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I think he's cheating

(43 Posts)
liliesinthesummer Fri 18-Sep-20 15:45:09

I am a first time poster, in fact, I've signed up here after a long time lurking because I really could do with advice.
I've been married for 14 years, we have 2 kids, a stable financial life, lovely house, supportive extended families etc etc. It looks perfect from the outside and I thought it was as close to perfect as it could be from the inside but....
I think my DH is having an affair. I'm not normally a checker of his phone but recently he's been taking it everywhere, literally everywhere. He's been distracted and moody and not 'present' which is not like him at all. he has always been an equal partner with children, chores etc but lately he hasn't been 'with us'. I put it down to stress of some recent family events that have been a little tricky. He comes to bed later than me, checks his phone all the time and is drinking more than normal. Yesterday I picked up his phone to check something online as mine was charging and a message popped up from a woman whis name I recognise, it was a photo of her naked. I felt sick, shaky, full of rage. I scrolled up the messages and found literally loads, him, her, messages about what they would like to do to each other. Some of it seemed like innocent chat between friends and then all of a sudden, a sext out of nowhere. And it's been going on for a few years, I think. at least the messages suggest that. I don't think they've actually done anything, met up or it's become physical but I can see that there have been calls and video chats too.
What the actual do I do now? I have been walking around in a daze since seeing them and now I don't know what to do. He'll deny being unfaithful won't he? this is cheating, isn't it? I don't know why I'm asking because I know the grim reality. it's someone he used to know a long time ago, someone he once had feelings for (he's spoken about her to me, how she broke his heart) Is it possible to recover from this and mend it. I would have support irl but I'm not ready to talk about it with my family, I've not even spoken to him yet. I'm so ashamed I don't want my family to know.

OP’s posts: |
ilikemethewayiam Fri 18-Sep-20 16:22:05

Whether it’s physical or not, it has already crossed over into an emotional affair. He has checked out of your relationship and is fantasising about her. This has been going on for a few years so not a girl that’s momentarily turned his head! I don’t think you need any proof of a physical relationship, you have enough. I would do the usual gathering of all documentation and get your ducks in a row, speak to a solicitor etc, just in case you need it. Then I would confront him with this and treat it as an affair regardless. Demand the truth and be prepared for things you weren’t expecting. Don’t let him gaslight you. I would also get an STI check just to be on the safe side. I’ve been here and it’s difficult to think straight when in shock. There will be lots of great advice coming forward from MN’rs who have been there too. Hang in there OP 💐

Elmer83 Fri 18-Sep-20 16:37:16

Yes it’s cheating even if nothing physical has happened. I’m so sorry this is happening to you. He’s a twat.

AngusThermopyle Fri 18-Sep-20 16:37:52

OhOp how awful for you.
I would do similar to pp as in getting everything sorted but I wouldn't even bother with getting any 'truths', you know what's happened and for how long and that would be enough for me to end it.
As soon as I had all paperwork etc sorted I'd be telling him I know what's going on, it's over, and to get out, we'll be getting a divorce.

lesleyw1953 Fri 18-Sep-20 21:00:43

You have nothing to be ashamed about. NOTHING. This is all down to him and his crappy behaviour. Sending you hugs and hoping you get free of this loser and find happiness

FastAndCurious Fri 18-Sep-20 21:54:22

If you can get his phone again take pictures on yours. He will minimise and delete them when you confront him.

What do you want to happen next? It is an affair, whether they have had sex or not. Years of this? You deserve so, so much more.

widespreadpanic Fri 18-Sep-20 22:29:04

I would confront him and suggest counseling. However I don’t think this is something I could move past since it’s been going on for years

MsDogLady Fri 18-Sep-20 22:29:13

I am sorry, OP. This is long-term emotional and sexual cheating. He is having an affair and has created distance between himself and you all to justify it.

In your shoes, I would take action now and tell him to leave for a while. I wouldn’t give him the opportunity to lie, minimize and gaslight. You know what you saw—infidelity and disloyalty. He needs to experience a sharp consequence for this betrayal and you need space to think.

MsDogLady Fri 18-Sep-20 22:48:51

I meant to add that personally I wouldn’t forgive such a betrayal. He has made a mockery of your marriage and family. I would lose all my trust and respect for him.

Appleofmyeye05 Fri 18-Sep-20 22:56:22

No advice but I’m so sorry op flowers sending a virtual hug

Whatabambam Fri 18-Sep-20 23:44:42

Oh hugs to you OP. Please don't feel ashamed. This is not your fault and any shame should be fully experienced by your DH. The huy that has betrayed you. I think you are struggling to categorise the affair and getting some clarity may help. However, he is cheating on you regardless of whether he is physically active with the OW. He is emotionally and sexually attracted to someone else and he has betrayed your trust. I agree that you should copy the pictures and messages not only to challenge him with but also to help remind you of what he is capable of if you find yourself doubting what you want or need to do. I'm so sorry that this has happened to you flowers

MarriedtoDaveGrohl Sat 19-Sep-20 00:16:53

Well I'm sorry but I don't see for a second how they can have been texting for years and not met up. I've had champion avoidants text me and there is no way that there's that kind of text happening unless you are having a sexual relationship. It's just not possible.

MsDogLady Sat 19-Sep-20 04:46:51

He’ll deny being unfaithful won’t he?

Don’t entertain any of his minimizing. He obviously still has feelings for OW, and even if they’ve not met up (hard to believe), they’ve been having mutual sexual experiences for years through explicit photos, sexting, calls and video chats.

Please don’t feel ashamed, OP. Feel angry. This is all about his unethical choices. He is a selfish, faithless liar who has been leading a double life.

Dontletitbeyou Sat 19-Sep-20 07:00:19

This is not your doing . Please do not feel ashamed for one minute . You have no reason whatsoever to feel ashamed . This is all on him
He’s been exchanging sext , messaging , calls , video calls with this woman ( a woman who he has admitted having feelings for in the past ) for a couple of years . Yes , this is cheating , no matter how much he tries to downplay it . His actions show you that he has no respect for you at all , not for you or your DC. Try and get back in his phone and take as many pics of the messages etc as you can for evidence .
You say you have a stable financial life and a nice house . Get a SHL lawyer and see where you stand .
I couldn’t in any way begin to forgive this , ever .

liliesinthesummer Sat 19-Sep-20 10:03:57

Thank you so much for your replies. I’ve not been able to get hold of his phone and I don’t know if I can stomach seeing the pictures again. Why do they do this? What is so about me that he’s wanting to sleep with another woman? Today is busy, I have things to do with the kids, things we normally share the load of. He’s made an excuse about finishing a work thing (still wfh) but I’m sure I’ll be back if I find the strength to confront him later.

OP’s posts: |
Flittingaboutagain Sat 19-Sep-20 10:29:28

The thing that helped me when my husband cheated and left me for her was a huge list of women I admire it happened to....eg Beyonce was cheated on. An incredibly successful businesswoman, beautiful, confident and full of life and personality and yet it still it happened to her.

It has nothing to do with you or your life. Cheaters are, by nature, avoidant emotionally unintelligent people who have no skills in expressing their needs. Therefore they get themselves into a state of disconnection and self pity to justify their desire to cheat rather than confront whatever is going on for them and address it in a healthy manner. Cheating is the ultimate act of passive aggression towards a spouse.

Divorce him for adultery and take back your power.

Closetbeanmuncher Sat 19-Sep-20 11:13:51

Cheaters are, by nature, avoidant emotionally unintelligent people who have no skills in expressing their needs. Therefore they get themselves into a state of disconnection and self pity to justify their desire to cheat rather than confront whatever is going on for them and address it in a healthy manor. Cheating is the ultimate act of passive aggression towards a spouse

Perfectly summary by @flittingaboutagain.

It wouldn't matter if you were Giselle's hotter twin and you had mind blowing sex 7 days a week. Some people unfortunately are all consumed by the thrill of the case, and never ending validation for their thirsty egos. It has absolutely nothing to do with you OP.

In these circumstances I would keep quiet and focus on getting yourself into a position to live independently. Any respect or trust I had for the person would be gone.

Sorry this shit show is happening to you.💐

liliesinthesummer Sat 19-Sep-20 16:02:29

Thank you for your gentle responses. I’m planning to try and stay awake to get his phone later. I think I’ve understood that this is an affair, accepting that truth is harder though. I don’t quite know what I’m feeling, I suppose it’s shock?

OP’s posts: |
Sunflower1970 Sat 19-Sep-20 23:53:22

So sorry but you need to talk to him. You’ve seen the evidence. Time to ask him to leave . You’re worth more than being second best. He’s checked out xx

doopdeepduup Sun 20-Sep-20 02:27:36

Hope you are ok

YoBeaches Sun 20-Sep-20 10:17:43

How are things today OP? 💐

liliesinthesummer Sun 20-Sep-20 15:23:58

Thank you for asking how I am. Tbh I don’t think I’m doing too well but I’m not sure where to start or stop. I’ve not got hold of his phone but I have asked him. Apparently they are ‘just good friends’, there’s nothing going on and they are old friends looking out for each other. Obviously I don’t believe this crap. I think I’m trying to process the idea that an affair doesn’t have to be physical and the idea that this has happened to me. It’s like I’m looking in on my life and I feel a bit detached. I’ve not asked him to leave and he hasn’t volunteered to go....yet. I don’t want to argue with kids in the house but there is tension and it feels miserable. I don’t really know what to do now.

OP’s posts: |
yetmorecrap Sun 20-Sep-20 15:29:09

Did you mention the actual photos etc— because strangely I don’t have old Male friends who send me naked pics etc that I mysteriously fail to mention to the wife

Flittingaboutagain Sun 20-Sep-20 16:56:45

OP. Shirley Glass Just Good Friends is for you.

It might take weeks to sink in.

So sorry.

MarriedtoDaveGrohl Sun 20-Sep-20 17:35:18

So I have just been discussing tinder with my friend who will meet up with chaps sometimes. I mooted the idea of men who just message and dont want to meet. It doesn't happen.
They either go straight for the meeting up/sex convo or if you are saying you want more delay meeting.

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