I am a 30-year-old male and have been married to my wife for eight years. In the beginning I was very jealous and questioned my wife's intentions on things a lot. Over the years I overcame this and grew secure in our relationship. But in the last two months this has been challenged. It all started with a text from someone she said was a girl at work. But the picture in the text was of a male torso with a very sexual message saying things along the lines of "I want to lick you all over." She said it was just this girl from work being silly.
Since then though I have started to notice changes in her behavior. I am not one to go snooping but after questioning her directly, telling her that we could work whatever out and her saying it was nothing, I wanted to reassure myself. I tried to check her phone messages but she is deleting texts from this one number that she does not have saved. It's a number that she has texted fifty times in one day. She changed her Facebook passwords and when I broke in I found a message she had sent to a guy calling him hot stuff and asking if he liked the pic she sent of her to him. I know I am breaking trust when I break into her Facebook but I wanted reassurances that nothing was going on. When I confronted her about the text and the messages, once again trying not to be mean about it, she said she didn't remember sending the message and that the texts were to a female friend we both know. I asked why her number wasn't in her phone and she said that she texting her friend at her friend's man's number because her friend's phone was broken. She has been texting this number for over two months now.
I love my wife very much and I want to trust her but the signs are not pointing to a good place. How can I get over these feelings I am having or how can I verify what I think is really going on? It's starting to make me depressed. Thank you for any advice or opinion you can give.
My response after the jump...
One of the pieces of bullshit that's been tossed around in the wake of Weinergate—one of the larger pieces of bullshit—is that married women just don't do this sort of thing. Married women don't exchange naughty text messages with people who aren't their spouses, they don't text/tweet/email dirty pictures, they certainly don't have affairs. Women just don't embarrass themselves or humiliate their spouses the way men do.
Women do text and sext, as MH's letter demonstrates, and some of even—gasp!—have affairs. So why are we less likely to hear about women behaving like Weiners? Well, maybe women are better at avoiding detection/getting caught. (Except for WH's wife here, who seems pretty lousy at avoiding detection.) Maybe women are likelier to get away with it because married women just don't do this sort of thing. The assumption that women don't cheat makes it easier for Lady Weiners to fly under the radar. And wronged husbands may be less likely to go public. A woman whose husband cheats or cheated is universally regarded as an object of sympathy; she's the stoic victim who's just trying to hold her family together. But a husband whose wife cheats/cheated is seen as a cuckold, as somehow weak and ridiculous, as a man who could neither control nor satisfy "his" woman. The wronged woman is a more than a martyr; the wronged husband is something less than a man.
Anyway, MH, if all you're getting out of your "confrontations" are transparently implausible explanations, then you're doing the confrontation thing all wrong. Stop asking her what's going on. You know what's going on: your wife is flirting—at the very least—with another man. She may be having sex with him. Tell her what you know (she's sexting with someone else), what you suspect (she may be fucking someone else), and then ask her if she wants to stay married?
If she does want to stay married, MH, then that will require an abject apology from her for the dishonesty/betrayal, an honest renegotiation of terms/vows, or both. Good luck.
Get the best of the Mercury each week in your inbox!