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Can you snoop too much?

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Montreal posted 9/10/2013 16:08 PM

Dday + 2 months since I found out. My wife has been doing everything "right". NC, open and accessible, always available, remorseful, the whole bit, even though she was a little reluctant at first. Didn't want to hurt me, she said. But she knows what I need, and she's been very good about it. Even when she "caught" me snooping through her phone, there was no recrimination, no anger, no blame. She simply removed the passcode on her phone and said that I could look at anything I wanted, whenever I wanted.

So she's doing everything right.

But can I push that too far? I've gone through her underwear drawer and found some stuff that I know wasn't for me. To repeat, there is no more cheating going on. But the lingerie is still there. She doesn't know I know about it, and I don't think she is keeping it for any special reason. It's just there. Is it within my right to tell her to throw it out? Or is this going too far? I don't want to push her away given how hard she is trying? Snooping through her underwear drawer seems, to me anyways, like it is crossing a line. I definitely don't like the person I have become, sneaking around and checking up on her and all that paranoia. But I also don't like that stuff being there, even though I know it's no longer being used.

How do I tactfully and gently tell her I want that stuff gone without seeming like some untrusting creep going through her undies?

jackson posted 9/10/2013 16:15 PM

No it is not too much. Until you have complete confidence in you WW IMHO it is perfectly ok to snoop as much as you feel necessary. Nothing is off limits.

[This message edited by jackson at 4:15 PM, September 10th (Tuesday)]

Simple posted 9/10/2013 16:18 PM

You can tell her to throw out things that remind you of the A. Explain it as it is. Tell her it's your way of moving on. If she's truly R, she won't be mad at this and you can't snoop too much as far as she's concerned. As far as WE as BS is concerned, yes you can snoop too much that it becomes unhealthy if that's all you can think about. That can become a barrier for real R and healing.

Just be transparent and honest the same way that she's supposed to be. Tell her how it makes you feel. Her response of comfort and follow through is what you need to watch out for. That will show her true commitment to R.

2 months after DDay is still so early. This takes years... give yourself a break, this is also a phase that we all go through.

Hugs your way.

struggling3 posted 9/10/2013 16:19 PM

I do not think you are a creep and you are right to not trust yet. It is great that you feel she is doing everything right but you will need many years of this continued behavior. You need to do whatever you need "trust but verify". If you know this lingerie was meant for someone else....hell would not stay in my house. She should respect that. Tell her you saw it...then get rid of it. Good luck on this journey...I'm glad she is getting it.

StruckNumb posted 9/10/2013 16:22 PM

I don't think you're out of line asking she gets rid of it. With my WH, we had many photos of our first trip overseas, a really special trip, his business, mine the first outside the U.S., us (years before the betrayal), that had the OW in them. I made a fire and tossed them all in, one was a really good photo I liked alot but the lowdown dirty ho happened to be in it.

Would she be that cold as to wear those items while with you? Would she want to? Ask her. Her reaction will tell you alot. And I recommend ripping them to shreds before sending them out the door.

Montreal posted 9/10/2013 16:57 PM

Intellectually I understand what you're saying. But it just seems so... Unseemly. Like filming her in the shower or something. What kind of creep goes through her underwear drawer looking for evidence?

I get it. I get that I am the betrayed one here. But... It just seems so embarrassing to admit that I've gone through her stuff like that.

fromthisdayfwd posted 9/10/2013 17:03 PM

Montreal ~

I personally know a wife who literally cut her wayward husband's clothes into little shreds in the middle of the living room. I don't think that even had to do with the OW! I also know many waywards who have had to sell their car because they used it with the other person.

In my opinion it comes to this: If you can't bear to look at it, know it is in your home or it makes you feel uncomfortable because of the affair - then she should happily get rid of it just because it hurts you more.

For me: I am very stubborn. I would not give that ho ho one more thing. NOT ONE THING. I would never give her the satisfaction that she 'made me' give up something that is mine. She took enough all ready (that he gave away, mind you.) She could not have MY seat in OUR car. She could not have the exercise equipment he got with her. I wouldn't give her a thing.

I want her to know that I have reclaimed all that was lost and MORE. She will not get the satisfaction of thinking she permanently 'took' anything from me.

That is just me.

I don't have anything that was actually purchased FOR her, either. If we had something that was purchased FOR her ... I probably wouldn't want it, either.

Hang in there. HUGS

fromthisdayfwd posted 9/10/2013 17:06 PM

Oh, and trust me... I know betrayed spouses who have checked undergarments for offending odors ... you are not by any means creepy! Think more like an investigator.

Skan posted 9/10/2013 18:28 PM

What kind of person hand checked the sheets every day upon returning from work, to see if there were semen stains? What sort of person rummaged through the dirty clothing bin every day, checking for semen stains or other dampness on towels? Ditto on underwear.

Raises Hand.

Look. You do what you NEED to do, to help pacify yourself. And yes, you may look back at this episode later in your life and shake your head in disbelief. BUT, you do what you need to do, to help calm your mind and emotions when you need to. And when your mind and emotions are calmer, when you can trust more, you will slowly wean yourself off of these checking behaviors.

Be kind to yourself. Please remember, that the one person in the world that you should be able to count on to have your back has stuck a knife in it. If you didn't have a flinch reflex, you would be suicidal. If you burn yourself on the stove, as long as the burn hurts, you're going to be really, really careful to not knock that healing burn against anything. Then you're going to be uneasy using that stove until you and your body stops assuming that you're going to get burned each time you approach it. Same sort of thing, but immensely magnified.

gettingthere2013 posted 9/10/2013 20:40 PM

When we were only two months out,there was NOTHING I didn't snoop through on the regular. Underwear? Yep. Not only did I snoop through the underwear,but I would count it and take note of what underwear H took with him on business trips. If he tok his nice ones,I would text him and ask why. I counted how many Viagra pills were left,and kept track of his refills. I knew his FB messages better than he did. Sometimes I found stuff that triggered me horribly,and my questioning of my H was less than kind One of the things I asked him was whether OW had ever given him gifts...any gifts. The answer was no,and I believe him,especially since I basically inventoried all his possessions before I asked. Had there been anything in our home that even maybe,might have been an A thing,it would have been tossed. I would not have even asked-not in early days,anyway. Just tell your W what you need and why. A remorseful WS will jump at the chance to do something,anything to ease the pain of their BS-I bet yours will,too.

I posted a question much like yours a couple months back,when I was still very much in a Nancy Drew mode. The snooping was driving me crazy,it was a compulsion...I HAD to snoop,every chance I got. HAD TO. Didn't know how to stop,didn't even want to try...the snooping gave me the illusion of control,until I was ready to accept I had no control over my H's faithfulness. I snooped until I felt safe. You'll get there,too.

reallyscrewedup7 posted 9/11/2013 07:09 AM

Montreal (beautiful city by the way, I love visiting),

Your wife KNOWS that the sexy lingerie is still in the drawer. She is holding on to it. That sir is a red flag. One possible interpretation is that she is holding on it as a special memory of the affair.

You are risking reconciliation with someone that is either truly repentant or someone who has a burner phone and secret emails and is good at taking things underground.

I understand the urge to be a gentleman, but not speaking out got you a wife who had sex with another man.

You have every right to set your boundaries. If she thinks it is creepy that you want her to cut her ties to the OM, then you will know where you really stand.

I suspect you are afraid to ask her to do it because you know this to be true and do not want her to give you an answer that shows she is still attached to him.

tushnurse posted 9/11/2013 07:49 AM

Can you snoop too much? My Answer is a resounding NO.

Is it OK to ask her to get rid of A related things? Absolutely.

Are you a creep for snooping around? NO. This goes against everything we are forcing down our WS's throats after Dday, transparency, honesty etc. However the WS is the one with something to proove, not us, and yes it is perfectly fine to snoop. This actually helps you start to rebuild some trust.

As far as the panties/lingere goes, I would simply have a conversation with her and ask that she throw away anything that is A related, that may be a trigger to you, and that in your search for the truth, while you felt you were loosing your mind you found this lingere. If she is truly remorseful she will have absolutely no problem getting rid of it.

It took me a while to get the balls to ask my H to get rid of some things that were a related. I was extrememly codependent, and had a hard time asking for what I wanted. We were pretty far into R when I asked for it, and he was more than happy to oblige, we did it together, and it was cathartic for both of us. We burned some of it.

If you meet resistance then you probably need to get even snoopier.

((((and strength)))

toomanyregrets posted 9/11/2013 12:14 PM

Have you asked you WW if the OM gave her anything or that she has that could remind her of him?

If she really wants to R and is transparent, then she should tel you about the items.

AML04 posted 9/11/2013 14:54 PM

I ransacked our home for anything that could've come from her or reminded him of her. It took a while to find it all (not that there was a lot but they've know each other 5 years and I'm pretty sure we might have missed something she got for our son). Then I put it all in a pillowcase and smashed it to smithereens in our basement. It felt great.

[This message edited by AML04 at 2:56 PM, September 11th (Wednesday)]

Morhurt posted 9/11/2013 18:44 PM

I would absolutely throw out the underwear (or ask her to). I actually threw all of mine out just because I wore it for H during his affair (obviously unknowingly). I've been buying him new underwear too, nothing special but I want all of his old ones gone.

It may seem excessive but it helps me. H is happy to do whatever helps, including all new unders for both of us.

ming56 posted 9/12/2013 05:09 AM

I can tell you from experience it is a great feeling when you start to back off the snooping. Luckily your wife sounds like she is doing a living amends to you and that is the biggest battle. Slowly as your trust is built back up you will find the need to "poke the bruise" starts to let up and you will have less and less of a need to search and verify. In the meantime don't beat yourself up over doing what the situation called for. In regard to the lingerie, she may not even be aware of the breach of trust it is causing. In our state of mind we sometimes expect or assume thoughts attributed to our spouses, but then if they had been thinking like us they would not have done the things they did. I had a number of those type issues during our recovery where I found something that triggered me and struggled with whether or not to say something. Eventually I usually did and my wife was always willing to accomodate my wishes, as it sounds like yours would be. This is a process, and there is nothing wrong with being open and honest about your struggles just as you expect her to be about hers.

StillGoing posted 9/12/2013 06:09 AM

Intellectually I understand what you're saying. But it just seems so... Unseemly. Like filming her in the shower or something. What kind of creep goes through her underwear drawer looking for evidence?

I get it. I get that I am the betrayed one here. But... It just seems so embarrassing to admit that I've gone through her stuff like that.

For me, it felt like that because it felt like a statement about myself at first. Like my wife was trustworthy and I was the sneaky one for going through her shit. I knew that wasn't the case but my actions were the actions I was ashamed of, I wasn't yet completely angry at her actions.

If you don't treat it like snooping - because it isn't - it feels less weird. This is your wife, your home, and everything should be open, especially if everything is open to her. You wouldn't feel weird about her rummaging your underwear drawer because she was feeling insecure, you'd want to provide everything you could to help her - even show her there's nothing there to worry her. After reassuring yourself over time by finding nothing that will slowly help build feelings of trust.

The other problem is that you will find shit and it will become a talking point. Prepare for that one.

[This message edited by StillGoing at 6:10 AM, September 12th (Thursday)]

Montreal posted 9/12/2013 11:07 AM

Thanks all, I really appreciate the advice. I knew that I was within my rights to do this, but I guess I just felt like… well as Ming said above, like I was "poking the bruise" for no good reason. I don't like being this person, this suspicious, doubtful, cynical person. Or I guess as StillGoing said I'm ashamed of MY actions. But I guess it goes with the territory, right?

I asked her to get rid of that stuff, and while her reaction was not nearly as positive as I was hoping it to be, she did agree. She said that it wasn't from her affairs, but was something she bought years ago but which didn't fit (too small). She says she kept them because she was using them as a reward for herself, for when she reached her weight loss goal and was able to fit into something she felt sexy in. And since she had begun training for a half-marathon she has indeed lost a lot of weight and I guess she was close to that goal or something. So she was angry at that, and angry that I didn't believe her. Knowing her, it's an entirely plausible story. I never went into her drawers like that before, and having body-image issues she had never worn anything like that for me before. So when I found it I just assumed they were for somebody else. She says they weren't and is hurt that I don't believe her (though she says she understands completely). She is doing what I asked her to do, but without the "of course, anything you need" enthusiasm I was hoping for. I don't know how to take this.

What a nightmare.

tushnurse posted 9/12/2013 12:25 PM

Listen to your gut. What has she proven to you? That she is a liar that lies. How much has that changed in the recent past? Actions speak oh so much louder than words. Of course the loudest action would have been to see her toss them on her own. But now you don't know. Her reaction was not one of a truly remorseful spouse, and she may be a bit foggy still, or she may be underground. A lot of times here you will see "Trust but verify". Screw that, I say verify, verify, verify, then possibly trust a tiny bit.

Seriously. If a WS thinks you are going to just trust them, and be all hunky dory then they are still living in the land of unicorns and rainbows. yes it goes against the norms in having a healthy relationship, but hey we have been thrust into anything but a normal relationship. We have to put ourselves first in everything, our spouses certainly failed at doing it for us.
The longer you snoop and not find anything the quicker you start to build trust back. Hell I used to check his mileage. I would look at it 2 times a week, and caclulate the miles driven vs what he had said he had driven (ow lived 4 hours away). So yah what we do can seem a bit insane to the outsider, and go against who we are, but then again, we didn't ask to be here, and are getting through the best way we know how.

OldCow18 posted 9/12/2013 12:31 PM

I threw away some new running clothes that I bought WH because while I shopped for them he was sexting her. I also threw away the cologne I bought him for his birthday because she probably loved how he smelled. If I found new underwear that would be gone as well.

As for her stating it's her reward for losing weight and her lack of understanding, tell her it just makes you uncomfortable whether that is rational or not, and that when she loses the weight/reaches her goal you'll be happy to buy her new pretty things.

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