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I need to know more

JulyDD posted 1/6/2021 08:24 AM

I am 5 months from finding out about my WH's affair in 2018.

It is over and we are in R. But I need to know so much more than I do. I have seen the phone records. But he deleted all the texts and emails. I now have access to his phone and email. iCloud has nothing.
He has recreated his trips to see her (another city) which I can verify by the phone records and where his calls to me were originating from (not a snowmobile trip! A trip to Atlanta!). That was just one example. A trip to interview with a firm in Atlanta! Uh, no, a trip to visit her. So many lies.

But I NEED to see some texts or emails. I just do. I don't qualify for the investigative forum. He claims they really did not discuss me or our marriage. But I need to know how much "I love you" there was. If any.

Today is just hard and I hate this so much. He is remorseful and willing to discuss things to a degree I would not have thought possible in the past. But dammit, I just need more. And I am sooooo mad at myself for not doing a VAR back in 2018.

People have posted generalized "Get Dr. Fone" for recovery. But I would love any detailed advice. The reviews on Dr. Fone (and other) recovery systems is not great. I know contacting her would be a giant mistake. I am stuck in this headspace of anger and impotence at the whole thing. I want to go back in time and I know I can't.

How do I recover the deleted emails and texts? They are not on the cloud. Sorry for the rant. I'm just in a lot of pain today.

oldtruck posted 1/6/2021 08:42 AM

i heard that with the newer phones recovery does not work.

some phone companies can provide past emails and texts used
on an account.

i do not know how to recover though hiring a IT person to
attempt a recovery can be money well spent.

BearlyBreathing posted 1/6/2021 19:32 PM

Gently., if you are in R why is he not turning over every stone to figure out how to get you those texts and emails?

I get why you need them. But if he is truly remorseful he will doing the work to find out how to get them.

(That said, I donít know the deets on Dr. Fone.Sorry)

JulyDD posted 1/6/2021 20:09 PM

Barely Breathing:

I am frustrated because he has done (as I stood there) an icloud ssync/search/refresh/whatever. He deleted everything in 2018 (long before I knew).For both emails and texts. He admits deleting them. 100%. In 2018.

He is working on it and I am just super frustrated that it may be un-retrievable. or not! I'm not a tech genius. Today was a bad day for my psyche. He will talk to me at length on this whenever I want. He says he would do it all differently (I know guys, I know).

I just despise that this is my reality. Good days and bad days at this point. Today was not a good one.

crazyblindsided posted 1/6/2021 20:16 PM

Having him take a polygraph may answer some of your questions.

If itís an iPhone you can run a backup and deleted texts are buried within the code. Just google how to retrieve deleted texts and you can maybe find out how to do on other phones as well.

[This message edited by crazyblindsided at 8:18 PM, January 6th (Wednesday)]

sisoon posted 1/7/2021 10:46 AM

What if you really can't get the deleted texts? Will that make a difference?

What I'm getting at is something like this: you may be focusing on this as a way of avoiding something really important.

For example, your focus on the texts could be a way of avoiding your feelings.

Suppose he wrote 'ILY' a million times? Suppose he wrote it not once? Would either scenario change what you're doing about D vs R?

I think people in As tend to say 'ILY'. I think it goes with the territory. To me, ILY is at worst just a small added annoyance - I mean, the A is what bothers me. The number of ILYs my W said or wrote - 0, 1, unlimited - doesn't matter to me.

But other people are different. To some people, an A with one ILY is significantly worse than an A with none, and an A with 10 ILYs is significantly worse than an A with one.

Each of us gets to set our own boundary. I don't have an ILY limit for myself. That's OK for me. If your limit is (choose your number) ILYs, that's OK for you.

But are you sure you've identified the real issue here?

[This message edited by sisoon at 10:46 AM, January 7th (Thursday)]

Underserving posted 1/7/2021 11:34 AM

My opinion is not going to be popular, but Iím not sure it will really help you to see all of that. It may just add more trauma. Actually, I can almost guarantee it will. Of course itís a personal choice.

I agree with sisoon, would it be a dealbreaker if ďI love youísĒ were exchanged? Or does it boil down to you not believing your WH when he says there werenít any? As in, your main fear is that you are still being lied to?

If thatís the case, Iíd go the polygraph route. You know the truth without seeing all of the sordid exchanges between them that you will never be able to ďunsee.Ē

BigBlueEyes posted 1/7/2021 12:13 PM

Iím with Sisoon, & Underserving,
First Iím glad heís being a safe partner for you, super glad heís stepping up to the plate,

In all honesty I donít know what you will achieve by going into the deleted messages or emails, you know itís going to set you back, you know itís going to hurt like crazy because he left you for 6 months to be with her (correct me if Iím wrong) nothing new will be on there that they didnít eventually say face to face. Opening that can of worms could do more damage than good.

I donít say this to be mean or make this any harder for you,

Also You can upgrade to gain access to the investigation forum.

BellaLee posted 1/7/2021 18:57 PM

Hi JulyDD
I'm so sorry you've had to experience the pain of betrayal and I do understand how this pain can linger.
I know you said you're in R, so are you both currently having counseling. I know from my own experience that sometimes trying to navigate what has happened by yourselves might not be the best route to take especially with the intensity of emotions.
Praying the near future brings healing for your emotion, true lasting R and more good days than bad ones.

gmc94 posted 1/7/2021 23:05 PM

I've always been in the "I want to know every detail" camp. And as to the texts, etc. I know I never will, and for the same reason - deleted & Fonelab did not reveal anything). During year 1, I even bought a phone like an old one he had, and then spent hours (or more like days) loading old backups onto that phone and going through everything I could find.

And I think Underserving has a good point:

would it be a dealbreaker if ďI love youísĒ were exchanged?
does it boil down to you not believing your WH when he says there werenít any? As in, your main fear is that you are still being lied to?

If the ILY's are the issue, then I would assume they were said and see what you can process.
If it's the fear of continued lies (which is my sitch - whether he said ILY doesn't mean jack to me.... his inability to be honest - TODAY - is everything), then go for the written timeline (including the things that matter to you) followed by a polygraph.


Jimmy1962 posted 1/9/2021 17:25 PM

My wife had an affair in 1997 and I did not find out until 2017. Twenty years later. I am left with many questions and few answers. There are so many things that I wish that I knew but I will never find out. I get a lot of ďI donít know ď and ďI donít remember ď. So.........I quit asking. It is hard, but what can I do? I just keep my mouth shut to keep the peace.

jailedmind posted 1/10/2021 07:43 AM

Dr Phone is how I caught my wife. I knew something was wrong and things just were not adding up. Iím pretty good on a computer so I got the data out ,filtered the 2 gigs of text messages and phone calls and pieced together what I could. Then I read up on interview techniques. Stuff like keep calm, show empathy, give them some sort of out. So once I got myself in the right place I waited till she was asleep and the kids were out of the house. Now I didnít know much but had an idea what happened. So I woke her up and saidĒ I lknow what you and blank didĒ Basically I bluffed her. It was the beginning of her fall from the pedestal. But keeping yourself calm your voice normal and trying not to react is the only way I was going to get the truth in a hurry. Screaming at them just makes them defensive. I do believe and some here wonít agree that if your reconciling that too much info can be damaging. Life long damaging. Ignorance on certain sexual acts for betrayed men can stop the creation of a very painful feedback loop that takes years to stop ruminating about and more after to accept. You really need to be prepared for the answers your going to get and the information your going to have to live with. Remember when they are in it you do not factor into their decision making. You are never supposed to see or hear about what your spouse is doing in their secret life. When we went to therapy our councillor warned me and my wife about too much info for sexual details. I was furious at him. Now 7 years later I understand what he was trying to do. Spare me the pain of constantly seeing my wife with the other guy. Over and over and over again. So I really mean this, you truly need to know yourself and what you can take and not take and what you can live with before you go down the I need to know everything rabbit hole. Because maybe just knowing who, where and who knew and generally what they did is enough.. Because if you reconcile itís the elephant in the room forever. It changed my view of my wife, my marriage and showed me who I could trust and could not and showed me that anybody could betray me. That was enough trauma to begin with. Then I found out what she did with him. That just cut to my soul.

HatsOff posted 1/10/2021 18:14 PM

This is just how Iím feeling. No matter how much information I find, I want more.

WS deleted online chats in a fit of anger after finding out how extensive my investigation was. I really want to see them but there is no way to find them to my knowledge. Doesnít stop me from looking though.
It was explained to me once the reason why the BS needs this information is part of their relationship is missing. They need to fill in the holes.
I know that is how I feel.

Cooley2here posted 1/10/2021 18:53 PM

I hope this helps. We are close to a divorced couple. He cheated for a couple of months, mostly long distance. His young kids got into his texts and it was like cold water to him. The marriage was over so his wife didnít care except for what her kids saw. He told us it was pure fantasy and none of it was real. He said they exchanged I love yous but when he thinks about it it embarrasses him because he.acted like a teenager. He said he feels so guilty about it. I donít think thatís any kind of love. Itís euphoria and thatís transitory.

If you see mushy texts they were the work of a brain on lots of raging hormones. If you can get them and they will help then thatís your right but going on what my friend said they are juvenile nothings.

Kate88 posted 1/10/2021 20:54 PM

I completely understand how you are feeling, the need to "know everything" is like trying to find what's real vs what's not and to understand how threatened you are so you can feel in control and safe again.

I am sure there are versions of mushy messages that would be completely heartbreaking to read.

In my case, he handed over all his messages to me and there were no mushy ones. They were all her demanding he pick her and him saying he loved me and wouldn't change his mind.

Did it make me feel better? Initially. Because I was bargaining and wanted to feel he liked me better.

Over time, I have read those messages a thousand times and I really don't know if it actually makes it better. He had an affair for six months with someone he obviously didn't even LIKE very much and risked my wellbeing and our relationship for basically nothing.

I am not sure ANYTHING really makes it better, we just tell ourselves that it will because we are seeking some sort of comfort :(

devastedone posted 1/13/2021 18:59 PM

You are so fresh out of DDay. I am so sorry you are here.

I am entering year 7. I can't even believe that DDay for me was 6 1/2 years ago. It's almost unfathomable.

I too, have always wanted to know more. I couldn't get enough and there are still times today, I am sad to say, that I run down that rabbit hole and try to find new information. I never do and I have realized that it is my brain trying to protect me.

Regardless, I wanted to know more (texts, emails, phone logs, etc.) because I didn't want one shred of information to stay between them and only them. To me, knowing everything meant there was nothing that only they shared. I still wish to this day that I did a thorough search, that I used Dr. Fone on my fWh's phone at the time. He offered it up, actually encouraged it. But, I was too "proud" at that time, felt that I was acting too crazy.

I do regret that. I wish I had run the recovery. I know only too well how hurtful the texts between them were going to be, but today, almost 7 years later, I still don't know nor will I ever, other than what he has told me (which is a lot). He maintains that he has told me everything. I believe him...but...I still wish I had the information myself, to make the decision myself.

So, I get what you are feeling. My advice and many would disagree, do a recovery, get the phone records, do whatever YOU need to do to find peace. Whatever that may look like.

Wishing you the best. This journey is a b*tch if I must say. I have emerged stronger and better, as has our M. But I will never credit the A for that. The A was a nuclear bomb that didn't have to be detonated.

OwningItNow posted 1/13/2021 19:59 PM

What I'm getting at is something like this: you may be focusing on this as a way of avoiding something really important.

I am not sure ANYTHING really makes it better, we just tell ourselves that it will because we are seeking some sort of comfort

I don't know how comfortable you are talking truth about yourself, but I can accept a lot of truth about me and assume others can do the same. So I am not trying to be rude, just honest. The posts above ^^^ speak to the true issue, as I see it: knowing "everything" is a desire to control it, own it, get a leg up, handle it. This is really about personalities and control.

Some people want to know nothing about the A or their problems and hide from the truth as coping, but many of us are the opposite and use control to cope. We are the type who step up and take charge. You will NOT know more about MY life than me, more about MY spouse than me! I will double down and win this, and I will take my power back!!! We often want every detail, try to settle the score with the AP, dream of revenge and of coming out on top. When we see any problem, we take it apart in our heads until the problem is solved. We've never met an issue we couldn't figure out. We own it to deal with it.

But what if we can't?

What if we cannot own every piece of this, cannot get the revenge we imagine, cannot get every last detail and strip it of its power? Then what? Well, as a card carrying control freak, I can tell you that we STRUGGLE to cope without our coping method. IC helps a great deal, mostly to teach us that control is an illusion we never had and never will have. We cannot control the world so that it behaves as we want. In fact, it's going to do whatever it's going to do, and it's very likely going to hurt us sometime.

I learned to cope by working on my strong desires to control the hurt I felt rather than working even harder to get the control. When I triggered and wanted info, apologies, do-overs that I couldn't have, I gave myself some love and care, let myself cry, cut myself some slack. I said to me, "You're awesome. It doesn't really matter what he did with her because you are still fu@king awesome. It changes nothing about you. Anybody would be lucky to spend time with your fun self." Honestly, building me up when I wanted so badly to steal control back was VERY healing for me. It put positive energy back into my life. It reminded me that I deserved more love than he deserved hate, and I wanted that love and care to flow toward me.

The desire to own and control every morsel got smaller and smaller in my life. I will let you in on a secret, too--those who chase the idea of more (info, revenge, reclaiming, affirmation) almost never get enough, so try to calm yourself in other ways. You don't need to know every detail because that shit means nothing to your fabulous, amazing, fun, loyal, intelligent self. Give her some hugs and cuddles and a cup of tea and a brisk walk and tell her that you are still you. 100% untouched by their foolishness.

Eta: this is what other posters are saying. You don't want the info, you want to control your feelings of worthlessness and rejection. But one more detail won't do it, five more details won't do it. Loving yourself all the time--in huge doses--will. Counter your triggers and need for control with self-love and affirmations from you to you.

I don't know. Try it. My gut says it will help you. Many hugs and much luck.

[This message edited by OwningItNow at 8:09 PM, January 13th (Wednesday)]

Red9999 posted 1/13/2021 20:04 PM

I understand how you feel.his was an EA and sending gifts. I would like to know more to just to make sure he is not lying about it. It would help me to try and deal with it. I keep having these thoughts about what was said and who said it. He told me they didn't discuss if either me and she didn't let him know if she has a husband/boyfriend.NO flirting and nothing was said sexual. Same here he has deleted all emails but I kept check during the day to see if she has email him again. Nothing yet but she lives in another country so a little harder to do that. I am trying to track down here email address so I can email her and ask her to forward to me. He does open his email account in front of me and I have access to his phone any time I ask for it. I just don't want to be someone who rushes to his phone every time it goes off. But I find myself doing that. I guess the WS don't understand what they do to us or just don't care.

[This message edited by Red9999 at 7:54 AM, January 14th (Thursday)]

Oceanbreeze posted 1/13/2021 21:55 PM

I'm so sorry you are dealing with this! I haven't read every single response to your quandary, but I will talk about how a similar situation affected me. I am not an expert on recovering these things; after around a year of trying to do so myself, I gave up. My wife and her A hole partner met at our gym, but communicated almost entirely on Instagram. I tried a few things, it never worked, and I wondered whether or not I really needed to see it all. She had told me lots (as it seems your H is doing with you), was sincere, and was totally open to all scrutiny from me, so I assumed it might be something I'd have to let go.
About a year into R, I just happened to check her phone and the entire conversation popped up. It was unreal, because everything I'd read at that point said that once it was deleted (which it was), there was no recovering it. But there it was...the entire thing.
A couple of things: obviously, I read as much as I could. It was devastating to see it. There were no "I love yous", but there was plenty of sex talk. At the same time, it confirmed everything she'd told me as far as it only happening twice and there being no contact thereafter.
How did that entire conversation suddenly come up after supposedly being deleted? No idea. How would I have come out without ever having seen it? Again..no idea. But ultimately, I can tell you there is good and bad in seeing what they told each other. Ultimately, though, there will be things you don't want to see, for sure, in those messages. I can't say if they're dealbreakers, but if you do see them, make sure you look at the facts you can make from them. That will hopefully support or end what your H has said as being true or not. And if you never see them, you're not in a worse position than many folks who've dealt with this. Only in the smartphone age have we come to expect a means of tracing every person's footsteps.

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