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I shouldn't have looked, but I did.................
At some old work diaries/journals belonging to dh.
BTW, I am a v regular Mumsnetter, but really had to go "underground for this!"
I came across the journals when I was having a tidy up and my curiosity got the better of me. He's always said I can look at anything of his - I haven't before and wish I'd stuck to that rule .
So, we were "courting" from September 1997, got engaged January 2000 and married July 2000.
The following is some of the stuff that he wrote during this time - I've changed the names, (just in case!) and am referring to myself as Sue.
There are lots of references to "Mary" or a "Mary type". This was someone he went out with for a couple of months before he met me. It didn't work out (not sure why) - she was from the US and went back there to live.
"Must make more space for Sue. Also, make it a rule to chat up one woman per day".
"The excitement isn't there (referring to me) that there should be. So use her - because she's not destructive. It's a neutral thing at worst."
"Want and have Sue. Want and don't have Mary - no reason why I shouldn't find her, it's only been a year".
"I've got Sue for sex and Diane (this was an ex long term partner) for companionship"
"Waitress Mandy has nice tits and is interested. Estate Agent Sarah looks like a model and is interested. Louise is young and into me. Jenny is a really nice girl with a good brain who likes me. Liz might be into a f* every now and then. There's no reason why I shouldn't do anything about the above." (meaning I didn't matter I assume).
Notice how I figure nowhere on the above list, although there are a few references elsewhere about me being good in bed).
"Marriage - Mary type - 25 year old. One offs (as in 1 night stands) - yes."
I was referred to in a list with Mary and Sarah, but he wrote a really detailed "review" about Sarah - reasons why he thought she was suitable for him etc etc.
"It would be good to meet someone and this is the season for it".
"Where's the excitement? Still with the Mary type".
Throughout 1999, he still seems to be hankering after Mary and even in November 1999 ( a few weeks before he asked me to marry him) - clearly she's still the type he really wants to marry.
I don't see any definite references to him actually sleeping with someone else, but some things make me a bit suspicious.
I know I shouldn't have looked, I know it's 5 years on, but I'm really hurt. He's always banging on about how much he's always loved me blah blah blah.
I don't know what to do about it either.
Your honest thoughts appreciated (don't mind of they are searingly honest, but be a bit gentle with me).
ps - as you can see from the time of this post, I can't sleep!
Don't really know what to say, apart from that if you read my diaries from a similar time (i.e. the years before I got married), you'd probably get much the same feeling.
I thought that dh was the comfortable and easy option. He was never as exciting as 'the other option'. However, this is why I wanted him to be my dh, and not the other option if this makes sense. This was what I wanted long term.
However, I'm sure that if DH ever read my diaries from that time, they would be heart breaking reading for him, as they would sound awful. I spent a lot of time writing trying to justify to myself that I had done the right thing in marrying him.
If you don't see anything definite about him sleeping with anyone else, then presume (for your own sanity!) that he didn't. He might just have been 'talking through' his options, like he would with a friend. I'm sure that most men run through all the people they think they've got a chance with. And they probably didn't with most of them.
Does anything in the journals change after you got married / engaged? I know that getting married was a turning point for me. I'd made my decision, and was sticking by it. Have you got children together?
What next? Well, if he's said you could read them, you could ask him about them. I probably wouldn't. I'd imagine that the ensuing rows and tension could be worse than what you're imagining in your head. Can you just put them to the back of your mind?
HTH. Sorry that you read them.
P.S. This isn't my usual posting name, but had to change for obvious reasons.
tbh, I think this is a man's way of thinking things through and NO worse that we (women) would do with our close girlfriends and bottle of wine or too. We say and share things that would make grown men blush, it's our way of getting support and working through scenarios. Men just write it down, albeit with no finesse or sensitivity.
Is you marriage happy now? Are you pleased you married him? Do you have any underlying difficulites? If not, I would not do more than seethe in the small hours until you get it out of your system. Certainly don't rock the boat if you are happy otherwise, he probably won't remember writing it and certainly won't understand the emotional significance to you.
That's my sentiments exactly SW even if I didn't come across so clearly.
Blimey. Unfortunately it sounds like something I would do, too. I agree with trying to put it out of your mind, his anger and resentment at having his journals read would be hard to get past. Diaries and journals are personal for those reasons, I think. Some of what I think and feel even now would hurt dh if he were to read it. But we are different human beings and as much as you can love somebody else, we all still have private thoughts and feelings. I also think that you should give him the benefit of the doubt, this was a while ago and he does say he loves you now. Not to say you are wrong to feel hurt and upset, just don't let it eat you up. Let sleeping dog lie, as they say.
well I do have the advantage of having been up for over 7 hours earlymoring
Bah, suzywong put it so much more eloquently than me! I think you will find that you would feel the same if it was someone other than you... It is just hard to pretend its not!
lol sw at "seeth in the small hours until you get it out of your system" - that's just what I'm doing and probably what I deserve for being nosey! I can't see how I can tackle it with him. It's quite clear what he was thinking and feeling - he'd be hard pressed to come up with reassuring excuses!
I'd say we do have a happy marriage (and children) - I'm just really shocked that we were on such different wavelengths for such a long time. Also, finding out that really, I was "held in reserve" for so long is hard to take - no-one better came along, so he "made do" with me.
everyone has given you very sensible and mature advice, but if it happened to me im not sure i would be capable of being rational. id be governed by my feelings rather than rational thoughts, over something like this!
reading that would have killed me. there is no way that i could let it go or try to rationalise it. i would have to have it out or it would be in my mind forever - does he look at me and wish i was someone else? did he marry me cos there was noone else? when we have sex, is he wishing i was someone else? am i 2nd, 3rd, 4th choice? and that is BEFORE the thoughts of is he even faithful!! every time he said i love you, id think, yeah, right!
no matter what i heard from him when i asked him about it, it would not be as painful as sitting on it and building it up in my mind!
I do feel very shaken by it all.
During this time, there was lots of hassle with his ex long term partner (had no children together), who he kept in contact with and pretended he wasn't seeing anyone else. This caused lots of problems between us and a number of times I seriously considered throwing the towel in on it all, because it was like conducting an affair with a married man, even though they had split up months before, eg she went over to his house one time and he went round hiding all evidence of me. I said I'd had enough, but he said he didn't want to lose me, he loved me and he would sort out the problem with his ex, but had to do it over time, because she was unpredictable.
I accepted this because I'd fallen in love with him and felt he was sincere - he said he loved me, but it seems clear that he didn't really - I was serving a purpose. I suppose he decided he did love me at some point, but even so, was still hankering after someone else a few weeks before asking me to marry him.
I shouldn't have read the damn things - I really didn't expect to find this sort of stuff - I didn't realise he used them for v private thoughts - I've often written phone messages in them for him because they're basically work jotters.
this is prob not a very good idea but ths is what id do (cos i cant bear not to know) id look at the ones he has now and see if there is anything in them the chances are there wont be but then again it might say how great things are with you and that should put ur mind to rest. however if there was something else not good in them then speak to him.
Maybe Mary was his first love? Most people have one of those and go on to have successful, loving and really happy marriages with someone else. And most (me included) are glad that, looking back, that they didn't marry their first love. Doesn't mean to say that they have forgotten them, just that that person is 'tucked' away somewhere.
I would talk to him.
Particularly given he said you could look at anything of his, you've got to talk to him about it all.
I did something a bit similar once, read the journals of someone I was dating. I found out he had a big crush on my best friend. It wasn't a good experience, but things did get a bit better when we spoke about it.
starshaker - there isn't anything untoward in later ones as far as I know, although he is able to write in shorthand which I don't understand!
Mary wasn't a first love - she was someone he dated between splitting with his long term ex and meeting me.
The thing that is really killing me is I thought we went into this marriage in a like minded way - everything he said to me made me believe that, but I feel v manipulated.
Well I would leave it and stop worrying about it, esp as it was all before you were married and you have no reason to suspect him now do you? And he's been open and left them around. If you are happy together now I don't see the problem really, it's in the past.
Sorry, baby at the keyboard, I hadn't read sw's post when I first posted.
also agree with SW its trying to work out that uncertainty in a relationship to begin with. Just typical of a silly bloke to actually write it down
Im sorry but i couldnt be as rational as some of the posters on this thread, I would be extremley hurt and very angry and would feel like the foundations of our relationship were based on a lie. Im sorry this probably isnt what you want to hear but thats how i'd feel. I'd definately confront him as otherwise it will just bubbble inside you and then come out in the wrong way in a massive blow out.
You have to do something to sort it out (don't know what tho) - otherwise if it was me - I'd be checking up on him all the time now.
an ex of mine used to write in intimate detail about his 'flings' he had while he was with me. I couldn't help but read things when I could - it made me feel sick to the stomach. We lived together for 5 years and I ended up having an affair with his bf and then 2 others and left him in tears at the end. But it wasn't a very healthy/mature relationship!
oh I am so sorry. This is EXACTLY the sort of thing that I would do too. Wouldn't be able to help myself.
I think that there is nothing to be gained from having it out with him, tbh. It is all a long time ago and there is just NO WAY that he is going to be able to remember things accurately, and you don't have a cat in hell's chance of getting any reassurance. (And, tbh again, I doubt that you can really remember accurately how you were feeling either. Can yo honestly say that you never had a moment's uncertainty? never tempted by another offer? Although clearly you're not dim enough to write it down ) Human relationships and emotions are very complicated - maybe he did feel like this some of the time but I guess that he felt lots of other things too. These are a snapshot his private thoughts at one particular time, and I don't think you can say that they are the "truth", the whole truth etc etc. He has probably long forgotten about them. He certainly felt strongly enough about you to propose for example.
FWIW, my DH and I had a VERY rocky start to our relationship with all manner of painful misunderstandings and false starts. Everyone has their emotional baggage - unfortunately you know about his! Try (I know it's hard)to focus on the here and now. At least, try not to have it out with him today. Then tomorrow, try and do the same. Can you go and look at any love letters/emails he has sent you? that might help to drown out the voices...
HTH. Sending you tons of good thoughts
edodgy - that's exactly how I feel.
I would be very upset too. He obviously had feelings for all these women and possibly slept with them too, he sure did meet them anyway. Maybe just admit you were tidying round the other day and one of them fell open on a page and u read something u didn't like.
You must bee feeling really unloved and betrayed at the moment.
Can you remember as far back as Oct '98? Can you remember how often you were seeing him or did you live together?
Do you honestly think he could have had upto 5 extra women and you would not have noticed? Also how attractive is H (candidly). Could this have been his imagination/ego? How many men are lucky enough to be able to have all this interest?
Having said that it is STILL very insulting that he thought he could sleep with any of them with no respect for you.
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