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Fear and Axiety over potential CHEATING, how to handle?

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Fear and Axiety over potential CHEATING, how to handle?

Postby animalinme » Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:17 pm

Sorry this is so long, but please bare with me and read through and let me know your thoughts.

Much of this started through an initial gut feeling that my brother's wife (we'll call her "H") is sneaking behind his back with something. Let me just say, that I've NEVER felt like this before. Something in my gut recently has told me she's up to something, and I REALLY want to know what it is. My gut says that there's some other man in the picture. I don't know who and I don't know to what level it's being taken. This very deeply disturbs me.

My brother is a good guy, but he's very gullible. I know because I grew up with him, and I know how he is, you could get anything past him with little effort. He's self-admittedly unobservant. I know that he never so much as checks up on his wife at all. She is a person who is constantly in her phone, all day, every day even while at home. There are things about her behavior that are sending off red flags to me. She often goes off into a different room, sits in a corner and looks at her phone for hours. She never lets her phone out of sight. She never touches any of their computers to use Facebook, or do anything. But stays constantly on Facebook on her phone. Whenever my brother has to leave and go somewhere without her, she gets into this really cheerful gleeful mood about it... like she can't wait for him to leave, tries to push him out the door. Whenever he's gone, she texts him often asking "are you on your way back?" or "when are you coming?", etc. Whenever he calls her, she never answers the first call. He always has to call twice, or her call back. Even after she's just texted him. He gets angry over this saying "she never answers her phone". Why would a person glued to her phone never answer?

Nobody really knows anything about who she talks to online, anything about her friends, or who she works with. She works at a place where a lot of sketchy people are hired on through rehabilitation programs. She doesn't ever share much about work. My brother shares all of that kind of stuff with everyone. She often makes a high amount of "grocery store" runs, which usually take her a long time. She will run out to the store and just come back with a thing or two, like a candy bar and say that was the only thing she went to get. Sometimes her story changes on how late she will be working at the last minute. A while back, I just happened to spot her walking down the street from her work, leaving her car behind. She said she was walking to the drugstore just for the "exercise", even though she's famous for not wanting to get up off of the couch. My brother often gets angry at her laziness, yet he simply accepted her premise on this. Last Valentines day, someone from work had given her a paper bag full of condoms, I guess as a "joke" or something... but it's super odd because we don't know anyone she talks to who'd be that way, and to our knowledge this is not H's style of humor.

I decided to confide with my mother about my worries and concerns. Mom knows as well as I (and my brother) admit that there are some peculiar things about her. Mom gets frustrated with her sometimes. She never helps my brother around their house, she gets mad and cries if she's asked to do things like help clean up. She doesn't pay much exclusive attention to her special needs son. She is often more interested with looking on her phone than to play with him. She's very messy and doesn't pick up after herself, or her son. She's had several car accidents because of her phone usage, and still my brother insisted on buying her the most expensive iPhone made despite breaking all of her past ones, and even pays for her an extra-data plan just for hers, even though they have WiFi at home.

I found out my brother told mom that "she never wants to go anywhere, or do anything anymore". Mom confirmed with me that she seems more "distant" than before, more withdrawn and a change of demeanor. She doesn't really speak much anymore. When we all go out together, it's obvious that she just doesn't want to be there, takes no interests in her surroundings. She gets this really annoyed and stony look, and her objective seems to be just getting home. Even when it's something for her boy to do for fun and everyone will be playing and encouraging him, she'll stay back looking withdrawn and bored. It's never occurred to mom that she could be having an affair, but now mom is on the fence after having told her my thoughts.

More recently, H just kind of blurted out that she was going to a party that someone was throwing for her. My brother was dumbfounded. Nobody knew about this, and apparently none of us were considered to come along. My brother got a bit angry about it. Now those plans have changed and this "might" be happening next month, she says. To me it's super odd that she'd make the plan to do that all herself and that this someone would not suggest that anyone is welcome to come with her. In my mind she was kind of testing my brother to see if she could just get away, but then retracted the alibi when it backfired. She pinned it on her trainer, who is like a 50-something married woman with kids of her own.

Discussing all of this really makes my stomach feel uneasy, like I know that I'm hitting on something bad that's actually real. I've been so worried about this. I've been trying to plan in my head how I can approach my brother. I need to confide in him about my concerns. I don't want to make him paranoid or angry. I want to tell him to take what I say with a grain of salt, that it might just be me, that I don't have hard evidence of anything and just a feeling of concern in my gut.

I need to know what he thinks. If he think's I'm simply crazy, or if he secretly has concerns as well, or if something has gone on between them that he's never told me. I would never use any of that info against her, or him. I just need to know that he knows, that hes' given it a thought. I just would feel so much better if he'd check into her Facebook messenger, and see if there is anything strange or wrong in there. I feel like that's where answers will be found. In my opinion she is his wife, and he has a right know anything that's going on. I've been so tempted to check her phone myself, but I know I shouldn't. I think he has a right to do so.

I could be wrong, and if I'm simply wrong then it can be dropped. But for all of this to go on completely unchecked, is turning my stomach. I would bet money that something is going on, if it's not an affair, it's still something. My brother should know he can trust me with anything he has to say, but he's never told me anything about trouble between them, except the occasional fight over the house. I just need to know how he feels on it, but I won't make him do anything he doesn't want to do. I still want to at least tell him about Facebook messenger and how you can contact people who aren't on your "friends" list (he doesn't use Facebook much). So he can't simply go by who's on her friends list.

How should I approach him? How do I come on gently with my concerns? Should I tell him all of the things that have bothered me? Tell him what I would want to do? I am planning to do this on his day off from work. My mother is unsure about being mentioned as agreeing with some of the things I think. But I feel like telling him two people think something is weird, might be more helpful. Can anyone give me some advice on how to put it to him? What would you think if your sibling came to you about such a concern?
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Re: Fear and Axiety over potential CHEATING, how to handle?

Postby xdude » Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:57 am

Hey animalinme,

Yea, tough situation. I don't know that there is any ideal solution, other then that your heart is in the right place when telling him this. That you are doing so because you love him, and don't want to see him hurt long term. It's tough though because it is going to hurt now if he is in blind-love denial, and as you wrote, some of this is just a guess (it's a reasonable guess, but you don't know for sure either what is going on). Unfortunately, if you are right, that is going to hurt him too.

I think you already know that it's going to come down to how you say it more than what is exactly said.
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Re: Fear and Axiety over potential CHEATING, how to handle?

Postby animalinme » Wed Sep 19, 2018 1:14 pm

xdude wrote:Hey animalinme,

Yea, tough situation. I don't know that there is any ideal solution, other then that your heart is in the right place when telling him this. That you are doing so because you love him, and don't want to see him hurt long term. It's tough though because it is going to hurt now if he is in blind-love denial, and as you wrote, some of this is just a guess (it's a reasonable guess, but you don't know for sure either what is going on). Unfortunately, if you are right, that is going to hurt him too.

I think you already know that it's going to come down to how you say it more than what is exactly said.


Any suggestion on how to put it to him without sounding like I'm just accusing her of something?
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Re: Fear and Axiety over potential CHEATING, how to handle?

Postby xdude » Thu Sep 20, 2018 1:55 pm

Hey animalinme,

I don't really have any advice, other then the you know type... you know it's sometimes best to not to rehearse what you want to say, and play it by ear. It depends on his reaction, speak from the heart, and adjust as needed. Also assume it's going to be more than one conversation; not everything needs to be said in round one.

That written, starting with 'hey brother, I wanted to speak with you about something that is worrying me...' (i.e., speak from the point of view of this is bothering you, and leave it up him to to choose whatever reply works for him), has a way of often working the best, no matter the situation. Usual stuff ;)
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Re: Fear and Axiety over potential CHEATING, how to handle?

Postby xiximmxi » Fri Oct 26, 2018 8:52 pm

How did this go with your brother?
Were you able to talk to him?

I know I'm late to the party but... Here are my two cents anyway:

I have learned that it's best to deal with things like this directly. Plus some people will get offended and get defensive if you start accusing or bad mouthing their partners regardless of whether you're right or not. You want to stay out of people's love relationships as much as possible. If you have any doubts, questions or concerns with your sister-in-law, I would have suggested that you go talk to her and get some clarification before you start instigating.

I know she seems sketchy and you probably don't feel comfortable talking to her about this but I think it's always better to go to the source of the problem. If she IS cheating, then you can give her a chance to come clean. If she doesn't, you can tell your brother yourself. If she is not cheating, then you save yourself from looking like an idiot.
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