Monday 25 June 2018

Dear Mary: Husband apologised for texting women at work but I feel I can't trust him

Minister for Education Richard Bruton issued a circular today
Minister for Education Richard Bruton issued a circular today

Mary O’Conor

In the blink of an eye one snowy Friday evening recently everything changed. I was sitting with my husband of 40 years, he watching golf and having wine, me reading with one eye on the golf but off the wine for Lent.

I did notice his phone was going off a lot before I went to the kitchen to prepare some dinner.

As I returned I saw him put his phone down very fast but I could see the name on the top. It was from a woman who works in the same office where he works - let's call her Mary - so I sat down and said calmly 'who are you on to?'

He said he was on to our son. So I said he was lying and that he was on to Mary as I saw her name on his phone.

I could see he was deleting and trying to give me the phone which I didn't take.

I asked him why was he lying and being deceitful about this and from then on silence followed.

Next morning he sent me an email from another room in the house saying he was sorry for trying to lie or be deceitful and after a few drinks he was acting stupid.

He said he doesn't like us being silent, that he was sorry and that he loved me.

I have not replied and the silence goes on. Why the email? We have had a few similar issues over the years where he says sorry and as far as he is concerned we should move on, but this is eating away at me and I feel I can't trust him.

I don't know what is going on in his mind.

Our sex life has changed over time - there is no kissing or intimate time.

He just goes through the motions and it's over in minutes. I went through a very difficult menopause and he was very understanding.

I know there won't be any discussion about this latest event because he just won't go there.

Mary replies: The very first question I have is why he had Mary's number in his contacts although there may be a legitimate reason for this such as he may be working in some capacity with her or indeed advising her on a matter that she wishes to keep confidential...

However, this doesn't explain why he was unprepared to answer any questions that you had about it once he realised that you had seen her name and why he lied to you about it.

Sometimes it is a great idea to accept an apology and move on without rancour. In fact apologies can be very disarming and help a lot to smooth the way forward.

But you have unanswered questions and they need to be answered before you can trust him again.

So whether he likes it or not he will have to have a discussion with you about Mary and why he needs to be in contact with her.

And you will have to insist that silence is not an option.

I hope you have a happy Easter and that you enjoy your first glass of wine after Lent. Well done on being so abstemious.

You can contact Mary O’Conor anonymously by visiting or email her at or write c/o 27-32 Talbot Street, Dublin 1. All correspondence will be treated in confidence. Mary O’Conor regrets that she is unable to answer any questions privately.

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