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A few things DH has done in our marriage and i’m finding it hard to get over them.

(38 Posts)
Knobseverywhere Fri 03-Aug-18 00:50:59

I find this so hard to describe without biasing it one way or another, but will try to make it objective.

DH (45) and I (35) have been together for ten years and married for seven. Three children. He is extremely outgoing and very demonstrative and is constantly making a show (in private and public) of loving the hell out of the DC and I. So much so that everyone around me is always saying “you’re so lucky, he loves you so much!”

This means it’s hard to get anyone else’s view on it in RL as every is so blinded by how outwardly loving and demonstrative he is.

Before we got married there were a couple of instances where I felt he crossed a line, but because I didn’t dig and wasn’t suspicious and actually felt like I could leave if I wanted, I let it go: one time he disappeared for a night and when he returned at 5am, he lied to me about going to a strip club and having lap dances. He said he was somewhere else but I found a receipt while washing his trousers with the date and the time the next day. I found it all a bit sordid and generally weird that he would pay for something like that, but put it down to his work culture (finance and the necessity of client entertainment at the time,) and he excused the lie by saying he thought I would react badly.

And then there was one other time in the years before we married where he disappeared abroad for 72 hours and got back in touch completely wrecked with no memory of what had happened to him. Obviously I had been very worried and found it really unreliable of him and asked him never to do it again. His phone battery had apparently gone dead but he was still in a state that I’d never seen him in before when he emerged and apparently had no memory. To this day his friends take the piss out of me for asking him to never disappear like that again, so if they are with him when his phone battery dies they all text me and tell me that he is “terrified” i will go ape shit that I can’t contact him and so they are letting me know he is okay. I find it to be quite patronising behaviour on all of their parts, especially in this idea that I am some sort of controlling, terrifying person who does not want him to lose battery on his phone when actually the one time i made a fuss was when I was really worried.

The rest of the relationship pre-marriage was quite uneventful in terms of things like that. Only those two times where my suspicions were raised.

Post marriage there have been a few instances which have eroded at me:
He showed me a text conversation with a female client which crossed a line where she was basically drunk and begging him to come over to have sex while he was on a work trip. While he didn’t go over, his refusal was more along the lines that he was “tired” rather than he was married with a family. Their text chat continued over several days of constant back and forth, with him reassuring her that she was very attractive and she shouldn’t be upset. He sent her a few pictures of his “family” in that conversation, supposedly as a deterrent, but they were just pics of the DC and none of me. For some reason he thought that showing me this three day non -stop text marathon was the right thing to do and proof that he was a decent chap.

I think I just felt surprised. This is just something that I wouldn’t do and haven’t done before (nor had someone coming on to me like that post marriage) so I hadn’t really thought about what the appropriate reaction should be. Time passed and then bringing it up again seemed too late and he was irritated I hadn’t got over it and he did the whole “I won’t show you then next time something like this happens” as if he deserved some prize for being transparent.

Last year he got really drunk on a spontaneous night out with friends and then disproportionately angry with me for asking what time he’d be home. It seems to fit nicely in his mind that I seek to control him or am a “ball and chain” at home, especially when he knows he is doing something I wouldn’t want or something that upsets or impacts me (like getting wrecked on a weeknight when he has responsibilities towards the kids in the morning and I have work.)

That night he came back so drunk at 6am and I demanded to see his phone. There were two numbers on the call register for a “Sophie” at 3am and another woman’s name at 4am. He said they were women he’d met in a club and they had typed their numbers into his phone and called themselves from his phone so they had his number. Apparently they were going to tell him about another party they could all go to afterwards.

For me this was a big turning point in my trust because - regardless of what happened - even the minimised version that he probably gave me, was not what I expected or wanted from a marriage partner. I was pregnant at the time so quite vulnerable and did not do very much about it except get cross and upset for a year. We have not had sex for over a year either because I think my trust is just so eroded.

Many of you will say that these instances I’ve mentioned are “just the tip” of the iceberg, but the irony is, they are the actual iceberg. I am saying that because those 4-5 times are some of the only times, he likes to remind me, where he has gone out alone without me. The rest of the time he’s been home with the kids and I. So I’m pretty sure there has been no affair, and perhaps - although who knows - no actual infidelity.

When we talk about the issue as a whole, he of course denies that anything bad or counter to our marriage happened any of those times and he becomes exasperated with my constant referring back to events which, he says, were so insignificant and not what I have built them up to be in my mind.

He says that it is completely mad of me to feel I have lost trust and to withhold sex and be angry because of four instances which occurred when he got drunk over our otherwise long and happy ten year marriage.

To me, he does have a point with that. Objectively I see I have very little to accuse him of. It seems that on the rare occasions he gets drunk he behaves in a way which I don’t like and which upsets me and sets us back. I’m not really sure what to do with that feeling and whether to throw an otherwise successful marriage away over it. We have a very normal, enjoyable life together with the DC and when I manage to temporarily forget these very few instances where I feel I’ve seen someone who I didn’t know, I feel happy with him.

And so I feel I am rather stuck in my own prison now.

I wondered whether if this had happened in your marriage you would be reacting the same way as me? Or have left? Or just forgotten about it and put it all down to drunkenness, youth or misjudgment?

calmandbright Fri 03-Aug-18 01:01:13

His behaviour doesn’t inspire trust does it? I wouldn’t like it (and my god I’m the most laid back person ever to be in a relationship with) and therefore wouldn’t have stuck around. Making out to his friends that you are controlling would be enough to see me out, let alone the other weirdness with girls’ numbers etc. He sounds like a bloody rat to me.

usernameismyusername Fri 03-Aug-18 01:03:37

I'd just end it op. He doesn't sound worth it. I feel tired from his behaviour just reading all that. No idea how you've put up with it.

TheVanguardSix Fri 03-Aug-18 01:20:33

I had a first husband like this.
I now have a second husband not at all like this.
It’s downright disrespectful what he’s done. To do it once is abhorrent. To have a handful of such trust eroding experiences and then make you out to be the unreasonable one (which he’s done with success) is deceptive.
Your DH is a snake in the grass.

FlyingMonkeys Fri 03-Aug-18 01:21:49

Put it down to youth? He's 45 and getting pissed on a regular basis on a weekend, fucking you and the kids off until 6am, and rolling in with random women's names/numbers on his phone? I'm sorry but why are you still with him?

Knobseverywhere Fri 03-Aug-18 01:26:05

flyingmonkey well yes when you put it like that it does sound awful. But he would say that’s 4 times in ten years and only one of those experiences as bad as that. It’s not every weekend, it’s not always til 6am and that particular thing happened once. It is really hard to justify throwing a relationship away over that one time when I don’t even have proof of anything.

But in all other respects I see your point - I am just trying to explain how he reasons it out to me. I have been having DC for so long that I feel I have a sense of what my expectations should be of respect in marriage.

Knobseverywhere Fri 03-Aug-18 01:26:47

I *don’t have a sense of what my expectations should be of marriage

FlyingMonkeys Fri 03-Aug-18 01:31:34

Sorry read OP again - regardless of if it was a 'one off instance'. They're all one off instances and frankly one instance too many the first time. If you fucked off for a night, got wasted and disappeared whilst leaving him with the dc, could your mates then text him to mock him about it if he kicked off? Respect is a two way street and he sounds like a total dickhead.

Knobseverywhere Fri 03-Aug-18 01:40:14

You’re right.

SleightOfMind Fri 03-Aug-18 01:45:20

Four bits of bad behaviour in ten years is an important qualifier, but what comes over loud and clear in your posts is the hurt, anger and lack of trust in your marriage.

Whether that’s because your DH is an arsehole or you’re paranoid is impossible to say.

It is clear that you’re unhappy though. That’s enough to demand a proper conversation, with willingness to change on both sides.

rosewater09 Fri 03-Aug-18 01:47:30

Would he be willing to go to couples therapy? I am a big believer in exhausting all options before leaving a relationship when children are involved (unless there is abuse), but I also don't believe in staying in a relationship where you are being disrespected and where there is no trust.

The issue I would have here is that these instances of disrespect (to you and your marriage) have happened more than once and so it doesn't seem as if he really cares about any of the damage done. There is also a blatant disrespect for how he represents your relationship to the outside world, and you can see this by the way his friends treat you. Your husband has taught his friends how to treat you by the way he talks about you when you aren't around. If his friends feel comfortable taking the piss out of you, then it means your husband is allowing them to do this by not speaking kindly about you and your marriage and by not taking a stand against their terrible behaviour.

I also feel uncomfortable about how he turns his bad behaviour back on you and makes you feel wrong for having a reaction (even a delayed one) and for having negative feelings about his poor behaviour. You have every right to set boundaries and to speak up when you are not happy with the way you are being treated and as your partner, he should be willing to at least hear you out and acknowledge your right to have those feelings. Making you feel wrong for being upset is a major red flag for me.

scottishdiem Fri 03-Aug-18 01:52:10

"We have not had sex for over a year either because I think my trust is just so eroded."

This would be an issue as trust may never be regained. He feels he has done little wrong to warrant this considerable erosion of trust and you do. You might want to consider how to address this. If you dont want to, you need to be fair to both of you and move on. Therapy for you both is the only option really. He has a certain perspective of things and you a considerably different one.

If he has only done this a few times since you have been dating, you are attaching a considerable level of emotional energy to them and he absolutely cannot see that so cannot reciprocate with a similar level of contriteness. You bring it up, he has to try and work out where you are emotionally to respond. Some people cannot react in that way.

He does need to have a different perspective so therapy could help.

delphguelph Fri 03-Aug-18 02:17:11

Isn't this behaviour called gaslighting? Turning it around on you?

mathanxiety Fri 03-Aug-18 02:21:05

It's not just what he does, it's the way he turns on you afterwards when you voice your feelings about it.

He wants to be allowed to behave like an irresponsible single man and gets angry when you tell him how you feel about it. And to compound it, allows his friends to disrespect you. They mock you and he enjoys the laughs.

Regarding the incidents themselves, if he cared about you or the relationship he would have a limit when drinking and would stick to it. He knows what happens when he gets pie faced, yet he goes ahead regardless. This means he gives himself permission to put the marriage in danger.

He likes the risk. He likes seeing you angry. He likes being the bad boy. He still wants you to lie back and think of England though. So he is now complaining about the lack of sex. You have married an immature twat.

He says that it is completely mad of me to feel I have lost trust and to withhold sex and be angry because of four instances which occurred when he got drunk over our otherwise long and happy ten year marriage.

To me, he does have a point with that. Objectively I see I have very little to accuse him of.
This is really quite cruel of him. It is a power play. He is asserting his right to step right up to a line, to tell you about it, and you have no right to your feelings about his behaviour. It is psychological abuse.

Go and get yourself STD tested.

mathanxiety Fri 03-Aug-18 02:21:55

It is indeed gaslighting.

Huskylover1 Fri 03-Aug-18 08:17:45

@ TheVanuguardSix

*I had a first husband like this.
I now have a second husband not at all like this*

Yeah, me too!

So, he has been to strip clubs and has had naked women grinding on him. Which he then lied about.

He disappeared abroad for 3 days, and not only that, he was out of contact (what's wrong with a call box?) hint hint, he didn't call because there was another woman with him.

He gives random women in clubs his number, so that he can party with them later. At 3am and 4am. Yeah, right!

He texts other woman for 3 days, knowing said woman wants sex with him.

You say this is the iceberg, rather than the tip. It won't be. Sorry.

My first H was exactly like this, and he managed to get away with stuff right under my nose, like for eg. when we were out together or at a friends for dinner, he'd be getting off with someone in the next room. But, he was out with me right? He couldn't be doing anything, right? Wrong.

Honestly, I'd bet my liver that your H is on all sorts of messaging platforms and that he's talking to women. Next time he's pissed and passed out, I'd go through his phone and every single app on there, also his e-mails and call logs.

The very fact that you haven't had sex for a year, will mean that he's sexually frustrated, and on the hunt. Moreover, in his mind, this will be "your fault" for with holding sex.

Honestly, get digging. And stop minimising. It's horrendous behaviour. I do get it. I used to minimise too. It's hard not to, when you have that person in your ear, making out that you are blowing it all up, out of proportion. Also, you don't want to implode your family. I get it. But, look at the facts above. With hindsight, I wouldn't trust him as far as I could fling him.

RatRolyPoly Fri 03-Aug-18 09:31:04

I wouldn't be so sure that your husband has been exactly where you believed him to be for the last ten years. Particularly around his working hours.

In light of his behavior, it doesn't make sense that he was always where you thought he was. Be honest, it doesn't. These are pretty premeditated and practiced fuck-ups, they don't fit the model of messy mistake; not to my mind. The fit the model of "tip of the iceberg". I know you say that's not possible, but consider for a minute that he hasn't always been where you think he was...

RatRolyPoly Fri 03-Aug-18 09:32:37

I also agree with every word of Hushylover's post.

Get digging. Start from a point of "perhaps nothing is as it seems".

QforCucumber Fri 03-Aug-18 09:54:57

it doesn't matter how many or few times in the last 10 years it has happened, the fact you feel the way you do is what matters.

He doesn't respect you, this is clear. Who goes out and gives their number to random women if they're not looking to get with them?

Once my DP was messaging another woman, very early on in our relationship, ONCE, if ANYTHING even remotely similar occurred again I would leave. It doesn't matter than it's now been 7 years.

His friends mock you? Fuck that, I would be going mental.

bowtieandheels Fri 03-Aug-18 10:27:15

I was with a man like this, all my friends said how lucky I was and how much he obviously adored me...he also did a few unexplained nights disappearing etc. He was cheating, pretty much through the whole 18 years we were together. Sorry OP but I wouldn't trust your DH as far as I could throw him...all the public displays are to confuse you.

SandyY2K Fri 03-Aug-18 11:16:01

I think men find it harder to be very direct in turning down sex on a plate. They rather say I'm tired..I'm busy...out with a friend. Anything to try and avoid hurting the woman's feelings. However I would expect my husband to say "I'm married" that's enough. No need for pics if me or the kids. In fact I'd be annoyed if he did send her pics of the family. Even just the kids....but that was his way of gently knocking her back.

The disappearing for 72 hours and loss if memory I have no answer to. That incident would likely have been the end for me... unless I had medical evidence to explain it.

The numbers from the girls on the night out.... I find it inappropriate for a married man.

Would it be okay with him if random guys on a night out gave you their number like that?

The strip club..I find those places sleazy.... him lying because you'd get angry doesn't help...because he'll continue to lie about anything he knows you don't like. I wouldn't want a relationship with the type of man who enjoys strip clubs...but you let this go....so wasn't it a big deal for you?

It seems like you had a couple of red flags that would have been dealbreakers for others.... but the trust and confidence has been eroded.

Some positives....he shows love and affection to you and the kids in public and private..so it's not just for show...or to appear as a nice guy IMO.

10 years isn't a massive gap...but it's enough to cause the older spouse to be insecure and maybe he does these things to feel younger or show himsekf he's still got it and other women find him attractive.

I recommend marriage counselling for you. I think your marriage can recover...if you both want it.

There's a form of counselling called EFT...emotionally focussed therapy. It's used in couples and family therapy.

This will get you both to understand and connect with the others emotions and get in tune with their feelings.

Right now he doesnt understand fully how you feel. No amount of you explaining to him will help...you need a professional neutral individual to help.

I know of one organisation that does EFT. They are national across the UK. PM me if you're interested.

GreenFingersWouldBeHandy Fri 03-Aug-18 11:18:31

Sorry but he sounds like a sleazy git who is good at covering his tracks. I'll bet the 'one-offs' are just the times he has slipped up. There will be many more that you don't know about.

You're the only one keeping yourself 'stuck in a prison of your own making'. Open the door.

kikashi Fri 03-Aug-18 13:53:54

Was he in a fugue state when he had the 72 hour memory loss? hmm

i wouldn't trust this man - he's not your friend.

Alfiemoon1 Sat 04-Aug-18 21:11:22

How can he not know where he has been for 72 hours if it’s abroad his passport would of been stamped

Dopplerineffect Sun 05-Aug-18 09:22:21

Disappeared for three days with no contact a one off thing?

Hell no!!!! That is soul destroying and catastrophic.

Just no! What an awful person he is.

Then saying he didn't know well in that case he needs a doctor and psychiatric help.

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