So in this previous post, I talked about how Catherine and I had agreed that we would attempt to salvage this marriage under the condition that it would be sexless. We came to this agreement after me pleading with her for 3 weeks to re-consider everything that was at stake. Essentially the ground rules were:
- She agreed to be celibate. She could not go outside the marriage, for if she wanted sex, she was to get it from me
- I was OK to “get my needs met” outside the marriage. I could visit professionals, get a girl on the side, whatever… but I was not to get it from her
- Between her and I it would be TOTALLY sexless. No 1st base… no watching Pr0N, no her watching me practice the “the act that dare not speak its name”. Nothing. We were done
- Any girlfriend I were to get should be kept off the record. She didn’t want to hear about it.
For 2 months I’ve been working under these new assumptions. At first things seemed good. She seemed to really be engaged and hopeful. And then after 2 weeks or so, it started to feel… well… like it did before the initial meltdown. She’d become withdrawn again, not as communicative. Would dive into her PC as soon there was time for us to talk. It felt like it was forced with her.
This also coincided with me giving a new “update” to the rules. The more I thought about it, the more I figured I could not indeed live in a sexless marriage forever, even if I could get a girlfriend. The more I thought about the logistics of getting my needs met elsewhere went against my core values. I told her I would be happy to be celibate for a year or so, but probably no more. If she could begin to see me as a husband in that time, I would probably have to leave. She said she began to feel “the old pressure” again, and it was giving her angst (remember, she’s now sleeping with someone else at this point….)
I am not a snoop, it goes against what I consider honorable in a marriage. That’s not to say, I’m not observant–I’m VERY observant, but I don’t snoop. That changed last Thursday night. After 2 months or agonizing over how I would potentially make this work, would I be able to compromise my values and go outside the marriage, and generally just feeling hopeless and dirty, I thought it was too much. You combine this with I was starting to have my old suspicions again, and it was a recipe for my bad behavior.
I snooped on her phone without her knowledge. It was about 10:45 at night, and I’m not sure what ultimately led me to do it now as opposed to all the other opportunities I had, but I did it nonetheless.
It didn’t take me long to find the incriminating evidence. i went straight to her SMS messages and found that there was one entry that did not have a name, only a phone number, and that that dozens of texts had been sent between this person. I only scanned them but was able to quickly discern:
- she was being very flirty. In fact the excitement between the two of them was salacious and giddy
- …oh no, indeed she had been fucking him
- She acknowledged that they had to be careful, in that she’d almost gotten caught
- And when was the latest texts between them… oh just a day or two ago.
I was crushed immediately. There was a small hollow insignificant moment where I felt justified that I had not been crazy all along, followed by an avalanche of crushing emotions: humiliation, rage, betrayal, emasculation, fear, more rage, and a deep deep despair. It was hard to comprehend how many lies she’d been giving me.
I put her phone down and walked into her room and woke her up.
“What’s wrong?” she asked groggily. It was approximately 11:05pm.
“I’m sorry but I finally broke into your phone and read your messages. I now know you’ve been having an affair and that it’s still going on. Can you finally be truthful with me?”
The next 2 hours she slowly offered up the details. At first I was confused by her stoic delivery, I expected a greater outpouring of grief of the discovery. She admitted, “I think I’m in shock.” After two hours or so that became more believable as she started giving the details amongst tears of pain, shame and shock.
The gist of my reaction is probably fairly predictable. “How could you do this? Did I mean nothing? How could you LIE over and over and over? Was there any truth? Did you love him?”
The details she shared that night, and the nights since have basically been the following:
- She was never looking to have an affair. It happened, and she knew it was wrong, but never meant to hurt me.
- He was some dude in one of her dance classes. I did not know him.
- It started around the holidays.
- It did continue even after the January “new marriage arrangements” proposals
- She did not love him. In fact, she now, in the face of everything and the shock of discovery, never wanted to see him again.
- It was sexual only. It started with flirtation… at some point he made a move and she did not resist. It awoke in her sexual feelings she thought she’d lost long ago. It filled an emptiness she didn’t know she had.
- Despite the lying and the affair, she had wanted our marriage to improve.
Part 3 to follow… The Aftermath.