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My marriage is slipping away...(55 Posts)
I’m feeling so sad. DH and I are not in a good place. I can feel our marriage slipping away and I don’t know what to do.
We’ve been together for 14 years, married for 8 and we have 3 DC aged between 10 and 6 months. I’ve always felt we’ve had a good, strong marriage. We have our ups and downs but rarely argue and are very united...a good team. I love him a lot and excluding the past few months, we have a good sex life.
Things started going wrong when I was pregnant with DC3. She was very much planned...it was more me that wanted another child, but DH said if it’s what I wanted then he was happy too. But when it actually happened he got cold feet and in my last trimester he told me that he didn’t want another baby, if he could turn back time he would say no to number 3, and basically didn’t want to talk about anything baby related. It was pretty upsetting.
DD is now 6 months and she is an absolute angel. As these things go, she is a very easy baby and we have all fallen in love with her...DH included. However, he has been so frustrated to be back in the thick of the baby stage. He gets jealous of his mates whose kids are a bit older (smiliar age to our other children) as they do things like go to the gym, do their hobbies etc. I’ve never stopped him doing this stuff but he does seem to want to want to do it every weekend at the expense of spending time with us and if I suggest that we do something together he does so a bit reluctantly and is in a bad mood. He travels a bit with work...sometimes for jobs, sometimes for conferences but generally he picks and chooses which to go to. But since DD was born he has been going to absolutely everything...these are generally abroad for 4 nights at a time leaving me on my own to looks after our 3 children. He’s also started going to events that are pure networking jollies...again, away for 2-3 nights at a time. A few weeks ago I told him that he was taking the piss with all his trips and we had a horrible arguement. He said he’s not happy, he’s bored, he’s fed up and he doesn’t see why his life should have to change just because we’ve had another baby. He said that now I’ve got what I want (ie. another baby), he’s now going to go and do what he wants He apologised afterwards and said that he’s just struggling to adjust, but he loves us all very much and will do whatever it takes to get us back on track.
That was a few weeks ago and things have been better but occasionally he picks fights with me over nothing which he never did before. He’s also had a few networking events where he’s rolled in at 3am drunk where he used to come home straight afterwards before. When I questioned him he said they all went out for dinner and more drink afterwards. He’s drinking too much generally...even when just at home with me.
But now I have a suspicion that there is something else going on involving another woman. His work email is connected to our family iPad and he left it open and I had a snoop. There was a name I recognised as someone he’d mentioned about an incident a while back where she was basically sleazed on but drunk businessmen at a event because she was new, quite young and attractive. Looking at emails, they have become friends not just acquaintances...nothing to suggest there is anything going on but he’s never mentioned to me that they are friends...never mentioned her name at all and I know most of the names of people he works with or alongside. I have also found out that she was at every single conference and work jolly he’s been on recently but he never mentioned that she was. I also know she was at the networking events that rolled on until 3am (I also know he wasn’t alone with her) but when I asked him who was there he said everyone apart from her. I feel like he’s lying to me by omission. Emails between them are jokey rather than flirty, but always sign off with a kiss. I’m also ashamed to say I had a look at WhatsApp when he was out. Again, there are messages between them...nothing flirty but things like what they’ve been up to at the weekend, what he’s had for dinner. I just find it weird that he’s let her into his life like that but never mentions her name to me. I don’t think they are having a physical affair, but it feels like they are embarking on an emotional affair to me. Or is it an ego boost that this young attractive woman in giving him more attention than his wife is at the moment. It’s the lying by omission. He has a lot of female friends and I’m not jealous at all because he talks about them a lot and is completely open. But a female friend who he’s become close to but doesn’t talk about is really raising my suspicion.
I saw a recent email about another upcoming jolly that she’s asking if he’s going to and twisting his arm. He said he’s thinking about it but hasn’t mentioned a word to me. It’s based around an activity that he has no interest so if he does go I’m assuming it’s because he wants to spend time with her. I know I will feel absolutely crushed.
What do I do? If I talk to him about it I will have to admit I’ve snooped. If I don’t he’s just going to carry on letting this woman into his life and I can’t bear to think what will happen. Sorry it’s so long. I keep looking at the faces of my beautiful children who look like him and I want to cry
Oh dear op. You shouldnt have snooped although i would have done the same perhaps! Yes sounds like he might slowly slip into an emotional affair. It is out of character for him not to mention female colleagues to you. He's obviously frustrated by the limitations imposed by a baby and taking it out on you. I would either give him rope and keep an eye on things, or fess up to having snooped. The thing is he did agree to a third baby so if he now regrets it, it's not fair for him to take that out on you. I hope the situation resolves itself. With or without the woman he's away too much and not being supportive enough of you/your kids by the sound of it.
What a horrible situation. I can imagine you feel like you are watching the inevitable unfold.
You need to talk to him. If you say and do nothing then things will carry on. Tell him you are concered about his developing friendship with this woman (either be honest about seeing his emails or suggest that someone told you in confidence, maybe?) and tell him again that you feel he is neglecting you and the family for work friendships and outings. Tell him that your relationship needs nurturing, not neglecting.
It really sounds to me like it's all cards on the table time, to hopefully stop him in his tracks and make him realise the damage he is doing before it goes too far.
Certainly sounds like his head has been turned and he likes the attention. Unless he is rich I think it is unlikely a young girl is going to be interested in a married father of 3 with such young kids so it is probably one sided, for now anyway.
I would let it play out, if he goes or tries to go to the event he has no interest in it is a clear indication his feelings are innocent and I would fess up that you know.
I dont think its innocent at all, although it doesnt seeem like a physical affair. And I wouldnt assume that a yong woman will have no interested in a married father of 3, it happens ALL the time. to her, he will seem more sophisticated, wealthier, more experienced than young men her own age and she may not give a thought to you and the kids because she has no understanding of what that is like.
Personally I think you should be honest, tell him you snooped (because you are concerned) and ask what he is feeling, honestly. Then make a plan - together if possible about how you are going to get this marriage back on track
When you wanted that 3rd child did you really sit down and discuss it first or did you basically give him an ultimatum? I'd also be unhappy to be thrown back into baby years and looking at yrs more toil before I had the possibility of enjoying myself without kids. The msging is unacceptable for sure and whilst he probably hasn't done anything yet, he's on the slippery slope for sure. You need to sit down and have a serious conversation about the future and both voice your concerns and listen to the others points of view. People don't generally become unhappy unless something is missing from their life...so find out sooner than later.
Snooping is a form of abuse in a normal healthy relationship as it’s an invasion of privacy. But when you have cause to, it’s understandable, and when you discover your husband is enjoying a new private hidden relationship with someone he’s lying about the seriousness of that by far outweighs the fact that you snooped (when you had reason to). If you’d found out he was sleeping around via snooping would you refuse to discuss that with him because you’d found out by snooping? No. And same with this.
You have to talk to him. Admit you snooped and that you’d rather have not but what you found is too serious to ignore, and ask him what’s going on.
An emotional affair is, imo, more serious than a drunken one night stand because of the investment both parties make in it. I think that you need to explain that you are aware of it, very concerned, and want him to terminate it. He may refuse, insisting disingenuously that they are "just friends". He may agree, but keep in touch with her secretly. He may agree, and work on your relationship wholeheartedly. There's no way of knowing yet.
The baby is no excuse. He agreed! You didn't sneakily get pregnant accidentally-on-purpose, you decided with his blessing to ttc. So don't be made to feel guilty and don't do more than your fair share of wifework to try to appease him. He won't respect you for it and you'll be miserable.
The baby isn't the reason. Just the excuse.
He would have all the same ties to his boring home life with 2 dc as well as 3.
Is he trying to say he wouldn't go on these drinking trips if he only had 2 dc to look after? That doesn't make sense.
Be careful about admitting to seeing his emails on the iPad. Once he realises it's synced you will loose the ability to check. Spying is bad. But only if you don't find something. You did. And you were right to be suspicious. You need to protect yourself.
Reading all of your replies. Thank you.
Just want to respond to m0vin, no I absolutely did not give him an ultimatum about the third baby. I would never have done that. We talked about it on and off for 2 years, at time went a bit hot and cold on it but kept coming back to the conversation (not always initiated by me...he would ask me how I was feeling about it now and what my thoughts were and we’d talk about it). Eventually I had a significant birthday coming up and we felt like it was now or never. We decided to ‘try’ for 6 months and see what happened. He never said that he didn’t want another baby. He said he was very happy being a family of four but if I wanted another baby then he would be up for it too. If he had said then that he didn’t want another baby that would have been conversation over. But he didn’t.
I think you're right that whether he brings up wanting to go on this upcoming trip will tell you a lot, especially as he has no interest in the activity. I would wait and see what happens with that, if he says he wants to go I think that's the point I would tell him I'd seen the messages. Watch and wait in the meantime
I'm so, so sorry that you're going through this. It might feel exciting and empowering to give himself enough rope to hang himself, but don't. It's just more devastating when he does, and then you'll have the fallout to deal with.
If I had my time again, I would confront the problems in my marriage as I felt them. This man is your husband. Talk to him. Be vulnerable. Of course he may lie, but you'll always know that you can hold your head up as being an adult, and honest, and trying to deal with a difficult and disappointing situation with integrity.
@LondonCrone gives some good advice here. Things may not have gone too far and with some counselling, individual and as a couple, you may be able to start a fresh. Be that together or apart. There are 3 children in the mix and they don't need the drama, hurt and acrimony of a marriage descending into an affair. With this girl or somebody else. I say this knowing he should be the one to think about that, but he isn't. You need to be the better person, and I thin you are.
By the sounds of it you are assertive and forceful, which is a good thing. I would confront him and the issues in the marriage. Push him to do it too. He may not have wanted the child but he opted out of the decision making with the statement "if you want it". With the benefit of distance and hindsight, the subtext here was that he didn't want another child and that he would put the responsibility onto you. There was a subtle warning sign there, that perhaps he was checking out.
Time to be the hotel manager and stop him doing a moonlight flit with packed suitcases. There's no point and dignity in scrambling about with his email and devices. You know where all this is at or heading to.
Plus a word of warning, you really shouldn't be looking at his work emails. Not because it breaches his confidentiality but because it will be a breach of his employment terms. He could be sacked and that wouldn't be good for anyone.
Thanks all. I have been reading all of your replies over and over again.
LondonCrone, I really appreciate your words and insight. You are right, I feel I need to speak up sooner rather than later, before things go too far. If the worst was to happen I don’t want to deal with a massive bitter fallout. We have friends who faced this a couple of years ago and there is still so bitterness between them. BUT...I’m scared to do it at the moment...I just want us all to have a happy Christmas. I know that sounds ridiculous that I would put off something huge like this. But I don’t want to ruin Christmas for my kids and my baby’s first Christmas by rocking the boat. Things are ok on a day to day basis. He will occasionally pick a silly fight with me and then apologise afterwards, sometimes he’ll be in a bad mood and things between us are less than perfect, but on a family level, things are ok. Am I crazy and doing the wrong thing by putting it off till after Christmas?
LemonTT, it’s not the point I know as I shouldn’t be snooping, but my husband is self-employed and owns his own business. He won’t be sacked. But point taken.
P.s. obviously if he brings up that he wants to go to this event and the opportunity presents itself, I will speak up. I’m just scared to bring it up myself before Christmas...if the worst were to happen, I don’t want Christmas to always be tainted for my children as an unhappy time of year because it was when Mummy and Daddy split up.
Started crying as I wrote those words.
He is using not wanting baby no 3 as an excuse for his appalling behaviour, he's spending family money and time with an OW who is clearly a good friend, and yes, I'd imagine it could lead to an affair.
Regardless of that, his disdain for you is wholly unacceptable, his jollies away, his picking fights with you, rolling in drunk, basically copping out of family life and treating you like shit, it can't carry on OP, you are worth more than that surely?
By all means wait until after Xmas but for me, if I was in your position I'd be sitting him down and explaining he either steps up and behaves like a husband or parent or you think it's best to split.
You have to do what feels right for you. It's a tough decision to make and talking to him will be difficult. The only thing is, does he have Xmas parties or nights out organised? If so you might want to consider speaking to him before then. If he's working up to something physical with this woman, or anyone else, then Xmas may well be the time he'll take the plunge. Office parties and all that....
Oh fuck it. And fuck him. He was at another boozy networking night last night and rolled in at 3am. I was convinced this time that this woman wasn't there. It had nothing to do with her business. But I just snooped at his email again (I know, I know...don't have a go. It's all I can think about at the moment) and there in his sent items, he's forwarded the invite to the event to her saying "There you go x".
This is worse than I thought isn't it. What do I do now?
He told me he went to bar for more drinks afterwards but my guess is he's had a dirty stop out with her. Oh my God.
Hmmm, I'd be torn between going ballistic or keeping quiet and getting my ducks in a row behind the scenes. The thing is, once you call him out on it you may start a ball rolling that you are not practically prepared for, especially if it pans out the 'wrong' way (whichever that may be'. Shitty behaviour towards you and your family. So sorry for you OP.
You poor thing. He’s a selfish man child grot bag. I’d be willing to bet that his cold feet about the baby will coincide with his getting friendly with this woman. That family life started feeling more of a noose than a bond.
If you are willing to can you talk to him about this? All of this? There’s a reason that affairs happen (that’s what this is - Sex is the end of the affair not the beginning) and they can be the reset button for a marriage. But he has to want that.
I'm sure I've seen on another thread some settings on an iphone to show where they've been. Does anyone know how to do this? I don't have an iphone but he does.
Is the phone linked to your computer on ‘find my phone’?
He needs to realise what he'd lose, doesn't he? He feels he can do whatever the hell he wants at the moment - the power imbalance in your marriage is crazy right now.
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