I went through my husband’s phone while he was asleep this morning and came across some texting from a girl. Should I confront her or leave it be and let things die down with him to see what he will say? He was extremely upset and said nothing was going on between them — they are just friends.
Unfortunately, these situations are very common. However, there are a couple of things you can do when you make such a discovery.
For starters, it helps to apologize to your husband for snooping on his phone. Even though your husband’s actions undoubtedly violated your trust, your husband probably feels the same way — that his privacy was violated.
Apologizing to your husband will help create the right environment for fixing this problem. By apologizing for your behavior, your husband is more likely to do the same. That is, he’s more likely to take responsibility for his actions. To solve this problem, you’re going to need your husband’s understanding and cooperation. The sooner you can get your husband to take ownership for what happened, the better (even if it means apologizing to him while your upset).
It also helps if you approach your husband by highlighting your distress rather than your anger. If you can tell your husband that your hurt and confused by what you discovered, rather than focusing on how angry you are, it’ll be easier for him to hear you out. If you can describe the problem in a way that creates empathy for you, rather than puts your husband on the defensive, the two of you will be more likely to work through this problem.
It’s also probably in your best interest to leave the other woman out of it. Contacting her directly only makes her feel like she’s a bigger part of your husband’s life and your relationship. Contacting her may give her the attention and validation she’s looking for — that she’s a real threat. If you can work through this problem with your husband, while leaving her out of it, that’s probably your best strategy.
Hope this helps. In our book, Broken Trust, we go into greater detail on how to handle such situations.