This is my first post. Thank you to anyone who takes the time to read it.
8 years ago I met a woman. I was recently divorced, and she was recently widowed. We were around 30 years old. I had two children from my previous marriage, she had one child from a previous relationship, and three step-children from her late husband.
We began meeting up and spending time together. I enjoyed my time with her. After hanging out together a few times, it became physical. Spending time with her was enjoyable, I was attracted to her, we talked a lot, intimacy was good, and she seemed to genuinely care about me.
There were a few red flags, but I didn’t see them as deal breakers. For example, she smoked weed and occasionally drank, and I was in recovery (at that time 2 years sober). She would lie sometimes; not huge lies, but small ones, and I couldn’t always be certain she was lying, but I had a feeling she was. And her husband had died only two months before we began hanging out. And she had a one night stand between the husband dying and me. (I learned about this much later). However, she told me that they were in the process of getting divorced and she had been over him long before. And even if I had known about the one night stand in the beginning, it wouldn’t have been a deal breaker for me, because it was before me. Well, then I also learned she had some legal issues.
There was a search warrant and there police seized a lot of drug paraphernalia, computer hard drives, cell phones, apparently they were dealing a bit.
I didn’t completely know the depth of these issues, but she was partially honest. Her husband had committed suicide by intravenous overdose. He was using heavily, and they were having martial problems, and he took his own life. She woke up in the morning lying next to a dead man. Lastly, she seemed to have quite a few male admirers contacting her via text. I told her I wasn’t cool with that if we were going to be in a relationship. There’s a difference between a healthy and normal friendship between the sexes and dudes texting you later at night, from the bar, etcetera. You get what I mean. Just not something I wanted to deal with.
On the other side of this coin: this woman is a combat veteran, seemed intelligent, was beautiful, had a fairly healthy income, good credit, seemed agreeable, and we had fun together. She basically explained it all saying it was a dark part of her life that she regretted and already moving on from, even before we met.
I myself am a combat veteran and offered her pretty much all the same good qualities she offered to me. And, if course, I have negative qualities too.
Before long, she was coming to visit me often. I lived in a different state and it was a long drive for her. She improved my bachelor pad, cooked for me and my children (I have and still maintain 50 percent custody with their mother), helped care for my children, grocery shopped, even paid for many things.
Things got more serious between us.
However, at some point there were some issues, and there was a bit of a blow up, and I called things off for very short period. In retrospect, I don’t even remember what it was over.
I took some time, took care of my kids, worked, visited friends, took a trip to Alaska.
Well, after a while we begin hanging out again a little, and the next thing I know I get a text at work: she’s pregnant. Yes, this news came to me via text message at work.
We had had the reproduction talk and she had assured me she was on birth control. I believed her.
Her story was that the birth control didn’t work. Shit, but okay, tough to prove otherwise. I asked her what she wanted to do and it was obvious immediately she wanted to have the baby and there would be no discussion about any other options. And in the end, I was okay with that. Can I blame her? I mean, what woman wouldn’t want to have my baby? Haha, JK!
I took a couple weeks deciding what to do, and ultimately figured what the hell, I may as well give this my best shot. So, I called her and she was receptive, and I asked her if she wanted to move to my state. I wasn’t sure about this because her daughter resides in the state she was in (the father had primary custody), and she was living in a different city, but only an hour away. She did want to move to my state, and live with me. I told her I thought it might be good if she gets an apartment first. With all three of the kids I didn’t want to move too fast for them, and thought it would be better if we took it slowly/cautiously. She rented an apartment and signed a 6 month lease, and I helped her move into it. Most of the time she was at my place anyway.
During this time, with her staying at my house a great deal (I came to enjoy it), but at some point I noticed her phone going off in the middle of the night. It was happening more so I brought it up. Turned out that it was a dude that she served overseas with. She let me read the texts and I wasn’t comfortable with it at all. I’ve seen worse, but they were joking around about some sexual things, and it was obvious the dude wanted to bone her, and in one he called her "sweetheart." I did NOT believe that they had hooked up, but it wasn’t something I was going to tolerate either. So I made it clear that she could certainly continue in that behavior, but if she choose to I was done with the relationship. Each to their own, but I’m not into this kind of thing. I also pointed out that no women are texting me at 2 in the morning, and no sexual jokes, etc. are being exchanged.
Immediately, she was remorseful, took responsibility, apologized what seemed to be genuinely, and told me it was a mistake and that she would never do it again, that I was way more important than this dude, and that she would never talk to him again.
I said okay. I believed her. I totally forgave her. I even forgot the guy’s name. I never brought it up, and totally let it go.
Things seemed cool again.
I had a good union job I worked hard at, and I started a business, and taught myself to invest and trade stocks. I also helped with household chores, spent a lot of my time with her and the kids, took care of the house/yard, etcetera. She did not have a job, but worked around the house and took care of the kids and supported me in whatever I was doing, and she always seemed to explore one interest or another of her own. She seemed happy, and so was I. More happy than I have ever been.
She traveled out of state to see her daughter often. I supported her doing that, although it was expensive and sometimes stressful after growing used to her help around the home, but she needed to see her daughter too. When she was gone I had a lot more to do in terms of childcare and household chores in addition to career. Plus, I usually missed her and looked forward to her return home.
We took a few nice family vacations. In a few years, we upgraded our home, big time. From my little bachelor pad by the railroad tracks to a big custom home in a very desirable neighborhood near a private golf course.
We never legally married. She chose to legally change her last name to mine, and we acted like husband and wife, lived together, raised the kids, joined together on several financial/insurance accounts.
We did, however, buy rings and promised one another that we would be faithful and we thought of it as a spiritual marriage.
She was even talking to the Catholic Church about eventually marrying.
Although, if we legally married she would lose the widow benefit she had, and the step-kids would lose their health insurance. Remember how I said the dad committed suicide. Sadly, a few years later his son did too. He hung himself.
So I said, okay. We’ll spiritually marry for now and later in life we’ll legally marry.
After approximately 6 years together, I noticed something began to feel off. My wife didn’t seem to like me as much. She was angry often and we weren’t spending as much time together. Our sex life suffered too. I tried talking to her about it so many times and it went nowhere. She stonewalled me like no one ever has. It was horrible. I couldn’t understand what was going on.
I didn’t even consider that she was being unfaithful. I totally thought she would never. And she told me early on in our relationship that if I ever cheated, she would be gone.
This went on for a few months. I asked her if there was anything we could do to resolve it. She had nothing. I tried talking to her about the lack of intimacy. The first time she told me to, "look at porn and jerk off." The second time I brought it up she told me to "figure it out," and she walked out of the room.
I was pretty much devastated at this point.
Finally I asked her if she was having an affair. She told me, "fuck no!"
A couple weeks later I asked her again and got a similar response. So then I asked if there was another man she was simply talking to, thinking there might be something emotionally going on. She denied it.
A couple more months of this and finally I picked up her phone one day when she was in the shower. She had left it lying near me. I never checked her phone and I didn’t even know what I was looking for.
For some reason I went into Instagram first, and there in her inbox was a thread of messages with a man. Sexual memes, dirty jokes, sharing details of their lives, all hours of the night. I stopped there. I didn’t even look further into other apps. God, how I wish I had. I simply went straight to her and asked her what in the hell i was looking at. I’m fairly certain she smirked. I asked her who this guy is. She told me. I asked her who in the hell that is. It was the guy she served overseas with that she had cut out of her life 5 years ago when we had the issues the first time. I demanded to know what else they had been up to. She said that they had done nothing else.
My mind was all over the place.
She sent him a message saying it wasn’t right and needed to stop. That it was disrespectful to me, and if the situation were reversed, she wouldn’t be cool with it.
The guy told her I was controlling and he wouldn’t be in a relationship like that. That men and women should be able to be friends. She insisted he stop. He said alright.
I asked my wife what else they had done. She said there were a few texts, but that was it. She had already deleted them. She admitted that at some point (she didn’t remember when), they became friends again on Facebook. And later she reached out to him because she wasn’t happy in our relationship. She said she thought she wanted to "hurt" me with this guy. Maybe that explains why she didn’t delete the thread?
I confronted the guy. He was too far away to do it in person (in a different state). So I did it online. To me he was incredibly kind and apologetic. He let it slip that they had communicated via Snapchat as well. She had told me already there was absolutely no other communication.
I asked her about this. She admitted it was true, but it was nothing bad. She showed me her snapchat app and the fact that they had exchanged pictures of their plants. They’re both into houseplants. She said that was it. I didn’t believe her.
I checked her phone records. They had half a dozen phone conversations, each totaling between 15-60 minutes. I learned she was also helping him in his attempt to get some VA benefits.
I was able to put together that they had been conversing for about 3.5 months.
Also, by linking our own text messages in comparison to the phone records, I was able to determine that at one point, she came home and sat in the car and talked to him while I was in the house. I thought it was strange that she was in the garage, sitting in our car having a phone conversation. She told me via text it was her daughter.
A couple weeks later I came home from work, and she had a surprise for me. She wanted my phone. She downloaded the Snapchat app onto my phone, had created a joint account for us and had deleted her own account. It would go on my phone and we would check it together in the evening. I was a little confused by it all, but she seemed happy, so I said okay. In many areas we were getting along better, our sex life vastly improved. We were having fun. Especially if I could keep my mind off this guy and her.
I had never been on Snapchat and didn’t really give a shit about it. Later I learned that there was quite a lot going on in her Snapchat app.
How I wish I would have kept my mouth shut and monitored that if possible. I’m not sure if her snap was password protected, or not. She claims it was not.
Approximately two weeks later, I was at work and bored. So I started looking through Facebook. There was a man that continued to pop up as a suggested friend. Randomly I clicked on his picture. To my surprise my wife had liked and hearted several of his public posts. Who is this guy? Turned out he is a car salesman. How does my wife know him?
We were leaving on a trip for Denver that evening. So I asked her then. Who is this guy, etcetera.
He’s just a car salesman, she explained. She met him while looking for a vehicle. That was true I learned later. I asked if she had anything more to do with him. She admitted that she had invited him to a couple art events (she was a board member on our local community art center), and he had showed up, and they talked briefly, but that was it. That’s it? Yes. You’re sure? Yes.
I began to think I was paranoid for no reason. That I had become a little over protective and jealous and a bit crazy after the other guy. I even began seeing a counselor at the VA and she agreed it was probably nothing and I shouldn’t over react.
But something didn’t feel right. So I began really digging. Anywhere I could think of. I found a bunch of texts that she had deleted but i was able to recover.
They had been texting off and on for seven months. She took him lunch at work on a few occasions. It was Philippine food (she is half Philippine). Food she has boughten from an Asian woman in town that makes wonderful Philippine food, and let him believe that she had made it herself. She even elaborated and told him the meat from the locker was a "bit fatty" this time around. They occasionally talked about their weekend. He was starting a drycleaning business. She helped him with some of that. They talked about how they were both very motivated and were going to be great partners. We had a vacation rental cabin and I was in the process of buying a second cabin. She was sharing these things with him, but acting as though it were all her. My name wasn’t mentioned much, if at all. She had almost nothing to do with the second cabin purchase and the first was from my constant push to break into that business.
About 3 months prior to this she had taken a "girls weekend" with her and two girlfriends. They stayed in our cabin. By digging up these texts (also deleted) I learned that this salesman was also there. Supposedly she was trying to set this guy up with her half sister. But her half sister wasn’t around much. But this guy and his mother were. Yes, his mother was there too. The first night they were there for a few hours, but the second night they all went out to dinner and then went dancing and closed the club. Then they went to an after bar party at some other cabin and didn’t return to our cabin until 7 AM. They shot tequila and God knows what else all night. While at this after bar party I learned via these texts that her, this guy, and supposedly his mother were all hanging out on a different floor, while the other ladies were downstairs playing pool with the cabin inhabitants. My wife even took a picture of this guy apparently resting on the couch and sent it to her girlfriend when her girlfriend asked if she was ready to go, and then replied with something like I don’t know if he can drive us in this condition.
Of course the photograph, like all the texts, was deleted too. They returned to our cabin, and the two friends of my wife’s took one room and shared a bed, and they thought (I talked to one of the girls later) my wife slept in the other bedroom. However, my wife later admitted that she gave the man’s 60 year old mother the bedroom and my wife and this man slept in the living room. We have 3 leather recliners in this room, no couch. So the two of them each slept on a recliner.
Now at this point if I hadn’t seen the texts for myself I would have sworn that my wife screwed this guy that night in our family cabin.
But here’s the thing, two days later they start texting each other and I absolutely did not get the vibe at all that they had sex. Maybe I’m wrong. Yes, they were talking about how they both think the other one is great, and they’re telling each other how they have "sweet souls," and I know that sounds weird, but I still didn’t think they did. They mainly talked about his mom.
I confronted my wife with all this and she admitted to it. I learned this guys phone number and dug through the records looking for it, and found they had half a dozen phone conversations too. One day she even talked to this salesman for an hour, the overseas vet got 30 minutes, and to me for 10 minutes. I received the least of her time of all! Lol, but seriously I was pissed. As I’m pressing her a bit she admits that she actually called this salesman a couple weeks prior to this to tell him to lie to me about staying at our cabin. Because she knew it wouldn’t be good if I found out. And she admitted to calling him from the community Art Center (on their phone) so there was no record on her cell phone bill. She thought I was watching it like a hawk. I wasn’t.
Then I started to piece some things together with this guy. About a month after my wife goes out on this girls weekend, I took our son camping. I asked her to go, but she hates camping and declined. So I made the most out of a Father/son trip. She went out to a bar with a girlfriend.
We returned the next day. It was a Sunday. On Monday morning I went to work early in the morning as usual. At around noon, she called this salesman and they had a 1 minute phone conversation. On Tuesday, he called her around lunch time and they had a 2 minute phone conversation. Weird.
I found out later, he was in trouble at work for taking long lunch breaks and was reprimanded for it. I also learned that the management team told him to stop having my wife come around the dealership so much, because they knew she was married and they didn’t want any problems with the husband. Was he eating my wife for lunch? I didn’t know.
I learned he lived very close to me. Not even a mile away. There was this little run down area with some rough housing options. He lived in a little townhouse there, before he moved. My wife admitted to having been there one time when my daughter and her took a table to him. Apparently he needed furniture and they found a free table on Facebook Marketplace and delivered it to him.
She also admitted that she had lunch with him and our 5 year old son on one day when I was at work.
I pieced more of the puzzle together.
Approximately a week after these very short phone calls, I took another camping trip with some old friends of mine. She urged me to go. I pulled the camper over for one night. That day that I was gone the salesman texted my wife and explained that it was his day off and he was wondering if she had a free moment. He "didn’t want to be a bother". She said he was no bother at all. That she was painting at the art center and that he should stop in. He can come in and talk to her or she’ll walk out to the parking lot and speak with him. Whichever he prefers. Again, weird, but is there more besides a clandestine friendship? I’m not cool with that, but for that my wife has apologized and swears there’s nothing more. But all her lies aren’t helping me to trust her. The dude showed up. I later confirmed this with an employee friend of mine there. This employee friend of mine said he was there for 20-30 minutes and they talked, but it seemed very platonic. She said if they had something going on sexually than my wife is "Houdini." Although, she also admitted that through a lot of their talk she had her headphones on and couldn’t hear their conversation and she was busy painting as well. Later that day, around 6 pm, when I was camping, they had a 15 minute phone conversation. The next morning she texted him asking if he was okay, and told him she was about to go into "her appointment." I thought this too was strange. Like he knew she had a doctors appointment and she knew about his meeting. He told my wife that he had just gotten out of his meeting and wanted to get together. He was leaving for the weekend for his aunt’s funeral. Right after this my wife texted me and asked if I was coming home that evening from camping. I was also working. An hour later in the midst of my work when I saw the message I responded with a "yes." She responded to me with a great she’ll set out hamburger meat for tacos. I told my co-workers I’d be having tacos that night.
3 minutes later she called the salesman and they had a very short conversation.
A couple hours later I returned home a bit earlier than usual and my wife was not there. I texted her asking where she was. 15 minutes later she texted me and said she was at the art center painting and invited me down. I told her I needed to pay bills and do a few things around the house so I wouldn’t be able to. An hour later their texts resumed between the two of them pertaining to what he charged to clean the comforters for our vacation rental cabin at his drycleaning business. The next 3 days I was away each day on business, and home every night. She spoke with him each day, and to the overseas vet as well.
That was the last time they spoke on her cell phone that I’m aware of. That was in September and I didn’t start finding things out until December. She later told me that things just dissipated between the two. He did get a girlfriend, and pretty much immediately got her pregnant. My wife has hearted their photos on his Facebook and he has hearted a photo of her and I.
I googled the guys name and he had a huge rap sheet. My wife told me that the day they were out to lunch he admitted to have gotten into trouble and showed her his ankle bracelet. When, in fact, he had recently gotten out of prison. Meth dealer, assault, and a lot more. I later brought all this up to his employer, but apparently he’s too valuable a salesman so they overlook it.
I approached the guy at his job. We talked for an hour. I caught him in a couple lies. He said he didn’t stay in our cabin. I told him my wife said otherwise. He admitted it. He told me he had never touched my wife, never even hugged her. My wife told me they had hugged as friends.
I couldn’t get him to admit to anything, whether I played it cool or if I got a little nasty. He swore they never did anything, and he said she talked about me "all the time." He did admit that things "got a little weird between them." And he bragged about all the women he had slept with.
My wife’s response to this hit was strange too. He’s black and she made a big deal about that. She said she’d never sleep with a black guy. That they’re gross. That they’re okay to have as friends, but not to sleep with. I reminded her that she had slept with Peurto Rican, and us there a huge difference? She went further to tell me that when I’m the past when she watched porn that she’d never watch porn with a black guy. And also, this guy worked out a lot, and she’s not into big muscles and thinks that’s gross too. As she said things like this, every time I felt like she was lying.
Around this time I was moving my 4 Runner in our driveway, but had forgotten the keys in the house. My wife’s purse was sitting on the passenger seat. I found the keys and then had the idea to look through her purse. Something in 7 years I had never done. In a little side pocket to which she later let slip she referred to as her "secret pocket," There was a name and number, "Zach." Who now in the F is Zach?!? I immediately marched into the house and asked. Her mom’s X-ray guy at the hospital on the east coast (where her mom lives. We live out west). It was a piece of scrap paper and on the back side words about x rays in fine print. I believed her. But why is it in your purse. I have no woman’s name and number personally scribbled by her in a piece of paper in my wallet. He’s simply his moms friend, she said, and his brother lives near us and when he is here to visit, Zach will call us and the three of us will go out to dinner. The three of us, I asked. Yes, she maintained. Why haven’t you ever told me of this guy, I asked. Never thought of it. She swore she had never as so much as had a phone conversation with him and there was nothing there. I couldn’t find his number in her call logs.
Now, maybe I should mention here, that all these problems originally started with financial infidelity in the year of 2021. To my surprise I learned she had a credit card maxed out. Later I learned she had two cards maxed out. Around 13,000 dollars total. She told me these charges came from helping her mother pay her medical bills. Her mother has cancer and terrible health insurance. I believed her. I even went around telling anyone that would listen that we were helping my mother-in-law pay her medical bills. I felt like a big man. I was proud of it. Later, I asked to see the statements because something didn’t seem right. She had no statements. And she had no way to get online. Ridiculous. Then she finally admitted that only one was used for her mom’s medical bills. To which months later, she admitted neither were used for her mom’s medical bills. In fact, when I did FINALLY get access to her statements, there wasn’t a single charge for anything involving her mom’s medical bills. They were used for fat freezing procedure, Botox, clothing, gas, food, and oddly a male massage therapist that she was seeing regularly. I knew she saw him in the past, but I did not know she was seeing him more recently.
Not long after this, I was playing with our 5 year old son on his iPad when I realized that my wife’s phone used to be synched with his iPad. There were old texts in there she hasn’t deleted like she had on her phone and computer. There were some strange texts between her and a man that had been hired at the art center as their potter.
They were talking about private pottery lessons when my wife didn’t have our kids along to get in the way. She told him the "possibilities were endless." Ouch, I thought. Was my wife banging this dude?
I asked her. Of course, she denied everything. I had nowhere else to look though. His number wasn’t in her call logs. They did talk about going out for mimosas with another female employee. Shortly after, her iPad was no longer synced soo list the trail. They all swore the mimosas never happened.
At this time were in couples therapy. I’m losing my shit. And I’m taking a lot out on her. But I’m also trying to be cool too and want to connect with her and wanted to pull her close to me. However, I also pushed her away often too. I didn’t feel that I could trust her AT ALL, but I wanted to. Some counseling sessions were good, others were a nightmare.
My wife off and on, became very defensive and would lash out at me. Ruthless at times even. She would blow up and say terrible things. If I questioned things, or pressed my curiosity onto her concerning what happened, she would blow. I still have questions today, 15 months after the start of this shit show, that I’ve never been able to ask.
When I asked her about the short phone conversations between her and the salesman and the texts and showed her how I pieced it together, she looked at me and said, "What do you think you are doing?!?" And then threatened to leave me.
Anyway, there came a point when I started to think maybe my wife had some sexual trauma as a child. I don’t want to explain why, but I started to wonder. And I wondered if it had anything to do with all this shit she was doing. I asked her and she began violently sobbing. Weeks later she did admit that things had happened to her and shared things with me. She said I was the only person she had ever told. She also told me that she had been on Snapchat with the potter. What did the two of you do on Snapchat I asked her. "Not much. I sent him a video of our cabin. Pictures." Pictures of what I asked. "Animals, things like that." She was talking about their pets. She swore there was nothing else.
Now I finally had something on this guy I suspected all along.
And I remembered something. The previous summer, I was with my wife at an event at the art center, when this young potter (10 years younger than us) walked in with a woman. They were flirting and hanging on each other. Hanna was her name. I remembered. And after looking at them, I felt something off and I looked over at my wife. She looked very mad. She was staring at them with laser eyes. Weird, I thought. You ok? Yeah, I’m fine.
I tracked this guy down. He lived with his parents. Lol. He wouldn’t talk to me in person. I got his number from his father. I called him. I caught him in all kinds of lies at first. And he wanted to know what I knew. I told him it doesn’t work that way. He lied about Snapchat. I told him my wife already told me. Then he admitted that she sent him a "cleavage pic." A what? "She was in the bathroom," he explained. "Drinking wine. And she sent me a picture of herself drinking wine in your bathroom and showing cleavage. And it was on a ten second timer before disappearing."
Now remember, I have 10.5 years sober and when my wife moved in with me a clear boundary was set that no alcohol in our home ever. She quickly and happily agreed.
Then it occurred to me that my wife had spent a considerable amount of time at the community art center when she volunteered to paint the interior. I thought it was crazy when she told me what she was doing. They had gotten a very fair estimate by a legitimate contractor with a crew of men, but for some reason my wife decided that she would save the art center money ABC’s paint it herself with the help of a couple of the other employees, one being the potter. She claimed later that the two of them were never alone there. The director, her friend, refuted this and said in fact they were often there together and alone. My wife and the potter both lied saying there was no way they could do anything because the place has cameras. Those cameras were not installed until after the painting. The director verified this abcs I read it in the notes from their meetings. Additionally, his office has no cameras. So why say these things? Why the lies? I wondered did she volunteer to paint this place to be around him? Then I remembered her telling me that she was upset because there were times she felt the potter should be there helping, but he wasn’t. Horrible images of the two of them in that place sometimes run through my mind. It makes me nauseous. She did admit to flirting with this guy off and on for a year. I found some other weird photos of her with our pets. Somewhat seductive, but you can’t really say for sure. Like, hey here’s me and my Jack Russell dog, don’t I look good. And he’s she did. And they aren’t going to me. She admitted they went to him. There were a couple photos in her camera roll of her in our bed in the morning. One was of her and our son. She claims it went to her sister. I didn’t believe her. Here’s the other thing, I’m a photographer too. I take a lot of pictures, especially of my family. I have pictures of her in that bed in the morning and I can’t see her phone in them during this time. It’s like she’s hiding it. Before and after her phone is in there photos on the nightstand. At other times when she was taking these photos I was literally in the back yard playing with our children or dogs, or I was enjoying my morning coffee some on the deck wishing she was out there with me, thinking I should let her sleep or she’ll be mad I woke her. Also, there were a lot of other pictures and I realized how unhappy she looks when I photographed her during this time, especially during the time she was painting down at the Community Art Center which lasted for nearly a month. And after that she NEVER wore her wedding ring again, until I found out about dude 1 in December. Not a single photo, even when entertaining guests at our home. No wedding ring. I never noticed, but I certainly do now when I look at the hundreds of photos of my wife without her ring. Lastly, during this time we took a bath one night. A big bubble bath. I was so happy we were doing it. I took a picture of her in the bubbles and us in the tub. She immediately got pissed and told me to absolutely not post that to Facebook! It was a cute and clean photo. She didn’t want someone to see it. Which also reminds me that even though she had a profile picture of the two of us together she wouldn’t include the fact that she was married, and in December when I noticed that and pressed, she agreed but didn’t want to make that fact public. Saying it was too much information to put out on Facebook. BS, I thought.
Anyway, back to where I was fuming and had just gotten off the phone with the potter and learned of this “cleavage pic” as the kid called it. My wife was working at our other cabin I had bought in the mountains on this day. I told her I talked to this guy, and her reaction still confuses me to this day.
She said, "He said we had sex, didn’t he?"
"Oh, did he tell you about the wine picture?"
"Yes. Why did you ask if he said you had sex?"
"I’m just mad right now."
She blew up from there. To this day she claims I made this a big deal and not her. She vehemently denies sending him a cleavage pic.
That those are simply her breasts. I asked why I don’t get pics like that. And I reminded her that when she was sending me selfies, even without cleavage, we were screwing. She’ll hear none of it. Instantly mad. She now calls this her "inferno mode" and claims it’s my fault she’s that way. Because I back her into corners and she feels attacked. And accuses me of "blabbing our problems to everyone."
I’ve communicated that I asked for the truth in the beginning. She continued to lie and that I lost my trust in her. That the truth is all that could have and still could fix this. Being honest. Building trust on a solid foundation type of thing. She claims she had to lie to me because she couldn’t trust me.
She has admitted little things here and there occasionally. The trickle truth is the worst! Like the day she admitted that the overseas vet sent her a picture of his penis. However, she added he only did because it’s all messed up. It’s super tiny and he suffers from erectile dysfunction. I eventually talked to the guys girlfriend and she verified this. Still though, no woman is sending me pictures of her jacked up vagina.
The girlfriend of this overseas guy, dumped him because he was constantly lying and doing shady stuff on his phone. There were several women he was doing this stuff with and he would gaslight her and all that. Blame his cheating on sleeping pills, etc. But she didn’t know my wife was one of them. She said he talked about her as his "married friend."
Then I learned more. This guy and my wife did this same shit with her late husband. This was a big thorn in their side too. And her late husband totally lost it and wanted to kill the guy. He served overseas too, but anyway like I said he killed himself.
Then my wife starts telling me things completely unrelated that have been secrets of hers. For example, she was addicted to a hard core narcotic. Smoked it daily for several months and a couple times used intravenously. I had no idea. I would have thought being in recovery, she would have shared that with me sometime in the previous 7 years! Additionally, why would she drink and smoke weed after getting clean from the other substance. "Because I didn’t have a problem with those," She told me. She also told me about a married guy she slept with in Iraq and when we were struggling early on in our relationship she met him at the park to talk to him because her child and his children were hanging out often and they wanted to speak privately about how to handle the situation of these kids, since they had had an affair in Iraq and the guy was still married to the wife. She’s a pharmacist. Poor lady, I thought.
I later read my wife’s journal from Iraq unbeknownst to her and she was totally in love with this guy. Previously, when we hooked up she did mention him, but basically said he was nothing, a one time deal, and a mistake. I remembered when we were driving in our hometown. It’s small and that guy lives there. I parked across from his house when we were going to hike a trail nearby. I didn’t know he lived there. She immediately demanded I move the vehicle. Why? "No reason. Just do." Wtf?
Anyway, we’re going through this and after about 9 months she wants to separate, so I went and got a hotel room. I showed up at the house to get a few things one morning unexpectedly and she’s walking around in yoga pants and a bra. I think nothing of it and then she explained this situation like it was a big deal. And I’m thinking why would I care if you walk around the house totally nude. Knock yourself out. I walk up to our bedroom and I toss something into the waste basket and there’s a bra in there. Weird. I pick it up. The wire in it is broken. I say nothing. She tells me she’s put an offer in on a piece of land and she’s going to build a house. In one of our happy days only the previous month, we found a really cool newly constructed custom home downtown and made an offer and it was accepted. The plan was to move there and sell our big house by the golf course. Now she would not be living with me, but would build her own home close to me so our son could walk between the two homes.
Plus, she’s really cold toward me.
So I start to wonder if she’s talking to some guy again. Possibly sending him pictures in her bra, etcetera. Flirting. Another emotional affair.
I check out her texts and see that she had a notification that she was back into her old tiktok account.
I asked her about it and she totally lost it. In front of my daughter and our little boy she screamed at me, "I HATE YOU AND YOU ARE A FUCKING PIECE OF SHIT!!!" She stormed off with her phone. I did check her phone later, but of course everything was deleted from TikTok. She claimed she wasn’t even really using the account. I showed her the analytical graphs easily obtainable through tiktok that showed for 3 days she was on that account almost 9 hours per day. She has always acted as though she doesn’t even hear me say that and sticks to her story of she wasn’t on that account.
There was something she couldn’t delete, however. Who had viewed her profile in the past 30 days. And guess who showed up there. One person. The overseas veteran. Was she screwing around with him again?
I called him. He denied that. But he did tell me a lot of other things. He said he absolutely would not be okay with his woman talking to some other man like she did. He admitted that she sends him pictures, and that he asked to see her naked. She declined, but continued the talks and flirtations.
He said she seemed happy with me, but did occasionally bitch about me. And she told him we weren’t legally married.
I asked her at one point if she needs this guy in her life. She said, "no."
I learned that she also told the potter we aren’t legally married. The salesman knew of some of our relationship problems and claimed to be praying for us. Lol.
My wife has deflected toward my ex/wife often. What seems like incessantly bringing her up over the years whenever she feels like it and claims that we had some affair as well. There are two times I talked to my ex about things outside our children covering my wife. 1- when my wife became pregnant. I was lost and scared shitless. I never said anything to my ex, but she asked me what was wrong with me when I dropped off the kids. I lied and told her "nothing." She says bullshit. Then she said, "Oh my God, she’s pregnant isn’t she?" I have no idea how she knew. On the sidewalk in front of her townhouse we talked about it. I told her I was scared. We never spoke of it again. The second time was when I found out about the car salesman and discovered he had stayed at our cabin. I called the ex to ask if she could keep the kids for the weekend. She told me that’s not like me and she wanted to know what’s up because I also sounded off. I spilled what I was going through. My emotions were everywhere. I was in some kind of rage. I admitted both of these incidents to my wife, apologized, answered any questions she had (she doesn’t seem to have any, but simply seems to like to hold it over my head is how I feel), and even offered to talk about it in counseling and expressed that my ex would probably even join us in counseling if it would help. There is nothing there, and never will be. I simply want to co-parent well with the woman, and I won’t make the mistake of speaking to her about my relationship again.
Today, 15 months after the first discovery, we’re living in different houses. We sold a cabin. Selling our big home. She is planning on moving into an apartment once that happens and then building a house a block from me. Doesn’t want anything to do with me mostly. She’ll pick up our son or take my daughter to a doctors appointment. She sometimes sends food my way. Our finances are still connected, but she is talking about ending that. There is no more affection or intimacy. She says she is done. She quit wearing her ring. She has boughten furniture and I think at this point only sticking around to get money from real estate sales. Her daughter hinted to me that her mom is over me and probably moving on to someone else soon.
I’ve learned that all her serious break ups go really bad. Her late husband killed himself. Her daughter’s father and her fought like hell, he stabbed himself, blamed her, she went to jail, later exonerated. She is still mad to this day about him living in the house she bought, her child support is going to his new truck payment, and they have been in and out of court for 15 years over one thing or another related to their daughter.
This past 15 months I’ve wanted to understand what happened. To shine a light into the dark places. Was this all a lot of flirting? Emotional affairs? Did she bang these guys? And then figure out how to proceed from there.
We’ve had two marriage counselors and talked quite a bit with our deacon at the church. They all believe my wife is holding back. I always felt that way too.
She will no longer attend counseling. A couple of the counselors thought that I should occasionally attend one of her counseling sessions. She has done that with me and my counselor. She will not allow me to.
I made it a condition of staying with her that she had to attend counseling with a purpose of learning why she is doing these things and how to stop. A couple months in, I asked her how it was going. She said, fine. I asked what she was learning in counseling. She said not much. I asked if she was talking about what happened concerning all this. She said that she told her counselor we’ve both had an emotional affair. I about lost my mind that day.
I’ve caught her in all kinds of lies. A couple weeks ago, I was at the house and I questioned her about the latest real estate deal. I knew she was lying because I had seen a couple texts. She had been talking to the realtor that day about looking at a home, but she was saying she had not. She got so upset she threatened to call the police and change the locks. "The police?" I said. "why?"
Because you won’t leave me alone.
It’s like walking on eggshells around her. Sometimes I wonder why I want to work through this with her. Fear? Ego?
Thing is I do love her. She is my kids mom. And she has been a step mom to my two other children for nearly a decade. There is some domestic and financial strength that she offers in the relationship. I could never run the Airbnb business without her. I have dreams that include her. As far as I’m concerned she’s the most beautiful woman on the planet. I’m so past my immature whoring around days in my youth, and love being faithful to one woman. I think monogamy is hot!
I can’t seem to stop trying. I want it to work. I read books, articles, I’ve paid to be on a Therapy app for us. I did 40 online sessions. She did 1. I’d do anything, but she won’t. She says she did for a while, but it wasn’t good enough for me.
Sometimes I think she’s a narcissist, and/or has an attachment disorder, fear of commitment (although she seemed to have committed to me for several years), one counselor thought borderline personality disorder. She claims the VA tested her for borderline and she doesn’t have it.
Is there any hope? Anything I can do?
I’m working actively on codependency, but my counselor doesn’t think I have a whole lot of work to do there.
My wife is basically gone, and actively working to permanently stay gone.
She is distant and I’m wondering if she’s talking to another dude again. No proof.
I wrote a list of 5 things I need from her to move forward. 1- Be honest and answer any questions I have in truth and open discussion. 2- for me to go see her counselor occasionally with her. The other counselors assume she’s lying to her counselor and giving only part of the story. 3- for my wife to figure out why she did these things and how to correct it. She has given me several reasons, including blamed me that I wasn’t meeting her emotional needs or that I was too controlling for her to have male friends. (I never cared that she had male friends. As long as I knew about them and they weren’t secrets!) 4- for her to own what she did and recommit to our relationship. 5- write a letter to at least three of the men. The vet this keeps happening with, the salesman, and the potter.
When I got to the letter writing I’m reading my list she told me to, "Fuck off."
Any advice is much appreciated. I apologize for this post being a bit all over the place. I hope you can follow. I’m typing this on my phone after working all night. I simply want to get this out there and possibly get some real advice from folks that have been through this.
I realize this entire post probably makes me sounds beta AF, but it’s where I’m at currently.
[This message edited by JP007 at 1:34 AM, Saturday, March 11th]