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I Suspect That My Husband Is Cheating

Question:

I suspect that my husband is cheating. About a month ago I got suspicious of his behavior and snooped on his cell phone. I discovered that he had been talking to and text messaging a girl he had never told me about. When confronted, he explained she was one of his customers (he’s a delivery driver) and he was trying to set her up with one of his friends. He promised to stop speaking to her, which he has. However, a couple of days ago I found his cell phone laying on the couch and it was already on with a message flashing. The message was from another girl saying yes to his message to her that they meet for a drink sometime. I can’t confront him about this because then he’ll accuse me of snooping on his phone again, which I honestly wasn’t. But this is eating me up inside. If he is happily married, as he says, then why is he giving his number to other women and acting like he’s single? I simply can’t trust him and become suspicious now whenever he leaves the house or takes his cell phone with him. We’ve only been married for 9 months and this has never been a problem – we’ve always trusted one another and were like best friends. We promised each other that if either one of us ever became unhappy in the marriage or felt we’d be better off with somebody else, that we would respect each other enough to be honest and tell each other. How can I get over this? I literally can’t eat, sleep or function normally – all I think about is what I found.

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Answer:

Given the reality and easy availability of internet dating sites and personal cell phones, and the fact that you’ve intercepted actual messages from women who are accepting dates your husband has offered, it seems actually quite likely indeed that he is cheating with one or more women, or at least trying to make that happen. So, don’t go beating yourself up. Your suspicions are probably founded. While you might have found a better way to handle the situation than to go snooping, snooping is also a time-honored solution for gathering evidence to support a suspicion.

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p> As with all cases where cheating is suspected, there are actually two issues: 1) the cheaters’ promiscuity and the risk of you contracting a possibly life-threatening sexually transmitted illness, and 2) the loss of trust. You seem to suggest that you need to have positive evidence of the former before you are entitled to the latter, but that isn’t the case. You were already suspicious of this man before you did any snooping; there was already something (or things) that occurred to cause a loss of trust. It is perfectly legitimate that you not trust him simply on the basis of your intuition; whatever it was that caused you to want to go snooping in the first place.

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p> This is a major issue and violation for you; you are in a sort of shock. I’d say, give yourself a little time to get over this initial shock before making any decisions – but at the same time, protect yourself sexually and operate on the assumption that any contact with your husband may also be contact with unknown women’s illnesses. Find someone you can trust to talk about this with if you can – a trusted girlfriend, parent or therapist. It is important that you be able to process it. When you’ve gathered yourself a little bit, I’d say it is time for figuring out what to do about the marriage. You’ll almost certainly want to see if your husband will go with you to marriage counseling. The marriage can possibly survive outside sex, but it may not survive a failure of trust. You want to see that he is willing to respond to your concerns, even if he believes them to be unfounded. If he denies your concerns and works to make you feel like you’re hallucinating this, it is a bad sign, whether or not he is innocent or guilty.

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