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Punch to the Gut

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TurnOtherCheek posted 9/17/2016 09:28 AM

ďI canít wait to be inside you again. xoxĒ

That was it. Those few words and hugs and kisses popped up on my phone as a text from my husband.

6 days ago I was packing for a business trip I was leaving for the next day. Nothing unusual in our house as I travel a lot in my career. My husband (guess now a WH) came in and asked if I needed anything from the drug store as he was going to run out and pick up a few things. ďNope. Had all I needed but thanks for asking.Ē About 10 minutes later that message pops up on my phone. I canít even describe what was going through my head when I saw it. How funny he would send me such a message. We are affectionate but heís pretty straight-laced so the message was strange for him and he certainly hadnít sent such a text to me before. I was going to text him back but could tell he was texting me when the little bubble showed he was typing but then it stopped and I never got another text from him. It felt like an eternity as I waited to get a follow-up but nothing. It was then I got a punch to the gut. What if this wasnít meant for me? But who the hell could it be for if not for me? My head was spinning, my gut was tied in a knot and my legs went weak. Not a chance in hell my husband of 6 years was saying something like that to someone else. I couldnít think straight. My heart was racing and the more time that passed the more panicked I became. I had to talk myself through it and calm down which fortunately or unfortunately is a strong trait of mineÖmanaging to keep a level head.

I decided I would not reply and see how he was when he got back. I would pretend like I hadnít seen it even though I felt myself withering inside. It was all I could do to keep from hyperventilating when about 30 minutes later I heard him pull in. I acted like I was putting the final touches in my suitcase when he came in but I could absolutely tell that he was worried about something but he never said anything, just asked me if I was done packing but as I looked at him to answer he wouldn't look me in the eye. At that moment I think I knew. That text was meant for someone else. I was in a complete fog, light-headed and thought I could easily pass out. His quiet demeanor and hesitation told me all I needed to know. I mustered all the strength I had and kept my cool and didnít say a word. In my head I was telling myself that if I played my hand right, I could act like I never saw it and then try to piece anything together that might point to him cheating and finding out who that text was meant for because I had absolutely no idea. I then took a shower and literally let myself freak out alone in the shower. Fuck! I was leaving for a trip the next morning and of course at the end of my work week he was flying in to join me so we could start a vacation from there as I was working in Europe for the week. We had been looking forward to this trip for months!

Guess what? When I got out of the shower, he was in the living room watching tv. I noticed my phone had been moved, he actually plugged it in for me to charge, and when I picked it up to look at it...message gone! Deleted! SOB!!! I think he actually thought I didnít see it. So I think he thinks he got away with it. His first mistake! Well, second really, at least that I knew of so far. I joined him in the living room and yep...he was back to normal and thought he pulled the wool over my eyes. I was dying inside.

That night while heís sleeping, I get up and take his phone because of course I canít get one wink of sleep with my mind spinning. I take his phone, which we never lock because thatís not the kind of relationship we have, and I see nothing unusual but he still has the text he sent to me so I get my phone and take a pic of it since he had deleted mine. I knew everyone he has a text history with and a quick review of each convo didnít show anything unusual. I checked pics and nothing unusual but I scanned pretty quickly. I was so nervous because I felt so uncomfortable checking his phone that I gave up and put the phone back. Because I couldnít sleep, I then grabbed my laptop and started googling how to find cheating evidence and came across this site. I was dumbfounded this even existed and I felt myself falling apart as I read some of the stories. I am sorry you (we) are all here. One of the first things I read was the common practice of checking cell phone bills so I pulled up our account, which I never looked at after setting it up for auto-pay years ago, I checked his call and text log. Yep, you guessed it. There it wasÖrepeated calls and texts to one number I didnít know. My heart sank. I started to lose it and sobbed as quietly as I could so I wouldnít wake him. I could feel my heart breaking right then and there. I didnít know who he was calling and texting but with the frequency and the length of time (I went back 5 months to when it seemed to start) I knew all I needed to know. Still, I wanted more evidence before I dealt with him. I didnít know who this person was and I wanted desperately to know. I did a reverse look-up but nothing came up.

Today Iím writing this while in the midst of my work trip. I have been so busy, thankfully, that I havenít been able to really do much to get more info but what I have done is pretty much gone NC with WH and I can tell that is freaking him out as this is highly unusual that I donít communicate with himÖ.as in never. He is texting me frequently and tries to call but I havenít been answering so he called my office to check on me (he knows some of my colleagues well enough) and one sent me a text saying he called her and wanted to make sure I was OK because he couldnít reach me. I told her I was just busy and I would call him but I havenít. Iím freaking out because he is due to join me soon but I just canít bring myself to reply to him and his texts are getting more worried. There is no way I want to go on vacation with him now with what I have uncovered. There is no way I want to either pretend all is OK or hash it out during the wonderful vacation we have been planning for months. I am actually tempted to cancel his ticket so he canít get here. I am the one who booked everything and if I cancelled his ticket, he would show up at airport and then really know something was very wrong when he realized his ticket was canceled. Half of me wants to really mind fuck him that bad. I do know I have to speak to him eventually but I want to be ready on my own terms.

Hereís the thing Ė we have both always been clear from the start Ė cheating means itís over! He was more emphatic than I was, in fact it really is his rule and I just said I felt the same but truth is I do feel the same. I just donít think itís that hard to end one relationship before starting the next one. As for being cheated on, been there done that, barely survived it (tough divorce) and donít want to go through that again. End of story. This is a 2nd marriage for both of us. We have 3 kids between us, his and mine, all grown and I really felt I found my forever companion. We are both gainfully employed, educated, well traveled and I really thought we were so lucky to have found each other. I am absolutely dumfounded why he is doing this but I am also hurt beyond belief. I have been reading more stories on here and using some of the advice given to try to find more info but at this stage, like I said I am so busy, my heart hurts and is heavy and Iím actually numb and feel a bit stuck on what to do next. I canít stand the ideal of having to deal with this but I know I will have to.

So, at this point I know he knows something is up because of my silence. When I left for the trip, I was quiet the next morning, he asked me if everything was OK and I just said I felt blue but was also thinking about all the meetings I had planned for the week. He asked why I was blue and I said I couldnít really put my finger on it but something just seemed off and left it at that. My uber ride came soon after, I gave him a pretty emotionless hug and then quietly cried all the way to the airport. (Poor uber driver.) WH texted hoping I was ok, wishing me a safe trip and said he was excited for our vacation. Yeah, whatever.

Tonight I finally have some time to breathe and I realize I am heartbroken. I have barely eaten, can hardly focus in my meetings and there is a constant pit in my stomach that wonít go away. I canít think of a soul I want to talk to and I have a ton of girlfriends but I am not ready to have those conversations. I feel stuck because I know once it comes out, the beginning of the end startsÖ.the clock starts ticking. One thing I keep coming back to is the ďdealĒ we struck Ė cheating means the end and sadly, that is exactly how I feel. Is it weird that right now the details arenít even top of mind? I struggle to understand his why. I honestly have been looking for those clues in hindsight but Iím just not seeing them. We dated for 2.5 years after meeting online and we had pretty much an instant connection. The relationship is pretty balanced. We still ďdateĒ all the time because come on, isnít that why you want a relationship mid-life when the kids are out of the house? I wanted a companion, he wanted a companion and we still do things together regularly Ė travel, go dancing, movies, hike, go out on our boat and enjoy each otherís company. As I write those things I am sad that I think that is all over. Iíll have to start over. Without him.

A couple of times I have been tempted to send him the pic I took of that painful, awful, crushing text along with a screen shot of the phone bills that I keep pulling up. Yep, he keeps texting her and the worst part is I see a text to me followed by one to whoever she is, then one to me and on and on. I am crying now as I write this. I am dying to know what he is saying to her and what her replies are and at the same time I hope I never know. For some reason I canít find the nerve, strength or whatever I need to push send on that email with the evidence I have. I hover over the send button and then walk away. I want to know if he has ďbeen inside herÖagainĒ yet although Iím pretty sure I know the answer. (The ďagainĒ stabs straight through my chest.) Was it in our bed? Did she run over as soon as I left? Did he run to her? With as much as I travel, do they play house when Iím away? A big part of me just doesnít want to hear the lies and stumbling over himself once I play my cards. Heíll know upfront Iím not playing stupid but I also know he is one to somewhat shut down when confronted. Too bad this time. Heíll have one chance to lay it out for me with total honesty or heíll never get the chance. Iíll shut down access to me instantly. I donít even know if heíll care but Iím not going to be played for a fool.

So, tonight the big question is to cancel his flight or not. After writing this out, I really feel that is what I need to do. Iíll cancel but stay on here as planned then change up the trip itinerary in case he rebooks and comes to find me. Doubtful though. I need to clear my head. Look inside myself and decide what Iím willing to accept and how best to stand up for myself. I was a good wife. I am a good wife. We have a healthy sex life, we are both tactile, we laugh, we donít have to face many of the challenges other couples do with raising young kids, financial hardship or any of that. We always said we were blessed it was so easy. Maybe easy is boring for him?
I am sorry this is so long but my head and heart are spinning. Writing has helped me think through it a bit. Thank you for giving me a safe place to do that. Iím so tired but I canít sleep so I just keep thinking but this has somehow really helped. I could surely use advice so please tell meÖwhat would you fine people do if you were in my position? Thank you for reading all the way through this. I really am so very tired now. I hope I can sleep.

WH just texted again. ďI know youíre probably asleep with the time difference but I am so very worried right now. Please call me.Ē All I can think is I wonder what his next text to her will say. Maybe he doesnít have to text her. Maybe sheís there with him.

FML13 posted 9/17/2016 09:48 AM

Cancel his flight!! Go on vacation yourself. Invite a friend. Or change your plans and go spend time with family or friends.

He is going to have a story for you. About why it isn't exactly what it is. If this is a deal breaker for you (and I agree with you that it would be for me given the circumstances you described), or even if it isn't, there is no need to listen to his excuses unless and until you want to.

I am so sorry you are going through this. As for why.... You will never get a satisfactory answer. There is no good or acceptable reason.

SpecialK posted 9/17/2016 10:08 AM

Wow, I am so sorry you are here, but glad you found SI. We are here for you, no matter what.

I agree that you need to "cancel" his trip. There is no way this is going to be feasible.
As far as "evidence" you have it. The fact that he went on YOUR phone and deleted HIS text says it all.

I don't know how you should handle this, take a picture of his text and tell him he has 1 chance to come 100% clean or be moved out by the time you get home. Or, if you can handle it emotionally, cancel his ticket, tell him he's uninvited then go dark, let him sweat!Then use this time to plan your next step. Either way it's going to be tough.

undertherug posted 9/17/2016 10:16 AM

Well, I am a horrible devious person but my first thought was don't cancel his ticket. Let him show up and find you are not there because you have returned home to investigate and pack his stuff in garbage bags. I am really sorry you are going through this. You sound like a really strong person and we are all here for you.

BitterlyBetrayed posted 9/17/2016 10:18 AM

So sorry you're here TOC. It's a sucky place to be. I busted my WH through phone records too. I put the number in facebook after googling it and bam there's the hoebag. You may not want to know, but have you tried it. I agree with the others, cancel the ticket and try to get some time with yourself.

TurnOtherCheek posted 9/17/2016 10:26 AM

Special K and FML, thank you for replying. I have gone NC and I know he is freaking out. He is sending loving texts - "I'm worried about you, I love you, I can't wait to see you, I can't imagine why you haven't texted back (REALLY?!)" And on and on.... I turned off the sound of my phone so I wouldn't hear them coming in. He also sent me an email again telling me he was worried, he knows I was blue when I left and maybe that's what it is but when he gets here he'll take care of me and cheer me up! I can't even believe he has the nerve to say such things and seems to be really think I have no idea what's going on.

Of course I got no sleep so I did pull up his ticket and was ready to cancel but since there are still a few days before he leaves, I want to wait until closer to the date and then cancel it...because I have decided I WILL cancel his flight. I don't want him to pull up his flight info and see that before he leaves. He is a details guy and will check on it so I left it for now. Right now I am cancelling hotels to avoid cancel charges and looking at other places to visit instead. It's awful looking at replacing 2 weeks of travel when I know every inch of what we had planned and looked forward to all of it! UGH.

Anyway I do really thank you for being the sensible voices in my head and helping to take away that "am I being crazy" thought that keeps popping up. Nope, I'm not the crazy one here. He is!

wk55hn posted 9/17/2016 10:27 AM

Cheating is such a predictable behavior. And there's different types. If you spend any amount of time reading here, you will see it, you can identify the types of behavior, and you can see the type of cheating.

As to playing house in your house, I don't think so based on your posts. Probably they have been together, but he is not wanting to leave you. He is focused on you and keeping you happy.

Based on that, I'd assume she is married, or committed, too. He does not want to be with her.

Looking at the texts, you can see you, then her, then you, etc. He will not be texting her when he is with her.

What do they text about, or call about? Well, you've already seen that. "I can't wait to be inside of you again. xox lol." From her, "me too, you make me complete." Imagine what two 16-year-olds who just discovered sex would text each other, that's what it's like. High school. Puppy love. Lust. I get the sense he's not invested emotionally, maybe she is, maybe not.

My experience is the most pain comes from after the affair, the longer you wait to let this drag out, the more pain. Excruciating to watch silently and wonder.

Some people need evidence, want to be able to show that or the cheater will refute without solid evidence. I personally don't care if the cheater can refute or not, when I want out, it won't matter to me. If you want the proof, then hold on and get it. Go get a private investigator right now, by the end of the week you'll have your proof. It may cost you a few bucks, but you seem you can do it and it's well worth it. If you don't need the proof, if you are done, then do whatever you want, there is no right or wrong, but I think just telling him you're leaving the marriage and starting the process is just that much sooner since you start feeling better and done with this mess.

If you do want to stay, or will consider it, then you probably would want to get the truth of what is going on, who she is, how often, etc., get at least a general idea of the truth of it.

The typical of who she is - co-worker, former girlfriend/wife, someone from the gym, or the wife/girlfriend of a friend, or a friend of yours - those are the top ones I would say. If you don't know the phone number, then at least it's not the last item.

If you want to confront, but want him to come clean, then confront but say nothing about what you actually know. Say something like, "It has come to my attention that you have been cheating on me. I do not wish to say who has told me. Would you like to tell the truth or are you going to continue to cheat and lie to me? I am willing to listen right now, I may not be willing 5 minutes from now. Are you man enough to confess the truth? I thought you had more integrity than that."

Candyman66 posted 9/17/2016 10:31 AM

TurnOtherCheek; I say yes, Cancel his ticket and change itinerary go No Contact (NC). His not knowing exactly what is happening is a GREAT stress inducer. If you let your parents know what you have done make sure that they DO NOT tell him anything.

What I see happening is he will sweat bullets not knowing why. I mean he will know but he will be praying it's something else, anything else!

I think that you should call and make an appt with an attorney for the day before you are scheduled to come back and come home that day or the day before. You might be able to hand divorce paperwork as you walk in the front door! MAJOR shock for the first contact in weeks to be divorce papers! Or the day you finally decide to go home have him served at work!

The lawyer will let you know things such as can you file for exclusive use of the home until divorce, ect. The Lawyer is you best friend, hubby is the ENEMY. After the shock and awe part your hubby will be the one off balance not you. Then you can make any decisions you need as you see how he reacts.

Take your time before coming to any final decisions. You can stop the divorce at anytime. Ask the Lawyer about such things as; In my state does infidelity affect divorce or division of assets? I hope that you find peace.

Candyman66 posted 9/17/2016 10:35 AM

Also if you really want to visit those places do it! Just reverse the order with different hotels!

TurnOtherCheek posted 9/17/2016 10:54 AM

Undertherug, wow, I didn't even consider having him come here but I head back to the US instead. That might be kind of brilliant. To be honest, I feel like the vacation would clear my head but then all these amazing places will be forever tainted in my mind because of the circumstances. If I went home and he came here, I would be able to take some control over next steps regarding seeing an attorney, getting the house sorted and looking for the details of who this person is. OK, thanks for giving me more to think about. If it's actually possible, I do feel better even talking to all of you about what my choices are and hearing about why and with whom people cheat. Like I said my first husband cheated and yes it hurt like hell but our marriage was shaky and crumbling while that is definitely not the case here so I just can't believe this is happening. OK, lots more to think about it but amazingly, thinking about an action plan has actually helped dull the ache...a bit.

Tigersrule77 posted 9/17/2016 11:00 AM

Canceling tge vacation is definitely the right move. Undertherug had a great option if you dont want to stay. But if you think you can enjoy yourself then definitely stay. Maybe invite anfriend to join you? Obviously short notice.

I suspect that your WH is going nuts not hearing from you. Keep up the silence for your own sake. It should help you enjoy your trip. Deal with the mess after.

abc123wife posted 9/17/2016 11:19 AM

Another approach would be to send your WH just one text. Something like,

"You know damn well why I have not been communicating with you. I know what you have been up to! You have ONE shot at possible redemption, one chance to come 100% clean with EVERYTHING right NOW! Anything less than telling me all and it is over with us immediately - have your things removed from the house before I return."

Then go completely silent and see what he confesses. Even if he confesses it all, you still can be done with him. But at least you may get some truth.

looking4thesun posted 9/17/2016 11:26 AM

I love the idea of letting him come but disappearing yourself- heading back to the US, or staying on for a couple of weeks in Europe.

That is such smart thinking, that if you do take a two week vacation now, the places you'll visit will be tainted. I agree. I think the only reason to stay on in Europe for two weeks would be to help yourself heal. If you think that's likely, then I would say hang every other consideration and stay. Your emotional recovery is the top priority now. And when you're ready, inform yourself of your options.

If there's any chance he can find you in Europe (for instance, by himself hiring a PI- he sounds panicked enough) then it's a different situation. If staying on is not likely to give you respite from him and a chance to heal, then do consider heading home. While he is dealing with the shock of not finding you in Europe, you could be at home getting your ducks in a row, lining up a real life support system (to supplement what we can do here), and, yes, getting the PI if you want further details about who she is and so on.

You are clearly a level-headed, strong, well-informed woman TOC. I know that doesn't mean you feel less pain than others. But it does mean you can trust yourself to do the right thing and the smart thing.

I'm so sorry you will have to work through the cheating nightmare again. I would advise making self-care a priority now. Get IC, get anti-anxiety meds if that's an option for you, do your best to sleep, exercise and nourish your body. And please keep posting.

I completely understand not wanting to talk to friends right away. But it is good you have that option when you are ready for it.

Change2Be posted 9/17/2016 11:39 AM

Maybe it's just me, but I think his texts to you over the last few days are further evidence. Wouldn't a person with nothing to feel guilty about be pretty angry at your lack of communication? I think the texts would not be all loving and concerned, but more like " why aren't you calling me back?!!" "What's going on?" etc. I guess you know more what would be typical of him.

I'm with the others that you should have (try) a lovely vacation seeing everything you planned. And take super good care of yourself. Great food, long walks, try to make the most of it.

You sound really strong!

jlarson posted 9/17/2016 11:54 AM

TOC - I would definitely take your time with any final decisions. You sound like a level headed person, and you said that about yourself. Don't do things that aren't you. Do what you know to be right. If you react purely out of emotion, you'll regret it later. Stick to you. Be who you really are. I am so sorry you are here. And so sorry this is the second time. I feel so bad for you.

If it was an amazing relationship, it may be worth saving, but maybe not. You don't need to make that decision now.

I agree with the idea that you should tell him you know, and that you will give him a chance to totally come clean, but if he leaves anything out, then that is just more damage that he is causing and the consequences are his to choose. He will leave stuff out at first, guaranteed. But if he gives you most of the story, that is a start.

Stay strong and true to yourself. Balance your emotions with your cognitive override. Don't let either take total control. Know you're not alone.

TurnOtherCheek posted 9/17/2016 12:05 PM

wk55hn, I keep re-reading your reply and it helps, and hurts, especially this:

As to playing house in your house, I don't think so based on your posts. Probably they have been together, but he is not wanting to leave you. He is focused on you and keeping you happy.

Based on that, I'd assume she is married, or committed, too. He does not want to be with her.

Looking at the texts, you can see you, then her, then you, etc. He will not be texting her when he is with her.

How could he be focused on making me happy? It seems he is focused at only making himself happy but at the same time, it actually makes me feel good to read what you have written. I know I don't deserve this. I know I'm a good and loving wife and I know I fulfill all of his needs...well I guess not all of them. He tells me all the time he feels appreciated. So this makes NO SENSE to me. I feel like I'm in the twilight zone and this isn't my life!

Change2Be, a few days in, his texts were pretty pissy like WTH? Where are you? Why won't you reply? When I texted back my colleague, she let me know that she told him I was just really busy and would get back to him. He thanked her and said he felt better knowing that. I have to believe he knows I knows so being pissy with me is not in his best interest at the moment.

So, because I wanted to try to keep things calm while I work through all of this, I just sent him a "matter of fact" text and just said - "hey, it's been insane. So many meetings and no time. Phone died, lost my charger and picked up a new one. Chat soon." I left it at that. He should be sleeping now so I probably won't hear from him for a while but I figured this buys me some time to keep working on a plan and keeping him from freaking out and start devising his own plan if he knows something is really wrong. While I was typing that text to him I realized I had first typed, "Hey sorry....." Then I went WTF? Why the hell would I write "hey sorry" to him. Just like me to always be the one to apologize for NOTHING. So I took that out and went COLD and matter of fact only. That should tie him over for a day while I figure things out. Can't tell you how much I appreciate all your input! If I could hug you all, I would!!!!

crisp posted 9/17/2016 12:17 PM

Entitled much? An example of when enough is never enough.

While I respect your gut about this being a deal breaker, let the dust settle before you make any final decisions. Also, try to determine how much you need to know. If you truly are done, you probably don't need to know much.

Friends and family will be key to a quick healing. Embrace them.

BeeBee64 posted 9/17/2016 12:55 PM

I also like the idea of you going home and letting him go off on what will become his Twilight Zone Vacation.

While he is gone, get your business in order: read up on the legalities of divorce/separation, talk to a lawyer. SECURE YOUR FUNDS, find evidence. Maybe you could get a friend to call that number and find out who the other woman is. Consider hiring a private eye.

And see your doctor, get tested for STDs. Get something to help you sleep if you need it.

Some similarities to my experience in yours: seeing texting evidence, having the drop on the cheating spouse, time to get a plan of action together before you lower the boom.

The more ahead of him you stay and the more in control of the situation you are, the better you will feel.

Best of luck.

changeneeded posted 9/17/2016 13:10 PM

I'm always amazed at the people that find something like the text to you and hit the ground running. Bravo for you. I'm glad you found us and so very sorry you need to be here. It's so heartbreaking for me when new people come along. Is so damn unfair that all of thes WS who take the same vow we have, but can't keep it.

I wish I had wise words of advice for you, but at this point feel as if you would have more for me. Keep your calm and collected wits about you, I'm sure you will do the right thing.

All of his desperate texts to you, you're right, he knows something is up, and is getting just that, desperate. Do you think he might try to come early to find you? With you not answering and all, he might decide to surprise you and come early, knowing you're on to him.

Edit for typo

[This message edited by changeneeded at 1:22 PM, September 17th (Saturday)]

hard_yards posted 9/17/2016 13:55 PM

Hi honey, so sorry you ind yourself here.

Have you thought about hiring a PI to follow him while you're still away? If the cost isn't an issue, it might be a good idea, then you can be armed with concrete info about who she is etc... a picture tells a thousand words, he can't try and bluff his way out of it if you have the text, phone records and photos.

At the very least, a PI could take the phone number and find out who she is.

If you do though, make sure any payment is from an account that he can't view.

hugs lots of hugs

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