"Stories" from the Collective (YOU)

My Husband's Email Affair

by Lyndsay
(Toronto, Canada)

I believe my husband is having an email affair. But when I challenged him he denied it. But I didn't believe him, and when I read his emails (behind his back) it kind of proves I was right. What should I do?...

QUESTION: Am I right to be hurt by my husbands email affair and should I challenge him?...


My husband and I have been married for 6 years and together for 10. We moved to Canada one year ago from the UK with our little girl. The reason for the move was my husband's job but I was very happy with it. I thought everything was great between us.

His job involves a lot of travel, and up until a couple of months ago he has been in Rio de Janiero every couple of months for the last year for between 2 and 3 weeks each visit . He has not had to go for the last couple of months and the next trip is not imminent although he will probably have to go again in the next few months.

For the last couple of months there had been a number of little inconsistencies in things he said about the people he knew in Rio I also noticed that he was getting lots of emails from one particular person, all in Portuguese. I jokingly asked him if he was having an affair but did not believe he would as he has always been very angry about anyone he knows of cheating. He denied it and seemed quite hurt that I had asked

However my niggling doubts would not go away and so I read his emails, translating the ones in Portuguese. He had deleted them all but I was able to retrieve them. He cannot stand people prying and would be very angry that I had read them at all, let alone gone to such lengths to find out what was in them.

I discovered that he was having a relationship of sorts with this woman. There had been nothing physical between them as yet and the tone of the emails is flirty rather than overtly sexual. However he has told her that he is separated and that he wants the relationship to develop next time he is in Rio. He has also asked if he can call her his girlfriend. She refused this and if I am honest I suspect she is stringing him along herself as she gets most suggestive just before telling him how much she is struggling for money. He has sent some money once though not a very large amount.

Even though nothing has happened yet and I'm not so sure it would even if he does see her again I feel deeply betrayed by what he is doing. Is this fair? However, I cannot challenge him or tell him how upset I am without confessing that I have read his emails. If I am worrying over nothing I don't want to get into a big argument about this as he says he believes trust is everything and will be hurt that I don't trust him. What should I do?



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Comments for My Husband's Email Affair

If it feels like something is wrong, it is
by: Paula Renaye


I in no way want to minimize the turmoil you are feeling--it is horrible to be in this situation, I know. But the hard truth is that people who are happy in their relationships do not do these kinds of things. Period.

If you feel like something is wrong, it is. I too invaded the privacy of a partner's email and I deeply regretted it. My suspicions ran wild and I created all kinds of scenarios in my head, most of which weren't true. I may not have had the details right, but what was instinctively and totally accurate about the situation and the man were my feelings of distrust.

He WAS hiding things from me. He WAS lying. and I could not trust him as far as I could throw him and it kept me in constant turmoil for years because I believed his lies--I wanted to..

So, the only question is, what are you willing to do about it? Is this the kind of life you want to lead, always wondering, tied up in knots about what he's doing when he's out of your sight?

I KNOW how this feels, Lindsay, I do, and you don't deserve to feel that way. Living with that horrible gut-wrenching feeling and pretending I didn't feel it took a profound toll took on my self-esteem, my self-respect and my ability to move forward in other areas of of my life. In fact, trying to keep that relationship from falling apart nearly destroyed me.

I just wrote a brutally honest piece about my own journey down this trail and you can read it on my blog here: https://www.google.com/search?q=hardlineselfhelp.

I wish you peace, happiness and joy!

by: Sandi

First there are a couple of issues here:
1) Email Privacy
2) Suspicion of an affair
3) A possible separation
4) A new relationship possibly for your husband
5) Your need to preserve your family

As far as email privacy, yes there was a betrayal on your part, but you had a suspicion for which you indeed found out that your husband has not been honest. So in my opinion your evasion of his email can be stated and your apology but you had reason to suspect him not being honest.

That said, the question is why, if this is just a casual friendship, he did not tell you about this woman and her need for money? Also, why would he ask her to be a girlfriend? and why would he feel the need to have a flirty relationship with someone else? And if he is concerned that how you feel about all of this will have a negative impact on your relationship?

No matter his anger about the email privacy, the truth is that you no longer trust him. Is that right? If you do trust him then you have the choice to no longer be concerned and forget this happened.

Whenever a relationship is not grounded in trust there is no easy nice package to present the issue where noone gets mad.

Relationships are built on trust and honesty. That is my view. But there are many who live with dishonesty and privacy over certain issues until the relationship is destroyed because of overt symptoms of an affair. Do you want to wait? are you willing to "suffer in silence"?

One possibility if you aren't sure how to present this to him, is to seek counseling. A counselor can help you to clarify your feelings and assist you in many ways you can discuss this issue with your husband. It sounds like he may not be receptive to you going in his email to the extent that you feel he will not be forgiving.

In my opinion he has not acted in a way which would keep you from going in his emails.

If you have any doubts about your feelings I would recommend you first get therapy to sort through these issues before bringing it up to him.

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