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Looking for Advice!

1615 Views 30 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  D0nnivain
I have been married for 7 years now. My husband is overall wonderful. Full of affection, sweet, attentive, and caring, however, about 2 years ago something happened that I have been unable to shake off. I was using his phone to contact a potential landlord of an apartment we were trying to get and saw he had a picture (not a sexual one) in his phone of a girl we knew in another state (we lived elsewhere for 3 years then moved back home). She was a college classmate and now does the same profession as him (in diff states) to they still talk casually about their jobs. As far as I know she never knew this and she has nothing to do with it. I'm almost positive. The fact he still talks to her feels very hurtful and he is aware of that. He thinks if he randomly stops talking to her it'll seem weird and technically she had nothing to do with the fact he finds her attractive. I can't get over feeling hurt though. It's clear he's attracted to her.
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It may be nothing at all, just two friends catching up but the fact that he is more concerned with how it will look to her if he cuts contact, rather than your feelings being hurt by the continued contact, is the problem. If you’re an otherwise rational thinker and not jealous, he should stop contacting her. It’s not hard to put one’s marriage first. It’s only hard if you don’t want to.
thank you for that input! His response when I asked about the picture was he finds her attractive but that's it. So I am concerned with this continued friendship even though it's casual.
@NewEnglandWife YOU come first, not her or her feelings. If YOU ask him to break it up, he HAS to break it up, or else. Whether he wants to call Dr. Phil, the Chupacabra or Judge Judy to get that done is his riddle to solve.

He should’ve never had conversations with this lady behind your back. Wouldn’t be surprised if she was using him as an orbiter too. Do you know if she is the one who initiates contact?
Yea, a small part of me feels like they may try if we ever divorced, but overall our marriage is really good. I try to be the kind of wife who actively practices privacy and trust so I don't ask for his phone. I don't know who usually initiates the texting or how often. He says they're just talking about tattoo stuff tho (work they both do).
I’ll address the “find her attractive” bit but not sure how to respond on the “how it affects you” part.

My wife has a few long term friends from high school years. Back in the day and for a long time in there middle years both these girls were very attractive. We have been on beach vacations and many other outings together. Being around each of them and their husband(s) for so long I have quite an intimate level of knowledge of both. I’ve basically had to rescue both of them from bad marriages and provide them with husband type assistance while they were on there own. While I might have had a physical attraction for both of them in the past ….. it means absolutely ZERO. Good looking people are just that… and don’t need to represent anything else. Good looking people are a natural part of life. That has zero to do with my marriage or how I view my wife.
Thank you for this!! Because this is the other part of how I feel and that's why I don't nag him about it. I have no reason to think anything would happen. The girl has never known about this in return (as far as I know). I don't believe my husband would bring that up to her and we have talked about what behavior we each consider cheating. He has always told me that flirtatious texting is cheating so I know they most likely talk about casual stuff, but it doesn't hurt any less knowing that especially when he kept a picture of her in her phone hoping I wouldn't see it. This picture was NOT sexual (just her smiling) and that makes me feel like damn if we weren't married would you try??
I don’t think she’s asking for a fidelity certificate, @NewEnglandWife is merely trying to understand the gap between what she knows based on what her husband has been telling her his relation is like with the OW and what she has seen and read herself. The later denoting a degree of intimacy a tad higher than he has led her to believe.

As for your comment about insecure partners… let me tell you, I was the exact opposite of that for 25 years of my life. I let my ex go out with male friends and co-workers, let her go to another country by herself, GNO, etc. I never said a thing. Not because I was afraid that I was going to be called “old school” or immature or controlling, but because I put my full faith in that woman. Well, turns out I was a cuckhold. That I know of, in 30 years, she cheated on me with 4 “animals.” So when I hear someone say “controlling” or “insecure” I just chuckle.

What 30 years of marriage have taught me is that you SHOULD control and secure your marriage. It’s your emotional investment.
It's definitely a difficult balance between trust and pressing the truth. I have brought it up a couple of times in the past. He knows I really don't like it. He assures me I have nothing to worry about and given his history I do trust him. Sometimes people are just good at hiding things. I don't necessarily think that's the case. She is in another state. But there's lots of gaps I don't know. Frequency of chatting, topics. I know she has a boyfriend. She doesn't post about him much though. Rarely. I bring it up when it's appropriate and not just random. It definitely makes me sad not having all the answers and to not understand why they still talk even though he's aware it bothers me.
There is normally nothing wrong with friendships of the opposing sex. So long as our SO is aware of it and that they do contact from time to time about whatever and like jobs. However, I feel it crossed a boundary when keeping photos of them with no real relevance to aforementioned. To minimize this by saying I find them attractive is about the same as cruising web sites looking at pics of women. Either way if our SO is bothered by this we should validate their concerns and delete of stop said behavior. Our priorities should always be to our relationship with our SO first and always.
Thank you for that. I never had an issue with her at all until I found that photo. Made me feel like there's something more and it's weirder because I know her. I feel that something was crossed at that moment as well. Thanks for validating my concern.
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there's a huge gap between being too controlling and being too permissive.

I do agree spouses can be friends with a member of the opposite sex, depending on the circumstances. It is a little concerning, but not every compatible male/female relationship leads to sex.

The couples I know like this have friendships with an extended group and all know eachother well.

While that's not the case here, at least they're in different states, and -as far as she knows -her husband doesn't have others nearby he could see. If he was looking to cheat, this wouldn't be the case.

I also think you trust your spouse/partner until they give you a reason not to.
I agree. Like I said, I neverrrr had a problem with her! He can have friends lol but when I found that picture in his phone something crossed the line you know? I don't think he's cheating on me. I just don't want him to develop an emotional connection. That just kinda sucks. They have a lot in common.
I understand. the pic is a little weird.

FWIW, I have kept mementos of past relationships, innocently, and never had an urge to see the person again or cheat. Maybe he had something like that, or maybe just thinks she's pretty and likes the pic.

It sounds like you know her too. If you trust her or think she's okay, maybe you can relax a bit?

Like... sometimes you just know who's a threat and who's not, you know?
Yea it wasn't so innocent. If it were a picture of both of them at school or whatever, sure.. but it was just of her. He obviously thinks she's pretty and it was in a more hidden folder of his phone so I know he's attracted to her. I don't know her anymore. I stopped talking to her years ago out of anger and just sad to find that. But I don't bug him about it. He's a good husband. Just a weird thing that upsets me every so often
@shesstillgotit "I mean come on, they're probably friends on some social media or another so it's not like he needs the picture because he doesn't want to forget what she looks like. I'm sure he can look at her social media to remember what she looks like, so there's no NEED for a picture in his phone. You're being naive."

That's exactly the part I don't get. It freaking kills me. I love having so much input from everyone, but it hasn't really helped me going forward. There's so much conflicting responses and some of my close friends think it was just a tiny crush and some dumb decisions were made, but doesn't mean anything is going on now. I'm just so confused if I want to bring it up. I have before and maybe I just need to approach it differently
Generation gap.

For those of us over 50, tattoos were for sailors and prisoners.

To the kids today, tattoo artistry is an honorable profession.
awe I love that! He works very hard to get really good and him and this girl have very different tattoo techniques. I'm pretty sure she gave him the idea recently to try shading with gray instead of black. Stuff like that. He works hard to get better. I attached some recent work!


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