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Friendship or affair?(26 Posts)
My husband and I have have been together for 10years very happily. We have 2 children, 27months and 13months. He is a trainee anaesthetist and in August 2019 he posted to a job about 100miles away for the year. I supported him in taking the rotation even though we knew it would be a stress for both of us. He would come home on his days off. It's been a really hard slog for me. And the hospital isn't that great and is needing a lot of input from him. Things at his work took a turn for the worse during this pandemic.
A few days ago I noticed his behaviour had changed and he was very secretive about his phone, basically never letting it out of his sight. This has never happened before so of course I was very suspicious but tried to ignore it. Last night I asked him outright if he was hiding something from me. He admitted straight away that he had developed a friendship with a colleague and they had been going for walks after work etc. He says it's purely platonic and never wants it to go further. But he was hiding this relationship from me and this deceit does not sit well with me. He let me see the texts, of which had very little content and he had deleted everything prior to Tuesday. He says he deleted previous messages because he had told me he didn't go for a walk one day but the messages suggest otherwise. He denies any physical intimacy. And I really do hope he's telling the truth.
He states he does not have intense feelings for her and he was hiding their relationship out of guilt as he didn't think he should be hanging out with another female. He has always been a big advocate of loyalty and is angry at himself for getting into this situation.
We've had a long chat about why, what's missing from our relationship etc. And what he will do with this friendship. And how we can improve our marriage.
Should I trust him? Is he telling the whole truth? Or in your experience is he already having a sexual affair?
Should I contact her and ask her about their relationship?
Hi op, although it sounds as though he is open with you I would be really bothered about the deleted texts. He cannot prove that they were innocent ( and neither can you to be fair ) but it just seems a bit off to me.
With most things in life, my gut instinct is hardly ever wrong. What is yours saying?
I think I trust him. But there is a small seed of doubt because of the deleted messages.
I'm sorry but I would be worried. Presumably he is a key worker and still there until August? 'Good' people who never thought they would, have affairs. I am in no way controlling but I would insist this stopped for the sake of the marriage.
You could accept this at face value and choose to work together on strengthening your bond, and he could do a lot of work on his boundary setting!
He confessed to you for a reason. Perhaps just guilt but perhaps whatever it was, he wanted to bring it out in the open so he could stop it more easily.
Was it physical? You won't know unless he tells you. Can you choose to believe it wasn't and take things from there? Is he moving after August?
It's a high stress profession in a work environment where affairs are common. He needs to do a lot of thinking about how he establishes boundaries.
Not knowing can be the worst part. It eats away at your self-esteem, your trust, and can make your life a misery. There are ways to retrieve deleted texts and if he wants to relieve your mind, he should be willing to do it in front of you or let a professional do it. Deleting the texts only made things worse. Between that and the deceit, he surely understands that you might have trouble believing him. He did this and he needs to fix it.
Nothing to hide, nothing to delete.
I’m sorry you’re going through this, OP
The secrecy is probably more telling than anything else. He knows that perhaps this friendship is somehow wrong. Maybe he’s aware that he’s entering emotional affair territory, even though he may not know the phrase.
I guess, after a difficult day at work, a walk with a colleague is relaxing (are you allowed to go for walks at the moment with non-family members?), and that’s how it started. A way to offload and relax.
Hopefully, you’ve nipped it in the bud, and he is aware of the situation.
If it were me, I'd be asking what message system he used and see if there is a way to restore the deleted messages, which you can do for some. If he really wants to be transparent he can help try to restore them.
Or, I'd figure out a way to do it if possible then suggest it and gauge his reaction.
Hello OP here, changed name as have only just joined and didn't realise it wouldn't change first post.
Anyway, we tried to reinstall the messages but unfortunately the back up is only weekly and so nothing showed up. I'm really disappointed as I had hope this would clear the air and help us move on. Instead it's made me more paranoid.
He still maintains it was a friendship and his reasons for deleting messages were because it looked like he was having an easy time going for walks etc whilst I was at home alone with two young children. I very much feel like the cliched stay at home mum (lost job due to pandemic despite also working in healthcare, but that's another story). He has told me more and we are having good chats about it but our trust has been severely affected and I've no idea how to regain it. He has told me that he has too much to lose to have an affair. He has always had this view and I have pointed out that thus is very close into developing into one (if he's telling the truth and hasn't gone further) .
I hope we can get through this as I love him so much and we have such an amazing relationship usually. I'm so sad to be feeling so insecure.
It sounds as though it’s a lot easier for you to believe him and so I’m sure you will go along with it for now. I don’t blame you, I would just caution you to be careful.
I think he's lying. Hiding the fact he's gone for walks cos you'd think he had it easy? Really?
There's a book called 'Not just friends' by Dr. Shirley Glass...download a PDF copy and send to him.
Some of the content is about emotional affairs and how they develop, sometimes without you even realising.
I think any doubts you have about this "friendship" will just niggle away at you until you are convinced it's more. Whether it is or not. Some trust has been lost. Its very hard to get past a secret friendship ime.
Not very helpful advice but I have discovered a secret friendship before and i was furious, and never really got over his shitty explanations for not telling me.
You know as much as he’s willing to tell and you only know that because you found out.
He’s lied to you and selectively deleted what he could because it wouldn’t tally with his account. This is bad enough but his tortured soul performance has got you now jumping through ‘what can we —I— do to improve our marriage’ hoops.
Would I trust him, hells no. Deep down you don’t trust him either but you desperately want to.
If they’re together every day in work, the texts are the least of your worries.
If you noticed a change in his behaviour, it’s highly likely he does have intense feelings despite what he’s telling you.
Having a platonic friendship doesn’t change someone’s behaviour to the point where people notice.
Only you can answer this. You have posted on a relationships forum where alot of people have had experiences with infidelity and do will speak from a place they know.
Only you knows your relationship and your partner. We can speculate but that's like deciding whether the queen likes twiglets. We might guess tight, but don't know.
The only thing I'd say us, if you decide to take him at his word, you need to let ho of it and move on. You can't keep referring to it, or checking or worrying or bringing it up. It will drive you mad and ruin the relationship anyway. If you can't go thst, your answers right there
What has he said he will do now? In terms of this friendship?
I believe him that it is currently non sexual but I could imagine if he was not married it would be more.
He is going to minimise contact as best possible and tell her that they can't have a friendship as it will compromise our marriage.
Best advise i can give is...you also get a friend like his...and then you see how he will react..if u cant beat them join them...
He said he deleted previous messages because he had told me he didn’t go for a walk one day but the messages suggest otherwise.
He has been lying and prioritizing a secret relationship.
This is not a platonic friendship. He is minimizing. He is attracted to this woman and has been developing an emotional connection. He has created distance between you with the secrecy, lying, deleting, and change in behavior. Keeping his phone close=keeping her close.
You speak of discussing “what is missing from our relationship.” Do not accept any responsibility here. Marital issues did not cause or excuse his selfish pursuit of this ego boost and path of deception.
He may pay lip service to being against infidelity, but he chose to abuse your trust/support and has planted himself squarely in Emotional Affair territory (at the least). This deception would be a dealbreaker for me, but if you stay with him he needs to be fully transparent. He also needs to work on his weak boundaries, sense of entitlement, and poor coping mechanisms in individual counseling.
This sounds similar to the situation I found myself in, so can give you advice from what happened to me.
DH begun a friendship with a woman, wasn’t hidden from me but as time went on they started spending more time with each other, texting more etc.
When he started texting her first thing in the morning before talking to me, I had had enough.
He said it was only a friendship, he would never cheat on me and had been hiding the extent of it so I wouldn’t worry. He promised to curb the relationship (couldn’t stop all contact because of the situation). I accepted this and believed him, we had 2 dc so a lot to lose. And I do believe that at that time it was nothing physical.
Their friendship did continue and about a year later, he begun to spend a lot more time with her, never without his phone, staying out late etc. He had by then begun an affair. When I found out, he was out of the door!
If I had my time over, I would insist this relationship stop completely as soon as I knew about it.
My opinion on your situation, it does sound like it’s not physical yet but they obviously have some sort of attraction. He must stop any sort of relationship with her, whether friends or not, that is not too much to ask for your relationship. If he refuses or makes excuses why he can’t, that’s a red flag. But please learn from my mistake. Big hugs
Thank you lantern lighter.
He has spoken to the other woman (in front of me) and has cut off all friendship. I'm sure he need to work with her on occasion but he has offered much more transparency etc.
So here's hoping.
Also I contacted the other woman via text, on his phone, her reply was the same story and she said she didn't want to be involved with any confusion. so hopefully they are telling the truth.
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