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DH and his contact with EXW - Am I Overreacting?

(48 Posts)
WorriedWifey Thu 26-Jan-17 10:40:21

Sorry this is a long one, but I'm really upset and need some clarity.

DH and I have been together for 9 years, married for 5 and have a DD(5) and he has a DD (DSD) from his previous marriage.

DH and his EXW split 10 years ago, she kicked him out and moved a friend of his in, who she married and had a child with. They are apparently in a very unhappy marriage (as told to me by a few ppl including DSD) and she has started to contact my DH in what I deem to be an inappropriate manner - especially given that she has made it known that she still has feelings for him and "wishes things were different".

She messages him on WhatsApp every couple of weeks in what I think is an overly friendly manner (they aren't friends and he has no feelings for her at all, so he says and I have no reason to doubt him - their relationship broke down because she cheated a lot and just wasn't a very nice person and he says he would never go back there). She sends him selfies on Snap Chat which I think is weird and she friended him on Facebook though she doesn't actually contact him on there (I know because I check as I have his password, which he knows about and is happy for me to have).

It's all making me feel very uncomfortable given that she detests me and acts like I don't exist (due to a falling out a few years ago which resulted in DSD living with us permanently).

Last night we went out for his birthday tea, and I asked him had he had many texts wishing him a happy birthday (I was giving him the opportunity to tell me if she had messaged him) to which he replied not many, just two off his friends (not from her) and a few Facebook posts (also not from her). I didn't probe as I assumed he would just tell me if she had been in touch as he knows how much it bothers me.

Fast forward to this morning, I had a dream last night that they had been messaging and getting very friendly (yes I know, I obviously have a problem/self esteem issues) so I checked his phone when I woke up and found an "archived" conversation in WhatsApp where she had sent him a birthday message (I snapped a picture because I'm intending to keep a log of all the inappropriate contact just in case). I was so upset I could barely look at him, I told him I was upset that he had lied to me and he just said that he hadn't lied. I text him when I got to work this morning to say that I wasn't upset that she had messaged him, because I knew that she would (she obviously can't help herself) but I was upset that he had lied to me and then deleted the conversation so I wouldn't see it. He replied that she hadn't text, so I sent him the picture I took and he said it wasn't a text, it was a WhatsApp and he hadn't deleted it, only archived it so I could check it whenever I was feeling paranoid/ridiculous....

Am I overreacting? Am I reading too much into this?

It doesn't help that I consider her to be much prettier than me, much much skinnier than me and they have a lot of history which she has admitted she isn't over.

WWYD? Do I demand that he tell her to stop messaging/snapchatting and he delete her off Facebook? Their DD is nearly 17 so they really don't need to be in contact over her do they?

Or do I just leave him to it and trust that he loves me and wouldn't give her the time of day if she were to pursue him?

I also feel sorry for her husband, who is off work with severe depression at the moment. I'm sure he would be devastated if he knew she was messaging my DH as much as she is.

Sorry for the epic post, I'm just really upset and needed to get it all written down.

Thanks for reading (if you made it this far!) smile

JaxingJump Thu 26-Jan-17 10:49:07

I think she is clearly after him for another affair. I wouldn't be happy and would be asking him to stop engaging in any chat beyond practical issues with their daughter.

You're right, it's really inappropriate and it's his responsibility to put an end to it.

RaeofSun Thu 26-Jan-17 10:52:02

I'm sorry to hear you're so upset by this but it appears your DH has been trying his hardest to reassure you. I can understand how let down you feel as he wasn't honest about the message when out for his birthday meal but do you think he may have wanted to avert a scene as he would know you would react.

Sounds as if you need to address your self esteem issues and enjoy your relationship with DH. And yes, I think they need to communicate re DSD, 17 is still very young with pressures of exams and general growing up.

JennyOnAPlate Thu 26-Jan-17 10:52:51

They don't need to be in contact, no. Why hasn't he told her that she's being inappropriate and needs to stop contacting him?

WorriedWifey Thu 26-Jan-17 11:04:16

I think he hasn't said anything to her purely to avoid conflict. He's told me she can be a PITA (putting it mildly) and he probably doesn't want to cause an argument. I've no doubt she'd act all innocent and swear her intentions are pure...

I know I need to address my issues, as they're starting to have a negative impact on our relationship.

I guess I'm just scared of losing him, which he thinks is ridiculous as he loves me and has never been happier (which all his friends and family will attest too).

Somevampsarehot Thu 26-Jan-17 11:07:43

I think that she's definitely being inappropriate and is trying to edge back in, but it also seems like your husband has absolutely zero interest in her and is probably just letting her get on with it for the sake of their dd. I think the biggest issue here is your insecurity. It sounds like he's been very honest with you up until this WhatsApp message, maybe he didn't tell you because he knew you'd stew on it and make an issue out of it?
For what it's worth, my parents separated when I was 2, and even now I'm an adult they still check in with each other with regards to me (when I had my kids, got married, or have had any emergencies) to check how everyone's getting on. They've both been married to other people for over 10 years, but I like that they can be civil enough to be able to have a conversation if they need to. So I definitely wouldn't say anything about not needing to speak to her regarding their dd, who is only 17. I really do think think you have anything to worry about, but I think your husband should have a word with her if this continues

Patriciathestripper1 Thu 26-Jan-17 11:19:32

Firstly take a deep breath and yes it is annoying that just because she is going through a bad patch she is looking to recapture what she lost.
She is being a bit of a cunt to send selfies ect trying to win him back. But it sounds like he isn't bothered by them.
A small part of him may be enjoying it as attention is always nice.
Please don't make yourself ill over this as your Dh does seem to have nothing to hide as he dosnt mind you reading his messages.
As his DD is now 17 and lives with you there is no reason why he can't block his ex from being able to contact him and just have a landline number for her to call?
Or just offer your number for emergencies?
That will stop all the stupid pictures and messages.
If this is the only thing rocking your boat and there are no other relationship issues at the moment and you are otherwise happy then bite your tongue and try not to read these messages as it will wind you up for no reason and give you doubts that you font need.

TwitterQueen1 Thu 26-Jan-17 11:25:48

Yes you are over-reacting.
I agree with what PPs have said. Your DH is just trying to keep the peace because he knows you are so sensitive to his ex.
And you do need to work on your self-esteem. flowers

MotherofA Thu 26-Jan-17 11:31:16

I would block her on his Facebook and Snapchat , why on earth does his ex need to be on there ? Possibly block on what's app too ... she can still text but like you say with one 17 year old she has no reason to !
The ex this end contacts way too much (DSC are young ) but she phones most days when he is at work to chat and I find it so so strange . I am an ex also and I don't contact mine unless I need to .

WorriedWifey Thu 26-Jan-17 11:35:10

Thank you for your replies.

You are right, I need to stop obsessing over it and trust him and leave him to it

WorriedWifey Thu 26-Jan-17 11:39:08

Another thing that bothers me is she has just changed jobs and made friends with a guy (who she calls her work husband) and has said to DSD that he looks just like my DH.... Which is just weird!

I think she is under some illusion (delusion?) that she and my DH have this connection and are meant to be together and I feel that by not shutting it down and telling her there's not a cat in hells chance, DH is giving her false hope and she will continue to throw herself at him at every given opportunity

pocketsaviour Thu 26-Jan-17 11:41:09

Does DSD go and stay with her mum sometimes? If so, then there is a need for some level of contact, regarding that.

However there's no reason for him to have her on FB and Snapchat (!?) and as a sign of trust he should have blocked her on there.

He could also get a new PAYG cheap phone and give her that number and say to call or text that one for anything to do with DSD. Then you can both check it at any time. And if it's a "dumb" phone then it won't have Whatsapp, etc, on it. Win win.

ravenmum Thu 26-Jan-17 11:49:17

I blocked my ex on FB and specifically told him not to send birthday messages after we split up, as I just couldn't stand the hypocrisy ("Have a great day despite the fact I left you feeling suicidal!") or being reminded of his existence, but I guess I might not have if it had been more amicable.

As it is, our children are 17 and 19 and we still have to contact each other about practical things like opening bank accounts for them, what presents to give them, sharing the costs of things like train tickets, when we want to take them on holiday or go somewhere with them so we don't double book, what to do about school problems, etc. That means a phone call or Whatsapp messages every few weeks right now.

I've noticed that my ex has now started to hang around on the phone keeping the conversation going and asking what I am up to. He is still with his pretty ten-year-younger girlfriend and we are finalising the divorce so I'm quite sure he doesn't want to try it on. My theory is that he's realised that in leaving me, he left the person he knew the best - over 20 years you have shared experiences and know things about the other person that a gf of 4 years doesn't know. Perhaps that's what's making your bloke's ex nostalgic?

If she's actually said she'd like him back, though, he needs to cut it back to phone calls only. If he is afraid of her getting pissed off and making the contact they need to have unpleasant, maybe he could claim you made him do it?!

Evilstepmum01 Thu 26-Jan-17 11:57:47

Im in a similar situation and understand the insecurities you're feeling! DH's ExW cheated, he threw her out, we met and married two years later. Shes tried to get him back before and uses DSD as leverage. She used to, but DH put her in her place and she has calmed down.
For the sake of DSD we are civil now and text, friends on fb etc, but about once a month, she tries it on. DH used to hide this from me as he knows how much it upsets me, but now he tells me and I do ask to see texts occasionally.
We deal with it by talking and making light of it tbh. I told DH how sad it makes me feel when she says that he (DH) will do anything for her, so he shuts her down now. He's not interested in her in any way, just his DD.
Thats the way it has to be I think, otherwise I'd be stressed. I trust DH but I absolutely do not trust his manipulative ExW.
Maybe your DH should delete WhatsApp and be more open with you. Its not fair you feel this way flowers

RaeofSun Thu 26-Jan-17 12:00:03

What pocketsaviour said about the PAYG dumb phone. Excellent suggestion and then block from all others. Change number if practical to do so.

WorriedWifey Thu 26-Jan-17 12:04:41

I think you're right RAVEN about her being nostalgic, she seems to remember their time together through rose tinted glasses (if you know what I mean) she doesn't seem to remember all the people she cheated on him with, the fact she kicked him out numerous times and threatened to have an abortion if he didn't marry her.... the list goes on and on.

Now I've calmed down a bit, I can see the billions of reasons he would never go back to her, I just need to keep those in mind when she's sending him soppy texts at Christmas and Birthdays!

DSD doesn't see much of her mum as she doesn't like her (they fell out massively and DSD can hold a grudge like a good'un!) so she very often messages DH to see what DSD is up to, which then morphs into "friendly" chats and asking can she come round and spend time with DSD in our house? (err no thanks!) Also asking him can she call him for a chat as she's home alone and bored. It's those things that make my blood boil.

TGItsNotChristmasAnymore Thu 26-Jan-17 12:26:21

I agree that contact should be happening, unfortunately my son is 23 and while I don't enable his relationship with his father anymore, I stopped that when he was 18 and leave them to make arrangements, there are still times when we are in contact regarding our son, and irrespective of my feelings towards him I do try and keep it friendly.
I also see it from the other side as my dp is in daily contact with his ex, usually about their young son, but sometimes not, she called him to wish him happy birthday recently and they spent part of christmas morning alone together with their son this year. I have to accept they will be in eachothers lives forever and that's that.
My main concerns after reading your post are 1) why does your dh not just ignore any non child related contact if it makes you feel uncomfortable and 2) why are you checking his phone etc, do you not trust him? My phone/email account etc is private to me, not because I'm up to anything I wouldn't want my dp knowing but simply because I am entitled to privacy.

Patriciathestripper1 Thu 26-Jan-17 13:00:51

Oh and I'd get hem to block his Facebook as although she may not contact him on this she is probably using it as a way to keep a track of what's he's doing! the sneaky bitch

jojo2916 Thu 26-Jan-17 14:59:37

Definitely don't need to be in contact as long as dsd has the means to contact both her parents at any time (own mobile with credit etc) others will disagree but I would not have this ever, I would tell him to delete her off all social media and stop contact, I know you said you trust dh but why make it easy for her? They have a history together and she clearly still has feelings so unless the child was too young to contact both parents herself (which of course she's not she's almost an adult) I would ask him to remove her from all social media and stop all contact for the sake of our marriage being cool about this kind of thing is not a good idea for the sake of your marriage no wife wants to see selfies sent to his phone from an ex and you shouldn't have to put up with this for a minute

EmilyRosanne Thu 26-Jan-17 15:10:05

I don't think there is anything innapropriate with wishing each other a happy birthday? I'd find it weird not to send ex a message on his birthday unless things were very tense between us. If you trust him then I don't really see what your issue is as he can just ignore her if it isn't about their daughter. You knew he had an ex wife and a daughter I think it's sort of one of those things if you marry a man with previous children that he will always be in touch with their mother, at 17 there would still be things they might discuss about her and there forever will be it's not like as soon as they are 18 they don't share a child anymore, may be uni etc.

Snapchat you can also send pictures to all is that what it is or are they personal messages just to him?

I think it's your insecurity that is the real problem.

WorriedWifey Thu 26-Jan-17 15:20:24

Thanks JoJo I would love it if he went nc with her as DSD is nearly 17, has her own phone (which DH pays the contract for) and so is contactable by both of them - though she 9 times out of 10 ignores her mums texts....

Emily I think the selfies on Snapchat are sent to all her contacts, but when he didn't open them she followed them up with a message to ask why he hadn't opened her Snapchats..... (smacks of being a bit desperate don't you think?)

Yes my insecurity is a problem, but so is the fact that she thinks it is acceptable to constantly try and keep in touch with MY DH when she has one of her own! And a child to look after.

She dumped my DH when she thought someone better had come along. Now she has realised the grass most definitely is NOT greener and is trying to get him back. Well I'm sorry, but she had her chance and it's over, he's with me now so she should accept that and move on.

Patriciathestripper1 Thu 26-Jan-17 15:20:34

You don't think it's its inappropriate to send an ex a happy birthday after 10 years apart? --and sexy selfies--hmm really??

WorriedWifey Thu 26-Jan-17 15:28:53

And they are usually skilfully angled, pouty selfies that she sends...

Rubberubberduckduck Thu 26-Jan-17 15:29:48

"It wasn't a text it was whatsapp "

So he lied to you saying there was no text but when pulled on it, said it wasn't a text it was a whatsapp? Whatsapp IS texting. Economical with the truth there. Plus he's kept the text rather than delete it.. why?

WorriedWifey Thu 26-Jan-17 15:38:28

Exactly Rubber, hence me losing my shit this morning.

I'm not sure why he archived the chat rather than delete it? Would she know if he'd deleted it and he was trying to avoid a confrontation?

I did say that "it is a fucking text, regardless of the means she used to send it." To which he replied "whatever".

I always seem to end up the bad guy too, and I always end up apologising.

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