Wedding Woes

I don't think you'll survive this without counseling.

Dear Prudence,

I recently confronted my wife about her emotional affair with a co-worker after discovering texts on her phone. After that first confrontation, I discovered she was still messaging him. After the second time, she swore it was over and that she genuinely wants to work on our marriage. (I’m working on the issues that she said made her feel like she had to seek out someone else.) I want to believe her, and I want our marriage to work, but I’m having a difficult time trusting her. I don’t want to be the person asking to read her text messages, but I also want to know she isn’t still communicating with him. It’s been a few weeks now. How should I approach this?

—Newly Suspicious

Re: I don't think you'll survive this without counseling.

  • mrsconn23 said:

    Dear Prudence,

    I recently confronted my wife about her emotional affair with a co-worker after discovering texts on her phone. After that first confrontation, I discovered she was still messaging him. After the second time, she swore it was over and that she genuinely wants to work on our marriage. (I’m working on the issues that she said made her feel like she had to seek out someone else.) I want to believe her, and I want our marriage to work, but I’m having a difficult time trusting her. I don’t want to be the person asking to read her text messages, but I also want to know she isn’t still communicating with him. It’s been a few weeks now. How should I approach this?

    —Newly Suspicious

    What is your wife working on, man? 

    As I said, counseling.  But also the acceptance that you may always have the shadow of doubt and you have to decide if you can live with it.  

    I feel for this guy, but it sounds like he's relying on the hope this doesn't happen again without much reassurance or work together from his wife.  That sucks. 
    charlotte989875short+sassyMyNameIsNot
  • You're most likely going to either need counseling together and/or to both work on your words together.   If there are trust issues then this is what is going to be at stake. 
  • You don’t make anyone cheat; emotionally or physically. If something wasn’t working in your relationship the right thing to do would be to come to you, not have an emotional affair with someone else. 

    That said, what do you need from her to rebuild trust? Is she willing to do that work?
  • Right!  Some marriage counseling sessions are the best option.  Unless a counselor says otherwise, I think the LW should ask for permission to read her text messages when they want because it would make them feel more secure.  At least for now.

    Normally I would find a question like that to be a dealbreaker, if it was coming out of nowhere.  But since the wife continued the emotional affair even AFTER she was caught and said she would stop the first time, I don't think it's uncalled for to ask permission.
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  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Also, as the LW, I couldn’t stand my partner still working with the affair partner.  Someone’s gotta go and you can’t MAKE the affair partner leave.  Could it work?  Sure.  But a boundary I’d put on LW’s wife is she’s applying for new jobs. 

    short+sassydowntondivamrsconn23
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