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Question
Posted by: | 2017/09/23

Husband won't stop communicating with former co-worker

Hi doc, please help me as I am at my wits end. I've been with my husband for nearly 20 years. He started working at this place about two years ago and then got transferred earlier this year. I had a phone issue so I briefly used a phone he too used. His email was still synced. My husband has a history of not knowing boundaries between being friendly and flirting so I had a look at the emails. WELL. I found a whole lot, including one with just pictures that said things like "affairs don't start in the bedroom, they start in conversations, etc". I was furious and hesrtbroken and confronted him. He admitted it was an emotional affair and I made him send her an email to break it off. I left it at that. About a month later I checked the emails again and yet again, they were communicating. I also checked his phone and saw that there were phone calls to and from each other almost every day, sometimes multiple times a day. I then sent her an email and she said she won't communicate with him again. Yesterday we had a looooooong day and he fell asleep early. I checled his phone to see more phone calls, even from yesterday! She's also married and I am just fuming. I said to my husband I think he's still talking to her and he said no he's not. This morning I went ro his phone to tske pictures of the log and lo and behold, he's deleted the call logs. I just don't know what to do. I love this man and I'm so hurt and annoyed by his actions I can't even bring myself to have any form of physical contact with him. I haven't hugged him or anything in a week. I've even gone so far as to install spyware on my phone to see how well it works before putting it on his to catch him out. Please help me.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink
- 2017/09/25

Hello,
Apart from the specifics of your particular example, I am often puzzled by the way people keep copies of personal call logs and messages when they are having affairs or simply making contact they know their boss, spouse or others will find upsetting or annoying.  Deletion is always an option. Is it just laziness, or a wish to keep souvenirs ?
Anyhow.  It is also my observation that people who look into their companion's phones, very rarely find anything that pleases them.
Maybe he thinks this continuing relationship with this woman is harmless and that you're just making too much fuss about it. But even if it were totally innocent, knowing that it upsets you should be enough for most people to want to end it, so as to avoid inflicting needless distress on their partner. 
For him to continue with this relationship, knowing that you know about it and will have the chance to find confirmation of it, suggests something more. 
It may well not be about any physical relationship, but more about her making him feel good about himself. 
But it all points to problems in your relationship with each other which need to be fixed.  Otherwise you are getting too involved in the symptoms, rather than in solving the primary problems.  Why not, calmly but firmly, explain that he is hurting you deeply by continuing this relationship, and that you are concerned about the larger issues that though you do love him very much, all is obviously not well between you, and you would like to join him in working together to put things right ?. And ask that the pair of you see a good local couples counsellor together, to identify all problems troubling either or both of you, and to work on solving them.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Anonymous | 2017/09/27

I say various things: E-mail her husband and ask him to please speak to his wife and ask her to stop contacting your husband. End of story. Find him on Facebook or however possible. I reckon even if you threaten her it won't help. About him feeling good there are other ways he can deal with his insecurity without making you doubt yourself and feel like this. I've told my husband that he can do what he likes, when he likes but if he cheats on me and I find out he must know it will be over. I really mean it and he knows it. In other words, I trust him 100% until I am proven wrong. I would be horrified if my husband was doing this. My husband works with the prettiest women including an ex Miss SA in the course of his work but he knows this is inappropriate and that I would not accept it under any circumstances. It's really about the man and not the woman. My husband gets E-mails, Whatsapps, SMS's, calls and faxes from these women all the time, its a bit of chatter and then straight onto work. I think you have reason to worry but mostly how do you really feel about him now? Have you thought about that in depth? Any issues that could explain his actions and your reaction? I can tell you that a friend of mine had a similar problem and she sent a letter via the office fax asking this woman to butt out of their lives. Problem was solved. Do they use fax? Or ask to see her, just rock up at her office and wait. Staff should know you, have met you at one time or another? Say HELLO loudly and even louder I'm here to see ....

Reply to Anonymous
Posted by: Anonymous | 2017/09/25

You already know enough not to need the spyware. Why hurt yourself even more? Even though it isn't a physical affair yet, he is cheating on you and he clearly isn't prepared to stop, which means he doesn't respect you, or your marriage. Why do you want to put up with that? I would ask him to move out and make up his mind what he wants, because he cannot have his cake and eat it. The emotional affair is a very complex thing. It happens when a man does not get his needs met or feels misunderstood at home, not loved, no one pays him any attention etc. You need to also have a deep look into how you can improve things so that he does not need to go outside of your relationship for the comfort he needs. If he decides he wants to work on your marriage, this is something you will have to work on together. The male ego is a very fragile thing, and I have learned that if you want a happy man, he needs to feel like a man, In todays world of equal rights and where traditional roles have become very confused and blurred, men feel vulnerable and insecure and this is why they go for women that "understand" him. Seek to understand your man. But don't take an bull dust from him though. He either commits and you work on it together, or he doesn't and you move on and live your life. Best of luck.

Reply to Anonymous
Posted by: Anonymous | 2017/09/24

Hi Anon, for a minute I thought someone was narrating my story from a few years ago. I also confronted the other women via email. Just to hear don't worry your husband loves you. We are just friends. I wanted to reply back but stopped myself. Why must I degrade myself like that. They even at one stage made plans to go bike riding. Well she had to drive his car behind him and he will cycle. It has been years later and I am still not over it. It really hurts a lot. They move on so fast and like nothing has happened. I believe and I know emotional cheating is by far the worst. She was but one of many. Why I stayed I cannot answer you. All I do know is I am not afraid of loosing him to another women anymore. I closed myself off to that kind of hurt. H e has stopped doing it after that last incident and is really trying hard o proof to me he has changed and that he has incredible remorse. But like they say a bit to late. I'm not holding it against him any longer or make him feel bad. Trust is gone that's for sure. Men/women do not realise the hurt they actually cause the other one.by the time they do realise it is to late to change anything. I really do hope you can move past this because to be in that boat is hell. One thing I have realised is..You can trust without love but you can never love without trust. Trust is the most important and valuable thing a person can give you. Love should not hurt. Good luck Anon, from one who knows where you at right now.

Reply to Anonymous

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