I have been a mother figure to a young woman my husband and I have known since she was 12. She is 20 now and my husband is 51. She has three children that are like grandkids to us. I found in my husbands e-mail pictures of her naked, and a picture of them hugged up which appears to be in a motel room. He said I was crazy and the naked pic was sent to him by mistake. I checked the e-mail history and it came from his iPhone. He stated to me that he sent the pics to her and told her that she sent them to him by mistake. They text each other constantly, claiming it means nothing. I am hurt so bad by this. I have been good to this girl and I didn't deserve this. My first reaction was to go to her father since she still lives at home down the street from us. My husband talked me out of it, claiming it would start an unnecessary mess. He said he has never cheated on me. We have been married since 1995. What do I do?
There is nothing more painful than the betrayal of the one you love and the uncertainty as to whether or not they are being honest. There is definitely something going on between your husband and this young woman. The fact that he sent these photos from his cell phone to his e-mail lets you know that he wanted to get a better look at them. The two of them hugged up in a motel tells you everything you need to know. When men are put in a position of confrontation they will lie to get out of trouble. Your husband is doing just that. Your first instinct, to tell her father, was the right one. If your husband was behaving as a responsible, mature adult he would have brought these photos to you the first time she sent them and asked your advice as to how to deal with it. Since he kept it a secret, he knows that he is doing something wrong. If your husband was being a mature adult who cared for this young woman's well being he would have addressed this issue with her father and let her father talk to her about what is appropriate and what is inappropriate. I would recommend that you both go, as a couple, to see her father and let him know what is going on. It is the responsibility of adults to help children when they go astray. She is 20 and human beings do not fully mature mentally until the age of 24. It is your husband's place and your place to bring it to the attention of her parents, so that she learns that this is not acceptable behavior. Your husband will try to talk you out of doing the right thing, because he is approaching this with his "child's mind." He knows he has done something wrong and is now trying to hide his wrongdoing from the world. He feels embarrassed that his secret is out, and he does not want anyone else to be witness to his inappropriate behavior. You now have to be the adult and make the difficult choice to address it as the mature woman you are, even though your husband will fight you on it. This choice is for the good of your marriage and the mental health of this young woman.
I met a wonderful man, who has treated me, in the last few weeks of dating him, better than any other I've known. I have lived with and had long term relationships with other men, but no one as endearing as this one. He is willing to do almost anything to make me happy, but he has a past, one where he abused his privileges and took advantage of resources for his own personal use. I am falling very quickly and hard for him but there is some degree of mistrust. We met over the internet, and I find myself looking for ads online, only to discover he's not used them for months. The great news is he's paid for his mistakes and rejuvenated himself. I want to get over his past and my previous relationship issues and give him the trust he deserves. I don't want to lose him but I don't want to get hurt either.
Part of learning to love fully means taking the risk to trust someone else with your heart. The key to doing it safely is to take it slow and give yourself enough time to observe him as he interacts with you and with others in his life. This is the testing phase of dating when you want to watch and see if he walks the talk. He claims he has rejuvenated himself, so now you have to pay attention and see if what he says is translating to how he behaves. Are his actions those of a man who is honest and open about his choices? In the process of getting to know him, you should find out what led him to make the choices that landed him in hot water. You want to be aware of any signs that tell you something is different so you can recognize when he begins to go astray. This is the time to be very thorough about finding out who this man is, and if he is truly deserving of your heart.
Rebecca Brody is a Relationship Coach in New York City. She is the creator of She Caught the Crazy! If you need relationship advice or want to work with Coach Brody contact Brody@TheLuvCoach.com or go to www.TheLuvCoach.com. For more crazy stories visit www.SheCaughtTheCrazy.com