Hurdle #1–Lies, Lies, Lies

When you catch your spouse in an affair, you find that they’ve been leading a secret second life.  This is quite unnerving, because suddenly you question everything about the person you pledged your life to.  That pledged their life to you.  To honor and cherish.  Suddenly, you’re married to a liar.

Husband is no exception.  This has been one of my biggest hurdles, because I always had a great deal of respect for him.  He had always been a very good man, described as “the last of the great family men” by friends.  I would even say that he could be quite judgemental of men who would do things to hurt the women in their lives.  I never saw it as a flaw; just as a sign of great morals.  Maybe it became too lonely up on that pedestal. 

Is there anything more embarrassing than seeing someone you love fumbling over lies when you know the truth?  Perhaps believing what they tell you, only to find out later you shouldn’t have.  I’ve experienced both.  There were the instant, trying-to-save-his-ass lies.  Of course our son didn’t see what he thought he did–his father texting another woman that he loves her.  No, he hadn’t been texting Evil Bitch since I asked him to stop.  Mmm Hmm.  When I asked if there were any pictures sent, he first told me that there were only a couple that she sent of his bestie’s kids at the park.  But even though EB and Bestie had broken up, they were still texting back-and-forth, and he was forwarding her texts on to me.  According to her (and the records), there were lots of pictures sent.  She even went on to say that “some were meant to be flirty and suggestive.”  Suddenly, Husband’s answer changed.  He admitted that they had been sending photos, and she sent one to him of her open legs.  I’ve been told more lies than I could ever count.  Husband lied to me and everyone around him every day for six months.

So, what do you do when you’ve been lied to so much?  You can’t go it alone for the marriage to survive.  You must demand total honesty and transparency.  That’s just what I did.  I made it clear that if I caught Husband in any more lies, the kids and I were out the door.  Do I know for sure that he still doesn’t have some sort of relationship with EB or anyone else?  Of course not.  But, I do have the knowledge that he has shown me when she sent him an e-mail at work.  I know that he has also shown me when she changed her account name on Facebook and sent him a friend request. I know that he deleted his personal e-mail account in front of me. I know that we are paying five extra dollars a month on his cellphone bill, because he immediately had her number blocked from his account.  And I know that I now have passwords to every account, other than his work e-mail (for security reasons).

Not trusting your spouse is very difficult.  This isn’t the same marriage that I loved so much for 14 years, but this also isn’t the same husband that I loved so much for 14 years.  Things change.  People change.  You have to adapt to make it work.  With some time, and Husband’s continued honesty, I plan on making it over this hurdle.  Besides, the truth always comes out eventually.  If there’s anything more that I don’t know, I will.

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That’s a novel, not a phone record!

The day after kicking Husband out, I decided to look at our cellphone account.  It was shocking, to say the least.  At first, it didn’t look that bad.  A handful of texts to and from Evil Bitch.  I could get past that.  Then, I looked back further.

In six months time, there were approximately 3,000 texts.  3,000!  That’s a novel, not a phone record!  I have done the math; it averages out to about 16 texts a day.  I looked at one month where he and I had 232 texts.  He and EB had 859.  Ouch.

While the initial shock still soaked through me, I started looking at individual dates and times.  It took my breath away.  On Halloween, I stayed home to pass out candy, while Husband walked our son through the neighborhood.  He texted her the whole time.  Around Christmas, my daughter was dancing in a ballet.  I wasn’t feeling well, but always took her to rehearsals so that Husband wouldn’t have to after a long day at work.  While I sat in a dark theater, he was home, texting her.  Because I was still so nauseous from the toxicity issue, I spent most nights on the couch next to a bucket.  Meanwhile, he laid in our bed texting her.  He texted her in the mornings on the way to work, and in the afternoons on his way home.  He texted her through the day from work.  Husband has been very unhappy with his current job, so last fall, he interviewed with a company five hours away.  He texted her while he was driving there, and the entire time he was gone.  In November, Husband had to leave the country for a week for his job.  The day he left, we texted back and forth while he waited to board his plane.  We texted 18 times.  He and EB?  77 times.  Again, ouch.  Last March, Husband spent the night at my parents’ home a couple hours away.  My mom told me he pretty much ignored them, and sat in a chair texting all night.  You get the idea of who was important to him.

The funny thing is that Husband truly didn’t seem to think he and EB texted all that much.  So, what’s a wife to do?  I’ll tell you exactly what she does:  she prints out the damn phone records.  I printed them out, clipped them together and handed Husband the one inch stack of papers.  He honestly did seem as shocked as I first was.  He thumbed through them, all the while looking down, shaking his head and telling me he had no idea it had been that much.  I’ll bet that denial felt good while it lasted!

Now, keep in mind–this was only TEXTING.  There were photos sent.  Husband also had a personal e-mail account and a work e-mail account.  There were Facebook messages until he closed his account halfway through their relationship.  At least there were no celllphone calls made.  He told me they never met up, nor have they ever called one another.  I guess that would’ve been crossing a line?

Looking back, I’m a little angry with myself.  Before it all came out, I KNEW something was wrong.  I truly suspected Husband and EB were still texting, even though he told me that they weren’t anymore.  It had even crossed my mind that they may be meeting up.  I turned away.  I didn’t want to believe it, or have to address it.  It seemed messy, and I didn’t want to come across as the jealous wife.  I wish I had the ovaries to put an end to it long before I did.  I wish I would’ve told him from the beginning that it was inappropriate, and that I wouldn’t stand for it.  Lesson learned:  if I am ever again faced with being uncomfortable with a relationship my husband is in, I WILL speak up.  Loudly!  And it doesn’t hurt to have passwords to all accounts either.

How It Started…

So, once upon a time I had it all.  In 1997 I married my best friend.  We were the “perfect” couple.  The kind people make fun of, because we never had an unkind thing to say about each other. The kind that other marrying couples say they plan on modeling their marriage after.  The kind that do everything together.  The kind that suffers from infidelity.  Wait, what?

All was well.  I was enjoying my life.  I worked part-time at a preschool, took great pride in my home and family and was head-over-heels in love with my husband.  Then, I got sick.  It changed everything.  I was dealing with a toxicity issue, where my body was essentially poisoned.  I was deathly ill, and wasn’t sure that I’d survive it.  Details will eventually follow, so I won’t spend a lot of time on this right now, but needless to say, it took a toll on my family.  Definitely on my marriage.  As I dove into research, doctor appointments and support groups, my husband dove into a new relationship of his own.

I like to call her EB.  It stands for Evil Bitch.  I’ll just use “Husband” for the man in my life that promised to forsake all others (not that I’m bitter).  EB was dating Husband’s best friend.  At first, we all really liked her.  She came to my son’s football game.  I loaned her my hockey jersey to wear to a game.  EB and Husband’s bestie lived two hours away, so we didn’t have much contact with them.  Or so I thought.  I knew that Husband and EB were texting a little.  It didn’t bother me.  Husband is very shy and had never given me any reason to believe he’d ever be unfaithful.  I looked the other way.

Then, Husband’s bestie and EB started having problems.  Husband began telling me little bits of information.  He always told me her side of the story.  He started telling me how he was losing respect for his bestie, because he was hurting EB so badly.  How his bestie was making up lies about her.  Hmmm.  Yes, definitely suspicious.  He told me that his bestie asked for him and me to defriend her on Facebook.  I told Husband that I saw no problem in that.  After all, she’d barely entered our lives.  Bestie was there from our first date.  I knew where my loyalty belonged.  Husband just took down his whole Facebook site.  He told me that his bestie was concerned about his texting with EB.  I told him I agreed.  That it was getting uncomfortable, I wanted it to stop and he could tell her that his wife was done with it.  He told me that it wouldn’t be fair to place blame on me.  I told him I didn’t care what she thinks of me; just that the texting stop.  He assured me he barely texted her, and it wouldn’t in the future.  No worries, right?

A few months later, Husband took my son to a hockey game to celebrate his 10th birthday.  Two days later, my son came to me crying.  He said he saw his father texting someone through the game.  He saw the phone once, and read, “I love you”.  He even gave me the initials of who it was.  Well, there you have it.

Of course, at first Husband tried to deny everything.  He basically called our son a liar.  To his face.  “He didn’t see what he thinks he did”.  I looked Husband in the eye and asked if there was anything he wanted to tell me.  He said, “No”.  So, I sat on it for a couple of days.  And then, I asked for the password to our cellphone account.  He fumbled over it for a day, then finally gave it to me with a letter.

The letter explained that he and EB hit it off “like siblings” and he had been texting her more than I knew about.  He said that he’s had such a difficult time with my illness, and he needed someone he could talk to that wouldn’t judge him.  That that’s all their relationship was about, it never became physical and he only wanted to be with me.  I made him leave, and he spent two nights in a motel.

I decided to let him come home, though I wasn’t sure there would be much hope for us.  Truthfully, I felt he was suicidal and I was scared that if I didn’t invite him back, he’d be dead.  Turns out my huntch was right.  He admitted later to me that he almost did himself in with booze and pills.

This is somewhat where we are now, almost six months later.  Husband is home.  Some days I can’t stand to even look at him.  Other times, I’m almost in love again.  I know our marriage will never be the same, but maybe we can still have a good one somehow.  I’m hoping that writing about it will help.  We shall see…