Sorry about the length, writing this out is actually helping me deal with it, thank you for your support, this happened over this last month, It involves a 16 year old boy, our church, and fireworks
Here is how it all came undone. It was the 4th of July, we were watching fireworks and I had at the time our shared galaxy phone. As the fireworks are going off, the phone buzzes in my pocket and its a text from a boy in my wife's youth group. I should probably fill you in, she was / still is a youth leader in our local church, teenage, high school age kids. So the text read "where are you?". Maybe he sent it to the wrong person. But after a couple minutes another... "I am here." "Here" I assumed was at the fireworks show.
This wasn't my light bulb moment, you know, the moment when every little thing you have noticed but passed off as nothing comes together like a puzzle and finally you see the whole picture (that picture being your spouse giving of themselves to another, whether physically or emotionally, maybe both.) My light bulb moment came later that night, when I had time to sort through all these events and finally something clicked. You see, my wife had an ipod that I had nothing to do with. It was completely hers, I didn't touch it. Partly because I used Android and Apple was foreign to me, I didn't know anything about Facetime and ichat or an apple id, apple email.
So here I am lying in bed, by myself, a little background, my wife ever night would say goodnight, and go downstairs and have her "me" time. With 3 kids I didn't complain much, as long as she spent some time talking to me about her day and we said goodnight, I was content. I would rather us be in bed together, but I work early and expecting her to be in bed by 9pm isn't practical.
So I am lying there, thinking about events, early that day and the last couple months... just that day we had a group of friends over, including this teenage boy and his parents. During one part of the evening, I went to look for my wife and found her in the kitchen with this boy, alone, both just staring at me- silent. Once again, it was strange, but not clicking still, was I in denial maybe?
In previous months she had invited him over, you see he played the guitar and my wife sings. She told me they were going to record a CD together and asked if him coming over in the evenings for a week was OK. I agreed it was fine, coming home from work though, he would already be at my house, then I would cook dinner for us all. I tried not to think too much into it. Then she was going to his parents house, to finish up songs. I asked if his parents were home and she assured me they were. It was all so weird to me, my 33 year old wife, singing, hanging out with a 16 year old boy. But my mind couldn't even imagine that she was giving herself emotionally over to him, we had been doing great, everything was great in our marriage, 12 years, 3 kids, great church, she stayed at home with the kids... and a 16 year boy, NO, I can't be thinking these things. And she would assure me, it's OK....it's just this, it's just that... it's OK, we're just """friends""".
I was fighting the "click", really, I didn't want to break our trust, little did I know she was breaking it daily with a youth from our church.
Back to the 4th of July, the night it wasn't going to be a secret no more. Lying in bed for about an hour, giving her, her "me" time. I got up, went downstairs quickly and saw her on her ipod, normally I could care less, but this time I pressed. Who are you talking to I asked... She said his name. I said its 10 at night, what is there to talk about with him this late? She said he had a question. This was her typical response when I asked what was talked about... I was smarter this time, I said let me see your ipod, she gave it to me. I told her I am keeping this and I am going to find out what you have been talking about. She for the most part didn't say much, she was probably wondering how much I could find out, after all, she deleted everything. I asked her why is everything deleted, no chats, no emails, no calls. She told me she just wanted to keep the memory clean. I kept silent.
You see, I knew something she didn't as well as many other ipod owners out there. When you delete something, it really isn't deleted, you can recover about a weeks worth of chats, calls, emails, etc... maybe more. But right away, you can go to the spotlight search if it hasn't been synced and spotlight search will show you text, etc. with the keyword you type even though it has been deleted. Its still indexed for searching but it can't be opened from the search, just previewed.
Well, I typed in my name. Then a number a text to this boy pop up, they were talking about me, sometimes joking about me. I couldn't read it all cause its just a preview, but I knew it wasn't good things. Then I typed in something I didn't want to see...Love. 100's of text pop up, from him to her, her to him, xoxo, love you, can't wait to facetime, can't wait to see you, every night, every day, while at work, while she was away. I searched hot, cute, flirt... all came up with chats, she said he was cute, he said he flirted with her, said she was attractive. It was enough, I knew now everything I thought, was correct. My warnings to her, my concerns were true, it has happened, she began and was connecting with this boy on a very deep level.
This whole time she was just standing there, not saying anything as I searched these keywords. I would ask why did you say these things, she started making excuses. It was out of friendship, or he was hurting that day, I was wanting to make him feel better, I am his youth leader, I wanted to just help him. She was trying to tell me it wasn't nothing and these text were just out of context, nothing was going on. At the same time, she was apologizing and telling me it won't happen again. It was getting very late, we called it a night and I kept her ipod bring it to work the next day.
I get to work the next day, having a desk job, I was able to download and run some ipod recovery software. Ask and I will tell you what I used, it was free to scan and preview everything it could recover and that's all I needed to do. After installing itunes, syncing, and then running the recovery software, it recovers over 3000 of the last text, showed me the last facetime calls, phone calls, etc. I began to read the text, the full text conversations. I get sick reading them, and told my boss I needed to leave for the day, I was sick. It seemed like I was reading a conversation between a boyfriend and girlfriend, that just fell madly in love. They couldn't wait to see / talk / spend time with each other every day. They were facetiming at night when I was in bed, I was wishing I had a wife to hold, she was giving herself emotionally to a 16 year old boy. I was torn. I don't cry at all, I cried on my wedding day, I almost cried during my kids births, and I was crying now. There was hurt for the church we are in, the ministry she had been given, the parents of this boy, our kids, our marriage, her, she was in so much denial, this box, her own world.
So I went home early, she knew then it was serious. We talked in my car for awhile, I told her I was able to read everything. I hadn't taking the time to read all 3000 text yet, but knew enough that she was totally giving herself to him emotionally. She finally began to admit wrong, how stupid it was, that there was no excuse, I did ask what did I do or haven't done, she said it was all her, she loved the attention, her teenage years were her getting made fun of, the fat girl, now she is getting the attention of boys with recent weight loss and likes the comments, feeds off them no matter who they are from. That is the problem she admits, she has self-confidence issues. I was also giving her the comments and really happy with her weight loss. When a comment came from another guy, by circumstance a 16 year old in her youth ministry, it made her feel a way that she obviously couldn't get enough of.
I told her we need to build our trust, no ipod, no internet, no ONLINE social life, we need to work on us. She agreed, we closed private emails, facebook, etc... the ipod was given away. Lastly I told her that I feel like we should talk to the parents of this boy. Embarrassing as it may be, if it were my son and he was in a situation with a married women, his youth leader, I would have wanted to know and help him through it. I also said she should pull out of the ministry for awhile, because it would be too weird for me for her to be in a position of leadership, to be an example, when she completely failed at that. She was not agreeing to those things so much. She didn't want anyone else knowing and she thought that ministry should be continued, because its unto God, not anything else. I told her there are consequences and getting out was the right thing for now, there are too many feelings to have to deal with it over and over. I also reminded her that I knew there were texting during the classes secretly and they thought it was so cool because no one knew. She agreed finally to take a break. But didn't want to tell anyone. I reluctantly agreed.
More mistakes... so the next night at church I am approached by this young boy, he wanted to talk, strange, since he would have no idea, unless my wife talk to him again. So I agreed and I wanted to let him speak his thoughts, give him his chance to fess up. Right away he took a very defensive position, telling me that he thought of my wife as nothing more than a sister. He had sisters and she was just like that, he didn't tell her anything he wouldn't have told one of his sisters. Also he said if you want to talk to me or about me, come to me, don't go to my parents, father, or anybody else, you come to me. I could tell he was nervous and now I knew for sure he had a heads up from my wife on what I had shared with her the day before. I told him simply he crossed the line, I didn't go into detail about anything said, just told him there is a time and place for hello's, but you crossed a line, you did more, and wanted more than you should have wanted. I honestly felt like it wasn't really on him, my wife was the leader and parent, the adult here, I really didn't want to argue with a 16 year old on what he can and can't do with my wife. It was rather strange and embarrassing for me. Also my wife was still confiding in him since he knew about me wanting to go to his parents. I finally told him that I would not go to his parents without him there or letting him know. We left it at that.
Back to my wife now... another long night, another stab in the back, I asked her how he knew about everything. She met him early that day in a park, she just wanted him to know that it was over. The secrets was out. I honestly didn't want to keep prying my wife, she broke trust again, and I was just fed up with it. How can I have her trust when she goes out after all this and tells him more. She wanted to know if we should separate, I just wanted her to have genuine remorse, not just sorry for me catching her and how sorry she was to him... what about me, the husband of 12 years, 3 beautiful kids? I didn't want to share with her no more feelings, and I didn't want to give up on everything, I asked for time. Let's stay and just let time heal. Proof is in how we take these next few weeks I told her.
So after more days of healing, I needed to read through all the text, to map it all out in my head. I thought I knew the worst of it, but read more stuff, about my wife and I, our intimate times, she was comfortable enough to share those things with him. She also was facetiming another Guy I found out. I didn't even mention the other EA she had before this. That was probably a 6 month long EA, 5 or so years ago. I found out about that EA because she slipped, she meet the guy one time at the mall and my sister saw them, after I was told, I didn't think anything but used spy software on her computer and what I saw was her on the verge of divorce and wanting to marry this other guy, oh by the way having great times with me in bed, then talking to him all night how tortured she was...
Well, she was re-connecting with him, thank GOD he had a girlfriend and so he was somewhat, I say somewhat constrained. But it was another dagger to the heart though, I again had to leave work for "sickness". And she admitted it, even go out of town to see him on trips to visit her parents.. It was too much, I almost called it off, I was looking for divorce help, what would happen to the kids...she was a stay at home mom, no income, she would have to live at her parents, with our children, is this anyway for them to live. I was holding on this time for the kids. So she said it may be worse for the kids to just stay. I told her I can't change her, I will be willing to work things out, but she has to want me 100% and give me 100%. She said that is what she wanted, so she would work on herself.
I had finished reading all the text, seeing her facetime history, etc. I knew with this boy anyway, she didn't do anything physical besides a hug, they joked about how passionately they could hug each as friends. Sickening I know. But I don't believe it went any further physically. I can only hope on the other EA, she didn't open up about it, I didn't pry...I was in too much shock and too taken by this thing with this teenager.
Your sin will find you... Well, its been a month now since the fireworks, literally. And one of my wife's girlfriends called to express concern over something she has been holding onto for awhile, that's been a weight on her conscience. Her teenage son was with this teenage boy my wife had the EA with when my wife was texting him awhile back. It normally might not seem like a big deal, but this was late at night and our friends know I sleep early, rise early, so when her son told her my wife was texting this kid at night, she was not comfortable with that. She told my wife these things concerned her and my wife's reply was we are working through things, please mind your own business basically. To which her friend replied, what about the church, the ministry you are in, the parents, they should know (Ironic I said the same things), to which my wife replied basically that it was our business, we are past this, stay out. It was more dramatic of course than this, arguing and hanging up and calling back.
So my wife in the heat of the moment, called the boys mom and had her over, like the very second she hung up with her (maybe still) friend. I don't know everything that was said, but my wife said she told his mom that she was secretly texting her son behind my back and was sorry for it. I wouldn't imagine that any detail was discussed as embarrassing as it could be. But that it was a secret and wrong of her to do that. So my wife also said to me if you need to talk to his dad go ahead, its out now. I did call his dad and only said if he had any question after he talks to his wife and son to call me. I didn't tell him anything else.
It was all so ironic, the teenager getting on my case for wanting to tell his dad and my wife doing the same, then a month later, she spills it out to the mom in the heat of a moment because someone else saw them texting. This was yesterday...
Now today. I go on, I want to move forward, but I feel like because we fully didn't deal with this, fully with everyone involved because of a teenager, because of a church, because of a ministry, now we may have to open wounds just starting to heal, do I really tell the parents of this young boy things he said to my wife or worse, what my wife said to him? The pastor of our church? So much shame & embarrassment.