Marriage and the Husband-Wife Relationship/Is this emotional infidelity?
My husband and I have been married twenty years and we have two teenage children. Owing to the nature of his job, my husband gets transferred frequently and is posted in distant areas. My kids and I stay in the city since we agreed it was best not to disrupt their education due to his frequent transfers. Now he is posted in a place that is about 700 miles from the place we are located.
My husband friended an old friend of his from college on facebook. I would like to mention here that through the years one thing I have noticed is that he tells me every little that happens and he has never kept any information from me. When he friended this lady, he told this to me over phone on the very same day. After that every day for the next two weeks, they chatted through facebook, most of the time the chatting was initiated by the woman...even when he was travelling back home, (he has a laptop and a net card), this lady kept on sending messsages asking him where he's reached etc etc. The lady in question is a married woman with two girls and the elder daughter was due to be married in a couple of months time at that point. When my husband came home, he showed me the messages and the pictures this woman had posted...reading the messages, I felt something was very wrong. Even though I was apprised of the messages every day, reading them I felt immediately that something was wrong somewhere...call it an instinct. I informed my husband of the same and he too seemed to agree that some line had been crossed somewhere and he assured me that he would take care from then on. I found that the woman was continuing to send messages even when my husband was here with us...and waht's more he seemed to be looking forward to her messages now, though he was still telling me about them. My husband has always given me the passwords to his his email accounts and facebook but when I tried to log in to fb, I foudn that he had changed it. To cut a long story short...after much arguments, he gave me his password and promised me he wouldnt contact her without informing me. Almost a year has passed since he first friended her and in between she had sent many messges which my husband ignored...but through all this he was also accusing me of denying him a good time reconnecting with his friends and making him behave out of character (not replying to messages). in between I made it a point to go and stay with him in his place of work, asking my mother to stay with the children. Now I'm back in the city with the kids and I find that my husband 'searches' for this woman on fb almost every other day especially when her posts don't show up...also he tries to open his chat window during the times she normally comes online...I've seen this because I have been watching...I know this is snooping, but I have become paranoid. Even now he tells me that she is 'missing' from fb and that something may have happened to her and whether he should send a message and ask if everything is alright. This is at a time when she's finally stopped sending him messages and also stopped putting up suggestive posts targetting him...thing like 'if a nail is infected, cut out the nail and not the whole finger' and 'a relationship goes through jealousy, trust, blah blah but it is affection that matters' etc etc.I keep quiet nowadays and do not give any advice, instead I tell him that he shoudl do what he thinks is best...we've had so many arguments on this that I dont have the energy to fight anymore...all through he's mentioned that I'm the only one in his heart and no one matters to him more than me...but his words and actions (searching for her, wondering about her) is upsetting me...I have not told him I know about these things...I'm also thinking that he's started to keep things from me. Am I overreacting...what should I do?
Sherin, people stray from a marriage or relationship when their needs are not being met. I think things are greatly compounded by the two of you spending so much time apart. It seems like your emotional connection has gone to a degree, and that is really only something that can be restored by spending more time together. Companionship, affection, fun time together - that's what everyone needs and I'm sure your husband is no different.
I know you say that you have decided on this lifestyle for the sake of your childrens' education. That is understandable, but are you in danger of sacrificing your marriage because of it? I really think you can only connect sufficiently with your husband if you are living together. There could even be some benefits to your children changing their schools frequently (I know people who have done this with no ill effects in the long run) if that is what has to happen. There may even be options such as homeschooling, correspondence, a tutor or other forms of alternative education.
I know it is a hard decision but very few marriages can withstand being apart for long periods, no matter how hard the individuals might try. It ultimately comes down to a decision you and your husband make over this.
I don't think you are overreacting at all. But I also think you are setting yourself up for disappointment if you expect to be apart for long periods and maintain a close relationship without 'distractions'.
I hope this helps and all the best with your decision.