My WH has been very very remorseful and has done absolutely everything to help me and to help us get back on track. He understands that his lack of boundaries at work had contributed to this, as well as not sharing personal information in regards to relationships with co workers of the opposite sex. I think that screams red flags and can seem to make others think you are sending signals when you may just be venting.
We have started going on date nights, spending much more time together, he's doing things to help me make things easier (like dishes, making dinner, planning little surprises like notes and flowers, etc) He seems to be working very hard to make sure I'm happy and he tells me all the time how much he loves me and how sorry he is for what he did (EA with co worker)
The environment he works in apparently brings him in to contact with people who are having affairs (some multiple partners at once) and I always felt that maybe their lack of fidelity and attitude of low morals could affect him, like just being around people like that makes it easier somehow. I don't know I am a stay at home parent so I don't have to deal with that but many people he works with have no qualms about a casual affair, like everybody's doing it, so it must be ok. My H is not like that but he did allow himself to get swept away for a short time anyway. He has owned it and he is doing 100 percent to make things better, as I am doing my part as well. We feel like a team again, like things that were not so great prior to this are getting better and we appreciate each other more.
I am rambling, sorry but now to my point which is, even though things are going great and my broken heart is starting to heal-- I can't stop thinking about the content of the texts they sent back and forth. I so badly want to know what was said, especially what he said. But then I'm afraid if I knew it would just make things hard again. It kills me to not know but it would kill me to know. How can I stop obsessing over this? Why would I even care when my husband clearly is 100 percent back in our relationship and we are doing so well in R? Is this normal or am I just subconsciously wanting to throw a wrench in things?
My point is, I, too, wanted to know what those texts said but they were forever deleted. I thought of taking the phone to a shop to see if they can be recovered, I have searched online to see if they could be recovered, but not without great expense. When I called the OW betrayed spouse to tell him of the affair, he searched her phone and sent me what texts she had not deleted.
Those simple texts haunt me to this day. They create more nightmares for me than i care to admit. And tears. More and more tears.
So, yes, I want to know what what said in ALL the texts, but I know it would hurt me forever and because of that I have dropped the issue in my head. When I get the urge, I pull up all the records I have and the texts the OW betrayed husband sent me and cry. Then I tuck them all back away.
But you are not crazy. And I responded to you because it has been a very real feeling for me.
There were answers that completely ripped me up inside when I initially heard them. There were times the answers made me so angry, anger that I never hid. However, as I digested the information, put it in prospective, and processed it that pain lessened and in the end the "unknown" did not torment me.
I always let my WH know that I needed the truth so that I could process it and move on.
I knew on Dday that if I were to move forward in an effort to rebuild our M that I would need to address all those horrible thoughts and questions swirling in my brain. For me there was no other option. The countless hours spent questioning, leaving no stone unturned, has left me with a sense of peace.
Obviously, I do not know everything that was said or that took place ~ I never will... but the questions I had have been put to rest through me efforts to seek the honest answers; they no longer torment my brain.
Remember: for every person that finds it necessary to ask, there is another who finds it better not to. There is no right/wrong answer, you must do what it right for you.
The truth hurts, but I have never seen it cause the pain that lies do.
I told myself that I needed to know who he really was. All the evidence that confirmed his 'true' identity went into my file. I would visit this file whenever I felt bad. I did it to remind myself what a terrible person he was, to protect myself from him. But the end result was always the same: it made me angry, distrustful.
I probably will never read the emails or hear the phone calls between him and OW. It still torments me from time to time, over a year later. But sometimes, in my moments of calm and clarity, I realize that this is a gift. If the little scraps could take me from sad to utterly miserable, what would the real stuff do? How long would I wallow in that hole? I shudder to think.
I don't think digging for details is a conscious effort to throw a wrench in things. You've been hurt, and the back of your brain wants to protect you. But your partner is not your enemy and true R can't happen while you are protecting yourself. The front of your brain knows this. The work of R isn't just between you and your partner - sometimes the hardest part is the struggle in yourself.
I've been doing really well the past few months. I don't look in the file anymore. One day, for my own sake as much as for the relationship, I know I'll have the strength to throw it out.
The main problem that I have is the difference between the lurvve and future faking that was going on, and what he's telling me now. I'm finding it so hard to beleieve that he could say some of the things that he said to her and not really mean them, but he swears he didn't. I don't know what to think.
Right after D-Day I had read emails between them, just a handful, and it really gave me insight into the nature of the A, H's mindset, but it was also incredibly painful. I feel like having read those emails was necessary at that early stage, awful, but necessary to me.
But at this stage where we are actively working on bettering our relationship and falling in love with each other, having read this letter was not helpful. It set me way back and put me into a rage where I said some awful and hurtful things to my H. Not conducive to R IMO.
But I did read it and so now what can I do with that information? In that letter OW says in extremely hyperbolic terms how awesome my H is and how much more grateful she is for him than his wife. It was essentially a plea for why she would be better for him than me. (grrr.) However, it does remind me that my H, just like all of us, needs to be told how much I love and care for him, not in the manipulative and overdone way OW did, but truly what I love him for. It's not easy to do that when that person has betrayed you, but it is something that I will have to find a way to do if R is going to work.
On my Dday, I was able to read just thirteen words between two secret emails that he wrote to OW. Those words of impact to alter my life forever now. I discovered the secret email account two days prior. He told me it was for a different friend who needed help in life. I said, then I need to read them. He told me all were deleted, but, the next one, he would show me to read. Mind you, I already suspected his A and so I went along with what he told me. When the one came, that he showed me to read, I could tell that it was exactly the style of his OW writings (she was old high school girlfriend). She wrote regular emails to him that I could read as if nothing was going on - "just friends". So, this was a fake email from OW. My WH was standing there and explaing his little story about the "troubled" friend when I clincked the Send-tab and saw a long list of his sent to OW. I clicked two before he realized what I was into. So, I read the first two words of one and then eleven of another. Enough to know of a planned secret meeting. But, the endearment words hurt the most - what he called her (should have been my words). There was a real fog that surrounded the other words of those two emails as I was so stunned. I know that God's spirit prevented me from reading more. I was able to read just what I needed to know the situation, but, not enough to completely destroy me. Although, it felt like I was to me.
Afterward, I really wanted to have been able to sit there and read every single word from all emails he wrote to her. I do know, for a fact, that if I had read all, I would maybe not have decided to stay in the marriage. I did tell him to leave in the beginning and we lived apart for four months. He first thought I read all of those two emails. In his explaining, he told me that their emails were very "explicit". After I told him I did not read them through, and it later came up that I questioned his sexually explicit emails, he told me that they were just "explicit". Well, what kind of other "explicit" is there in an A? I don't think they were talking about dog walking.
I will never know what really was written for their inner-story. As with all of you, I wish I could have read it all. I even still do, even though it would crush me. People deserve an honest path in life. However, that is not the nature of people sometimes to offer. I asked a zillion questions along our path of reconciliation. Those were answered, but there was a lot left out on his part.
Well, thank you all for letting me get this out. You are, "my people", and I so appreciate you.
To hear him tell it he was unhappy with our marriage, never meant to fall in love with her and was seriously torn about leaving or not leaving. He claims she was encouraging him to try to fix his marriage before making any decisions. The emails and instant messages I was able to resurrect told me he'd been trolling online for women for years, he was in PAs with several women (so he was cheating on his EA as well)and his EA was well aware that he wasn't leaving me. By the end his EA was begging for attention because he was only giving her crumbs, just enough to avoid the discomfort of telling her to go away.
The email that sticks in my head as a continuing comfort was the one where she gushed out her love and his respond was "ditto". In nearly 35 years of marriage I've never gotten a "ditto" from him. It's always been "I love you". So when I'm obsessing over her belief they were soul mates romantically and tragically kept apart by cruel circumstances, I just remember "ditto". It helps.
If you think you're getting a clear picture of the A then it's probably best not to dig up trouble, but I'm the type who has to organize everything in my head and needs the truth. Oh--and it occurs to me now that finding the photos was a major turning point in our R. I think my H was still compartmentalizing to some extent and convincing himself that it wasn't that bad. When he realized I'd seen the images of him f'ing the EA/PA, it really hit him. There was no sugar coating that, no convincing himself his secret life could remain separate from his real life. It honestly hit him much harder than it did me.
Good luck with your R. And is it possible for your H to get a new job and get away from those A-type people?
Like Veronique mentioned, our H's are human and they need to hear how much we love and appreciate them. That is how this started in my case was that we started taking each other for granted and started drifting apart. He wasn't happy and I wasn't happy-- but not THAT unhappy that I would have had an EA with someone. This lady was very predatory and very flattering. She knew what she was doing. Before he even told me a thing about her, I knew it because I know how my H is. He is clueless about women of her sort and he got sucked in through her ego boosting, and from there they started sharing personal info about their frustrations in their relationships.
Even though I didn't see the texts, I could tell by analyzing the incoming/outgoing pattern that she was the initiator in all this. Not to excuse him, he could have stopped it but did not.
Riding--I had a million questions too and he has answered them but he doesn't want to dwell-- I tend to take a long time to process things and tend to ask the same questions over and over. I have stopped asking because I feel I got all I needed. I don't really know why I started thinking about what the texts said.
Hannah-- that is my fear, that I would find out something I didn't know or something that would really destroy me-- not that I would expect to but it is possible that I would find something that I couldn't un-read and then what would I do. I feel like I've made a lot of progress since DDAy and don't know why I would want to add something to set me back.
Peacelove--- my H works in a number of different facilities and so does not have much contact with COW at all. The work environment he is in it seems that there are a lot of divorced and or people who have affairs-- I guess the work world has changed since I was in it-- but now he knows exactly what caused this, between his inappropriate sharing of personal info and letting his boundaries be unclear-- he is sure he will never do that again.
I know he is just as hurt as I was, I know that sounds wrong because he caused it-- but in looking back he says I will never understand the pain he is in because of the pain he caused me. I guess reading those words I just typed I should feel ashamed that I want to keep beating a dead horse! What is wrong with me. I read so many stories on SI that are so much worse and so much more painful. I really do consider myself lucky and consider that this was a wakeup call for us both. Our relationship has gotten better and I think it will end up in a much better place on the other side of all this.
Hearmeroar-- glad you found your "peeps", I find it helps to find similar situations and how others were able to deal with them and find a way to resolve things. While I never would wish any of this on anyone, I am so glad that I have found a place where I know I can vent, get help and help others too.
*edit* I left out a note to Wehaditall-- Yes, the biggest struggle is in myself-- that is the cliff note version of everything I just said above!! Thank you for the clarity!!
I think I addressed everything I set out-- see why I don't post much, I just go on and on forever!
[This message edited by 4better4worse at 1:27 PM, March 18th (Tuesday)]
I wanted to know to, and got enough to know it was ENOUGH. It hurt alot more before I spent a million hours researching and reading on SI to see that it was nothing special, nothing out of the ordinary, in fact was TEXTBOOK. It hurt even less when my husband read the books, did IC and MC and was able to understand and articulate to me HIS understanding of the unreality and dishonestly of it all. Maybe that is where you need to focus...get your husband to understand it, and then explain not what he "said" but what it really (didn't) mean.
Why Repentance Is Necessary? Because Undeserved Mercy Empowers Entitlement/Sin
I think about it daily, but am terrified reading the words would kill me and our chances.... but then I think why? am I trying to avoid the truth I bagger him for the truth all the time...and then I think no, it is that his actual words to her might traumatize me more... I donno...