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still confused...need advice and clarity

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confused1976 posted 9/6/2018 09:53 AM

Its been a month. I am starting a new thread, but this is really a continuation of the issues in my previous thread.
Details can be found in that old thread, but in summary this is what i now: earlier this summer, I caught my wife texting an old college friend. The relationship, which by all my research seems limited to texting and Facebook messaging, started last summer after they met for drinks in a bar. The Usual time is the name of the bar -- in the first thread this was a point of concern as it suggested a latent on going occurrence. In December, the guy messaged my wife that he loved her -- on her birthday and received/intercepted by me during dinner. The two texted a few more times nothing intimate just news type stuff, and planned to meet at the bar again when we visited her father's home. Originally I was not planning on making this last trip, but the physical necessity of the job -- moving her father out from their family home required my presence. Whether it was my presence or the lack of time, the last bar event never happened. I confronted my wife, she brushed the whole interaction off as an old friend. A few weeks later she went to a conference in another state - I was concerned that she would meet the guy there -- and when she got back, I asked her whether she cheated on me with this guy M at the meeting or any other time. We have had several serious talks -- I asked her about what might have provoked him to say he loved her and her reply was something "yeah, what was that all about." She didn't seem too concerned or trouble and never admitted anything. During the conversations, I asked for more details on M -- I never met him and never even heard of him until this summer. I asked her many times whether she cheated on me with this guy and she seemed to again find it almost funny, saying things like "cheat with M, not with M please." I believed her -- I believed that he didn't come to the conference and that the whole thing was her touching base with an old friend. My wife's students confirmed that they pretty much together the entire conference. Bottom line - I was satisfied that I had caught this interaction early enough before anything physical happened and before a more serious emotional attachment was established. Before the conference and after, I confirmed that she had cut all contact off with him - no text, FB, defriend, etc, and called him up and laid the law down and told him to stop contacting my wife.

My wife still maintains that nothing was going on, but has now locked her phone - claiming its for work purposes and has become more protective of that god-damn device. Nevertheless, I thought it was all good. We agreed counseling was a good idea, we have gone and in general life seemed to be going well for the past month.

I might have been wrong.

We had been going out together more, dinners, movies - one weekly event was happy hour with some shared friends from work. Two weeks ago we went to happy hour and for the first time all summer we were along, our daughter was at the beach and our son back at school. At home we were a little frisky and getting intimate, but some point during this process, my wife completely shut down and it was the worse sex we have ever had -- for me it was absolutely awful, completely one sided -- I felt humiliated in that we started off so comfortable and familiar and somehow it turned into a mess. I thought I was having medical problems because I was having a difficult time with the entire process. After it was over, I went to bed and she went and watched TV.

This past weekend we drove our daughter to school and the day before, I -- for whatever reason -- checked her phone text log -- he was back. It had been four weeks since I had done so and there was nothing since mid-July. Well, M texted her the night we came back from happy hour -- a some point after we got home and before we became intimate. Maybe I was letting the dog out or something, but after that horrible sex, in the time that she was 'watching' TV she was having a furious and rapid text conversation with M. Was this the reason for this awful sex? Did she basically checked out of our intimacy to want to text him? Does this make any sense?

I didn't confront her immediately, we drove my daughter to her school, set up her apartment. I was in a rotten mood and I steered the car trip conversation to texting etiquette -- I was obsessed with how quickly she responded to M's texts. When I text her I sometimes have to wait hours for a reply. During our car conversation, my wife claimed that she is a slow texter and had no-apologies for not responding to my texts when she was at her conference. She said my attitude for wanting a faster and more attentive response was unattractive and narcissistic. I was more pissed after this conversation and just wanted to leave. Anyway, after we settled my daughter into her apartment, and went back to the hotel, my wife jumped me -- the sex was absolutely mind blowing, like I haven't had intimacy with her like this for over 20 years, if ever. It was completely out of the blue. After dinner she did it again and again.

What is going on?
After we got back, I confronted her. I have no access to her phone. I asked her about the text with M and she denied. I asked her if M has contacted her and she says no...and showed me her text log on her phone -- it is completely empty, his number and name gone. I didn't reveal my sources -- something someone told on this forum not to do. So, I decided to call M -- his phone number is now disconnected. I searched his number and found that it is disconnected and the number was registered to a guy named M, but a different last name than I thought, with a fake address and fake email.
Am I going crazy? what the hell is happening?
At times everything between my wife and I seems completely normal, we talk about the future and our plans, we watch star trek, but then there are these things that don't make any sense -- I am still completely confused and feel like nothing is making sense.

Bigger posted 9/6/2018 10:01 AM

Maybe your biggest problem is that you seem to do the minimum required to deal with this issue.
This is simply a copy/paste of my last post on your last thread. It seems like you decided to do part of the work. Now finish it.

Wish I had been more online recently…
Frankly it sounds like you took my advice and suggestions to heart. At least it seems like you confronted right away and took my points about being direct and being careful in how you analyze your investigative results.
However, you seem to have ignored a KEY ELEMENT in my advice.
You haven’t read Not Just Friends, nor have you asked your wife to read Not Just Friends and you two haven’t read it together along with the exercises in that book.
Imagine this scenario: Imagine you have a blind person that is walking towards a ledge. A couple of yards before the person plummets off the ledge you grab them by the shoulder and direct them in another safer direction. You might tell the person that you were afraid they would harm themselves if they walked over the ledge. But unless the blind person knows what a ledge is, what damage falling 20 yards can do and/or why you grabbed their shoulder then maybe they won’t appreciate what you did.
Your wife is that blind person.
I don’t know of a single case here on SI where a wife has established a relationship with someone with the clear intention of getting into an emotional affair. If we could create some scale from 0-10 where 0 is the initial meeting/friending and 10 is an EA just before a likely full PA, then all cases I know off start at 0.
I also think that even if it were an 8 when confronted by the BH the WW would not necessarily see the EA as an “affair”. I would even venture that a WW in an EA rated at 10 could and would deny it being infidelity. At most a friendship that went maybe too far…
But then – maybe one could counter that at 8 there is generally some physical or sexual context in the affair. Things like kissing, holding hands or sexting.
People minimize their mistakes. That’s just human nature. You do it, I do it. We ALL do it. I might justify driving at 65 in a 55 zone with the excuse that everyone does it and that I’m a safe driver. I might justify leaving my job early that I have already done so much, more than others. We all minimize and justify.
I don’t know at what scale your wife was when you confronted. Maybe just a 2 or a 4. Probably no higher than a 5. But when she phoned OM and when she talked to you she basically said “It’s not me. I’m ok with speeding at 65 because I’m so SAFE. But my passenger (husband) is afraid of speed. I know everyone does it, but I guess that for him to feel safe it’s better you drive another road”
Honestly neither I nor you should give a hoot about what OM thinks. He can think you are unassertive and afraid, controlling and whatever… OM is a non-issue and should be out of your lives. I am OK with whatever excuse your wife might have used to end that relationship.
What I worry about is that your wife does not realize she was a 4 and headed for an 8 and then 10 and then (possibly) a PA.
She doesn’t realize there was a ledge ahead.
She doesn’t appreciate why you grabbed her shoulder.

You have already confronted her.
You have already expressed your concerns.
Now finish it.
She’s going to other conference, right? She will travel for business? OM could drop by in your town and your wife and OM could do the dirty when you think she’s at work, in the mall or at the gym?
If she wants to cheat she will.
It’s that simple.
You are worrying about it and wondering about it will only drive you nuts.
So, finish the infidelity talk.
Get that book. Read it.
Sit wife down and better express your concerns. Tell her that you don’t think she acknowledges and appreciates fully why you were worried and where she was situated emotionally. Demand she read the book with you. Talk about it. Confront it.
Tell her that you ask for fidelity. If there are issues or if there is something she wants that you can’t offer, then she be honest. You can accept it if the marriage were over. But you absolutely refuse to share her.

wordsofwisdom posted 9/6/2018 10:06 AM

Her behavior is inadequate, but so is yours. You chose to live with someone who is not respecting you. But a deeper problem is that you are not respecting yourself and put this dysfunctional and abusive relationship above your own needs for respect, love, and mental health.

You can't control her actions and attitudes, but you can stop pleading and parenting, you can leave your sham of a partner, you can stop your co-dependent exercises and begin a better life full of opportunities to grow into a self-aware, mature, and happy person.

Confused, you live in a land called denial. Wake up.

[This message edited by wordsofwisdom at 10:23 AM, September 6th (Thursday)]

Bigger posted 9/6/2018 10:20 AM


I created an imaginary scale from 1-10 on EA’s in my earlier post. I suggested your wife might have been at a 2 or a 4.
It’s a rare – nearly unheard of – case where a WS (EA or PA) ends the affair right at the go. It could have happened had you followed my advice and seen the issue through. But since you simply said something like “please don’t talk to OM” and her response was “Hey OM. I can’t talk to you because my husband is so insecure about it” then the odds of her respecting your request were zero.
The fact she couldn’t respect your wish… well… that indicates she might be further up the scale. Maybe this is a 6, or an 8, or whatever…
But it won’t change unless you do the work.
Wife – You are free to communicate with OM but not as my wife. If you want to be my wife we need to do this work and take these actions. If not – well… thanks. Have a great life.

ibonnie posted 9/6/2018 10:23 AM

My wife still maintains that nothing was going on, but has now locked her phone - claiming its for work purposes and has become more protective of that god-damn device.

Huge, huge, HUGE red flag. I dsicovered my WSs "EA," which he "ended," and his phone was still locked and attached to him 24/7. Like literally sleeping with it tucked under his pillow.

Because his EA was actually a PA that he tried to take underground.

Long story short, I kicked him out, he lived with AP for three months, and it's been about four months since I believe he's actually ended it all and cut off contact. The difference now is that I have his passwords and can check his phone whenever I want and he doesn't give me a hard time. He understands the he broke my trust and he's fine with my checking whatever I need to to feel safe and he understands when I start obsessively spiraling and looking for things that aren't there. He understands that his actions and unfaithfulness caused this. And he apologizes for his behavior when I start checking, he apologizes for hurting me, he apologizes for breaking my trust, and he tells me I can check whatever I want for the next 50 years, because he'll just be happy that he has a chance to be with me.

Don't chase your wife. Don't become the cheating police. Tell her what you expect in a relationship -- honesty, transparency, accountability -- and if she's not prepared to do that, detach and focus on you and your actions, and what you can control.

You can't make her stop texting another man, but you don't have to twiddle your thumbs and live with a woman that's treating you like this. You don't have to continue to pay for a phone plan (if it's in your name) that allows your wife to text another man. She can set up her own phone plan. You don't have to go on dates with a woman that's disrespecting you, you can make plans with friends. If she asks where you're going on what you're doing, you can be vague, "I'm going out./I'll be back later./Not sure what time or where Johnny had in mind going." Or you can say, "I'm hanging out with people that are honest with me and that I can trust," and leave it at that.

Nothing is making sense because your wife is gaslighting you, minimizing her actions, lying about things you know to be true. Trust you gut. Detach from her and 180. She is NOT a safe partner for you right now. And considering SHE was the one that had an "EA," she should be going out of her way to make you comfortable and prove her fidelity.

beenthereinco posted 9/6/2018 10:58 AM

So she is lying about her contact with him and you know it? What are you going to do?

I ask because this is like the last time you were here. You didn't catch her in the act so you slipped into inaction and basically said that you were going to trust her. Here you know she is lying. She was texting him. She deleted those texts. She lied to you that she was texting him and because you didn't see the texts on her phone you are going to live with it?

Stop now. Tell her you know she is lying and that you do not want to remain married to someone that doesn't respect you. You don't have to wait until you walk in and find them in bed. You know she is lying to you.

[This message edited by beenthereinco at 11:16 AM, September 6th (Thursday)]

Buster123 posted 9/6/2018 11:18 AM


Ok, so now your WW is still in contact with OM despite your confrontations with her, if she's putting her "friendship" above your M with her, then this indicates there's much more to it, to me it's proof of an EA, she is cheating, I don't know if it's yet a PA but they have certainly had plenty of chances to do it. Why don't you have her phone's password ? this is a HUGE RED FLAG, her "for work purposes" excuse is BS, she's hiding something and you know it, you have proof of it, don't reveal your sources just yet, I would confront her with this blatant lie, what happened to the VAR ?, you now know she lies to you in your face, and don't get confused about the "great sex" you had recently, it's common for WW to have "hysterical bonding" sex out of guilt for cheating.

[This message edited by Buster123 at 11:22 AM, September 6th (Thursday)]

beenthereinco posted 9/6/2018 11:19 AM


Well, M texted her the night we came back from happy hour -- a some point after we got home and before we became intimate. Maybe I was letting the dog out or something, but after that horrible sex, in the time that she was 'watching' TV she was having a furious and rapid text conversation with M.

and this:

I asked her about the text with M and she denied. I asked her if M has contacted her and she says no...and showed me her text log on her phone -- it is completely empty, his number and name gone.

You just cannot let this lie go unchallenged.

Also quit calling M. He isn't your wife. Hell at this point I'm not even sure you know who the AP is but there is an AP of that you can be sure.

Buster123 posted 9/6/2018 11:27 AM

I agree with beenthereinco, don't dismiss the possibility of another OM, she's been texting and deleting the texts immediately, get Dr Fone to recover the messages.

M1965 posted 9/6/2018 16:28 PM


You are confused because something is clearly going on, while your wife pretends - badly - that it isn't. Trust your gut on that. In fact, one of the things that many people in this forum say, as they look back, is that they should have trusted their gut feeling, their 'spidey sense', whatever you want to call it. If things do not make sense, there is a reason for that.

Your wife appears to believe that she is smarter than she really is. She deletes text logs and locks her phone, without realising that her behaviour whenever you ask questions, and her evasive, careless answers, are not the natural responses that you would expect of a truly innocent person.

Think about it: if your wife kept telling you that she thought you were cheating, and you weren't, how would you respond?

You might laugh, at first, but when you saw she was serious, you would be concerned. You would go out of your way to reassure her that it wasn't true. You might be hurt that she would think you were capable of such a thing. If she kept on and on insisting that you were cheating, after multiple denials from you, you might even get angry or frustrated.

And yet, in neither of your threads has your wife demonstrated any of the natural responses to being suspected of cheating. She has given evasive non-answers. She has treated it as a joke. She has not tried to reassure you. She has not been angry or distressed at being suspected of cheating.

All she has done is repeatedly fob you off, refuse to engage in the way an innocent person would, and act as if nothing is wrong at all.

The question has to be, why is she so casual and undisturbed about being repeatedly accused of cheating? Why does it not bother her? Does that seem remotely like authentic behaviour to you?

To me, it seems like the actions of someone who is so focused on brushing off your questions, and who is so confident that she is too clever to get caught out, that she has completely forgotten that innocent people act in a totally different way.

However, I believe that you are starting to rattle her confidence. Where once, in your first thread, she left her phone lying around, unlocked (perhaps to see if you would check it, and undoubtedly after having purged it of anything questionable), she is now locking and guarding her phone as if her life depends on it. Is that what innocent people do? I don't think so. And the fact that she is doing that indicates that she is less confident than she was.

The sex-bombing incident is not like the actions of an innocent person either. You questioned her approach to answering your texts, and her first response was to turn it back on you, calling it narcissistic and unattractive. However, your text-related questions may have rung some alarm bells in her mind, because from out of nowhere, you were suddenly subjected to the shock-and-awe tactic of repeated sex-bombing. What better way to throw you off balance when you were pursuing a theme in your questions that had more impact than she wanted to let on.

Again, when you think about it, her reactions to a simple discussion about texting etiquette are not 'normal'. Belittling, patronising comments - which were uncalled for unless you hit a raw nerve with her - followed soon after by out-of-the-blue sex-bombing. Who would have thought that asking unattractive, narcissistic questions would have turned her on so much? Can you see how peculiar her behaviour is, despite her attempts to appear as cool as a cucumber?

And as I mentioned before, I don't believe an innocent person would be as utterly unconcerned and casual about repeated accusations of infidelity as your wife has been. She is too busy gas-lighting you to realise that.

And then there is the issue of telling a bare-faced lie about the contact with the OM, which she deleted from her phone after you saw it. Those are not the actions of an innocent person either.

You are not going crazy, confused. Something ain't right, and you are rattling your wife's confidence about being able to control and bamboozle you by simply sticking to your questioning.

There are ways and means to investigate further, if you want to go that route. However, doing that would be putting the onus on you to prove that she is guilty, when the onus ought to be on her, to prove to you that she is innocent.

You are only confused because your wife is deliberately trying to confuse you. If you trust your gut, you will find yourself a lot less confused.

[This message edited by M1965 at 5:02 PM, September 6th (Thursday)]

Marz posted 9/6/2018 16:50 PM

Red flags all over. Start digging.

They just took it deeper underground.

You currently are accepting another man in your marriage.

[This message edited by Marz at 4:53 PM, September 6th (Thursday)]

Dismayed2012 posted 9/6/2018 17:01 PM

I'm sorry to hear about the relapse confused. At some point you have to decide if this is the way you want to spend your life. If it were me, knowing what I know today, I'd just divorce her. It isn't worth your time dealing with someone who's deceiving you over and over again. Life is too short to be constantly wondering what she's lying about this time. Take care of yourself.

Butforthegrace posted 9/6/2018 17:09 PM

Well, M texted her the night we came back from happy hour -- a some point after we got home and before we became intimate.
... in the time that she was 'watching' TV she was having a furious and rapid text conversation with M.

How do you know this?

The1stWife posted 9/6/2018 17:30 PM

Your wife has guilt. And maybe the A had ended.

But there is or was something going on. Her phone is locked. Deleted texts.

Yup yup yup - very suspicious behavior. And she’s not being honest.

My H did the back & forth with me during his A. One minute it’s all great and wonderful - the next day he’s saying ILYBNILWY.

Guilt. He was driven by guilt.

Maybe it’s over and she realized she made a mistake. But that won’t get very far b/c you know more than she thinks.

I hope she realizes her mistakes and starts to get real.

confused1976 posted 9/9/2018 07:25 AM

Thanks again and I apologize for the slight and obtuse ranting. Lots of chaos now work and home -- dealing with both doesn't help.
Bigger -- you're absolutely right. We have the book and we are reading it together. but my biggest issue is that my wife still doesn't think she has done anything wrong -- she claims that a few texts and catching up on old times with an old friend does not constitute an affair of any type. She has loosened up on her phone and She even let me use her phone just the other night to make a long distance call to my college roommate. She seemed to have nothing to hide and I looked and couldn't find anything. She has allowed me to track her phone with my ipad. We are still going to counseling, but she so adamant of her position of innocence-- even when I know there are pieces out of place. There are three stances -- she is always telling the truth; the next she is always lying and then the third the mix -- which is where she is -- frankly we all are here somewhat, but I just don't know what to believe from her. I have read the transcripts from many of her texts (at least the ones she hasn't deleted) and they are what she says they are causal conversation. Bigger, If she headed somewhere like you said --and is she a 2-4, I don't know and I don't think she does; but then if she is lying then it could be she is covering and I don't know what will be telling except more information, which was the reason for my posting.

I guess what I wanted from this post was simple clarification and answers to some technical questions:
Can someone purchase a cell phone plan with a different name and false information? The number is registered to a guy named M* but it isn't the last name of the guy my wife was friends with.

Can the phone/text logs at the billing site be tampered with or be wrong? My wife's phone has absolutely no record of texting at the time and with the phone number that the company has on their billing records. She is telling me that they made some mistake and are billing us now from something that happened last month, which sort of makes sense since the last contact she had with him the previous month was around the same day of the month -- although there is more texts now and the times are different...

Lastly, the number is now disconnected -- can this happen so fast? I thought you bought into one of these phone plans for a year?

Again, thanks for the advise.

Hotdog posted 9/9/2018 07:35 AM

The OM must have used a burner phone.

Hotdog posted 9/9/2018 07:43 AM

If my speculation is right about the burner phone, seems like the OM took steps to conceal this communication. Too many red flags. I am not one to go out on a witch hunt but too many coincidence. I don’t believe in coincidence!

Ruckus posted 9/9/2018 07:48 AM

I can't believe the stuff I read here. Um she's cheating and lying to you. She didn't allow you to look at her phone and you're ok with that? That's not Red Flag, that's a what's wrong with you? So now you can look at it and you draw absolute conclusions from it? She maybe hiding a carrier pigeon! Have you tried flowers, chocolate, and poems? Or looking down to see if your balls are still attached? See a doctor on that one. Geez if you were my friend and sitting in front of me....

wifehad5 posted 9/9/2018 08:38 AM

PM for you Ruckus

Robert22205https posted 9/9/2018 09:36 AM

Offer her a chance to end this cat and mouse by taking a polygraph test.

"Proponents will say the polygraph test is about 90 percent accurate. Critics will say it's about 70 percent accurate," said Frank Horvath of the American Polygraph Association.

Polygraph testing does not guaranty accuracy but is just one tool together with the facts plus your judgement to make a decision.

Polygraph testing continues to be used in non-judicial settings, often to screen personnel, but sometimes to try to assess the veracity of suspects and witnesses, and to monitor criminal offenders on probation. Polygraph tests are also sometimes used by individuals seeking to convince others of their innocence and, in a narrow range of circumstances, by private agencies and corporations.

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