Hurdle #3–Why?!?

When you are faced with the knowledge that your spouse had an affair, one question is always in the front of your mind:  WHY?  You dissect all the information you are given, you play back your interactions with your spouse during the affair, and it’s still there in your head.  Why, why, why?  How could he do this to me?  To our family?  And often, as in my case, your partner will look you in the eye and tell you, “I don’t know.”  After many months of discussion, I began to realize that Husband was just as dumbfounded as I was.

Of course, there were some reasons that our house was a bit more stressful than usual before the affair.  To begin with, Husband was having a difficult time dealing with my illness.  Truthfully, my health consumed me.  I tried to include him in all the research and doctor’s appointments, but he seemed uninterested.  He pulled away, because it was too overwhelming.  In turn, I pulled away because I thought he was tired of it all.  Instead, I became involved in support groups and hid a lot of what I was going through from him.  I thought I was making him not have to worry so much.  I thought I was protecting him.  Money was (and still is) a big issue.  We’ve always “just gotten by”.  Suddenly, I had to leave my job and the medical bills were piling up.  We didn’t have enough to pay them, and sometimes he’d slam them down.  Along the same line, Husband has a job that he hates.  With a passion.  He has put energy into finding a new job, but we’re all well aware of today’s economy.  Needless to say, finding something new that would pay enough to warrant a move hasn’t been easy.  Put these issues with kids, dogs, the house, and life, and yes…it was a little stressful and depressing in our home.  Does this excuse an affair?  No.

The truth is, that Husband formed a relationship outside of our marriage for the same reason I imagine most affairs start:  it felt good.  Have a wife who is too involved in her own health?  Complain about it to the other woman.  No sex life?  The other woman will sympathize.  Feeling not so great about what you offer the world?  The other woman thinks you’re incredible.  She understands.  She always understands.  With her, you are young and invincible.  With her, you are charming and witty.  She hasn’t heard all your stories yet, but she’s dying to.  She’s dying to know your views on politics, music, art, child-rearing, careers…she wants it all.  And you want to be the person for her to bare her soul to.  It makes you feel special and important.  You are flirtatious, and it feels good to be desired so much.  You have an emotional bond with this other person, and you fall in love.  And there it is.  Friendship turns into love.

Husband has a very difficult time with this.  At first, I heard a lot about my illness.  Then I reminded him that he was putting the blame on me, over a situation I had no control over.  He said it was hard on him to not be able to fix me.  I reminded him that if he was really so concerned about me getting better, he would’ve put effort into research instead of doing something that hurt me MORE than being sick.  He said he needed advice on how to deal with the illness.  I reminded him that he has yet to tell me one thing she advised him about.  She wasn’t telling him to talk to my doctors; she was helping him focus on what a raw deal he got by having a sick wife.  Now, Husband realizes that in fact, his affair was all about feeding his ego.  It makes him feel like crap to know he put his family on the line for such a selfish reason, but he sees it.

Friendship turned into love.  It’s a very dangerous game.  We would all like to think there’s no harm in having friends of the opposite sex, but it’s playing with fire.  Am I suggesting that you can’t speak with anybody of the opposite sex?  No, but I am suggesting that you steer clear of anything intimate or emotional.  An example:  right after everything came out, I was speaking with a dear friend on the phone about it.  She kept telling me how Husband was just caught up in a serious friendship, and I needed to let it go.  She told me how she has had a male friend for a long, long time and they have always been “just friends”.  He lost his wife over his relationship with my friend.  Then, he lost his new girlfriend for the same reason.  He finally talked his wife into coming back, but decided this time it would be safer to keep his “friendship” with my friend a secret.  They just couldn’t see what was wrong with being so intimate with each other…after all, they hadn’t had sex!  She lives in another state, so what’s the problem?  I heard from my friend last night.  After years of being “just friends” with him, she is now moving.  To his state.  Into his house.  Wasn’t this the same woman who told me I was overreacting?!?  There is no doubt in my mind that Husband’s relationship with EB would’ve eventually become physical.  They were too invested in each other.  My daughter once told me that the way she sees it, God gave us a gift in this coming out before it was so far gone that we had no choice but to leave.  That’s one hell of a smart 13 year old.  And I’ll bet once she finds her Prince Charming, she will be very careful about inviting friends of the opposite sex into her marriage.  Let’s hope her husband will be too.

So, after six months of why, why, why, I am beginning to feel myself letting this go.  I know why.  Husband knows why.  If it didn’t feel so damned good, he wouldn’t have ever put us through this.  He got carried away in a game, just as he probably did a million times as a kid.  He thought he could win and have it all.  And then he had to learn the agonizing truth…that he is a man, and the stakes are much higher than pretend monies.  Hopefully, both of us can forget the question, but always remember the answer, so we can protect our marriage from ever going through this again.

Is EB Truly Evil?

By now, you know that my name for the other woman in my husband’s life is Evil Bitch.  You may think I’m bitter.  Resentful.  Even hateful.  And you’d be right on all counts.  I assure you, however, that there truly are terrible, awful people walking among us.  EB is one of them.

She comes off as being very smart and witty.  The kind of woman that’s sexy, flirtatious and a little sassy.  The type that men are naturally drawn to.  When she was dating Husband’s best friend, we really liked her.  She had been texting with Husband, and at first I wasn’t threatened at all.  He would tell me funny things they’d say back and forth.  It was amusing.  I enjoyed her sharp wit.  Yep, I LIKED her.  Within a few months, however, this sexy little thing had turned many lives upside-down.  The honeymoon was over.

When EB and Husband’s best friend starting having problems, he came to Husband with it.  He told him that he was catching EB in lies.  One night, while he was at work, EB texted him that she was home.  The next morning, her daughter told him she wasn’t.  She told Bestie she hadn’t seen her ex-boyfriend, but a quick look on Facebook told a different story.  Bestie told Husband that he was suspicious.  If she’d go outside with her phone for a cigarette, she wouldn’t want Bestie to come.  She was very secretive with her phone.  Bestie told Husband that he was feeling unimportant.  EB would constantly tell him about all the men that wanted her, and she would deny him sex.  He told Husband that he couldn’t trust her, and she was bad news.  So, what was Husband’s response?  He chose to disregard his best friend.  He decided that since Bestie’s ex-wife had cheated on him, he was just really “messed up”.  He believed EB when she’d tell him his best friend was making up lies about her.  Nevermind that he was Best Man at our wedding, and had never given us a reason to doubt him in 20+ years.  Husband was in too deep with his feelings for her.  He believed she could do no wrong.

It didn’t take too long before Bestie figured out that Husband was going to EB with private information about him.  Once they broke up, she somehow knew things that he hadn’t told her, like when and where he was moving to.  He wanted to break away from her, and she was using Husband as an informant.  A role he happily took on.  It made him feel special.  Eventually, Bestie stopped sharing information with Husband.  Once all was revealed, he began sharing information with me.

Though they had broken up, Bestie and EB were still texting.  What EB didn’t know, was that after Husband got caught, Bestie was forwarding her texts on to me.  This was when I began to see how manipulative and evil she truly is.  There were many texts about Husband.  She was furious that I had put an end to their relationship.  She thought the only reason they were no longer “friends” was because his horrible wife now had him under lock and key.  She told Bestie that Husband was weak and naive, and she could get him to do anything she wanted.  She told him that if Husband and I don’t work out, he’ll want to be with her.  She was beyond pissed that Husband had her number blocked from his cellphone.  And, one day when she wrote an e-mail to Husband at work, telling him how much she missed him, I wrote her back telling her to leave us alone.  Her response?  “I knew that you’d read it.  As long as he did too, that’s all that matters.”  There were also so many texts to Bestie, trying to play with his emotions.  Telling him how much his kids will miss her.  Telling him how much her kids miss him.  Telling him if he didn’t come see her and pick up his things, she would throw them out with the trash.  Her car was broken, and she didn’t trust anyone else to know where she lived, so couldn’t he please pick her up and take her home?  She’s outside his house, and he needs to let her in.  She feels like hanging herself, etc., etc.  He would ignore her for awhile, then break down and text her that he wanted nothing more to do with her.  That would send her into a frenzy of anger and obsenities.

Eventually, EB wrote to Bestie’s ex-wife.  He never told me what it said, but I imagine it wasn’t too friendly.  Then, once Bestie began dating another woman, EB found out who and started writing to her.  She would tell her that Bestie destroyed her, then go on to say that she is still sleeping with him.  She told her about things in Bestie’s new apartment.  Come to find out, she was using photos he’d post on Instagram and use the background details to help her story.  EB was on a mission:  to destroy everyone involved.  If she was unhappy, she was going to try her damndest to make sure everyone else would be unhappy too.

So, how does one get rid of the evil bitch in their life?  It took some trial and error.  We’d block her from one aspect of our lives, and she’d find another way to communicate.  So, we ALL blocked her in every way we could.  This includes Facebook, e-mail accounts and phones.  Bestie closed his Instagram and Four Square accounts.  We blocked our daughter’s accounts, because I truly wouldn’t put it past her to write to her.  After everyone involved blocked her, we waited it out.

It’s been a month now since EB has contacted us.  I hate to say that I’d ever wish her on anybody else, but I’m happy that she has (hopefully) finally moved on to another group.  Is she truly evil?  Maybe not, but I think so.  Keep in mind, these are just a few examples.  She has harrassed, stalked and intended to do others emotional harm.  She uses people for her own gain.  And she does it in front of her children.  She has no character.  She is a tornado or chaos and drama, destroying all in her path.  And we just may have finally dove into a ditch where she can’t reach us.  Fingers crossed, anyhow!

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…