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please help - 30wks pg and DH has just admitted to prolonged betrayal of trust

(6 Posts)
hurtandlonely Sat 07-Nov-09 10:38:04

Please help, I don't know who/where to turn at the moment. Apologies if this is v long, I haven't spoken to anyone other than MIL in RL and am struggling a lot.

Background is that DH and I have been married for 2 years, together for 5. When we got together, I was aware of DH's reputation for being a ladies man and he admitted that he had cheated on his exW on numerous occasions.

But, for all that, he really did seem like a changed man, i never had any reason to doubt that he was honest with me and we talked of marriage and DC's for a long time. I admit that I was mistrustful of him at first and have (on occasion) checked his phone but there was never anything improper. A lot of our friends/colleagues etc commented on how he was a changed man and I truly believed that and thought that I had found my soulmate.

He has been slightly stressy and moody recently but we have had a lot of financial outgoings and he has a stressful and busy job (he's self-employed and I'm SAHM). I am also heavily pg and with a 20month old DS1, sleep is often in short supply which makes everything seem more difficult.

Given this, I looked at his phone on Tues night and saw that he had typed and cleared (although I "uncleared" it) a sexually explicit text. I confronted him and he swore that it had never been sent but it had turned him on to text such an explicit text. He said that he had not texted anyone that day and so we agreed that he would show me his phone bill to confirm this.

I was devastated but believed him and found out that we could check his phone bills online so thought the whole sorry issue could be quickly resolved and put behind us. But on Wed night, he comes home and obviously realises that he can't come good on the promises that he made the night before and confesses whats been going on.

Firstly, he says that he has been trying to phone an ex acquaintance (who he used to have phone sex with years ago - nice) and that this has been going on for a year but he has never managed to speak to her, other than a quick hello. He swears that they have never had phone sex or any sexual contact since we have been married and his phone bills would suggest that this is true (the calls from his mob are usually seconds long as he says he kept getting her answerphone).

Secondly, he has admitted to texting and phoning another ex-shag for the past couple of months and that this had culminated recently in them agreeing to go for a coffee one lunch time but that it never actually happened. Again, his mobile phone bills suggest this is true.

Finally, he has admitted to recently having coffee and making phone calls to a third woman. He says that these were not sexual in anyway and that the woman in question would be stunned if she thought it was likely to wreck his marriage but that deep down, he knew it was wrong because he was being secretive about the meetings/calls to me and that I would be upset by it.

He has promised to do eveything he can to make amends and swears that he wants to be a better husband/father. I'm just so upset and hurt by this all and feel esp vulnerable as I'm so pg. I just don't know what to do, this wasn't the basis on which I agreed to be married or have children. But at the end of the day, I also know that in the scheme of things his misdeamenours are mild and he doesn't think they would have ever escalated to anything physical and he's not sure why he did it. I swing from being desperately tearful to white hot fury and don't know we get past this.

MIL knows whats been going on as I made DH tell her as I needed someone's support and guidance (even if it's not impartial). I also thought it best that only she knows and I don't want friends/family to know these grubby secrets if this is something we can work through. She is really for us working through this but I'm just not sure it can be done. DH is remorseful and sorry but I feel like my trust in him has been shattered at what should have been a happy and joyful time in our family life.

It's been so cathartic to write this so that alone has helped but any advice or guidance is much appreciated

flibertygibet Sat 07-Nov-09 11:33:57

I think it sounds like he's trying to test his own boundaries. The fact that he is open about it is a good sign - he's admitting that he's got a problem.

Try and keep the lines of communication open with him and keep talking. Does he have an addiction to this type of behaviour? Maybe it gives him a thrill.

Hang in there....

duke748 Sat 07-Nov-09 11:45:04

Wow! So much to take in. And it must be really painful for you. YOur DH has really let you down.

From your post it sounds as if you want to try to work through this. I think in order to do this you need to set some new ground rules.

One good thing is that he has admitted the truth and seems remorseful - you just need to read other threads on here to see that that often isn't the case.

It seems that he feels he needs these 'grubby little secrets' to fulfill some part of him. Maybe reliving his 'jack the lad' past? Maybe it was the excitement and thrill that marriage doesn't provide? Or maybe he is scared about becoming a Dad and doesn't think he is old enough for the responsibility?

He needs to work out what he thought he was getting from this and find a different want to get it that doesn't hurt his family.

The repeatedly calling a girl's answerphone for a year seems odd. What kind of thrill would he get from that? And isn't it stalking, or at the very least obsessive behaviour? Either its a lie, or as the phone bill suggest, true, then its not just about sexual kicks, is it? Is it about recapturing the part of his life when he knew her? Or about finding an answer as to why they finished? Or hassling her for some wrong doing in the past?

To do this will take a lot of soul searching from him and perhaps listening to some painful truths for you.

I think you also need to find out the answer to one specific question. If he could have how far would he have gone? It sounds like one girl not picking up the phone and another canceling a 'date' might have saved him from actual cheating.

You also need to tell him EXACTLY what is and isn't acceptable. Give specific examples. As hard as it is, try not to give a blanket ban on any interaction with women at all. Perhaps suggest that if he wants to be friends with women, that you are introduced to them to - ie you come along for coffee too.

What I don't think will work going forward is you being in a constant state of mistrust. Once LO arrives the last thing you need is feeling like you need to keep an eye on HIM as well as LO.

So, listen to him as he explains his thoughts on WHY it happened and what he is going to do in future to stop it from happening. Then decide if you can believe what he is saying. A trial period of say 6 months where you can look through bills, phone etc maybe. But agree a time when that stops if he has behaved himself. Not so much for him, but for your own peace of mind.

These changes might involve you making some changes, ie some more date nights, trying to rediscover the excitement of the first few days of the relationship. Remember what he did was HIS FAULT. If he was unhappy he should have talked to you about it, However, it might be that you both need to make changes to make things better.

I also worry that once LO arrives DH will get less attention and you have to prepare him for that. Its a fact of life, but perhaps DH needs to be told that you still love him and find him attractive?

I hope that my comments don't come across as some 1950s advice to keep your man happy so he won't stray. That's not what I mean at all. What I am trying to say is that you need to find out why and address it between you both. I think this is something that you can move on from with a lot of work from him and some from you.

My thoughts are with you and I hope it all works out for you. x

hurtandlonely Sat 07-Nov-09 15:22:34

Thank you both so much for taking the time to reply.

And thank you Duke for such a thoughtful and detailed reply - I am grateful. I really felt like I needed someone's counsel and your advice feels rational and appropriate. If you're not a professional counsellor, you really should be! I was dreading that people would tell me to kick him out or stop being so over-sensitive.

DH is finding it hardest to identify why he did it and what he was hoping to get from it. He's acknowledged that it was a thrill, that he felt that there were unresolved issues with women 1 and 2 and that his behaviour was obsessional. I personally also wonder if the thrill was heightened by the chase and the unanswered calls. We have also had a stressful couple of months in our home life and I'm certain that this played a part in increasing his obessional and odd behaviour.

One of my first questions was how far was he prepared to actually go and what it would have culminated in. DH really doubts whether he would have had the nerve to met for coffee/ask for phone sex. I think I believe him as he's acknowledged that he felt like a further boundary had been crossed by talking to woman 3 (even though he says the conversation was not sexual) and that he feels most guilty about that incident, even though in a lot of respects, it's the least worse of the lot.

We have also talked a lot about what will be acceptable behaviour from him now. He has offered to do anything, but as you say, I'm conscious that a blanket ban on anything (talking to women, mobile phone use etc!) is going to fail. So coffee with colleagues that he has just finished working with is fine, anything else is not unless we've discussed it. And he will not make contact with these 3 women mentioned and will tell me if they try to contact him, although he will not answer. He is certain that this will just lead to it fizzling out. Mobile phone bills will also be available for me to look at if I want. I am painfully aware though that at the end of the day, I have to have a certain "baseline" degree of trust in him otherwise we have nothing left to work with.

One huge positive is that we have both made such an effort to try and look after each other's wellbeing during these hideous few days. We have said that we must try and continue this and I certainly don't think that your advice to 'keep my man happy' is outdated and old-fashioned. We have both talked about the importance of being a good spouse to the other and of being a solid, loving and supportive family for our children.

I just hope that I can maintain this positive outlook as it seems so easy to fall into a black depression and rage at DH for his stupid behaviour that has threatened everything that we have. It seems so important to get this right first time, and as quickly as possible, given that we have a baby arriving in a few weeks time.

Thank you again. I have my fingers crossed very tightly x

tinkerbellesmuse Sat 07-Nov-09 15:39:59

You are not being over sensitive. Your DH has been a tw@t and frankly I think it is a mistake (at this stage) to see his confessions as "telling the truth". He wasn't telling you because he had some altruistic desire to be honest with you, he was telling you because he had been caught red handed - you would have discovered all this as soon as you looked at his phone bill.

That being said maybe your relationship can be salvaged but please don't under estimate
what a total tosser he has been. His behaviour was totally unacceptable and he must have known this: It is why he kept it secretand is why he initially lied about the extent of it.

duke748 Sat 07-Nov-09 15:45:13

Its good to hear an update from you. And thanks for your kind words. blush

I'm glad things are progressing for you. I just thought I'd add - its OK to be angry and might do him good to realise how much it hurts you. Not a kind of mad rage, 'you are a *' angry, but a 'how could you? I feel let down, betrayed etc etc' angry. Don't feel that you have to protect him from your feelings. I don't think that expressing them will jepodise your staying together. Sweeping them under the carpet will only mean that they reappear later.

Also - make him think long and hard about reasons for his behaviour and what he will do to change - a couple of days and not coming up with many answers might mean he hasn't dug deep enough or been honest with himself yet.

It sounds like you are using this hurtful period to reassess and bring yourselves closer to each other. You might look back on this time as the start of a new more intimate, more honest part of your relationship.

Please look after yourself, both physically and mentally. There is nothing wrong with letting him pamper you a bit, both to help ease any stress before the birth and also as a way for you both to connect to each other again.

Good luck and thinking of you.

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