About a year ago, I discovered a treasure trove of dirty emails between my husband (to whom I’ve been married for nearly 20 years) and his college girlfriend. Some were so raunchy I was surprised my husband even talked like that to a woman. Of course, she was just as raunchy as he was. I guess it’s “their thing.” Whatever. They have “explosive chemistry” and “always have.”
He said they were just friends and that it was just online, but I really doubt that. He travels a lot for work and many of these emails were loving and caring. No way they didn’t meet up. He has begged me for forgiveness and said he’ll never contact her again. A few months back, I found out that he’s been emailing with her again. Telling her that she’ll always be in his heart. These stories are so similar I feel like I’m living in a Lifetime Original Movie. Anyway, I’m getting my ducks in a row to leave while he sits in the doghouse begging for forgiveness. But I am completely plagued by two things and I’m hoping you (and your wonderful readers) can help me through them.
First, I’m OBSESSED with this other woman. We have mutual friends. Everyone tells me that she’s beautiful and I know she’s very well-to-do and professionally successful. I look at her Facebook profile every day and she’s always doing fabulous things — travel, working out, sitting on the beach looking very toned and manicured, skiing in Europe, etc. I even called her work once and pretended it was the wrong number just so that I could hear her voice. Average voice. No light shed there. How can I stop obsessing?
Honestly, this woman is way better looking than I am and I’m nothing to sneeze at. She dumped my husband 25 years ago and now she can just waltz back into his life and make him all googly? WTF?! He says things to her like,”Every day, I think about how my life would be if we were together” and “I dream of you every night.” Is it actually possible that he has forgotten everything we went through together and is just powerless over this ruthless bitch?
I guess I’m doing the Pick Me dance still. But I don’t have the money to dress like that and be all sparkly and fun. Plus, I don’t feel fun. The worst part is that, in my case, it wasn’t lots of other people. It was one person. Who meant a lot to him at once point (and still does, I guess). Has anybody else ever been in this spot? I think it would be easier if she were a hooker or some cheap floozy who meant nothing to him.
My second question is this: he WON’T come clean about all the facts of his relationship with her. The facts just trickle out every time I stumble upon new information. It’s driving me crazy! How did the rest of you find out about your husband or wives affairs? I found out by picking up my husband’s phone to check the weather when it hadn’t locked yet and there were a bunch of messages on it. Then I hacked his phone (his password wasn’t hard to figure out). How can I get all the details of this because I need those in order to move on either way? What did your D-days look like? Mine wasn’t that long ago but I hardly remember it because it was like living in a dream state. I was screaming and crying and he was just walking around looking like a sad puppy.
I think the upshot is that he won’t contact her anymore but I’ll always be wondering if she’s on his mind or he’s missing her or wishing he were with her instead of me. Having this woman lingering in the background is awful. Plus, they have mutual Facebook friends (so do we through mutual friends of my husband), so we both get to see her stupid face all the time on our telephones.
This is a guy who has always been very kind and thoughtful. The last guy on earth you’d think would cheat on his wife. An amazing father. He helps around the house, cooks, cleans, does child care duties. A real upstanding citizen. I think this woman is his achille’s heel and I want her to disappear. I’m just a confused mess. Can you all please tell me if your spouse has one person and it’s love — is that worse or harder? And how did you finally find out all the details?
Trust me, your husband doesn’t love this woman. He loves cake. Yum, yum, cake. Oh, and I don’t think he loves you much either, because he isn’t showing you one ounce of remorse or respect. He’s a “sad puppy” to your devastation. (Read: poor him) And he’s still protecting himself and his affair partner by not telling you the truth about what’s been going on. (Read: it’s much worse than you know.)
Every action he’s taking right now is about saving his precious, precious cake supply. Apologizing lamely to you, making false promises to quit the affair, never actually quitting the affair — that’s all about cake. He would prefer you just go back into your nice quiet closet and shut the fuck up. It was sooo much better for him when you didn’t know and he had unfettered cake access. You went and messed it all up. That’s why he’s acting sad.
The bullshit he spews to Ms. International Ski Vacation there? It’s to keep her on the line for cake.
You’ve constructed a very handy narrative to absolve him of personal responsibility. He’s this good man, amazing father, who just happens to travel a lot for work, and came under the spell of this seductress. He’s vulnerable to her because she once rejected him so cruelly in college. Her availability is the problem, and if she’d just go away and take her sparkles with her, everything could go back to normal. How can you find out if he truly loves her?
Let’s change the narrative.
You have enough information right now to know that he’s not a good man. He’s a cheater dick deep in an affair. The evidence is what it is — he travels and he meets up with her and it’s physical. He felt completely entitled to pursue this relationship, and his teenage heartache of 25 years ago has fuck all to do with it. He’s destroyed his marriage, and he’s not doing one damn thing to save it. He lies and withholds information. Why? Because he’s still dick deep in his affair.
Is it because he loves her? No, he loves himself. He loves how he feels being International Man of Mystery. He loves that fantasy more than he loves his wife of 20 years, his family, or anything you’ve built together.
Now, if I was part of the Reconciliation Industrial Complex, I would tell you to make him close his FB account and unfriend anyone who isn’t a friend of your marriage. (I suspect many people knew about this affair.) I would encourage your interpretation of The Great Hussy Who Ruined Everything. And I would tell you to wait for the affair fog to clear, and treat him like a timid forest creature who must approach his mistakes veeeeerrrry gently. Maybe if he feels “safe”, you won’t judge him and he can tell the truth?
Yeah. That’s not gonna happen.
If you insist on transparency, like his passwords and phone, and shutting down FB — he’s going to get a new phone, a new password, and a new FB account. This leaves you in a cat and mouse game as the marriage police. Things are “fine” until you bust him and discover he’s lied to you again. Don’t sign up for that misery.
You want more information, but you don’t need it. You have enough, because he is still acting ENTITLED to his affair and his secrecy. That tells you everything you need to know. You’re not the boss of him, and he’d not keen on saving his marriage. He only wants the vestiges of a marriage that will allow him CAKE. A marriage that is whole and committed to you? His actions scream he does not want that. (Pay no attention to anything he says.) You’re not the boss of him! He’ll email his affair partner when he pleases and not answer your questions.
Do you really want the sort of commitment where you have to hold a gun to his head to get it? Grudgingly?
I didn’t think so. Keep lining up those ducks and get out of there. See a lawyer and go no contact on your husband. Time to decide what YOU want. Is this relationship acceptable to you? Do you want to feel forever that you’re second best? Do you want to live as the marriage police, and him the sulky criminal?
Forget his potential. Forget who you though he was. Start dealing with who he is now — a really shitty person who doesn’t deserve you. Those are all the details you need. ((((Big hugs))) It gets better when you start seeing him for who he really is.