Should I spy on my husband?

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I was married young, 23, and have been married 10 years. 3 years ago, I cheated on my husband. Why? I needed a listener and someone to talk to. My husband found out, the affair stopped. My husband chose to forgive me (not forget) and stay in the marriage. We have 2 kids.

After the affair, I explained to him what drove me to do it, and he admitted to being at some fault. He changed his ways, listened to me and was there for me. During the last year, he’s gone back to his old ways. Distant, un-nurturing, and doesn’t listen. There has always been a communication problem between us, as we can go weeks without talking to each other.

A few months ago, I noticed a phone number on the cell phone bill at numerous times during the days and nights. I asked him who it was, and he said it was a girl at work (who he knows I didn’t care for). I asked him why he was talking to her and he said at first that it was work related, but then said that he was just being her friend, she needed someone to talk to. I didn’t believe him and told him to stop. No more calls appeared after that, but his best friend who also works with him, called me and told me he did sleep with her, that my husband told him himself. I confronted my husband with this information, and he swore on his kids, numerous times that he didn’t.

He got a new e-mail account, and I was able to get his password, so yesterday I went into it, and saw an exchange of e-mails between him and his ex-girlfriend of 8 years, 14 years ago. Why? So I confronted him, and he said, that his mother saw her and gave her his info. I was very upset about this. Again, he said nothing is going on. Well this morning, I went in to check his e-mail and he changed the password. I called to confront him and he said, “Oh, I felt like changing it.”

So my question to you is, is he cheating? Should I trust him? I want to go to a marriage counselor but he won’t have it, stating, they will not help him or us. My final question is, is my marriage over? My kids are going to visit my parents for 2 months so we’ll be alone for that time frame. Then I’m going to go join the kids and leave my husband at home alone. Should I install spy cam’s in my house? Again, I guess it all comes down to should I trust him?

A: The answer to your question is in the fact that you have to ask it. I can’t tell you if he is cheating or not. But I can tell you that the trust in your relationship has eroded to the point that your marriage is in serious trouble. He is playing hide and seek with his email. You are seriously considering installing spy cams. People who love and trust each other don’t do these things. Please stop playing detective and confronting your husband. It isn’t helping the situation and may be making it worse. Instead, sit down with him and ask him as calmly as you can whether he wants to help you save your marriage. If so, use the time the kids are away to start some counseling and give it your all. Marriages can be brought back from the brink but only if both people are committed to doing so.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 2 Jul 2007

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2007). Should I spy on my husband?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 20, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/07/02/should-i-spy-on-my-husband/