First of all, I’m not the kind of woman who snoops into their husband’s phone, or checks his messages. We’ve been married for 15 years and I trust Paul*… well, I used to trust him more than I do now. Because a few months ago he was working in his study and I went in to ask if he wanted another cup of tea; he loves to drink tea while he works. But when I went in I realised he was in the toilet – we have an ensuite.
I do not snoop usually, but as I was picking up the half-empty teacup beside his mouse I saw a few tabs at the top of the computer screen. I couldn’t stop myself opening a few… but I wish I hadn’t. They were nearly all porn sites, or those sites where you pay to have a “live chat” with slutty-looking naked women from places like Thailand or Russia. Several even had messages like “welcome back!” So I knew he had been visiting them more than once!
Then I heard the toilet flush and I quickly shut the tabs. When Paul walked out of the toilet I was leaving the room, holding the cup. I hid my face and muttered about tea and I didn’t think he suspected anything.
I was shocked – and so stunned that I didn’t feel anything at first. But then I started to feel really hurt. I know our sex life isn’t as “red hot” as it used to be – we have two growing children and two busy careers, so we can only find private time on weekends. And I admit I’ve never lost all of my ‘baby weight’… and that makes me feel self-conscious.
But it’s no joke looking after two active pre-teens and handling my job. Sometimes I am so tired at night all I want to do is sleep. Plus, Paul travels for work, and sometimes it can be a few months before we find time to be intimate. But we sometimes laugh and joke about it and we kiss and cuddle, so I just assumed he was okay with it.
But seeing those websites really shocked and worried me… did my husband want more in bed? Did he look at their hot bodies and then look at me and feel disgusted? Am I an old fat ‘auntie’ to him?
And it’s no wonder he didn’t pressure me for sex that often anymore. He was taking care of himself with those girls and some ‘one-hand typing’…
It’s been eight weeks since I saw the websites and I could not stop worrying. Every time Paul goes into the study I follow him with my eyes and wonder what he is doing. Is he really working, or reading news online… or is he browsing porn sites? And how much money is he spending on them? I am not naive and I know some men like porn. But I just assumed he wasn’t one of them.
But now I realise there are maybe a lot of things about my husband I do not know so well… even important things like how much money he has saved. I am starting to feel angry and insecure, and I know I am snapping at him and the kids more often. I also take comfort in eating so I’m feeling even fatter and more ‘auntie-looking’ – and that doesn’t help. Just the other day, my cousin asked me if things were okay with me? She said I seemed ‘very tense’.
Sometimes my mind runs away… I fear Paul will become so tempted that he’ll cheat on me in real life. Or he’ll stupidly hand over all our money in some online sex scam. You hear about that sort of thing happening. Because when men are thinking with their pants off, most of them don’t think well!
But I can’t tell anyone about this. I don’t want anyone talking about me or pitying me. I used to feel smug when I heard about silly men who had been tempted away by a bimbo. I thought it could never happen to my family. But now I feel I have been too trusting for too long.
Maybe all my husband will ever do is ogle at women on the computer. Maybe it will never go any further. But I can’t be sure. And for now, it’s slowly eating away at me.”
*Name changed to protect privacy.
This article was originally published in The Singapore Women’s Weekly.