Today’s letter is from Dear Prudence
My husband has been texting his ex-wife rather extensively for some time and he has been hiding it from me. I would not be surprised if this has lasted our whole relationship. I accidentally found a text message to her very early on in our relationship when he asked me to read a text on his phone. I asked him about it right away and he said they were still friends and he didn’t want to stop talking to her. I let it go but have had a hard time trusting him. I have gone through his phone on numerous occasions (I know this is really bad of me) and I have found flirty texts to both his ex-wife and his other long-term ex girlfriend. I confronted him each time and he would apologize and say they were just friends. Pretty soon every time I checked his phone I never found anything but I also had a gut feeling that he started deleting them since I had found them so many times. He keeps his phone glued to him most of the time. Yesterday morning he left his phone on the table and even though I haven’t looked in a long time curiosity got the better of me and I looked. There was a Facebook message from his ex-girlfriend. I stewed about it all day and then last night I told him I was thinking about how he texts his exes and told him that I felt like it was cheating. I told him it hurt me badly and I asked him when the last time he had texted either of them. He said he couldn’t remember the last time he talked to his ex-girlfriend but he had recent contact from his ex-wife. He also told me that he isn’t cheating but he will withhold information from me if he thinks it will upset me. This set the red flags off. This morning I logged onto our mobile phone website and discovered all of the times he has texted his ex-wife in the last 90 days. It was a lot. I plan on talking to him about it tonight when he gets home. My question is, should I call his ex-wife and ask about the nature of the texts before he gets home? I want to know if they were just friendly or sexual. Either way I am upset but if they are sexual I will be more so. I don’t plan on yelling at her or telling anyone else. I just want to know.
Dear Totally Reasonable and Not-at-all Paranoid Wife,
You are very obviously being completely reasonable, while your no-good husband constantly betrays your trust. It is totally unreasonable for him to talk to people that he has never denied talking to. I mean, it’s like he just married you to make his ex-wife jealous so that he could get her back.
Some people say that trust is an important foundation to a relationship. However, those people are all wrong. Mistrust is the foundation to a good relationship. Constantly checking your spouse’s phone and accusing him is a constant reminder of how much you love him (despite his utter failure as a husband). Checking the phone website to see how much he has texted his ex-wife after he admitted they are in contact is totally fair to him. This is what he deserves for telling you the truth!
Calling his ex-wife is a totally reasonable thing. If there was something going on, she would definitely tell the truth. And your husband will appreciate the work you went through because you love him that much. He won’t feel betrayed and mistrusted, he won’t question why you can’t just believe him, and he definitely won’t want to run for cover.
If your goal is to keep him close, just keep doing what you are doing. There is absolutely no way that your reasonable checking up on everything he does (even when he admits it) is going to drive him away.
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