There are a few red flags here
1. He knows that he is stepping over boundaries if he is hiding by closing the browser
2. he is flirting and actively seeking her out - big red flag
Every couple is different but if it making your gut tumble and is hurting you then it is not appropriate behaviour by your H.
Dont let this go too far. Observe and actually catch him in the act. Walk up behind him, before he knows you are there and observe, then casually ask him who are you talking with.If he lies, tries to cover up, then you know he is guilty of inappropriate behavior, then call him out on it then and there. Do not let this slide.
The consequences have to be serious too. If he tries to minimise (he will) his actions, tell you that you are imagining things, that you are making a mountain out of a mole hill, etc. Tell him that you are sorry he feels that way but you feel that he is crossing boundaries that you feel uncomfortable with and if he is not willing to make amends you are moving out. Then go stay with your friends, family, etc. Be prepared to play hardball and follow through. If you whinge and cry and beg, he aint gonna listen.
Thank you for this spot on advice. I would have followed it, but there are new progressions. I typed this post before work and rushed out the door.
Once at work, I texted my husband "do you think it's acceptable behavior for a married man to be flirting with and getting to know another woman via chat?"
I guess he knew I was onto him and had read it because his response was "Flirting? If it was just a message board then no but it's a online game plus there's no flirting. But if it bothers you I will stop." My response "It was undoubtedly flirting on both ends and you sure were enthusiastic about keeping things going. More enthusiasm than I could or do ever get out of you. Nice that you enjoy chatting like that with a random girl after work yet I feel like anything I say after work annoys you and feel like I have to keep all convos quick."
I then said "By all means don't stop, you are doing what you want to do. And don't worry about the letter with your feelings that I said I wanted as our anniversary gift- I think I have a good idea now."
He said "Oh hunny, she is a fast player and that is what I like. I was listing hot wheels on ebay so that was my main attention, actually it was a little annoying" then he said "Oh shut up, you're crazy if you think I don't love you"
That was about 30 minutes ago and just now he texted "I love you babydoll. You are my world"
Should I just observe him and let it go at this point since he said he'd stop? I can't help but feel nauseous over the fact that he started to begin with. It makes me feel like crap. I can of course forgive this one time situation, but I just feel worried about the bigger picture now.
You give really good advice..what are your thoughts?