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Creeping Dread

Topic is Sleeping.
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Trapped74 ( member #49696) posted at 12:43 AM on Friday, April 28th, 2023

OK--- so that moment changed everything. Here I have my wife, whom I have just discovered is perfectly capable of an extramarital affair. This was learned about 6 months ago--- we've been married 4 years.

She did not have an extramarital affair, as she was not married. She was young and dumb and looking for fun. That's why she dropped him when he got serious. There's a big leap from being an AP to being a WS.

My wife goes to the gym a lot. She's expressed a desire that I go to the gym too. She wants me to lose some weight. She's said so. She's right-- I do need to lose some weight. I feel the same way.
She doesn't want to be married to alcoholic. She's said so. I know I drink too much, and too often. She's said so, and I agree.

Your wife seems to be communicating rather well. If she was thinking about or already cheating on you, I doubt she'd want you to improve yourself. If you did, she'd have a lot less "ammo" to justify her betrayal.

I mean, if you two met doing physical/athletic activities, why wouldn't she want to do it with you?

Have you ever worked out with a guy? Ugh. I will never work out with my WH because, although I've been more active for longer and in generally better shape, he will ALWAYS find something to correct me on. Hell, I was working out with 2 millennials (guys) I worked with (before covid). I had been working out/lifting weights longer than they'd been alive, but one of them still tried to tell me what was what!

I told her she should never be driving with another man, and that was weird and highly innappropriate and I couldn't imagine why her boss would even request that.

This is veering off into dysfunctional and controlling, IMHO.

As a BS, I generally always follow my spidey senses and urge others to as well. However, I believe this may just be a case of you feeling a bit insecure about your own health, while she may be experiencing age-related epiphanies and deciding to reclaim her vim and vigor. (I'm going through the same thing right now, and it does not include any hanky-panky!)

(As an aside, asking your partner their body count is ALWAYS a bad idea. I don't know my WH's (hell, not even post-marriage!) and he DEFINITELY doesn't want to know mine.)

Many DDays. Me (BW) 49 Him (WH) 52 Happily detached and compartmentalized.

posts: 335   ·   registered: Sep. 21st, 2015   ·   location: Oregon
id 8788768
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Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 4:02 AM on Friday, April 28th, 2023

A non emotional conversation might help but reading your concerns make me a little concerned. You are being a sneaky policeman. That is not good for you, her, or your marriage. She is trying new things because she is young and that is what young people do. She talks about her boss all the time because she is around him all day. If she taught kindergarten you would be sick of hearing about 5 yr olds.
This is the question you need to ask yourself. Is she pulling away from me or is she just spreading her wings a little bit. If you know you are not the paranoid or jealous type and these feelings linger then a talk at the kitchen table is needed. You can’t go on this way. It is not good for your health or your marriage.
I hope you find nothing but if you feel in your gut that something is off you need to explore it.

When things go wrong, don’t go with them. Elvis

posts: 4209   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8788778
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LizM ( member #48659) posted at 5:14 AM on Friday, April 28th, 2023

Swoned, I vote for working on yourself first and foremost. Whether she is cheating on you or not, that will help you the most.

You can’t control what she does but you can control what you do. That’s where your power is. So work on being your best, and later on if you find out she’s cheating, you’ll have the confidence to file for divorce.

posts: 863   ·   registered: Jul. 20th, 2015   ·   location: Louisville
id 8788781
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src9043 ( member #75367) posted at 5:29 AM on Friday, April 28th, 2023

Swoned: You have listed a number of red flags. It might be helpful if you could provide a little more information concerning the details of these flags so that a better opinion can be given as to how to proceed.

Given what we know, let's start with her affair with a married man. Did she express shame and regret to you for getting involved with the married man and how doing so severely compromised her principles? Simply not wanting to break up a family as a reason to stop the affair makes one think that having an extramarital affair is no biggie if the betrayed partners don't find out. Did you discuss her behavior at any length or was it swept under the rug?

Her reluctance to have you join her at her gym is extremely problematic. She is your wife. I see couples all the time at my gym. In a word, her attitude makes no sense. There is no reason on earth that your presence should hamper her workout. You can be at opposite sides of the gym doing your own thing. Sorry, but gyms are notorious pickup venues. This just smells. No need to tolerate it. Tell your wife that you wish to spend more quality time with her and that would include going to the gym together. Any reason she gives you for not wanting your presence at the gym is bullshit. Tell her none of her reasons make sense and that you are going with her from now on. DO NOT be afraid of her. Again, she is your wife, not some girl you are just starting to date.

How has her focus on work changed? Also, how has her cell phone activities changed and when did you first notice it? Do you have her passwords to her electronic devices?

Finally, what type of cosmetic procedures is she contemplating? Is it simply Botox injections? I know women in their 30s who are doing it. Is it something more severe such as a boob job? My ex had it done while she was having her second affair. I smelled a rat then. I was right.

It is crucial that you get yourself in tip-top shape physically. Definitely lay off the booze. Also, aside from the red flags, have there been any changes in how the two of you interact? Is she still loving or is she growing distant?

This is a fine line to tread but you don't want to come off as a suspicious, controlling husband nor do you want to be kowtowed by her behavior. Exhibit strength, fairness, and a no-bullshit attitude. Make it clear to her that you will not tolerate any type of shenanigans. Don't just say it, make sure she understands it. Reclaim your power. That is where getting in shape and stopping the use of alcohol comes into play. Your wife is into her looks and physical fitness. Right or wrong, she probably expects the same type of dedication from her partner.

My last bit of advice is that you save some money that you can discreetly put toward a PI down the line if it becomes necessary. You may need his or her services very soon.

[This message edited by src9043 at 5:30 AM, Friday, April 28th]

posts: 717   ·   registered: Sep. 7th, 2020
id 8788782
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Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 1:51 PM on Friday, April 28th, 2023

I want to address this from another angle.
One of the dangers – as well as possibly the BEST feature of this site – is that we often base our advice on our own situations and experiences. I think this might be a very clear case where I do so.

I went through d-day and all that trauma in a previous relationship. It’s in my profile, but I found out a few weeks before our marriage, so although I might have technically had an easy time separating I went through the emotional trauma we all do. About 2 years later I met my present wife and have been with her for… well… a very long time.
About 15 years into that relationship I was 99% certain she was cheating. All sorts of indicators. Gym membership, personal trainer, distant, change of clothes/style, new hairdo, lack of affection, we bickered… If I searched online for things like "signs your partner is cheating" she would tick over half the boxes.
That’s when I found sites like this, and when I shared my story I got lot’s of answers telling me that she was clearly cheating.

It became a bit of a farce actually… If I shared she didn’t want to go to the gym with me then yes, that was a clear sign of infidelity. If I shared that she had changed her mind and now asked me to go to the gym then THAT was a clear sign she was hiding an affair. New hairstyle -> affair, old hairstyle -> affair. New clothes -> affair, old clothes -> affair…
Basically everything indicated affair, and if she somehow avoided the "well known" red flags then that too was a clear indicator of infidelity – only better hidden.
Having said that then it would be foolish to ignore warnings…

I’m a former cop and I know how to investigate… I used all the tricks; VAR, gps, financial tracking, scanning the contents of her purse, checking the laundry, the gym-bag… name it, I did it.

Eventually I stepped back a bit and stopped searching for infidelity and focused on finding out what was happening.

In my instance I eventually realized a couple of major things. For one, my marriage was in a dire place, but that was due to lack of focus from both of us and partially due to my undealt with trauma from the previous relationship’s infidelity. I knew at the time I had some PTSD and I associated that a lot to events I witnessed and experienced as a cop. I went to therapy, and the IC was relatively quick to see that although I did have PTSD from work-related events the main trigger and cause was the trauma of the infidelity. This was the key-factor wrecking my present, non-infidelity marriage.
I just couldn’t trust. I couldn’t believe things were going well. And that lack of trust and belief is what made me determined there was something wrong, and that was most likely my wife cheating.
The IC taught me coping methods for the PTSD. The police-related issues (an aversion of cauliflower for the brain-matter comparison, the overpowering fear if a child walked beside me on a pavement closer to the road than I was, the beyond-sensible and reasonable reactions if someone was walking with a knife or scissors…) – those were easy to deal with. The trust was changed by redefining how I trusted (trust but verify has replaced the unconditional trust) and I realized that my present partner is NOT my past partner.

Once I had all this I could work on the issues threatening our marriage.

OK – having said all that…
If this was a carpentry-site all the problems would be nails, and the solution to all the problems would be a hammer. Maybe your wife is cheating, maybe not. Maybe you need a hammer, maybe a chisel.

Lets start by finding out.

A key factor is to possibly change attitude…
Don’t search for infidelity – search for truth.
This is a basic issue taught when investigating. If you are simply looking for signs of her cheating you might either overlook important clues to the contrary or even to the real problem. Instead look for signs to tell you what’s happening… What’s going on.

By doing this you will discover if she’s cheating, but you won’t be fixated on trying to prove that.

Let’s take an example: I like to think I’m a law-abiding, moral and decent man. If a cop was investigating me to prove me guilty of something he would possibly/eventually find a couple of things that (at least) border on being illegal and/or of dubious moral values. Like I sometimes speed, I have a couple of bottles of illegal home-made hootch (my dad’s last batch), I pay my barber a lower fee because we both know he doesn’t enter it into his POS… Small stuff, "innocent" stuff, but still illegal per se. It’s the same if you focus solely on your wife maybe having an affair. Do that and you will convince yourself eventually that she is – totally irrespective of if she is or not.

How to go about finding the truth? Well… I’m a big var-in-car-fan. If she’s having an affair there are communications, and they take place in a safe place. People feel very safe in the car. Only – when I did that and didn’t catch anything I was clearly told that this too was an indicator for infidelity…

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

posts: 12305   ·   registered: Sep. 29th, 2005
id 8788801
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Tallgirl ( member #64088) posted at 11:22 PM on Friday, April 28th, 2023

Hi there, I agree with the sentiment that you need to start opening up and having a conversation with your wife. Sitting and waiting for an affair to happen makes no sense.

Start talking, discussing how you feel in your marriage, and that you want to do more things with her, as a married couple, as a loving couple, and just do those things.

If you are uncomfortable with her job, talk about it. Maybe she can get a different job. Maybe when you talk, you will be more comfortable. I just really think it’s important that you guys connect on a deep level.

Don’t wait and see. Be the married couple that you want to be.

Someone here said that you cannot affair prove to your marriage, I agree. But you can build your marriage to be what you want it to be. That is the best you can do and stay connected. our marriage was not healthy and I could’ve done more as could he.

It is disappointing to hear that your spouse has had it an affair in their past. It is certainly a point of discomfort and I’m sorry that this is the case.

I hope this works out for you, I really do think you need to talk so you don’t just worry about it. All the best.

[This message edited by Tallgirl at 11:23 PM, Friday, April 28th]

To be redefined

posts: 2205   ·   registered: Jun. 11th, 2018
id 8788929
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 swoned (original poster member #54719) posted at 11:17 PM on Tuesday, May 2nd, 2023

I've spent some time thinking about this.

I'm going to focus on me. I'm going to quit drinking, lose some weight, and to hell with what she is or isn't doing.
Maybe she IS at risk of an affair--- maybe I've grown complacent. Maybe she's focussed on getting her life straight, being healthy, looking good, and I should be inspired and join her for the ride.

Maybe my insecurity and fear of going through this all again is the bigger problem, and maybe it's just going to ensure it.

I'll remain vigilant, heightened vigilance even, but I'm going to focus on me, rather than tilting at potential windmills.

I think my gut feeling has merit, but I'm going to choose to not let it eat me alive. Instead, i'll redirect my energy and motivation towards self care.

I'll update if my life blows up.

D-Day 6/22/16Ended in Divorce 07/02/18Remarried.

posts: 221   ·   registered: Aug. 19th, 2016
id 8789329
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Dude67 ( member #75700) posted at 12:17 AM on Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023

You don’t have to sit idle. There is a happy medium. You can tell your wife that you would like to have some quality time with her over a glass of wine during the weekend when you both are free and relaxed.

You can tell her all of the attributes that you love about her, your future plans together, and that you can’t wait to grow old with her. Gauge her reaction and see how she responds.

You can then find a way to subtly mention that you see so many couples on TV, and in person (if you know any), who are suffering from infidelity. Tell her that this is extremely disturbing to you. Of course it will never happen to us, but if ever did it’s a deal breaker. This can open up a good dialogue.

I’m obviously simplifying things, but you get my point. The issue is important to you, and thus is important in the context of the M dynamic. You certainly are within bounds to address the topic.

posts: 785   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2020
id 8789337
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 swoned (original poster member #54719) posted at 3:44 AM on Wednesday, May 17th, 2023

well.
I am no longer experiencing creeping dread.
I am now living a waking nightmare again.

Update:

As I posted in my last update;

I'll remain vigilant, heightened vigilance even, but I'm going to focus on me, rather than tilting at potential windmills.

I think my gut feeling has merit, but I'm going to choose to not let it eat me alive. Instead, i'll redirect my energy and motivation towards self care.

This is what I've done. These past few weeks I've been hitting the gym daily for weight lifting and mixed in cardio.
I've quit drinking completely and have been sober for almost 3 weeks. I've begun focusing on my personal well being and confidence.

I have lost 22 pounds so far.

I left on a business trip yesterday.
Today wife worked late. Said she had to go to post office and was driving home early when boss called and she had to go back to work for some scheduling problems. She was frustrated she had to stay late.


But I know she was parked at a nearbye hotel for over two hours.

I am on a business trip for the rest of this week.

I am looking forward to all the weight I am about to lose. I remember this part fondly.... dropping 2lbs a day. Can anything beat the infidelity diet?

I have a few days to determine how to proceed. I wouldn't say I have indisputable evidence yet, so I cannot confront. I don't know who, I don't know how long, I don't know to what extent. I just know it exists.

D-Day 6/22/16Ended in Divorce 07/02/18Remarried.

posts: 221   ·   registered: Aug. 19th, 2016
id 8791170
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RealityBlows ( member #41108) posted at 6:25 AM on Wednesday, May 17th, 2023

Fuck!

So sorry man. This ain’t your first rodeo so you know the drill.

Tell us what evidence you have so far, how did you determine her location? If it was Life 360 or Find My Friends, was the icon marker, showing her location, tight and consistent or, did the icon have a broad halo around it and changed position often? Were there any other buildings in proximity? Basically just trying to confirm your level of confidence in your evidence.

I would try, as best you can, to act natural and continue to gather evidence. I know, easier said than done.

I’m in my second marriage and my new wife is well aware of my past experience and she knows that if she were to cheat on me, it would be summary divorce without hesitation. I ain’t going through all this "is she R material" crap again.

posts: 1307   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2013
id 8791182
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GoldenR ( member #54778) posted at 6:42 AM on Wednesday, May 17th, 2023

I had a friend that was in the same predicament as you about 4 years ago. He knew she was heading that way and the actual cheating was imminent if she kept on the path she was traveling on.

What did he do? He sat her down. Calmly told her everything he knew. Told her that unless she could convince him not to, that he was going to see a lawyer the next day to get the D process started that way she could be free to pursue her co-worker. He told her if she denied anything, deflected, blameshifted or minimized anything that the discussion was over and he be filing ASAFP.

They talked all night. He didn't file. They did a lot of MC. She did IC. They're still together.

She thanks him every single day for "saving her" and for "saving them".

Edit: just saw your hotel update. I'm so very sorry, brother.

[This message edited by GoldenR at 6:46 AM, Wednesday, May 17th]

posts: 2850   ·   registered: Aug. 22nd, 2016   ·   location: South Texas
id 8791183
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survrus ( member #67698) posted at 6:34 PM on Wednesday, May 17th, 2023

You are very close to 100%

Cheaters, especially charming ones, get really good at seduction and taking their targets through the stages of entanglement.

Keep quiet so you can get confirmation.

There's a chance the OMW is in on this as you said your W is liked by her as well.

posts: 1462   ·   registered: Nov. 1st, 2018   ·   location: USA
id 8791274
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Stillconfused2022 ( member #82457) posted at 7:15 PM on Wednesday, May 17th, 2023

My money is on the boss. As others have said, we are all primed to see our own trauma recreated so I am most definitely biased. My husband cheated with his assistant. Your comment about the wife in the hospital definitely somehow worried me.

I think you have to decide a few things somewhat quickly. I have been forever grateful to have caught my husband quickly because it limited the extent of the damage done. Intense supervision prevented full consumation of their « thing ». I realize they have already been in a hotel but if you try to recover one sexual event is definitely going to hurt less than multiple events.

If you are 90% sure of divorce then by all means take a step back and gather all the evidence you can.

But, if you are going to end up trying for recovery then blow this up as fast as you can. Call the wife immediately. Yes your wife will lose her job. My husband’s AP was asked to leave the company almost immediately. I showed up in the office and informed all 40 people present of what scumbags the two of them were. This was the most effective thing I did.

You seem impressively calm. Probably you don’t actually feel that way. You are the prize. You definitely don’t deserve this. Best of luck making your decision. As another poster mentioned…if you are looking to gather evidence nothing beats a VAR in the car. They dont see it coming and hearing the way they speak to each other will tell you everything you need to know.

[This message edited by Stillconfused2022 at 7:17 PM, Wednesday, May 17th]

posts: 354   ·   registered: Nov. 27th, 2022   ·   location: Northeast
id 8791282
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 swoned (original poster member #54719) posted at 7:49 PM on Wednesday, May 17th, 2023

thanks all.

Its not easier the second time around.

I'm not completely sold that it's her boss though. He is 30 years older than her.
It could be that she's drawn to his finances I suppose, so I'll not rule it out however.

My current struggle is how she is behaving towards me. She sends me sexy photos and videos almost every day, same as she always has. (though now I wonder if they are being dual purposed of course) When we are home together, she insists on cooking together. she demands I spend time with her, cuddle her, rub her feet, rub her butt, lotion her legs, run fingers through hair as we watch tv. She's upset when I work late, and is currently expressing frustration that I am away on a business trip and she needs me.
To be honest, if I'd never been through this before, I'd likely have absolutely no idea something was dreadfully wrong.

This was so much easier with my ex wife--- who withdrew, didn't want to be around me, didn't want to be touched, and spent most of her time hiding in the bathroom where she could text.

I need to be more careful though.
I've noticed recently an uptick of snapchat activity on the network logs. and I casually mentioned it a week ago. She was pretty insistent that she never used snapchat and didn't have it--- but I've seen the icon on her phone, even saw her exiting it one day as we were driving to the store together.

I didn't sleep last night very much at all, because reasons... so at 3am I was installing snapchat on my own phone, and in my sleeplessness accidentally sent a friend request while trying to pull up her profile (can't see anything unless friends)
I can only note that since the last time I briefly checked snapchat, she has changed her "nickname" to something slightly different. She also has an avatar that looks just like her currently.

This morning, when she gave me a good morning call (in her underwear, showing me what she wanted to wear to work and asking if it was ok) I mentioned I had not slept well and was messing around with snapchat and sent her a friend request... trying to stay ahead of things and acting as if everything was normal. She acted confused and let me know that she doesn't have snapchat, but stepdaughter may be using it. When she got to work, she messaged me to let me know that she installed it, and gave me the username that I had already seen. She also said that it was an old account using her old phone number.
So the problem is, when you log into snapchat, it sends a text to the registered number which you must enter. You see where I'm going right?

She also noticed my demeanor on video chat--- I need to be more careful. I'm not ready to let her know that I know yet.
I'll continue to go to gym, and refrain from alcohol--- it's time to get a head start on the most likely outcome.

D-Day 6/22/16Ended in Divorce 07/02/18Remarried.

posts: 221   ·   registered: Aug. 19th, 2016
id 8791287
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RealityBlows ( member #41108) posted at 8:21 PM on Wednesday, May 17th, 2023

It’s funny she didn’t ask why, or seem to care, that you were installing Snapchat late at night.

Anyways, wanted to second the VAR idea. Hearing your WS’s actual voice, intonation and attitude, attitude towards AP, with friends when discussing the A, and more importantly how she represents-characterizes YOU and the marriage behind your back. It literally speaks volumes about the depth of betrayal and her regard of you. Can’t stress it enough. I’ve seen BS’s on this forum hell bent for R, listen to an incriminating VAR recording of their WS and completely 18O the hell out without hesitation, second thoughts or regrets. Like a flipped switch.

Does your wife know that she’s being tracked? Do you guys track each other?

[This message edited by RealityBlows at 8:23 PM, Wednesday, May 17th]

posts: 1307   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2013
id 8791297
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 swoned (original poster member #54719) posted at 8:37 PM on Wednesday, May 17th, 2023

Anyways, wanted to second the VAR idea. Hearing your WS’s actual voice, intonation and attitude, attitude towards AP, with friends when discussing the A, and more importantly how she represents-characterizes YOU and the marriage behind your back.

I'll look into it. I did this last time, and got the proof i needed. But it was large difficult to hide. i'd need something a bit better, and I should be very careful about reciprocating suspicious behavior. Unfortunately, wife speaks 4 languages.

D-Day 6/22/16Ended in Divorce 07/02/18Remarried.

posts: 221   ·   registered: Aug. 19th, 2016
id 8791299
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cedarwoods ( member #82760) posted at 8:55 PM on Wednesday, May 17th, 2023

So very sorry. Unfortunately your initial gut instinct seems to be correct.
You sound like you are level headed and are able to think clearly through this craziness. Your wife’s change in demeanor toward you can be from guilt or excitement from being in a relationship with her AP.
Please continue to take care of yourself and gather as much info and proof as you can before you confront.
It sucks. I am sorry again.

posts: 211   ·   registered: Jan. 20th, 2023   ·   location: USA
id 8791300
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emergent8 ( Guide #58189) posted at 9:37 PM on Wednesday, May 17th, 2023

But I know she was parked at a nearbye hotel for over two hours.

Ugh... I'm so sorry swoned.

You know you don't need irrefutable proof, right? She lied about the hotel. She lied about snapchat. That's enough to confront right? IF you asked her for her phone, would she hand it over?

Aside: Is it normal for her to ask you if what she is wearing is acceptable? I'm not in this relationship but it strikes me as odd.

Me: BS. Him: WS.
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
Happily reconciled.

posts: 2038   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2017
id 8791304
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 swoned (original poster member #54719) posted at 10:05 PM on Wednesday, May 17th, 2023

Aside: Is it normal for her to ask you if what she is wearing is acceptable? I'm not in this relationship but it strikes me as odd.

yes it's quite normal--- it's not a controlling thing, it's more modesty perhaps. My wife is from europe and they don't have the same hang-ups that we do about bodies. She understands that Americans are rather prudish still, and it wouldn't be appropriate to wear a blouse to work that is too sheer, or a skirt that's too sexy. She often times wants to make sure she doesn't have panty lines showing... But to be honest that's more my motivation..... she's probably more interested in fishing for compliments and wants me to tell her she's beautiful.

D-Day 6/22/16Ended in Divorce 07/02/18Remarried.

posts: 221   ·   registered: Aug. 19th, 2016
id 8791307
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lrpprl ( member #80538) posted at 10:07 PM on Wednesday, May 17th, 2023

I am afraid you are about to tip your hand with the Snapchat thing.

Since you are out of town this week is there any way you can get a local private investigator to check out this entire scenario? Seems to me they are much more experienced than you are at getting the information, good or bad, that you need.

posts: 273   ·   registered: Aug. 12th, 2022   ·   location: USA
id 8791308
Topic is Sleeping.
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