Computer help...I think husband is "surfing"


Active Member
I am very sad right now. I have a feeling husband maybe "surfing" the web if you know what I mean. I am shocked to say the least. But last weekend I was away all weekend at a cheer competition and when I got back, I noticed all history was deleted as well as cookies, etc. I suddenly have not nice pop ups coming up on my computer. This morning at 7 he was looking at somthing and "closed" it quickly as soon as he saw me. My heart is broken, I want to ask him, but have the feeling I won't get an honest answer.

Okay now on to my question. I know even after history's are cleared there is a way to find out what has been viewed. Can anyone help me figure out a way to search my computer for this? Thanks!


Sue C

Active Member
Hi Beth,

I'm so sorry this is happening. I don't know how to do this, but hopefully someone here does. I just wanted to say that a friend of mine's husband was doing the same thing of quickly clicking off the screen when she walked in. It took his daughter accidentally walking in without him seeing her to find out what was up. He was in some sort of chat room where you meet women. :frown:

Maybe confronting your husband is the best thing to do, but of course, that's up to you.



I don't know how to search. I did buy a spyware program that runs in "stealth" mode. So no one knows it's there. Without the code to open the program they also can't see what's been recorded. It takes a screenshot every x number of times depending on how you set it. Think I had it to 5 seconds. It records everything, so even IMs. I did it to record what my son was doing. Since I'm not married I can't comment on whether or not this is appropriate to do in the case of a spouse. But it will give you what you want to know. The one I have is downloaded online and charged to a credit card. Probably takes a half hour to do and then you can use it indefinitely.

Sara PA

New Member
One day after my soon-to-be ex stopped using my computer and had his own, I was going through my "Documents". I found a whooole lot of "documents" that I'm sure he didn't intend for me to find -- image type stuff. A lot of stuff got saved to the document folder when he opened them and he didn't know it. You may want to go through there an open things that you can't identify.... but make sure there are no kids around.

You probably ought to download, update and run SpyBot and Ad-Aware. If they recommended removing something, it's pretty safe to remove it. Also activated the "Immunize" feature in SpyBot. I've never had a problem and I've been using both for years. If you don't have an updated anti-virus, AVG is a good one. All are free downloads. I know I had to run those programs fairly regularly when my husband was "playing cards" on line. Anyone want to hear about the "fishing trips"?

Funny thing about how they don't think cleaned out history isn't a big red flag that they're trying to hide something.

ETA: I should have mentioned that those three programs won't help you with finding out where people have been or what they have done on the computer. They just clean off the garbage that gets loaded on the computer -- pop-ups, viruses, trojans, etc -- that get placed on the computer when certain sites are accessed.


That's a difficult situation. I'm sorry that you are facing something like that :frown:

If you decide to install something to track future computer useage you could install the program that OTE recommended or you could try System Surveillance Pro which I installed on the computer in our family room. There are many to choose from. SSPro logs every website visited, keystroke typed and all instant messages. It even takes a snap shot of the screen as often as you set it to do so.

We had a guy working around our house that always seemed to scurry away from that computer when I'd come into the room. After a while I noticed that the browser history was always erased after he worked for us. I installed the program and the very next time he was here I caught him...
The makers of Spectorsoft have another program that will send you an email of everything typed on the computer.

I find "eBlaster" to work better for me since my kids have their own computer and emails are sent to me. Since they don't know I get emailed everything, they think they can do whatever they want.

The tough part is to figure out how to "nab" them without them figuring out how you did it.

If the computer is the family computer, spectorsoft is the better route if you can view the logs privately.

Several friends of mine have caught cheating spouses with these programs.

saving grace

New Member
There is a way to do it, but first ask yourself Do you really want to know? I would ask him first, if you approach him even after he has deleted the history he will know the lengths you went to to find out and he will be very defensive.
This is your husband. Not your child, if it were my child I would install a program to track usage but not for my husband. I am assuming you think its adult sites right?? You can approach him matter a factly he will most likely be embarrassed but hopefully he will tell the truth, it may not be as bad as you think.
Dont spy on him, talk to him.

Thats just my thought, tread carefully.

I am sorry you are in this position, and I'm sorry your sad.
You can go to Start then Accessories, System Restore, from there you can pick a day that you want your system to back up to, for instance pick a week ago and your system will go back and restore anything that changed during that time to the restore date. BUT be careful because anything you have downloaded or changed on purpose you will lose.

that should bring back your history

Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful
Well said Grace. As you replied pretty closely to what I was going to say.

Careful what you ask for. System restore can put it back. But I think sitting down with your husband and talking about this like two grown people is a far better way to go.


Sara PA

New Member
One thing about doing a restore. My understanding is that it will restore the computer to the state it was at shutdown on the day you pick. If husband cleared the history every time he had something to hide, you won't find anything.
In giving you some scoop on the programs available to future concerns I failed to answer your question.

This instruction is provided assuming you are using Windows XP.

Click on star then Search;

Once the search options come up click on "more advanced options"
and checkmark the first three options.

Look at the box that says "Look in" and be sure to have that pointed to your hard drive. If you have more than one hard drive you can either check each on individually or just have it do a mass search on "My computer"

Click on <when was it modified> then choose your option. If you have specific dates in mind, input those dates and click on "accessed date" or "created date" .

Depending on the size of your hard drive it may take quite some time. It will show files that have been deleted. You won't be able to access them but the file names can be pretty descriptive.

Also, h may be slick but it is also possible that he forgot about the trashbin.


Active Member
You have daughters who could be vulnerable. This COULD justify spying on computer use in the family, but you need to really think through your options and the consequences of following each option.

My husband - I know he trawls through some odd stuff at times, but he talks to me about it. Sometimes he has to because of aspects of his job, but while he mightn't go into details (which he finds distasteful) he still is open about it.

If you think your husband is viewing porn - be aware, it's a bloke thing. Males are generally testosterone-driven and viewing porn is just something most of them do. It generally has little bearing on your relationship with them. But if he knows it bothers you, then he will try to hide it. You can choose to accept that he views porn (and ask him to view it with you, if you can stand it - then make sure you get to view YOUR stuff, in HIS presence) or accept that he will continue to do what men tend to do, but keep it secret from you so as to not upset you.

In the same way I would buy condoms for my kids in the supermarket while they were with me (nothing so off-putting about teenage sex, than having mum supply your condoms!) I also used to buy porn mags for husband. And yes, some of them DO have good articles. But I also read a lot of articles about female exploitation and made difficult child 1 read them when HE began reading porn in his teens. Looking up "dead porn stars" in Google is quite an education. It's very hard to like porn after such a reality check.

But blokes WILL fantasise. They are not merely women with deep voices. Their brains work differently, their hormones work differently and they DO have their uses for us women. But you can't make men THINK like women. Women tend to think laterally, in spirals ono the way to the main target of the thought. Men tend to think in straight lines. You do get some overlap - men and women capable of thinking like the opposite sex - but they are the exception rather than the rule.

Your husband may be up to no good, or he may be getting some illicit fun. You can choose to confront him about it, ask him what he's up to. Only you know how he'll respond. He may say, "Don't be silly! Nothing's up!" and from that point on, be far more careful about hiding his tracks, and put up even bigger barriers with you. or he may 'fess up and admit what he's been doing - if it's porn-viewing, I wouldn't get too mad apart from the crud it's flooding you with as a result. Teach him about safe viewing habits, same as you have to teach your girls.
But I would point out - think about the daughters. What if he were viewing porn and saw THEIR pictures? Not good. And what if they view the pop-ups you're getting? "Hmm, here's an ad on how to make lots of money, AND break into films - let's email off a headshot, sis!"

He may be visiting chat rooms, pretending to be a virile young thirty-something. Harmless fun, right? he might think. But it's very bad to be deceitful, even online, because at the other end is someone very vulnerable who could turn very nasty. And it sounds like he's NOT good at covering his tracks. Hire a DVD of "Fatal Attraction" with Glenn Close & Michael Douglas. Make him sit with you and watch it, for a romantic evening in.

Whatever you choose to do, you must be prepared to live with the results. But viewing porn, fantasising about sex with Catherine Zeta-Jones - don't kill him for it. And don't blame 'the other woman' either.

My recommendation - sort it out with him. But not if you can't handle it.



New Member
sorry to hear that he has given you cause to be suspicious.

i have no tech stuff to offer but i was going to say ~~~ as others already have ~~~ you need to have a plan in place for the *if he* is surfing where you think he is. will you confront him....will you ask him to participate in counselling? leave? think this through before you make any moves.



Active Member
I talked to my husband about this, asked him his opinion. He was thinking in different ways. He said that he (my husband) will often click away a page as I enter the room because at first he's not sure it's me, and it could be difficult child 3 (who shouldn't see some of the things husband digs up). The problem with this theory, I said, is the rubbish you're beginning to get, Then husband asked if it's possible that your girls are sneaking in to use the computer to access stuff like chat rooms. A lot of stuff the kids like to access will also lead right to the wrong sort of garbage landing in your computer.

If you think your girls could be part of the problem, then you could track them. But be aware, you will catch EVERYONE who is using the computer. Including your husband.

My husband also suggested - don't get the spyware that takes a snapshot of the screen, because each snapshot is a large graphic and it will quickly load up your computer and slow it down noticeably. You need to have a lot of space and a fast computer, plus check it VERY often, to sneak this one past.

Other spyware that husband suggested - you would need to set it up with a password for every family member. They would know you're doing something, if you do this, but it would also help you identify who it is that is deleting the history and cookies. It may not be husband. Or, it may not be ONLY husband. But whoever it is, they would probably become more cautious as a result.

There is a way to sneakily check - a key logger would do it, but without individual accounts (which would require their knowledge and cooperation) you would have to do some guessing as to who was home at the time to have access, sort of thing. But if you're a smart cookie, a key logger can show you individual patterns in key strokes, passwords, spelling errors and corrections, that sort of personal idiosyncrasy. husband set a trap for someone illegally using his work computer, and coincidentally discovered a few things about his co-worker (who also had use of the same computer) that he had to keep quiet. Yes, he got the bad guy too.

I know that when we've been thinking about what your husband may be up to, we've all been thinking "SEX!" but my husband suggested it could be gambling. It could be lots of things. Could he be planning a second honeymoon as a surprise? Mind you, the gambling would worry me far more than just about ANY sex. It's a lot harder to lose the house if he's just looking for sex.

Whatever you choose to do, think about it carefully and decide how you will handle any information you find. Also, you know your husband best, but where possible I always try to work with as much communication as possible. Who knows? If you talk to him and he's up to something, he may wake up to himself and stop. Or he might continue, but be more cautious. From the sound of things, he's not cautious enough now, for increased caution to make his actions undetectable if you try talking first then think you have to spy deeper.
Or husband may not be the only member of the household using the computer in this way.

You could instal a spy camera where it can videotape the computer screen, as well as who's using it. Be aware that a computer screen wouldn't show up too well on video (lines flashing across it on the tape) if it's out of sync. You could get a broad idea though, especially if there's sound. Don't run it off the computer though, and don't have the recorder unit itself in the same room (so the VCR drive motor won't be heard). Just record it to tape, check your tapes on fast forward for the periods of concern, then make further decisions. It may be the simplest option. But can you cope with your findings?

I might have to stop discussing this now, I think my husband is starting to get nervous! (just kidding; actually, I suspect I'm giving HIM ideas!)



Active Member
Thanks all for the support. I am still sorting things out. I guess I should sit down with him and talk. But I know he will deny, but it may keep him from doing it again. I guess I have to know for me....


Active Member
I am very sad for you too. I have a big problem with men who have porn addictions. perhaps it was one time of curiousity for your spouse. I would discuss it with him and let him know about the popups. tell him you are going to install NETNANNY for him if he continues to act so juvenile.


Active Member
Perhaps just installing a program like Netnanny on the computer that would prevent any of those sites altogether might be a wise idea, rather than running a rather large spy program to spy on your husband. Sit down and talk with him. Perhaps it's not as bad as you think and he's just curious, but he's embarrassed. If he denies it, he denies it. Tell him you are putting it on the computer anyway, especially because you don't want the kids on to fall across anything like that.


Former desparate mom
I'm not sure I understand. He is an adult over 21 who is not doing anything illegal. You want to get netnanny for your husband? Spying on him is just as much a betrayal of trust as you find the fact that he may be surfing for porn(at least that's what I'm getting) Or do you think he is looking to hook up with someone other than his wife?
What is the real issue here? Are you upset and want to censor what he is reading or is this a sign that there are troubles in the relationship?
I don't believe it is my right or job to babysit any adult including my full grown son. I do have a right to a relationship that is healthy and honest.
Maybe a conversation is in order. If the statistics are to be believed surfing the net for X rated sites is pretty much a normal occurance in most households. It's just not talked about at least as far as I know.
I don't find it that upsetting but again, I'm not sure exactly if we are talking about the same things.


Active Member
I personnally believe that porn distorts a mans perception of women and cheepens his relationships. I would be very hurt if husband was looking at porn. My husband also believes it is wrong to look at, and would be going against his own beliefs of right and wrong if he viewed porn. I realize that not everyone here agrees with me. Spying on a husband isn't good, but what options are there if you believe as I do and the realationship is already damaged enough that you don't believe husband will tell you the truth. I guess an option is having a talk with him and in that talk both of you look up the history. Then I think counseling is a good idea because the relationship is already damaged to the point of not trusting each other, no matter if you find porn or not. Good luck

hearts and roses

Mind Reader
If either spouse is engaging in a behavior that is upsetting and/or damaging to the relationship, it needs to be addressed.

If a spouse one days decides to start looking at porn, it CAN be an indicator that there are underlying issues that need to be looked at closely, for instance, control issues, lack of intimacy (emotional and physical), alcohol or drug abuse, and various other reasons. If, however, a spouse has been using and hiding porn for years, or if thier is a great decline in sex with thier partner, then it's probably an addiction. Porn and m.a.s.t.u.r.b.a.t.i.o.n often can replace the physical intimacy in a relationship and this hurts a partner, whether they are or were accepting of porn prior to the discovery or not.

Yes, I know, some of you may be screaming about that deduction, however, porn addiction has become quite a problem since the boom of the internet...there are no ways of controlling it, access is rampant, young men and boys are using it at much younger ages and it has been proven to distort the meaning of a concensual, adult, mutually satisfying and loving sexual relationship; it's been proven to skew the way in which men view women and thier place in our society.

Because most porn is single user only...there is a loss of that mutually satisfying emotional intimacy that two people share together. If that is the basis for a young man/boys experience with sex, or sexual gratification, it can and often does lead to intimacy problems with future real actual human beings.

If a couple mutually agrees to use porn as a means of stimulation within thier relationship, it's fine. But if one is using and hiding it from his/her partner, then it's an issue, ESPECIALLY if the partner is not happy about it. Some people, most spouses, feel betrayed when they learn thier spouse has been using porn; some feel like it's cheating or diminishes the specialness of the existing marriage or relationship.

There is no right or wrong reaction here. If it is bothering Beth, then it needs to be addressed and dealt with in whatever means she sees fit - and the outcome needs to be mutually satisfying to both Beth and her H. If he placates her and then becomes better at hiding the porn, she will inevitably make another discovery and be back at square one. If she feels so strongly against it, she cannot simply flip a switch in her heart and head and make those feelings go away - it is her core reaction that she needs to examine.

Beth, talk to your H. Get to the bottom of this and then make a decision about what you want to do. Can you live with this in your life or can't you? Is H willing to give it up in order to stay married to you?

If you try to spy on him over this, you are micromanaging him and his private time. It is a breach of trust for him to go behind your back and seek this out if he knows you don't want him to. However, it is a breach of trust for you to spy on him. If he promises you that he won't do it again, then you have to trust that he won't and move forward (and he can get some support for this change through counseling). If he proves to be a liar, then you have the opportunity to revisit your options once again.

Best of luck and many many gentle hugs to your hurting heart. Do not let anyone tell you you're over reacting or judging too harshly - to do that would be to deny your own feelings.