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Discussion - Checking your spouses phone

monarch64

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Children are very resilient. That's all I'm going to say about that.

OP, I'm with NEL and I think her advice is totally sound. ETA: but I'm leaning towards NOT saving the marriage, should've stated that right off the bat.

Lying cheaters don't stop being lying cheaters. What's the saying--when a person shows you who they are, believe them.

Unfortunately I have firsthand experience with this, and without getting into detail, I can tell you that phone calls to get massages are most likely just the tip of the iceberg.

Proceed with care and caution. Keep your wits about you and your emotions in check, and nail his ass to the wall.

Good luck.
 

momhappy

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I am a firm believer in trusting your gut. You checked his phone for a reason, because maybe your gut was telling you something? Get your facts and make a plan. I'm sorry that you're dealing with that and I wish you the best of luck.
 

NewEnglandLady

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Laila, I haven't heard of TAM, but just looked it up. It seems similar to the forum my friend (who's husband had the affair) used, which is marriagebuilders. All based on principles from Dr. Harley's book Surviving an Affair. I became involved when I agreed to be her intermediary and wanted to better understand what I should be doing. Since then I've lurked, but have a lot of respect for the program after watching literally thousands of spouses go through this.

Maria, I wish you the very best. I think the fact that you're not just confronting him and want to be strategic is a good sign. One of my favorite sayings is that hope isn't a plan. And of course I can't recommend Surviving an Affair enough, even if you don't want to save your marriage. It teaches you how to navigate through this in a way that protects your emotions and keeps you healthy.
 

Calliecake

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NewEnglandLady|1450901411|3965405 said:
D_|1450900272|3965399 said:
NewEnglandLady|1450899032|3965386 said:
First, I wouldn't ask. NO CONVERSATIONS ABOUT IT! If he's hiding something, then you asking about it will only make him more adept at covering his tracks. If you think something is going on, go dark. On the surface, you are sugar and spice and everything nice. But your job is to gather any information you can. Spyware on phone. GPS on car. Heck, hide a voice-activated recording device under his seat. My friend hired a private investigator and got hard evidence of an affair that way.

This is nuts.
If the point is to point finger, gather evidence for a divorce etc. then this is a good advice.
But if the point is to work things out, I don't see how this will help.
Not to mention the impact on OP's emotional well-being too. It's awful to play this game and be this paranoid.
Yes, it's SO's induced paranoid, but the cheating is often not the main/root cause of the problem (unless SO's addict/psycho etc. - i.e. naturally inclined to do that - in which case OP is better off running, fast). So focusing on the cheating won't resolve the actual problem.

You clearly have never dealt with a cheating spouse. Or read about it, even. Logic does not apply to cheating spouses. Cheaters are crack addicts. This whole "talk it out, be reasonable" approach is for the birds.

This isn't a game. It's a sound strategy to save your marriage (if that's what OP wants. If not, then nobody would fault her for divorcing if he is cheating). Evidence gathering while being a great wife is one of the key pieces. The most key piece is what happens with the evidence, which is exposure. My friend with the PI did this brilliantly. She sent the evidence to all her family and friends (and his, too, plus the other woman's family) with a very loving letter stating how much she loves her husband and how much she would would like all of their support in saving their marriage. No finger pointing, no embarrassment--a letter full of love. He was furious because his wife took away his drug (the affair), which is how my friend knew she'd hit the target of starting to kill the affair. Trouble in affairland coupled with my friend's push to be a great wife (despite wanting to spit nails at him) made the wife the better option once the exposure bomb exploded.

Recovery is not easy at all, even after the affair is dead. I won't get into it all here, but I can promise you that being reasonable with a cheater who is IN AN ACTIVE AFFAIR is marriage suicide. It just further entrenches the affair.

ETA: I can promise that if the OP tries to brush this under the rug in hopes her husband will "come to his senses", she's in for a truly awful emotional roller coaster. Nipping it in the bud from the get go is any betrayed spouses best bet.


New England Lady,

I could not disagree more with what you wrote. And frankly your view of your friend and my view of your friend are completely different. I think the woman is a nut case. She in no way wanted to save her marrage. She wanted everyone to think her spouse was a terrible person. If she has children I feel very sorry for her poor children. If I were her husband I would get and out run as far away as possible from this woman. They will never have a healthy marriage. If I ever felt the need to do any of these things I would personally end the marriage for my own sanity.

I have been married a very long time. I can't imagine doing any of the things above if I ever found out my husband had an affair.
I personally think affairs are symptoms of problems in a marriage and relationships are complicated. Communication is key. I would talk to your husband after you have had time to figure out what you really want. i would also highly recommend couseling. If you decide your marriage is not worth saving, above all please keep things civil for your children's sake. You loved this person enough to marry him and have children with him. Wouldn't it be best to get along as well as possible for the sake of your children. I sincerely hope you are wrong about your husband.
 

kenny

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I too think it's sad some posters insist there is only one response, or that their experience means others, their SO, and all situations are identical to theirs. :nono:
 

chemgirl

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D_|1450900686|3965401 said:
chemgirl|1450899508|3965392 said:
She is equally responsible for the state of the marriage, but she is not in any way responsible for her husband's bad choices.

Maria, please don't blame yourself for a second.

I agree. Thank you for clarifying that, chemgirl.
And to be consistent with my previous post, hence the importance of not focusing the conversation on the cheating part.
Because that means addressing/attacking SO's clearly bad choice and putting the SO on the defensive, versus working together towards finding the solution, together, IF that's what you want to do.

Yeah, see I think the opposite. That she should focus the conversation on the cheating part.

The state of the marriage isn't really an excuse. Maybe his needs weren't being met or whatever. He is a big boy who could surely find a healthier way of coping than paying for sex. Because that's what this is.

Maria is in the same relationship and she didn't cheat.

Coming back from this will take a lot of work. Addressing issues in the marriage is part of that, but husband's thought process is clearly messed up and it's pointless to try and fix the relationship with first dealing with all that.
 

NewEnglandLady

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Calliecake, my friend and her husband have been in a recovered (and happy) marriage for 8 years. Their kids knew at the time--they were told when everybody else was--hiding affairs from children is a truly bad idea. It's confusing for them and only teaches them that lying is okay (not to mention if the cheating spouse feeds the kids lies). Children aren't stupid and if keeping things civil includes lying, then it does the children a disservice.

Kenny, like I said, I think the road to recovery (if it is desired) is very narrow with no wiggle room. I've seen thousands of these cases and so many end up in false recovery (or just in limbo with the betrayed spouse holding onto crumbs that the cheater throws at them) that you can almost see if somebody will recover or not from the first time they post. Everybody thinks their case is "unique". They are all the same.
 

D_

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chemgirl|1450905699|3965435 said:
The state of the marriage isn't really an excuse. Maybe his needs weren't being met or whatever. He is a big boy who could surely find a healthier way of coping than paying for sex. Because that's what this is.

Maria is in the same relationship and she didn't cheat.

People differ.
And they cope differently.
And before people are out with their pitchforks let me say that SO's way of coping is neither healthy nor "correct", at least if we are referring to the same culture here.
Maybe Maria has a different way to cope.
Maybe it's a healthier way, good for her.
As long as that information is absent we're making assumptions.

I just think that some of the comments start to get a little too one-sided.
And yes, apparently diversity of opinions may not be as welcome as it could have been.

I feel sorry for OP and other people who have dealt with infidelity first-hand - so much intense emotion here...
so much so that nothing else seem to matter.
 

rainwood

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Maria

I'm so sorry you're going through this. It must make the holidays so much harder.

I'll leave it to others as for how or if you try to save your marriage. From your messages, it sounds like your husband is getting sexual services from a professional. One of the first things you might want to consider is making sure you are safe from communicable STD's. If you are still sexually active with him, you might want to consider making sure he uses a condom. If that isn't your usual method, you have to consider whether you want to raise that possibility and why or if you'd rather wait to raise the issue and try to avoid sexual contact until you're ready to raise it with him. You don't want to take the chance his outside activities (whatever they are) jeopardize your health.

And I'm pretty sure your husband will raise the privacy issue if you talk to him about what's going on. I won't guarantee it, but I'd be 99% sure that he'll focus on that to deflect the underlying issue. Whether checking his phone was wrong depends on what sort of arrangement and perspective the two of you have on privacy. Different people have different views on the appropriate level of sharing. I have nothing to hide, but if my husband had ever gone through my phone, I would feel like my privacy had been violated, and I would never dream of going through his phone even though he gave me the password and I occasionally used it to make calls or find an address with his permission. It felt weird going through his phone after he died, as if I was violating his privacy even then. So it's not always true that if someone doesn't want you to go through their phone, they're trying to hide something. Maybe they just don't like the idea of someone going through their phone. If they used to share all of it and then got squirrelly about it though, that could be a red flag. But that's a different situation. Some people are private, even if they have nothing to hide.

All the best to you. You'll figure out the best way to handle this for you and your family.
 

chemgirl

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D_|1450904164|3965426 said:
One thing I don't get is - why are we focusing on the cheating part as if it's the main problem here?

Is it because it's easier to identify with/imagine ourselves being in those shoes and how bad it would feel etc2?

Because it's a major breach of trust. He's doing something to jeapaedise his family.

No matter what is going on in the relationship, his actions are not OK.

Getting into a rut and putting kids and work ahead of you as a couple is a problem that they need to address. Nobody is saying that's fine.

What he did is akin to walking in the front door with a grenade. He basically pulled down his pants and took a dump on their relationship.

Deal breaker or not, it's a big deal.
 

ponder

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Laila619|1450903705|3965420 said:
NewEnglandLady|1450901411|3965405 said:
D_|1450900272|3965399 said:
NewEnglandLady|1450899032|3965386 said:
First, I wouldn't ask. NO CONVERSATIONS ABOUT IT! If he's hiding something, then you asking about it will only make him more adept at covering his tracks. If you think something is going on, go dark. On the surface, you are sugar and spice and everything nice. But your job is to gather any information you can. Spyware on phone. GPS on car. Heck, hide a voice-activated recording device under his seat. My friend hired a private investigator and got hard evidence of an affair that way.

This is nuts.
If the point is to point finger, gather evidence for a divorce etc. then this is a good advice.
But if the point is to work things out, I don't see how this will help.
Not to mention the impact on OP's emotional well-being too. It's awful to play this game and be this paranoid.
Yes, it's SO's induced paranoid, but the cheating is often not the main/root cause of the problem (unless SO's addict/psycho etc. - i.e. naturally inclined to do that - in which case OP is better off running, fast). So focusing on the cheating won't resolve the actual problem.

You clearly have never dealt with a cheating spouse. Or read about it, even. Logic does not apply to cheating spouses. Cheaters are crack addicts. This whole "talk it out, be reasonable" approach is for the birds.

This isn't a game. It's a sound strategy to save your marriage (if that's what OP wants. If not, then nobody would fault her for divorcing if he is cheating). Evidence gathering while being a great wife is one of the key pieces. The most key piece is what happens with the evidence, which is exposure. My friend with the PI did this brilliantly. She sent the evidence to all her family and friends (and his, too, plus the other woman's family) with a very loving letter stating how much she loves her husband and how much she would would like all of their support in saving their marriage. No finger pointing, no embarrassment--a letter full of love. He was furious because his wife took away his drug (the affair), which is how my friend knew she'd hit the target of starting to kill the affair. Trouble in affairland coupled with my friend's push to be a great wife (despite wanting to spit nails at him) made the wife the better option once the exposure bomb exploded.

Recovery is not easy at all, even after the affair is dead. I won't get into it all here, but I can promise you that being reasonable with a cheater who is IN AN ACTIVE AFFAIR is marriage suicide. It just further entrenches the affair.

ETA: I can promise that if the OP tries to brush this under the rug in hopes her husband will "come to his senses", she's in for a truly awful emotional roller coaster. Nipping it in the bud from the get go is any betrayed spouses best bet.

NEL is spot-on here. This is the advice that most top experts in the field of infidelity recommend. An affair is like a drug or alcohol or gambling addiction. You can't reason or talk someone out of it. (NEL, do you post on TAM by any chance?) :)

I'm totally in agreement with NEL. I held my friend's hand as she walked this road a few years ago. My friend fought to save her marriage and had to work for months to get him to realize that he was using this affair like a drug to fill a need (not sex). Whether you stay or leave you need to be prepared. Two years later, and counseling several times a week, things are better for them than they had been in years.
 

chemgirl

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D_|1450907092|3965444 said:
chemgirl|1450905699|3965435 said:
The state of the marriage isn't really an excuse. Maybe his needs weren't being met or whatever. He is a big boy who could surely find a healthier way of coping than paying for sex. Because that's what this is.

Maria is in the same relationship and she didn't cheat.

People differ.
And they cope differently.
And before people are out with their pitchforks let me say that SO's way of coping is neither healthy nor "correct", at least if we are referring to the same culture here.
Maybe Maria has a different way to cope.
Maybe it's a healthier way, good for her.
As long as that information is absent we're making assumptions.

I just think that some of the comments start to get a little too one-sided.
And yes, apparently diversity of opinions may not be as welcome as it could have been.

I feel sorry for OP and other people who have dealt with infidelity first-hand - so much intense emotion here...
so much so that nothing else seem to matter.

I don't think we're that far off from one another.

I think this is one of those volatile issues that people feel strongly about, especially if it has directly affected them.

For me, Maria's husband crossed a line. If this is a coping mechanism for him it's certainly not a healthy one. For me, I feel he's not a safe person with his family's best interest at heart right now. I'm not screaming divorce here, but he needs to get help.

I think if the cheating is ignored he'll keep doing it.
 

NewEnglandLady

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D_, if the OP wants to work on the marriage, then she'll need to figure out what she needs to do to make her husband happy/meet his needs/ affair-proof their marriage WITH him in the recovery process. But none of that can happen until the affair is dead. Trying to attempt recovery with a cheating spouse is like telling a crack addict that drugs are bad for him as he shoots up. And a serial cheater who seeks affairs is the absolutely worst kind of addict because those types will often seek affairs even if all needs are being met beautifully by the spouse. Serial cheaters are freeloaders (or renters at best) who never buy into a marriage.
 

Amber St. Clare

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Call you OB/GYN and get yourself tested for STDs as you never know where it's been.

Years ago I worked for a medical facility. A friend of my husband came in and tested positively for several STDs and then had to go home and tell his wife she had to see the doctor. I was there at the time she came in and it.was.heartbreaking.

So look out for your health, no matter what you do otherwise.
 

Maria2015

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D_|1450898920|3965384 said:
Anything that one spouse can't be open to his/her spouse with is wrong.
Checking the phone itself may not be wrong if the SO is cool with it.
If you do it without SO's knowledge then that's wrong.

Relationship is so complex though.
"Rules" like the one above may help somewhat but not a fix-all.
I concur with what others have said here - it warrants a conversation.
Though I would say, even though your SO did something wrong, SO's not the only one in the wrong.
It takes two to tango.
If I read it right you (and your SO) have been avoiding serious conversation for a long time, so don't expect it would be something quick.
You may need to be prepared for a long difficult (but necessary) process.
If you think the process may not be worth it then you can give up, like many other have done. Fortunately and unfortunately this option has been increasingly seen as an acceptable solution.

Sending lotsa dusts to you both.

Two to Tango does seem a bit harsh, as the tango that broke the vows, was not me. But I do get your point, it's not so much that we or I have been avoiding a conversation it's that they were never making progress, I honestly didn't know why. I started to conclude he just didn't care enough. So yea then that wasn't a great place to be. However life went on, our day is 90% filled with other obligations, it is easy to avoid the marriage work. My DH is also very passive,just like his family, they don't actually talk. I have tried hard to get to the heart of things, but was always brushed it off like things are fine, or it would be turned on me...I work too hard (OOTH), I compete too much with the neighbors, I'm not friendly enough to his family. Always came away from the conversation with work I needed to do on me. But never seemed to be about the work he needed to do on him (for US)..., showing some care, some support to me in my challenges (work, kids whatever), engaging me, seeming to have interest, a gift, a dinner, a look anything, I mean normal things I think that come with marriage or actually a relationship?. And then this, just trying to absorb and go through the emotions on my own so when we do talk, I'm in control.
 

Maria2015

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New England Lady and others: So I really appreciate the posts and still digesting them.

Now countless times I"ve heard others talk about their cheating spouses and wanted to yell WAKE UP as they made excuses..so I want to punch myself as I say this..but is this cheating? I think yes, but if he is going to some masseuse for god knows what at the end, is that the same line crossing as a full affair? Do guys see it differently? Our sex life has been lacking - for all the reasons that go back to the state of our marriage, but then HE never brought up the sex thing bc frankly I wanted it more than him, but couldn't get past his disinterest in us (the marriage) so I lost my initiative too.

I'm not making excuses, I know how I feel, I feel betrayed and disgust so I guess that's my answer.

As for me being part of the problem, I snooped after all..I will own that. I snooped, I invaded his privacy, but if this is cheating, he broke a vow and trust and that is deeper.
 

Andelain

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Maria2015|1450910841|3965485 said:
................. but if this is cheating, he broke a vow and trust and that is deeper.

Totally agree with that. Take the advice given here to put on a happy face, and do some discreet fact finding before you make any decisions. Gather all the evidence you can if you do find something out, in case you need it later.
 

packrat

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Stupid computer. Let's try this again.

I've checked his phone a couple times, after he mentioned "in passing" the high school girl they had as a ride along who was texting him and he said she was "overly friendly/comfortable" with him. I wasn't sure when he mentioned it if he had really not realized he hadn't told me about it "What are you talking about, what girl?" "I told you about it, X texting me..didn't I?"...or if he was dropping a hint or what. He said he was as short and professional in reply as he could be. So I looked. Her texts were gushy, with wording that made you think..hmm..did you seriously not think how that sounds when you typed it out, are you just that dense, or are you thinking you're a wordsmith and playing games? And his replies would be "Thanks" or "Yep". So, I very nicely told him it needed to stop, and he could either take care of it himself, or he could have the Chief do it, or *I* would do it, and I would involve both the school district *and* the Chief. "woah woah woah, she's just a dumb young girl, who thinks it's fun to ride around in a cop car and is exited by the uniform" Yes. I understand that. And, I'm also a female who knows exactly what is going on in that young female's mind-you're a dumb male who doesn't "see" things, or are flattered, so either way, she's going to stop.

The number you found on his phone, how long was the call? Is that number close to any other number so that it could be a possible misdial? I don't have any advice. I don't know what I'd do. I would probably just ask him about it and see what kind of response I got. Maybe he didn't hide it, hoping you'd find it, to bring something to the forefront.
 

packrat

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I would view going in for a "happy ending" as cheating, yes. It would be no different than my going to visit a man in a "professional" setting and having him use his hands on me to bring me to my own "happy ending". I've got my own hands for that. If I'm not getting it from my husband, and I don't want to get it from myself, then I need to either accept w/the lack, discuss w/my spouse why there is a lack, or I need to end the marriage that I may find it from someone else.
 

Maria2015

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packrat|1450911668|3965488 said:
Stupid computer. Let's try this again.

I've checked his phone a couple times, after he mentioned "in passing" the high school girl they had as a ride along who was texting him and he said she was "overly friendly/comfortable" with him. I wasn't sure when he mentioned it if he had really not realized he hadn't told me about it "What are you talking about, what girl?" "I told you about it, X texting me..didn't I?"...or if he was dropping a hint or what. He said he was as short and professional in reply as he could be. So I looked. Her texts were gushy, with wording that made you think..hmm..did you seriously not think how that sounds when you typed it out, are you just that dense, or are you thinking you're a wordsmith and playing games? And his replies would be "Thanks" or "Yep". So, I very nicely told him it needed to stop, and he could either take care of it himself, or he could have the Chief do it, or *I* would do it, and I would involve both the school district *and* the Chief. "woah woah woah, she's just a dumb young girl, who thinks it's fun to ride around in a cop car and is exited by the uniform" Yes. I understand that. And, I'm also a female who knows exactly what is going on in that young female's mind-you're a dumb male who doesn't "see" things, or are flattered, so either way, she's going to stop.

The number you found on his phone, how long was the call? Is that number close to any other number so that it could be a possible misdial? I don't have any advice. I don't know what I'd do. I would probably just ask him about it and see what kind of response I got. Maybe he didn't hide it, hoping you'd find it, to bring something to the forefront.

It was a text: asking if this person took appointments still. Then said "maybe you don't remember me".

I googled the number and it a person who is an escort and specializes in massages that many many men raved about.

I didn't need to dig much really. If it was a call, I'd never have known as wouldn't have taken it that far. A text was a bit obvious, plus being 10 days ago..you know during xmas season and always working late.

If the 2nd line had not been there, maybe i'd have a way to make an excuse for him. If it was an internet search, also would have been generally able to live with that, we all might look but not...take that step. This text looked like it was not a first time thing, we've been known each other 10 yrs, I doubt this predated me.

By the way she didn't respond, too busy with other husbands I guess, or maybe there was a call I guess I don't want to know more as I might just know enough.

Not really sure how to gather evidence, there were no other texts or calls (I'll maybe look more again), there's no real other obvious evidence. I wont' go so far as to get a PI, if the marriage is over, it's over. I can't really look at phone records, we don't have access to that, not a joint bill etc. I do want to save the marriage, I always have. I just don't know if it's going to end up in the same spot, a dead end and a cheater.
 

MollyMalone

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monarch64|1450904193|3965427 said:
Children are very resilient. That's all I'm going to say about that.

OP, I'm with NEL and I think her advice is totally sound. ETA: but I'm leaning towards NOT saving the marriage, should've stated that right off the bat.
Lying cheaters don't stop being lying cheaters. What's the saying--when a person shows you who they are, believe them.
Unfortunately I have firsthand experience with this, and without getting into detail, I can tell you that phone calls to get massages are most likely just the tip of the iceberg.
Proceed with care and caution. Keep your wits about you and your emotions in check, and nail his a$$ to the wall.

Good luck.
I have a different perspective, which I'm offering ... Not because I think everyone should agree with it, but to underscore kenny''s point that "people vary" & I'm very uncomfortable with sweeping generalizations & prescriptions, like "lying cheaters don't stop being lying cheaters", "nail his a$$ to the wall", and (quoting NewEnglandLady) such scenarios "are all the same." (They are not, the reasons are not all the same. Plus, more than a few unfaithful husbands and wives are not "serial cheaters." And there is no way that an outsider can have a soundly informed grasp on the internal life of "thousands" of marriages or even far fewer.)

Yes, children are often more resilient than we fear might be true. But because the news that his parents were separating and divorcing rocked our son's world (he later told me, "I felt like my life had just been blown up"), being able to look him in the eye and truthfully say to him, "This is a decision I've made with a very heavy heart, and only after doing everything I knew how to do" mattered a great deal to me. In the face of his great pain, I could not have lived with myself had I walked away from the marriage without first trying to rekindle a meaningful partnership-family unit and without working toward greater self-awareness.

The husband of one of my dearest friends had an affair some years ago; wasn't casual sex & had been going on for about 18 months when it came to light. Not surprisingly, it took time and individual therapy on her part to gain clarity on whether she wanted to leave. The two of them did commit to striving to regain what they once had & they now have (and have had) one of the most vibrant marriages of any of my family and close friends. That obviously is not going to be everyone's choice. But I can tell you she very much resented the response she got from her sister in whom she confided the fact of the affair. Although she was sure her sister wanted to be her champion, she heard her sister's "Of course, you'll leave him; no self-respecting woman would stay" as dismissive, belittling and simplistic.

Lastly, I cringe at the idea of people enlisting kids in the cause of either divorce or marital recovery (altho' perhaps I've misunderstood the scenario NEL described up-thread). I feel very strongly that It's not the kids' job to do the parents' emotional work & it's inappropriate to make them your marital confidante.

Maria, I am so sorry you are having to wrestle with this.
 

NewEnglandLady

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Molly, sorry if I was unclear--what leads up to an affair varies, but generally how cheaters behave once exposed is the same. It's so similar it's called "the script". What leads to affairs has little to do with how to recover them. I have literally seen it thousands of times, but the pattern is pretty obvious after less than a hundred. And completely agree kids should never be in the middle. A simple explanation of the truth is all that's needed. Protects the kid regardless of the outcome.

Maria, I think some more snooping is needed otherwise it's too easy for him to say it's a massage (could be true or could be him gas lighting you). If you have it in you, I would step it up. Do you know if he's messaging/emailing the place or just calling? You're doing awesome at keeping your wits about you despite probably wanting to freak out. ETA: somehow missed your other post, sorry. Does seem like a smoking gun given your Google search. Any way to search for same number on past phone bills? May be able to access past texts if so. Spyware on phone is an option as well.

Everyone here is lovely, but might be helpful to post on a forum like marriagebuilders.com because they see this constantly (the surviving an affair board specifically)--it's obviously completely up to you. It's obviously not for everybody because the plan is very specific. But they have great ideas for how to get to the bottom of these things. I don't post there, just admire the expertise.
 

D_

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 14, 2015
Messages
245
Maria2015|1450910464|3965481 said:
I have tried hard to get to the heart of things, but was always brushed it off like things are fine, or it would be turned on me...I work too hard (OOTH), I compete too much with the neighbors, I'm not friendly enough to his family. Always came away from the conversation with work I needed to do on me. But never seemed to be about the work he needed to do on him (for US)..., showing some care, some support to me in my challenges (work, kids whatever), engaging me, seeming to have interest, a gift, a dinner, a look anything, I mean normal things I think that come with marriage or actually a relationship?. And then this, just trying to absorb and go through the emotions on my own so when we do talk, I'm in control.

That's rough, Maria.
I'm so sorry you are going through this.
Sounds like you've tried quite a few things and they don't work, must have been frustrating.
Maybe an outside professional help is needed.

About seeing a "professional":
It's not the same line - some would say it's nothing personal, just physical.
Not the same, but it doesn't matter, most of the time it's still wrong and still a signal that things need to get fixed.
Anything that one spouse can't be open to his/her spouse with is wrong - that's my rule, people may have their own rules.
(I say most of the time because I know of couples with the wives turning a blind eye, they don't like having sex/not as open to experimenting and the men have their needs. The men in all other aspects are considered as great husbands and fathers by their wives - which doesn't apply to this case because Maria has indicated other aspects of the marriage are not cruising along. And things are in place to minimize the risk of STDs. Again, not condoning it, but I do acknowledge that people vary.)
 

chemgirl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 16, 2009
Messages
2,314
For what it's worth I asked DH for his opinion on erotic massage and he says it's gross. When I asked him why he said it's just low. That he doesn't see it as much better than hiring a prostitute. It's a form of human trafficking. He is a little on the practical side so he didn't seem to get why a married man would pay for what he could get at home for free haha.

I also asked a polyamorous male friend for his take on it. He voted gross as well. In his relationship, he can have sex with whomever he wants, but he feels hiring someone is just wrong.

So yeah, I don't think it's a "guy thing".
 

April20

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 1, 2008
Messages
3,320
nevermind what I said. I replied without reading your additional info.

All I can say is I'm sorry you're dealing with this.
 

Snowdrop13

Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Messages
2,657
[quwote="Calliecake|1450905495|3965433"]

I have been married a very long time. I can't imagine doing any of the things above if I ever found out my husband had an affair.
I personally think affairs are symptoms of problems in a marriage and relationships are complicated. Communication is key. I would talk to your husband after you have had time to figure out what you really want. i would also highly recommend couseling. If you decide your marriage is not worth saving, above all please keep things civil for your children's sake. You loved this person enough to marry him and have children with him. Wouldn't it be best to get along as well as possible for the sake of your children. I sincerely hope you are wrong about your husband.[/quote]

This is what I wanted to say but Callie has articulated it better!

Maria, you sound very flat and worn down in your posts, please make sure to look after yourself at this time. Eight years in, with 2 small kids and 2 careers to manage is possibly the most stressed point in a marriage, please keep sight of that. Do you have a close relative or friend you can confide in? All of us strangers are well meaning and concerned but we don't know all the facts.

I hope you manage to have a reasonable festive season and find some time for relaxation. :wavey:
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
23,267
I don't have anything meaningful to say here, but... please take care of yourself, Maria.
::HUG::

I wish you all the best, whatever you decide and wherever your journey takes you and your family, and I very, very much hope you can make some time for yourself this holiday season!
 

lulu

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 11, 2003
Messages
2,328
MollyMalone|1450912826|3965494 said:
monarch64|1450904193|3965427 said:
Children are very resilient. That's all I'm going to say about that.

OP, I'm with NEL and I think her advice is totally sound. ETA: but I'm leaning towards NOT saving the marriage, should've stated that right off the bat.
Lying cheaters don't stop being lying cheaters. What's the saying--when a person shows you who they are, believe them.
Unfortunately I have firsthand experience with this, and without getting into detail, I can tell you that phone calls to get massages are most likely just the tip of the iceberg.
Proceed with care and caution. Keep your wits about you and your emotions in check, and nail his a$$ to the wall.

Good luck.
I have a different perspective, which I'm offering ... Not because I think everyone should agree with it, but to underscore kenny''s point that "people vary" & I'm very uncomfortable with sweeping generalizations & prescriptions, like "lying cheaters don't stop being lying cheaters", "nail his a$$ to the wall", and (quoting NewEnglandLady) such scenarios "are all the same." (They are not, the reasons are not all the same. Plus, more than a few unfaithful husbands and wives are not "serial cheaters." And there is no way that an outsider can have a soundly informed grasp on the internal life of "thousands" of marriages or even far fewer.)

Yes, children are often more resilient than we fear might be true. But because the news that his parents were separating and divorcing rocked our son's world (he later told me, "I felt like my life had just been blown up"), being able to look him in the eye and truthfully say to him, "This is a decision I've made with a very heavy heart, and only after doing everything I knew how to do" mattered a great deal to me. In the face of his great pain, I could not have lived with myself had I walked away from the marriage without first trying to rekindle a meaningful partnership-family unit and without working toward greater self-awareness.

The husband of one of my dearest friends had an affair some years ago; wasn't casual sex & had been going on for about 18 months when it came to light. Not surprisingly, it took time and individual therapy on her part to gain clarity on whether she wanted to leave. The two of them did commit to striving to regain what they once had & they now have (and have had) one of the most vibrant marriages of any of my family and close friends. That obviously is not going to be everyone's choice. But I can tell you she very much resented the response she got from her sister in whom she confided the fact of the affair. Although she was sure her sister wanted to be her champion, she heard her sister's "Of course, you'll leave him; no self-respecting woman would stay" as dismissive, belittling and simplistic.

Lastly, I cringe at the idea of people enlisting kids in the cause of either divorce or marital recovery (altho' perhaps I've misunderstood the scenario NEL described up-thread). I feel very strongly that It's not the kids' job to do the parents' emotional work & it's inappropriate to make them your marital confidante.

Maria, I am so sorry you are having to wrestle with this.

I agree with this exactly. Especially the part about children. I interviewed a lot of children of divorce and while some of them were actually relieved most were devastated.
 

House Cat

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 22, 2009
Messages
4,480
Sometimes affairs are symptoms of marital problems, sure, but sometimes affairs are not. Sometimes affairs are caused by the fact that your partner is just a jerk. There are people in this world who are jerks or who have personality disorders and their affairs have nothing to do with the other partner or the marriage. Usually, the marriage can't be worked on with people like this. Sometimes you have to release yourself from any responsibility and free yourself and your children from this nightmare because these kind of people use guilt to keep you on the hook for their crappy behavior.

You will know if this is your life or not.


I am of the mindset that if my partner uses an affair to cope with our marital problems, then he can take a flying leap.
 

JDDN

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 2, 2015
Messages
2,334
Hi Maria,

I don't have any great advice, but I just wanted to say my heart goes out to you. I have dealt with a lying and cheating boyfriend years ago and it devastated me and made me crazy. So I can only imagine what's going through your mind and heart right now. While my hubby and I weren't in crisis, couples counseling has done wonders for my husband and I in terms of finding a better and more loving way to communicate. We were both very enthusiastic about it, so that helps. Many, many hugs to you.
 
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