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Husband flirting/texting with colleague


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Old 12th December 2017, 3:36 AM   #1
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Husband flirting/texting with colleague

We and four other couples went for a long weekend gateway in Georgia. We all had drinks. My husband gets drunk easily, i.e. even with just one glass. It was 2 in the morning. I saw him chatting on whatsapp standing in one corner. I went to see why he is standing there all by himself. He was chatting with his female colleague. I found it odd but thought she might be having a work issue. After 2 days, I was looking for the photos we clicked in his cell's gallery and saw her WhatsApp profile photo saved in his phone gallery. This was weird. I opened his whatsapp. He had deleted the chat. I confronted him. He simply said that he doesn't even remember that he was chatting with anybody (since he had drinks). And for photo, he said I just save the profile pics I like. But there were no other profile pics, only hers. The very next day I saw him online on whatsapp for nearly 1 hour while he was in the office which is not common for him. I said are you still talking with her. He said that I'm being silly. And ignored the whole topic. When pushed too much, he accepted it. Said it was work related. I asked if it was work related why you deleted the chat again? He said I didn't want to upset you. Had a huge fight. He said he will be careful from next time and apologized to me.

Now after 2 weeks, I found this chat on his IM. Here he is talking about how he had to ignore her and was not able to talk on whatsapp because one of his relatives saw her message on his mobile and thought something is going on.
(He did not stop the conversation willingly. I was with him all the time during our 3 day vacation at our cousin's place and that's why he couldn't reply)

Him: I knew that by talking with you like this I will lose you as a friend. But I had to do it. That's why I didn't reply to you other day morning also. Trust me it was very very difficult for me.
Her: Okay. It's better we stop talking.
Him: I sorted everything now.. but lost you..
Her: It's nothing like that. But It's better I don't talk over again.
Him: See I told you yesterday, either ways I am losing. Whatever happened happened. It was a phase which passed. Just because some people misunderstand doesn't mean.. And dont worry.. It was not my wife. She trusts me.. And she knows we talk. She knows my nature.

This conversation is about when he visited head office one day where she works and went for team dinner afterwards.
Her: In car also you did not talk. Did not even say Bye properly.
Him: I think I was talking until I dropped you. I also said nice meeting you.
Her: Leave it. What can I say. Fine
Him: I was also talking to you in the party, switched places with Sam. But Sara was in between so couldnt talk much. (Names changed)
Her: I didn't know.
Him: I wanted to talk to you. ... I was sitting next to you whole day in the office but you were busy.
Her: What can I do?
Him: You could have worked less for one day. For party also you went ahead. I wanted you to come with me.
When I came to office I thought I will talk with you. You took me directly inside the office. Could have stopped for 5 minutes outside.
Her: You should have told me. How can I know that?
Him: You should not have went inside. I wanted to talk with you. You don't know how excited I was.
Her: Sorry I didn't know. But we should not talk anymore.
Him: This hurts. Thank you for everything. And will really really miss you. Cannot control now. Bye.

Now this does not mean they have stopped talking. On whatsapp there is one more conversation after this where he complimented on her pic in the morning then in the night, then once on office IM.
And some more stupid conversation. They talk mostly on office IM which I cannot get hold of.

He doesn't know that I know all this about his emotional affair. For the last three times I forgave him and moved on like nothing happened because each time he convinced me that he will definitely stop talking and I said okay it must be harmless flirting and I must be overreacting. But this time it hurts because this is way more intense. I never thought of him going even this far.
I think the only thing which is stopping the girl a little bit is the fact that the guy is married. Even if she doesn't move forward I don't know how to trust him again for the fourth time that he will stop talking.

Question is
1) Mainly what do I do now? Is there any way we can come back from this because right now I cannot even look at him.
2) If yes, then how do I make sure that they end whatever is going on.
3) Do I need to involve anyone else close because I think he is taking me casually and just plainly lying to me. (Personally I don't want to involve anybody.)

Please suggest anything that you can think of. Really looking for help.
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Old 12th December 2017, 5:00 AM   #2
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For the last three times I forgave him and moved on like nothing happened because each time he convinced me that he will definitely stop talking and I said okay it must be harmless flirting and I must be overreacting.
This is a big part of your problem. Your husband is a serial cheat (even emotionally) and has no consequences for his behaviour. He keeps doing it because he's a thoughtless jerk, but mostly because he can. Who's going to stop him?

It's not harmless flirting. It's very harmful to your marriage, and you need to go find your backbone and stop tolerating this. You are first going to need to strengthen your inner resolve and sense of self-worth, and not let him wipe his feet on you and your marriage anymore.

Tell him it stop today, or there will be consequences. And mean it. I personally think you already need to get yourselves into marriage counseling, as he clearly doesn't respect you and don't really respect yourself either, sadly. He has seen you don't stand up for yourself, and takes full advantage of that, so you need to change your approach dramatically. If you're not prepared to implement consequences, then don't bother confronting him as nothing will change.
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Old 12th December 2017, 2:36 PM   #3
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NO flirting is harmless for a married person, but This is even beyond flirting. Your husband - and I'm SO sorry to hit you with this but do believe it's not real - is smitten just like a teenager. He doesn't know that it's "limerence" and not real but it is doing real damage to you and your marriage. I mean, how well can he know her yet he's idealized something about her and fallen under a spell. Limerence.

I mean if it weren't so jackass stupid, it'd be outrageously insensitive and reckless to presume your indulgence because you 'know his nature.' Sorry but that's where forgiveness gets you!

The most alarming statement revealing how far he's gone emotionally is "Trust me it was very very difficult for me." And though he thinks "lose you as a friend" is how he feels, he's fooling himself. Read "Not Just Friends" by Shirley Glass.

Here are the most damning lines to me:

Trust me it was very very difficult for me.
You don't know how excited I was.
This hurts. Thank you for everything. And will really really miss you. Cannot control now. Bye.

It's hard but you're doing much better about facing the truth. But you must do this to him, to his face. Give HIM "Not Just Friends" to read!
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Old 12th December 2017, 4:27 PM   #4
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So sorry this happened to you...

Pallavie, first of all i'm so very sorry that this has happened to you. You must be going through all sorts of emotions and probably feeling a bit shell shocked right now. This is a huge deal. You are NOT over-reacting. It really is an awful experience a loving partner would NEVER put you through.

The fact that your husband is was so secretive about his interactions, and continues to deny and minimize his behavior is not a good sign. Merrmeade has pointed out the biggest reds flags in the communications you uncovered. Your husband appears to be completely infatuated, and this should be classified as an emotional affair in the very least (and don't let him convince you otherwise). Ask me how I know...

The decision about what to do next is deeply personal to each betrayed (and that is what you are) individual. There may not be the ultimate right thing to do, but you can discover a right thing to do FOR YOU.

So no one but yourself can answer these questions definitively, but here are some factors to consider:

1) Mainly what do I do now? Is there any way we can come back from this because right now I cannot even look at him.
Honestly, if you weren't married, I would heavily advocate ending this relationship. What you have here is an entitled person who doesn't value your commitment beyond his selfish whims. Make no mistake, cheating (emotional, physical, business, it doesn't matter) is not a "mistake", but a serious character flaw. Some would argue it's not a fixable flaw either.

That said, you have to decide what kind of relationship is acceptable to you and what your deal breakers are. Some couples choose to remain together even if one partner has to chronically play a marriage police. Some settle on an open marriage arrangements. And others simply choose to look the other way and accept an occasional emotional (or physical) infidelity as a necessary evil. To each his own.

So, IMHO, you absolutely do have a chance to come back from this, it all depends on what you are willing to tolerate. There will be some on this board who will point to successful reconciliations, so you never know. Unicorns have been known to be sighted. A MC have been recommended many times on these forums. If you decide to go this route you have to be very very careful choosing a therapist. Many will minimize cheating and encourage you to "get over it" long before you are ready.


2) If yes, then how do I make sure that they end whatever is going on.

To put it shortly - it is not within your power to ensure your husband ends whatever is going on. It is only in his. In other words, you absolutely can not control anyone's actions but your own. You CAN set your own boundaries and enforce whichever consequences you deem appropriate, but you simply can't ensure anyone else's choices. This may feel like a powerless position, but just like you didn't cause your husband's cheating, you can't cause him to suddenly develop a character. That's all on him.

3) Do I need to involve anyone else close because I think he is taking me casually and just plainly lying to me. (Personally I don't want to involve anybody.)
I'm not entirely sure what involving someone else in this matter would look like. I do think you are allowed to ask direct questions of anyone. The problem is, asking his EAP or anyone else who may be close to him might just produce more gaslighting. Do you have a good friend you trust that you can confide in? I think you need to invest energy in surrounding yourself with people who truly love and care about you. The ones you know are loyal to you and won't play "Switzerland" with their opinions.

Big hugs to you (((Pallavie))). I hope you make a decision that is best for you.
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Old 12th December 2017, 4:40 PM   #5
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File for divorce. This douchebag lies and covers up while continuing to cheat.

He's so used to cheating on you - he's not really worried about what you've seen.

Be done with him - you can't change him.
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Old 13th December 2017, 12:15 PM   #6
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Hi Pallavie, it is sad to see you here. Just to be clear, how long have you two been married and how old are the two of you? Have you faced similar situations in the past or is this the first instance? Also, what is the state( or was the state) of your marriage before this situation cropped up?

While awaiting your answers, I have to say that what the other posters have had to say, is very relevant. Although actual divorce may be a little too severe, consulting a lawyer to get to know your position in a divorce and also filing for divorce without actually going the distance may give your husband the jolt he needs to wake up from his dream state. Of course how you proceed depends on the previous history of your husband. If he is a first time defaulter he may deserve a second chance. If he is a repeat offender then just file and let things go to termination of your marriage. A serial cheater does not deserve second chances. Warm wishes.
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Old 13th December 2017, 3:54 PM   #7
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Hi,

Sorry youíre in that situation. If he did this 3 times already(if I read that correctly) there isnít much you can do stop him doing it the 5th and 6th time.

He has no respect for you and is borderline narcissistic because he has no empathy for your feelings. You forgave him already and a normal person who decided to stay usually try and give it a legit shot instead of doing the same old stuff as before.

Be prepared that a divorce may be the only way if he canít change. Either he changes or you accept him for how he is to you now.
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Old 15th December 2017, 9:11 AM   #8
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Iím sorry you are having some challenges in your marriage. It is tricky when it comes to trust issues. Would you and your husband be open to marriage counseling? This would be a safe environment for the both of you to discuss your thoughts and emotions and have the guidance of an expert. There have been many marriages saved with professional help. It is hard work to regain what was lost in a marriage and it takes a commitment from the both of you. Communication,respect and random acts of love towards one another is very important. I wish you both much luck!
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Old 18th December 2017, 1:11 AM   #9
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Hi Folks, it's been a while since OP posted and she has not come back to respond to any of the posters who responded to her OP. She has either settled the matter amicably with her husband and has no need for any advice or, she is plainly uninterested in what others have to say. In either case it is fruitless for folks on here to keep posting advice which, apparently, is like casting pearls before swine. It would be better to direct such effort to threads where people are receptive to the advice offered. Just a thought. Warm wishes.
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Old 20th December 2017, 10:26 AM   #10
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Update. Sorry for replying late.

Hello everybody! Thank you for all your replies. It means a lot to me as I have not told anybody about this and feel all alone while fighting this battle.

- I did confront my husband. He saw I'm serious this time. Gave him way many chances to end this 4 month long EA. He accepted his mistake but I'm not sure if he is really sorry or just want to stop me from going away.

- He and his co worker are not in the same states, so we can rule out PA. They did stop talking as of now. But it was the woman who stopped it after she realized that she might be be a problem in someone's marriage. My husband would have continued talking if she would not have stopped.

- What bothers me is his total disregard for my feelings in these last months where I have begged him crying not to talk with this woman. Where he lied straight to my face that he has stopped talking and I don't have to worry. Where he accepts that he would still be talking if that woman would not have stopped it.

- I know he is being honest but this hurts. He is asking for one last chance but I don't how to trust him again. He is feeling guilty I know that but can we get past this?

Please help and share your views on this.
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Old 20th December 2017, 10:38 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by pallavie01 View Post
My husband would have continued talking if she would not have stopped.

- What bothers me is his total disregard for my feelings in these last months where I have begged him crying not to talk with this woman. Where he lied straight to my face that he has stopped talking and I don't have to worry. Where he accepts that he would still be talking if that woman would not have stopped it.
This is huge. He is not sorry for what he's done, and what he wants to do. He's sorry he got caught.
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Old 21st December 2017, 7:08 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pallavie01 View Post
- I did confront my husband. He saw I'm serious this time. Gave him way many chances to end this 4 month long EA. He accepted his mistake but I'm not sure if he is really sorry or just want to stop me from going away.

- He and his co worker are not in the same states, so we can rule out PA. They did stop talking as of now. But it was the woman who stopped it after she realized that she might be be a problem in someone's marriage. My husband would have continued talking if she would not have stopped.

- What bothers me is his total disregard for my feelings in these last months where I have begged him crying not to talk with this woman. Where he lied straight to my face that he has stopped talking and I don't have to worry. Where he accepts that he would still be talking if that woman would not have stopped it.

- I know he is being honest but this hurts. He is asking for one last chance but I don't how to trust him again. He is feeling guilty I know that but can we get past this?

Please help and share your views on this.
This raises some pretty obvious questions. Your answers might indicate what you need to realize about him, what's unacceptable for you and what you'll do about it.

(1) He accepted his mistake but I'm not sure if he is really sorry or just want to stop me from going away. Right. There's a lot in this statement already:
Why the word "mistake" as opposed to ANYTHING that conveys his deep regret for the terrible wrong he did to you.
Why is it a "mistake"?
Was it just - meh, my mistake since I'm married?
What would "truly sorry" look like to you?
What's his problem with your "going away"?
Is it that he doesn't want to lose you or that he doesn't want to be publicly exposed?

(2) his total disregard for my feelings: Some people - especially people capable of having affairs - need help with empathy. They cannot see or feel beyond their own needs and desires (definitely a problem in and of itself beyond the fact that you can't get to step two of affair recovery).

His honesty has no virtue without empathy and accountability, and you're not interested in his selfish shame. You need to see real pain in his regret. He should see and be remorseful for the shock, pain and grief he's caused you. Your suffering should matter so deeply to him that he recoils at his actions, words and feelings toward the other woman because of their injury to you.

I would say that, if he's being this callous, then, okay, resolve all your doubts for good. Don't give him the excuse of insensitivity and self-interest (umm, is that an excuse?). Give him a leg up and see what he gives you when there's no missing the obvious. Tell him his reactions have left you in doubt as to whether he really understood how you felt. Explain that his mea culpa was insufficient. It felt indifferent, insincere and unfeeling. So you're going to help him, since he has not acknowledged your suffering. You need to see what he does with the knowledge of how his betrayal affected you, so you're going to be comprehensive about giving him that knowledge. Let him know it's a test, and you aren't giving away answers.

Then after explaining exactly what you're going to do, describe what you've gone through from the beginning. Don't leave any stages out. Don't generalize. Use specific, concrete descriptions of how you felt, what you thought. If tears make him deaf (another problem in and of itself but this isn't the moment for couples therapy), then try not to cry but be as clear and thorough as you can. Don't beg and don't tell him what he's supposed to say or do in hopes that now he'll do it. Just wait.

Let him react without prompting. If he in any way acts like you have no right to put pressure on him or mocks you, well, there you have it. If he defends his actions, gives excuses or otherwise minimizes, there you have it. If he reacts to the pressure in any way but the sincerest of efforts to reassure you of his love and commitment to make it up to you in whatever way you need, then you know. If he stares blankly, you know. If he isn't moved and pained, if he doesn't apologize - without excuses or conditions - with sincere humility for what you've gone through at his expense - and then some - well, there you have it.

Be very clear yourself what you will do with the results. It's not like he doesn't know. Come on. The point is - as hard as it is on you - that this gives him no more excuses. He's either in it for YOU all the way or he's just paying lip service to the marriage to protect his public image.

Of course, if, indeed, he does show that he cares and wants to get it, then your other expectation is that he fix what was preventing him from getting it. Now. In therapy. But, honey, somehow I don't think your revelation will hit him like that.

You are a quick study and are already seeing some of this. You just need to face it and say it. In other words, you're right. You canNOT depend on someone who's just mouthing the words but whose actions show he doesn't give a good goddamn about your feelings, suffering or welfare.

You deserve someone who puts your needs and happiness above anyone else's. If you don't discern that from his responses, then he's not worth your deep caring and loyalty.

And by the way, your going away should NOT be the consequence: HE goes away.
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Old 22nd December 2017, 4:32 PM   #13
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Since he doesn't see it as a problem and the other woman backed off, I have another news for you--- he will find another willing woman.

So, the problem is him and not the other women ( to an extent because they are willing to indulge a taken man)
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Old 25th December 2017, 4:10 AM   #14
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Hi Pallavie, thank you for responding. Well your last post clarified things in a crystal clear way. Your husband is NOT remorseful and he cares two hoots about your feelings. He wants to retain his comfort zone( having you as the house keeper and him warm at night) but apart from that you are just a convenience. If he could get someone like you who wouldn't hold him to his vows, he would replace you in a heartbeat. If you can live with that and have no more expectations of him, your marriage, whatever that term signifies to you, may survive. If you raise the stakes he is not going to like it and may show just enough change to keep you in the stable till he can make alternative arrangements.

It is up to you to not accept this situation and decide unilaterally, what you want to do. As they say in the Military, you can strike at a time and place of your own choosing. That will not only catch your husband off guard but will prevent him from taking immediate retaliatory action. Folks on here have analysed your situation quite accurately for you to see where you stand vis a vis your husband. The ball is now in your court. Warm wishes.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 6:22 PM   #15
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I really appreciate all your replies guys. I know I reply late and I'm sorry for that. Going through the down phase. Depressed all the time. It's hard even to get up from the bed.

As for my husband, he has stopped talking with that woman completely. He is really afraid that I might leave him. I try to be normal with him because my mother in law is here for the holidays and I don't want to tell her what happened. We don't get much time to talk and I don't how to handle my frustration.

On one hand I want to forgive and forget this whole incident because I still love him. But then I remember all the lies and him fooling me for 4 months and I get so angry that I don't know if I can ever trust him again. I have no idea what to do.
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