'Jealous' Spouse Sparks Debate as Husband Caught Messaging Female Co-Worker

A woman has confessed online that she no longer trusts her husband, who she suspects of messaging women he works with.

In a popular Mumsnet post titled "Do you trust your husband?," user mummaontheskoolrun confided that she had "trust issues" with her husband after the couple went through a "rough time" a few years back when she found out he had been messaging a colleague.

Although the husband insisted he and the co-worker were "just friends," the woman now admits to feeling anxious whenever he's on his phone or messaging on WhatsApp.

Office relationships are nothing unusual. In 2021, career website Zety surveyed 1,000 Americans and found 89 percent had been attracted to a co-worker at some point, while 58 percent said they had dated a co-worker.

Man texting
A stock image of a man texting while in bed with his wife. A Mumsnet user has taken to the internet to tell others that she feels "anxious" when her spouse is on his phone. Ridofranz/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Newsweek reached out to a psychotherapist who argues trust is one of the most essential components of a healthy relationship.

Explaining her story, the mom wrote: "We have kids, a house, and a life together so it's not as easy to walk away as some people will suggest. I'm asking out of interest how many women fully trust their husbands?

"I'm scared he's messaging women from work. We had a rough time a few years ago when he was messaging a colleague and I found out. He swore nothing crossed the line and they were just friends but it didn't sit well with me and it made me quite ill mentally."

She concluded by saying her husband isn't aware of how much the texts affected her.

In a later comment, the woman added: "I'm a very jealous person and it doesn't sit well with me."

Speaking to Newsweek about the Mumsnet post, Lordia Lewis-Spencer, a U.K.-based psychotherapist, said: "Trust is so fragile, that it can be lost in the blink of an eye, but take ages to build it back up.

"However, it can be rebuilt if both persons are willing and committed to doing the work.

"To 'trust' is a choice. You must first decide if you want to attempt to trust your partner again. Even though challenging, you will need to decide whether it feels safe for you to do so.

"Having your partner break your trust may leave you feeling hurt, disappointed, and even ashamed. Understandably, the foundations of your relationship feel like its crumbling, possibly leaving you with uncertainty, feeling vulnerable, and lots of unanswered questions."

Lewis-Spencer provided four tips to help partners with trust issues, she said:

  1. Treat each other in a way you both respond and interact with each other.
  2. Constructive communication—about what happened.
  3. Be vulnerable—by being open and honest with your emotions.
  4. Avoid ruminating—on what had happened to break the trust

Over 130 people have commented on the post since it was shared on January 30.

One user said: "I trust my husband completely. He has never given me a reason to not. However, if he had been messaging a colleague in the past, then no I would not trust him. And there is your problem. He has broken your trust in the past. Some people can move on from this, but I couldn't."

Another asked: "Message a colleague what? General chit chat, work-related, or 'hi I think you're gorgeous, I want to start an affair'. I'd be totally happy for my husband to message general chit-chat or work-related stuff, but the last one I would not be happy with whatever sex they are."

"No, you can never trust another human being fully. We are all fallible! But you just have to get on with things...," said another.

Another person said: "I would have had my husband down as totally loyal and never one to cheat. Until I found he had been sleeping with prostitutes."

Newsweek was not able to verify the details of the case.

Have you noticed any red flags that made you end a relationship? Let us know via life@newsweek.com. We can ask experts for advice, and your story could be featured on Newsweek.