. He won't ever do that , because he doesn't want to . He feels entitled to act the way he is.
Every time you " confront " him , he learns to hide it better.
What do you hope to gain from another confrontation ? Another promise that he won't do it again?
I think you have two options. Decide that you are happy to live like this , turn a blind eye to his cheating and never mention it again.
Or make plans to leave, put everything in place and then tell him what's happening.
However you do it, divorce will not be amicable. He will be OUTRAGED at your unreasonableness, your paranoia and your " deception " . He will call you controlling and suggest that you want to lock him up and stop him ever speaking to another woman. He will accuse you of breaking up the family and running your children's lives .
You need to understand that he feels COMPLETELY ENTITLED to behave the way he does. You can't change that about him . It's a core part of his belief system.
He might say " oh yes I'll stop " ,but he's just humouring you.
So you might as well decide what's going to happen and do it. He won't give you permission to divorce him . He won't agree that he's wrong and you are right.
Cancel the holiday, celebrate your son's birthday alone or with your family, and inform the bride and groom that due to recent changes in personal circumstances, you won't be attending the wedding. You're making excuses not to end the marriage! He can take one of his girlfriends as a plus one.
Well he's been cheating for 10 years, so I can't see why it's so urgent she needs to cancel a holiday . It's not an emergency .
I would rather eat my own kidney with a rusty spoon than go on holiday with an STD ridden
possibly cheating partner.
Cancel his bit of the holiday? Even if it costs money to cancel his ticket. In fact, don't tell he until you're at check in! Then tell him you know what's been going on, and you have swopped his ticket for a letter from your solicitor.
Seriously, I don't know why you're bothering with spyware etc. You know. Even if you can produce enough evidence to corner him he will lie and give reasons why it's your fault he strayed etc. Why put yourself through it? You know enough. Get your ducks lined up and move on.
You have my sympathies. He will never change and even when confronted with evidence he thinks he is entitled to bully you or lie.
He is not your friend but a devious selfish immature man who does not deserve you.
You must make plans to divorce him. You don't have to go on the holiday(he will probably be obviously texting other women) which will probably be too much and end in a showdown......abroad without your support system.
Been there done that and not recommended. Don't be afraid to take power and plan behind his back.
I'm sure he wont leave easily. They never do.
Anyway he sounds like an older man who thinks he is entitled to do what he wants. Let him.
You sound young and don't need this rubbish. LTB
Thanks again everyone. Some of your thoughts have really helped me see things clearer.
I suppose my slight obsession with gathering "evidence" is linked to my logical personality - I often need things to be in black and white to make a decision. But actually you are all right, he's only going to deny as much as he can and I can't be bothered looking anymore, its making me ill! I could find more "evidence" but I know I'd always wonder what else there was...and who else. I'm not going to put myself through it anymore, as someone said above - "I know".
So today I have called into work sick with "home-related stress". DH doesn't know. Got an appointment with doctor, it sounds dramatic I know but I need to get some help for the anxiety issues I've been having . About to call my sister to talk to her about what's going on. Found a solicitor who offer free advice on the phone (have a proper appointment Friday) so I can at least start to make a plan. I am supposed to be having early dinner with friends this evening, so I'm going to do that and then when I get home my son will be in bed and I will be telling DH that I know and what my plans are. Should be interesting.
Very tempting to cancel his bit of the holiday! He did pay for it though! :-D
Christ you are one switched on, methodical lady.
Are you absolutely sure you want to fill him in on your plans before you have seen your solicitor in person? It's just a thought, but I wondered if it might be better to do that first so that you have as much information as possible and he doesn't try to persuade you that you can't manage on your own/persuade you that you're wrong
I'm glad to hear that you are looking aftre yourself . But I think you've set yourself a rather right timescale - speak to lawyer today, have a plan and tell Dh later tonight.
You need to get all your paperwork together - that alone may take you all day. You need copies of everything to do with marital assets - house, mortage, pensions, life insurance , savings, debts, - for both of you.
List of other assets, such as significant jewellery .
Birth certificates , marriage certificates, passports, for you both and kids .
Get legal advice in person. Work out what you want . Do a budget for your new situation - can you get the mortgage in your own name or transfer the tenancy ? Have you checked what benefits you are entitled to or CTC?
Deal with bank and credit card companies . Change CT and apply for discount .
If you have to move, where will you go and what about kids school / nursery / childcare .
With the best will in the world, i don't think you will have this done and dusted by tea time today .
Most importantly you need to get your head around your new life .
Otherwise it's just another idle threat and you might as well save your breathe .
Don't tell him.anything until your plans are further advanced.
He has been lying to you for 10 years.
You owe him nothing in terms of honesty.
I forgot - car documents, ownership and insurance. You wouldn't be the first person to be left with no car because DH buggered off with both as they were in his name. Yes you maybe one back a year down the line ....
Joint credit cards
Joint accounts - you need to open a new account in another bank and transfer half of the money there. Get your work to move your salary there
You need utility bills so you can contact them to get his name taken off ( assuming he moves out )
Both your payslips , tax returns if you have them
Copy everything of you can't keep the originals.
Well done Wallace. I think going to the doctors too to help your anxiety (which is not surprising) is a good plan too. I did exactly the same throughout my last big breakup and it helped a lot. I hope your sister and family can help and let you lean on them. You might find they're delighted. Good luck. (And there is always us lot on here to rant at if need be!).
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.