Relationship help. (Not MS)

Hello all,

Sorry for posting anon, but I'm embarrased about this, but need some people to talk to.  I'd really appreciate some advice.

Basically I've been with my husband for nearly 20 years and we are very happy.  Everyone always comments on how much of lovely couple we are and people quite often tell me that they can see how much my hubby loves me just by the way he looks at me.  I am very lucky!!

But earlier this year, I happened to look at our mobile phone bills, and to cut a long story short found out he had been texting a barmaid at his local (where I don't go) for 3 years!!!  After some analysing the texts were on the night he was actually in the pub and carried on after he came home till early hours, and sometimes just one other day during the week, there were never any phone calls. He goes to this place once per week.  When I found out I did tell him to leave me. He wouldn't.

He has since explained she was his friend, just someone to talk to, (we had been going through some tough times with my son) and she became his 'confidente' (sp?) nothing more. And quite often the texts were jokes, that he'd send to all his friends (all other friends are men).  I do actually belive him.  If it was an affair, after 3 years I think it would have progressed to phone calls and secret meetings, but I can be 99% certain this didn't happen.  He was always with me, except for work and his one night out a week with his friends (who I know well and know they do go out)  As soon as I found out he deleted her number in front of me, told me he wouldn't contact her again and he really didn't realise he was doing anything wrong. He has swore on our kids lives that nothing like 'that' went on, she was just a person to talk to and thats it.  He stopped going out with his friends on my request, and took me out on that day instead.

This all came about 6 months ago and it's took me a long time to accept it.  

Last week he said he's had enough of been treated like a 5 year old and if he wants to go out with his friends every week, he will, and last week he did.  He came home very drunk and said some very nasty hurtful things to me.  He has since apologised and has told me he really can't remember what he said. But he is truly sorry.  But he does want to go out with his friends and is not being told he can't anymore.  He is adamant nothing happend with the barmaid and has told me he loves me, only wants me, and will never do what he did again.  He still is very adamant that he didn't think he was doing anything wrong as there was nothing physical in it, she was just his friend. He has told me I have never had anything to worry about, and never will.  He explained to me that even before he met me, with his first wife and previous girlfirends he has never cheated - ever.  And he has never, or never will cheat on me.  It's just not in him to do that.

My question is I am being over the top?  I do believe she was just his friend, and surely husbands can have friends that their wives don't know about, if they are just friends??

I do believe him. but what hurt is that she was a secret, her name was a mans name in his phone and he'd text her without me knowing.  it's the 'secretivness' that hurts.

And now I'm finding the hurtful things he said to me last week when he was drunk hard to deal with.  He said he was making a stand on that day but never meant to hurt me and really can't remember what he said! (he was VERY drunk!) I am struggling with trust too!  Everytime his phone goes I feel I'm on edge, he has assured me that I do NOT have anything to worry about and will even get rid of his phone if it will make me feel better! 

We've been together for nearly 20 years and this is the first time he has ever done anything like that.  I feel like a part of me doesn't want him anymore and the only answer is to leave.  But I do love him and know he does love me!  

Any advice x

(sorry for the long post)

P.S. Illness wise he is very caring, always looking out for me, making sure I don't do too much.  So I really don't think it has anything to do with me being ill.


For what it's worth, I don't think you're being over-the-top, no.

For a husband to have friends - including female friends - fine.

But that his wife doesn't know about?  No, sorry, this would make me uncomfortable.

I'm not suggesting he should have to hand you a list of all friends, present and potential, for vetting.  But IF a friendship was completely innocent and above board, then why the heck wouldn't you have heard of that person?  Why wouldn't they be mentioned in conversation from  time to time, just like any other friend?

If he wants "private" friends, that you don't even know exist, and aren't mentioned in general conversation, I would question why.  What's the difference between a friend who is freely mentioned, and one who isn't?  Why the distinction?

Is he honestly claiming there was no intentional secrecy, and this "friend's" name just never came up?  Pure chance that he'd never said, in passing: "Oh, so-and-so was there tonight", or mentioned anything she said?

I'm not suggesting anything did happen.  But the very fact he's asserting his "right" to have friends you don't know about makes me question why he thinks he needs it.  Just to prove he's a big boy?  If all of his friendships were completely innocent, what's the big deal with you knowing about any of them?  You'd think, by chance alone (unless you hardly ever talk), you'd have got to hear about most of them, without him having to make a special point of it.  So if there are some he never voluntarily mentions, why not?

Oh, and I just read your post once more, and noticed her phone entry was disguised as a man's name!  Sorry, but that takes the biscuit! It doesn't square with his insistence he didn't think he was doing anything wrong.  If the friendship was nothing to feel guilty or ashamed about, then why did he try to hide it?  It still doesn't prove anything actually happened between them, but he evidently hadn't dismissed the possibility, or else why the secrecy?

20 years are a lot to throw away, and maybe nothing did happen.  So I'm not suggesting you necessarily leave him over it.  But I think having female friends and lying about it - even disguising their name as a man's - is a lot different to just "having female friends".





Your husband sounds like a man who really struggles to express what he wants and needs by just sitting down with you and quietly explaining it. 

He wants a confidential friend to talk to about his troubles?  He sets up a rather sneaky-sounding text relationship with another woman.  He wants a bit more time with his friends?  He picks a fight, telling you he won't be treated like a child and insists on the night out with his mates (even though he was having that anyway.)  He has other things eating away at him that he needs to talk about?  He comes home sloppy drunk and blurts out hurtful things and then claims he 'can't remember' what he said, but apologises anyway.

My expert diagnosis is that what you are dealing with here is A Bloke.  I know it's sexist to say it, but sometimes they are not terribly brilliant at communicating.  Mind you, neither are we - not always, anyway!

From what you have said, there doesn't sound to be much that is seriously wrong here, but it does sound as if the pair of you need to find some new ways of discussing wants and needs frankly (yours as well as his.)  Your man is expressing himself in a pretty dysfuncitonal way at the moment - can you help him with that?  It does sound as if there is a bit of pressure and unresolved stuff building up in your relationship at the moment and that is a shame, because it can make it difficult for you to enjoy your lives together as much as you should, given that your relationship does sound fundamentally strong.  Have you thought of a little bit of couples counselling, just to get the pair of you on the right track for communicating more easily, and make it easier for yourselves to give difficult thoughts an airing before they turn into resentments?

Good luck with it all.







My sentiments exactly Tina!!! Thank you!

I have said all what you ahve said to him, and he initially said he never mentioned her because 'I would of taken it the wrong way' !!!  He agrees that the secrecy was wrong and putting her name in his phone as a mans name was wrong.  And he's very 'sorry'.   

He's not saying now he wants to have friends I don't know about, (he now agrees this is wrong) he just simply wants to go out with his friends he's always gone out with for years (I know them.)   This person was the barmaid!   And aparently she doesn't work there now.  

I've looked this up on various websites, and apparently its very common with men that they can have these female 'text' friends, and in their eyes it is no harm becasue there is no physical aspect to it.  I supose this makes sense as men are physical beings, where us females are emotional beings.



Thank you Alison.  What you've said makes a lot of sense.

Part of me thinks this is just the 'man' of him coming out.  And to be honest all the years we've been together we've done everything together, we are a very close couple but had a few problems with my son (my son from my previous marriage, not his (although he's been around since my son was about 3!) and he found it difficult to talk to me about it) so I supose he needed to express it somewhere!  But he went about it the wrong way.  Over the years I've listened to some of my own friends talk about thier husbands and always been so proud my husband wasn't like theirs!  I've always thought myself lucky in my choice of husband!!

I just wish I didn't feel like I do!  I've become very insecure and he is constantly telling me I have no need to be and that he loves me.

Part of me still feels very lucky to have a wonderful husband, but the other part can't get over the fact of what he did and what he said last week (this drunk/nastiness thing was a complete one off, he's never done anything like that before! Normally he's a 'nice/funny' drunk) I feel like I am battling with myself!  Does that make sense?

Part of me right now I feel like I am doing what he did.  I am talking to people about him and my feelings to people he knows nothing about!



It sounds as though your trust in him has been dented, which is perfectly understandable.  There was obvioulsy some emotional relationship, but from what you say it stopped at that. 

Somehow you do need to gain your trust back and I wonder if counseling might help in this instance.  That way you can both get your cards on the table. 

He does need to be able to go out with his mates now and then, but you do need to be able to trust him.

Dont let this incident erode 20 good years, and hopefully you can build on what you have.

I dont think you have over reacted but you do need to work out a way to move on.

Thanks Bonnie x

Are there any men reading this post? 

I would love a man's opinion. See it from a mans point of view.

Thanks x


Well you asked for a mans point of view.

You probably won't like it and prob most of the ladies that have replied.

Yes you are over the top.

Checking his phone and reading his text thats a no no.

He as well as you are dealing with MS, surly he is allowed some space of his own with his mates.

The other night was probably a reaction to you not allowing him out alone with his mates and yes you can have both male and femail friends.

He rebeled, good for him.

Nobody mail or femail should be dictated to by their partner everybody should have their own space if need be.

He probably realise you would react as you have thats why he never told you.

Let him have his space you both sound devoted to each other.

The surest way of driving him away is to (can't think of the right word  so this will have to do) smother him. 


Thank you Ronin

That actually IS what I wanted to hear!

I do believe men and women are different species, and we see things in a totally different way.

I am so glad you have said what you have as it actually makes me feel he was reacting like a 'man' and not someone who is trying to hurt me (which is what I feel) 

Thank you!!


(And for the record I didn't check his phone and read his texts, I deal with the bills and just so happened to one day notice a lot of texts to one number on his bill.  So I carried on looking out of curiosity and saw there was a pattern of texts every Friday night to 3am - I then and only then looked back at old bills and saw the same pattern for the last 3 years.  (goes to show I don't look or I would have noticed before it got to 3 years!!) I never read any of his text messsages or checked his actual phone he told me what they said and I have to believe him.)

I have gone what you have have and it isn't very nice three years ago i found the same texts thry were a bit flirty and x after the end of a text i was gutted reading them. When i confronted him about he said they same as your husband so sorry he loves only me.

I just don't think he new the type of pain that it would cause!!! but i could never do anything like that becaus i no the type of pain it would cause!!!

If they need to talk to someone why does it have to by so sly? they no what they are doing is wrong and that s why it is done in secret!

I to have been married for nearly 20 year and we have have just split! things after the text talk got better for a while and i do truly believe him when he said nothing happened it was just chat but the lack of trust after got us in the end.

I just couldn't get over it i to screened all his calls behind his back checked all i could , we didn't really spend much time apart don't think he had time to fit in an affair, but it just would't go away for me i felt sad and unhappy and i must admitt thought about it most days!!!

Hope you are ok and not saying you will split but if you can't get over it don't waste time!!! i spent three years living a lie brushing things under the carpet not daring to express how i felt and in the end it got to the point were we didn't talk at all and  just nice to each other general chit chat and then it ended .

I still remember the texts and what i red that will always be in my head still very clear after three years

But all the very best to you i no what you have felt and it's not nice x


I never screened my husbands texts before i just happend to be on his new game that he got when a text came through from her and after i read it looked for others he didn't  wipe his texts because i never used his phone and totaly trusted him!! 

And yes you are your own person but if you commit to another you should show them repesct, and secrets  and lies are not are not showing that. It means you need or want other things and if thats the case tell your wife or partner and if you truly want your wife or partner then thats the way you should go if not call it a day and go find what you really want without inflicting pain and hurt.

Hi there I'm a man....just!....give him a break, from what you've said I think he's guilty only of furtiveness....maybe he feels guilty for enjoying another womans company...methinks there'd be a lot more nights out and some weekend trips with his mates thrown into the mix if you had anything to worry about.....we men are a simple uncomplicated lot really.

I've been married for very nearly 25 years....marriage isn't isn't easy...I wouldn't worry too much if I were you...tho' maybe that's easier to say than do.

good luck, take care

Guido x


So sorry you've been through this with the result of ending your marriage!!  That's awful!!  I am beginning to think though that men just don't realise how 'emotionally standing' we are and these things hurt us.  it may not mean a great deal to them, but has huge consequenses to us.  And once the trust has gone, then the relationship has too.  I never actually seen any texts, so I only have what he's told me, and I'm glad I didn't to be honest cos then they would play on my mind and getting over it would be so much harder.

I hope you are on the road to being happy again 




Thanks for your comment.  He's always told me I have nothing to worry about, which what worried me!!  And yes men are so much less complicated than women, even women find it hard to understand what we are felling and why (the crying for no reason etc etc)  so no wonder men don't understand us!!

Just by hearing a couple of 'mens point of view' has helped me immensly.

I know he loves me, but I have lost trust in him.  If he's been 'furtive' once, (for whatever reason) maybe he will again?  Us women don't like slyness and things going on behind our backs, and I am sure men don't either?  

I did ask my husband how he would of felt if it was the other way round, if I had been secretly texting a man for the last 3 years (and had his name in my phone as a woman) and he was just someone to talk to !!!  He said he wouldn't be happy about it.. !


Thanks again for you replies, they are helping me lots!!


Oh and to add he just wants to put it all behind us and get back to normal.  He hates talking about it as said he's hurt too knowing that he hurt me.  And I was nearly there, I was starting to feel comfortable again,  but when he did his schoolboy nasty hissy fit last week  to make a stand about going out, it's brought it all back.  He does go out with other mates, so it's not as if I am stopping him going out.  I just didn't want him to go to 'that place'.  He's a secretary of a golf society, so it's not as if he doesn't get his space!!  (and yes, I do know he goes to golf, not anywhere else!  I must have some trust there to say that mustn't I?)

Thanyou I am, even though we have not been seperated for long i have been seperated for a long from him. 

Men not as complicated as women!! not sure i believe that! they feel they need to hide, lie and keep secrets very complicated i think !well not all men granted and women to who do the same. I was on the other hand was an open book trusting i was very uncomplicated never needed the need to lie or keep secrets. My husband had the freedom to do as he wanted go where he wanted and act like he wanted  and he did. I on the other hand have the same freedom and i chose not to be lied to and put up with the insult. But thats just me this happened before we both new about the ms so did not have that excuse of needing to get it off his chest, my life is different to yours and we have different husbands. My husband is not a bad man but we were not on the same page.

 We have children grown up almost he is a good dad and still does the odd job for we will always be apart of each others lifes and will stay friends i'm sure, even now if he needed anything i would help and vice versa we both are in a better place

Tracy x


Really hope it works out for you! you still seem to really love each other by the sounds of it you will do whats right for you regardless of what other say it's just a good feeling to get it off your chest. And as for not wanting him to go to that place again i understand that why would you!!! you need to trust again and he needs to help you heal! Things are very raw at the moment so why would he insist on pushing things more men yes very complicated!! lol x


This might go against the normal female perspective, but my vote is to give him a break. You said it yourself - if it was going to progress, it had 3 years to happen in. Maybe he didn't tell you and disguised her name for the very reason that he believed (rightly) that you would be upset?


There's nothing wrong with having mates who are the opposite sex. Someone to talk to is someone to talk to. It's no wonder he's mad at having to cut off the relationship - you made him give up a good friend. What's more, you made him stop going out with his mates! I'm amazed he didn't blow up long before he did! 


One of my husband's best friends is a woman. He can't talk to me about everything - especially if he's feeling bad about me and my MS. She has been a real tower of strength for him and he can talk to her about things that he wouldn't be able to talk to most of his male friends about. He helps her too; she's been through a lot of relationship troubles in the last 10 years. But they are just friends. Nothing more. 


I really think you should let it go. He loves you. He looks after you. They are infinitely more important than who he's texting and whether he once says stupid things when he's drunk!


Karen x


Rizzo:  Thank you for your honesty!  I think I needed that 'telling off' :)   I do actually think you're right!  Thank you x


Anon: Thanks for your post, but I never read his texts, it was the phone bill I saw when paying the bill, I noticed a large aount of the same number which made me look.  I know there is a lot to read above.  But I did not pass that line!!  I found this by accident!  And then did something about it.  The text contents I have never seen and can only go on what my husband has told me.  Which I have to believe!  I do give hime space, (he plays golf every sunday) I simply didn't want him to go back to the pub where the barmaid worked.  I never stopped him going out!

Going to give another man's opinion - i have no issue with my wife looking at my phone as any ladies that might text me know her as well so there is not an issue, likewise with her phone, although to be fair we don't look at each others phone as a rule. But my sis-in-law has been mucking about with another guy, leaving my bro-in-law devastated about his three kids etc & he is just staying to make sure they are happy, point i'm making is that my sis-in-law would have had a fit if anyone looked near her phone - obviously she had something to hide. There are two sides to every story but at the end of the day there is only one girl for me and thats my missus.