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is my husband having an affair?

(94 Posts)
secretregular Tue 22-Mar-05 12:32:14

I'm a regular but have changed my name of this as I know people in RL from the site. I have been married for 5 years and have 2 small children under the age of 3. I am not working currently but have had a great job and am returning to it shortly. My husband and I are happy or so I thought and have no problems other than normal one's that you expect as par for the course. He started sharing an office with a single woman about a year ago well actually they share a desk! At first all I heard was X this and X that, I had just had baby number 2 and told him it was P'ing me off slightly as I wasn't feeling physically confident at that time and he stopped mentioning her. Then she organised a firm holiday for a long weekend and off he went (so did my father I'm not that stupid!) but I thought I was being quite good letting him go when I was literally left holding the baby and dealing with a toddler. All my friends thought I was a bit of a saint! On sunday I checked his phone. I don't really know why I did it, but I did and I found 7 text to her from him. The one's which concerned me were one sent from the aiport (he has recently had yet another little weekend away without me) one sent from the holiday itself and one sent on his way back from a business trip telling her how it went. I confronted him and he said it was all innocent, he was simply thanking her for the tips she gave him in finding the hotel, and was being friendly (re:the one sent from the holiday and business trip). I pointed out to him that he shouldn't really be that friendly with a colleague and what on earth must she think? Wouldn't she wonder why a married father of 2 is texting her from his holiday and why he isn't texting his wife? To conclude, I don't think he's having an affair but I do think he's having "a flirt" IFYKWIM. This makes me really depressed and livid on behalf of the children. How can he be so stupid and reckless. I don't think he wants to lose his family but isn't' this deeply disrespectful to me and our marriage? What on earth is he playing at? Or am I simply overreacting?

wild Tue 22-Mar-05 12:38:14

you need to speak with him about this, calmly. It all could be quite above board. I had thread about massage appts recently when I discovered a couple of 'clandestine' emails. On the surface it looked really dodgy, and other people agreed it looked dodgy too. However it turned out to be a real dead end, he didn't mention he had seen this woman cos he knew how I felt about her (a bit like you feel about the one in the office. Checking this stuff always makes you feel ghastly. I really would sit and have it out with him in a non confrontatoinal nonaccusatory way. Don't let it get into a row. Best of luck

beachyhead Tue 22-Mar-05 12:39:02

This could be the classic case of the 'office wife' - someone you work closely with, share work problems with, seems to get involved in all aspects of your life due to the time spent together and an office and work relationship spills over into a out of work friendship, but because it is tinged with a bit of power and maybe a bit of secrecy, it is quite highly charged.

I know my dh got , what I considered, overly friendly with a colleague, as I was pregnant with ds. They had a works weekend on a boat, sailing. I made my feelings absoulutely clear about her, I insisted on driving him to the marina, very publicly and with our children kissing him goodbye, to show her that WE WERE A FAMILY UNIT.... I think he was a bit shocked by how out of my way I was prepared to go to show her, and I think he backed off. I'll never know if he did have an affair and frankly I don't care..... he's with me now......

secretregular Tue 22-Mar-05 12:41:17

thanks for that. I don't feel very non-confrontational at the moment! He's lucky he went off on a business trip on Monday morning and isn't back till Wednesday. I avoided speaking to him yesterday as I wanted to process how I felt. I think you're right about trying to be calm but I think I need to let him know what my limit is too. He simply can't continue to text this woman about non business stuff. He knew I wasn't the sort of person who would tolerate this when he met me so he should know it now. He can forget the weekend work jaunts with her too. He's cooked his bloody goose in that regard.

secretregular Tue 22-Mar-05 12:43:35

beachyhead, that is a great idea. I told my Mum about it all this morning and she was aghast that I hadn't even been to the office to show my presence. She said I should show up because it would put it in context for this woman if she actually saw his wife. I felt that I just didn't want to do that as I'm not even remotely interested in this woman, its him I'm p'd off with. but if it worked for you maybe it would work for me? and I know he'd be mortified ...

wild Tue 22-Mar-05 12:44:55

totally agree
I am just saying calm cos I flew RIGHT off the handle and it was counter-productive in dealing with it.
Also, don't assume the worst. You are quite entitled to explian it's inappropriate and remind him of the boundaries though, of course

secretregular Tue 22-Mar-05 12:48:59

I know. When ever I have become angry and shout, he stays really calm and no matter what the topic I become "the bad guy". I'm suddenly the over emotional ranty shouty cow and my points however valid fly out the window. I have always found that hurt tears get me further. I could kill him though stupid fart.

wild Tue 22-Mar-05 12:51:03

Good job you have a day or so before broaching this!
Best of luck.

Chandra Tue 22-Mar-05 12:51:53

I think that as long as you don't exceed the point it should be OK. I used to work in a male environment (24man to 2 woman) and believe me I was tired of woman showing their jealousy around when I couldn't care less about their DHs (in a romantic way). The job was very demanding and we used to spend days and late nights together (worked in a newspaper), I cared for them, I know they cared for me (as a coworker), but... I also had a life of my own, a relationship and a family. So be careful, she might be perfectly innocent... or, have you found messages from her to your DH?

QueenEagle Tue 22-Mar-05 12:53:41

From past experience I would be very wary. My x-dh worked in a residential home for adults with disabilities and took some of the residents on a holiday with a female colleague. I didn't like it but it was work after all. The following year he went again with the same colleague. It was during the week our wedding anniversary fell but he wouldn't change it because it would have inconvenienced the colleague! I was deeply hurt and unhappy about the fact he was willing to put my feelings before hers.

On their return I surprised him by meeting him and expected him to come straight home as he hadn't seen me and the kids for a week. He instead went to the pub with this girl for a "debrief" leaving me and the kids to go back home on our own.. As they drove off in his car I "knew", just knew something had happened between them. Months later I found out it had - but that's another story.

If you feel uneasy about his relationship with this colleague then tell him. Explain it's not about jealousy, it's about putting you first, thinking of your feelings, making YOU feel like you're the special person in his life. If he values your relationship then he will listen and do something about it.

secretregular Tue 22-Mar-05 12:56:45

only replies to his to be fair. I don't judge her at all, I'm not supposing for a second she's interested in him, just worried she thinks he's after her and I feel a bit mortified about that. I'm not jealous of her, I do wish he wasn't sharing a bloody desk with the only single woman in the office though but I think that's just human nature isn't it?? If not, its at least understandable when you've just had a baby and aren't feeling at your most gorgeous physically. Also its hard when you've always worked and gone off in suits and looked smart to have baby sick on your jeans and top when he returns. I know he's working with vibrant attractive women and that's okay but he doesn't need to rub my nose in it!!

Chandra Tue 22-Mar-05 12:58:30

Agree with Queen Eagle, but deal with your DH not with the woman, even if you are right, if you say something against her, to his eyes she will be the victim and you will be the witch, it's all how do you manage it.

Chandra Tue 22-Mar-05 12:58:51

Ooops, crossposted!

secretregular Tue 22-Mar-05 13:01:25

Queeneagle bastard. When I confronted him about it, I told him I wanted him to get his own office. Its a weird situation but they all have to buy the office they are in and pay ridiculous amounts of money for the furniture. They are all technically self employed and co-own the building and support staff. He said he couldn't possibly, they had bought the office together, at the time I was relieved as the 'firm' wanted £6000 for the desk and we didn't have the money! I was relieved she offered to share it as they are technically supposed to be out at different times although somehow it never seems to be like that. I am going to tell him the texts have to stop and there are no more holidays alone together. The holidays are pure pleasure not needed for work.

Chandra Tue 22-Mar-05 13:06:37

I perfectly understand what you say, with time, we all end up having a baby sick in our jeans. I'm measuring DS growth by his dribling spots against my trousers.

What about an innocent talk to him about her, if he doesn't feel interested or threatened chances are that everything should be OK. I have the idea that showing to a man that you are jelous of another woman only makes the other woman more interesting to their eyes. So is all about you manage the problem but in the mean time... find excuses to avoid him from travelling with her.

Chandra Tue 22-Mar-05 13:13:24

BTW Some years ago a DH's coworker confessed a crush on him (to him) while they were in a trip abroad. I believe the openness of our conversations paid of then, I was the first to know, and knowing they would need to continue working together I helped him to write a letter for her to tell her he was not interested but he was happy to foget what she had said completely so they could continue working together. Obviously they don't have dinners together anymorewhen they end up travelling to the same city anymore, but at least they can be in a meeting and act as nothing have been said...

Chandra Tue 22-Mar-05 13:15:12

Oops I clicked enter when I wanted to erase the previous post, sorry. All my support to you.

secretregular Tue 22-Mar-05 13:16:26

thanks, you handled that really well. hope I do the same. I could cheerfully kill him though to be honest.

secretregular Tue 22-Mar-05 13:51:58

oh come on girls, the mr frosty thread got more replies than this. I need some help!

TracyK Tue 22-Mar-05 14:03:20

Be wary - my friends dh had an affair with his co-worker when she was 8.5 months pg. She was no oil painting and my friend thought there was nothing to worry about. but there was!
I agree - long term strategy is to meet him for lunch, drop by to see him at the office, pick him up etc - as much as you can to let her see 'your family'. or is it poss to get friendly with her, would she answer his extensiona t work and you could be chatty with her?
But I think you have to spell it out to a man - 'if you have an affair - you will lose your family!!!'
But even if he doesn't have an affair with her - is she in his thoughts?? an emotional affair iykwim?

Chandra Tue 22-Mar-05 14:12:11

Being friendly to her is a top tip.

TracyK Tue 22-Mar-05 14:14:01

If you go on a day out - buy her a little pressie? chocs or maybe buy a facial and say 'youwon it but can't make it - would she like it'?? be sneaky.

Bugsy2 Tue 22-Mar-05 14:33:43

Secretregular, I found out my husband was having an affair via texts on his mobile - but they certainly weren't "friendly" or office related. I think you need to take some deep, calming breaths & relax a little bit.
By all means keep your wits about you & keep an eye on this relationship. However, I think alot of people have a gentle flirt with colleagues and it doesn't mean they fancy them or would leave their partners for them - it just brightens the day a bit.
I know it is hard when you are feeling a bit blobby after baby2, but you must try to trust him.
Could you make a bit of time for the two of you to spend some time together, a night out, weekend away.
I would suggest you don't make too much of an issue of this, as you could end up pushing him away. (However, I am no expert & others may have different & better advice)

secretregular Tue 22-Mar-05 14:38:25

but I don't know her. I have nothing to do with his work at the moment it would look so suspect. I have just spoken to him on the phone and he has reassured me that it's all perfectly innocent. It might be (instinct says not but i don't think they have had an affair) but I have put the fear of god in him. I told him I am seeking legal advice to establish my rights. Because i'm not working at the mo I feel a bit vulnerable and dependent on him. I want to know what my rights are I feel I should do that for my kids. he seemed scared stiff at that and his voice was shaking. I think he's been having a bit of a flirt and wasn't expecting this. I told him no more text messages of weekends with her and he agreed. I am going to be super viligant and will be popping in and letting her see me. I asked him why he didn't get someone to buy him out of the office and he said we'll talk about that when he comes home. he thinks it will make him look foolish in front of the rest of his colleagues but isn't it better than 10 years of grief?

expatinscotland Tue 22-Mar-05 14:40:03

Hire a private investigator. Worth the peace of mind, IMO.

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