Before I knew of my Husband’s Affair …
During the spring/summer of 2012 my husband had become very distracted with work and as a result had disengaged from our marriage. I was frustrated that despite my permanently requesting he slow down, spend time with the family and just pay me attention, he insisted on working, not only during the week but at weekends too. His computer or his phone was an extension of him and his focus was his job. I began to feel like I was a nuisance in his life whenever I tried to contact him, work was more important and I was getting in the way. Added to this my husband travels with his job, a lot, but this he has always done and we are used to that, I trusted him implicitly to do whatever was right for our family and our marriage.
When I did get to speak with him about maybe just being with his family or the amount of time he was working I would get this reason, ‘The situation at work is just temporary, I need to get things stable in the office, spend time with them to ensure staff moral is high again, which should take six months, it’s only for a short time and then I will have more time for you”.
So I thought to myself, this isn’t the first time, he says it’s only six months, so I will back off and just let him sort it out.
Our ten-year wedding anniversary arrived; I was so excited as we were going away for a weekend without children. We had a lovely time and I felt really close to him again, as always, enjoyed being with him. Only at times he felt very distracted, this I put down to the demands of work and the pressure he felt. I wanted to make the stress of work less, but I didn’t know how apart from just to be there waiting for him. It was a really hard few months; the demands placed on him by work were also felt at home. Our children always asking where Daddy was, when he would be home or they would express their frustration when he was falling asleep on the sofa or working on his laptop at home. I was trying to hold it all together for them but in the evening would take myself to bed and cry, because of the loneliness and desperation I felt. I kept telling myself it was temporary.
As the weeks went on, something just felt, ‘different’. He had stopped kissing me passionately, I had to ask and even then it was short. I entertained the idea of maybe there was someone else but I would quickly dismiss this because he isn’t that stupid, we love each other and have a great relationship in every way, when he is not working so hard, and he said he would only have an affair if he didn’t love me, he would tell me because he would have to leave me. He seemed a little happier in himself, but it just wasn’t, ‘right’. Those few weeks saw my levels of suspicion rise. He became irritable at home, not wanting to do anything with us, I even remember saying to him, “what’s the matter with you, you act like you don’t even want to be here”. He was more content, grooming himself more, wanting to stay at work, leaving to get to the office on time (which he rarely does), socialised more with the office. I’m not saying he was coming home late, just a little later than usual.
I started checking out the women in the office online, just Googling them or using Facebook, Linked-in etc. I had a friend in the office that is a Mum from the playground, she got the job because of me, I knew she would tell me anything as she can’t control herself. This reassured me that she hadn’t said anything; she would actually always say how devoted he was to the children and I. He was travelling a lot to Paris at the time, I thought this made my suspicions ridiculous as he wasn’t even in the office.
I became very suspicious as the weeks went on, all my searching kept leading me to a woman from the office, but when I would Google her, the photo was so unflattering, making her look ugly and older than her years. Knowing how fussy my husband is with his taste for women, I thought that this woman was absurdly ugly for him and ignored her as a potential ‘other woman’. In desperation I bought spy equipment (which didn’t work so I had to wait for a replacement), looked for live CCTV images from near the office, thought about stalking him (but the children meant I didn’t have enough time during the day to be hanging around waiting to follow him) and of course I started checking his mobile phone whenever possible. I also insisted he install Find my iPhone so I could track him.
During these weeks, I noticed that some of the text messages from this ugly woman were being deleted, but because I had dismissed her, I ignored it. We were going on holiday soon and I kept thinking it’s only a few weeks, and then he’ll be mine again. I’m really worrying for nothing; he was always where he said he was. I kept talking myself out of the possibility that he had embarked on an affair. Then my friend from his office came over while he was away, we shared a bottle (maybe a few) and she told me someone had seen him from the office kissing this ugly woman. The next day this seemed surreal, my husband had become close to another woman and had been kissing her, having an affair just sounded impossible in our marriage. I was now sure there was something and on red alert.
One evening, I knew he was going for a client dinner with this ugly woman too. I had previously spent the weekend begging him not to go to this dinner, if there was any possibility that she was ‘ the other woman’ he was having an affair with then I didn’t want him to go with her. I tried to track him on Find my iPhone, but his phone had been turned off early afternoon, this I took to be suspicious, especially as the phone was not on for the whole evening, not like him to not have his gadget switched on to check emails and such like. I text my friend from the office to see if she knew where they had gone, I was going to turn up, children in tow, to see what was going on. I was very distressed that evening. My friend said sorry she didn’t know anything, so I sat there all evening, searching the web for clues.
He finally called, about 10.30pm, said he was on his way home from the meeting and would see me in twenty minutes. I had such a mixture of feelings racing through me, my heart was pounding, I wasn’t sure how exactly to handle this. When he came in, he had such a guilty look on his face, I have never seen him like this before but I could recognise guilt. I asked him where he had been exactly, he said the client dinner he spoke about, I asked for proof that a client had asked him to dinner and he said ok I’ll get proof from an email that was sent. I was distraught and unsure, but he said he could prove it so I couldn’t say much more. He sat away from me and picked up his laptop to work. The next day I asked where the proof was, he said this ‘other woman’ had been emailed and he couldn’t ask her for the email to give to his wife to prove where he had been as it would make him look bad.
This was the Monday before we went on holiday on the Friday; things seemed a little easier that week. We had flirtatious texts when he was in Paris; he declared his love for me more and expressed his excitement of finally going on holiday. The holiday was a road trip, immediately we were back to being a couple in love and a family again. We had the most amazing time, completely together and in sync, having fun. One of the hotel stops along our road trip, during a passionate moment, he gazed at me and said “you DO love me”. I remember this because it just seemed an odd thing to say. Like he didn’t believe me when I had been saying ‘I love you’ before. He took two work calls in that three weeks, I was still suspicious so I would follow him to check who he was speaking to. The second of those calls was from her, although he says just business chat.
We had had such a great holiday that I believed him and tried to continue as we had been, a couple very much in love. When we returned home I was determined to keep the spirit of the holiday going, as he seemed down about going back to work, so I surprised him in the shower wearing stocking and suspenders just to make him laugh. He basically shunned my advances and I felt like my suspicions were true, he was going back to work and to his other woman. I broke down in tears on the bed, distraught, hurt, and not knowing what to do. He said sorry and left.
Things were better between us at home, although he was still working as hard, starving me of the attention I needed, I didn’t want things to be how they used to be and tried desperately to be the passionate loving couple I know we are. He had a work social do and I asked him not to stay out late and to come home, which he promised. I spent all night tracking him, but I got dressed up for him and made the bedroom all sexy for his return, still tracking him. At the time he had said he would be home, his phone could not be tracked any longer. I waited and waited, I felt so stupid for making the effort and for trusting him to be home when he said he would. An hour later I watched him walk up the path to the front door, unable to walk in a straight line. He wasn’t that late compared to other social evenings, but the fact his phone was off meant that I didn’t know when he was coming home. We live maximum twenty minutes from where he had been, but it had taken him an hour to get back, so where had he been? I slept in the spare room as not only was I upset but he stank of alcohol.
All in all, for four months now I had been a neurotic investigator tracking my husband. My children were upset as I spent most of my time on the computer trying to find information or spy products that would help me find information. This ruined most of their summer holiday.
Life progressed; he was still working hard, but was making a little effort to spend time with the children while they were on holiday. I would drive to his office with the children to pick him up, we had a lovely lunch in the park near his office, although I enjoyed these moments, my ulterior motive was to make sure he wasn’t with someone else. One evening he had arranged to meet his university friends after work for a quick drink, they are all busy and rarely get time to be together. I went to a mutual friends house and called him to say we would spend the evening there and would wait for him. He showed up on time, but when we got home I discovered he hadn’t met his friends as they had cancelled, so he went out with the office instead, I could not understand why he needed to be with the office when he knew we were waiting for him. He was still work obsessed and it was beginning to take over our personal life again, I just couldn’t take his job anymore impacting our lives so much. He received another text from her which had then be deleted, I knew this because he had left the text messages screen on her conversation, yet the last message was months before. I became very upset that evening and wrote the following letter to him;
Over the past year your attitude to home and work has changed. As a result your family are suffering, not just me the children too, and despite your numerous apologies, nothing changes, work still takes priority over us, more so than ever. You keep saying you are working this hard for us. That’s not true, I don’t want you to and the children certainly don’t want you to. Truth is you’re doing this job because you like it and it makes you feel good.
You do not have to spend evenings drinking with the office to make them feel good, that will happen whether you are there are not. They don’t need you in the same way we do. I have spent more sleepless nights crying over you and the way you treat us than I ever did crying over boys when I was younger. This is supposed to be a happy time in our lives, yet you seem set on making yourself happy with a total disregard for the feelings of the children and me.
As much as I really love you, I cannot take it anymore. It breaks my heart to say this but I really think it is better for our family if you leave. You can see the children at the weekend and they won’t notice any difference. Maybe once you don’t have it anymore you’ll realise how important it is to be a good father and husband above all else.
All my love,
Your Wife x
This was the night I had had enough. I never thought when I met my husband seventeen years ago we would end up like this. He was breaking my heart by the lack of affection, and the isolation in my own marriage was one I could no longer bear. This was it. I had made my choice. I couldn’t take it any longer.
Discovering the hard way about his affair …
The next day after writing this letter, he looked totally miserable, was not talking to me, walking ahead of me. We went through the normal routines for the children and once we were alone, I said I didn’t really mean it and that I was just desperate with the current situation. We drove to a car park near by in order to go for a coffee and talk. We started talking in the car park, and then I brought up the deleted text messages from her. To my surprise he broke down in tears. I’ve never seen him cry. I felt confused by this that he was so upset. He told me that he was severely depressed at work and while away in Paris staying in horrible hotels, and alone, he had contemplated suicide, a few times. I felt so sad for him, I knew his job was horrible, yet he is amazing at what he does, the demands of work were too high on him this year and my strong husband was crumbling before me, my letter would not have helped matters.
We talked through this, and then when things had calmed down, I said, “you still haven’t answered why you are deleting messages from her”. His answer was she is over friendly with everyone and he didn’t want me reading the wrong thing in to it. He then said he deletes messages from other people too, this I hadn’t noticed. I was still not pacified and asked how she was over friendly, what things did she say or do in her texts that I would misinterpret them. He said ‘just stuff’. Slightly irate and confused I asked if she put kisses at the end of her texts, he jumped on this and said, ‘yes, that’s what she does’. After saying I do this too sometimes, I would not have taken it the wrong way but would have asked, we went for a coffee. He became very emotional and attentive, kissing me passionately while sitting down for a coffee. My curiosity was still there, I wanted to know what was in those texts and did not believe his answers.
A week later he purchased the new iPhone 5, this meant his old phone was no longer used and I asked if I could have it to try and retrieve the deleted messages. He said of course, which then I felt bad because if he was volunteering the phone he could not possibly be hiding anything. He had also set my phone up to be synced with his work calendar, this meant I could access his work emails. When I started delving in to this, checking dates, reading emails it led me to become obsessed by what these deleted texts said. I spent a whole week surfing the internet, downloading various software that claimed to be able to recover deleted texts, some of which I got, I also got Skype chats. I could not believe what I was reading, my husband had been flirting and even asking out this ‘ugly’ woman. I then decided that rather than wasting my time, I would send the phone off for a proper forensic investigation.
I confronted him a few times over the next couple of weeks, each time he would dismiss what I was saying, paranoid was the label I was given. Then one day I demanded he stay at home to sort this out and he was not going anywhere till he had. This meant he couldn’t turn up for an important meeting at work with all the staff. He said he could not attend for personal reasons. That was a very difficult morning, he was clearly distraught and had something to tell me about this.
We sat in silence in different rooms. I told him he has to say something and that he should do this before the children come home from school as I would like this sorted out by then. He then started talking. His story at this point in time was, they had kissed a few times, but nothing any more serious than that. I asked questions and he diverted my inquisition. This just didn’t fit with what I knew or suspected, I was very distressed. That evening I emailed ‘the other woman’ saying I knew she had been seeing my husband behind my back, I have heard his story and now I would like to hear hers. This was a Friday evening, I started my new job, the first job in ten years on the Monday, how I was going to get through this pretending everything was normal to my new work colleagues I had no idea.
Needless to say, she didn’t reply until Monday when she had had a chance to get her story straight with my husband. She just told me incredibly briefly what he had said. I didn’t buy it, I told my husband the phone had gone to forensics and that I would have a report of all the deleted items from his phone. I also informed him that although he had gone out to a client dinner, I knew she was staying there for a few nights and would have had a hotel room. His story then changed. Now, after kissing a few times whilst under the influence of alcohol, he had helped her to the hotel room with luggage, where she then took her clothes off and propositioned him. They kissed, but he came to his senses and they left and went to have dinner with the client as scheduled.
In my head this still didn’t add up, my emotional roller coaster was travelling fast. My time now was spent searching for information from emails, calendars, texts etc. things just didn’t add up. I confronted him again, saying why would she take such a risk, and take her clothes off in front of her boss, it’s absurd. His story then changed to, they had both taken off their clothes, but kept their underwear on, been in the bed kissing and cuddling, nothing more, she apparently asked if he was ok as he realised his mistake and that is why he looked guilty returning home that night. He profusely denied having sex with her and denied anything like this had happened before that night. I asked him every day for around three months if he had sex with her, each time he said no, he said it so often and was so adamant I actually began to believe him. I even said I need to know the truth as I don’t want any sexually transmitted diseases, when I said this I could tell by the look on his face that he had had sex with her.
I had lost loads of weight, would cry during the night, I was not eating properly, crying all the time and the children were upset because their Mummy was clearly upset and they didn’t know why. My eldest child actually Skype’d her Daddy while he was away, asking him to come home as Mummy is crying again because she misses Daddy. I was a mess, I knew my husband was lying to me and I could not get him to tell me the truth. I could not function properly, I went to the doctor and she put me on anti-depressants. I had more than once sat on my bed and thought about taking too many sleeping tablets and alcohol, this would mean my pain and suffering would end which seemed like a better option. My children are the only reasons I did not go through with this, they need me, no matter what happens between my husband and I. We went to counseling, he thought it not very helpful. I remember saying to the counselor I know he is still not telling me everything, he would watch me breakdown, become a mess and not say anything. I then said I was booking a lie detector test. He freaked out completely; the tone of his voice told me he didn’t want this because he was hiding something. I booked it anyway, where you can ask three questions. I told him he was to write to me a detailed account of events and I would ask the questions based on what he was saying to prove to me he was telling me the truth.
During the entire process of lies and uncovering the truth, we were having the most intense and passionate relationship. We felt closer than we had in a long time.
The letter was written. It confirmed that they had had sex at this client meeting; but that the client had cancelled the dinner and they went out just the two of them. It also said that they had slept together a month earlier in Paris. Now although he says I mis-read this, I remember quizzing him over ‘slept together’, he said they had shared the bed in their underwear, kissed and cuddled and spent part of the night together. I said so you only had sex once and he confirmed. I was so upset by his constant lying and the fact he had betrayed me that I threw some mugs in the sink, which broke it, and stormed out the house. I remember walking the streets and it was as if I was in slow motion, I was physically shaking and felt sick. I walked in to a coffee shop and sat there. He was trying to call me, he text me, he tracked me using find my iPhone and took me home. I didn’t want to be near him. He had broken my heart and caused an immense amount of pain and suffering during the process.
For two weeks he then insisted this was the truth knowing he was going to face a lie detector test. So I believed him again. The questions were to confirm, there was no passionate kissing or sexual encounters prior to our wedding anniversary, that they had only had sex once and that no passionate kissing or sexual encounters had happened since we returned from holiday. He was fine, even the morning of the lie detector test; we went for a coffee he assured me he was not worried about the test and that he would pass. When he walked in to the room to take the test, I knew from his demeanor that he knew he was going to fail. He was given the opportunity to change the questions or say something, he didn’t. He failed. The people who do these tests only give you a pass or fail for the three questions together and not as individual questions, so I did not know which question he had failed on. I went through each question and asked about the answers compared to things I knew. He blamed the accuracy of the tests, that he was telling the truth etc. That night, after much crying, I woke up as usual trying to make sense of it all, again I went through each question with him, until I said, “you had sex with her more than once didn’t you?” He went quiet, I insisted he answer me with the truth, he started crying again and said I had misread his initial letter and that when he said ‘slept together’ they had indeed had sex. I could not believe this was happening to me and that he was lying so much, hurting me more, I was exhausted emotionally and physically, this had been going on for two months, he could see this, but he’d rather continue the lies than tell me the truth. The man I loved and trusted more than anything in the world was a liar and a cheat. I couldn’t believe a word he was telling me. That was a fact.
Turns out they had had unprotected sex, so he could have had another child with her or even passed on to me a disease. It scares me to even think about this.
I said he would have to sit another lie detector test. He found it easier to write to me, so I said you better write to me again, this time with the truth. This time he opened up. They had kissed after works do, drunk in a taxi, a year earlier. She had then kissed him before our wedding anniversary, which he says he enjoyed and was happy to let happen. He then says they had sex in Paris, which is when he considers a relationship to have started. He confessed to other meetings where things had happened, then he reiterated the sex at the client meeting where he says a bolt of lightening hit him and he realised what a difficult stupid situation he had got himself into. This ending the relationship for him, not for her. She had tried to kiss him again the night he had gone for drinks with the office instead of his university friends, where it had annoyed him as it was in public and he didn’t kiss back.
The only thing he failed to mention is that they had stayed together in Paris a couple of nights and had sex twice. He passed the next lie detector test and although I am not 100% sure he is telling me everything, it can’t get much worse than what he has already told me. From then my healing journey begins …