my husband and i have two children. right now he works, while i am the stay at home parent. his work has asked him to take a trip across country for a few days, which means i will be VERY busy with the kids (who are both under 3 years of age and in diapers). he told me that he tried to get out of this trip but couldn't.
this week he tells me that he is gonna stay with a friend of his (who i only met once) who happens to be a single female friend. the reason is because the place they were going to put him at for the trip was the ymca because his company is cheap, which i know for a fact is true. he didn't want to stay in an uncomfrtable setting which i do understand.
what bothers me is that he told me a while back that this girl used to like him a long time ago. and i know as a woman that women can get the wrong idea very easily. to me, it seems inappropriate for a married man to be staying the night with single female friends even in special circumstances. it's that simple principle that is bothering me, not that i really think he is going to sleep with her, she is truly not very attractive (i don't mean to sound mean, just being honest).
also, i looked at his messages. i know it's wrong. and i found something that sparked more discomfort for me. he told me that he tried to get out of this trip, but in one of his messages he tells her that he tried to change the tickets (so he could stay an extra day). which of course would be an extra day for me up with both kids during the night, etc. he lied to me about that. i can't believe he would try and stay there longer. in the messages they are just talking about food festivals and stuff (cause they are both foodies), but still, he lied to me.
even if he doesn't plan to sleep with her, he's already lied to me which makes me feel "emotionally cheated" on.
i don't know how to approach talking to him about any of this without sounding like some crazy control freak.
I know how you feel. I joined this site today, for different relationship advice, and I am not married, I'm in a dependent long term relationship of 5 years. But I am really in a very similar emotional state as you regarding visits with single friends.
I can't give you marriage advice or pretend I know exactly where you are coming from as a married person. But I want to share with you my situation, in hopes that it will comfort you to know that other people share your standards. At the end of the day, you need to be open with him, because you don't want there to be a misunderstanding where he thinks it's now always ok to you, if he stays with single women. And by the way, most people do not consider this normal or ok at all in a marriage. But everyone is different.
My girlfriend of 5 years, who I do not live with, but do many if not almost everything with during her and my free time, just boarded a plane to California for 7 days in wine country at a large vacation house with her older retired woman friend, and a local California girl friend.
I admit, I have looked at her emails also, and did notice her emailing her old time male friend who lives out there back and forth about trips and missed opportunities to do things together. She told me a few weeks ago that when she was single (like many of her friends still), she was very much in the boy crowd and would hang out with them like one of the guys. She would stay at their places, and nothing ever happened or would have. She seemed to want to defend her old practice as perfectly acceptable after being in a relationship or married and suggested that she always hung out with this guy when she went out to California. I hate that she has so many single friends. Like you, I wasn't so concerned about her being unfaithful, because we are supposed to be very morally driven people, but I don't like the two very contrasting principles here. I feel like if I say that this is wrong behavior as a couple, she will disagree fundamentally.
Here's comes the kicker. And afterwards, I will give you support by telling you how I am dealing with it. During the convo where she told me about this blonde guy in California, she said (as she was blushing) that during my trip next month to see family, that if I stayed at my woman friends house due to lack of cheap hotels, who Ive never had a relationship with, than she would be totally ok with it (because she is interested in being able to do that), and that if anything happened because of the alone time spent with my friend, she would be ok with it, as long as I didn't catch anything and it stayed there. This shocked me. Now here is another principle that I think is fundamentally not acceptable in relationships. Also, to me, that meant, and this probably means the same thing to you, that she is really trying to set a standard, where if she is supposed to be ok with it, I should be ok if she did that.
Well, last night (we hadn't had sex in a week), we had unofficially planned and talked about having a great night of fun in bed before going another week without seeing each other. She did this thing where she said how tired she suddenly was, lied down, and rolled over to sleep. Long story short, she pretended not to hear me ask her when we will get started ( I had been waiting all week for this), so I called to her and we began an argument. It ended not so great at all, and I questioned her lack of desire to be without sex for 2 weeks. It ended with me getting sympathy sex before we fell asleep. Which she ended up enjoying and thanking me for insisting on (because she needed it). She does not play with herself, so what was she going to do out there in California? What WILL she do? She needed the sex, and was going to go 2 weeks with nothing?
What is your husband going to do? I mean, maybe my conversation was YOUR conversation, only mine went a bit further. Is he going to do anything? I would call him constantly with kid updates, kid conversations, etc. I would especially do this if you are married. What can he do about it?
I would NEVER tell him that you read his email. But I would not stop looking at his email if I were you. If you tell him, he will be tipped off, and not say things in email anymore, or get a secret email address for real conversations, even if they are innocent, he may do it for personal privacy. I would not stop though. It's 2012. Even good men with kids will try if they think it's harmless when it's miles away. I am the same way as you, I trust her, it's about the principle of the matter.
I did explain to my girlfriend weeks ago, that I "guess I must have been taught a different standard growing up or something." I did this while displaying a confused, passive face, not being judging or trying to say my way was better. And kind of sad. I said, "I thought we weren't supposed to do that in a relationship or something, are we aloud to do that? Scratching my head" Maybe I could have even referenced friends told me never to do that. People respond to sadness, not anger. Anger can be fought against, sadness can't. I read somewhere that if you are being mugged, you should either yell rape or fire. Two totally helpless states. Because men won't respond otherwise.
I hope this helped you feel better, and that in some way it helped you get some ideas on how you will be approaching him on this. Standards are extremely important to me. Because if my partner is not at least trying to go by a very rational and reasonable standard of mine, or even know about it because I was that restricted, it would destroy a bit of my soul I think. Principles are probably one of the few things that are extremely independent of everything, and are personal. If he asked you to commit a crime, you wouldn't do it correct? Would you let him change your principle on that? Not following principles or when a principle is threatened, is a good reason to do just about anything. Just heard a segment on NPR about principles that are reasonable. Principles are what make us feel like we are good, worthy, and acceptable to God, family and society.
Wanted to added, after thinking about it, that I'm not going to read my girlfriends emails forever, just a few weeks longer, and I think you should eventually stop too after a while. It can't be good to not rely on, and therefore believe in trust, as it is often needed.