Sorry long post: Discovered Flirty Work Emails on my husbands phone.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-28-2013
Sorry long post: Discovered Flirty Work Emails on my husbands phone.
Sat, 12-28-2013 - 9:56pm

Background: My husband and I have been married for 17+years and e have 3 children. We go thru ups and downs like any marriage especially when it comes to finances. It's been a rough road with bills but we keep going. I love him with all my heart and I would fight anyone if they tried to come between my marriage. 

Lately, I noticed a change in my husband's ways when it came to his work emails coming thru his phone. I noticed back in November. But since we were not fighting, just being lovable with one another as usual, didn't think nothing of it. 

Until I saw an email come thru and saw it was from a female. It said something like "OMG did we just go thru the whole day without chatting?" My heart sank! I was shocked. I wanted to know who this person was and why she was emailing my husband if it wasn't about work. 

I didn't say anything bc I didn't want to argue. I wanted to make sure I wasn't jumping into conclusions before asking my husband first so I went about my business and kept our relationship "normal" but it was eating me up from inside. I was often wondering what their emails were about bc I noticed many were deleted so I couldn't read the whole conversation to prove something was going on.  Plus I didn't want my husband to know I was looking thru his phone behind his back. 

Then I noticed after making comments about making new friends of the opposite sex and how that's a no-no bc we both agreed we should be each other's friend, he changes his PW. When he did that, I knew something was up. I couldn't eat. I couldn't sleep. But even thru that, I kept being a loving wife trying to give him loads of attention. 

I kept thinking why does he bed validation from another woman? Doesn't he love me? Don't I give him enough attention? I was so hurt. 

After a few arguments about him changing his phone PW, he showed me. And that's when I had to see for myself if those emails were innocent. 

Turns out he thought he deleted most of the emails on his phone but I was able to retrieve some. I couldn't believe my eyes. 

One email went like this:

Her: she sends him a photo of two beach chairs w/ drinks on a beach. 
Him: oh you're trouble. Lol
Her: don't laugh, that could be our lunch date. 
Him: could be. 
Her: and I'll believe it when it happens. 
Him: Trying hard to get away. 

Anything that was said after that, I don't know. This email hurt me to the bone. My husband would take me on lunch dates and for him to say that to her, breaks my heart. We have lunch dates, not you and another woman! I'm loyal, loving and I never gave him a reason to not trust so I don't know why he feels the need to flirt like that.

I also found emails about my mom. She was asking how my mom was feeling. She's been sick but why is he telling her MY business?! 

I felt as tho they were being way too personal and I had to confront him once & for all. 

I do want to say this isn't the first time this has happened. I found inappropriate emails sent to my best friend 14 years ago. I forgave but I don't forget. How could I? Nude photos of women he found online were sent to her talking about "How would you like to have oil rubbed all over your body like this?" And it would be a photo of a naked oiled woman. 

Then last year I found a weird phone number on my husbands line with text messages sent back and forth through your the day for a few weeks. He still says it was work related but deep down inside my heart, I know it was flirty texts. Why would he delete them if they were strictly work-related. 

I'm not stupid. The heart knows. And my intuition knew. 

Anyway, this past Monday, I had his phone while he was in the shower and when he came out, I asked him who so and so was. He looked confused like he didn't know who she was. Big mistake! Of course he knows who she is! 

So he says it just a girl from work and it's nothing but immediately gets angry bc I went behind his back to look at his phone. He said I invaded the little privacy he had and I was f*cked up for being nosey. 

My philosophy is a married couple should not keep any secrets from one another, especially when it involves a person of the opposite sex. 

During the heated discussion about the emails, I asked him if they went out on a date. He said no. That didn't sit well with me bc we would go on lunch dates and it hurt me really bad that he would plan a getaway when he had a chance. It was in black & white! How else am I supposed to react? 

I asked him if she went down on him. He said no with a gross voice and said ewww she's ugly and she's married. No way! (Yeah ok, im sure he liked something about her or else those emails wouldn't happened!) 

He kept on saying that he couldn't believe I went thru his phone and how messed up I was. I felt like he was trying to flip the situation. Like I did something wrong. Ok I did wrong by being sneaky but I had to find out what was going on bc I was willing to fight for my marriage and my family. 

He believes that he wasnt doing anything wrong bc it wasn't physical. He was just bored and it was all innocent flirting. Oh bc she's married and has a family. Well he does too. 

I'm not sure what he meant about bored bc he doesn't want to talk about it. He gets very angry and screams if I do bring up the situation and threatens to leave me if I don't leave him alone with all the questions. 

I'm not satisfied at all. I need to ask questions bc I know for a fact if it were me and another man emailing each other the same exact things, he would be pissed. 

The way technology is today affairs start off as a text message or an email. It can be innocent at first but it can quickly turn into something much more. 

I'm lost. I don't have anyone to talk to about this especially to get another male's opinion about the whole situation. He says to leave him alone, stop asking him stupid questions or this will be the end of us. 

I'm torn bc I feel it will happen again. We/I don't have closure. We haven't set any boundaries.  He hasn't told me what he's missing from our relationship bc obviously he needs validation from other women. I just wish he was honest with me and TELL me what he wants and needs. 

I emailed the girl and told her that she was messing with the wrong man. And if she wanted to keep her job, to leave him alone.

She replied with I'm sorry and all it was just a little innocent flirting, nothing more. She said she was also married and had a family.

I replied back by saying flirting, innocent or not, is still flirting. It's wrong and it should've never happened. I also asked her if her husband knew of the flirting, he wouldn't like it one bit.

She replied with you're absolutely correct and I sincerely apologize. 

I haven't noticed anything after that. He states it won't happen again. 

But I still have questions and he won't answer them. Keeps threatening me that he will leave if I keep on with the stupid BS. But I can't trust him bc of the way he's acting like its my fault.

What should I do, say and/or think? He's acting like this whole situation is MY fault! 

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008

I don't know what you should do except insist that his little game is over and no more secret passwords on his phone. If he has nothing to hide that should not be a problem with him. And of course he's mad that he got caught doing something he knows he should not have been doing. I've seen this behavior happen a lot lately, Seems to me that most men these days just aren't happy getting attention from only one woman. And that most of them think their not doing anything wrong unless it becomes physical. I say BS cause affairs always start out with harmless flirting and progress from there.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-28-2013
I thought we were "ok" bc we kiss, have sex and he's always home early. I guess he wants something else.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008
Not necessarily. He may just have gotten carried away with the attention he was getting from her. Maybe ask him if it would be fine if he found flirty texts to another guy on your phone?
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-25-2013

You're not going to be able to fix this yourself. He is not admitting fault, and someone who is choosing not to change is not sorry for what he's done and will continue even if it threatens your marriage. I would ask him to go to marriage counseling with you. If he refuses, go to a counselor yourself and let him know you're going to show him the seriousness of the matter. Don't be a doormat. You are a loving, caring spouse and don't deserve to be cheated on, whether it be an emotional affair or physical. Let him know that if you are to remain in his life, he needs to stay faithful in every sense of the word. 

I know that you love him, but do you really want to stay with someone who would do this behind your back, when he's not willing to show you he's commited to changing? Sometimes, emotional affairs are a wake up call to fix whatever's lacking in the marriage, but if he's not apologetic and willing to work on the marriage, then you're in a one sided relationship. Please get some counseling whether it be together or solo. I'm sorry you're going through this.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2010


I'm so sorry you're going through this.  It sounds exactly how my story started with my exH. I also contacted the OW from the calls and texts and got the same reply she gave you. My exH also got mad and said the same things yours did. Every situation is different but I will tell you this~it was NOT the end of their relationship and it escalated to him getting more sneaky once I found out, getting a prepaid phone, and having an A with the woman who swore to me she was so sorry, they were just friends (which he said also, its NEVER just friends when they say that). I didn't nag, I just kept an eye out, came here for advice and in the end, found out all I needed to know. It ended with me divorcing him. He still blames me for HIS actions.

This isn't the first time he's done something like this, as you said he did it years ago with your friend. When caught, they will go to greater lengths to hide what they're doing and lie, lie and then lie some more. He has to cut off all contact with this woman, make his life an open book and take responsibility for what he's doing. Threats to leave and blaming you are his way of controlling the situation so he can keep on doing what he wants. Please don't fall for that. If he'd leave you over not being able to flirt and text another woman, show him the door. He needs a wake up call.