Is it right for a married man to text coworkers from the opposite sex - during work and after 5?

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anonymous user
Registered: 12-31-1969
Is it right for a married man to text coworkers from the opposite sex - during work and after 5?
Sun, 09-09-2012 - 6:24pm

Let me start off by saying I've been with my husband for a little over 21 years - High school sweethearts.  We have kids and pets - the whole nine.  I believe in my heart that he's a good man. He's a good father and a good husband.  He thinks he's getting old because he hit his forties.  To be honest, he looks very good for his age.  Im still physically attracted to him and I try to boost his ego by saying nice things about him - All true stuff. I love him with all my heart and soul. 

But here's the issue - Last week, he got a text with a Good morning.  Number was local and didn't belong to any of his contacts so I gave him the phone and said here, you got a text. I didn't open it.  He immediately deleted the text and put the phone down.  I asked him who was that? He said he didn't know.  But his whole persona changed.  Like he knew exactly who it was.  I've been with the man for a long time - I know when he's lying so I asked him again. Are you sure you don't know that person. He said no, it's probably someone from work.  

I'm sorry but I felt in my heart he was lying. I knew he knew who that was.  So I went online to see our cellular calls and texts and lo and behold, there were PLENTY of texts from that same number (I have a good memory w/ numbers).  I thought, how can he not know who that person is if he's been testing this person back and forth for 4-5 days.  I asked again.  He then got pissed because I wouldn't take no for an answer.  

Two days later I decided to print out the phone and text list.  I noticed he did not make any calls to this person - just texts.  I saved it and waited to talk to him when he was calm.  Days past by and he makes jokes that I make a big deal out of nothing and that he is not cheating on me.  

I did not accuse him of cheating - I accused him of lying about knowing the number when in fact he did know. The proof was in the print out from our cellular.  

I asked him again and still he say it's most likely someone from work (most of the employees are women!) and it's nothing.  

So today I showed him the list I printed out and he got so pissed! He said I invaded his privacy and that I was treating him like a child. All I want him to do is to be in box so I can tell him what to do. He said he would never forgive me for doing this.  
Mind you, he did say that he knows the person (from work and yes a female) but since he knows how I am (I guess jealous) he didn't want to tell me.  

I feel bad only because I know I shouldn't have invaded his privacy but as his wife, I feel like I did nothing wrong.  We should not have any secrets between us anyway and if he can't do it in front of me, then he shouldn't be doing at all.  We have this rule - we are not to be friends with the opposite sex bc we are both not comfortable with situation.  We've had that rule since the beginning so why change it now? Why does he feel like its right to have female friends to text or to sext (I don't know!) behind my back?

I tried telling him that it can start off innocently with texting good morning, how are you and getting your attention but I'm sure this can lead to something else. 

He hasn't spoken to me all day bc he pissed at me and doesn't want to look at me in the face (what he told me).  I think he's pissed bc he got caught.

Tell me, what would you have done?


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

I do feel that his behavior was suspicious and the fact that he is so defensive would make me wonder even more.  I would point out to him that the fact that he kept lying about knowing who was texting me was the big problem because it only makes him look like he is doing something wrong.  If it's an innocent text from someone from work, then why does he feel the need to lie?  Now if they are texting each other after work on non work related topics then I'd wonder what they are texting about too.  personally I would never want to impose a rule that my spouse & I could not have friends of the opp. sex--it's basically saying you don't trust each other and considering that people work with people of the opp. sex and meet them in many situations, I think it's really overly restrictive.  I always worked with mostly men due to my profession and I would have "work friends" who were men and we'd chat about stuff and maybe even eat lunch together but we didn't need to have contact after work--if we did want to go out, it would never be alone, I would have arranged it so that we would go out w/ spouses, but since work friendships are pretty narrow & based on work things, it wouldn't necessarily mean that our spouses would get along, so I'd confine these things to work. 

I would want to ask him to explain what he meant by "I know how you are."  can he come up with other incidents where he was doing something innocent & you blew it out of proportion?  Can you have a calm discussion about this?  Can he understand that what he is doing is just making him look more suspicious?

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-05-2006

I would ask him if the rules have officially changed because, if so, there's a couple of men you would like to get to know better.

Listen, the best defense is a good offense and this is why he has attempted to put YOU on the defense via his attack. Don't play along. A simple "fu*k that sh!t" should get the point across if lesser means doesn't work.

Best wishes.

Avatar for khatru1
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-07-2004
His actions and reactions set off the red flags for you. You know him after all these years. He was lying through his teeth. Of course he is pissed because he got caught. Its a very typical reaction for the man who is boxed into the corner. Come out fighting and try to turn it back on you.

First he doesnt know who it is, and then later he does. He knew all along.

If it was a communication from just a friend, and he had nothing to hide, he would have told you oh it was so and so. But he deletes it immediately and claims he doesnt know who it was. So he felt the text was something he had to hide.

I think you may have stumbled onto the very beginnings of something between him and her. Maybe just friends right now. It clearly was not a business oriented text.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008
A wise man learns early in the marriage never to mess with that uncanny thing called womans intuition. lol
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-15-2008

Always listen to your intuition.  It sounds like you have dealt with this in the past with your H.  In my experience, with my exh and reading and responding to these boards,  first the guy is adamant that he didn't do anything inappropriate (often silent treatment), next when he is shown or given proof it becomes "you made me do it" (this describes my exh to a T).  Those who have nothing to hide, hide nothing.

"Is it right for a married man to text coworkers from the opposite sex-during work and after 5?  I guess my answer would be it depends.  My H (not my cheating exh) may call or text someone from work after work because of a work function.  He has never 'hid' his conversations with anyone. If his phone rings he doesn't erase or ignore it when I am present.  He has no problem if I answer his phone if it rings and he isn't in the room and vice versa.  If I asked him who called he would tell me and not get defensive about it.  My exh on the other hand could not set appropriate boundaries, hid his phone and lied--IMO he could not be married and have 'innocent' conversations with the opposite sex. 

IMHO, your previous experience with your H has made you more aware and I think that is a good thing.  Perhaps you could suggest marriage counseling so you both can talk to a neutral party and set the boundaries for your marriage?


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003


No, it is not right for a married man to text women-'friends', email them, or have one-on-one drinks with them. Nor engage in any kind of other 'friendly' activities with women who are not life-long 'known each other since we were born' kind of friends.

Yes, you were right to suspect  him. Yes, he got defensive because he is guilty and knows it. You as his wife have every right to demand the  truth and fidelity.

Yet.. The man's been with one woman his entire life. Since he was a kid. Never touched a different woman. And now he's a middle-aged man who's thinking, 'Omg...What out there. What have I missed. What will I never experience'.

I'm only saying this to make you understand they 'why' of it. I'm 42, I've had, ehm, many sexual partners in my life . I've been with my beloved husband for 8.5 years. There is no way on earth that I would cheat on him but NOT ONLY because I love him to death, I am true to him, I am his and touching someone else is unfathomable. Honestly? It's also because I've done it all before. I know exactly 'what esle is out there' and 'how it is with other people'....very well indeed. (and so does he, even more so).

Sorry - I didn't mean to hurt you. I am of the opinion that it is simple human nature to wonder 'how and why'.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003



'....Perhaps you could suggest marriage counseling so you both can talk to a neutral party and set the boundaries for your marriage?'

Really? You really think this is about going to a third party and setting bounaries for the marriage? So..they'd go to this counsellor and say what?

Husband goes to counsellor: 'Gaaawd I'm only human, I'm just a curious mere mortal man who's never done it with a woman who's not my wife and now I'm 40 and what if I never will??' The counsellor goes:  'oh...and how do you feel about that?  Can this have something to do with  unresolved issues with your mother'?  And the wife, frustrated, goes: '' can't, you're mine!!!!'?....

Sometimes the responses on here are sooooooooo totally NOT real-life it just makes me laugh. Sorry Olly but imho, this is self-help book advise. Husband texts someone else. What to do. Go to counselling to put boundaries on marriage. OMG like this would help. Like this would make the thoughts stop, his thoughts, the mad thoughts going through his inflamed head.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003


As far as what I would have done (after I finished screaming my guts out at him lol):

Dress up like a high class/cheap tart. Or like a minor royal - as long as it's sexy.. and depending on his taste.

Go to a sexy dark bar (with candles) where noone knows you and get slightly/considerably/mightily drunk - depends on your tolerance. Talk to each other, about sex, about ways to f***, about what you used to do and how you used to be when you started dating. Talk to other people  - just for new faces, new things to discuss.

Come home and put on a good porn DVD.Mild/medium/far out... lol... again, depends on what floats your (both of you, of course).  Get him to call you a different name. Be adifferent person.  Watch, and do what they do, at least as near to it as you dare get lol.  Laugh, scream, laugh more, have another drink. Have FUN.

Next night, plan something else that is adult 'we're still young' kind of fun for the weekend.

You get the drift.................................

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-18-2009
It is normal for people to have opposite gender friends and to keep them a secret if the spouse is of jealous nature and sneaky. I wonder how you managed to have the ' rule' ! He probably agreed to the rule to keep you quiet as in real practical life,this rule is really not feasible. That said, he is most likely having an affair