I Don't Believe Dad. I Think He's Still Cheating On You

I Don't Believe Dad, I Think He's Still Cheating on You

Though Rick tried to persuade me to seek help from Surviving Infidelity's online support group, I didn't go. Go ahead and say it, "Kay, you were a doormat!", because you'd be right--I was a major doormat. I even went so far as to tell Lee I would trust him going out if he wanted because I thought I was being too controlling which may have contributed to his issues. Over the next several months Lee was a bit sweeter with only a few occasional blowups over minute things. He came home for lunch and immediately after work and he wasn't going to the gym anymore.

One day Ryan said, "Mom, I don't believe Dad. I think he's still cheating on you." His comment threw me for a loop and I instantly defended Lee and chastised our son for not trusting his father. Ryan stood his ground with me though--he was adamant that despite his father being here all the time except to go wash his car every other Saturday night and go to work that Lee was still engaged in affairs. And our daughter, through her own observations (though we hadn't told her about the affairs or emails) felt something was wrong with Dad too.

I sold our children short. I should have known, the signs were all there: (1) Random conversations about suicide and saying that he doesn't deserve me. (2) His cellphone was glued to his ass--including when showering or using the restroom. When he made or received calls he went outside to talk. (3) Distant. He was present physically but not mentally. Trying to get him to do family things was like pulling teeth. (4) Wham, bam, thank you mam style sex with rarely any foreplay. (5) Quickly shutting down the computer windows and logging out when I came to the bedroom. Computer history constantly deleted. (6) Two hour trips to wash the car. I should have known that my children were right but I was in denial.

However, once again email would play a huge role in me discovering the truth. I went back to check my email on August 15, 2009. Lee forgot to logout of his account and just as I was about to sign him out I saw, "I love you Baby. Here you go.", in the sent preview window--it was addressed to a woman and dated July 18, 2009. I opened it and saw pictures of Lee attached that I had taken the day prior. Instead of reacting in the typical way I went cold. I calmly walked outside and told Lee that I wanted a divorce. The look of shock on his face when I told him why was priceless. He tried to talk his way out of it but I was tired of the excuses. I was tired of being a perpetual doormat.

An Unusual Ally and A Huge Can of Worms

In the months prior to that August morning I had forgiven Liz and we actually became friends. I saw something good in her, I saw a truly remorseful woman who loved her husband but made one really bad choice (affairs are not mistakes--they are choices) and I forgave her. At first we mostly exchanged emails but on that day I called her and left to meet her at a coffee house. She brought with her a list called the '180' that can be found at Surviving Infidelity and gave it to me.

The 180 is designed to help the betrayed spouse become stronger and includes steps such as: Don't pursue reason, chase, beg, plead or implore. No frequent phone calls. Don't point out "good points" in marriage. Don't follow her/him around the house. Don't encourage or initiate discussion about the future. Don't ask for help from the family members of your WS. Don't ask for reassurances. Don't buy or give gifts, etc. In other words...don't do as I've always done in the past!

Liz encouraged me to read it everyday and let it sink in but I didn't. I read the first few lines and determined, "This is not me, I cannot do this. It seems mean." However, I wasn't about to let Lee's behavior go again. We didn't make love and I barely let him touch me, but we were not arguing around the house, in fact we had regular, normal conversations. I'm glad I stuck to my guns for two weeks because due to my friendship with Liz, a huge can of worms was opened on August 29.

She and I were discussing Lee's coworker, Jennifer. Liz said, "Oh my. She is so funny! Today she was talking about her great sex life with a fairly new guy at work who is ten years her junior. But, don't tell anyone." I'm a stay-at-home mom so how could I not share this juicy piece of gossip with Lee? I blabbed immediately and warned Lee not to say a word. Later that evening Lee said, "I'm going for a walk, alone." Since he would be in the neighborhood I didn't protest. But, after an hour went by I started getting suspicious to as why Lee was gone so long. He finally walked up the driveway and I let my gut lead me to ask, "Did you call Jennifer?" Lee said, "No." I didn't believe him and I let it go until the next morning. Lee and I were drinking coffee in our bedroom and I checked my email; there was a message from Liz--"Call me when you get this", it was unsigned. I immediately glared at Lee and uttered, "Oh. My. God. You called Jennifer, didn't you? You told her about what Liz told me. Why? And why else would Liz leave me a message like that? She always signs off on her emails (turns out it had nothing to do with me blabbing)." Lee admitted to calling Jennifer and after an hour of listening me to accuse him of sleeping with her and after goading him to tell me the truth because I don't deserve to be treated this way, Lee finally caved. "Kay, lets go for a walk", he urged, "There's something I have to tell you."

To be continued...

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Private Emails Unveiled His Infidelity

Self-Esteem Completely Shattered & An Email from an Unknown Man

The emails I accidentally discovered scanned just over six months--the most recent one written while I was gone at the store that same morning. I went through each one to see if there were any references to "Great time last night" or something along those lines; thankfully there weren't, but there were plans in the making. I demanded Lee close the email account immediately and he did. However, the damage was already done. I already was ashamed of my body but to read those words coming from the man I loved and devoted myself to for over sixteen years made it worse. Aside from my initial reaction, I didn't get angry, I was extremely sad. Lee and I spoke for weeks on end over his online betrayal and it was then that he told me, "Kay, it was never about how you looked, it was your attitude. I tried to support you on your weight loss endeavors but you constantly moped around the house, doing nothing to help yourself. I tried to be kind but you took it wrong...I couldn't talk to you or tell you how I felt because you immediately shut down." He's right, I did and he was right too in that I constantly moped. I brought about my own misery concerning my weight. He also informed me that he felt unattractive because I didn't want him as much anymore and that although we sat and watched our favorite shows together, I spent too much time in the bedroom writing and away from him.

Over the next few months Lee called me more than he used to from work to let me know he loved me. He flirted with me and showed a lot of affection. However, I would not make love to him at all. It didn't matter how many times he said he didn't mean what he or wrote, or how often he said, "I love you." I was too embarrassed and couldn't bear the thought of him seeing me without my clothes on; fat rolls on top of fat rolls. Moreover, I couldn't get over the words I saw on the screen that day written about me to complete strangers. Not forgotten also was the fact he was so close to actually meeting up with internet strangers. Deep in my mind I knew damn well that he would have gone through with those encounters had he not been busted. Lee's attitude changed for awhile after email incident; he was more attentive and went out of his way to be nice. He still came home from work on time and the only time he went out alone was to wash his car every Saturday around seven p.m. He didn't bother asking for a guys night out.

Around January of 2009 I decided to go on my own weight loss program. The pounds started melting away slowly. I didn't do it for Lee, but for myself and to be a better role model for my children. Also, in the back of my head I felt so insecure about my marriage that getting physically fit became a priority in case we ended up divorced. I did not have the strength to leave my husband back then, I felt trapped--normal for someone who is codependent on their partner. Even though nothing was resolved, Lee was asking to give me foot rubs nightly. He was so affectionate I started believing all was going to be okay. Until the Saturday morning, the day before our 17th anniversary, when my gut started screaming that something was wrong.

"Lee, how about I go to the gym with you this morning?", I asked lightheartedly and filled with hope, "I think it'd be great if you could show me some weight lifting exercises."

"Maybe next weekend Kay, I've already got plans to play racquetball with a guy from work." he replied.

My husband loved playing racquetball and worked out early daily so his reply didn't upset. But, when he still wasn't home by 10:15 a.m. after leaving at 7:00 a.m. my stomach became knotted. I was so troubled over him being gone so long that I wrote "Lee gone over three hours to workout?" on our calendar. I called him afterwords and he told me that his friend forgot to reserve a court so they didn't start playing until 9:30--he came strolling through the door at 10:30 a.m. I insisted he explain where he was that morning prior to playing his favorite court game and he told me he and his buddy lifted weights while they waited. Our anniversary came and went. We went to eat at T.G.I.Fridays, had a nice dinner and came home. I still was not having sex with Lee and my feelings didn't change on our 'special day'--he was fine with it and said he understood why I didn't want to.

It was a lovely Friday afternoon in April 2009 that I was chatting with my mother on the phone while still logged into Facebook (Ryan was at my mother-in-laws and Nicole was vacationing with her best friend's family in Tennessee) when suddenly a message from an unknown man showed in my inbox, "I have some information about your husband and it's important you know." From the very depths of my being I knew that I was in for some very, very bad news and that it would involve my husband being unfaithful. I shared the mail with my mother who promptly told me that she'd be there for me after I found out the information. I told her what I thought it would be and she agreed--thank goodness the children were gone because we were both right.

To be continued...

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UN Happily Married

I'm not aware of any marriage excluded from unhappy moments, although I always read and hear wives say they are "happily married." I guess it's understood that the happily part includes the good times and the bad times, the ups and downs, the joys and pains, the truths and lies, the laughter and the tears, the promises kept and those promises not kept.

Hubby and I recently had a heart to heart talk about our marriage. We even discussed the benefits of being a husband and the benefits of being a wife. It seems like the husband gets the bulk of the benefits, so hubby and I shared our individual needs and wants to ensure we are equally satisfied with our benefits package. We even agreed to have weekly meetings to discuss met and unmet needs and desires. Our jobs and businesses have weekly meetings to discuss progress and lack of, so we decided to do the same thing. Why wait until years down the line and end up frustrated and bitter because one feels taken for granted and unappreciated - usually the happily married wife.

This is usually what happens in marriage. We invest so much time in our jobs, ministries, personal goals, children, to-do lists, and even...blogs. Just think, if we poured a portion of that time into our marriage instead of punching the clock of spousal satisfaction only at the end of the day or during periodic date nights, we'd have more happy in our happily married.

I'm guilty of this, but no more. I desire to maintain a level of excitement and happily in my marriage - even after 15 years.

This morning, hubby had a few minutes to sit before going to work and as I sat next to him, I imagined our early years when we couldn't keep our hands off each other and when his deep voice would make me melt, and his touch would literally make me squirm....oh my goodness...This IS THE SAME MAN!

It's amazing how our honest, open, and bold talk with each other this week stirred up the excitement again. Stay tuned because I'm working on putting some more happy in my happily married life.

His Good Thing

One of the best things a mother can give her children is an example of being a good wife. Our young boys and girls benefit greatly by watching their mother interact with their father.

The Word says when a man finds a wife, he finds a GOOD thing. Am I my man's good thing? Have I always been my man's good thing? Am I supportive and loving? Do I encourage and uplift? Am I forgiving and understanding? If I died and my husband remarried, would that woman have a hard time filling my shoes?

Today is my 15 year wedding anniversary and I can honestly say I'm more in love today than I ever was. Has it always been this way? Absolutely not! We've had some rough years and it's only by the grace of God that we celebrate this day today. Marriage is a job and if you don't put in some overtime, the marriage suffers. The trials and struggles in my marriage have helped me become that GOOD thing.

Being my husband's GOOD thing is...

•Loving him through his unlovable moments
•Removing all expectations from him
•Accepting him in spite of his faults and shortcomings
•Being there for him in good times and bad times
•Being faithful
•Serving him in humility
•Being extraordinary obedient to God
•Realizing our marriage belongs to God
•Allowing God to mold, prune, and groom me into the wife my husband needs and desires

Celebrate your marriage today and everyday and be your husband's GOOD thing

Set Me Free

It appears you have the perfect family – you live in a nice neighborhood, you and your spouse have decent jobs, your children are well mannered, and when others see you together, you make a beautiful picture. It's a picture everyone admires and wants to emulate. If we look closely at your picture, we notice a major flaw - your heart. You are unhappy and held captive by destructive thoughts of your husband and your marriage you can’t control. You’ve been betrayed with heartless acts or words from your husband and they continually rewind in your mind making your life an upsetting rerun.

Set me free! Free me from my mind, my thoughts, and myself, so I can heal and move forward! You just can’t seem to shake it, so you’re forced to hide behind your makeup to cover your pain and tears. You’ve had thoughts of walking out, yet thoughts of your children encourage you to stay. You probably even think you’re a fool for staying. How do you deal with this from day to day? You just go through the motions not realizing you’re living your life from the outside looking in. You want to play a more active role, yet can’t. You involve yourself with your family, yet it’s just your body;your heart is dormant. You’re exhausted from acting as if everything is okay and upset that your husband believes the marriage is just fine. You pray for strength, yet your faith is shaken, your spirit is bruised and you wonder if you really want to save the marriage.

How do I know this? How did I describe you so well? I’ve been there and this is how I know PERFECT PEACE. I’ve been through a long, intense storm not knowing if I’d survive, yet I’m here! God saved me from the storm, restored my joy, and placed my marriage on solid ground. No, it wasn't easy, yet the only way you lose is if you give up! I KNOW only a living God is able to set you free from your pain, negative thoughts, and yourself. As a spiritual woman, I can’t express enough the awesome power of prayer. Just because you don’t see signs of change or improvement, doesn’t mean God isn’t working. Marriage isn’t easy and we don’t have the strength, energy, or power to change anything or anyone, yet God has ALL POWER and yes, HE IS ABLE.

I Caught Him Having an Emotional Affair

Recurrence of Infidelity Dreams

As awful as my husband was acting, we were still there for each other when it came to things like financial woes, planning for the future, deaths in the family (he lost his stepfather and father to cancer between 2004-2007), child rearing, etc. And, we did have a sex life...during the Summer '07 a practical fest because the children were visiting my family in Michigan. Not everyday was spent walking on eggshells. Even through the tough years we still did family things in and out of the home. I started going to the beach for walks, though I refused to wear a swimsuit, and we still took Ryan and Nicole to the park, mall and on weekend camping trips. I even went to one of my hubby's company Christmas parties. Lee and I still had a lot in common that brought laughter to the home, especially when it came to his humorous personality and watching our favorite comedy, Seinfeld, together. Still, when it came to specifics about us, in the here and now, we didn't talk about our marital problems. Oh, I'd put my foot down over his outlandish behavior and he'd typically work on it for a month or so before needing a reminder, but we didn't go deep into speaking about our problems.

Still in the depths of my self-created esteem problems, I began having dreams of Lee having affairs with faceless women. They were so 'real' that I would wake up and look at my husband with hateful eyes, wanting to pummel him with my fists. They were always the same and occurred almost weekly; him leaving me with another woman while laughing as I called after him crying. Also a factor was the ordeal at the gig, trust was already on shaky grounds but made worse and I grew even more uncomfortable with him going out but since he didn't ask often, I reluctantly gave in.

So, there were we were, still a family, still a husband and wife. I just figured we were normal for a couple married for over fifteen years. But, an email discovery on October 2008 was the beginning to the most excruciatingly painful time in our marriage....one that by far outweighed the Cuba affair.

'David J' and His Troll Wife from Michigan

My dad came down to visit from Michigan and was staying in my mother-in-law's guest room; she moved from Virginia earlier that year to be closer to us. Several days later Ryan and Nicole spent the night and had a blast playing cards and going out to eat with their grandparents. Lee and I used the opportunity to chill out and have a much needed date night. That crisp, cool and sunny Sunday morning we woke up in each others arms and made love. All of our problems seemed to just disappear. We were smiling and happy, goofing around like the "olden days". After lying there for awhile we got up and Lee broke out study materials he needed to brush up on for his Captain license upgrade and I went to the store to buy food for breakfast. I came home, put the groceries away, and told Lee I was going to check on an email I was expecting regarding home schooling before cooking. I clicked on the browser icon, clicked on Yahoo! mail and was set to sign in when I noticed the name 'David J'. David J? Who the hell is David J and why is this man showing logged in from Yahoo! on my computer?

Curiosity got the better of me because I thought someone hacked into my computer and I wanted to know who it was. I clicked the view mail icon and started scanning subject titles in the inbox. There were a ton of Craiglist titles and I started seeing the words guitar and stratocaster. "No, it couldn't be? Could it? Was David J my husband? No, surely it's just a coincidence." But it wasn't. My heart began racing and even more so when words like naughty, nasty and sex came before my eyes. Shaking, I clicked through to the next page and saw tons of emails from a woman named Karen. I didn't call for Lee, instead I started opening the emails and I started with those from and to Karen: "I hate my job, it's so stressful and to top it off I have to live with my troll wife from Michigan....Love, Lee." There it was in black in white, my husband was having an emotional affair with a woman who lived in another state online. The last email from her was saying she couldn't continue the emails because she loves her husband and she was sorry she ever started. That didn't relieve me though. I began reading through the Craigslist Personals emails and read my husband inquiring about how to go about having a threesome (it was the most recent one) without getting caught and the rest were sexually explicit...in them he trashed my body, very descriptively, and complained to numerous strangers that I was terrible in bed. Mortified, I went to confront Lee.

All he could do was sit there when I came storming out from the bedroom screaming and hollering and crying uncontrollably. After he gathered his marbles he tried denying the emails, until I made him get up and look. I could tell he was ashamed and embarrassed. The guilt on his face was evident and the next words out of his mouth were, "I am so, very, very sorry. I'm a different person online and I meant none of those horrible and disrespectful things I wrote."

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Honey, Can We Do A Threesome?

In 2007 Lee switched bands but the gigs continued. I felt more relaxed because he was now with a guy from work who totally loves his wife (she and I are friends too) and the other man was a good, sweet guy. Still he appeared to be going through depression. He decided to start working out regularly at a gym and left the house at 4:30 a.m. to get it done before work. Although he was getting buffed and toned, his hair loss truly upset him. I started complimenting him regularly about his appearance, rubbed his biceps and chest...I went totally overboard trying to appease his ego, I didn't need to though, he built it up enough on his own. He started making comments about girls at work "wanting him" and how he'd catch them looking at his "package", then came the seemingly innocent comments about how all the women want to shop at "Lee-Mart." (it's okay to roll your eyes, I did) I smacked him and he laughed while saying, "Don't worry Baby, Lee-Mart is closed for business."

As if this change of behavior wasn't enough my husband asked me to consider a fantasy of his to have a threesome. I'm ashamed to say that I wanted so badly to make him happy that I considered it. I asked if he had anyone in mind and he said, "Yes." When I asked who he mentioned a woman at work I'd met one time. I was shocked he choose her because she's a somewhat butchy gal who he wouldn't look at twice had he not known her. She's a huge flirt but the wives were never worried and considered her "just one of the guys." He suggested I go out with her and the lead singer's wife, I did. I remember the car ride to Alabama to pick up the singer's wife. Lee's coworker went on and on about how her common-law husband was screwing around on her but she's okay because she was screwing around on him too. After we picked up our friend in Alabama we hit a few clubs and it was clear she wanted other men as she openly flirted with several throughout the night.

I thought the coworker was cool but I knew if I "grew a pair" and went through with the threesome that it'd only end up badly. Lee tried to push it a couple of times but when he saw I was serious he finally dropped the subject. I didn't think much more of his coworker, I didn't feel threatened at all, until the night he showed utter disrespect for me at a gig that she attended...

Mr. Rockstar Personality Rears His Ugly Head

When Lee belted out his guitar solos, Eddie Van Halen's Eruption in particular, it drove the crowd--and especially the ladies--wild. One fifty-something biker chic once told me at a gig that she called her husband to come up after my husband's solo made her "cream in her panties." I just laughed the comment off because it seemed hysterical coming from an older gal. Needless to say my husband's ego was swelling due to all of the attention.

Usually the guys stuck with drinking beer but one night mine was downing rum and cokes left and right; he was completely wasted. In attendance that night was my husband's female coworker, she was there with her best friend and boyfriend. Lee came to visit me in between sets but he also visited a lot with her. Near the end of the night my husband and his coworker were flirting and my blood began to boil. I went to get up and yank her away from Lee when my girlfriend said, "Kay, she's like that with everyone. You don't have anything to worry about. Look at her? Do you really think Lee has something for her? She's just 'one of the guys'?" I stopped in my tracks but after watching it continue for a few minutes I pulled Lee aside and told him, "Keep your hands off of her. I'm your wife! And if she touches you or you her again there will be a scene." I stood there, frozen, as Lee walked over and put his arm on her shoulder. Call it shock if you will but I couldn't muster the strength to make a scene. As soon as he wandered away from his coworker I gave him a dirty look and with wifely authority exclaimed, "We're leaving. Now!"

Lee refused to give me the car keys at first. I was so upset over his drunken state that I argued with him about who should be driving. He angrily and reluctantly pulled to the side of the road and threw the keys at me--then he walked off into the night. I called the lead singer and he and his wife tried searching for him, as did I. We all tried calling his cellphone and couldn't reach him. It wasn't until a few hours later that we learned he was sleeping on a park bench just around the corner from our home. Neither of us went to bed after he came in the door at 8 a.m., we argued heavily the whole day. His actions the night before were totally disrespectful, not to mention cold and cruel. It wasn't until Monday that Lee apologized and I told him I wanted his friendship with his female coworker to end. He promised he would only speak with her on work related issues--I believed him because he appeared to be truly sorry and I excused his actions somewhat hastily because it was done while totally inebriated.

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Insecurities Resurface

Insecurity Resurfaces

Lee never bashed me for being 230 pounds (to my face anyway). I was finished with God talk but my new obsession was my weight. I whined and whined about how heavy I was and Lee told me that I was still beautiful and that he loved me. He coddled me often and made suggestions for losing weight. I didn't want to hear it though. There he was, trying to help me and his nice comments made me get defensive. Eventually he just listened and didn't speak because each time he did I'd throw the Pam affair in his face. It'd been eleven years since his affair by now and for the first time in years, I allowed what happened then to control me. All of a sudden I didn't trust my husband again. He'd ask to go out now and then and I'd freak thinking he was looking for another. My husband asked me to go to the beach with him and the kids or to a company picnic or party and I always turned him down; I choose instead to stay home and wallow in self-pity. I took our children to home school functions and would go to the mall or camping but anything requiring me to be around those we knew or wear a bathing suit, or shorts for that matter, I would have nothing to do with it. We did have fun at home, but it wasn't enough.

No wonder my husband stopped asking me for dates, he grew sick of being turned down. We were back to cutesy names, foot rubs and tickles, and cuddling but it just wasn't the same. I brought up my weight issues on a daily basis, happy one minute and down the next. And, at the same time, Lee started talking more frequently about his childhood issues, saying he was not a good person, thinking the children and I would be better off without him (in a suicidal way), and he became very short-tempered-- often. He dealt with depression a lot differently than me. I would lose it and scream occasionally when the children bickered and got on my last nerve but he was throwing mantrums over silly things like me buying the wrong cereal which resulted in an entire gallon of milk being thrown out to the driveway along with the cereal box.

Something was off, something was wrong, there was a deeper issue with Lee. Had I not been so wrapped up in myself for three years I would have recognized the signs earlier...

His Issues

We were both 36-years old in 2006 when my husband began to change. He started fretting about hair loss and wanted to feel young again. An awesome and talented guitarist, he wanted to join a rock band. Considering the ordeal I'd put my family through, I felt obligated to let him. I loathed his band mates as they were single, twenty-somethings and seemed very self-absorbed. I worried my husband would want to live the single life being around these young single men, yet I didn't stand in his way. The next thing you know he's asking about getting another tattoo in addition to the ones he had previous to us marrying. I love his skin and knowing he wanted a monster-sized one bothered me, and I told him so, but I wanted to support him--he ended up with a dragon on his arm.

Although Lee and I supported each other emotionally, we started arguing more. I began resenting him for being in a band because now he seemed self-absorbed, life was now all about him and what made him happy. I bitched about practices, I griped about the time he came home after gigs, everything. He expressed feelings of being smothered and mothered. Even though I wasn't happy about it, I "allowed" him to go out with the guys more often and hit the bar after work once in awhile. We'd have a huge fight when he came home drunk off his ass at 2-3 a.m. but make-up within a few hours.

Lee started jumping on Ryan for practically everything that came out of his mouth. Poor Ryan couldn't do or say anything right. When he and Lee would play football, catch or frisbee Ryan was back inside within a few minutes because his father made him feel stupid for missing the ball or throwing it wrong. Their relationship was never close but now it was getting worse. Mine and Lee's relationship was getting worse too, I started having to walk on egg-shells in fear of pissing him off over even minute things like burning dinner or not having the house clean or having crazy legs (restless leg syndrome) at night. His mood swings were so often that even Nicole, a true Daddy's Girl, found herself in fear of setting him off, i.e., he'd lie down for a nap without telling anyone and she'd run down the hall and wake him with her footsteps or he'd have a headache and her loud, happy speech annoyed him. Instead of saying, "Baby girl, could you please keep it down, I have a headache", he'd scream, "Damnit, Nicole, be quiet! Why do you have to be so loud?!"

Who the hell was this man taking over my husbands body?

To be continued...

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