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KansasTherapist
KansasTherapist, LSCSW
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 566
Experience:  17 years experience with depression, abuse, and borderline.
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I think my husband is contemplating having an affair with a

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I think my husband is contemplating having an affair with a co-worker

KansasTherapist : Hello
KansasTherapist : What makes you think he's considering having an affair?
Customer:

He has developed a friendship with two women at work whom are best friends with one another (C and L). I found text messages in January between he and L that I think were inappropriate. In looking at phone records, there are days when they would text 30 to 40 times per day. He would go out with both of them and tell me he was working late or was out for drinks with people from work. When I saw him at a restaurant with a group from work after he told me he was working late, he accused me of being crazy. I told him I thought there was something going on between he and L. We fought, he told me he was unhappy and wasn't sure he wanted to be married anymore. This all occured in January. For three months, I waited for him to make a decision. He contended that he and L were only friends. I found out during that time she'd recently gotten a divorce.

KansasTherapist : What is his behavior like when he's at home?
Customer:

In April, he told me he loves me and wants to be married to me. BUT--he is still texting her almost daily. He deletes most of the texts (I read his texts when he's in the shower). Last week he was out of town to visit some friends of ours. Over 4 days, there were 124 texts between them. She sent him some pics and I found a pic of (I think) L in a bikini,

KansasTherapist : Do you think he'd be willing to go to marital therapy with you?
Customer:

Breast, belly and just below shot. I compared pics of her on facebook and am pretty sure it's her. He erased all the texts between them. Also, I checked his browser history on his phone while he was gone. He had googled "coworker affairs" and read articles on how to stop an emotional affair and the effects of an affair.

Customer:

I went to therapy previously. He refuses to go.

KansasTherapist : From reading articles about how to stop an emotional affair, it sounds like he wants to get out of the situation, not in deeper.
Customer:

He seems more attentive to me than ever. He tells me very pointedly that he loves me. Our sex life is better than it ever has been. But the texting continues. Also, while he was out of town, C invited me to a birthday party for L. He insisted I go. I went, L was nice and I had a great time. I wonder if he is trying to get out, but why the constant texting?

KansasTherapist : She may be pursuing him.
Customer:

Do I just hold any accusations and wait and continue to monitor his actions? I have told him that I feel like he is dealing with something big, but if he didn't want to share it with me that I support him regardless. He said he's just stressed at work (I know that he is) and that our family means the world to him as well.

KansasTherapist : I would say from his behavior, he is still committed to your relationship. I agree with your supportive approach.
Customer:

I think she is, but he isn't stopping it. He went out to run last night and he texted her first. 23 text messages later, he came home and was very loving to me and completely attentive. But he'd deliberately deleted all the texts.

Customer:

I want to add that she is still sleeping with her ex, with whom my husband is friends. Our children are friends as well.

KansasTherapist : My biggest concern is his texting and erasing and then you searching for evidence. It will break down all trust in your relationship.
Customer:

I've thought of blocking her on his phone but he hates passive-aggressiveness and would be incensed if he found out I did that. I think he knows I look at his texts, but he would be livid if he ever caught me. I can't help but feel betrayed.

Customer:

I lost trust when he told me in January he'd had thoughts about being with her. He seems so sincere now when he tells me he loves me, most of the times I would use the word "earnest" to describe him. He makes plans for the future, long term, and even told me last night that I make him want to be a better person (it was in relation to a speaker we'd heard that said a "real man" is a good husband and father).

KansasTherapist : I believe that honest is hugely important to a marriage. But the two of you are really struggling to be open and honest with each other. In your shoes, I would tell him my fears, not in an accusing way, but to indicate you're struggling with your feelings of trust and fear of losing him.
Customer:

Do I tell him that I've been spying on him? I fear that would end things permanently.

KansasTherapist : I wouldn't volunteer that information, but if he asks, I would be honest.
Customer:

He has been talking alot with her friend C, whom he confided in previously. She told him that divorce was a last resort. I think he looks up to C but she is L's best friend. C has been more friendly with me since the birthday party so I don't know if she is trying to bridge things or if I am just reading more into it than I should. The bikini pic really bothers me. I am somewhat overweight but have recently lost 50 pounds and am trying to be more healthy. He says the new me is "sexy and wonderful".

KansasTherapist : I agree the bikini photo really crossed a line. I don't blame you for being upset. At this point, you don't know what your husband's reaction was to it. Hopefully, he told her to cool it.
Customer:

He saved the picture; I can't help but think he looks at it and fantasizes (she is attractive and THIN!). Do I just wait to see what happens in the near future? Should I just catalog all the evidence for later?

KansasTherapist : What would you do with the evidence
Customer:

And she is all smiles and sweetness to me when she sees me.

Customer:

I have saved the pic to my phone. I have printed all the texting records and saved those as well, just for the sheer volume. I have noted dates where he indicated he was working late, then told me he met them for drinks after work. Text messages indicated he actually arrived first and saved them a table. Why lie about something so insignificant? when I questioned all this before, he told me he shouldn't have to tell me where he is at all times, I should trust him because he has NEVER been unfaithful.

Customer:

I am trying to accept the friendship, be cordial to both C and L, yet remain guarded and see what happens. I can't help myself when it comes to checking the text records. Is this the best course of action?

KansasTherapist : My honest opinion is to stop looking at his phone message. You already know what's going on. If he starts acting differently at home and appears to be feeling guilty, you'll have a good indication that something more has happened between them. I would also talk with him about how you're feeling, your fear of losing him.
Customer:

Thank you. I know I need to stop because it just tortures me. I sometimes feel like I'm a doormat, that he is taking advantage of my supportiveness and love.

KansasTherapist : No one wants to be taken advantage of or feel like they were fooled by someone they love. Talking to your husband about those feeling could give him some perspective on how this is effecting you.
Customer:

I don't know how to tell him how I feel without him thinking that I'm rehashing old issues. any suggestions?

KansasTherapist : I would say, I'm having a really hard time. I know you love me and want to stay married but sometimes I'm really scare that something bad will happen and everything will fall apart.
Customer:

That sounds good. I keep going back and forth from wanting to ask about the pic to just wanting to keep things the way they are. I don't feel that he could be so loving and passionate if he were seeking out someone else. Am I being naiive? Would a man do that out of guilt?

KansasTherapist : What he would do depends on the man. Some guys are good liars, and might act all lovey dovey, work really hard at fooling their wife. But most guys are that good at hiding how they feel. If they feel guilty, they are depressed and withdrawn at home.
KansasTherapist : I meant aren't that good at hiding.
Customer:

He has always been a genuine, honest person. Very hardworking, loyal and just a stand-up guy. Everybody that meets him loves him. He is helpful to everyone. I've always said he'd never even contemplate taking a paperclip from the office, he's just that honest and open. that's why all of this has been so shocking to me.

Customer:

He has a huge heart and loves our children more than anything. He cries in movies, at church, when we got married, when our children was born. He is not one to hide emotions. This is all so foreign and different to me. I forgot to mention he'd googled articles on "men's midlife crisis". Could it be just that?

KansasTherapist : None of this might have happened it the coworker wasn't getting divorced. She's looking for a good guy and she knows he is one. By looking for articles on how to get out of the situation he's in, he shows he knows what he should do. The man you describe will do the right thing, even if he has to struggle for a while.
Customer:

That makes me feel SO MUCH BETTER! I don't want to be naiive, but I hate being so pessimistic. I will do what you advised and talk to him. But I will continue to be supportive and loving and I'll try to stop checking the texts. Thank you so much!

KansasTherapist : You're completely welcome.
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