March 26, 2011,
C.A. asks from Orem, UT on December 12, 2008
How Do I Confront My Husband About His Inappropriate Emails with Another Woman?
My husband has had problems in the past of emailing/texting/IMing with other women, and the conversations are usually sexual (most of the time, they're with women who he knew before we met, not total strangers). The last time around, I found out about the texting and I wrote an email to the other woman, letting her know I knew and that it was highly inappropriate. She responded about how sorry she was, said she wouldn't talk to DH again, and subsequently deleted my husband as her friend (this was on Facebook). I told my husband I had emailed her, and while he regretted that they were no longer "Facebook friends", he seemed okay and sorrowful that he had hurt me. Anyway, now we're about a month later, and I found out they've been messaging each other on Facebook again. In these messages, they've decided not to become friends on Facebook again because I would see that on my profile, not to text each other because DH knows I look at the cell phone records, and that they're going to keep it all secret. The messages this time aren't incredibly inappropriate (though there has been some flirting, mostly--and I hate saying this--on my husband's side), but the fact that they've agreed to keep it a secret from me is what hurts the most. How do I talk to my husband about this? He'll know I went behind his back and looked in his emails and Facebook account. Part of me feels guilty for spying on him, but another part feels justified because he has betrayed my trust before, and I wonder if he even deserves to have privacy anymore when these are the kinds of things he does while I'm away at work (I work to put him through school--he stays home with our son all day) or late at night after I've gone to bed. Please, any advice, sympathy, etc. would be much appreciated!
So What Happened?™
First of all, THANK YOU to everyone that responded. I received a great many more responses than I was ever hoping for. I really appreciate all of your support, sympathy, and advice. Things are going to be rough, but it'll turn out okay. I sent an email to that other woman and told her to leave my husband alone (she responded by apologizing and vowing never to talk to him again), and DH actually confessed to me about it before I got the chance to bring it up. He told me he deleted his Facebook account and the email address he had used to talk to other women, so now that other woman has no way to contact him anyway. We're also going to see our bishop. We previously went to counseling and that helped a lot, but we can't afford it anymore, so hopefully seeing our religious leader will be the next best thing. I told him he needs to be faithful or it's over, and he said he's willing to do all he can to keep me by his side. We do have a wonderful marriage--there's really no neglect or absence of showing love by either side. I hope and pray that things will improve and we will be happier than we ever were. Thanks again for all of your help. :-)
F.N. answers from Denver on December 13, 2008
Actions speak louder then words. He has repeated his actions. He is accoutable for his actions and should be held accoutable.
It does not matter who the other person is-
PP mentioned conusling would be the best option to move forward.
K.G. answers from Denver on December 13, 2008
Your husband has a decision to make and the sooner the better! Is he or is he not prepared to honor his marriage vows and cleave only to his wife? The decision to be faithful to your wife does NOT depend on how she dresses, her income, does she act sexy or any other foolish thing. It is a very simple character/maturity issue and you deserve a very simple, straight forward and honest answer to your question. If he does want to be faithful then he ceases ALL communication with the other women immediately and gets in touch with a pastor or counselor for accountablility. If he is not prepared to spend the rest of his life being faithful to ONLY you, then at least you have the truth to base your decision on and you found out early on in your marriage before wasting years on a man who refuses to honor you as his wife and will be setting a bad example for your son. Find an older couple with a long and happy marriage and ask for some support and help. You do deserve a faithful husband! Hopefully, he wants that too and just needs to be set straight. Don't back down or settle for anything less than complete fidelity or your marriage will always remain an unhappy one.
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K.S. answers from Salt Lake City on December 13, 2008
You have lots of other responses already, but I feel its important to respond. You get to know that this is not the behaviour of a monogomous man. He is enjoying the flirt, the excitement, whatever. If your beliefs are such that that his behaviour is inappropriate for a married man then you get to stand up for yourself and go see a great life coach. Find someone who can assist you in finding your inner strength and who can help you move a lot of that emotional energy that is in your system. Girl - you are worth being adored, honored, loved and cherished - not cheated on. If your husband is willing to do a lot of inner work on himself, then you have a chance of having a marriage that is satisfying, uplifting and even magical. Otherwise it will be more of the same.
Lots of love and support!
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J.S. answers from Boise on December 13, 2008
I'm sorry, C., but he's cheating on you. I'm divorcing my husband right now after almost 20 years for the same thing... and it's happened on and off throughout those 20 years. I would confront him, he would stop, and later it would start up again with the same person. You have to decide whether you're willing to put up with it or confront him. I would guess that he needs counseling. My husband has self-esteem issues and needs outside validation that he's wanted, good enough, etc. Know that your husband may put the blame on you - if we had more sex, if you paid more attention to me, if you had more time for me, you're always tired, if if if if. Unfortunately, I have 3 friends also going through this. The internet makes this behavior easier to do and easier to get away with. I'm so sorry you're going through this. Consider marriage counseling as well. You're right - he'll likely be mad that you went behind his back, but remind him that HE was the one doing it, not you. HE made the choice to sneak, you were protecting yourself, your son, and your family by following up on your suspicions. Tell him that you want to make this work (assuming you do) and that means figuring out why this is happening and how to stop it. Good luck. Email me if you need to talk.
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D.K. answers from Denver on December 13, 2008
I haven't read the other responses, but as a divorced woman partially for this very reason above I say it is time to confront him one on one when your son is in bed and ask him what compels him to do this. Ask how he would feel if you were doing this? It is cheating, it is being sneaky and it isn't a way to continue a healthy marriage.
He has choices here, he can go to counselling with you, delete all his facebook friends, stay off the computer and work on your marriage, or he can think what he is doing is okay but think about what it would be like to be a bachelor and doing it alone.
It is not okay. You have to feel like you can trust him. You shouldn't have to "spy" on anyone that you are in a relationship with! Ever!
My ex got into a relationship via online and cellphone with a old high school girlfriend from high school, I was led to believe it was innocent, just hashing the past type thing, turns out he still loved her and she was ending her marriage so they wanted to reconnect. She lived 1,000 miles away and guess what? He left me and my children to try and see if the old feelings meant anything and he could live out his fantasy!
It didn't work out, she went back to her husband but our marriage was beyond repair and he still lives in another state and on his 5th relationship since leaving us three years ago.
My point being, you cannot change him or force him to do something but you do have the right to give him ultimatiums and not tolerate deception at any level.
It isn't okay and if you were the one to be doing it I am sure he would feel like you do.
Trust is essential to a good marriage, once that fails then there is little you can do if the other isn't willing to do everything in their power to earn it back.
My ex didn't care to go to counselling, which I guess is fine, he has met everyone he has dated online, so it is a dangerous habit and pattern.
Hang tough, set yourself down and write down what you need and talk to him. You teach people how to treat you and if you tolerate it, you are letting him do this as much as it is his choice.
He must respect you and earn your trust back! Hang in there hun! I hope it works out that he gets his act together!
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K.P. answers from Boise on December 12, 2008
First I have to say that what your husband is doing is disgusting, and immature. I'm only 31 and I don't understand the whole Facebook, texting, IMing thing. I think that kind of thing should be left out of marriages. It's teenage stuff. As horrible a thing it is that your husband is having any type of relationship with other women, I have to ask, how are you contributing to the problems in your marriage? What are you not giving him that he is seeking in other women? Are you bitchy or naggy when you come home from work, or do you come home with a smile on your face, kiss and hug him, and enjoy the evening with him? Do you praise him for taking care of your baby and the home? Think about it from that perspective. If you were the one home taking care of your son, how would want your husband to behave when he came home from work? Unless you married a complete jerk,(and you would have known that while dating him before you made an innocent child with him)men don't generally go looking for other women unless the woman they have at home isn't taking care of him. I know you will get defensive about this, but you really have to look at yourself and determine what you aren't giving him. Once you figure that out, start changing your behavior and give him a reason to only want you. Being that he is home all day, he has a lot of time to spend on other women, and he could possibly be taking your son with him when he wants to see those other women. I would get rid of the internet, or change all of the passwords so that he can't use it for the reasons he is. Here's the thing...you have a child together, and it is in your child's best interest that he has his mom and dad under the same roof for the next 17 yrs. That is going to take work. I don't mean to spend the next 17 yrs hating your husband and giving him reasons to have affairs. I mean, change yourself, be a good, nice, loving, sexy, giving wife, and unless he is an idiot, he will stop this behavior and focus on you and raising your son together. You really don't want your son growing up thinking that this is how a REAL MAN behaves. If all of what I suggested fails, meaning that you give all you have to changing your behavior, and he still insists one having affairs, chalk it up to you screwed up in picking a husband and father for your son, and move in with your parents. At least then your son would see how married people are supposed to behave. He would have stability and a good role model (grandma and grandpa) to be able to be a good husband and father when he grows up. That is the whole point in raising children. You are supposed to give them the tools they need to become respectable, compassionate, successful, kind adults. Also, please don't have anymore kids with this guy unless you are 5 yrs down the road and he has spent those 5 yrs being your husband(not looking for other women) and a good father to the one child you already have. Marriage is work, and if you aren't putting all you have into being a good wife, he isn't going to put all he has into being a good husband.
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N.W. answers from Salt Lake City on December 12, 2008
I am sorry you are going through this, but please don't take Kate's advice. You are not doing anything wrong... We all have bad days and things and that does not give your husband the right to be emotionally unfaithful. I do think you need to talk to him and if you can't work things out that's fine, but nobody deserves to be treated that way. Good Luck
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S.B. answers from Denver on December 12, 2008
there is a wonderful book on this subject called "Not Just Friends" by Shirley Glass. Emotional intimacy can be just as much a betrayal as physical intimacy. It sounds like you and your husband need to talk about what is going on and why he is looking for emotional intimacy outside of the marriage. You may need professional help for that discussion.
I do want to be very very clear - though he may feel you are not giving him something he needs, the affair is NOT your fault (I'm a marriage and family therapist, by the way). He is the one deciding to break your marriage vows, instead of working things out with you. So ask him to work with you to improve things, instead of letting things go bad. Use a therapist, or clergy or whatever type of program helps the two of you. You can find lots of resources at www.smartmarriages.com .
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C.S. answers from Boise on December 13, 2008
You need to be brave for yourself and your little one. My husband had a problem with pornography and tried to keep this a secret from me for two years. Know that you did nothing wrong. Stay calm and focused when you talk to him about what is going on. If he is willing to stop this and wants to be fully devoted to you there are things you can do to protect your marriage. You can both have access to each others email, and you can promise to not be alone ever with a friend of the opposite sex. Know that if someone really wants to do something they can go to amazing lengths to keep a secret. He is your husband and should have no remorse over the friendship with this other woman or her feelings. You are the priority. Don't be afraid to ask for things if the goal is to protect your marriage. Jealousy is not the problem here, but inappropriate relationships, online or in real life can be damaging to a marriage.
You are in my thought and prayers. Have faith and be direct.
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