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What would you do?

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Relationship advice I have been married for 25 years. One day my husband left his phone at home - no big deal - it's happened before. On that day, the text message notice kept going off. I picked it up in case it was important...text messages and naked pictures from a 20 something girl. I texted her. She replied she had been texting this number for a while.

I searched my phone bill and found this number going back more than a year. I confronted my husband - he lied. I then asked him to leave the house - he did. Many conversations ensued. I eventually let him move back in - we have children. We do not share the same room and have not slept together since.

Here is what I still cannot wrap my head around. He said he had been watching gay porn and in chat rooms. He admitted meeting up with a man to watch porn with but that nothing happened. I have questioned him if he is gay. He said no. I don't believe it. I think he is but is afraid to admit it.

What do you think?

What would you do?

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You said, :Here is what I still cannot wrap my head around."

When I first read that, it didn't make any sense to me, either.

Five minutes later, I'm walking away from the computer and I'm thinking about that. Then it hit me:

"That's the best excuse I've ever heard for someone who has been caught in some form of cheating that I've ever heard."

He's saying, "How could I be cheating on my wife when I'm gay????"

Give the man credit. He's world class. That could win an academy award for best acting in an impossibly tight situation while your wife is standing in front of you writing for a response. It's quick acting under pressure.

I half caught my wife cheating, in that I didn't know what to believe because I didn't want to know the truth, and find I was living with a monster, and I went through that for 29 years.

Be prepared to go to the heart doctor for chest pain, and come home and say to the person who is causing the chest pain,"The doctor never did say what was causing my chest pain, do you have any idea, sweetheart?"

And watch your spouse double over in laughter and say, "I have no idea, you miserable creep, but don't ever ask where I've been when I come in two hours late from work."

Tell him you're going to tell the children and all of your friends that he is gay and watch him change his story very quickly.

As for not eating in the same room, yeah, for about 29 years, except when the child or children are at home for a meal.

And when the child or children are not home, the only conversation is, "Now you said the last time we talked that you quit your job when he quit his job for what reason?" That will be the extent of your conversations. For 29 years.

Having children will put you in a vice like you've never been in before. You want to stay for the children, but you want to leave your husband. There is no answer.

But if all he's doing is looking at pictures, count yourself lucky.

If I had some good advice, I would give it to you. Perhaps I've tried to use humor for a difficult situation.

But I do have an idea of what you're going through.






What would you do?

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I think you should leave him he is a cheating jerk or do exactly what he is doing and see how his reaction is a say suck I up.

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He was looking at gay porn and in chat rooms...he actually did meet up with a man to watch porn but claims nothing happened and that he is not gay.

My question is why would you meet up with some guy if you were not gay?

I feel as if I have been living in limbo...

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He's in the closet so far back, he is confused..He's Gay, PERIOD!!

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The point is GAY PORN. If he's not gay then what possible interest would he have in watching it, whether alone or accompanied, when he could be watching straight porn instead?

Is that 20-something a gay man? NO. Actions! He is not gay and, IMO, PJ is right to strongly suspect it was a diversion tactic - to make you worry about other men (plural - more than a one-off) more than this one woman (a one-off, the supposed exception and anomaly).

His leaving his phone at home would be 'no big deal' only if it tended to happen during a period wherein HE WAS NOT IN THE MIDST OF CHEATING.

Actions!

He left his phone, KNOWING he was at the time getting texts in from her or was due to (or just LIABLE to).
He left his phone, KNOWING the high likelihood of any text alert beeps would catch your attention and pique your curiosity to (knowing you as he does) point of needing to sate it.
He left it and doesn't/didn't even have it password-locked.

He left his glaring evidence in your path, BERBOM. Not the milkman, not Father Christmas...not courtesy of a huge, mobile-shaped hole in his breast-pocket - HIM.

You'd be surprised how many men have affairs for DECADES without their wives ever, repeat, *ever* finding out. KNOWING they're cheating, and GENUINELY not wanting to be found out (because for those types it's an end in itself, not a means to an end), they do not ever leave their mobile unattended with the missus (nor leave it anywhere other than securely on their person FULL-STOP). Keeping something secret and clandestine is not rocket-science when 'where there's a will there's a way'. And trying to FORGET that you're conducting an affair, including over your precious mobile phone (or via it exclusively), is not possible, especially not whenever on the home ground as well as around the one they're betraying (you), hence neither is forgetting your No. 1 affair tool, the mobile, ...right within the main zone of your wife's radar.

Actions would conclude this is either [a] an attention-seeking/heightening exercise or [b] an attempt to get the upper hand forever-Amen by rendering you horribly insecure and unsafe (and worried about your kids), thereby liable to become too loath to self-assert over anything, big or small, you find unacceptable lest he - whom evidence seems (emphasis on 'seems') to indicate is already one foot out of the door - exits altogether (rendering your kids 'deprived' of a 'normal', healthy family life). I.e. walking on eggshells. 'Yes Sir, no Sir, three bags full, Sir (and sod permanently my own wants and needs)'. Or [c] revenge (??).

Which do you think it is?

I doubt very much that your kids had been day-in-day-out witnessing some fairy-tale marriage up until that exposure + showdown/boot-out point, given how this situation (or result) is guaranteeably just one out of a wide menu of symptoms, or, if you prefer, litmus or temperature readings. So define 'normal' and define 'healthy'. Those things rely on whatever context, meaning, two people being married that shouldn't or shouldn't any longer be, or either one of the two people unable to cooperate or operate healthily and respectfully, is no exemplar, nor, certainly, any kind of worthwhile model and template for those little marriage partners-to-be.

You can't 'save the kids' if saving them means remaining a disrespected doormat because, obviously, you'll be chronically unhappy, not to mention on-alert the whole time for yet more nasty surprises or mouldy breadcrumb trails. Not only will the kids sense the climate, even if you try to hide it, but more likely you couldn't...it would leak out of your total demeanour and behaviour perfectly discernibly, regardless of any self-control attempts. You'd become angsted, impatient, snappy, exhausted, distracted, miserable-faced, undergo considerable weight gain or loss, possibly go prematurely Grey...

ALREADY, the kids know this fact: "We do not share the same room and have not slept together since." Do you think they think that's perfectly normal? Or do you think they can work out from it (and any other little clues and vibes) that something's seriously wrong?

That does not 'saving the kids' make. Quite the opposite. Despite it *is* an highly common fear in your predicament and at this precise point. Plus, since it was your husband's independent choice to have placed those kids' normal childhoods in total jeopardy, why, then, is it solely your job to 'save' them when saving them means you sacrificing yourself, specifically, 'killing' the normal you or a significant chunk of you?

How is wholly or semi 'killing yourself' you saving them? Error, Does Not Compute.

IMO, he's not really cheating nor gay. But what he is right now (or always was?), is an incredibly emotionally manipulative BEEEEEEEEEP! who'd even RISK you ending up convinced he might be gay rather than have to ("buuck-buck-buuuck!") just come out and say to you, 'Houston, we have a problem'. Either that or this failure to do so has nothing to do with cowardice/hatred of "hassle" and more to do with the fact that the manipulation strategy wouldn't work if he'd voiced any issue beforehand. And he'd rather manipulate. Because it's simpler and easier (pff).

What do you think?

What would you do?

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Sorry - typo:

*Is* cheating (but only ever intended as a giant manipulations tool or more recently has become such), but isn't gay.

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I think I am glad I posted here. It gives me a lot to think about.

If I were to say, yes I want to reestablish our relationship he would be happy. He did everything he could do to get back into the house - he was out for six months.

The kids are older now and need much less than they did. I don't think I would stay together for them alone. We have one which will be startling college in the fall. Lots of expense which I cannot swing by myself.

It's not a normal relationship by far - but for now as long as it discussed - which honestly it never is - it's okay...kind of. I mean I would like to have a relationship and I am coming to realize I cannot have what I want with him. I don't trust him and there is that nagging part of me that thinks he is gay and has been hiding it from me for all these years.

I have never been with anyone else in my adult life. We started dating when I was 18 and were married when I was 22. I am now 49 and this is all I have ever known. Maybe I have a fear of the unknown as well...

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He could go from 'placing testimony' of not being happy with your relationship (and)/or with being married per se and not having sown enough wild oats unless conducting a relationship on the side, to suddenly happy again with it? HOW - if one presumes he's ended the affair since its exposure? Again - Does Not Compute.

Warning-warning-warning! A year is pretty substantial. Time to get attached/addicted. Since you've leaked what I think is a very telling, commonly misconceived attitude towards the marital wealth, my suspicion is he might, since you found out, be trying to do the old chestnut of lulling you into a false sense of security in order to buy himself time, i.e. stop you feeling the need to visit a solicitor, in which to hide or "gift" certain (returnable) lump sums of money and assets so that, in the event of a divorce, what amount gets awarded to you by the court originates only from what *appears* to be nett total on-paper (as per financial investigation going back 6 months or 2 years, dependant on the type of any account), but isn't.

You don't know how wrong you are regarding 'lots of expense' and your 'not affording it'. Your solicitor, barrister and court judge him/herself would all ensure that your one-off or regular spousal and child maintenance amount could as much as possible keep you 'in the lifestyle to which you'd become accustomed'. You might well end up *far* better off divorced than when married, you'd be surprised. And I think you would, going by that attitude.

Finances always "stretched", were they, according to him?... or you in whatever ways long-term fed a load of gumph re your joint financial status to the point where you believed it? If he's ever made any such noises or, you in any way suspect, played down his earnings, savings and investments, given the outward evidences (including his affording a mistress for a whole year) then I say it's ROT because *clearly* he has ample enough disposable funds with which to long-term woo another woman! We're talking petrol, calls, texts, restaurants, hotels, flowers, gifts,...who knows what else. Again - ACTIONS! (How much do you imagine he's spent on she and he already over this last year?)

(Assuming you're British) you yourself *wouldn't* have to 'swing it'. He would. The court would order him to continue to pay for the childrens' education and all/virtually all expenses associated with it. In their eyes, the children will have been subjected to *enough* disruption, without their having to also change schools/colleges, etc. Their routine (and yours) will as much as possible be preserved and protected. He'll get what's left over and if that's inadequate for his needs - tough titty, he should have thought about that before he went and broke the marital vase into a thousand tiny pieces. (Like the crackle effect, courtesy of Super-Glue, do ya?) (Obviously not.)

Alternatively, he might be trying to keep you as a stop-gap lilypad because this or any other near-future woman's pad isn't ready to leap to, i.e. for convenience's sake. Or, similarly, so that he gets to continue to have his cake and eat it from the safety and security of the marital home and family.

Whichever, I don't call his lying and further fabricating to your face when found out and confronted, and *repeatedly* from there (i.e. every single hour of every single day that he's failed to tell the true story) indicative of a man ruing his long-running actions and ready to make the relationship work. Do you? What - re-starting as he means to go on, is he?

Yep, he did 'everything he could'. Including adding more/new lies atop the original one, including this 'it's men you have to worry about' diversion tactic... which obviously worked, to an extent, if here's you saying that this issue over whether or not he's a closet gay is the thing you still can't 'wrap your head around'. Absolutely, it *is* impossible to mentally come to terms with datum that doesn't align with known truths, let alone itself.

See what I'm saying?

If he is all you've ever known then, irrespective of financial and material concerns, you've got some very overdue joy (and epiphanies) coming your way ....and possibly a bit of kicking yourself, as well, re. why you didn't act sooner, before he managed to start squirrelling.

He could be shrinking that college fund budget as we speak (- *now* we're talking, saving the kids!). So my advice is, whether or not you intend to follow through with actual divorce proceedings on the back of it, you still badly need a free initial consultation with a family law solicitor so that you near-as-damnit KNOW what you would stand to gain or lose (mostly gain) "if". That's some very meaty self re-empowerment and confidence-boosting (*and* true feelings eliciting) RIGHT THERE... which in itself you will need in order to stay objective as well as firing on all judgement cylinders.

In the meantime, put his mouth to the test and demand couples counselling. He who is desperate to get his marriage back on track and from there mightily improved would, I'm sure, *welcome* any assistance from someone who knows what they're doing. Someone who 'doesn't want to discuss it', however, probably wouldn't.

PS: There is nothing to fear but fear itself. This is just a bog-standard path and process.
PPS: All things considered, your attitude should now be this: Guilty until proven innocent, and, No mercy. (After all, did he show any to you/the kids?)

PPPS: Sorry. :-(

PPPPS: "Tell him you're going to tell the children and all of your friends that he is gay and watch him change his story very quickly."

Oh, yeah, baby!

(Any questions)

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I know what you're going through. Aa much as a stranger can anyway.

I've found my husband talking to women online...and men. In my case he was only talking to the women to make himself feel more 'normal' about the men.
That was two years ago and it still affects me. He hasn't met any men or done anything sexual with them.

When we started talking things through I told him that he needed to try it. I don't want to waste my marriage with a gay husband. He said no, he 'got over it'.
A year or so later and I find he's been watching gay porn. And now we're back to square one.

I personally can't carry on unless he knows what he is. Straight, gay, bi...whatever. It might not work for you two, but if he is just doing it to cover up that he's with another women. Will be interesting to see his reaction if you tell him to go and try being with a guy.

It depends on your situation though and what you can deal with.

This thread has expired - why not start your own?

B-3