Not sure I handled this in the best way

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2005
Not sure I handled this in the best way
Wed, 02-01-2006 - 4:13pm

I check H's email periodically just to make sure no contact has been made with/by OW. As a reminder, it has been about 2 months since he ended things with her and went NC and things have been really good between us. They still both work at the same company, but their depts have little interaction... until now.

OW sent him an email yesterday (and CC'd others who were involved) concerning a very small project they are all involved in together. The initial email from her was strictly business-like and even somewhat cold. His reply-to-all was business-like and neutral. She proceeded to send a couple of more emails (usually to H and one other person that is involved in the project but that was also part of "thier" clan) that still pertained to the project, but were becoming a bit friendlier. H is the type of person who doesn't want to seem like an a$$ (kinda screwed that up last year!) so his responses (IMO) were a bit friendlier as well. In addition, I felt that the line of discussion that the emails were taking between the group, had very little to do with her part of the project, yet she kept throwing her 2 cents in (almost as a way to keep the communication open).

Then she sent an email that just really made me want to nip the whole thing in the bud. This email was sent just to H and was very short. The first part pertained to business. The second part said, "Hope you are feeling better. My father had kidney stones and said they were the worst pain he ever experienced." (H had missed two days this week due to a kidney stone). IMO - this violates the NC that she agreed to. This has nothing to do with business and is entirely too personal for her to comment on. His health is my concern, not hers.

H doesn't know I check the email (although he freely gave me the password). I know he will feel uneasy if he knows I check up on him (even though it's his own fault). By checking on him when he doesn't know it, I can gain some trust back in him when he is keeping his word. The e/m started yesterday. He has said nothing to me about them (yet). Maybe he just doesn't want to upset me.

Anyway, H had not yet opened e/m from SH (that inquired about his health). So, I deleted it and them emptied his trash. Maybe I should have waited to see how he would respond, but I just know in my heart he would have felt the need to write back at least a brief note. I didn't even want him to have the chance. It would only have served to keep the lines of communication open. I thought about e/ming the OW and simply stating that her e/ms were beginning to cross the line, but I didn't want to give her the satisfaction. I thought about approaching H, but then he would know I sometimes access his email. I hate doing this, but I have to know I can trust him and I don't know of any other way except checking up on him.

Did I handle this correctly? If not, what should I do now?

BTW - Infidelity sucks!


iVillage Member
Registered: 01-15-2005
Wed, 02-01-2006 - 5:27pm


Sorry, but no. You want your relationship with your H to based on trust and honesty, correct? That can't happen if you aren't giving him what you want and expect from him.

I TOTALLY understand why you did what you did (and I'm referring to deleting the email). I'll be honest, I know I would've done the same thing, because I did something similiar. OW left H a voice mail a month or so ago. I heard it before he did, and I deleted it because she also left him get well wishes after she gave him the final monthly numbers. (he'd missed a day of work) I had 3 immediate gut reactions when I heard her say "I sure hope you're feeling better and that you're back to work soon." Number one was you f'ing beyotch who do you think you are?? I'm going to kick your behind! Number two, OMG it's happening again! How could HE?? And finally number three FREAK OUT! That's when I hit delete instead of save as new. As soon as I did it, I knew I had handled it wrong.

So what I did was told him the truth immediately. I told him that I just happened to check his VM and heard her message and that I overreacted and instead of coming to him with my fears and insecurities I panicked and deleted the message.

He had a mixture of reactions. He was miffed that I still checked up on him, he felt I was overreacting, he was glad I came to him with the truth and he understood and put my fears to rest. I was able to share my insecurities with him and I didn't have to go around feeling like I'd done something wrong, he was doing something wrong and that I wanted to kill the OW. We talked it all out and moved on.

So my suggestion to you is as soon as you see him tell him exactly what you did. He may get miffed that you were checking on him...but ummm, gently remind him that he knew that was part of the rebuilding roller coaster and that's not the issue, the issue is you are not comfortable with the unnecessary communication of a personal level with the OW. Then air it all out and move on.


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-17-2003
Wed, 02-01-2006 - 5:35pm

Well, probably letting him know you were checking and
noticed what was relaying back and forth would have been
best. But I don't know if I would have done any differently
than you! :)

One thing though, I wouldn't feel guilty about periodically
checking and him knowing about it. That should be something he
understood when you guys agreed to rebuild.

Maybe you can still tell him that you checked and that you deleted
the email. You and your husband should talk about this interoffice
emailing anyway, and he should know that he does
need to be firm and businesslike and that's it. If he gets upset
about the deleted email, really, you are only human in your
reaction given who this woman is! But both of you need to be
upfront and honest and keep moving forward this way. Just my little
ole opinion..

Good luck!


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Wed, 02-01-2006 - 5:51pm

I haven't read the other responses, but one thing stuck out in my head.

You want him to be honest with you right? So, shouldn't you be honest with him? Keeping secrets (either of you), is deceiptful. Whether he's keeping secrets from you, or you from him.

You need to own up to what you do, what you found and what you did. If he can't handle that-then I wonder if you are truly rebuilding. Part of rebuilding is him doing whatever is necessary for you to trust again.

Communication is KEY. If you dont feel you can communicate with him, then maybe more counseling should be done.

HUGE hugs


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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-24-2004
Wed, 02-01-2006 - 6:04pm

BBalm...I agree with VLB on this, and I too completely understand. I know, I know I'm not rebuilding but I'll tell you the residual trust issues it's left me with are things I still work through, daily, weekly, monthly


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-19-2004
Wed, 02-01-2006 - 7:47pm

I'm confused. If there is to be no contact on a personal level how exactly did she know he had kidney stones?

Anyhow, I don't think you should have deleted the email. Since you have I think you should tell him, say that you checked his email and that you got uncomfortable reading the personal direction it was going and reacted by deleting it. Talk about why you deleted it, talk about why it was upsetting to you and understand he may be angry with you deleting his emails.

I think if you want rebuilding to work you have to be honest with him. He knows you have access to emails, you shouldn't be "sneaking", sneaking around got him into the place he is now, don't stoop down to that level keep everything on the up and up.

Edited 2/1/2006 7:51 pm ET by sniffle_sally
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-19-2005
Fri, 02-03-2006 - 1:59am

I think you handled it well. BS are a lot more cautious (some say paranoid) about interactions WS have. You've got it much harder bc strict NC can't happen if they work together. If my H ever got in touch with OW, I would FLIP OUT. But they don't work together and never have to interact.


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2005
Fri, 02-03-2006 - 1:01pm

Thanks everybody.

I still wasn't completely comfortable bringing this issue up to him, but it came up anyway in a conversation last night. Prior to my telling him about my deleting the email, I had to drag it out of him that they even had a business contact. He was saying how he didn't understand why I was feeling insecure - that he hasn't had any contact with her and that he even avoids her mere presence if at all possible. Then I asked if they have had any business contact and he said No. I told him that was a lie. He then admitted to the recent emails but said they were strictly business, somewhat cold and other people were CC'd on them. This is when I admitted to reading the emails and that I did not think that as they went along they remained as cold and business-like as I was comfortable with. I then told him about the final email where she inquired about his health.

I explained that it was wrong that I deleted it. I told him I should have left it up to him if he would respond or not, but that I could see what she was doing (trying to keep the conversation going) and I could tell that the emails were getting ever so slightly nicer. I explained that I was afriad that because of his nature, he would feel the need to respond to her. He said, yes, he probably would have and just said, "I'm fine, thanks" and left it at that. I told him that IMO, even that was crossing the line and that perhaps at our second MC session, we should discuss my definition of boundaries.

He complained that he has been doing everything like telling me where he's going, keeping in touch, and not going out with that old group of friends. The problem for me is that when he reminds me he's doing these things, he makes it sound like it's such a hardship for him (especially not hanging out socially with his old group of "friends.") This really bothers me. I want him to "want" to do these things for our marriage - not just because he feels he has to.

Anyway, then he told me that he was worried now that OW would go around telling everyone that he didn't respond to her last email because I have him under my thumb. WTF! I just don't get why he still cares what other people think (it seems sometimes, more so than what I might think).

He said he was mad that I checked his email and that I still don't trust him after 60 days, but that he understood. I tried to explain that I want more than anything to trust him completely again, but that it's going to take a lot longer than 60 days. I think he's just frustrated and wants to put all of this behind him, but he wasn't the one whose world as he knew it was shattered. He doesn't get what it's like to lose trust in the person you love more than anything. It sucks! I don't want it to be this way either. I want to not be scared. I am so very tired of the fear. At the same time, I know that fear will only hold us back from healing.

When will I be able to just trust him again like I did before? When will I stop being afraid that he is going to go back to her? He hasn't even given me any reason since he came home to think that, but I guess I'm still not over the two years of reasons that he did give me. I just want to put the past in the past but I don't know how.

Wow - that was long. If you made it this far, thanks! I guess I just had to get those thoughts out as they were surfacing.


BTW - to answer the question Sally asked: everybody knows everything about everybody else where he works. He was actually embarrassed about telling his asst he had kidney stones and asked that she keep it quiet... by day two she told him people were absolutely grilling her on what was wrong with him and asked if it was ok she tell them (he said yes). That's how OW found out... it's a grapevine on steriods where he works!).

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-19-2004
Fri, 02-03-2006 - 1:18pm
I find it a little disturbing that you had to drag it out of him that he had contact with her. When asked he lied. When you asked if there was business contact. He lied. Only when you said you are lying did he own up. That isn't good and when he said that he is upset that you don't trust him yet and you are still checking up on him, well obviously if he's still lying then he's still not trustworthy.
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-17-2005
Fri, 02-03-2006 - 1:49pm
I agree.


It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2005
Fri, 02-03-2006 - 2:09pm

He sees a therapist every once in a while... by that, I mean not on a regular basis. The last time he saw him was in December. He always went sporadically (he kept forgetting he had appointments - which is very like him). The therapist has a PhD in Divinity but is not a pyschologist. I think he holds a Licensed Propfessional Counselor certificate.

I think we will get a lot of the MC that we started this past week. We'll be going every two weeks.

Sometime I wonder if I'm not sabotaging things a bit. With this one exception, he hasn't given me any reason not to trust him. In regards to him not telling me about the business contact, he said he didn't realize that he needed to and he thought it would just upset me anyway. The part about him not wanting to upset me was something I figured he was thinking. The part about not realizing he needed to tell me is a bit bothersome. I thought I made it clear I wanted to be told about ANY contact, interactions, breathing of the same air on this planet, etc... Perhaps I didn't make that clear enough.