A woman is being urged to dump her “sleazy” husband after finding “flirtatious” messages he sent to a colleague 10 years his younger.

In a post to Mumsnet’s “Am I Being Unreasonable?” forum on January 19, user GreenFox said she’d suspected her husband of cheating, so she decided to snoop through his phone.

She found several Whatsapp messages he’d sent to the young co-worker, who has been ignoring his advances, including one that read “you are everything I have ever wanted.”

Heartbroken, the poster turned to Mumsnet for advice, with users encouraging her to dump her “predatory creep” of a husband.

Woman staring at her phone in horror
A stock photo of a devastated woman staring at her phone, with one hand covering her mouth in horror. The poster was heartbroken to discover that her husband had been secretly harassing his much-younger co-worker on Whatsapp.
AntonioGuillem/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Cyber Affairs Are Becoming More Common

According to JustAnswer family therapist and relationship expert Jennifer Kelman, the internet has made it easier than ever to be unfaithful, with the number of cyber affairs rising in recent years.

This is backed by statistics from Ashley Madison, a dating site for people searching for an affair partner. During the first lockdown, Ashley Madison gained 20,000 new members a day, reaching 70 million users by the end of 2020.

“Those involved feel that it isn’t really cheating if there isn’t physical contact, but the emotional connection to another person while being involved makes it an affair,” Kelman told Newsweek.

She said loneliness or the need for escapism are common reasons why people look elsewhere, but that doesn’t make it acceptable.

However, if you feel the need to check your partner’s phone to begin with, it suggests that the relationship is already rocky—whether or not your partner is actually cheating.

“Keep in mind that if phones are checked, trust erodes even further,” Kelman said.

If you want to save your relationship, she recommends enlisting the help of a couples therapist to work through your issues together.

‘What a Sleazy Man’

In her post to Mumsnet, GreenFox explained that she and her husband have a 1-year-old son.

Suspicious that her husband is having an affair, she snooped through his phone, and discovered he’d been sending suggestive messages to a female co-worker on Whatsapp.

“They both work remotely but for the same company so I don’t think they’ve ever actually met [in real life],” she wrote.

“He was being overly flirtatious and complimentary towards her. It looks like a lot of previous messages have been deleted so I think they have been chatting for a long time.”

Woman troubled by a message on phone
A stock photo of a concerned woman troubled by a message on her phone, while her husband sleeps soundly nearby. Mumsnet users urged the woman to screenshot the messages as evidence and confront her husband.
Drazen Zigic/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Although many of the messages discussed “work stuff,” several were clear attempts to hit on his colleague, who is 10 years younger than him.

“Most of the time [she] brushes off what he’s saying or brings it back to work chat,” GreenFox said.

“He told her that she is perfect and ‘I would love to be with someone like you.’

“These messages were sent late at night and she didn’t respond. The next day he messaged her at 7am asking if she was annoyed at him.

“It’s the fact she’s not even particularly responsive to him as well. At one point she just said ‘awww’ in response to one of his adoring messages. I feel sick.”

Mumsnet users advised the poster to end her marriage, instead of being “second best.”

“He is telling her she is perfect and all he has ever wanted, meaning you are not,” said Needanewnamebeingwatched.

“I would take screen shots and start divorce proceedings.”

Treacletoots agreed, writing: “You do know you’ve only one option OP? Get rid. Today.”

“Really sorry OP, whilst she’s not really reciprocating, it’s still being said so the desire to stay is there. You deserve better,” commented Frosty1000.

Yesthatismychildsigh called the husband a “predatory creep.”

“Pestering someone a fair bit younger. Is that what you want?” they asked.

“What a sleazy man,” agreed EarlyYearsMe. “Something really dark about a man who can’t take the hint.”

“This is getting even more grim,” wrote LolaMoon. “She’s clearly not interested and he cant accept it—he is pestering her.”

Another, ourgettigreensadwater, commented: “I’m surprised he hasn’t got HR on his back and looking at being dismissed apart from the awful betrayal.

“If I was her I’d have reported him for harassment.”

We could not verify the details of the case.

Has infidelity broken your trust in your partner? Let us know via life@newsweek.com. We can ask experts for advice, and your story could be featured on Newsweek.