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How Many More Red Flags Do I Need?

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sideblinded posted 11/28/2013 09:01 AM

Hello Everyone,

I'm new here today, and very sorry but grateful to be here - Thankgsgiving Day. I'm thankful that my H and son have chosen to go cross country to see his elderly mother for the holiday because I can't bear to look at my H right now.

Last week, while 15-y.o. son and I were researching an English assignment on the family computer, there on the screen flashes a porn thumbnail in google. A year and a half ago a similar thing kept happening so I took it to the shop and they "de-bug" it. H said it's viruses causing the popups. Odd, though, because I've had my laptop seven years and never had a porn popup on it. But because I'm married to the most upstanding guy in the world, it never occurs to me that he's looking at porn on the family computer. Idiot! Fast forward a year and a half and here we are again. I consult with my H and say, if it's you I make no judgements, but I want to be sure it's YOU, and not the kids looking at online porn. Our conversation was so clichéd it was nauseating. Me: I don't even know who you are. Him: it was a one-time thing, I was looking for intimacy, and oh yes by the way that debacle a year and a half ago of the porn on the computer was my doing. I let him know I'm no prude but this feels to me like infidelity. (I lied about "no judgements.")

I know porn use by a spouse is a much-debated subject we could discuss forever, but I insisted he put himself in my shoes for a minute and tell me how he'd feel if the situation were reversed. He did say 'sad and angry.' Okay, he gets it, no more is said on the subject. I let him know I'm hurt but I can get over it. The on-line porn use doesn't bother me as much as the lying.

However, my gut is starting to tell me something's off. This is what happens when there's a betrayal. You start looking at the past to see if your memory jives with facts. So a few days ago I looked in the browser history and find a few more sites. He's a PhD engineer but clueless how to cover his online activity. He keeps Adult Friend Finder in his favorites bar! Since he's out of town this week I've spent countless hours combing his hard drive (thank you internet and youtube for showing me how because I am a technophobe) for anything and everything that looks porn related. I find a dozen different generic porn sites but far more troubling - dating hook-up sites. There's one account dating back to 2003! This site currently defaults to a street map of our city with girl's pix superimposed on them at various locations. Every one of these hook-up sites is global in nature, and lo and behold I've kept the family calendars for the last decade. I go back and look at the times he's been out of town and find that almost every time he uses the online dating sites - like adult friend finder, justbang, ("THE place for discreet extramarital affairs"), okcupid, truecheater,com, getiton - it always corresponds to when he is preparing to leave town. He travels the world for his job, and was checking the dating sites prior to travel to Norway, Canada, Great Britain, and at least four U.S. cities. I suspect if I were an IT person I'd find plenty more, I just don't know every where to look.

So, suspicion is not proof. Is he just looking or really hooking up locally and globally? My problem is, I do not believe in coincidence. I just don't. On the other hand, my husband is the LAST guy on earth I'd believe capable of cheating. But I'd never pegged him for a porn user either. He used to say he thought it was gross. Well now I know he's a liar so there's that.

A few other red flags flying around in my head - A couple of weeks ago I just happened to be out around the time he comes home from work and saw him approaching the neighborhood from the opposite direction than he normally would come from the office. When I asked where he was coming from he told me I was mistaken, he was on his usual route home. No, I definitely was NOT mistaken. Is he gaslighting me? He frequently travels for work, always calls regularly. Two weeks ago, while traveling abroad, he neglected to tell me who he had dinner with that night. He ALWAYS throws out the names of his traveling colleagues in our calls. This time I had to ask - who'd you have dinner with? He says, a colleague. This is a first. I say, which one? He gives me a woman's name and then immediately launches into a 10-minute dissertation on her CV, as if I care, or am even listening at this point. Why the hell is he giving me her credentials??? Out of character.

I hate living the life of a snoop, but I would give anything to have access to his cell phone. But it's company issued and password protected so there's no way I can see what's on it.

From what little I've read in the past week on this and similar sites, the advice seems to be to not let on what you know or how you got the information. I'm taking this to heart, keeping a little journal, putting the pieces together. But, how do I translate this into proof? The not knowing if he's hooking up is killing me. I am SICK to my stomach. Can't eat, sleep, concentrate long enough to read a single sentence of a newspaper. This is all-consuming.

There is no doubt in my mind that if I get definitive proof of a single physical encounter we'll D. I just couldn't live with a cheater. When trust leaves the M, I can't imagine getting it back. Maybe if it was a one-time thing I'd give it a try, but his "friend finder" account goes back ten years. Whatever happens in the long run, I'll get through it. But I am sick to my core to think about my son, who adores his father even now, as a teenager. He recently wrote an essay for school on his role model - he chose to write about his dad: brilliant engineer, boy scout leader, never misses church, volunteers at every opportunity, etc. etc. Pillar of the community.

Unbelievably, after H and I had our heart-to-heart talk one week ago about how I'm hurt by the porn use and he assures me he's done with it, his browser shows that two days after that he logged onto another hook-up site. I can only presume it's in anticipation of a business trip he's taking next week to another U.S. city.

I am completely numb right now. I feel like I'm standing in quicksand.

Anyone have any suggestion on how to move forward? 5 minutes at a time? I know I'm going to have to be patient now (not my strong suit) waiting to see what transpires next, but my gut knows what it knows.

Thanks for listening.

movingforward13 posted 11/28/2013 09:07 AM

I am so sorry. Your husband is cheating... Continue gathering information while you figure out what you want to do. Because of the time frame (10 years), I am going to say you are right, you may just need to divorce him. I am not versed in LTAs though.

Be good to yourself. Force yourself to eat, drink water and remain calm. Don't give him any idea he has been caught until you are satisfied that you have sufficient evidence.

Markone posted 11/28/2013 09:19 AM


Trust your gut. No, it doesn't look good. Check
out credit card/cash withdrawals around the time
of his trips - if he's not successful with these stupid
sites he may have gone the escort route

Get tested for STDs - don't wait for further "proof"
- IMO, you have all the evidence you need

So sorry....

refuz2bavictim posted 11/28/2013 09:29 AM


I am so sorry you are here, and of all days for that to happen.
I don't know how many more red flags you need, but I do think you have enough here to warrant taking some major steps to protect yourself. I would make an apt for STD testing ASAP. Hookup site accounts that date back to 2003 coupled with the sheer number of sites, have provided enough opportunity for physical encounters. Don't leave your own health to chance.

There are others here, who have had situations very much like yours. As soon as they read this, I am sure they will do their best to help guide you through this, and give you tips on how to get the proof you need.

So sorry. Please take care of yourself.

cayc posted 11/28/2013 09:31 AM

Oh honey. Please never ever ignore or explain away red flags. They are always a signal that something bigger than what you see is wrong.

My xWH was never not cheating on me. Never. While we were dating, when we were first married. The whole goddamn time. But what did I see? Not much. A lot of porn use. A fixation on sex. Then smart phones and FB came a long and all these female friends. All this texting. Still I didn't cotton on. I had to wait until OW#umpteen was literally thrown in my face to see and believe.

Hindsight? OMG OMG OMG the red flags. And me, merrily offering excuses and explaining them away. So sweetheart, believe them. It is as bad as you think, likely worse (in terms of what he's been up to).

Look to the 180 in the healing library to emotionally protect yourself. Gather evidence (make copies and hide one). Think hard on what you want. And then confront. Be courageous. You are worth putting yourself first right now.


Take2 posted 11/28/2013 09:56 AM

I'm sorry sideblinded. I don't believe in coincidences either and it sounds like you'd have to warp your thinking into a pretzel to get around 10 years of coincidences. And yes -- that was gaslighting: "you did not see what you saw"...

I'm trying to think of a way for you to get definitive proof - because you do NOT what to give away your one avenue of information. With the phone on lock down and belonging to his work, all I can come up with is a VAR in his car. But do these people who hook up with strangers talk on the phone or just text ahead...? A VAR hidden in his car would be a cheap enough investment and maybe worth a shot.

A PI from the city of his destination? Expensive but if you can pin down his hours of opportunity...?

Meanwhile be sure you have screen shots of these sites. Document your evidence on a flash drive and be sure you have copies of financial information secured. If the shit hits the fan things can go awry really quickly. Better to have it and not need it - than the other way around.

For now, 5 min at a time. No one wants to be here - but we're all happy we found the place. (((sideblinded))) and strength to you.

Edith posted 11/28/2013 10:20 AM

Hi SB,
I am so sorry you are here.

my husband is the LAST guy on earth I'd believe capable of cheating

Most of us thought that. Sadly, we were wrong.

Is he gaslighting me?

Yes. Again, I'm so sorry.

The porn use is not a debated topic in my household. It was a gateway to dishonesty and literally ended our sex life. Not to mention took a sledgehammer to my self-esteem. Which was already nonexistent.

The vile hookup sites? Yes, I agree with others that you probably have all the information you need to believe that he has physically cheated.

I think it is vital for you to get to the doctor, get STD tests and also antidepressants and/or sleep medications to help you get through this most difficult time. I would also consult with an attorney, preferably before confronting him, to find out what your rights are.

I am so terribly sorry. So much devastation. Sending you hugs and prayers for strength and peace. Take care.


momentintime posted 11/28/2013 10:33 AM

Second getting a PI when he is in a US city. Send him/her a picture of your WS and copy of his itinerary. Yes, reg flags all over the place. Don't blame yourself for not seeing it earlier, we are trust wholly and it is shattering when we discover we have been deceived.

Take care our yourself, eat, get plenty of water, try to stay calm.

anewday78 posted 11/28/2013 10:40 AM

You have the perfect opportunity, while he's away with your son, to install a key logger on the family computer. This way, you'll be able to see all of the sites he's using, capture the passwords, and even read any conversations he's having with other people - even after he's deleted things. Install a key logger TODAY!

Williesmom posted 11/28/2013 10:45 AM

If you want access to his phone, it's easy. In the spirit of all of this marital honesty, just ask him for it, and ask him for the password.

His answer will tell you all that you ever need to know. And, let's face it, you already know what he's going to say.

I'm sorry. These aren't red flags, they are billboards.

Lostandpregnant posted 11/28/2013 10:57 AM

I beg of you not to allow him to explain/justify these things away. PLEASE do not. I did that. Out of fear of losing him, fear of knowing the truth..
He is 100% cheating on you. You may NEVER see physical evidence that will satisfy you.. but the evidence you have in front of you IS real evidence.

brkn_heartd posted 11/28/2013 11:18 AM

So sorry you are here. You might consider setting up profiles on those websites and trying to find him. Might have a membership date. Other options include trying to figure out his user name and password.

Hugs to you during this very difficult time.

steadfast1973 posted 11/28/2013 11:22 AM

Yes. Go do a thorough STD check with your doctor. It only took one encounter with a " high end escort" to bring me home herpes. It also didn't take long at all to go from just "looking" to fucking. The fantasy gets away... Install a keylogger and find out secret emails... I guarantee he has one. And if he hasn't met up yet, he will soon.

Lionne posted 11/28/2013 12:03 PM

((((Sideblinded))))) I rarely make blanket statements but he has all the signs of a sex addict that has progressed to physical acting out. To what extent is anyone's guess. Literally a guess. IMO, a PI with only rudimentary evidence would be enough for you to confront. You'll only have the tip of the iceberg anyway.

Get tested for STDs immediately. Get to a doctor for meds if you need them. See a lawyer as a consult. Once you confront it can go many ways. He denies, you tell him to hit the road. NO ONE SHPULD DTAY WITH AN ACTIVE SA. He admits but minimizes. You can either chose to divorce perhaps stick around to see if your marriage can be saved. At that point, he must agree to several things, an assessment with a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist. A REGULAR COUNSELOR WILL NOT BE ABLE TO TREAT THIS! If the diagnosis is SA, he goes into treatment and into a 12 step program. IMO, both are equally important.

Some of us have BTDT. Some of us are at various stages of this nightmare. There are TONS of useful books on the subject to help you know you aren't alone, and to help you navigate this trip.

When I JFO, I made a call to an anonymous call center for Sex Addicts Anonymous. I spoke to a man who told me he had cheated on his wife for many,many years. His remorse was clear. He told me that a strong program can and will enable the addict to stop.

But you need to do whatever is best for you. There is no shame in divorcing a cheater. NONE.

Read my profile, PM me. Join us in the I Can Relate forum, where the first page has many resources for Souses of Sex Addicts. Oh, and BTW, some SAs don't progress past the point of porn, sexting, flirtacious secret encounters, but they still detract from the intimacy of husband and wife. They still behave in in appropriate compulsive behaviors.

And it's NOT ok.

sideblinded posted 11/28/2013 16:02 PM

Well, I know I am in the right place. To all of you who answered my post so quickly I am grateful and thankful. I had to step away from this computer for a while today and take my dog on a long walk in the bright sunshine. It helped a little. Thanks to all of your suggestions I've put a mental to-do list together which includes getting STD tested (wasn't even on my radar!), meet with a lawyer re divorce implications for me, the keylogger is going to be up and running by the end of today, and I'm already looking for a pi in my H's destination city for next week.

Can someone tell me where to find "180" on this website - it was mentioned in a post and I can't find what it refers to. Detachment?

sK: thank you for your kind offer to talk but if I heard a single kind SPOKEN word from anyone on this subject, I think I'd dissolve in a puddle on the floor. Typing is safest for me right now.

Thanks for all the support.

devistatedmom posted 11/28/2013 16:43 PM

That's the link to the 180. The healing library, Then BS FAQ.

I'm sorry you are going through this. From reading your posts though...I think you are on the right track, and will come through ok. You are a strong lady.

HurtButHopeful? posted 11/28/2013 22:07 PM

Sounds like you are getting on it. PI at his next destination, keylogger, STD test, lawyer.

He has been looking at hook-up sites for 10 years and the dates coincide with when he's been on business trips. No one here on SI would believe that he has just been looking for 10 years. He is actively using them by now.

I'm so sorry.

If there is any way you can play the straight face for a few weeks, you will find out his passwords, email accounts, etc. by using the keylogger you are installing. If you give away that you are on to his game, he is going to start being more careful and hide his tracks better, thus prolonging your pain.

I just want to give you a hug (((((sideblinder))))))

solus sto posted 11/29/2013 07:34 AM

Do YOU require additional confirmation? I'm not asking this to be snarky; I was among those who DID need additional confirmation. I'm asking because, if you are convinced of his infidelity, there is rarely a legal benefit to having additional proof of infidelity; most jurisdictions are blase about adultery. So, if you are satisfied that this is what is going on, there's little need to amass evidence.

sideblinded posted 11/29/2013 08:02 AM

Solus, Yes I think I do need more proof. It's for me. I kind of guessed that proving adultery wouldn't really do anything for me in a legal showdown, which is why I'm meeting a lawyer next week. I want to know up front what, if any, benefit there is to having solid proof. I want the information in my back pocket. If it will not serve me legally, that's fine.

All I have now is a computer hard drive showing his visits to these sites corresponding to his travels. The one time I confronted him about a hook-up site he said, "I never went in there - those are computer popups." Doesn't make sense, because our computers filter out ALL popups. And if that were the case, there would be millions of popup files in the same hard drive. Not there. I KNOW he is lying about this and will continue to do so. I need something more solid.

All these cloak and dagger plans of mine make me sick. I've lost 5 pounds so far this week. Not sleeping. Can't concentrate for longer than two seconds together. I just don't know of any other way to move forward except to monitor. He's going to hold steadfast to his denials and I'm left wondering if he really is hooking up while out of town (or here) or I'm a paranoid, crazy, insecure, middle-aged wife?!!! This not-knowing is killing me. I think that my gathering information makes me me feel like I'm doing something constructive.

refuz2bavictim posted 11/29/2013 08:24 AM

I keep thinking about these two things

This site currently defaults to a street map of our city with girl's pix superimposed on them at various locations.

A couple of weeks ago I just happened to be out around the time he comes home from work and saw him approaching the neighborhood from the opposite direction than he normally would come from the office. When I asked where he was coming from he told me I was mistaken, he was on his usual route home.

I will bet you can get some of this proof more locally.

I think you have enough to take action, but I can understand why you need proof, especially as he holds firmly to his denials. He may continue to deny even with proof in his face.

Do you know what kind of proof will be "solid" so you can feel that you have "enough"? Photos? GPS? Texts, calls, a second phone?

I hope you can get what you need ASAP. You deserve to know what is happening in your own Marriage.

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