Discovering that your husband is writing inappropriate emails to another woman hurts and can make you feel betrayed and angry. Confronting him won't be easy, but it is necessary if you want the behavior to stop or you want him out of your life. Be sure you have evidence in hand and confront him in a safe place, advises private investigator Keith L. Walker.
Discovering the Truth
Seeking the truth can be emotional, especially because this also affects your child. You may notice he guards access to his computer, shuts it down or changes screens when you enter the room, password protects the computer or selected files, works on the computer late into the night and erases his email history. None of that is incontrovertible proof, so you must find hard evidence to confront him, according to Walker. That takes time and effort on your part or getting help from someone with good computer skills.
Coping With Betrayal
Investigating emails and confronting your husband could produce shock, anger, disgust, betrayal, guilt or shame, notes marriage and family therapist Robert C. Jameson. The turmoil will affect your child and might make you wish to ignore the situation. Decide how you will respond if he is having an affair, such as whether to work it out or divorce. Ensure your child is out of the house and safe before you confront him, and protect yourself by meeting in a semi-public location. Consider sending your child to visit your parents or a friend so she isn’t in the middle of the event. Prepare your response and get a good handle on your emotions so you don’t lose control, suggests relationship coach Jay Reiss. You might say, "If you won't stop emailing her, you can pack your things" or "I'd rather work it out, but that means the emails have to stop."
Here's the Proof
First, let your husband know that you suspect him of cheating with the emails and how that makes you feel, suggests mental health counselor Teresa Maples. Observe his body language and verbal reactions to see if he can look you in the eye or refuses to meet your eyes in shame. He might demonstrate sorrow or become loud and forceful in hopes that you will back down and drop the matter. After he responds, show him copies of the emails and ask him to explain them to you. Sit quietly and let him consider his answer. It’s up to him to provide answers, not you. Ask for honest answers.
Outcome, Round One
The evidence in his hand might be enough for him to confess, but he will probably try to explain it away, states Reiss. Explain that you both need time to consider how to move forward and suggest that he spend a few days away from home to do that. Set boundaries, such as asking him to stay away from you and your child until he stops the emails and begins working things out or setting a specified time to give you a response before you consult a lawyer. Schedule a time to discuss the situation again. It might take several conversations and working with a counselor if you want to save your marriage -- or time with an attorney if you do not.