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is flirting by text with another woman classed as cheating??

(16 Posts)
chasetheace1 Sat 10-Oct-09 09:18:10

Hi to all you mums out there,

Am a first timer to all this but would love to hear some impartial advice from anyone who has been through this.

My problem is as follows:-
have been with my partner for 10 years & engaged for 5. We gave a daughter aged 3.
I have just discovered text messages on my partners phone for a 2nd time from the same woman.

I don't know this woman but she is regular in a pub my partner used to frequent till we moved away 3 years ago.

The 1st occasion i discovered messages they were suggestive but inconclusive that anything had actually happened - it was all wishful thinking & when I discovered these my partner assured me thay were just friendly flirty banter & he would cease, delete her number out of his phone & that would be the end of it. He knew he had been foolish & swore it would never happen again.

But I discovered yesterday that a message came through on his phone (after he left it at home by accident) from the same woman again.
i pretended to be him to lure her into divulging whats been happening & again it was filthy but not conclusive anything has happened but what she would like to do.

I have confronted him with my findings, he says it didn't continue on from the 1st episode & he had onlt been incontact recently after bumping into her by chance. She still had his number & has been pursuing him.
He regards her as a friend but has made it clear he does not want any other relationship with her other than friendship.
He thinks he done nothing wrong.

I feel completley betrayed, I ve been lied too & after both of us have come from prevoius relationships were we both were cheated on, so we both made a pact never to do this to each other.

I have a 3 year old daughter to think of & don't want to make a life changing decision lighlty but the trust is the most important thing here which has been broken. Wereas he thinks because it wasn't physical between them it's forgivable. he is remorsemul & knows he has been stupid, but thinks we can work it out.

Really confused.com - has anybody been through this & survived. I can't take advice from family & friends on this as too emotive & not impartial..

Many thanks

Chase the ace

countingto10 Sat 10-Oct-09 09:24:09

If he wouldn't do it in front of you, it's cheating ie if he wouldn't show you her texts and wouldn't reply to her in front of you. This goes for everything in a relationship eg financial stuff, spending money you haven't got without telling you etc.

My DH had an affair six months ago and we both know the boundaries now - whether or not anything happened with this woman, your DP has crossed a boundary.

Good luck.

countingto10 Sat 10-Oct-09 09:26:22

Sorry, it is possible to get over this but I would suggest a bit of counselling so you can both work on communication and honesty. Been through 4 months worth with DH and it has worked.

Good luck again.

MmeGoblindt Sat 10-Oct-09 09:35:09

I agree that it is cheating.

He needs to send her a text (and show you it) stating that she must stop contacting him, that he is commited to you and not interested in her.

Is it possible for him to block texts from her?

And he has to be completely open with you and not lie to you.

chasetheace1 Sat 10-Oct-09 09:50:13

thank you for advice.

I feel there is a boundary that he has crossed & can't help feeling 'to be betrayed once -fool him, to be betrayed twice -fool me!'

I set the boundary on the 1st episode but he's been sucked back into this. If he had been upfront & said she's contacted me again i would have been okay but this has continued behind my back.

We do have an honest relationship & we do talk, ther has not been any obvoius behaviour when people have affairs ie. dressing up, unaccountable absences, workign overtime etc, he leaves his phone around, there isn't alot of opportunity for him as we both work full time, he comes straight home & we spend all our time together as a family.

But the lying, deceit & mistrust is the thing i have the issue with.
He has rung her infront of me & told her to leave him alone but is this enough??

Confused.com

MmeGoblindt Sat 10-Oct-09 11:35:12

I would say if you have no other signs that he is meeting her then you have to decide if you want to leave it at that.

I assume that you have made it clear to him that if she contact him again that he is to tell you immediately. Giving him the benefit of the doubt, he might have not wanted to upset you when she started texting him again.

He has to make her understand, without being nasty or rude that he is not willing to risk his marriage for the sake of a few risquee texts.

Is there a way to block her texts? Contact your provider to find that out.

WhenwillIfeelnormal Sat 10-Oct-09 11:59:28

Chase - might need a bit more info here to advise you properly. How long passed between both episodes? When OW text came through, was it from the same number as last time or did it show her name (or codename)? That is, were you able to establish that her number had been deleted from his phone? Did you ever see what your DP was sending her? Also, how did he "close" contact with her last time? Clearly not emphatic enough for her not to text again.

What I find strange you see, is that when she got a reply from "him", she didn't express delight that he had responded - and launched straight into explicit messaging. Most people would want some kind of build up to that after a break. Would have been normal if the text you found in this most recent episode had said "How how are you, been thinking of you lately" but to start with a suggestive text doesn't quite add up.

The signs of an affair are many and varied and the signs my DH was displaying did not accord with anything I'd believed before.

What ever happened, I suspect you don't yet know the full story. I'm not suggesting that anything physical has actually happened yet, but in answer to your initial question, yes of course it's cheating.

If it helps, the start of my DH's affair with OW was a bit like this. She played him a bit more carefully though. The initial bout of texting and E mailing was fairly innocent, but full of stuff about how wonderful and handsome he was etc. She repeatedly asked to meet up and he kept saying that "it wasn't a good idea". So she gave up for a while. Had I found out that this was going on at this stage, I feel sure my DH would have deluded himself and me that this would never have progressed to an affair and that he had "done the right thing" by refusing to see her. But of course, this would have been utter bollocks (and I hope I would have seen this at the time.)

The truth was that as adults in monogamous relationships, we know instinctively that text relationships with people who want to have sex with us, that are secret from our partners, are wrong. My Dh would have probably acknowledged this, but he absolutely wouldn't have acknowledged what HE was getting out of it. And that by engaging in it in the first place and being so half-hearted in his refusals, what he was doing was laying pathways for her to return and try her luck at some other stage. This is why your DP's "closure" with her last time is important.

In our case, I hadn't a clue about the first batch of texting and E mails, or that he was in contact with anyone. I do know that at this time, I was feeling very uneasy about something, but put it down to all sorts of things other than that - it would have been the very last thing I would have thought of. Perhaps you had a better antennae than me, hence you found out the first time - might help to tell us what that was?

Months went by and my DH's OW got back in contact with him - and it took another month of intense (in volume) texting for her to show her hand about what she really wanted. Her cue for that was my DH agreeing to meet her, but neither of them was showing their hand up till then. As soon as she did, my DH entered into the whole thing with gusto - the "pretence" had lifted, you see.

Had I found out at this point, my DH would have had a lot more explaining to do, but would have insisted that he never had any intention of following through with the arrangement and that this was just a fantasy. Which again, would have been utter bollocks.

Unfortunately, I never found about any of this until it had become a full-blown affair.

The point I'm trying to make is that when it's at this texting stage, men often delude themselves that this is not infidelity, as they haven't had sex...yet. But the truth is, boundaries are being crossed and barriers to infidelity are being dismantled all the time. It doesn't necessarily occur to them that something must be seriously wrong for them to be doing this. They never seem to acknowledge that they are getting something out of this and will hide behind the "she was pursuing me" line. This is a smokescreen. The truth is, they are taking an active part in this for a reason.

What ever you do, get to the bottom of this and force your DP to confront what was really going on here. Don't accept smokescreens and delusions. There's a book I'd recommend called "Not Just Friends" by Shirley Glass that explains all this, but I urge you to get to the root of it, or it will absolutely happen again. Delusions and smokescreens do not "affair-proof" a relationship - and stopping the behaviour is like putting a band-aid on a wound that needs stitches.

Would suggest counselling (all counsellors seem to have read the above book) if you need a third party to get him to acknowledge all this - and just a trawl through this site will tell you all you need to know.

These texting relationships are NEVER harmless.

chasetheace1 Sat 10-Oct-09 12:28:43

Thankyou 'whenwillifeelnormal'

You talkalot of sense & sound like you have been through something similar.

The first episode was 3 years ago, like most things I didn't suspect anything, no affair behavior but looked at his phone one day that had been lying around.
This is when I found out what had been going on with the flirty texts. He rang her infront of me & told her not to contact him anymore, deleted her number, swore he would never do anything like this again & it never was anything more than texting.

The current episode has been in the last couple of months, she knows his circumstances ie, has a partner & family.
It is the same woman again -when I confronted him about this he says she is pursuing him, he has told her that they are just friends & nothing will come of it.

My issue is (&I don't know if I'm being unreasonable about this) My moral compass says this is not acceptable I would not do this to him. I am pretty relaxed & trusting of people but I alos expect it in return.

He doesn't think he has done anything wrong because it didn't become physical but he acknowledges that it was foolish & is remorseful.
In his own words 'Are you willing to throw away our relationship & family life over a text message'- That sends me into complete rage!!(angry)

He is willing to invite her round to tell me face to face what has (not) happened but I am not good with confrontation & wouldn't be able to cope with it even though I can be v. strong at times. i really don't want to see this woman & think it's irrelavant because for me it's about his deeds & actions not hers.

I think after some of the advice I have had this morning we need to go to counselling even if it's just to get this out in the open through a third party. i just need to show him that this behaviors not acceptable & what is behind all of this.

Thanks again mums

chasetheace1 Sat 10-Oct-09 12:36:01

PS
'whenwillifeelnormalagain'

In answer to your question her name does not come up in her phoe just a number, that is why wasn't sure who it was at first. My partner confirmed it was her.

i did try to trap her yesterday by continuing the text conversation, her thinking it was him & by the 3rd or 4th text started to get a bit lurid - She wasn't suprised by the contact so this had been going on for a while.

His phone records confirm that - around 30 texts over about 3-4 months.

The thing is he's not very clever about covering his tracks, leaving mobile out on show, phone records available - but he will argue because he has nothing t0 hide.

BiteOfFun Sat 10-Oct-09 12:45:59

I don't see what there is to get counselling about to be honest. He knows you are pissed off, he has dropped her and deleted the number. It is simply a question of whether you can put it behind you and trust him again.

Give yourself a month or so to see how you feel, and let him know he needs to rebuild your trust. If the trust has really gone, then you'll have to re-evaluate things.

It seems a flimsy reason to walk away to me, but I'm not you. If you really feel you can't trust him, then I guess it's over.

A counsellor can't make you feel any differently, just help you to talk, and it doesn't sound like that is a problem.

WhenwillIfeelnormal Sat 10-Oct-09 13:02:20

Oh Bite - I profoundly disagree - and am worried that the OP will take your advice tbh. What counselling will achieve is getting the man in this case to confront WHY he was doing this and what HE was getting out of it. Stopping behaviour does not get the root cause of why the behaviour occurred in the first place.

Calling this behaviour "foolish", like the OP's partner did, just demonstrates he hasn't a clue about the seriousness of this. That's because he's filed it away in his brain as a bit of harmless fun that only stopped, remember, because the OP found out each time. Without her intervention, do you really think that he would have had a reality check and stopped this in its tracks?

The analogy I will give is that a child might stop doing something if we tell him not to - and he might fear the consequences if he does it again and is found out - but it doesn't remove his desire to do it, does it?

OP, thanks for getting back. I must urge you not to give in to what amounts to emotional blackmail on his part. There are three things that worry me about his response:

1) Putting the onus on you for "throwing it all away" - er, no actually, you haven't done anything wrong here. HE's the one whose behaviour might result in that outcome. Please don't underplay this - or let him think you are over-reacting. You are not.

2) His offer to bring OW round. This is utter bollocks and he would have no intention of this happening. He knows you'd never consent to that and he's playing you. He knows you don't handle confrontation well and is relying on that. This OW would hardly consent to that arrangement anyway and it would be a terrible idea.

3) He doesn't think he's done anything wrong. He thinks he has been foolish (infantilising himself and putting you in the role of his Mum) and is remorseful (at being caught, rather than for the actual behaviour). Sorrow for something you don't actually think is wrong is pretty empty sorrow, eh?

Don't let him play you, Chase. This is a common defence mechanism for people in this situation - they make you out to be the bad guy who is over-reacting.

BiteOfFun Sat 10-Oct-09 14:54:55

I just don't think you can "make" anyone "do" counselling- they have to want to, iyswim. But you sound like you've got experience of this situation, so I'll defer to you on it.

TDiddy Sun 11-Oct-09 08:56:04

agree with BoF's post that it is not an obvious candidate for counselling and suggestion that you reflect on what you want to do over the next few weeks.

janess404 Sun 11-Oct-09 17:42:07

buy another payg phone and text similar things to what the women has text him from your phone to this phone pretending its a guy, neighbour, teacher, plumber etc leave your phone out act like you done nothing wrong see how he likes it!! then ask him again if he thinks he done something wrong

WhenwillIfeelnormal Sun 11-Oct-09 18:21:58

Chase - how are things? Any update?

Martha1 Sun 11-Oct-09 19:12:54

It definitely is cheating!! I'd be heartbroken if it happened to me (again!!), I found out my ex was cheating on me through texts found on his phone

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