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20 year marriage going down the drain

(17 Posts)
Esoteric Sun 13-Nov-16 02:53:47

Well I'm writing this at 2am or I will go nuts, husband away on tour (tour managing) so have been on my own last 5 days . Complicated situation as we run a business together but the main brunt of knowledge and skill is his so if we split the chances are I effectively lose my job as well. We have been married 20 years and have an 18 year old DS who luckily works and is no longer at home so I don't have that issue to deal with. I employed a part time assistant in Feb this year and she does 10 hours a week with me and goes on tour dates as well to do the merchandising (we work in music) she is a single mum of a 10 year old, not unattractive but a bit OTT and I wouldn't have said my husbands type, she also has an on off relationship with a guy who is a bit of an abuser. Initially we were both very involved in trying to make sure she kept safe etc , however after the first set of dates they did I started to get a feeling that i was uncomfortable with, couldn't put my finger on it , she just seemed to be a bit over chatty around my husband, a month later I noticed that our phone bill was full of texts being sent out , some days none, some 5 or 6 and often whilst I was down at the office as he works from home. There were a few phone calls too but not that many , I decided to say nothing and observe. This carried on for a further month before I said something to him about it. He got extremely defensive and said its just general rubbishy chit chat and in all fairness she did text me a lot too, I just mainly ignored it because it was all rather time wasting stuff, he however has many texts one almost straight after the other. I then noticed he had started getting what's app messages from her, I saw a few and to be honest they were quite tame . The fact is though he is deleting anything in from her as fast as he gets it, his phone has always been password protected and we don't share Apple ids etc. He certainly doesn't leave it lying around, but never did before either. They share rooms on tour (that's alwYs been the case with other people we have employed too for money reasons) he is 52 and she is 44. It would seem I am expected to just be cool about it and that I now have an obsessive dislike of her. The thing is if you knew you had upset your boss and it was all very innocent wouldn't you apologise?? As she hasn't said a single word about it to me. In the car the other night she called as they were going on some further tour dates next day. The minute she called I said 'what the bloody hell. Does she want' he rejected the call and she then sent texts which I saw just about arrangements , but he suddenly went nuts and said 'I'm totally sick of this, get it into your head I'm not interested or get some psychiatric treatment' to be honest after someone has been caught texting a great deal and keeping it secret, I think I have every right to be pissed and wanting to know what these are all about, I am being made to feel it's me that's got the problem. Anyway , the mad amount of texting seems to have stopped but this all seems to be eating away at me. When they are on tour he phones home barking orders for me to invoice xyz or other work stuff like I'm his assistant, it is stressful I know as I've done the job too but I do feel the least I can expect is a bit of understanding as to why I'm not happy with the situation. In disclosure our sex life isn't great, we had a very similar episode to this about 10 years ago, too much texting etc but a 22 year old assistant and to be honest I never really felt totally the same after that.

threemoregoals Sun 13-Nov-16 03:14:51

It's a bit of a mad situation. I think there has probably been some level of cheating - don't you?

I think is completely mad to have two colleagues regularly sharing a room when away for work. I really trust my husband and I still wouldn't be okay with that. Even if they are both incredibly mature and tee-total, I still wouldn't want my husband to have that level of intimacy with another woman. It may cost more, but I would prioritise that cost - it's about your relationship.

Do you want this to work out? If so, you need to fight for your marriage.

I would go away for a few days to clear my head (and give him a chance to miss me/think about things) and have v little contact. Then I would come back saying that I loved him and was worried about our relationship and would he help me improve it. I'd have no more of the room sharing, and try and put some nice stuff in place, time together, more of an effort with sex etc. A non blaming approach - not accusing of cheating, just saying what you need going forward and what you are going to do.

Unless you actually don't love or trust him anymore. Then you need to start working on an exit strategy....

good luck.

SlottedSpoon Sun 13-Nov-16 04:17:14

I really don't know what to think about this. You admit she texts you a good deal too, you admit the pair of you became quite protective and over-involved with her, you admit you've looked at the texts and they seem harmless, you admit she is very full-on and seems to enjoy feeling very attached you the pair of you, and definitely to him.

Given all of that, it's quite possible your DH is telling you the truth. Maybe he's deleting the texts because he feels uncomfortable about hurting her feelings by asking her to stop but also knows he'll get it in the neck from you if you see how often she's contacting him and he doesn't need the grief.

On the other hand it could be an affair and he could be the world's biggest gaslighter.

One thing's for sure, things have to change. If it isn't an affair now it has all the hallmarks of a friendship that might become one. So let's assume for the time being that he is telling you the truth, this is what needs to happen now:

Some boundaries need to be put in place. For a start there should be absolutely NO sharing of rooms while on tour. I am appalled that that was ever allowed to happen at all. If I had been asked to go away on business and share a room with my male boss 'for cost reasons' I'd have point blank refused, and so would any right thinking woman who wasn't a bit vulnerable and didn't have a few boundary issues. There is a dangerous blurring of professional lines there - I know you might think in the music bizz it's a bit more laid back, but it really shouldn't be. You are not a bunch of teenaged roadies sleeping in a van for goodness sake. If you can't afford two rooms on tour then you simply can't afford this employee at all. Is it even necessary for her to go? Can't she hold the fort while you go instead? Then you do only need one room, especially as you have no children at home.

Tell him he needs to start distancing himself from her on a personal level and to get the relationship on a more professional level only. Stop answering texts that are not work related and both be friendly but a less over familiar with her. It's important that you show united front on this and if he won't then you have an issue.

Even if his behaviour is above reproach she sounds as though she might be becoming a bit obsessed with him and he needs to man up and extract himself politely from unnecessary and excessive contact with her.

If he is reluctant to do any of this then I think you have your answer and you could try speaking to her, saying that you feel the level of personal contact is bordering on inappropriate and unprofessional and it's starting to make you uncomfortable and see how she reacts.

timelytess Sun 13-Nov-16 09:23:09

They share rooms?
They're doing it.
Its not her, its him.
Start planning your exit strategy.

Esoteric Sun 13-Nov-16 12:15:49

I think I am going to go away for a few days when he is next due back from the next set of dates and leave a letter saying everything that is peeing me off. He is a strange one, he can be thoroughly lovely , tells me how lovely I am , is all over me and then blows up like no one I gave ever known if something doesn't go his way or even when driving. I actually feel quite frightened a lot of the time although he has never laid a finger on me, if I had my time again I certainly wouldn't have ended up with someone so volatile, I am quite placid , I internalise stress and strife. As I say I have only seen a few of the texts which I managed totally by accident and I'm not sure what to make of them, they were not really sexual just stuff like her saying nighty night and calling him a silly name (off the Waltons) and him doing the same. But there have been a few odd ones too that didn't add up like her texting to say her son was off school that day , it wasn't a day she was due with me, why would that be of interest to either of us?? I'm afraid I'm getting a few red flags , not sure either if I want to continue with someone who thought over texting was at all appropriate , and then complaining he always had too much to do. I feel tremendously guilty though if I break things off if nothing has happened for what to some may seem quite trivial stuff , as someone said to me he is good looking, fit, a hard worker, no doubt someone on here a lot would be attracted to. I'm just finding it all hard work keeping the peace and have done for years to be honest.

SlottedSpoon Sun 13-Nov-16 15:34:34

Well from what you've said in your second post it's not sounding good. I think a few days away might be a very good idea. Why on earth did you that k it was ever ok for them to share a room? Do you get any sens from her that she is different around you now, compared to previously?

inlectorecumbit Sun 13-Nov-16 17:09:43

why do you not go with him on tour? leave the admin stuff to the assistant.

SleepingTiger Sun 13-Nov-16 17:15:12

My thoughts as well. Swap roles.

IreallyKNOWiamright Sun 13-Nov-16 18:02:54

Yes I agree with above posters. However, it could still be a case that they will have contact. You sound really unhappy. I also wondered if perhaps you feel a bit rejected, that the lady is texting your dh more than you? I often feel like this when a woman doesn't want to be friends with me and prefers my dh. It's a good idea for you to go away and have some time for yourself

keepingonrunning Sun 13-Nov-16 19:09:04

I actually feel quite frightened a lot of the time although he has never laid a finger on me
This rings alarm bells of emotional abuse to me. It is no way to live. He doesn't have to physically hurt you to be abusive.
And it is not normal for an employee to text a boss, "nighty night". That tells me there is a level of intimacy between them. I'm very sorry.

Bluntness100 Sun 13-Nov-16 19:17:00

I also think the sharing of rooms is not a good thing, I think she has overstepped the familiarity boundary but maybe it's because she needs the job. I don't know, but I do know I wouldn't share a room with a male colleague or boss.

MissMargie Sun 13-Nov-16 19:30:56

Ignoring all the other stuff - if he makes you feel anxious and frightened then are you sure you want this for the rest of your life?

Look into how things would be if you separated, how much money would be yours, where would you live. Once you know what the future could be you can weigh things up properly.

keepingonrunning Sun 13-Nov-16 19:31:53

That volatile temper of his is keeping you exactly where he wants you: treading on eggshells and afraid to ask too many awkward questions. It's controlling behaviour, causing you to alter yours to avoid inadvertently sending him into another rage.
Then the saying lovely things is designed to draw him back into your good books.
It's all deliberate to make you confused and wary of calling him out on his very dubious behaviour. A relationship shouldn't be this much hard work to keep the peace. He is thriving on having power and control over you, knowing you are so determined to make things work that you will doubt yourself over everything odd and suspicious until you have 100% proof.
Our gut feeling rarely lets us down and yours is screaming at you. How many more times are you going to give him the benefit of the doubt?

SandyY2K Mon 14-Nov-16 00:01:04

I think is completely mad to have two colleagues regularly sharing a room when away for work. I really trust my husband and I still wouldn't be okay with that. Even if they are both incredibly mature and tee-total, I still wouldn't want my husband to have that level of intimacy with another woman.

Couldn't agree more. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

I think it's very wrong to make a female employee share a room with a man. As a female employee, I wouldn't like that at all. They are sharing a bathroom, it means she has to change in there ... After a shower in a steamy bathroom or change in front of him.

I'm sorry .... but cost is no justification to make opposite genders share a room. Do you think how the female's partner would feel if she had one? Or would you only make a single woman do it.

I work in HR and we'd be in serious trouble if we tried to do that with opposite genders.

There is nothing definite to say he's cheating and the Waltons name has probably arisen because of the famiarity from room sharing "Goodnight John boy".

Alfiemoon1 Tue 15-Nov-16 15:02:46

Having a similar issue with dh texting some at our stables. He says nothing is going on but it makes me feel uncomfortable. Hope u manage to sort this out better than we have he is currently at his mothers as everything she texts I freak out or make snide comments and he refuses to cut all contact as he says he's done nothing wrong good luck

Alfiemoon1 Sun 20-Nov-16 11:49:01

How are things op ?

Esoteric Sun 20-Nov-16 16:30:25

I am fine thanks AlfieMoon. He is away again now for 9 days. Texting appears to have switched to a fair bit of use of what's app ((I keep checking on the last time seen time stamps and she is the only one I know that uses it ) one thing I never said before is the reason why I am sensitive to this stuff and my red flags go up is 11 years ago I had an identical situation. With quite a young woman who did the same role with us, again the over texting which I was assured was just 'how she was'. she then gave him a painting she had done with a title on the back and a date. A year or so after that I found hidden away a song he had written with the same title and it was all the 'emotions of you are flowing through my mind ' kind of stuff, as well as several other songs in that vein, along with themes of 'escaping' etc they clearly were not written for me as he would have shown me them! And he recorded them too and I found the discs. I have known about this for 8 years and didn't bring it up as at the time I had a 7 year old to think of and was totally dependent as we worked together. Now though the crap this year has brought all this stuff flooding back to me and I'm not sure I can forgive it. Basically I got the business stuff and the domestic and she got the songs!! I'm pretty sure he ended whatever was going on as his mum was dying and he didn't want it coming out at the same time, but she is still in touch although married now , lives away and pregnant . I have also been quite isolated through working together and I don't really have anyone close enough I've been able to offload on, I actually went to see a concellor last year just so I could say it all out loud! The weird thing is if you met me, I'm a sociable , friendly kind of soul, quite placid and easy going and the overiding thought I keep having is that I really don't deserve this shit!! It has actually to be honest put me totally off relationships! As for a very long while we had an extremely strong and i thought happy set up. Yes sex was a bit lacking, but that was always on my part as I just am not that bothered and not helped by the menopause, stressful business etc , I think I totally underestimated how much it bothered him.

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