Should I See The Text Messages During The Affair. Would It Accomplish Anything? The Other Woman Is Offering Them.

By: Katie Lersch:   Sometimes, after the affair is over and you are trying to piece together exactly what happened, you have the opportunity to go over evidence.  Sometimes, this evidence comes from places that you wish it didn’t – like spying on the other person in the affair, who you wish that you could just ignore.  Still, this scenario can leave you with a dilemma.  Do you consider or accept the fruit from the poisoned tree, so to speak?  Or do you muddle forward on your own and ignore the evidence that is right in front of you, which may or may not actually make things more clear?

Here’s an example.  A wife might say: “I think that the other woman probably does not want to accept that the affair is over.  After my husband confessed everything and begged me to save our marriage, I started getting facebook messages from her, which I completely ignored.  I want nothing to do with her.  Then she actually had the nerve to come to my house.  Before I slammed the door in her face, she told me that she had something that she knew that I would want to see.  She told me that she had all of the text messages between my husband and herself saved onto her phone.  She said that she would be more than happy to let me read them and that this would show me that my husband was the aggressor and that she was the one who broke it off.  She said that he’s only trying to get back with me now because she ended it.  However, she hinted that now she might be changing her mind and she might choose to take him back. This leaves me very confused because my husband seemed convincing in his claim that he was done with her.  Her confidence and snide remarks made me angry and I slammed the door in her face and told her I didn’t want anything of hers.  But now I’m starting to rethink things.  I’m starting to wonder if I want to see those texts.  I mean, this will lay out everything for me and tell me how it happened.  I know that it might be painful.  But I think that I want to know the truth.  I don’t want my husband to be able to lie to me and get away with it.  At the same time, I was contemplating saving my marriage.  And I worry that is going to cause irrevocable damage, so I’m not sure what to do.”

I understand wanting to have all of the information available, but I would be leery of anything provided by the other woman.  I doubt that she is going to show you any texts that paint her in anything but the most flattering light.  There well may be texts where the husband is showing doubt or breaking things off, but those have probably been deleted, leaving only those that are most damaging and that serve her best.

If you have any interest in saving your marriage, I would suggest telling your husband the truth about her offer.  Then, just be honest.  Tell him that you want the information that the texts contain, but you hesitate to deal with her.  Ask your husband if he has any texts.  If you REALLY want them, I think that the best place to get them is from your husband because he is less likely to doctor them, and it is him with whom you want the ongoing relationship – not her.  Hopefully, this will inspire your husband to give you more of the information that you need and you won’t need to allow the other woman into your life – because in my experience that is the last thing that you want to do if you are looking to save your marriage. Also, think about her motivation.  Why would she seek you out?  Just to be a good Samaritan?  I doubt it. She either wants revenge, she wants to hurt someone, or she has her own agenda. Make no mistake.  Offering up the texts serves her.  It probably does not serve you.

As far as reading the texts (his or hers) I think that we are really talking about two categories of information.  I think that it is potentially helpful to get information that allows you to generally know what you are dealing with.  But it is hurtful to get information that is going to put pictures or mental images in your head that make it even harder to eventually move on.  If you have a counselor, I’d strongly suggest taking this issue to that person.  He or she can help you navigate when is the right time to read the texts and then help you process your reaction to them (if you choose to go that route.)

I can’t imagine that reading them won’t initially make things worse.  So you may want to wait until you feel strong enough and until you’ve made a little progress with processing what you want to do with your marriage.  In short, I think that if you truly feel that they will give you the information that you need, you should read them in a very controlled way, at the right time.  But if all they are going to do is cause hurt and backtracking, then I think that it is best to get the information in another way.  If your husband agrees to be very honest with you, then you can likely get the same information contained in the texts, but this would require a great deal of cooperation.

In my own experience and observation, allowing the other person to control your access to information is never a great idea.  She is concerned with her own agenda, not with yours.  And she would love nothing more than to have this type of control over you.  I have to think that there is a better way.  You can read about my own struggles after the affair at  http://surviving-the-affair.com.

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