My wife keeps getting emails from a former boyfriend which contains sexual references to them. My wife ignores their content but she does not ask him to stop writing about sex with her. She likes the guy a lot and thinks of him as a friend. These emails annoy me a great deal. I have not spoken to her about them nor have I contacted her former boyfriend. What is the best way to handle this problem? Thanks
A. You should speak to your wife about the e-mails. You need to let her know that they bother you. She may be completely unaware of your concerns. She probably is, especially if you secretly read her e-mails. Simply expressing your feelings may be all that is necessary to resolve this problem. Upon learning of your feelings, she may stop the correspondence.
Address this issue with your wife rather than her ex. Presumably, you have little or no connection with him. His sexual references understandably concern you but it is your wife who maintains their connection. In addition, anger toward a person who you hardly know is misdirected. The ex may be part of the problem but it is your wife who is betraying your trust.
The ex may be sending the letters because he is under the impression that it is okay to do so. It is up to your wife to inform him otherwise. She can do that by ending their correspondence or by telling him to stop the sexual references.
In fairness to your wife, she may not find his sexual references to be a threat. She may think that they are innocent or harmless. Once you make her aware that his e-mails are a problem, she may end all contact.
This was a difficult question to answer because I had minimal information about the situation. It would have been helpful to know more: how many e-mails were sent between the two, what exactly he wrote, what her responses to him have been, how long this has been occurring, how did this information come to your attention, and so forth. If you would like to provide more details I may be able to give a more specific response. I wish you the best. Please take care.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 1 May 2011
Randle, K. (2011). Sexy Emails From Former Boyfriend. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 29, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/05/01/sexy-emails-from-former-boyfriend/