First Prev
of 4
Next Last

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#1 Feb 19, 2014
DEAR AMY: I am a stay-at-home dad who has been married to an amazing woman for nine years. We have three beautiful children.

Recently and impulsively, I checked her text messages. I never do this, but I was curious. I found that she was having a conversation with a man that I felt crossed the line. The subject matter was personal and sexual. It seemed to be one sided and initiated by my wife. The man responded with short answers.

She told me that he was a co-worker and that they have been talking and communicating via text for months.

She stressed that she never cheated on me, but only vented her frustrations to him and on two occasions it veered into the inappropriate stuff I saw. She said she wanted to talk to someone who was "neutral."

We are going through financial issues and may lose our house, and she feels that I have not done enough to help out. I agree with this but I told her I had concerns that she was so open about this personal matter with him. After a long, long talk, she agreed to stop all communication with him and to communicate her feelings to me. I agreed not to go through her phone again.

Recently I was getting a contact number from her phone and noticed that she still has his number in her phone, only now it is listed under another person's name.

I confronted my wife again and she said she wanted to save his number just in case she needed it and didn't want me to get upset so she changed the name it was listed under. She said she has not communicated with him since breaking it off.

How concerned should I be? Have I overreacted? My wife is angry at me, because she believes I have violated her privacy. Is she right?-- Concerned

DEAR CONCERNED: You have violated your wife's privacy. She has also violated yours. Her choice to share intimacies and marital frustrations with another man places him toward the center of your relationship. This isn't fair to you. You diving into her phone without permission is pretty sad, even if it turned out to be justified.

I understand your wife's impulse to discuss your problems with a "neutral" person, but in her case that neutral party should be a trained marriage counselor -- and the conversation should include you.

DEAR AMY: My sister estranged herself from our family 10 years ago. She is 61 and the second of five children.

We have had no contact with her since 2004 and have been respectful of her wishes to not have any communication "until she is ready." This is breaking my heart, and has been hard on my mother and siblings.

My mother will soon be 90 and her health is frail. I'm afraid my mother will never see this daughter ever again.

Any thoughts on what to do about this sad situation?

We were always a close family, and this middle child was a favorite of my siblings and me.-- Lonesome Sister

DEAR LONESOME: Estrangements sometimes start impulsively but then can calcify into a sort of familywide paralysis. I know how heartbreaking this is.

You have absolutely nothing to lose by reaching out to this sibling now. I suggest contacting her by email or letter, and choosing your words wisely. Tell your sister that you miss her. Do not cast blame or assign guilt. Let her know that your mother is ailing and ask her if she would get in touch with you to catch up, with no strings attached.

DEAR AMY: In response to "Just Plain Sad," whose husband was nice to everyone except her, I was in a similar situation, except I continued therapy after he refused to continue. He blew his stack at me one too many times, and the light bulb went off: "Why am I tolerating this?" I asked him to leave and filed for divorce. And never once have I regretted it. No strife!

One person cannot do the work of two in a marriage.-- Happily Single

DEAR SINGLE: "One person cannot do the work of two." So true. Thank you!
Cass

Claremont, CA

#2 Feb 19, 2014
LW1 - Any time I read a letter that says "I am a stay-at-home parent"...."We have financial problems and may lose our house"...."My spouse may be cheating," all I want to say is "Get a job outside the house." And stop having kids. Whether the spouse is cheating or not, having your own paycheck provides security that allows you to make choices about your marriage that are not driven by financial desperation.

LW2 - Nothing you can do about it. It's the sister's choice.

LW3 - Good for you.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#3 Feb 19, 2014
1 There was nothing impulsive about it. You suspected something and verified it. You going thru the phone is in no way comparable to her sexting herself to another man.

2 Maybe she has gone senile, and forgotten you even exist?

3 Yeah, he's probably better off too.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#4 Feb 19, 2014
1- I believe a married couple should be open wish each other. She shouldn't be hiding contacts from you. And have you thought about getting a job?

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#5 Feb 19, 2014
1. Before cell phones, if you wanted someone's phone number you looked it up .Obviously her cell phone was home so she probably was too so you could have asked her.

I have a Android. My contact list shows names. You have to click/touch to get to the numbers.(There is nothing that says she was sexting including pictures. Two messages crossed a line for him; when you feel threatened, most anything crosses a line)

Don't try to spin it: you were snooping and you knew what you were looking for.

If she had been having this conversation with a girlfriend you would not have reacted the same way. If I were in her situation I would quite possibly be confiding in a friend too.

You would have said if the kids were babies. Traditionally SAHM got jobs when the kids went to school. Get of your butt.

2. Your sister knows how old your mother is. You don't indicate that you have any idea why she has estranged herself whcih suggests either you don't know or you are truly clueless about the gravity of whatever did happen. It is entirely possible that your sister is waiting for your mother to die

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#6 Feb 19, 2014
LW1: If she just wanted to vent, she wouldn’t have initiated going down the sexual road in the first place. Unless you feel like constantly baby sitting her, I'd put your walking shoes on and tell her if she wants to talk so much with this man and do it behind your back, you’ll do her the favor and step out of the picture and she can talk to him as much as she wants without your interference.

LW2: You can reach out to her. After that the ball is in her court.

“On Deck”

Since: Aug 08

French Polynesia

#7 Feb 19, 2014
Pellen, I was going to say the same thing, word for word.
I had an ex snoop through my phone and accused me of all sorts things that were not true. I admit it probably looked fishy, but we were co-workers and good friends and there was no need to search my phone.
Some things should just remain off limits, I don't care who you are. Even for the police without a warrant.

Some people work at home now too.
Like by selling junk on eBay and stuff like that.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#8 Feb 19, 2014
PEllen wrote:
1. Before cell phones, if you wanted someone's phone number you looked it up .Obviously her cell phone was home so she probably was too so you could have asked her.
I have no doubt he was snooping. Setting that aside, the idea that I should have to ask my wide for permission to get a number from her phone is just silly.
blunt advice

Cedar Knolls, NJ

#9 Feb 19, 2014
1. Get a job. You won't have the time to look at anyone's phone.
2. Contact her. Then she can decide what to do.
3. Sorry the counseling didn't work but at least you tried. Some jerks just can't be changed so they need to be gotten rid of.

Since: Oct 09

Eagle Butte, SD

#10 Feb 19, 2014
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text> I have no doubt he was snooping. Setting that aside, the idea that I should have to ask my wide for permission to get a number from her phone is just silly.
OK, I'm gonna light a fire here, because I'm interested in different opinions on the matter and how others feel (see, edgo, not all of us eeevil libruls' only want to be with those who are like-minded). Why SHOULDN'T you have to ask permission to get something from a spouse's phone? I would never dream of going into hubby's phone on my own without asking and vice versa.

Not that we have anything to hide, or that we'd get mad or controlling or anything like that, but it's a matter of respecting privacy. Even married couples deserve that. Marriage does not erase a person or their need for privacy and their own space. At least, it shouldn't; it seems that too many people tend to view it literally, that they are actually one person and anything and everything must be shared and out in the open. I've found that it's the people who've never been married who most often tend to view it that way (hello, edog!!)

That being said, if a partner is messing around, then the other spouse does, indeed, have the right to some transparency.

Since: Oct 09

Eagle Butte, SD

#11 Feb 19, 2014
LW3: Hubby's family has dealt with this shyte for nearly ten years now. Sister didn't like his brother leaving his wife, her friend, for another woman and marrying her, so she cut him off, ignored their children together, and has continually demanded that their parents and other siblings follow suit. She get furious when she hears that the parents have visited the son and his family, or that they've come to the parents, or when anyone else in the family visits or even has any dealings with him.

She just refuses to get over it even though the ex-SIL has long since remarried and had other children and gotten well over it and it's torn apart the family in a lot of ways. Problem is, they've allowed her to "set the tone" for the dynamic over the years instead of making clear that they would not tolerate her shyte. My own grandmother would have knocked heads together and set things straight from the get-go, making clear that she would not tolerate that crap from the sis.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#12 Feb 19, 2014
Judge Janie wrote:
<quoted text>
OK, I'm gonna light a fire here, because I'm interested in different opinions on the matter and how others feel (see, edgo, not all of us eeevil libruls' only want to be with those who are like-minded). Why SHOULDN'T you have to ask permission to get something from a spouse's phone? I would never dream of going into hubby's phone on my own without asking and vice versa.
Not that we have anything to hide, or that we'd get mad or controlling or anything like that, but it's a matter of respecting privacy. Even married couples deserve that. Marriage does not erase a person or their need for privacy and their own space. At least, it shouldn't; it seems that too many people tend to view it literally, that they are actually one person and anything and everything must be shared and out in the open. I've found that it's the people who've never been married who most often tend to view it that way (hello, edog!!)
That being said, if a partner is messing around, then the other spouse does, indeed, have the right to some transparency.
Because I'm not "snooping" into anything that I consider private. Looking up a phone number is far different than going thru her messages. Back when I was a kid, we kept numbers in an address book that sat next to the phone that was tethered to the wall. I see looking at her phone for a number as no different than looking thru THAT address book. Additionally, we have no house phone. So if I need to make a call and my phone is upstairs, but hers is sitting next to me on the counter, I'm using her phone. She can and does take the same liberties with my phone.

Now its time to really make your head spin. I go thru her purse too. When i am doing finances and gathering rcts for things we charged to the cc, i go thru her purse to get them. She knows. She tells me to. And when she needs cash and has none, she sometimes goea thru my wallet looking for some.

Sometimes, while looking for rcts, I find appt cards for a dr appt. I take them out and enter them into our shared google calendar then throw the card away.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#13 Feb 19, 2014
L1: I'm with Janie.

L2: Good advice from Amy.

L3: Excellent. It's good to make choices after careful consideration and it seems that's what this LW did. Nothing on a whim but isn't going to be cowered.

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#14 Feb 19, 2014
Judge Janie wrote:
<quoted text>
OK, I'm gonna light a fire here, because I'm interested in different opinions on the matter and how others feel (see, edgo, not all of us eeevil libruls' only want to be with those who are like-minded). Why SHOULDN'T you have to ask permission to get something from a spouse's phone? I would never dream of going into hubby's phone on my own without asking and vice versa.
Not that we have anything to hide, or that we'd get mad or controlling or anything like that, but it's a matter of respecting privacy. Even married couples deserve that. Marriage does not erase a person or their need for privacy and their own space. At least, it shouldn't; it seems that too many people tend to view it literally, that they are actually one person and anything and everything must be shared and out in the open. I've found that it's the people who've never been married who most often tend to view it that way (hello, edog!!)
That being said, if a partner is messing around, then the other spouse does, indeed, have the right to some transparency.
It's only a privacy matter if you have things on your phone that you consider private ... like messages between a co-worker who you share intimate details of your marriage with and make suggestive marks to that you want to keep private because you know your spouse would not appreciate.

I couldn't care less if my wife went through my phone. I have nothing that I feel a need to keep private on it.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#15 Feb 19, 2014
Should a married couple be open and transparent with each other, or secretive? It's simple. I see nothing wrong with what the husband did. Turns out he was justified in doing it anyway.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#16 Feb 19, 2014
edogxxx wrote:
Should a married couple be open and transparent with each other, or secretive? It's simple. I see nothing wrong with what the husband did. Turns out he was justified in doing it anyway.
"Right" in suspicions and "justified" are two different things.

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#17 Feb 19, 2014
Toj wrote:
<quoted text>"Right" in suspicions and "justified" are two different things.
So what is he supposed to do if he has suspicions? What's your solution? Do you have one other than stick your head in the sand?

Is he just supposed to take her word for it? She's clearly dishonest since she failed to even mention she was carrying on in such a manner with that man at the outset ... on top of that she said she'd delete his number, but instead she just hid the fact that she still had it. What good is her word and how would he even know that her word is no good if he took your "be the patsy approach."

I have no problem with trust, but verify when your spidey senses tell you something is up with your partner. What I would have a problem with is if he had no justification or cause and constantly wanted to monitor her phone despite this.
cheluzal

Plant City, FL

#18 Feb 19, 2014
RACE wrote:
1 There was nothing impulsive about it. You suspected something and verified it. You going thru the phone is in no way comparable to her sexting herself to another man.
.
I agree.

My hubby can go through my crap because it's OUR crap. We sleep together; we made little humans. There should be no secrets. I also won't be sexting some other guy. I'm so sick of the familiar story: spouse "vents frustrations" to a co-worker and falls for them. Of course! That person isn't dealing with kids and financia issues. She's an idiot and has proven more than once she's being intentionally sneaky. The trust has been broken and she can whine about being a single mom next year.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#19 Feb 19, 2014
cheluzal wrote:
<quoted text>
I agree.
My hubby can go through my crap because it's OUR crap. We sleep together; we made little humans. There should be no secrets. I also won't be sexting some other guy. I'm so sick of the familiar story: spouse "vents frustrations" to a co-worker and falls for them. Of course! That person isn't dealing with kids and financia issues. She's an idiot and has proven more than once she's being intentionally sneaky. The trust has been broken and she can whine about being a single mom next year.
The trust is broken. I would not have a prbolem with a spouse using/going through my phone -- but ask first.

By the time you are going through someone's phone b/c you don't trust them, it's way past time for a marriage counsellor and/or talking one-on-one. If it's that bad that you have to spy, you don't really have a marriage, do you?

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#20 Feb 19, 2014
Toj wrote:
<quoted text>
The trust is broken. I would not have a prbolem with a spouse using/going through my phone -- but ask first.
By the time you are going through someone's phone b/c you don't trust them, it's way past time for a marriage counsellor and/or talking one-on-one. If it's that bad that you have to spy, you don't really have a marriage, do you?
Funny, but my wife and I trust each other completely. Having the leeway to use each other's phones without expressed written consent on a per use basis does not hinder that trust. Its indicative of that trust.

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker
First Prev
of 4
Next Last

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Chicago Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
News Barack Obama, our next President (Nov '08) 2 min No Surprize 1,508,686
News BARACK OBAMA BIRTH CERTIFICATE: Suit contesting... (Jan '09) 15 min Jacques Ottawa 239,402
News Once slow-moving threat, global warming speeds ... (Dec '08) 40 min mdbuilder 63,547
News Israeli troops begin Gaza pullout as Hamas decl... (Jan '09) 8 hr Cute 71,272
{keep A word drop A word} (Oct '11) 9 hr SweLL GirL 10,497
Obama has LEAK under sink. 18 hr TROY the Plumber 36
News Scientists say they have proved climate change ... (Dec '08) 20 hr Patriot AKA Bozo 8,066

Chicago Jobs

More from around the web

Personal Finance

Chicago Mortgages