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I Think My Husband Is Having an Affair. What Do I Do?

Carolyn Woodruff
Dear Carolyn,

I am pretty sure my husband is having an affair. We are not separated. I saw a text message where she texted him that she loved him. I checked his phone while he was in the shower. Should I confront him? What should I do?

– Bewildered by the Text

Dear Bewildered,

First, I am so sorry for your most difficult situation.  You need a consultation with a caring and experienced family lawyer and you need to analyze personally what his reaction to the confrontation might be.  There are several possible responses to the confrontation.  First, he might confess and get back on the right path with your forgiveness.  Or, second, he might erase all of the texts and deny the whole situation.  Third, he might just leave.  Fourth, the confrontation with emotions running high could instigate a situation of domestic violence.  I am sure there are other scenarios.

If you think the situation with the other woman might be serious, you will likely be best served by not confronting and seeking further evidence with a private detective; the detective may be able to determine where the “love nest” is.    If you have legal access to his computer you might want to have a forensic computer expert copy the hard drive, as there may be emails that have further information.  Get some screen shots of the texts if you have legal access to his phone, as you cannot recover this text information from the phone company.

Look for signs of him changing his habits, such as weight loss.  Has he become fit and trim in the last 6 months and become a “gym rat?”  Does he come home later or leave earlier?  Has he purchased some new clothes?  Does he go on more frequent business trips?

Personally, I generally do not recommend immediate confrontation over finding one text message as you are unlikely to ever get him to confess to more than you actually have at that moment.

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Note that the answers in “Ask Carolyn” are intended to provide general legal information, and the answers are not specific legal advice for your situation.  The column also uses hypothetical questions.  A subtle fact in your unique case may determine the legal advice you need in your unique case.  Also, please note that you are not creating an attorney-client relationship with Carolyn J. Woodruff by writing or having your question answered by “Ask Carolyn.”

This blog is a revised excerpt from Ask Carolyn, available on kindle. 

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