Talk

Advanced search

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.

AIBU - I don't know

(38 Posts)
Wankstain Mon 11-Jun-18 16:28:32

This is a two parter. A while ago I thought about posting the 1st, more trivial, part in AIBU for fun, but the 2nd part goes to the core of our relationship, and is currently playing on my mind.
1st part: DW won't accept "I don't know" as an answer, hates it, even when it is literally true. She thinks I am being intellectually lazy, or disinterested. I've worked around this, carefully avoided the phase for the past 10 years or more, preferring formulations like "I am not sure", "I haven't given given that any thought", "Ask X or Y, that's her or his field of expertise".
We talk a lot, DW and me; this is just wearisome. It is not that I am just trying to avoid conversation.
AIBU to tell her that I don't know, when that is just what I mean?

2nd part. I've never knowingly lied by saying "I don't know", until last week.
DW asked me the seemingly hypothetical question, what would I do if I found out that she had been unfaithful to me? I said I didn't know because the situation hadn't arisen and didn't know how I'd react. That was the lie.
In reality, I know with certainty that DW has been unfaithful to me on multiple occasions, with at least one, probably two, and perhaps more, OM, over a period of at least 8 years. AFAIK, she doesn't know that I know.
For context, our marriage had been more or sexless for a while, a combination of having 3 young DC and both of us having had medical problems. In the last year things have improved immeasurably, the tension has gone, and we are sleeping together regularly. The question about infidelity was part of post-coitial chatter.
I think that she wanted to start a conversation, perhaps confess, clear the air. But I am not her fucking priest! This is not a conversation that I want to have. And if we have to have it, I don't want to be guided into it gently with leading questions, to facilitate her confession. She should have the courage to just spit it out.
I really don't want to hear her explanations, or apologies, nor do I want to reassure her that everything is going to be OK. Nor do I want to tell her that I've known all along (and so have a half dozen others), and so that the answer to her shit disingenuous question is actually that I would stick with her.
Am I being being a complete arsehole? Am I morally obliged to discuss this with her?
Others must have stayed with unfaithful partners. What do you think?

ferrier Mon 11-Jun-18 16:30:57

Well the easy answer is next time she asks say 'I don't know but I don't want to know either.'

FooFighter99 Mon 11-Jun-18 16:35:59

Genuine question - why would you want to be with someone who cheated on you so freely and has the absolute gall to ask what you'd do if you found out!?!?!

Have some self respect and LTB(itch)

HollowTalk Mon 11-Jun-18 16:40:15

She sounds like a pain in the arse and a cheat to boot. Why on earth are you with her?

Wankstain Mon 11-Jun-18 16:41:15

Foo, there are five people in the relationship, me, DW and 3 DC. They matter to me. The sex doesn't, not nearly as much. I was surprised how little that matters. The deceit matters though.
I don't want to LTB.

Brakebackcyclebot Mon 11-Jun-18 16:55:03

I don't think I could live with someone who didn't allow me to say "I don't know", especially if that was followed by an opinion that I was intellectually lazy or disinterested because I don't know.

In answer to your second question - no, I don't think you are morally obliged to have this conversation.

Brakebackcyclebot Mon 11-Jun-18 16:56:17

OK, you have no moral obligation to answer this question either. Do you feel valued in your relationship?

crumble2 Mon 11-Jun-18 17:02:19

I wouldn't have been able to stop myself confronting the affair(s) when it happened.
YANBU to answer 'I don't know' to any question you choose.

Wankstain Mon 11-Jun-18 17:08:35

OK, you have no moral obligation to answer this question either. Do you feel valued in your relationship?

Definitely. Not, uniformly, perhaps, not always as a lover (we had a difficult 3-4 years), but as a companion, partner, father, provider, I think yes. If you think I am being taken for a ride, I think you are mistaken.

mummyretired Mon 11-Jun-18 17:13:09

Agree with ferrier - you don't have to discuss it and YANBU to just say that you don't want to discuss it. Equally truthfully, you could say that you would never be able to forgive her if it came out.

I've been in this situation and forgave my late H without a second thought when he told me, but sexual exclusivity isn't the most important thing to me.

Wankstain Mon 11-Jun-18 17:21:01

Thanks Mummy R.
This the crux of the matter.
I can't forgive or forget, and I don't want to be asked to. I can put it behind me though.

I don't know how you forgave your late H. Full of admiration at that.

AgentJohnson Tue 12-Jun-18 20:48:39

Im confused, the answer to her question is that you’d stay in the marriage because you have. You don’t have to disclose about knowing of her infidelity but the reason you haven’t answered her question truthfully, is that your scared of her. Scared that she’d use the truth as an excuse to force a marital crisis, which you want to avoid because it could lead to separation.

I’m not going to advise you to LTB because that would probably lead to reduced contact and being NRP to your children and that’s something I personally would want to avoid too. However your wife is who she is, deceitful and a talented mind fucker. The price of staying in the relationship is navigating the emotional booby trapped assault course she apparently wants to set for you.

Tell her whatever you want because truth and honest obviously aren’t hallmarks of your relationship and given the amount of deceit and fuckery you’re willing to accept from this woman, it’s too late to pretend that your relationship dynamic isn’t dysfunctional.

Wankstain Tue 12-Jun-18 23:51:43

Agent - you're right that the relationship will never be quite the same again, that it's dysfunctional, but quite wrong to suggest that I am afraid of her.
I've never felt calmer and more self assured than in the last couple of years.
SWMBO has been very careless, left a long trail of physical evidence of her affair(s). I am no fool, I sought legal advice twice. A year or so ago I got my solicitor to draw up a draft divorce petition. Apparently I can't divorce on the grounds of infidelity, but I I have sufficient evidence to do so on the the grounds that her infidelity amounts to unreasonable behaviour. I can afford a divorce, so can she. It is by no means clear who would be the RP in a separation - I am demonstrably the primary carer for the children, doing 8/10 of school runs per week and most of the evening stuff. There are plenty of witnesses to this. (I manage a small business during school hours; she is a senior academic and fucks around a lot works long hours).
I was a good boy scout - I am prepared.
The reality is that I am much more concerned about what I might do, especially as things have been improving between us, I enjoy her company most of time and seldom want to throttle her anymore. And I can see the joy that the family brings to the DC (old fashioned, I know).

I am on the end of a very long lever that I don't want to pull.

shammy1b Wed 13-Jun-18 00:03:34

Do you want to stay with her and why are you angry all of a sudden if you already knew she fucked around?
I think if your personally hapoy to carry on then who cares what people think but for what its worth I do think she has given you such a low self esteem and thats why you cannot admit to her you know because at the end of the day you are accepting her behaviour so why not suggest am open relationship to avoid it all coming out in future

shammy1b Wed 13-Jun-18 00:05:01

what would she say if she knew that you knew all along?

Wankstain Wed 13-Jun-18 00:12:32

I am not angry all of the sudden. I've been angry in the past, calmed down, started to enjoy life and don't want to revisit the anger. Certainly not to ease her mind.

NotTheFordType Wed 13-Jun-18 00:15:31

She sounds very manipulative. I mean just asking you that question is her basically saying "I know that you know that I've Been knocking boots with other guys, what are you going to do about it?"

Do you really want to keep subjecting your children to a household where one parent has such obvious disrepect for the other?

Wankstain Wed 13-Jun-18 00:20:09

If she knew that I knew all along? I don't know.
She was so careless that I wondered if she either didn't give a damn or wanted to taunt me with her infidelity, in which case I guess she wouldn't have much to say.
Alternatively, she's just much dumber than she imagines, in which case I guess she might get angry turn it on me, castigating me for not having said something sooner. Or perhaps apologise? No idea and I don't want to find out.

Sauvignonne Wed 13-Jun-18 00:21:05

All I will say is that you should make sure your dc do not ever find out about her infidelity and therefore her disregard for you.

I am the child of a mother who had affairs, knowing my father would never leave her.

For your wife's sake if not your own - make sure your dc never hold her in as much contempt as my brother and I did with our mother.

Singlenotsingle Wed 13-Jun-18 00:29:59

I think Mr Stain has come to terms with it and he is realistic enough to know that he doesn't want to take the risk of being an absent father. He would have to live either on his own OR start afresh with another woman. Sexual fidelity isn't always that important. It's just one item in the basket and there are other valuable assets in a marriage that he doesn't want to lose, at least not atm. And it's good that you don't want to throttle her any more, Mr Stain! You are not unreasonable in not wanting to discuss it/deal with it.

Wankstain Wed 13-Jun-18 00:31:33

Do you really want to keep subjecting your children to a household where one parent has such obvious disrepect for the other?

There is no obvious disrespect for the other. Ours is a very happy and lively household. Everything is well hidden and DW and I don't have rows. Perhaps when the DC are teenagers they might begin do suspect that something is amiss. They could be posting in "But we took you to stately homes" in twenty years time.

TeacupTattoo Wed 13-Jun-18 09:27:14

Why do you let her control your language? So what if she doesn't like "I don't know"? You are not writing a thesis; if you wish to use a particular statement, do so. It underpins everything about your relationship - she dictates the dynamic with brutal academia. Yawn.
Next time actually say what you wanted to, that you aren't her priest, and see how good being honest about your feelings can be.
I wish you and your children every happiness...

user1493413286 Wed 13-Jun-18 09:43:51

I can understand where you’re coming from; unless it was an actual relationship and they were in love I’m not sure I would want to know if DH has slept with other women. I never thought I’d say that but i don’t want to separate my family. I also feel that often people confess to affairs to ease their conscience rather than anything else and that’s about themselves rather than their partner.
It sounds like you’ve worked through all the emotions of her being unfaithful and made your decision to carry on working at your marriage therefore her confessing would almost take you back in time to having to rehash those emotions.
The bigger decision is probably whether you’d stay if she continues to be unfaithful in the future

bigchris Wed 13-Jun-18 10:28:21

Op are you able to say in what form this dalliances took and what the physical evidence was?

Was it one night stands on a night out or actual affairs?

Wankstain Wed 13-Jun-18 11:29:29

The bigger decision is probably whether you’d stay if she continues to be unfaithful in the future

I think the infidelity stopped a couple of years ago, I don't know for sure, can't know. It doesn't really matter that much anymore.
Affairs bring other, more important shit with them. I don't like the lies that they necessitate.
Also, I am very mistrustful when DW initiates sex, because I think that her sexual excitement comes from having just slept with someone else. I hasten to add that I have absolutely no evidence for this, but it makes no difference, I won't DTD if she tries to start it. Which is a shame because I like excited women.
The only thing that might change if I thought she were at it again is that I wouldn't feel bound to be monogamous anymore. Not sure if do now, TBH, but I've not slept with anyone else yet. We've been together for 20 years, married for 15.
Someone up thread mentioned an open relationship. I couldn't tolerate that, not an open open relationship. If this whole thing were out in the open I couldn't bear to look her in the eye, I'd have to leave (stubborn, stupid pride).

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: