Dear Cindy looloo (with a wave to Nwjhl)~
I can't suggest what you should do - if anything, what will work and what might turn into a disaster. All I can do is tell you how I would feel, I emphasize however this is just me.
I would feel very betrayed, second class and unloved. In my world there is commitment. Perhaps that lack of whole-hearted commitment is an answer to Nwjhl’s question as to why people do it in otherwise happy relationships
Building a life together is not always easy, no matter how much love and good will is there, and it takes single-minded effort at times. This should bring people together and make the relationship stronger as commitment is demonstrated, the relationship valued and life skills are learned.
If I had a partner who, openly or otherwise, was in constant intimate contact with another I’d feel alone. I would expect most people might at some time or other feel an attraction for someone other than their partner, it is part of life, and that is where commitment comes in.
welcome to the forum.
I can understand how you would feel betrayed. I feel your husband has not been honest with you about his contact with this other woman.
A relationship is about trust respect and honesty and it seems he has not shown you much of any of those.
I think you have been very patient with him and put up with his behaviour for a long time.
Nwyjl, I am sorry for what you are going through.
Just popping in to say that yes, this is definitely a betrayal. You're not wrong (it might help to get some further validation i thought). It is what I would call an emotional affair. He's sharing feelings about your relationship with another woman while not sharing them with you, the one who is actually there and caring for him. And this woman is an ex-girlfriend so he can't claim they are just friends as there is history there that makes them more than that. They were once attracted, that rarely goes away entirely.
I wonder if he's imagining this woman as his alternative life i.e. the grass is always greener somewhere else. He might think if you hadn't gotten pregnant he may have ended up with her and he fantasizes that would be a better life. He's built that up as a perfect imagined relationship maybe, when in fact all relationships go through troubles and he'd just have different ones with her (or maybe the same ones, who knows?)
The fact remains he did marry you and he owes you loyalty and commitment, no matter the circumstances. He's gone behind your back for years to message someone when you've told him you don't like it - and as his wife and mother of his children you have every right to ask him to stop messaging her. He hasn't. That's a problem because he's ignoring your wishes.
Maybe it's time you had the tough talk- will he always dream of being somewhere else, or will be commit to you properly at last? It will be scary to ask, because you may fear his answer. But how long can you go on questioning his commitment to you? That's what you need to ask yourself I think.
Good luck Cindy