While on a business trip with her female colleague, my wife met a guy in the bar of the hotel they were staying at for two nights.
She shared a room with her colleague, but she spent time drinking with this guy in the bar.
They exchanged several phone calls and one in particular is very suspicious, occurring at 1:37am just a few hours before 6am when her business starts.
After the trip she called him several times and was obsessing over him for six months, collecting information on him online – until I caught her.
She insists nothing happened between them and, to be honest, I have no proof that they hooked up at the hotel or afterwards.
On the one hand I can’t believe nothing happened because of the late phone calls and follow-up attempts to get together.
On the other hand, I have no actual proof they slept together, so I have to accept her word and, let’s be frank, it’s the word of a liar.
What do I do? Forgive her and accept I’ll never really know what went on? Or divorce her?
It might have just been phone calls and a bit of excitement, followed by a yearning. Maybe it was tempting, but nothing physical happened.
The problem is that it’s not just about the physical side of things – it’s incredibly hurtful that there’s been an emotional connection and you still feel cheated.
Clearly, the way your wife feels about this other guy isn’t just innocent and friendly, otherwise she’d be transparent about it and wouldn’t be collecting info on him.
I think she should own up to that, even if nothing physical happened, and acknowledge that it’s hurtful and that she would be devastated if the shoe were on the other foot. I don’t think it’s something that you can just ignore. That’s what you have to get across to her.
Once you’ve had an honest (and calm) discussion, it’s up to you to decide whether you’re hurt to the point where you can’t stay with her. But don’t rush into a decision. Find out the reasons why she needed that emotional connection. And be honest with yourself, too – do you both need to put more effort into your marriage?
Something like this can be a wake-up call for both partners. Maybe when she knows you’re considering walking away from the marriage she’ll realise what she has to lose and will want to put in the effort to rebuild the trust and work on your relationship.
* More of our agony aunt Coleen Nolan’s advice on your sex, family, health and relationship problems