‘I’m devastated by my husband’s flirty texts with a business client’

My husband and I have been married for 10 years and have two young ­children. We run a business together and I thought we were happy. We have a nice life and I felt lucky.

However, a few weeks ago when he was putting the kids to bed, his mobile pinged and it was a text from one of our clients – a woman.

At first I couldn’t work out what I was seeing – the text was overfamiliar and affectionate, plus it had kisses and a winky emoji. It clearly showed there was more of a relationship there than just business.

So, of course, I looked through his texts and emails to see if I could find more from this woman, and I did.

There were dozens of over-friendly, flirty messages between them, but what really hurt was that she talked about me and our family as if we were holding him back.

She even asked if I suspected they’d been talking.

Obviously, I confronted him and he admitted he’d taken things too far with her. He said it was just banter and joking at first and then it got flirtatious.

He says he doesn’t know why he got drawn in – boredom, stress, stupidity – but insists they haven’t had sex. I have no doubt that’s where it was heading, though.

I feel so betrayed. I’m trying to move on, but I can’t bear to look at him at the moment. Do you have any advice?

Coleen says

I actually think this kind of emotional affair can be harder to move on from than a one-night stand or a proper sexual fling.

The fact that your husband connected with another woman emotionally and even discussed your marriage and your kids is deeply wounding. Somehow the betrayal seems worse. It’s about much more than just sex.

It still sounds quite raw, so I’d advise against making any knee-jerk decisions because you’re understandably angry. The truth is, I don’t know if you’ll be able to move on from this because it’s about feeling you can trust him again and, in a way, you just have to try it and find out if you can.

He has to make the effort to prove that you can indeed trust him, but he also needs to be honest about what made him become vulnerable to this emotional affair.

What’s not working in your marriage or in his life? Relationship counselling could help you work through these issues. Confronting these truths is hard, but it’s also your best chance of moving on successfully if that’s what you want to do. uture.

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