Your case is a bit of an enigma and I really can’t give you any concrete advice. At best I can give you my thoughts… This post will meander all around but hopefully you will bear with me.
If I take individual issues you mention then I could logically reach the conclusion that she’s having an affair and be 80-90% certain. Put it this way; If I was still a cop I would have reason to pull her over and apply some pressure. However when I take the total of what you write and combine your suspicions, her behavior, circumstances and typical behaviors and reactions of people in affairs… My confidence drops significantly.
To me the only really big red flag is the pubic lice. If it wasn’t for that then my infidelity-radar would hardly note a blip with your scenario. With the crabs… It’s a big flashing blob.
As a cop if I was looking for a car-thief I wasn’t allowed to stop every young minority male with tats and dressed a certain way simply because stats and my gut might tell me that the thief would fit that profile. I also learned that if I limited my investigation to reach the conclusion that the thief fit the profile then I wasn’t going to succeed. That’s why is suggested you expand your investigation to discover if she’s cheating with another man – NOT if she’s cheating with a specific other man.
OK – So what’s bothering me?
Well – You portray the OM as a major player. A janitor that walks around the office, fixes the doors, stocks the supplies room, changes the light bulbs and then does the women during lunch (you think he’s having an affair with more than your wife). Furthermore the sex is so intense they have to change into work-out clothes before the festivities commence. A player who probably has some more women lined up for casual sex because one of them gave him crabs that he then brought to your wife (if this is the true scenario). Cue in bright lights, harsh video recording and you have the plot for the average porno movie.
Just doesn’t add up to me:
a) For semi-normal people crabs have a very limited lifespan. It’s not as if you get the itch and then wait a week or don’t do anything. You itch – look – shake your head in wonder – take action. The action doesn’t require a doctor’s visit so it’s quick and simple. So if your WW got it from the janitor then it’s something he has had for a short time. Now MAYBE it was the first time they had sex. MAYBE he managed to talk his way through it. But as a rule getting a STD is a real turn-off.
b) The crabs and the idea that OM is also having an affair with another woman at the office… If experience has shown us anything here on SI then it’s wayward people hate being cheated on. As weird as it sounds then people having affairs tend to expect their AP to be monogamous (well… expect for their spouse… go figure). So getting crabs from OM if the affair has been ongoing and sharing a lover with Tracy down in bookkeeping… No… Doesn’t make sense to me.
Then there is your latest post. Once again you go look for a way to fit your conclusion. Don’t… Definitely get a full examination of what might be causing these issues (including STD tests) but don’t assume right away it’s an STD. Even if it is then also keep in mind that HPV CAN flare up years (and decades) after its transmitted. This scenario has been here on SI several times so I recall.
But hey! Don’t get me wrong! There are big red flags that need to be addressed. The crabs, the secretive behavior and the (yes – possible STD) clearly indicate you need to be on your toes. Yes – there is enough to justify a reasonable concern for infidelity…
But frankly IF this turns out to be a STD then that coupled with the crabs and some other factors in your WW behavior… I would be more suspect of chance, one off encounters. You know – pick-ups at the gym, random sex partners at the park, craigslist hookups … more in that scenario. [I will admit I am biased – this is the sort of pick-ups my former fiancé frequented. She was super-“normal”, lovable and extremely nice but she would pick up random sex-partners. But although I am biased then what that did was make me realize “nice” and “normal” people can be sexually weird…]
Be careful about circular arguments: If she is the first to tell you she has a possible STD it must be because she is guilty. If she does not tell you about a possible STD it must be because she is guilty. If she accuses you of giving her crabs it’s because she’s guilty. If she doesn’t then it’s because she is guilty…
OK – Now on to a totally different tangent. What surprises me based on the state of your marriage is how much you two seem to communicate. The detail you know about your WW health issues… staggers me. But it’s all positive. It’s something I would try to build on. I for one doubt a spouse in an affair and/or thinks he/she has a STD would tell you in detail the issues she has. If your WW had simply told you she had a gyno examination would you have raised any questions? It’s a no-win situation when we always only see the possible negative outcome.
And yes, metronidazole can be used to treat STD’s but it’s also used for Pelvic Inflammatory Disease that can be caused by numerous things such as a bacterial imbalance, the IUD and more. Once again don’t try to make the evidence fit the crime.
Once again: I am not saying she isn’t having an affair.
What I am saying is that there are things that indicate she might be cheating, but more or less all the evidence you and your PI have found is still very circumstantial and I think it will be circumstantial at best as long as you search for evidence to fit a predetermined pattern.
If your communications are OK then I would try reasoning with her on this path.
1) You think I brought the crabs – I think you did. Can you imagine any other alternative? Can you imagine any other reason than infidelity that this happened? I’m totally open for any reasonable excuse.
2) I don’t really appreciate living together under the shadow of YOU thinking I cheated. I am surprised that you feel comfortable living with me if I accuse you wrongly of infidelity.
3) Do you really think this marriage is sustainable while we have these suspicions?
4) What realistic suggestions do you have so we can clear the air? Simply believing each other isn’t an option…
5) Why do you fear if we each answer 3-4 questions at a poly. These questions can be identical and solely based on fidelity in this marriage in the last 12 months.
6) What other suggestion do you have?
Deeply – I think SI is a fantastic site and that it is one of the best tool for dealing with infidelity you can find. There is however one situation I think we suck in; situations like yours. We tend to see infidelity in ANY action and have a hard time imagining other reasons for certain behaviors. It’s a no-win situation because we will tell you that action A proves infidelity and it’s opposite will also prove infidelity.
Infidelity is definitely amongst the toughest things I have dealt with. It took me 17 YEARS to recover to where I am today. OK – So maybe 18 months post d-day I only had a slight mental limp left to cure but still, full recovery took that long. That’s why I am not so enthusiastic about finding infidelity in your marriage IF there really isn’t any.
Note that small word: IF
There are definitely red flags and you definitely need resolve but your research and a PI haven’t been able to do better but bring theories to the table…