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Should I ask?

(11 Posts)
ZeroFeedback Tue 26-Sep-17 11:01:26

Was going to post as an answer in another thread about a woman whose husband keeps asking for details 7 years after her affair but did not want to hijack and that thread has probably run its course.

I don't really want to go into things in too much depth or carry any risk of outing so apologies if there is any drip feed but want to keep it to a general concept rather than my specifics at the moment

I suspect that my W had at least one affair about 8 years ago when we were going through a rough patch - young children, both working full time, financial challenges as I got my business up and running etc.

A large number of red flags were there in terms of her behaviour, in general and towards me.

She had taken up a pastime which is heavily male dominated - not a problem though - and I was kept at arms length by her male friends through this and virtually blanked by the other female participants who I met.

There were a number of instances, behaviours and odd conversations but it's not worth going into for this thread. Suffice to say, many people could see a number of them as red flags or part of the script.

Truth is, I can think of a couple of times when slightly different timing or my checking on her whereabouts may well have meant I would have caught her in the act.

Her participation ended quite abruptly which is surprising given how much she got from it and as it gave her an outlet away from young family life (I had my own too).

Our relationship also improved quite steadily but noticeably from then and, to me, she became my DW again.

We had one row where I asked her whether anything happened, she turned it on me without really answering and we have never spoken of it since.

However, it has affected me all through that period. 60% of the time I know I am being daft, 20% of the time I suspect something but probably don't really want to know and 20% of the time I know something happened and can feel quite hurt and angry.

In the intervening years some of my wider circle of friends have joined the club she was part of and a couple of years ago one of them told me about the stories of a married woman 'gone wild' with some of the members and the timings roughly fit in terms of how long ago etc

In my darker moments I know my DW (W at the time) was that married woman.

I am sure my W could have put forward a very bleak picture of me and our relationship at the time - in fact I believe she did given the reaction towards me of some of the women I met through that club - some would be justified, some would not.

I could also do the same but my DW is not the same person my W was at that time (nor am I)

Given that it does still play on my mind, should I ask her about it or is that opportunity lost or irrelevant?

ZeroFeedback Tue 26-Sep-17 11:02:13

Why would I ask?

Being honest, knowing what has been said about you and to whom can make a big difference in a world of social media and three degrees of separation.

It's not just about knowing the gory details for the sake of it.

It's also about knowing that you were not going mental on that Saturday in June when you were told you were going mad/making things up/looking for an argument/forgetting things you'd already been told.

It's about knowing that you were wrong on some occasions and - when your DW was just your W - there was still something she felt for you and did not treat you like as much of a mug as you worry she did.

It's about knowing why she thinks it started (and when) and why it ended (and when) - so that you can be sure she wants to try again for the 'right' reasons and you really are her choice now.

Brahms3rdracket Tue 26-Sep-17 11:05:46

I would have to ask, but I'm not very good at letting things go.

How are you both at the moment? It sounds like communications were awful at the time. Has this improved since?

sidesplittinglol Tue 26-Sep-17 11:11:51

I would definitely ask no matter how hard it may be. I know it's things that happened in the past but it's still affecting you and the only way to move on from this is to ask.

What outcome do you want from this?

Finola1step Tue 26-Sep-17 11:13:12

If you raise it with her and she denies anything happened, you won't believe her. Even if she is telling you the absolute truth.

If she confirms your suspicions, what then?

You could tell her that people you know are gossiping about the behaviour of an ex member. A married woman who was there at same time as her. She how she reacts.

But tread very carefully. You may well be about to put a bomb under your marriage that can never be recovered from.

ZeroFeedback Tue 26-Sep-17 11:29:07

How are you both at the moment? It sounds like communications were awful at the time. Has this improved since?

Very much so. I would say our marriage is better than it has ever been and we would be classed as happily married - I believe she would say the same thing.

What outcome do you want from this?

That's the nub of it. Not sure it's really any more than just knowing but I don't know what it would achieve.

In some ways it's almost to confirm that she chose to stay together for the right reasons - which have been borne out by our marriage as it is now iyswim

If she confirms your suspicions, what then?

Being honest, I don't think I would leave her as it was a different marriage at the time if that makes sense.

You may well be about to put a bomb under your marriage that can never be recovered from.

This ^^ is why I would not. A bit of me would be worried that she would see it as an irretrievable fault in me if I am wrong and just being mental about what was a difficult time for us both

Wherearemymarbles Tue 26-Sep-17 11:33:05

It depends what you expect to happen afterwards.? If you know will it end youd marriage.?

I would want to know though. And I'd say something like, I know what happend at such and such as the members still talk about it and my mate was told about you and severAl of the members
Ive tried but i cant let it go so you need to tell me now.

But your marriage may well never be the same again.

pudding21 Tue 26-Sep-17 11:38:21

I will give you another perspective. My Ex hated it when I joined the gym, I joined the gym to get fit, and also to give myself head space from the shit I was getting at home. He gave me hell.

I started cross fit which is quite male dominated and loved it. He accused me of seeing someone form the gym so i backed off and stopped going so much. I was getting too much grief.

I didn't leave him because of it, but I have never been unfaithful in 21 years and gave him no reason to think so. He was paranoid because of his own self image. Maybe your wife stopped going because she couldn't deal with the accusations.

I am not saying this is the case, but as a PP said, will you believe her is she said nothing went on? Be prepared that accusing her again might just about destroy your relationship. It was the one of final straw in mine.

sidesplittinglol Tue 26-Sep-17 11:55:04

If you don't want to rock the boat on a now happy marriage as you say, maybe you could try some therapy/counselling for yourself to be able to put it all behind you.

ZeroFeedback Tue 26-Sep-17 12:10:19

My Ex hated it when I joined the gym, I joined the gym to get fit, and also to give myself head space from the shit I was getting at home. He gave me hell.

Sorry to hear how things were for you but I was actually the one who encouraged her. At the time one source of arguments was that I had a social/sporting outlet I didn't want to give up and she resented it.

I started cross fit which is quite male dominated and loved it. He accused me of seeing someone form the gym so i backed off and stopped going so much. I was getting too much grief.

Apart from one sarky comment during an argument I don't think I accused (or suspected) her of anything in around 3 years she took part in that sport. It's really only with the benefit of hindsight that I think some of the things I took to be just signs of a difficult patch and her wanting to keep me separate from her one outlet could have another significance.

I am not saying this is the case, but as a PP said, will you believe her is she said nothing went on? Be prepared that accusing her again might just about destroy your relationship. It was the one of final straw in mine.

Not sure it would be accusing her again as such. The only time it has come up in a serious way was in one argument at around the time when she stopped and I asked her if she had left because Z had emigrated and was there something between them?

I'd say something like, I know what happend at such and such as the members still talk about it and my mate was told about you and severAl of the members

The problem with that is that my wife and the person who told me the stories don't know each other and he did not even hint it was her - it came up in a jokey/lads type conversation so was 'natural' to be a story he would tell.

I know him from my sport - one which my wife was never interested in and barely came to socials let alone watch. It is also one which people tend to retire from and go to the sport she did as a way of doing something new, keeping fit and still having an element of competition.

Even I cannot see any scenario where he would connect the dots - unless specific names were being used in which case I believe he would tell me outright, or at least have made more regular hints and he has not mentioned it since.

ZeroFeedback Tue 26-Sep-17 12:31:22

If you don't want to rock the boat on a now happy marriage as you say, maybe you could try some therapy/counselling for yourself to be able to put it all behind you.

That's where I'm going to be typically male I'm afraid blush

The vast majority of the time I know I am being daft or that I'm reading too much into a period when both of us were being arses at one point or another.

I know I never had an affair or cheated (or even seriously thought about it) and that I should give her the same credit/benefit of the doubt.

It's just the small % of times (and some really odd triggers) when I am 'upset' by it that make me wonder.

I don't think she would even have the slightest suspicion that it ever enters my head - except for the times when she does query why I want a long hug in the kitchen when she 'has things to get on with' grin

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