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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know this is a long post, but you need all the info I can give in order to help/give advice.

Been married 15 years. We are both 38. We have 2 kids 13, 9. Please follow along carefully because its important to try and understand the entire dynamic of what I’m dealing with.
Problem: Wife has been texting her old boyfriend from high school. I have to give a little back story so that I can hopefully get the best advice possible.

High School : my now wife was dating my best friend, (ken) They date junior and senior years of high school. They then go off to college, things fall apart, and being that her and I had always been friends, we gravitated to each other, and long story short we eventually got married and have been ever since, of course this ended mine and his friendship.

My wife can be the most caring person you’ll ever meet. She will sacrifice her own time and mental well being to help solve other people’s problems. Kind of like their problems become her problems. This is something that I admire but at the same time can be problematic when I think that she is putting more time into people outside the family and then is to “spent” to be any good to me and the kids.

Late last year a friend of ours from high school died in what appeared to be suicide. This really upset her (she is very emotional about death in general). This death really ate at her and she felt sad that maybe he just needed someone to talk to and maybe his death could have been avoided. (this guys was married with kids ).

So, around Christmas time 2011, her mission became trying contact old high school friend hoping to reconnect with some old friends just because it made her feel good. The problem that I had with this is that it was with old guy friends, and one of them was her old boyfriend. Which got her to thinking how badly things had ended between them and she needed closure. My wife has always been very open and honest to me about everything. She told me what all they talked about, I could tell that it was really affecting her mood and suggested that this dialog between them was not healthy. I suggested that she call her therapist (who she sees like maybe once a year) and get her take on things. She agreed and talked with her several times and the conclusion was this relationship is in the past and to let it go because it will cause problems in your marriage. So she stopped communication with him (ex bf) but continued a friendly dialog with another mutual friend,(Wes lives 10hrs away, married) which I was sort of ok with.

This is where my part in all of this gets tricky. I snooped. I looked at our cell phone records and could see that she talked and texted Wes a lot. I was able to look at her phone a couple of times and read the text and they were harmless. This went on for several months, and she would occasionally tell me that she talked to Wes and he was doing ok. I became more and more jealous because I started thinking the worst of her. I looked at phone records again, and noticed that she had talked to him over an 1.5 hrs on one occasion. I confronted her on it, told her I had looked at the records…. she was pissed! I tried to explain how it made me feel and she said she understood but that it was nothing and I had absolutely nothing to worry about. I was like what can you possibly talk to someone for an hour and a half about. She said she felt spied on and that she had never given me a reason to worry about her cheating on me. She also said that she should be able to talk to whomever she wants as long as it does not violate marriage. My take is that anything that makes the other spouse uneasy should not be continued to be done. Well she kinda got over that and life moved on.
A few weeks ago she tells me that she was on FB and saw that old bf (Ken) was getting a divorce. She felt bad for him, talked with him on FB, which she told me about. Well by this time I had a key logger on her laptop so I was able to read what was said. And it was harmless, she express how sorry she was that this has happened and hoped that they could work it out. I again let her know that I really don’t like them talking. I again told her that even though she may think she is having innocent contact with him, that’s how stuff gets started. She said she understood my feelings and I really had nothing to worry about, she is totally committed to me and our family. But she said that she just needs to stop telling me every time she talks to him. That was about a month ago.
So yesterday I check our cell phone records, between the 2 of them they had sent almost 140 texts(yesterday) I looked at her phone last night and she had deleted all of their text. She’s not mentioned anything to me about talking to him. I’m at a loss. I don’t know what to do. I haven’t eaten in 24 hrs, can concentrate on anything but this. What should I do? If I say something about all the text then she will know I’ve been snooping again and this will start a **** storm in its self. A big part of me really believes that it is innocent, but I’m more bothered that she is hiding it. It’s not like they text everyday, but I don’t approve. I’m lost here. Do I need to get some professional help and talk this through? Confront her again? Will this just push her away and make her hide it even more.

If something is unclear or you need more info please let me know. I want to make this better, I cannot live like this.

Doug
 

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IMO, its time to put your foot down. Your wife is not interested in your marriage I'm sorry to say. She continues to look outside of her marriage for what ever is troubling her on the inside. She is in a fog too, she is justifying her actions when she is talking to these men or texting etc. Her behavior is unacceptable. You need to tell her that, of course she will get mad, because she is doing something she knows she really shouldn't be. Innocent or not, she isn't focused on improving her marriage.

I would say this has been going on long enough. If you are willing to go to drastic measures if things don't stop with what shes doing, then I would say give her a ultimatium. She needs to cut all contact with these men friends, and focus on her marriage, if she doesn't, pack your bags and leave, or better yet pack hers. People need to be held accountable for their actions, if they aren't, they will not stop what they are doing.
 

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she said that she just needs to stop telling me every time she talks to him. That was about a month ago
.

A big part of me really believes that it is innocent, but I’m more bothered that she is hiding it.
IMO she's not hiding it. She told you she would stop telling you how often they speak because of how it upsets you. You even say yourself that it's been innocent conversation. I get that you're worried about her friendship with this man, and yes EA's do begin just like this... BUT. That is something you will have to trust your wife to put the kibosh on.

You've told her how you feel. She acknowledges it, but seriously feels you are overreacting and in turn, is going forward despite your feelings. I don't agree with that. If my husband felt uncomfortable about a friendship I had, his feelings would supercede the friendship, period.

I would have another talk about this with her. Tell her what your fears are. She needs to really understand how much this is all bothering you.
 

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Although it is common for many couples to have martial boundaries that would prevent having opposite sex friends, this is not universal with some couples not having such a boundary. With that said, even couples that do not have boundaries against opposite sex friends have strong boundaries against contact with former boyfriends and girl friends. In other words it is wrong for her to be in contact with her former boyfriend and you have a right to ask her to stop in right now.

The fact that the former boyfriend feels that you moved in on his girl and thus has no issue making a move on your wife, makes their contact even more troubleshooting. Add to this that your wife contacted him upon learning that he was on the market again due to him getting a divorce, and you have even more danger signs. Her deleting her messages with him and openly telling you that not only will she not end contact but will no longer tell you about such contact, have all the makings of her at least being in an emotional affair (EA) with this guy.

Without telling her how you know or what you know, you need to tell her that she must decide now to end all contact with the other man (OM). Tell her that she is in an EA with this OM and that there cannot be 3 in a marraige. Tell her that if she does not agree to break off all contact with the OM that you will file for a divorce and mean it when you say it. You may not want a divorce, but if this continues you will have one anyway. Taking action now increases the odds of you staying married long term.

BTW, all cheaters try to say that they can do what they want and will try to make you feel bad for snooping. Do not even slightly let her go there. Tell her that talking to ex-lovers is out of bounds in all marriages and that you have a right to use any methods to learn about it and end it.
 

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my now wife was dating my best friend, (ken) They date junior and senior years of high school. They then go off to college, things fall apart, and being that her and I had always been friends, we gravitated to each other, and long story short we eventually got married and have been ever since, of course this ended mine and his friendship.
I read this again, and I have to ask...

Are you concerned about a bit of karma coming back at you for this? You are with your best friends girl. However things ended, this at best seems a very messy way to start out with your wife. Drama drama drama.
 

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Please ask to have your post moved to the Coping with Infidelity section.

I don't need to tell you that 140 texts in one day is a LOT. Assuming each text takes about 15 seconds, give or take, that's at least half an hour texting back and forth. I bet you wish you had half an hour of her undivided attention. Half an hour a day may not sound much but it translates to 3.5 hours per week, and 15 HOURS per month of texting.

lots of texts + deletion of texts + hiding them from you = a secret inappropriate relationship and a betrayal of the marriage (notice we don't even have to plug divorced ex-bf into this equation)

She is in an emotional affair. If she isn't, she is on the brink. If I were you, I'd get the book Not Just Friends. It will help you handle this, it is a soup to nuts book that is very specific and detailed.

You have seen for yourself where confronting gets you. You can confront again, but what you're going to hear is more obfuscation.

Emotional affairs are escapist fantasies from real life. Ex's are the worst because the connection and mutual attraction is already well-established. She isn't going to give up this fantasy just because you're hurt, angry, or upset. You were EXTREMELY clear to her IN ADVANCE about what you believe the marital boundaries to be. She was VERY CLEAR in her response to you that she UNDERSTOOD what your boundaries were and she has chosen to cross them anyhow.

I would find a way to look at the texts, because she is still going to lie to you until you have more concrete evidence. You do not need this extra evidence to tell her to stop, but if you confront one more time and disclose your source, she is going to take it underground (hide it better) because the fantasy is so much fun. Also, concrete evidence will help you enlist those people in your life, such as your family, to support you in protecting the marriage.

Have you read
No More Mr. Nice Guy
Married Man Sex Life?

What has been the overall state of your marriage over the last year?
 

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She already knows how much these continued contacts with the old bf are bothering you and now she's trying to hide the texts because she knows that it bothers you. Talk with her again and et her know how much the on-going contact is bothering you. The guy is divorcing and they used to be very close, it won't take much for this to get into EA land, if it isn't already there.

She needs to cut those ties with her male friends from the past and focus on making you feel safe in your relationship NOW. The ball is in her court. Keep gathering whatever evidence you need. If she continues to keep contact with this person, then she is obviously not respecting your wishes nor focusing her energies on the marriage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I've thought of this very thing. Their relationship ended in later part of 92. We began dating LDR while I was in another state. There was no drama, we have lived out of his state for many years and no contact has been made until the last 6 months or so.
 

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She already knows how much these continued contacts with the old bf are bothering you and now she's trying to hide the texts because she knows that it bothers you. Talk with her again and et her know how much the on-going contact is bothering you. The guy is divorcing and they used to be very close, it won't take much for this to get into EA land, if it isn't already there.

She needs to cut those ties with her male friends from the past and focus on making you feel safe in your relationship NOW. The ball is in her court. Keep gathering whatever evidence you need. If she continues to keep contact with this person, then she is obviously not respecting your wishes nor focusing her energies on the marriage.
I agree with everything you've said except about talking to her again right this minute. I think he needs a lay of the land because once he confronts her, the very first reaction she will have is to find an alternate means of communicating with the ex-BF. Immediate confrontation is extremely hard to avoid because finding evidence of inappropriate relationships is emotional for the loyal spouse to say the least. But laying low and finding out as much as he can, first, will make his next confrontation as effective as he can make it.
 

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I've thought of this very thing. Their relationship ended in later part of 92. We began dating LDR while I was in another state. There was no drama, we have lived out of his state for many years and no contact has been made until the last 6 months or so.
Ok. I thought I would ask...

He's certainly not backing down though, innocent contact or not. Maybe HE's not over it as much you two are?

It's been my experience that guys hold grudges a lot longer when it comes to women and friends stepping in on their territory.
 

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I agree with everything you've said except about talking to her again right this minute. I think he needs a lay of the land because once he confronts her, the very first reaction she will have is to find an alternate means of communicating with the ex-BF. Immediate confrontation is extremely hard to avoid because finding evidence of inappropriate relationships is emotional for the loyal spouse to say the least. But laying low and finding out as much as he can, first, will make his next confrontation as effective as he can make it.
I agree with you on not confronting right away. My intention was to add that to the "gathering evidence" statement, but something went wrong with the thought-to-typing process there :D
 

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husband,

As others have said, there is alot of troubling Red Flags here.

Instead of delving into those as some of the others have, I wanted to make sure that you know that if EITHER spouse is having contact with ANYONE that causes the other spouse to be uneasy, that contact should stop as soon as the other spouse mentions it's a concern to them. No ifs, ands or buts.

Please also know that in a marriage, there is no true right to privacy. You are joined as one and everthing should be open to the other, all passwords, FB postings, etc.

Also, as others have noted, if she is sharing ANT details about your marriage with him (and I can bet my bottom dollar she's discussed your relationship with her) this is an EA. Any effort that she's directing to him is effort and time that should be spent on you and your kids.

I agree with iheartlife about confronting her now. See if you can recover some of the deleted texts (all depends on the phone she has) before you confront her. Does she know about the keylogger? If not, keep your eyes peeled and see if she sets up a new email account. That would be a huge deal!

Again, if you're not comfortable with this contact (no matter how innocent) she shouldn't be maintaining it! When the time comes, ask her how she'd feel if in the process to reaching out to old HS friends, all you did was contact women and then carried on communications with them!

Good luck. I think you'll really need it
 

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Rules about contact with old friends of the opposite sex differ among couples, but your wife is showing that she is capable of pursuing friendships with men even after you communicate pretty reasonable expectations about your boundaries. Personally, I think you are worrying a lot about hurting the feelings of someone who is already slipping out of your marriage. It is very reasonable to tell her that it is time to choose.

I don't say this as a naive point of view. There is a reason that my wife and I agreed that emails and texts to former girlfriends or boyfriends are completely off limits. Both of us have been pursued by a former girl/boy friend whose divorce led to a rekindling of their heavily romanticized feelings for us. Common sense told me that I would be very vulnerable to this former girlfriend. She always said that we were meant to be together, so why would she travel 1,000 miles after her divorce just to share dinner and see how I was doing?

The thing is, you had several references to problems where your wife struggled with investing herself heavily into other's lives, even when it was not a former love. It seems like her telling you that she would keep these relationships to herself was telling you everything you needed to know about the recent changes in her. I do not agree with the others who say you should watch and monitor. Wait for what? Wait for her to get so connected to her former boyfriend so closely that even an ultimatum will not make her wake up?
 

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I would suggest you use a hidden VAR to her what she is saying to him before you do anything else.

You've spoken with her and she has bluntly told you that she doesn't regard your feelings as important, certainly not as important as her freedom. That's the response a teenager gives to her parents That's at the core of this. A married person shoud be carring about their SOs feelings, even if they give up a little person do as you please freedom.

Since this is now at a lot of texts per day and phone calls, itis quite possibly going EA especially since Ken is going to on the prowl to feel good and prove he still can bag girls.

So use a couple of vars, one in her car and one in the bedroom or wherever you think she goes to talk to him.
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Just to clarify.

Her initial contact with ex boyfriend was this past December. She told me about their conversation they had on FB. I was able to see most of the chat log, and what she had told me pretty much matched what was typed.
Contact with him since was very sporadic. One text here or there. Until yesterday when they pretty much texted back and forth all day.
A month ago, he posted on FB that his dog was sick, our dog had just died so she chatted to him that we had just lost our dog and she hoped that his was ok. At this point she asked him how were things going. He said not well, his wife had left him...papers served and all. She basically said that she was sorry to hear this. Somewhere in the chat she said that I had looked at the cell phone bill and got upset that she was talking to Wes. The OM said to her, don't get in trouble talking to me, its not worth it. Her reply was that it would all be ok. That she is totally innocent in her mind. A big part of me believes this.
 

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I think the approach should be as a husband and not as a parent. Telling her NO and I forbid it isn't going to get anywhere.

She already is aware of your spying, thus the deletions. She knows you aren't above it, and her method to resolve the upset you get from what you see is to remove it from sight.

The problem isn't that you see the texts, the problem is she's getting them in the first place. She's not making the connection that your relationship with her (you feel) is being intruded upon by this ex.

If you tell her you've been still checking on her and snooping, yes that'll make her angry, not for the reasons some others have mentioned here regarding cheating and EA's, but she'll be angry for you not trusting that she has control of this situation. On her own.
 
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