Welcome to In Bed with Gigi Engle, a weekly column in which sex and relationships writer Gigi Engle answers your most intimate questions. Nothing is off-limits! From threesomes to anal, unrequited love to cheating: we want to hear it all.
Dear Auntie G,
I've been with my fiancée for the last five years. I'm really worried she's cheating on me and I don't know what to do. She's in advertising and has a friendly relationship with a co-worker who is married with kids. A while back, she and Ian went down to Atlanta to meet with a new client for their agency.
While I was reading my newspaper the next morning on her iPad I was surprised by a text from the co-worker. Only the first two sentences show up in the preview screen at the top, and I am able to see that it begins with "Last night will never happen again. Don't tell."
I asked her about it, and she said that they had been drinking. He tried to crawl into bed with her, she kicked him out, and that nothing happened. Later that week, I was on her iPad to look for an email. I open the email app to find an email between them from last fall, with her saying they can still be friends if it remains platonic.
I decided to look at her text messages/Facebook chat and found they talk on both occasionally. No smoking-gun information found, but he occasionally makes flirty comments.
I have not confronted her about the info I found. She is the love of my life and I am just afraid I have been made a fool of.
Let's talk about this. I have a strong feeling that you wrote to me because of one main thing: you want me to confirm or deny, as an outside source, if I believe your fiancée is cheating on you.
I've read your story thoroughly, several times, and believe your fiancée is not physically cheating on you (beyond whatever happened in that hotel room); but she is clearly having somewhat of an emotional affair. This is a totally inappropriate work flirtation that has the potential to get out of hand. I can't fathom a woman carrying on an affair with a married father while gearing up to recite vows dictating she'll honor you for all time. And yet...
I think your lady is likely at the office hustling and bustling all day -- and while she's at work, she enjoys the distraction of male attention. What I find particularly troublesome is how she has put herself in a position to get off on the desires and validations of a man who is not her fiancée. I know if my man was doing this shit with someone at work I would FLIP out. That said, I predict this is as far as it goes for her. I do not think she wants to leave you for this guy, and I do not believe she's seeking out some ongoing series of trysts.
I think she's enjoying the flirtation, but that she really loves you. You're an honest, stable, lovely guy and I'm sure she wouldn't f*ck that up by screwing around. I know I don't mind when someone other than my boyfriend shows interest me. It's fun to feel wanted. Acting on it would be an entirely different ballgame. You don't cheat on someone you love and want to marry.
On the other side of things, I have serious concerns about a married man with children creeping on a woman who's engaged. Whatever the circumstances, there is no excuse for him going into your fiancée's hotel room and trying to get in her bed. If the story happened as she described, I can't believe she didn't go to HR to get this guy fired. Sexual harassment much?
Here is what you're going to do, N. You are going to TELL HER EVERYTHING. I'm dead serious. Every email you read, every text you saw, every Facebook flirtation you witnessed, you are going to COME CLEAN. Set up that timeline and lay it out there. Tell her how you feel. Be open with her. Tell her how helpless and scared you are. Ask her what attention she feels you're not giving her, that she would seek it from someone else. Tell her you want to repair whatever is broken.
You DO owe her an apology for sneaking through her personal messages. If you feel like you need to sneak through your S.O.'s stuff, that's indicative of a bigger trust issue and warrants taking a look at the overall stability of the relationship. Open communication is going to be your only gateway to healing. Apologize for snooping and figure out what the two of you need to do to be able to fully trust each other.
Another part of the reparation involves your fiancée having a serious talk with her co-worker. She needs to lay down the law herself, or go to HR and file a complaint. I know she won't want to -- especially because it's awkward, and she may have flirted with this guy over drinks (newsflash: flirting is not an invitation for someone trying to get into your hotel room and/or bed). She may even try to turn it around on you, making this an issue about "trust" and "snooping" -- but if nothing was going on, no text message would have popped up on that iPad. You need to know what is happening -- and she needs to put an end to this childish behavior at work because it is hurtful and rude… and totally unbecoming of a woman who is on the verge of making lifelong vows to a man she loves.
The foundation of your engagement and eventual marriage is trust. And if you don't have that with this woman -- beginning with not knowing what might be going on behind your back, and ending with you not wanting to tell her you snooped through her emails and social media -- you should not be marrying her. You need to openly communicate. Even if it turns out you're totally wrong, you need to know. You can't have doubts when you're about to marry someone.
Love your favorite internet auntie,