Trouble in Paradise
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Update: Four months later

Back in May, a couple of weeks before DH and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary, I found out he had been having an emotional affair. The affair had been going on for at least 8-9 months, possibly longer. 

As you can imagine, I was devasted. Even typing this today is very sad because it brings up all of the emotions that I felt on that day. One day you trust your husband with your life and the next, you feel like you can't trust a word he says. It's a very difficult realization to swallow. I did suggest seeing a marriage counselor and had set up an appointment. Unfortunately, this counselor was not going to be available to see us for a two week period. There was a lot of tension and arguing during that time and somehow, he talked me out of going to counseling. I stupidly, agreed. I felt like maybe this was something we could work out on our own.

 He apologized for his behavior but to this day has stuck to his story that nothing ever happened and nothing was ever going to happen. He says that he will be more careful to how he relates to female coworkers in the future but he never meant to hurt me. I have seen evident positive changes in his behavior. He wants to do more with me...even if it's running a simple errand. He is not on his phone texting as much as he used to. He is more affectionate and our sex life has been better than it ever was. 

I still am saddened everytime I think of the things he had said to this other woman via emails. Therefore,  we have discussed at great lengths the boundaries of our marriage and opposite sex friendships. I feel that he hears me and has tried to understand where I am coming from. However, he feels that I want to alienate him from having female friends. These discussions usually turn into arguments. I feel strongly about guarding our marriage but he thinks it's being controlling.

I do have access to his email and facebook account. He is still very guarded about his cellphone. Not as much as before, but he does have a password that I don't have. I have asked for his phone records, not to be in control but to keep him accountable but he has refused. He says it makes him feel like a criminal and he does not know anyone whose spouse would ask this of them. I'm no counselor, but I would think any counselor worth their salt, would say that this would be a little bit of your privacy to give up to begin establishing trust again.

Curious to know if any of you have been in a similar situation and what your counselor advised you to do in this case. 

Three beautiful girls! DD#1 8-23-01 DD#2 4-25-07 DD#3 10-19-10
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Re: Update: Four months later

  • image Nancy6306:

    I do have access to his email and facebook account. He is still very guarded about his cellphone. Not as much as before, but he does have a password that I don't have. I have asked for his phone records, not to be in control but to keep him accountable but he has refused. He says it makes him feel like a criminal and he does not know anyone whose spouse would ask this of them. I'm no counselor, but I would think any counselor worth their salt, would say that this would be a little bit of your privacy to give up to begin establishing trust again.

    First, you do need to see a counselor.  ASAP. 

    Second, to the above, I fully agree with you.  He betrayed your trust, big time, and to get it back, he absolutely has to allow himself to be an open book.  Not forever, but until YOU are comfortable. 

    And this isnt' something that people readily talk about to their friends, so he would never know if anyone he knows would ask this or not! 

    If he's truly sorry and  if he truly learned his lesson, he would allow full disclosure and he would go to counseling.

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
    DS dx with celiac disease 5/28/10

  • So you never did marriage counseling? Just because it happened 4 months ago doesn't mean you can't still go to a counselor. In fact, it sounds like your H wants to sweep this under the rug and is constantly pulling the "why don't you trust me" card, a few months after cheating on you. It really sounds like he has no remorse for what he's done.

    Why are you interested in staying with him? 

  • Forgot to mention. The woman he was having an emotional affair left for another job at the end of March. 

    The reason we have brought this issue up again is that he has this other female friend. He knew her before we were married. She is married and has four children. I noticed in the last month things that he has mentioned regarding this friend. Anytime she is unhappy with her husband, she shares it with DH. Although I have met her (2 years ago she and her husband met DH and I for dinner), the friendship seems to be exclusive between she and DH.

    Given what we have been through and still going through, it threw up a yellow, possibly red flag. I have told my husband not be make himself too available for other women to cry on his shoulder. He is an ER nurse and as you can imagine, is in a profession dominated by women. With Facebook and texting, it makes people very accessible. Before these new modern avenues of communication, people were more cautious about reaching out to the opposite sex. Now you can have a secret life that no one knows about.

     

    Three beautiful girls! DD#1 8-23-01 DD#2 4-25-07 DD#3 10-19-10
  • - he talked you out of counseling

    - he is still guarded about his cell phone

    - he has another female "friend"

    He is not being totally transparent with you, and after what he did, he owes you that if you two are honestly going to work on your marriage. You also need counseling. Without total honesty/transparency and a commitment (and followup) to counseling on his part, why would you even want to stick around?  

    image
  • ER nurse - now I remember.  Didn't you say that he feels that he can't turn any of these women away when they want to talk?
    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
    DS dx with celiac disease 5/28/10

  • He doesn't seem very remorseful to me. He did what he had to so that you would stick around. He wants to forget it, but you haven't and why would you?

    If he really wanted this marriage to work, I would think that he would make all his activities transparent until you trusted him again. You are the one that gets to make that call, not him. He fvcked up and this is how it goes.

    Go to counseling even if he doesn't go with you. Talk it all out with an unbiased someone. Ask yourself when is enough enough.

    I agree with everything that muddled said. You should listen to her. -ESDReturns
  • @EastCoast-I don't recall saying that. 

    However, I feel like he makes himself too available for women to come to him with their problems. I find that happily married women don't have the same need as a single woman or a disgruntled married woman to share things with another man. As a result, these women are getting the validation they need which opens the door wide open for trouble.  

    Three beautiful girls! DD#1 8-23-01 DD#2 4-25-07 DD#3 10-19-10
  • Actually, he's not being treated like a criminal.   If he were a criminal, he wouldn't be asked to voluntarily give you access to his phone records, they'd have been seized already.   Plenty of probable cause there to conclude he could be sending inappropriate texts or having too many phone calls with his female friends.

    No, he's being treated like a cheating spouse, which is exactly what he is.   He shouldn't be so upset about it, since he's the one who created this situation. 

    I think counseling will be the only way to go here.   You can't trust him.   You don't trust him.   And he's giving you plenty of reasons not to trust him, so you're fighting an uphill battle that will only get worse. 

  • Although, you know what? There's something a little fishy about your whole deal. I went back to read your posts about this, and part of me wonders if you're completely overreacting. 

    Especially after reading your recent post on RE, where it sounds like you believe his ex-gf (of 9 years ago?) was trying to steal him away by sending him a text on the tenth anniversary of 9/11. And the fact that you think married men should never be in a car with a member of the opposite sex? It seems possible that you're insanely jealous and can't handle your husband having any contact with other women.


  • image Nancy6306:

    However, I feel like he makes himself too available for women to come to him with their problems. I find that happily married women don't have the same need as a single woman or a disgruntled married woman to share things with another man. As a result, these women are getting the validation they need which opens the door wide open for trouble.  

    Don't blame your H's actions on the other women. They may know that he's a married man but they didn't promise you anything and they owe you nothing. He's the one who took vows.

    Direct your anger where it belongs... right back to him.

  • image Nancy6306:

    I do have access to his email and facebook account. He is still very guarded about his cellphone. Not as much as before, but he does have a password that I don't have. I have asked for his phone records, not to be in control but to keep him accountable but he has refused. He says it makes him feel like a criminal and he does not know anyone whose spouse would ask this of them. I'm no counselor, but I would think any counselor worth their salt, would say that this would be a little bit of your privacy to give up to begin establishing trust again.

    You have GOT to be kidding me.  First, I don't know many people who stay with cheaters in the first place, so you've already given him that.  Second, I'd love to know how many spouses of cheaters ask this of the cheaters...I would bet nearly 100%.  Tell him to remove all non-cheaters from the equation here and rethink it.  You're not the one who did wrong here; he is.  It is completely ridiculous of him to be saying things like this, as if you're being unreasonable.  Unreasonable is cheating and expecting one's spouse to stick around, as well as completely trust again.

    You guys need a counselor.  Do you have thoughts of leaving?  Have you made plans to leave?  As in, if he doesn't go to counseling with you, it's over, and he is leaving the house, etc.?  I would start planning that way, because there is almost no way for a marriage to recover from an affair without counseling, and for him to talk you out of it is sickening.

  • @smock-smock-Just to clarify. On 9/11, DH did get a text from his ex-girlfriend saying something to the effect if he remembers where and who is was with on that day. 

    Over the course of our ordeal, we discussed that talking with exes, especially if no children are involved, is a no-no. He had her number programmed on his cell phone and said he never got around to deleting it. We have been together 6 years.  

    Three beautiful girls! DD#1 8-23-01 DD#2 4-25-07 DD#3 10-19-10
  • image Nancy6306:

    @smock-smock-Just to clarify. On 9/11, DH did get a text from his ex-girlfriend saying something to the effect if he remembers where and who is was with on that day. 

    Over the course of our ordeal, we discussed that talking with exes, especially if no children are involved, is a no-no. He had her number programmed on his cell phone and said he never got around to deleting it. We have been together 6 years.  

    This is all fine and good, but she texted him. Do you have an agreement with her that she won't contact him? I doubt it.

    He can't control her actions. He can only control his own.

    If she wants to send out a mass spam text on 9/11 asking "where were you on this morning 10 years ago" and include him on it, she may do so.

    The question is... did he reply? If he replied, then you have beef. If not, again, he can't control what she does. He can block her number.

    ETA: How do you know that she meant to include him? I have an option on my phone to send a text to my entire phone book. Maybe she never deleted his number and was just included on a random text that was sent to her entire phone book. I ask because the response that Smock copied over is a very paranoid response to a person sending a random text. Is your H really that much of a prize that you think everyone is trying to steal him out from under you?

  • Okay, but your reaction to the text from a long-ago ex was not normal. Maybe that's because your husband is a cheater and you don't trust him, or maybe you are insanely jealous. Your first reaction to her text was to assume his ex has bad intentions and was intentionally doing something wrong. That's . . . weird.

    This response is what I'm talking about: 

    image Nancy6306:
     

     I guess I'm just trying to wrap my head around why she would text my husband with this question. I'm not going to lie. It really upset me. I felt it was inappropriate and I am one of those that believes that there should be no contact with exes. I have to question her motivation for sending this. I know deep down inside she knows this is wrong. She was insanely jealous when any female called DH (from hospital and work related).....and this was back in the day when texting wasn't a part of our everyday life. I was so upset I even thought to text back to question her intentions. 

     
  • image smock.smock:

    Although, you know what? There's something a little fishy about your whole deal. I went back to read your posts about this, and part of me wonders if you're completely overreacting. 

    Especially after reading your recent post on RE, where it sounds like you believe his ex-gf (of 9 years ago?) was trying to steal him away by sending him a text on the tenth anniversary of 9/11. And the fact that you think married men should never be in a car with a member of the opposite sex? It seems possible that you're insanely jealous and can't handle your husband having any contact with other women.


    Okay. This is weird. 

    I agree with everything that muddled said. You should listen to her. -ESDReturns
  • @smock-smock: I don't believe I ever said she was trying to steal him away. I questioned her motivation and after reading some of the responses, I gave it the benefit of the doubt and agreed that it was probably a mass text that she sent to everyone on her phone list.

    DH said that he DID NOT respond to this text. Nor was he planning to. 

    Since we have been married, he has made contact with her. He heard her mom was not doing well at one time and that he checked up on her. He did not volunteer this information. I had to ask him for it as well as question why he still had her number on his phone list after all of these years. I think there is a difference between being guarded and insanely jealous. I think when you have concrete information to work with it's hard to peg that as being jealous and insecure. It's more along the lines of reacting to a betrayal. 

     

    Three beautiful girls! DD#1 8-23-01 DD#2 4-25-07 DD#3 10-19-10
  • Oh, yes.  I remember the text post.  And it was weird.  Very weird. 

    He needs to take full responsibility for his affair, but Nancy, I really think you need some outside help to deal w/ your jealousy issues. 

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
    DS dx with celiac disease 5/28/10

  • image Nancy6306:

    @smock-smock: I don't believe I ever said she was trying to steal him away. I questioned her motivation and after reading some of the responses, I gave it the benefit of the doubt and agreed that it was probably a mass text that she sent to everyone on her phone list.

    DH said that he DID NOT respond to this text. Nor was he planning to. 

    Since we have been married, he has made contact with her. He heard her mom was not doing well at one time and that he checked up on her. He did not volunteer this information. I had to ask him for it as well as question why he still had her number on his phone list after all of these years. I think there is a difference between being guarded and insanely jealous. I think when you have concrete information to work with it's hard to peg that as being jealous and insecure. It's more along the lines of reacting to a betrayal. 

    Maybe it is, but this is why you need HELP.  Or to DTMFA.  He's a cheater, you can't trust him ever again...how do you ever see this working out?

  • I think you're both crazy... you probably are a perfect match!
    image
    Currently Reading: Don Quixote by Miguel De Cervantes
  • Your whole reaction to the 9/11 thing was ridiculous.  You need counseling at the very least alone.  Couples counseling would help too.  Newsflash married men do communicte with women or sit in cars with women without necessarily having affairs with them.
  • image Nancy6306:

    Since we have been married, he has made contact with her. He heard her mom was not doing well at one time and that he checked up on her. He did not volunteer this information. I had to ask him for it as well as question why he still had her number on his phone list after all of these years. I think there is a difference between being guarded and insanely jealous. I think when you have concrete information to work with it's hard to peg that as being jealous and insecure. It's more along the lines of reacting to a betrayal. 

    On the side of him contacting her - she was a part of his life, he knew her mom.  If he heard her mom wasn't well, then I don't fault him for wanting to talk to her and see how her mom was doing. 

    You (YOU) have a hard and fast rule about "no contact w/ exes", but obviously your DH doesn't.  And there are situations that negate that rule, even if I agree with it.  A sick relative is one of those situations.

    Now, the fact that he didn't volunteer that - either he didn't volunteer it because he knows you're insanely jealous and will flip out on him no matter what.  OR it's yet another sign that he is untrustworthy.

    If it's the prior, then you need to start owning up to YOUR issues and how they aren't helping your marriage either.  OR if it's the latter - it's putting me more in the camp of why are you still with this guy? 

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
    DS dx with celiac disease 5/28/10

  • Refresh my memory: what exactly was in these e-mails that was so hurtful?
    image
  • You let him talk you out of counseling? really? This is YOUR fault. You let him get away with an affair, then you let him get away with going to counseling, and you let him get away with manipulationg you.

    He is still doing it, and you are still allowing it. Wake the F up and go to counseling alone if he wont!

    Why do you think he doesnt want to go? Ummm...yeah he wont be able to manipulate the counselor.

    oh, wait maybe he is having mental illness issues...NOT!



  • @ReturnofKuus: I found emails where he told this other woman (co worker) that he missed her while she was on vacation. That he missed her face (while he was home with me on paternity leave), that he was looking forward to going back to work..again, because he missed her. That he was feeling antsy at home. He went to a conference back in November that only he and this co worker on their shift went to. They had agreed to meet at the hospital that morning and drove the hour long together in his car. I knew about the conference because he had told me about it a month prior and the morning of, he said he was car pooling with co workers (Plural). It was just them. There was an email before the conference where he stated he was looking forward to the day of the conference. The day following the conference he said how much he enjoyed her company and that the conference itself was "OK". And that he looked forward to them getting to more conferences together. 

    Then there were no more emails. One of the last emails was her saying she bought a new phone and "maybe you can help me set it up". Then there was no need for emails and their texting took off from there.

    DH said he did not mean to hurt me. That I was reading into this. That nothing happened and nothing was going to happen. I thought the emails were pretty staightforward. I can see someone verbally saying something and it did not come out right, but when you put things down in writing, you pretty much mean what you are saying. I cringe at the thought of what was exchanged in those texts.  

    Three beautiful girls! DD#1 8-23-01 DD#2 4-25-07 DD#3 10-19-10
  • Are you that afraid of being without him?  Because that is the only reason I can think that you would let things go on the way they have.

    He is not sorry, he is not willing to go to counseling, he won't give you access to his phone, he doesn't think he did anything wrong and he turns things around and blames you.  What part of that sounds like a man that has really changed to you?

    You aren't happy and you don't trust him (with good reason) - is this really how you want to spend the rest of your life? 

    image Grayson's side-eye
  • So. Setting your jealousy and insecurity issues aside, we're left with...

    Your H will apparently flirt with anyone with a vagina and a pulse and he's had (at least) an emotional affair.

    He shows no remorse for what he's done. He barely takes the blame for said affair. He tries to manipulate you into thinking that you're making it out to be more than what it is. He convinced you to cancel the therapist. Now he won't go to counseling. He won't do anything to earn your trust back.

     

    Why are you still with him again? "Because we have children" or "I don't believe in divorce" are not valid excuses.

    image

  • None of this is a smoking gun, but I would look sideways at all of it.  It sounds like he's just a borderline sketchy guy in general.  What made you choose him as a spouse, that being the case?
    image
  • image srs5624:

    So. Setting your jealousy and insecurity issues aside, we're left with...

    Your H will apparently flirt with anyone with a vagina and a pulse and he's had (at least) an emotional affair.

    He shows no remorse for what he's done. He barely takes the blame for said affair. He tries to manipulate you into thinking that you're making it out to be more than what it is. He convinced you to cancel the therapist. Now he won't go to counseling. He won't do anything to earn your trust back.

     

    Why are you still with him again? "Because we have children" or "I don't believe in divorce" are not valid excuses.

    image

    Seriously. He just sounds like a shady character all around, and he's not acting like a man who wants to actually fix the problem.


    image
  • image ReturnOfKuus:
    None of this is a smoking gun, but I would look sideways at all of it.  It sounds like he's just a borderline sketchy guy in general.  What made you choose him as a spouse, that being the case?

    This is where I'm leaning. It sounds like they have different ideas of boundaries with friends of the opposite sex.

    I'm not saying he's completely innocent, but I do wonder if the OP is interpreting his behavior through her very restrictive view of appropriate conduct, and that makes it seem more suspicious. Like, if she thinks an innocent text from his ex indicates bad intentions and inappropriate line-crossing, is she putting a spin on her husband's friendship with a co-worker? I've emailed and texted with male colleagues along the lines of "looking forward to seeing you at X, Y Z!" and whatnot, which is in no ways inappropriate.

    In any case, it sounds like they aren't a good match since his overly friendly/borderline flirtatious behavior obviously rubs his spouse the wrong way.  

  • I think this is pretty shady....shady enough!

     he talked me out of going to counseling.



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