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Hello Everyone,

I joined this community to try and make sense of my feelings, to offload and to gain insight on how I can be a better person / husband and then hopefully help others. This post mainly relates to an issue in my marriage that I simply can not shake, so grab a coffee and I'll begin.

I am 34 yo, I have been with my wife since I was 18 and married for 10, we have a 6 yo son. Like every family we have had ups and downs but what has put more strain on our relationship is that our families do not get on and have no contact AT ALL. Over the years we have been on this roller coaster of a ride of being in love and then just co-existing and taking each other for granted.

Around 2007 I got addicted to computer gaming and would play a few hours a night, our extended family problems have always been at the forefront of our issues and I used online gaming and being part of a community as an escape / excuse to get away from my real life responsibilities / issues. For many years I blamed everyone else for how I was feeling (lonely, powerless, I was and still am subject to cohesive control - Not by wife, this may be a separate post) and it got to the point where I would come home from work and go straight upstairs on PC until early hours of the morning. I made numerous attempts to speak with my wife about my feelings and she would listen but no further action was taken so I kept falling back into my addictive behaviour making things worse.

In 2012 I worked at company and had a good group of colleagues including my brother in-law. One particular guy was more of a friend (Man-A) and everything was fine. He had text contact with all of us (me, brother in-law and wife). everything was fine and I trusted my wife 100% at this point, until one day in 2013 I was clearing out my PC and found old iPhone backups so I restored them to have a look for fun and when I turned it on it had restored some deleted texts from Man-A for conversations years back (this back up was from my wife's old phone).

What I found to begin with was just general chatting but over a period of 8 months the messages would be every single day asking how their day was going and talking about everything under the sun getting more and more flirty. Then the messages mostly from him got sexual in content after about 6 months, I may add that my wife briefly talked about our relationship in a negative way and they were both making jokes at my expense. Also he was talking about his sexual exploits and my wife always reacted jealously.

So I went to talk with her nice and calmly. At first she denied everything point blank and that he was just a friend and it was long ago and didn't remember anything. I believed her and left it at that but went and spoke to Man-A when he came round to our house one day, He said absolutely nothing apart from acting shocked, left our house and I have never heard from him since 2013, I mean if it was just flirting surely he would have apologised and not throw away 6 year friendship. A few months ago out of absolute nowhere a small niggle started to grow and I have no idea were it came from, all my old feelings of suspicion flood back into me. When I say flood its like every emotion up to that point pretty much paralysed me with fear, anxiety etc to the point where I had an exhaust hose pipe from my van in the window as I could't function. I have no idea why I started to think like that.

I spoke to my wife again and after some talking she admitted what she knew what she was doing and was craving the attention but nothing had happened physically, but there was guilt written all over her face after I probed deeper, things did start to get more heated now as I felt she had lied and betrayed me as the text message content suggested otherwise and the fact she deleted all his messages and never told me, and too this day I would't have known had I not looked at the old backups. The trouble is my gut tells me she is not telling me the whole truth as you can imagine I have a sick feeling in my stomach all the time. She still denies any physically contact, and from what I can gather reading posts on here that is a common theme.

But now where she works is mostly females, but recently these two males have just joined one older and one around her age, she talks normally about the older one but the one around her age she doesn't really mention and when she does its always negative and she seems like she is very careful what she says and avoids all conversation about him I have also picked up on the way she speaks and looks at me almost gauging my reaction - hope that makes sense, The effect of her lies and hiding stuff from me is that now my trust has been smashed and I have become very paranoid because I know she is capable of those things now and I hate feeling like this.

I don't want to keep going on about the past, I want to heal and leave it were it belongs but I can't until I know all the details (Which I doubt I will get). I am very ashamed of myself for neglecting her but I would never even entertain another women (and I have had a few chances but refused point blank everyone of them) but I don't know how to get the truth or live without knowing.

I have since given up computer gaming, and initially focused on trying to make myself happy as I thought if I can do that then she and my son will then be happy. But what I have since found out is that if I put all my effort into making my wife and son happy THAT is what makes me happy. We have really connected since I have starting being a 'proper' husband but I am a very emotional person underneath my "tough man" persona but I can't live the rest of my life feeling sick in my stomach and the mental issues I'm starting to suffer with because of these niggles, its just who I am and I won't be able to let go until I know for sure.

Life is full of chaos and is what makes it interesting, I know there no black and white in matters of the heart but it would very much appreciated any insightful wisdom regarding how I can control my emotions and move forward. I hurt like hell that I made her feel that way and the way she made me feel in her conversations with Man-A.

Thank you for reading and letting me off-load all this. I am open to discussion and criticism as I want to understand the issues underneath and sort myself out as it is getting too much to cope with. It may seem a small issue at hand but trust is the only thing that matters to me and when that breaks it wrecks all kinds of havoc. I have an overwhelming urge to track her phone, messages and emails but I think once I get into that territory its pretty much done for anyway.

I am struggling that she deleted all the text messages and then lied, if they were just innocent flirting then fair enough but my gut tells this goes deeper, it has also made me see a side of her of didn't think she had, we all think we married a good 'un. I keep going on a roller coaster of emotion of i'm ok then I'm not. I don't want to keep having these conversations for fear of her getting sick and ending it but at the same I want to gather my thoughts and have one last talk about it.

Thank you again for reading and I hope I can help others in the future once I figure out what to do with myself and any outcomes learned.

Anyway back up my Munro ;)
 

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So, a few things you can try. Since you don't believe her, and I'm sure she knows this, ask her to do a polygraph. I know many don't believe, but you may get a "parking lot confession" before she goes in.
Also, if you can get her new phone, you can use software to get any deleted texts (the prob is if this guy has moved away since 2013, may not find much from him, but MAY find stuff from the new guy). Folks here can guide you for that.

Additionally: take care of yourself (eating, work out - get in great shape, pursue you own outside interests (NOT computer gaming) sleep, etc.), stay very involved with your child.

"I have an overwhelming urge to track her phone, messages and emails but I think once I get into that territory its pretty much done for anyway."
Not true -- you need to get something to allay your fears. She hasn't been trustworthy and I think that maybe SHE isn't who you really think she is. You may view her in one way, but who she REALLY is may be hidden from you. DO the investigation -- your gut is telling you this. Don't have to do that for the rest of your life, but you may want to dig a bit to allay your fears.
 

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Although you weren't being a great husband with your gaming, her cheating, whether emotionally or physically, is not excusable.

You are now trying to deal with the fact that you rugswept this six years ago.

It is very hard to get concrete evidence this far out, you would have to do some serious recon.

Cheaters lie, which you've experienced, so there is no way she is going to tell you the truth if she did go further than what she has admitted.

Maybe you should let us analyze some of the more difficult texts you recovered to give you our opinion of what was happening.

If you are serious about digging further into the history of what happened, do not continue to repeatedly confront her, that won't help. Most direct way would be to contact Man-A directly again or any one else that may have known about what happened.

Did you run fonelab on the phone backup to get all the deleted correspondence? Make sure you keep a copy of those backups somewhere, she may try to delete them.

Has she been in contact with Man A since 2013?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So, a few things you can try. Since you don't believe her, and I'm sure she knows this, ask her to do a polygraph. I know many don't believe, but you may get a "parking lot confession" before she goes in.
Also, if you can get her new phone, you can use software to get any deleted texts (the prob is if this guy has moved away since 2013, may not find much from him, but MAY find stuff from the new guy). Folks here can guide you for that.

Additionally: take care of yourself (eating, work out - get in great shape, pursue you own outside interests (NOT computer gaming) sleep, etc.), stay very involved with your child.

"I have an overwhelming urge to track her phone, messages and emails but I think once I get into that territory its pretty much done for anyway."
Not true -- you need to get something to allay your fears. She hasn't been trustworthy and I think that maybe SHE isn't who you really think she is. You may view her in one way, but who she REALLY is may be hidden from you. DO the investigation -- your gut is telling you this. Don't have to do that for the rest of your life, but you may want to dig a bit to allay your fears.
Thank you for the reply, I live in the UK so I will have to look into polygraph testing in this country.

I have let myself go (I used to do martial arts and was lean and mean) now I am overweight so already made a start getting back into shape and trying to get quality sleep. Took my son for a nice hot chocolate today at a local cafe and watched trains go past as his school is closed for two days so a big check on that.

Thank you also for the reassurance that acting on my gut to investigate is the proper course of actions and not to looked at being sneaky and will start to dig a bit. The problem at the moment is that she knows something is up with me (I start a new job in a few weeks which is making my anxious so at least I'm not 100% lie to her about what is REALLY bothering me).
 

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Although you weren't being a great husband with your gaming, her cheating, whether emotionally or physically, is not excusable.

You are now trying to deal with the fact that you rugswept this six years ago.

It is very hard to get concrete evidence this far out, you would have to do some serious recon.

Cheaters lie, which you've experienced, so there is no way she is going to tell you the truth if she did go further than what she has admitted.

Maybe you should let us analyze some of the more difficult texts you recovered to give you our opinion of what was happening.

If you are serious about digging further into the history of what happened, do not continue to repeatedly confront her, that won't help. Most direct way would be to contact Man-A directly again or any one else that may have known about what happened.

Did you run fonelab on the phone backup to get all the deleted correspondence? Make sure you keep a copy of those backups somewhere, she may try to delete them.

Has she been in contact with Man A since 2013?
I still have the original backup (multiple) of her phone from 2012 - 2013. I do not plan to talk to her until I have figured out exactly what to say to hopefully have one final talk no matter the outcome.

Man-A still lives within the area and our FB friends circle overlap so tracking down won't be an issue. The main issue is he won't talk to me at all. I will try again though.
 

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I still have the original backup (multiple) of her phone from 2012 - 2013. I do not plan to talk to her until I have figured out exactly what to say to hopefully have one final talk no matter the outcome.

Man-A still lives within the area and our FB friends circle overlap so tracking down won't be an issue. The main issue is he won't talk to me at all. I will try again though.
If he was an affair partner and is still around, it could very well be that the relationship went underground when you confronted them.

Work on yourself first, be a good dad, and then investigate.

A quick check of phone bills, facebook messages, current phone is definetly in order.

Typically, someone that does this kind of thing doesn't just do it once and it never happens again, that is if it ever ended between them.
 

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Some of the texts:

Wife - "haha you dirty! Jus suck up on th morning? Didn't mention you :) fingers crossed!!! Uh oh!! Lol! Sorry t bug u [MAN-A]!! Night night!! :)"

Wife - "Lol ! Sorry mr [MAN-A]! [ME] sez-who u on th fone 2? Jus kinda ignore it! Lols! Sorryt bug u! :-("

Wife - "Heya-how r ya? How did today go?? Bin thinkin of you 2day! Xx"

Man-A "Lol think you should leave your sucking till he's in a better mood..can never get a good boner when you're grumpy...haha"

Also been reading her texts to me, there are all lovey dovey and would make anyone think there is nothing wrong.
 

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My thoughts Been, is she did cheat on you and possibly still in contact with him. ManA left because he got caught with his hand in the cookie jar, and wasn't man enough to get a a$$, kicking from you. Marriage is 50/50 but Cheating is 100% her!!

And the reason your gut is screaming again is the younger dude who hangs with the women, not the older one is the one she has interest in. But she see's hii everyday so this may be the reason she is playing it cool. But your Cheating wife is getting good at her lying and not even mentioning him at all. Why deniability! As not to tip her hand. As it was said already do not confront until you got what you need to call it.

And no it's not as easy as if your think you stoop to tracking and Email watching it will be only for a short time. You see cheaters need the dopamine fix ( to live in the FOG) of luve.

And do get phonlab and Keylogger if you use a computer at home also a ...

Sony ICD-PX470 Stereo Digital Voice Recorder with Built-in USB Voice Recorder maybe two or three, and put them in location your wife spends most of her time. Does she guard her phone and is it attached to her always? If not maybe she has a 2nd phone called a burner phone.

Sorry your here Ben, but your only wrong if you did nothing to safe guard your marriage. And you need answers and do what you need to do to get them.
 

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And probably the lovey dovey text to you are to throw you off the scent. Nothing more and you know it. Has she tried to correct any of her past for texting manA ? No l thought not, because if she had you would not be here. So that's out of the way. It's time to make your stand.
 
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Some of the texts:

Wife - "haha you dirty! Jus suck up on th morning? Didn't mention you :) fingers crossed!!! Uh oh!! Lol! Sorry t bug u [MAN-A]!! Night night!! :)"

Wife - "Lol ! Sorry mr [MAN-A]! [ME] sez-who u on th fone 2? Jus kinda ignore it! Lols! Sorryt bug u! :-("

Wife - "Heya-how r ya? How did today go?? Bin thinkin of you 2day! Xx"

Man-A "Lol think you should leave your sucking till he's in a better mood..can never get a good boner when you're grumpy...haha"

Also been reading her texts to me, there are all lovey dovey and would make anyone think there is nothing wrong.
With these texts, you've literally caught her red-handed!

Speaks sheer volumes!
 

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Sometimes people that don't tend to their garden will complain when it grows weeds.

I'm not going to point a finger or play the blame game but I'll just state the following.


A woman left emotionally abandoned will eventually find herself receptive to attention provided elsewhere ..... like it or not.
 

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A woman left emotionally abandoned will eventually find herself receptive to attention provided elsewhere ..... like it or not.
Doesn't mean they will cheat though. Plenty of women are unhappy in their marriage they still don't cheat. Cheating is reflective of ones character nothing else. If it was outside forces everyone would do it. They don't.
 

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Ben, if your description is accurate, it's a full-blown PA.
Possibly it was.

Polygraph will be helpful.

Ben, just Google polygraph association UK and search for members in your area.
 

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And probably the lovey dovey text to you are to throw you off the scent. Nothing more and you know it. Has she tried to correct any of her past for texting manA ? No l thought not, because if she had you would not be here. So that's out of the way. It's time to make your stand.
If I'm being honest I do know deep down the truth, I just want to hear it from her so I can move on.
 

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And probably the lovey dovey text to you are to throw you off the scent. Nothing more and you know it. Has she tried to correct any of her past for texting manA ? No l thought not, because if she had you would not be here. So that's out of the way. It's time to make your stand.
Sometimes people that don't tend to their garden will complain when it grows weeds.

I'm not going to point a finger or play the blame game but I'll just state the following.


A woman left emotionally abandoned will eventually find herself receptive to attention provided elsewhere ..... like it or not.
I understand what your saying and agree with you. But on the same hand I know my boundaries and I tried to talk many many times but she never once alerted to the fact she was feeling like that. From her messages and chats through the years I really thought everything was ok. It wasn't (isn't) all bad we have had amazing date nights and I have been really trying to understand her, I know she hates cleaning up after work so I get home and make sure everything has been done and then some nights run her a bath. Even though I played a lot of games I didn't abandon her completely.
 

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Sorry, NVM.

What made you react again?

Have you checked her new phone?
I have absolutely no idea, woke up one night around 3am and boom, all came back. I guess I never dealt with it properly.

I checked her phone and again with fonelab. Nothing. Everything is squeaky clean. So probably another account somewhere I don't know about.
 

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Read my thread. Do a poly. Sounds like this is a good bit worse than my situation, but timeframe is similar. Lots of time has passed- do a poly whether you believe in them or not. It's not about the science, it's about the confession that often is coaxed.

Just reading between the lines here, it's at least a 50-50 shot that it was a PA.

Hang in there- you have support here.
 
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