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  1. #1
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    Default Where do you stand on your partner having friends of the opposite sex?

    Warning- longish post ahead.

    DH and I have been married 8 years, together 10. He's always had many female friends (2/3 of his side of his bridal party were female) It didn't worry me for the first 4 years as we were crazily in love, everything was going great and I trusted him explicitly....

    Starting 2010 I found FB messages between him and younger (10 years younger) single girls from uni, telling them they looked gorgeous, sending them hearts...I also at that time found a LOT of porn on the computer which I know is something most men do but I didn't know he was into it beforehand and it's something I really don't like. Also at that time he started staying up late (computer games and porn mostly) and spending most nights on the couch. He also had a secret bank account his mum was putting money into (she thought it was helping us both out financially as he had gone back to study and we were living on my income only, but he was keeping it for himself so he could buy whatever he wanted- usually xbox stuff) We went to marriage counselling then but it was pointless- I think he thought showing up was enough and I didn't know any better, to be fair the counsellor was pretty useless too.

    Well nothing got better from that but then we found out DD1 was on the way and thought everything would magically get better. Fast forward 6 years and we've got DD1, DD2 and DS. We have had a horrible time with DD2. To sum it up, we were told at her 20w scan she had too many health problems to live, after the worst 3 months of my life she was born and miraculously pulled through. Not without cost though. She has high health needs and has spent about 1/3 of her life in hospital (she's almost 2) She's been admitted at least once a month since April (and 1-2 week stays each time) My poor other 2 kids I feel like I ignore because she takes up so much time. We've moved interstate to try to get her the care she needs - we've been in Melbourne 9 months now and it's isolating. I can't get out to meet people as whenever I plan to go to playgroup or anything 'normal' something ends up going wrong and we end up in A&E instead.

    DH has deteriorated massively with his mental health. From the day we found out about DD2's problems (before she was born) he told me he didn't want to talk about it and that was that- I went through the rest of that pregnancy by myself. I thought he was ok after she was born but when she was 3.5 months old (she was still in NICU and I was staying at the hospital in the city with her while he went back to the town we were living in, 4 hours away, to work) he tried to commit suicide. No warning or anything- that I saw. He fortunately went and got help after that and that seemed to keep him in check for the year. When we moved though he didn't set himself up again with a new mental health plan and it went downhill again.

    Our relationship is.....Well, we can have fun together and enjoy doing stuff together. Those times give me hope that things might get better. The last time we had a good day out, though, we got home, had an argument and he turned around and told me how much he hated the day out (which just about broke my heart) He did later say he said that to make me feel bad and actually enjoyed it, but still....
    Communication is basically an argument all the time. Sex is..well, we accidentally concieved DS 1.5 years ago and I think that was the last time. He's not the man I married at all. I admit I can be horrible to him at times as well. I'm stressed. I look after everything to do with DD2, 95% of the house stuff is done by me.. Put it this way, if I'm at one of DD2's appointments and he gets home from work an hour before I do, he'll be sleeping on the couch when I get home. (when there are a million things to do around the house, DD2's night time medical equipment to set up, dinner to be made, the house is a pigsty, etc that I have to come home and start doing straight away) and I have no emotional support from him and virtually no practical support (occasionally he entertains the kids - puts them in front of the TV whie he lies on the couch)
    I understand he's got depression and this is a sign of it, and he wants me to be WAY more supportive then I am, but I can't. I've got too much on my plate to take this on as well. And I resent that this has gone on for so long without him getting help- basically I feel that with him being so out of action I'm looking after a 4th child on top off everything else.

    I'm willing to work on everything though and are happy to go to marriage counselling and try again- although I've told him to get his depression properly treated though as there's really no point in spending $160 plus the cost of a babysitter if he has no motivation to improve the relationship. I can't do it one sided.

    Ok that was all background. This is my current issue. Going back to the female friends he had. He still has them. He continues to make more female friends and has no male friends whatsoever (plenty of lovely guys want to be friends with him, but he doesn't because of the most ridiculous reasons- like 'he's got an annoying voice'). I know it's fine to have friends of the opposite sex, so I've tried to be cool with it over the years, but I've cracked it recently due to finding FB messages to girls:

    -complaining about our relationship- obviously only written from his point of view so I look really bad. A couple of girls he's complained so much that they've asked him why he doesn't just leave if he's so unhappy
    -asking girls sexual questions, saying he's looking for the answers for a story he's writing and telling them 'you're the only one I can talk to this about'
    -tells them things I didn't even know about that it would have been nice for me to know about too
    -the sheer VOLUME. in 3 days he can message 10 girls- and massive amounts of messages. hours worth.

    He just gets mad that I've been checking his FB messages and texts, and ok I know I shouldn't - but I feel like I've been made to look like a fool and honestly given a lot of the messages I feel like he's trying to replace me so that if this relationship ends he'll have someone to hold his hand.

    The crowning thing was when he told me he was going to a writer's event at the library one evening and instead met up with a girl in the park. I found selfies of them on his phone when I was looking for some pics of the kids....selfies of them, a heck of a lot of porn and photos of girls he's FB friends with he'd saved from their pages...the occasional photo of the kids...it was a pretty sickening juxtaposition.

    Anyway, I told him we needed to separate after that. He spent a week in hospital but I don't think it's done much good. I'm hoping to get to marriage counselling when i can find time (DD2 has to be at the hospital every day next week plus I need to find and organise a babysitter!) but was just wondering what people think. Actually, typing this out has made me realise that he is a complete a$$hole (please feel free to tell me if I'm completely deluded on that...) Honestly, it's easier not having him at home- less fights, it's like I lost the 4th child I had to look after.
    I suppose I'm sort of looking for any hope that it might work out. And I'm wondering too where people stand on their partner having friends of the opposite gender- what are appropriate boundaries? should I be expecting that he even has boundaries or is that being too controlling (as I get called?) I realise mental health is a huge issue here, and a lot of other things....Thanks for reading to the end, if you made it this far, anyway!

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    jennykins  (06-10-2016)

  3. #2
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    I would have major trust issues if he was my DP. He shouldn't be telling other women they are gorgeou and making excuses for not making male friends is pathetic. I'd say he likes the attention from other women. My DP doesn't watch porn and l'm grateful for that. I think you know what you want deep down. I've been to councelling with my ex husband but you've both got to want the relationship to work which is probably why l'm divorced. I was unhappy.

    I personally think you'd be much better on your own. There are men out there who are happy with the attention from one woman. Good luck.

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    TheMadHatter  (24-09-2016)

  5. #3
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    @TheMadHatter that sounds absolutely awful. I wouldn't be able to trust him at all, and the fact you've already tried counseling and he wasn't making a huge effort is a massive red flag to me.

    I don't think the 'friendships' he has with these other women are normal. Friends of the opposite sex shouldn't be asking each other sexual questions or talking about their relationship with you in such a way. And as for lying about where he's going so he can meet up with another woman.....wow.

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  7. #4
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    Hun I don't think there's a lot you can do for your hubby or your marriage at his point. It's a case of look after yourself and your kids first and the rest will fall into place. If it's meant to be it will be.

    Best of luck.

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  9. #5
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    What you've described is not the behaviour of a normal husband/partner. My DP has no close female friends (literally zero, not one), and we have agreed that even flirting via message/email/text with someone other than your spouse is basically cheating. That's just our view.

    I know it's difficult when there are kids involved though....so much more at stake. I'm so sorry you're going through this

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  11. #6
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    I'm sorry for the brevity of my response given the length of your post but in short your problems are nothing to do with your DH having female friends. And sorry but your DHs mental health issues are not an excuse for his appalling behaviour. Of course there should be boundaries. Being respectful of your partner is the number one boundary. He's not being respectful of you. At all.
    He is messaging women behind your back.
    He is meeting women behind your back.
    He is denigrating you to other women.
    He is engaging in inappropriate conversations with other women behind your back.
    He is not supporting you physically or emotionally.
    None of this is ok!
    You are both in an exhausting position looking after a child with serious medical needs plus your other kids. Your relationship is clearly struggling. If he is not willing to address his part in the problems and go to counseling then I think you have a decision to make - accept the situation or leave.
    You are right about one thing. He does sound like a complete a$$hole. Sorry. I hope you find a way through this with or without him so that you can be happier X

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  13. #7
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    I'm so sorry you're in this situation.
    Shirt answer from me:
    -WAY beyond acceptable boundaries with his 'friends'.
    -depression can be so very difficult to deal with, but honestly, there's only so much you can do. If he isn't motivated to seek help, you can't force him. If being without him makes your life easier than that's probably what's best for you and the kids. It might be better for him too. It sounds like he can't deal with the responsibility of parenting your kids.
    -definitely spot on with the ******* comment.

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    TheMadHatter  (24-09-2016)

  15. #8
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    What everyone else has said. Agree with VicPark, you need to look after yourself and your kids first

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    TheMadHatter  (24-09-2016)

  17. #9
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    I agree with the others, I think there are so many issues here I barely know where to begin. Honestly the marriage is so far gone that the only way you would pull through this as a couple is if he was very serious about getting help. And I mean meds, therapy, relationship counselling etc, I doubt he will do any of it.
    Mental illness isn't an excuse to cheat, lie and be an assho.lo.
    I think you should get a mental health plan from your GP for you, so at least you have some counselling.

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  19. #10
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    My husband has a couple of female friends. They are work colleagues. He would do lunch with them about once a month during work hours. He doesn't hide any of their communications. He tells me about lunch with them and usually invites me too. I have been to their homes and they have been to ours. They are also married with kids and I have met their families several times. To me, that is totally fine.

    Your situation does not sound normal at all. In fact, your DH sounds like a total d#ck. I don't have much helpful advice except to say, his behaviour is so unacceptable and disrespectful and he doesn't seem to get that at all. You can't fix your relationship on your own and you certainly can't change him if he doesn't want to change. Unless he is willing to be an equal, loving, faithful and supportive husband - I think you would probably be better off without him. I am so sorry for you that you are going through all this.

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