I want to get this out of my system as I move on with my life as best I can after the collapse of my marriage 18 months ago.
When I met my husband he was going out with a woman. He used to say she was a pain and that she was pretending to be engaged to him. He said he wanted to end the relationship with her. He pursued me and we became a couple. It is clear to me now he was sleeping with us both in the same time period. After we started living together, I found a letter he had written to her saying there was absolutely nothing between me and him. Lies.
I knew he was married before and had had an affair with his neighbour and also her sister who was about 16 at the time. I thought a leopard could change his spots. I have been told he cheated more than once in his first marriage.
We used to go to a quiz night together at a local pub. I remember a barmaid coming over and making some dodgy comment about him. I cannot remember the details but I remember asking him what she meant and him brushing it off saying she was mad or words to that affect.
In another pub, the barmaid came and said something like “It’s great you two are having fun but she will find out”. He laughed and said she must have him confused with someone else.
I used to see him leer at women when we were out and about. Apparently and sadly it seems many men do this. I don’t like it but there it is. He stopped doing it so obviously after I complained in our early days.
I had been cheated on before so asked if he wanted an open relationship. He said that he didn’t and definitely wanted a one on one relationship with me. Stupidly, I believed him.
When our first son was born, I returned home with him and found a weird black item of clothing tucked down the sofa. It looked like a skirt to me but my stepdaughter said after a couple of days that she remembered her friend had visited whilst I was in hospital and it was her snood.
I thought we were a good couple and in love. I was. I knew he liked pornography but it seems loads if not all men do and some women of course. It is not my thing but I played along to be a good girlfriend.
Occasionally I would find receipts for hotels with 2 people listed for one room or dinner for two. On the hotel one it was a work event and he said the machine printing the receipt must have malfunctioned. Of course it is fine for him to have dinner with a friend or colleague but why were these things not mentioned to me?
Eleven years in I found out he was on dating sites. He still maintains he only ever looked but as my brother said he did set up a profile and perhaps that is not great when you are married with three young children. Especially as he joined one just 2 weeks after my mum died of cancer.
Even now he reaches out to very young women on social media. He is nearly 65. Some of the women are in their late teens or twenties. Someone told me every man wants a young woman on their arm. I find this sad and don’t know if it is true or not. He is now at the point where he is reaching out to women not only young enough to be his daughter but young enough to be his granddaughter. He is a great grandfather after all.
I still find it very confusing. Why would he stay with me for 23 years and have 3 children with me if he wanted a young woman? Why would he bother sitting watching crime dramas, eating out and going to car boot sales with me? Why didn’t he go for what he really wanted? Me and the kids even if he cheated (and I will never know if he did) took up a lot of his time over the years.
It seems to me the young women he is not interested in at all or much are his 4 daughters, 3 granddaughters and two great granddaughters.
I try to blind myself to all this or have done for years focusing on the very good times we had together. I need to face facts at last however unpalatable they are.
Are all men like this? Are some just better at hiding it? How do I accept that I may not have chosen the best dad for my children?
The good news is I have written this post without feeling much pain. I am healing and this post is part of that process and will be deleted very soon.