I write here with the heaviest of hearts. I didn’t get married believing that my husband would cheat on me. I didn’t promise to love him forever knowing that 18 months later we would be here, fighting like our lives depend on it, for our life together to remain together. My husband had a 5.5 month emotional affair with a co worker.
A boss of his department in a job he can’t leave (lots of financial implications and problems). I never thought I would be someone who was hurt by texts and emails as much as physical sex but despite knowing my husband and her never consummated their relationship I was devastated.
We had been having marital problems. My husbands mental health was poor but he was digging his heels in about seeking help. We were arguing a lot. I had reevaluated what was important to me and read tonnes about getting a relationship back on track and I was trying my best to engage him in our relationship, our sex life, our world again and he was shutting me out. I blindly believed we would come through it eventually though because we loved each other.
The Way I Found Out.
Discovery Day One. 28.5.18
I will never ever forget the day. Bank Holiday Monday. We walked our dog in my fav place in the morning, a beautiful huge park which makes you feel you are in the countryside when you’re actually in the city. We had dim sum for lunch in a great restaurant. Then we went home and we were hanging out.
Two days before, the Saturday, my husband had been drunk and I had been working a 12.5 hour nursing shift. We had fought about it. I don’t like drunk men, triggered whatever. I went to work again on the Sunday and did another 12.5 hour shift, during that shift I talked to colleagues about how I had probably over reacted and needed to get over my trigger. I spoke to my husband on the way home and we made up.
He went upstairs to the bathroom leaving his phone on the side, I noticed a text come up from my sons football coach and picked it up to read. For a number of reasons, mostly my feelings of quiet paranoia about his friendship with his colleague, I checked the rest of his Whats app. Not a single message from her. Not even a thread. All deleted. That immediately peaked my interest. Just a couple of months before I had told him that seeing her name flash up his phone again and again every night was making me upset. “She’s a friend he said, she’s going through a tough divorce, I’m helping her, I’ll dial it back though.” I remember that conversation so clearly too. I told him I was sorry for being paranoid and he hugged me.
I backed out of Whatsapp and noticed another app. Viber.
Viber, for the uneducated about apps which help you cheat, self deletes messages after a certain period of time, you set that period of time. Then I saw the last 4 messages that had been exchanged between them.
I should be working (mind mapping) but all I can think about is you.
You wish you could map my body
LOL, I love you
I love you
I had to read it three times. My husband is often affectionate towards female friends and has several close female friendships none of which I have ever felt concern about, so it didn’t immediately hit me what I was reading. Then I read it again and again. Suddenly I couldn’t breathe.
He was still upstairs, so I staggered up, unable to breathe and waiting in our bedroom to speak to him. Thats when all hell broke loose. I asked him to read me the messages. He refused. He said he knew what they said. I screamed. He shouted. I don’t even remember what was said now other than he tried to claim that that was the first time they had spoken like that and it was as a result of the fight that he and I had had a couple of days earlier. I left the house, barefoot and drove down the road when I had to stop and vomit. I couldn’t stop shaking. Adrenaline surged. I texted him that he could tell me what he did to my face.
I came home we argued some more. I decided to go to my family 300 miles away the next day. I was grateful my son was away, I would pick him up en route and get away.
We decided whilst I was away to try again. To reconcile and try and rebuild our marriage. Through a flurry of texts and calls we committed to try. One rule – no contact which is not of a professional and absolutely necessary nature.
Discovery Day Two. 17.6.18.
Then 3 weeks later from DDay1 happened. The night before we had been on a date, bars, cocktails and precious time together. However it hadn’t been all roses. I felt like I was trying to hard the whole night. Like he wasn’t really with me, that he wasn’t really interested, it was not the flirty, reigniting night I had really thought it would be. We had been having sex a lot at this point, hysterical bonding it’s called, and I was desperate. Desperate for our marriage to work out. I was humiliated and stubborn and keen not to let this go. I deceived myself as well. The next morning, huddled on the sofa, feeling raw and desperate, I told him I was ready to put on my wedding rings and commit to our marriage going forward. I told him that was terrifying. That I was scared to death of being hurt this way again. He held me and comforted me through this.
That afternoon he sent her an email telling her that he was worried about her. I caught her reply for a split second before it was deleted. It flashed up on his phone which I was using to call my, at the time lost, phone. I asked him why she was sending him a message which said it was so good to hear from him. He said he had emailed her about meetings and thats what she replied. He didn’t understand it and deleted in a panic. I told him it was bullshit. Became hysterical. He told me it wasn’t. I challenged him to prove it, have her forward the thread back to him. He did and as it arrived confessed that she had been upset on Friday and he wanted to know why.
You can probably imagine my reaction. I took my son to my father in laws across the street and we had it out. Again. I packed a bag. He begged me not to leave. It was a one off. Habit. I’m sorry.
In the end he agreed to leave, I realised I genuinely had no place to go. My son needed to be at school. I needed to work (no work no pay) and all family were 300 miles away. No friends that could put us up for an unknown length of time. He went to his mum and I told him to go away, think about what it is he really wants in life and meet me later in the week.
For that week I could barely get out of bed. Eat. Function. I lost 10lbs in 10 days. In the two month period between DDay1 and DDay3 I lost 20lbs in total. He frequently told me when I was texting him that he was busy, that he was thinking, that he was writing things down and trying to sort his life out. He wrote a pro and con list. That was the consideration he gave it over four days.
When I met him on the Thursday he told me he had considered everything and felt it was better if he was alone. He did this on the lawn outside of his workplace. She was inside, still working, her colleague saw us (who knew of the affair and had actually encouraged it) and told her what was happening. I lost it. I felt my whole life slip through my fingers. I raged at him, told him how pathetic he was, how hurt I was, and at every opportunity he walked away from me and I pulled him back so he could hear more. So he could listen and hear what he had done.
I got back home and we spoke some more. He left again. I told him to think carefully and he asked that he could come back the next afternoon and speak to me again. I expected more of the same self pitying drivel the next day.
Discovery Day Three. 22.6.18.
That morning, the day after he spent hours dumping me and telling me that his emotional connection with her was far greater than that with me he woke up and went to work. I hadn’t slept and I had a job interview. We decided he wouldn’t come over to talk to me until after that interview.
He tells me that that morning he woke up, he thought about it, he decided he needed to end his affair and he wanted to come home.
He came home and he says, I have no way to evidence this as he deleted all the evidence, that he told me the whole truth. That over the past week she and he had been chatting it up a storm, that there had been romantic conversations, I love yous, and she had referred to him as “mine”. That he had looked up if it had been against company policy (and she had got angry about it in case someone saw he looked at that file), and that he had considered being with her.
There was more, I can’t remember it all. He said he wanted to come home. To be a family again.
He went out then with his dad on a pre planned night out and left his phone with me. I went through it with a fine toothed comb and what came to light is that very obviously the relationship had never stopped between DDay 1 and 2. He admitted already it didn’t between DDay 2 and 3. I messaged him (he had my phone for contact purposes). He lied again and again.
Eventually I found out I was right. It had never ended. We decided again that we would try. This time our friends, family and everyone knew. I had support so did he.
Discovery Day Four. 14.8.18.
This one was different. The relationship really had ended, I had numerous confirmations of this from her actions, his behaviour, messages from her and various things about him that changed. Total transparency across his phones (work and home) and computers. What I was getting though was a drip drip drip of information, little things would leak here and there, little nuggets of what they had done, said and what had happened, when it happened, how it happened. The list goes on. Every time I learnt something new the clock on my hurt reset.
About three weeks or so after DD3 I told him that I was struggling and didn’t really feel that he was engaging in recovery work, not really, he was trying, he was transparent but still I didn’t feel he fully “got it”. The lingering thoughts of “I didn’t sleep with her” attitude were there. I asked him to start watching a series of youtube videos about affair recovery which I had found useful. There were ones aimed at him and me and both of us. It was like a bulb went off above his head.
We sat down at the park one day and he pledged to disclose everything and allowed me to ask questions for two hours. What was the sexting about? Did it end when I believe it ended? Did you masturbate over her? when? was I in the house? How could you lie to my face? Do you love her? Do you miss her?
The list was long. He answered every question.
From there on there has been real transparency. Any question I’ve asked he’s answered. I feel like its honest although can’t commit to that wholly yet. There have been mistakes but they are quicker to recover from. There have been whole days when all I can think about is what he’s done and I can’t stand to be around him for what he’s done. Other days I can’t imagine life without him. He’s finally, appeared to at least, learnt the meaning of responsibility and owning the shit you do wrong and that is reassuring.
He made mistakes. He couldn’t remember everything and they came out down the line and caused immense distress but I was able to move on for knowing everything.