Adapted from a recent online discussion.
Carolyn: My wife is friends with a former co-worker (also married). I have always supported their friendship and never thought much of it, until one night when I saw an email from him that read, “Can I see you tonight?” Immediately something struck me as off — the wording of the email … it just did not strike me as a “friend” tone. I thought if it was nothing (i.e., just getting together to chat about work), then my wife would mention it to me, but she didn’t.
I went into her email later to see her reply, and found the message deleted from her inbox, as well as her trash folder, which made me think it was something she didn’t want seen. Later I looked at our phone bill and found she was making multiple texts and calls to him on an almost daily basis — so much so it rivaled what she and I make day-to-day.
I brought it up with my wife, who claimed she had no idea it was so much, that they are simply friends, and that it’s not a big deal. Am I reading too much into this? I just can’t shake the feeling something is going on outside of being just friends.
It sure appears as if you have something to worry about; people don’t double-delete innocent emails. Presumably there were other emails from the same dates in her trash folder that hadn’t been wiped out?
I think you need to go back to her and say you’ve thought about it, you want to believe it’s nothing, but that you can’t shake the feeling that she’s not telling you the truth. Cite the double-delete and whatever else you’ve seen that doesn’t track with “simply friends.” Then say you’d rather have a bad truth here than false reassurance.
Of course, if she decides to stick to her story, you do hit a wall; you either get to act on the evidence you have, twiddle your thumbs waiting for something to happen — unappealing options, both — or you become a chronic snoop, which is among the low roads to travel.
Until you hit that wall — and in the interest of avoiding it — I suggest that you make telling you the truth as palatable for her as possible, whatever that truth might be.
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