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Like many before, I'm a long time dweller, first time poster. I guess I just want to share my story, vent and see if anyone has something to add that I might have overlooked. I'm confident that I'll be called a beta, a rugsweeper, etc., but I can handle the criticism.

Both my wife and I are 38, she's 4 months older. We've been married for 15.5 years. She's gorgeous. I'm in shape and I guess I'm ok looking (lol) but I have confidence issues because I went bald at a young age.

We started dating when I was a senior in high school and she was a freshman in college. After dating for a couple years, we had a falling out and broke up. Our paths crossed again after being apart and we fell madly in love again. It was like we tested the waters and realized what we had. Soon after we got back together, bam - she was pregnant. My mother is Catholic, my father isn't very religious. Our families, particularly my mother, strongly encouraged me/us to get married. I was for it and figured that if we had gotten back together after being apart, we were clearly meant for each other. I was just finishing my bachelor's, we were fairly young and in the hustle and bustle, I perhaps made the biggest mistake ever... I didn't have a big, romantic marriage proposal. We got married and had our first boy, who is now 15.

Things seemed good for the first 5 to 7 years. I did, like many husbands it seems, take my wife for granted at times and maybe I didn't focus on our marriage as I should have. I was playing in a band, working 40 hours a week and hanging with my guy friends regularly. I would say I would do an "extra curricular" activity 3 times every 2 weeks. She had similar freedom to do things she wanted to do as well but I was gone more than she was. We also had another boy about 4 years after our first son was born. He's now 11. Both kids are incredible!

She started a new job. About 2 years into the new job (2008), I recall her telling me that this single guy from work had been texting her to ask her about a single female co-worker he was interested in. If I would have only known then what I know now after reading this forum... At the time, I didn't think much of it and I told her I appreciate her being up front about it. I was trying to be confident and show that I trusted her.

A few signs occurred between 2008 and August of 2011, when the crap hit the fan (aka d-day). Sometimes it just felt like something was off. One time she was out for a rare girl's night out and I saw pics of her without her wedding ring on. She said she wanted to wear a "fun" ring that didn't fit when the wedding ring was on. I told her that this wasn't ok; she apologized and said she didn't realize that it would offend me so much. Also, she was losing weight and looking great. I just figured she wanted to get back to her weight before having kids. In this time, our sex life was good in my opinion (2 to 3 times a week).

It was around May of 2011 when she told me that a co-worker who she was training asked her how her husband proposed. This co-worker was going to propose to his fiance. She cried on the way home that day. At this time, it seemed like she was becoming distant. I apologized and basically told her that I felt we both knew we were meant to be together, it was sort of a given, etc. This was like a slap in the face type of wake up call...

I'm typing this on my phone so I will post this and add more shortly.
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Discussion Starter #2
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention how she phrased it. "Why are we married? You didn't even propose to me."

Anyhow, this kind of sent me into a tailspin, downward spiral. I started losing confidence, getting depressed, looking for clues as to if there was someone else in her life that I wasn't aware of.

I basically told her that I was sorry for the past, if you don't want to be married to me, just let me know. She basically replied that she was a "big girl," and knew that already but she loved me, I was a good father, etc. Also, during a different conversation, I was talking about this sleazy guy at work who had a few affairs and actually had had sex with a few different ladies (some married) right at work. I sort of wanted her to know that I wasn't tolerant of that sort of behavior, it disgusts me, etc. She basically said "have I given you any indication that I've been unfaithful?" But she never came straight out and said those exact words I was hoping to hear.

More coming....
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So, around mid-summer of 2011, I really started digging. I checked out our cell account and I was a bit shaken. I saw this number that she would text. It would be like 5 texts back and fourth one day, then nothing for 3 days, then 90 in one day... Quite sporadic. I reverse searched the number and found out it was the guy from work that she had mentioned back in 2008! My mind was blown. I was sick to my stomach. But again, some times there would be no texts for a week then a few then nothing. It only went back 3 months.

Of course, the next thing I did was checked the phone itself. I found that his contact info/number was conveniently missing. Mind was just racing... So I then looked for texts, nothing. She obviously deleted them. I did find 4 draft texts that weren't sent:

1. Blank
2. Wtf
3. Sad
4. Sounds like someone needs to fu

Clearly, number 4 above concerned me. I tried to slice it and dice it every way I could. My wife can swear like a sailor at times, so it could have been something like "sounds like someone needs to f'ing grow up," or something like that.
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So, instead of doing what a smart person would do and gather evidence, I bottled it up for a couple days, looked at her call history, which went back 12 months. There were about 6 calls, nothing too crazy. There was a concert in town that I had gotten tickets for months prior. I went but couldn't enjoy it. I came home and told her I had a headache. I also asked if there was anything she wanted to talk about or if there were any problems in our relationship she wanted to discuss. She replied no but she was worried about me because I wasn't acting normal (definitely true).

The next day I was at work when I realized you can see up to the minute usage. There was a ton of texts the day before (about 90). I just couldn't handle it.

I drove home and said "we need to talk." Keep in mind, I had done zero TAM homework at this point!
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Sorry this is so long and broken up like this. My laptop is screwed up right now...

So I take her into our bedroom and ask, "do you know who's number this is" and I rattled off the number, which is now forever etched into my brain until the day I die. She replies questioning if it's a couple different girls from work. I just laid there looking at the ceiling. She knew that I knew. She told me it's this guy from work. He's an alcoholic. I give him dating advice and kind of live vicariously through that fantasy because we don't go on many dates, etc. He's depressed, this has only been going on for 6 months or so. Blah blah blah.
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So, trying to make this long story short, she told him at work that she can no longer be his shoulder to cry on, that they can no longer talk about personal issues, etc. i guess you would call it a "no contact letter," to a degree. She clearly knows that she hurt me, nothing physical happened, she loves me, she wants to work on the marriage and we should start going to a marriage counselor right away.

We went to around 6 sessions. In hindsight, we should have gone to a different counselor. I was so stupid! This counselor had the "don't play old tapes" approach. This was so convenient for my wife!
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I, not knowing any better, agreed with the counselor because "she's an expert," you know? While we were going for counseling, I tried digging up more info... Looking at bank/credit card info. I didn't find any "smoking gun" evidence. In my heart , secretly, I just found and still find it hard to believe nothing physical happened.

Something I forgot to mention. I've known this girl since I was 15. Back in the good old days her and her group of girlfriends hung out with my group of guy friends. So my good guy friends know my wife well, in a plutonic way only. I talked to two of my best friends about the issue in confidence. They both unconditionally said they understand my concern, but they both 100% think she would never do that to me. She truly is just that nice of a person and her boundaries weren't well established. She is sort of the "care taker" type of person...
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Due to the job market and per the advice of the "expert," I didn't force her to quit her job. She still works there to this day. The POSOM is either married or engaged (not like that matters).

I've never contacted him.

Going back in time and remembering other points, about a year after d-day, I quietly still waned to investigate the past. I put a free key logger on the pc and obtained her user name and password for both her email and fb account. In her email I saw her google search history. In 2008 she looked up "emotional affair versus friendship." Also, there was a time when she looked up a restaurant close to POSOM's b-day (july 2010) when I was out of town camping with my boys. I haven't asked her about that and frankly she could have easily been meeting two of her girlfriends in the town in question. Her cell location records do confirm that she didn't stay in that town and my mother in law was living with us at that time so there's no way she brought him to our house.

But, when I checked her fb in August 2011, I did find a deleted message to POSOM from March of 2012 (6 months after d-day). The message was basically saying she was angry with him because he had stated that she wasn't helping him (she plays a support role). This really pi$$ed me off because this was a violation of "no personal contact." She said she was sorry but clearly the message was angry in tone and she didn't want to tell me because it would only add stress to an already stressful situation. I told her this was not acceptable. She understood, etc. Here's where you guys rip me apart...
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I can relate to your frustration, since I still have a nagging thought that my wife might have physically cheated 3 1/2 years ago. It's hard to put the pieces together now. You've got some reasons to be concerned, but I don't know how you're going to get the truth.
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Bottom line... Basically, I feel like we rug swept issues. I feel like she has done much to prove she loves me. I didn't force her to quit her job. I feel like I'm screwed either way because I sort of agreed to put the whole thing past me when we were in counseling. If I press the issue she will again say that nothing physical happened. I guess that's the main problem! I feel like there is NO WAY an emotional affair could last 3 years without going physical!! If I find out it did, I would need to get out of this marriage. She insists nothing physical happened. Upon conducting my research, Ive never found smoking gun proof. Some days are good. Then I remember the past and I tell myself just to say screw it. Then I think about my kids... Uuuggghhh! This situation is just so frustrating!!!

Sorry for the crazy discombobulated post everyone!
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You have to accept that there is a reasonable probability that she has sex with the guy, but in fact, you are never, ever going to know for sure.
 

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I can relate to your frustration, since I still have a nagging thought that my wife might have physically cheated 3 1/2 years ago. It's hard to put the pieces together now. You've got some reasons to be concerned, but I don't know how you're going to get the truth.
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Wow Cubby, it's good to know I'm not the only one in this boat. I'll tell you what. It just sucks knowing that my wife had this secret relationship for so long. I just keep playing the movies over and over. Hot married co-worker develops emotional bond... It's like an invitation to take it to the next level!
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You have to accept that there is a reasonable probability that she has sex with the guy, but in fact, you are never, ever going to know for sure.
I certainly hope you meant "had" sex! Now here comes the comments about lie detector test...

I just don't think that it's going to go well if I demand that.

It's basically a big gamble. If I bring out certain questions/demands she might just want to call it quits. But then again, if I'm not ever going to heal and she's not willing to "fight for me," then is it really worth it?
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