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Partner and younger man. Long but need help, please.(6 Posts)
I have lurked on here for a long time and my time has come to ask politely for a woman's perspective, please.
I am male and 44 my partner is coming up to 43. When she turned 40, she and I changed gyms. She got on really well and went to classes regulary, often asking someone to look after our toddlers in order to make specific ones; a friend joined her and it got regular and competitve.
I was reallly happy as she was, like many people, feeling older and now her self esteem looked to be on the up. She started talking about the instructors that she is getting on with and having "banter" with and...here we go...one name starts cropping up!
"Do you fancy him?" Friend asks.
"No. He is spotty, a bit tubby. He's like a cuddly bear."
GUY IS 21! : "I'm old enough to be his Mum"! She protests.
His name then starts cropping up in conversation with me and she's taking him baby clothes in, etc.
Bear in mind that these guys are instructed to chat to the women, who then go to classes, who then may book personal trainers sessions. It's a targeted environment.
I leave it. She's happy. I'm happy. Busy with kids and work. I literally work five days across weekend and look after kids for two days during week. It's 2014 and they are 1 and 4. Personally I don't see her much, it's a strain, but kids are being parented really well. Money's OK, we're "happy".
September 2015. We're in bed on holiday, I pick up tablet, she's on Facebook. Looking at his profile photos.
"The guy from the gym?"
"OH Yeah. It's nothing. Just fiddling."
I took fiddling in the context of masturbation. Which is more likely was That is her word for it. Not great. Massively good, busy holiday. We're not getting on great, but kids being looked after and family is
2016 Holiday comes when guy is leaving gym. Bad holiday. She's irritable and wants to go home. Her Mum keeps talking about "younger men" and how I am looking older. When Mum goes home, she's ringing her obsessively. Partner in constant contact with gym friend and home which actually gets annoying.
Still the occasional profile stalking but he's left and who cares.
2017 just before holiday she is happy because she's seen him back at the gym. Tells her friend who says "Ooh you got your fix, you naughty minx!"
Then goes back to the gym same time committing what she always called the offence of "make up at the gym!". Then starts downloading loads of ubeat music from our account. All of which seems themed around being in love and getting a man. "I Want That Man!" but Debbie Harry gets a big play.
The Facebook searching then goes into overdrive over the guys wife?!, brother and him.
Starts feeling really odd to me and now the kids are both going to be in school full time and I've changed jobs we might be a lot happier. We have a gorgeous holiday and admit that we're falling back in love, but I am becoming paranoid.
She let's me use her phone to send some photos and (I know) I have a look at a few messages.
In 2016 there were messages to a friend about how a crush felt "inapprpriate at her age". It had the usual "Don't worry, it's fine" tones. Got the feeling that she was enjoying talking about it in that way you do when you've got a thing for someone.
I also found that she has initiated messenger contact with him, and off and on had been trying to initate banter with him and finding excuses to message him. How many kids' clothes can she offer him?
Thankfully you can see he isn't interested in the slightest, but I she doesn't actually know him that well, so I find it a bit odd. He's married with two young kids as well.
Before we start making plans for a weddding, etc. We were talking and I brought this guy up. Jokingly I asked if she had a thing for him, and she denied it and nigh on gas lighted me about the age difference makind it ridiculous, etc.
A bit annoyed at what was coming across as a lie, I pressed her on the messages etc, and the trickle truths have started to come throught. She felt low about herself, it meant nothing, just a crush, it's my problem because I am insecure about my age and my pride is wounded, etc.
She said it was so insignificant that she hadn't told anyone - she had, I find out from her Mum that they had had talks about it where here Mum had advised her to be careful. You don't do that over nothing.
Thanks for reading so far. My gut instinct now is that she has fell in love with this guy. Obsessed over him and whenever she sees him is literally on cloud nine.
I feel for three years, I have been a mere provider who has played a secondary role and been a mere annoyance that I'm not him. Gut instinct tells me that she thinks about him when we sleep together or that she has been looking at his photos before we did it sometimes.
Basically, is this normal? What should I do please?
Talk to her, offer to go to couples counselling or something. It does sound like a crush, nothing more, and possibly a mid life crisis type of situation.
Don’t “assume” she’s thinking about him when you sleep together etc you will drive yourself mad as you can’t just assume something and that means it’s true, that’s not how it works.
It’s definitley not normal and I’d be devistated if my husband was acting like that with another woman, even if the other woman showed no interest in him, it’s totally disrespectful and I think she needs to hear you tell her this.
Have you been gling through her phone/ messages for the last few years? On a regular basis?
Be prepared for a shed load of double standards to be shovelled your way OP.
If you read any posts from relationships , infidelity or messaging to other women is almost always discovered by interrogating the husbands phone. It's positively encouraged and 'justified' on the basis of well founded suspicion. This however is NOT permitted if you are a man and have endured the type of behaviour as you have described. ! You MUST still be in the wrong about something - and the phone snooping will be singled out to make you the bad guy in all this. !
Back on planet earth - you need to have a straight conversation with her. Tell her how you feel and make a decision as to wether you think her EA behaviour is/has been too much for you to carry on with the marriage.
Does she put in / work as much as you. Or is there a lot of swanning around at the gym while you work ?
Agree you may have been in for a boat load of grief but this has been surprisingly quiet!
The way she has been acting is very similar to my situation and you have had every right to look into what she has been up to. Total disrespect for someone who is supposed to be a partner in life is just not on at all. If she fancied someone else and was actively trying to chase them down she should have at least had the respect to have the conversation with you about your future together. sparking up conversations AND becoming increasingly moody and indifferent towards you when her crush is not available sounds just what I have endured, I had a look at her phone ( that was deemed private and off limits )and guess what... she had been chasing and sleeping with multiple younger men from work.
Treated her with the same respect and left her stuff in the yard and changed the locks, printed screenshots from her phone and put them on the door for her to see.
Not that serious for you i know but dont put up with this crap,
there are lovely people desperate to find a loving partner that will love you back the same...good luck
Thanks for your responses.
Gorgosparta No. I borrowed her phone on holiday to use the WIFI. To be fair she always looks on mine. Did I look with a view to getting to the bottom of a situation I thought I could solve only by doing so, sorry yes.
kittensinmysdinner1. You're 100% She works 2 days per week, I work the unsociable hours so she doesn't have to.
acropolis0101 Thanks for your advice in light of that...
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