I have been married for four and a half years, and two weeks ago, as I was exchanging some information between cell phones, I came across some messages that my husband had sent to a woman, insinuating that he wanted to see her. When I asked him who she was… he responded very defensively, saying that I had abused his privacy, and he even threatened to leave the house….

I don’t know what to do, because things have not improved since we had that argument. I don’t trust him, and I am hurt by how cold he is toward me.

Dear Friend,

We will assume that you really were exchanging some information between cell phones and that it was not a matter of you spying on him because of jealousy. People who have the tendency to be jealous create more problems than they ever solve.

When a couple decides to get married, they voluntarily give up certain rights to privacy. They decide to trust the other person with their secrets and their finances, as well as their hopes and dreams. A spouse who is not willing for his partner to casually see his phone, email, and social media messages definitely has something to hide. And when a spouse starts proclaiming his right to privacy, there is a significant reason for concern.

Your husband’s attitude indicates that he is doing something that he wants to hide. However, it is not good to jump to the conclusion that this is a threat to your marriage. There are other possibilities, such as an illegitimate sister that he has just found out about. Though this seems far-fetched, there are usually valid reasons that do not immediately come to mind. It is best to not let your imagination conjure up an undesirable story.

We don’t know what you said when your husband threatened to leave the house. It seems that his intent was to make you upset so that he could avoid answering your questions. The best thing you can do is to remain calm. Tell him that whether he leaves or stays is his decision to make, but that you want to work on your marriage. And tell him that you want to talk about the problems that are coming between you, and that you are willing to go to marriage counseling to save your marriage.

In the end, you cannot force him to stay, but your calm and steady attitude may create a safe environment in which he can reveal his secret. The absolute worst thing you could do would be to get dramatic, throw fits, or make threats of your own.

You need the help that your Heavenly Father wants to give you. You need His supernatural wisdom and strength. Pray in your own words and ask Him to come into your life and forgive you for your sins. Every one of us has sinned, but because our Heavenly Father loves us so much, He forgives us and then gives us hope for the future.

We wish you well,

Linda