I'll start from the top:
I'm 29, and I've been married for just shy of two years. My wife and I have been together for a total of five years. Our marriage has been really good, and I didn't suspect that we had any problems until a couple of months ago, when she just started acting....off. I couldn't put my finger on why or how, but she wasn't being herself and it's almost as if she was being distant, not engaged, and it felt like she'd mentally checked out. Perhaps I'd just started noticing it now (I've been working and going to grad school full-time and just graduated in March).
I bought my wife an iPhone a few months ago, and she loves it. So much that it's become an extension of her right hand. She's on it constantly, morning to night, to the point where it was worrying and annoying me a little bit. She's learned enough about the phone to password-protect it, and her password changes almost weekly (based on casually looking over her shoulder). Why she needed to password-protect her phone was beyond me, but I never really cared about that (after all, you should have nothing to hide in a marriage, right?) but her recent behavior prompted me to take a closer look into her digital life.
Fast forward to a couple of days ago... I saw her enter her four-digit password into her iPhone one morning to check her Kik Messenger and then she hopped into the shower. Not preparing myself, I unlocked her phone and started browsing around.
Needless to say, I found a few things that I didn't want to see: a few pictures of her in her lingerie/night wear, as well as three or four racy nude photos that certainly weren't sent to me. I also found what appeared to be sexting on her Kik Messenger, which is a new app she downloaded and could never seem to give me a good explanation as to why she needed it or had it.
I'm not sure if I'm overreacting, but I feel as though sexting IS cheating, and my wife is engaged in some kind of extramarital affair, be it an emotional or physical one. I am nothing short of devastated by learning this, as our relationship and marriage have always been great (or so I'd thought).
I've been mulling over my options the past couple of days and they all seem to boil down to me doing one of two things:
1) confronting her with what evidence I do have, asking her a few questions and, depending on the responses I get, going from there
2) spend some time spying on my wife and using a wide range of digital tools to understand the scope and depth of this affair. I really, really don't want to do this, but I'm also afraid that my wife will be dishonest with me and "go underground" if I don't come at her with enough evidence about this. Admittedly, I am also afraid of what I might find. I've told my wife that, if I ever found her engaging in a physical affair, the marriage would be over. I can't be with someone that I don't completely trust.
Ignoring this and pretending that it doesn't exist isn't an option for me. Hiding my feelings from my wife is already bothering me immensely. I am not a person that can keep how I feel bottled up for long. I definitely need some help sorting through this and determining my next steps.
In my case, I confronted after reading an email that proved nothing but an EA. Something to the extent of her writing "I don't have any issues with what is going on, but my situation is very different than yours." I didn't know about this site and confronted him. What I got in return was excruciating. He first told me they were just friends, but I knew that wasn't true so I kept pushing. He finally admitted that they kissed. I had nothing else to go on, so I believe him. We worked on our marriage and for four months he lied to me. Thanks to my friends here, I began to realize that things just weren't adding up; but I had no proof or any other place to search. Luckily for me, my WH decided to come clean (they were naked, she performed oral sex, he couldn't perform so no vaginal sex; and he kissed two other women dating back to when our first daughter was born). Who knows if this is the truth? I have no proof and no way to find out short of trying to track down the OW, which I do not want to do.
Anyway, I'm offering this as a cautionary tale of what you may well have to look forward to if you don't dig. It may not go down like that, but for many of us it has. That being said, my WH did come clean (I think) and we are successfully reconciling, so it doesn't preclude a relatively good outcome. That being said, those months of lying that we call TTing were soul crushing. You have to decide if that is a risk you want to take.
Good luck unsure, this is a horrible place to be in your life, but feel lucky you found this forum, it saved me.
But the people here give great advice, specially the ones that have been here a while.
You said that Cheating is a deal breaker in your marriage. Then the first thing you need to do when you confront your wife, is to make that really clear. She needs to be completely honest, or its over and SHE needs to leave, if all contact with the Other Man (OM),is not stopped immediately.
Don't play the pick me, pick me game. You won't win her over with your love, with your niceness. She is in a fog right now, a fantasy fog. Don't let her have her cake at home too.
Right now you are still in shock, it will hit you soon, this devastating idea that your wife could be cheating on you, and that you didn't see it coming. We've all been there.
So, you'll need to take care of yourself, go for a run, a walk, whatever, and whenever you feel mostly frustrated and want to scream at her, trust me it will be better, than trying to get through to her. She won't listen to reason right now - right away.
Go read The Healing library. There's an article in there about doing a 180. It really works.
I wish I had found this place right at the beginning, I would have not wasted so much time doing all the wrong things. Like crying and begging, and reasoning with him and "making him see" what he was doing to our family. Nothing worked...
More people will come along and give you better advice. hang in there. It will get better with time.
"The Secret of Change is to focus all your energy - not on fighting the old, but on building the new" ~~Lori Greiner FB post~~
I always recommend keeping mum while gathering evidence. In the beginning, none of us know how these situations will pan out,whether we will D or R, so gathering evidence that may be needed in the event of D is the smart thing to do.
I don't know what state you reside in, but in my (fault) state, one has only 90 days from the moment of discovery in which to file, other wise it is considered that one is condoning the adultery. Yes, unbelievable, I know.
So do not show your hand until you have conclusive proof. If you confront now, she will just go underground with the A. And yes, I believe she is engaged in a PA, not an EA.
Please see a lawyer to find out what your rights are in the event of D, and go from there.
I am so sorry.
I would strongly recommend going into stealth mode. Put a VAR (voice activiated recorder) in her vehicle, get spyware on her electronics, phone, tablet, and computer if she has all three. I would also run through her financial records, see if there are unexplained expenses.
Once you have what you consider proof enough then confront. Be prepared to tell her what you need, and what the consequences are. If it's a deal breaker, then send her on her way. If it's not then figure out what you need for R. Clearly and calmly lay those requirements out.
Know that you don't have to make any immediate decisions, read in the library, and keep posting and reading.
Focus on you, eat, sleep and keeping hydrated sound simple but can be hard when you realize your world has been flipped.
Also, contact an attorney to become familiar with your rights. Be open and honest with him/her. Share your concerns. I doubt anything you say will be a surprise to them. You are NOT trying to end your marriage...you're trying to save it. Hopefully things have not progressed to the point of no return. I wish you best of luck in this.
This is defiantly cheating. A married woman does not send naked pics of herself to a man who isn't her husband. Chances are,it's physical...most OM won't stick around for "just" pics and sexting.
Cheaters lie and minimize. if you confront her now she will lie about the extent of her affair(s?). She most likely will tell you it was never physical. If you confront to soon, you may never know the full extent of what she has done..and that will make any hope of R very difficult.
..that feeling you get in your stomach, when you heart's broken. It's like all the butterflies just died.
You know that there is somethign inaapropriate going on, and that your WW is hiding it from you. You know your M is already in deep danger.
While you are watching and documenting the extent of your WW's betrayal, I also recomend you take advantage of the time to protect yourself for when things eventually become confrontational. These would be things like seeing a attorney to find out what your rights are and your responsibilities if this ends up heading for separation and divorce. I am not saying to plan for this, but educate yourself and know the facts. Is your money safe? If joint accounts can you begin to separate them? Many of us BS (betrayed spouses) find some IC (individual counseling) helpful as we work through the period after dday. Consider scheduling an appointment for help in sorting through your feelings and thoughts.
I'm also afraid that my wife will be dishonest with me and "go underground" if I don't come at her with enough evidence about this.
I get this, I too felt I needed to prove everything to show it was true. You know what the truth is. Your WW has turned to an OM for validation and sexual excitement. Two years into the M and she has already left you mentally. You have nothing more to prove.OTOH, if you are interested in pursuing R, and your WW wants to R, it should be on her to prove she has gone NC with OM. To prove the extent and limits of her betrayal. To prove that she understandfs why she did this and what she has done to ensure this will not happen again, to become a healthy M partner. To prove that she is remorseful, understands what she did, and wants to be with you because she loves you (and that she actually knows what love means).
I can tell you that in my sich, the sexting and photos occured AFTER the sex.
best wishes, keep posting,
ETA, and be sure that if you and your WW have sex there is NO opportunity for a pregnancy.
[This message edited by atsenaotie at 9:16 AM, June 17th (Monday)]
2) spend some time spying on my wife and using a wide range of digital tools to understand the scope and depth of this affair. I really, really don't want to do this, but I'm also afraid that my wife will be dishonest with me and "go underground" if I don't come at her with enough evidence about this.
^^This, in my opinion, is the right way to go. It's what all of us here have done upon our initial discovery.
If you just ask her if she's having an affair she'll deny and take it underground, especially since she's changing her passwords weekly. That tells me she really wants to keep what she's doing a secret.
Get a voice activated recorder and a keylogger. I'm not sure what you can do on an Iphone if it's not jailbroken first.
You need to gather as much information as you possibly can and then when you do confront only reveal half of what you know and NEVER reveal your sources. With only letting her know half it is then her responsibility to give you the rest.
Don't worry about what decision to make after you have your information or when you confront. You'll need time to process what is going on. That said, there is also nothing wrong with talking to an attorney, again after you have your information, to know exactly where you stand.
I'm sorry you're going through this. I agree, sexting is cheating. I also feel there's more to this and the she could be involved in a physical affair.
Sending (((HUGS))) and strength
Post often, it helps.
It appears as though my best strategy is to collect some data and sit tight, if possible. I looked through my wife's history on her computer - came across a couple of things that raised some eyebrows and gave me a couple of hearty laughs (apparently she's into a few things sexually that I never knew about! ), but I didn't find any substantial, conclusive proof to go on. The keylogger is likely the key to finding more out about her EA/PA. Does anyone have any good recommendations that won't be picked up by her anti-virus? Her computer isn't password-protected so I could put that on there in no time.
I'll hold off on the AVR until I need to. Those are kind of expensive, but if it's what I need to do I'll just buy one during my lunch at work or something.
She changed her password on her phone yet again... it's changed two times in four days, guessing by the keystroke pattern she used with her thumb to unlock the phone. My gut tells me that she might be onto me. If I'm somehow lucky enough to get a few minutes with her phone, does anyone have any good recommendations for an iPhone tracking app?
The thing that REALLY irks me here is that, in the nude photos, it shows the wedding band proudly on her hand. It really kills me that she's being so brazen and selfish, and I assume the OM(s) know (and don't care) that she's married. It saddens me to know that there are so many people out there with a lack of any type of moral compass. In less than two years' time, my beautiful and seemingly happy wife went from completely interested and engaged, to emotionally checked out. Almost makes me wonder if she was ever really there in the first place.
If I find more evidence that proves my suspicions, I'll seek out a divorce attorney and end this immediately (and try to do it amicably out of respect for her emotions and family). I hope I've made it clear that I have ZERO interest in being with a woman that lies and engages in extramarital affairs - I'm just hoping like crazy that I'm wrong.
Thanks for letting me vent, everyone. I'll come back if/when I find out more.
iPhone GPS's are nice because they are hard to tell they are on. If you enable the GPS on her phone, you can then install just about any 3rd party app on your computer and track her without her knowledge.
As far as keyloggers and such are concerned, you have to first jailbreak her phone so this may not be a good option for you if you're not experienced with this. I do not know of any spy/keylogger for iPhone that works without first jailbreaking the phone. The GPS logging is the best bet for now.
Lastly, you might be able to obtain texts if she is texting from your phone company. You may want to see if there is a way on the account to store and recover texts from their web/billing website.
Sorry you find yourself here, friend. I'd suggest when you confront her that you might want to pick-up the book "Not Just Friends" as it is a wonderful resource to describe how this internet, texting, sexting thing begins.
Good luck to you!
Thanks for the tips. I found the Sony model you specified at Staples for $29. I'll go grab that one and stick it under her car seat.
I'll try to enable the GPS on her phone, if I can get a hold of it. I won't jailbreak her phone so I don't have to run the risk of bricking it. She'd definitely know then.
She's not using texting for any of this, to my knowledge. She's using Kik messenger, which appears to be an IM chat app for smartphones. Sounds like anonymity is one of the app's best features.
Again, thanks so much for your help.
cheaters lie....and make it seem like it is not as bad...when most of the time...it is exactly what your gut is telling you.
i found a dirty text sent to a woman at 4am....my husband SWORE that he was "just sexting" someone he met off the internet. the he said that he had only met her once for coffee.
the truth was that he had actually been a full blown sexual relationship with this woman. the only thing he didnt lie about was meeting her on the internet.
i didnt want to believe it at first.....i actually believed him when he said he was just sexting her.
i am not saying your wife is sleeping with someone else...but i will say follow your gut....trust it over your heart. it is hard, but it will save you a lot of heartache in the longrun.
and no matter what, there are some serious issues....no married woman sends dirty pictures of herself to another man....not unless she is sleeping with that man....or on her way. it is an inappropriate relationship. i would gather as much evidence as possible...and make sure you get the guy's phone number from the text as well. you may need it to let his wife know about it if/when it all comes out.
hang in there...i know what you are going through.
The first step of confronting your partner is most crucial. Do not walk up to the person and start hurling insults although it may be very tempting.
Anticipate resistance and denial. Know fully well that your partner will try to make it look like you’re exaggerating. You could be called petty, snoopy, jealous, insecure, insane, etc. Be sure you have all the evidence that you need and can get before you make your first move.
After your first step, your partner will be careful and could retrace her steps to clean up. Bills will be redirected. Calls will be more discreet. E-mail passwords could be changed. So, understand that you can take your time before making your first move and gather all information that you need before this.
The first time you ever talk about it will be the most difficult part. So plan well, practice and rehearse even.
You will definitely surprise and shock your partner. Use this to your advantage.
People do not have their wits about them when they’re shocked. So ask and probe and get your answers. Remind yourself of your purpose each time you find yourself losing it.
Understand that this is not your fault. By cheating on you, your partner has jeopardized the marriage and your future together. This is not constructive and no matter what her justification and reason, it is not acceptable.
Do not try to find the answers and blame it on yourself. Infidelity is not the answer to any marital problem. By cheating on you, your partner’s integrity and core character has become questionable...not yours.
Good luck. We are rooting for you.
Be happy with what you have while you work for what you want - Hellen Keller
Also be prepared for minimizing, blameshifting.
I installed a keylogger on her computer and configured the antivirus to not detect it. I'm a little nervous that it still will, but honestly, she isn't terribly computer-savvy so even if her anti-virus did go off, she wouldn't know what it means... I am the techie of the house, so I could just rush in and save the day like I often do with computers in our house.
I also picked up a small VAR which I will place in her car the next time I drive it.
The last thing is going to be the hardest part... accessing her phone. I KNOW I'm going to find a treasure trove of incriminating information on her phone, but she's now changing the password constantly. I am convinced that she knows I've accessed her phone before. I might have to play it cool for a while in this area and revisit it when her guard is down.