I never in my wildest dreams imagined myself looking through this sub, let alone contributing to it. I am just going to unload here to put this into history for my own good, and to perhaps help others along the way. It's a very similar story to others that I have read, but maybe there's some uniqueness to my experience thus far. I'm going to lay it out in chunks of events that grew my suspicion and later confirmation. This is brand new, so forgive the ridiculously lengthy details. I put it all in here to document it for myself and to reveal the true situation through my words. The final confrontation was last night, and I did not sleep a wink...
Disclaimer: this is the worst, most-embarrassing thing I've ever experienced, so I have created a new ID to post it.
My wife (36F) and I (34M) have our 7th wedding anniversary coming up in less than two weeks. We've been together for more than 10 years, with no history of fighting, separation, etc. Pure bliss (for me) - laughs, family trips, growing businesses, yard projects, two beautiful young boys... it's been a blast. Here's the rundown.
1) The new job, boss, and the first weird night. This past year my wife interviewed at a highly-respected long term care facility and was subsequently offered a high up position by the guy who is now her boss. Since taking the job she's talked very highly of this guy and his "focus on family", success, and of course, how he believes in her ability to succeed at the company. Fast forward a few months, and there I sit, incredibly suspicious of some recent, out of character actions. While this new role brings in some out-of-office activities (golf, fundraisers, etc.), some of the stuff just stunk of something. I wasn't suspecting anything in particular, but over time, my intuition was screaming that something is wrong with someone or something.
There was a night in early June where I found myself pacing the house in terror that something happened to my wife while "out for drinks and dinner with the co-workers" after a golf tournament or something. At one point, she said she would be home in an hour. That came, and then another hour, and then a third hour. Her and I share our locations on our iPhones (why? Because we have two little boys and figured it can't hurt to know eachother's whereabouts), and her location was stuck in the same place (side of a busy road), nowhere near where she said she was going. Her phone kept going to voicemail. I thought she may have been in an accident. Finally, on the brink of calling police, she calls me to say she is on her way home. I tell her how terrified I was and she explained that her phone died and she was in a co-worker's car without a charger. Weird. That has never happened before. She's never, ever been out late and not checked in with me. I attributed it to the brand new job, new co-workers, and her efforts to fit into the social scene with this new role of hers. Her story did add up for the most part. The road where her last location before the dead phone's location was shared wound up being on the way to a restaurant they were supposedly at. Still, this disconnected behavior had never happened before with her. It was just so out of place.
Fast forward a couple months... my wife has become obsessed with her workouts, her weight, wanting a bigger chest. Her morning routine in the bathroom has become longer and longer. Keep in mind, my wife is far more fit than your average gym-goer. She has nothing to worry about. She's absolutely gorgeous.
2) Meeting him, and the obscure, tucked away parking lot. A day came in early August where she invited her boss and some co-workers over to my house for some daytime drinks after a race they all ran together. I thought to myself, "I finally get to meet this amazing boss that I hear so much about." They arrived and that's when everything hit me. This guy, while MUCH older than me, is handsome for his age (almost 60), but somehow incredibly awkward. Not once did he look me in the eye, and when I shook his hand, it was soaked with sweat. That's when my intuition screamed again, steering my suspicions toward him. He didn't stay long, and he didn't interact with my wife. He barely said a word to anyone, other than to ask me what high school I went to, while looking another direction. He just basically drank a beer and left. Following that, the last co-worker to stay winds up inviting his GF and her daughter over. After a bunch of drinks, my wife was very convincing to invite them over for an impromptu dinner party. That all happened, and this guy and his GF left around 8pm. Now is the point where everything starts getting narrowed. In the days leading up to this morning race with her co-workers, my wife had been talking about getting drinks with her friend later that night to celebrate a birthday. She was back and forth with wanting to go, and then when her coworker left for the day, she decided that she was in fact going to go. She went upstairs, dolled herself up, and came down looking awesome. She kissed me goodbye and left for a bar on the east side of town. Her entire demeanor was incredibly awkward, and I had to ask, "are you OK to drive?". She said "yes, I really only had two throughout the day. I am not going to be out too late." I don't remember for sure, but I think she may have even asked me to wait up for her. I put on a movie or something and chilled out. Less than an hour went by, and I thought it was weird that she never texted me to let me know that she got there. Out comes the ol' Apple location. I pulled up her location to see that she made it ok, and to my utter confusion, her location was showing at work. Not exactly the office she works at, but a building tucked away, across the street from her main building. One that I know she has never mentioned working in. It took some time to figure out where this was exactly, but there was no question. My thoughts, "did she turn around? Is she trying to make a call? What is she doing there? Why was I so suspicious of her boss this morning? Why did she decide to go back out? That's not like her. Why is she there? There is no logical reason for her to have driven west and parked at work. She said she is meeting a group for drinks on the east side of town, completely unrelated to any of her coworkers. She comes home not long after, awkwardly "over smiling" as she greets me on the couch. She was gone for a total of an hour (max). I am still not completely sure what is going on. She keeps telling me how much she loves me. She hops on top of me and we make love. For a split a second during this, I actually thought to myself, "is it possible, that she was just with someone else, and less than 10 minutes ago? No way." I convince myself that she was out of sorts and parked in that lot to make a call or something. DUMB. I KNOW.
3) The kids' new friend. Over the next few weeks into July things seem fine, and I somehow put #2 (above) in the back of my mind. Our sons have been going to summer camp, surprisingly enough, on the campus where she works. Some intense issues at her job either required me to pick up kids, or she would have her co-workers (guess who) watch them for a few minutes. I learned of the many times that this boss of hers had my kids in his office, giving them snacks and letting them play on his computer. They actually got to know him. She mentioned how much she loved the support of this new team.
4) THE HOTEL. We take a week to go away to the beach with my wife's family. We spend everyday on the beach, my wife and I took the kids on bike rides. It was pretty good. We both jump back into a hectic work week, starting off with my wife asking if I can pick up the kids mid-week so that she can go out with her co-workers. I was kind of thrown off by this because it was our eldest son's first day of Kindergarten and we had just got back from vacation. I thought it really weird that she would put a work outing over being with her son after his school on his 1st day. She said that one of her female coworkers was having a tough time in a divorce and wanted to organize a little golf outing followed by dinner/drinks to catch the first preseason football game. What I thought to be really weird was that, during the week we were at the beach, this plan also included her female co-worker grabbing a hotel because she lives far away. My wife said that she was thinking about catching up with her there before golf because of the rough stuff she was going through. I think this is really strange, but keep my thoughts inside. I agree to pick up our kids so she can do this. Now, keep in mind, I pick my kids up at an after school program AT MY WIFE'S PLACE OF WORK. I don't mind getting them, but this was a little strange since they are at her work and within a few minutes from our house. I work 40 minutes away, so it was a little inconvenient given that I would have to leave my business early to get the kids on our first week back.........
The day comes. We take pictures in the morning for my son's first day of Kindergarten. Together. We walk him down together, she's rushing because she doesn't want to be late for work. I have a video of this on my phone, actually. We have been talking about this day for the entire end of pre-school and throughout the summer. Here it is, and my wife is being weird, not herself. She is usually so invested in stuff like this. We see him walk into his class and I can barely keep up with my wife on the walk back to our house. She is like this normally, but I thought she would take exception to her son's 1st day. We got back and she was in her car and off to work seemingly frantic.
Later in the day I barely get out of my business in time to be on-time for the 45 minute drive to get the kids. There's a temporary road shut down for construction. Then there's heavy, unusual traffic on the highway. I am running late. Everything is against me. As I sit in traffic, my mind starts to race. "This makes no sense. Why would she have me get the kids? It was our eldest's 1st day of school. Why is she out tonight? Doesn't she want to see him and be together?" I panic because this is also our sons' first day at the after school program, and I know I am going to be late at this point. I call my wife. She doesn't answer. She knows I am picking the kids up... "Why would she ignore my call? We are in this together. Wait, she's going to a hotel before golf. WTF. Am I stupid? Yes, it sounds that way. Nothing is going on. I feel so weird." In traffic, I pull out the phone again, hating what's become of me and this location thing. Her location: a hotel in the city where she works and we live, further from the golf course than one would expect. "God... there is no way that she is there with her boss. If she is, I bet they are all there and they are at the bar getting drinks... but why at a hotel?" I call the aftercare number because I can't get a hold of my wife who is currently at a hotel "with her female co-worker". The after school person says no need to panic, the kids will be fine. Just take your time and get here when you can. I get closer and closer to getting off the highway and on toward the direction of my wife's work (where the aftercare program is). Now, coincidentally, my GPS has me getting off RIGHT NEAR THE ONRAMP BY THIS HOTEL SHE IS AT. As I continue closing on the ramp, 10 minutes late for picking up my kids, and stupidly watching my wife's location while driving and debating whether or not I have the guts to just be 5 more minutes late, jump off to the hotel and confirm my fears. Her location starts moving, and she's leaving. And by some wild stroke of dumbfounded chance of traffic jams 45 minutes away, the particular hotel, and the route my GPS has me on to exit the highway to get OUR kids, she drives by the opposite direction getting onto the highway. Panicking at the opportunity to catch something, I don't see her car, or the car that I know her boss drives (remember, he's been to my house and has met me). I am trying not to drive off the highway at this point. Dammit... I missed. She went right by me! God help me if this is real. My heart is racing just recalling this moment. She must've been in a room for an hour...
Denial and guilt set in. I feel awful for tracking her, but try to justify it in my mind through the horrible feelings inside of me. What is happening to me?!
I pick the kids up 10 minutes late, still frazzled as to why my wife wouldn't answer, but in absolute terror at the fact there's now a chance this could be really happening. She still hadn't called me back. My kids feel so dependent in my hands, and I am terrified for them.
I finally hear from her after the kids and I are home eating. I think I sent her a picture of all of us hanging out with our shirts off. Her response "gosh I love you guys".
Before bed, the kids and I FaceTime her, which is not something we typically do. I was kind of thinking I should so she can't avoid showing me who she's with. She answers, and they are at a bar, but her boss isn't there is seems. Phew... maybe she really was at the hotel with her female coworker. Then one of my kids asks "where is <so and so>?" You know, the guy that gives them snacks when they visit the office. Camera pans and there he is, grinning, waiving at my kids. We say goodnight and I put the kids down. She finally comes home an hour or so later. She is so thankful that I was able to get the kids, take care of them, make them dinner, put them down, etc. She tells me how much she loves me, and we have some real good sex. I feel so messed up. I feel violated.
5) The Smoking Gun. Three days later my wife and I are waking up in bed on a Sunday morning. We have plans to take the kids hiking for the day. My wife immediately rolls over to her phone, but I don't think anything of it. She quickly gets out of the house for her routine early morning run. I walk downstairs and turn on her iPad, which just so happens to be one of the devices we share for music. Coincidentally, an update ran the night before, but I don't know if this has anything to do with what's next. As I am opening Apple music to put some early morning tunes on, a text message notification pops up. I had not seen this on this iPad before. It was an emoji-filled message from her boss reading something like "Good morning bae... it's a beautiful day for a run." I tap it without thinking. It opens up a subsequent message revealing that my wife actually texted him as soon as she woke up. I panicked and deleted the message. WTF was I thinking. Either way, I now see the smoking gun and fear, distrust, disgust, and violation set in. My wife returns from her run, and I am angry, but I don't yell. I repeat his text message to her in my own words. She is confused and definitely weirded out. I take her hand and walk her into our dining room, sit her down, and put my eyes 6 inches from hers.
ME: "What is going on with you and your boss?"
HER: "What? I... nothing! He's my boss! He's almost 60 years old!" SHE LOOKS LIKE SHE'S SEEN A GHOST.
ME: "We have two beautiful boys in the other room. What are you doing?!" I explain the text messages.
HER: "Nothing, I swear. 'Bae' is just something we all call each other and he and I are in a friendly apple watch competition. I told him I was going to run. I SWEAR nothing is going on."
I walk away. I am thinking that I shouldn't have said anything. I should have held it together, let the text messages keep rolling in, and get my confirmation from something that WON'T LIE to me. But I don't want to keep spying and sneaking. I am desperate for her to just come clean.
We awkwardly drive to our hike. She's weird the whole way (obviously). We finish a pretty long, quiet hike with the kids. They pass out on the ride back and I bring the morning text message up to her again. I tell her that it is killing me, and the fact that someone texted her first thing on a Sunday morning tells me what's on the mind. She immediately agrees how bad it appears, obviously having thought about it the whole day. She isn't denying that. She does deny that anything is going on, however. Meanwhile, the hotel in #4 is still burning a whole in the side of my skull. Later that night, we talk about the text message again over a bottle of wine. I thought it might bring more out. No luck, just more denial and reassurance of no wrong-doing.
Almost three weeks later...
6) Confirmation... I wake up this past Saturday with a gut-wrenching visions of my wife with someone else, and on the morning of one of the biggest events my company hosts all year. I can't shake the thoughts despite the brevity of the day ahead. The hotel incident has been killing me for weeks. My wife leaves for the gym with our kids, something we used to do together, and I leave for work. In the chaos of setting up what should be a huge, successful event at my business, all this stuff is boiling within me. I feel so messed up. I want to leave and be home with my family to prove that I don't work too much, to prove that I love them and want the best for them. Then I try to do something I've been wanting to do for almost 3 weeks. I CALL THE HOTEL. Praying and praying that if I am given any kind of information, that it reveals her female co-worker was indeed the one who booked the room. I HANG UP on the second ring. On second thought, I didn't want to know... or did I already know? I had to get back to work. This whole day, by the way, my wife is with the kids. Day ends, I feel wrong that I don't hurry back to her, despite maybe having a chance of getting home in time to see her before bed.
Sunday morning. We have plans to go to her brother's for football. I have to run into work (not typical on weekends) to deal with some aftermath of the event from the day before. She leaves for the gym with plans to pick me up at my business so we can ride to her brother's together. I start packing up and then look over at her iPad. It was practically screaming at me. DO IT. MAYBE THERE'S SOMETHING THERE. I open her iPad and sit down. I feel so wrong doing this, but I also know that I've somehow been so much more wronged than anything I'm about to do. She had since figured out how to sign out of iCloud and stop texts from coming in, so no luck there, but an obvious sign of hiding something. I look at her boss' contact card and see she was sharing her location on/off with him the night before. WTF? I open her photo stream, nothing weird there. I scroll down the albums... I open "Deleted Photos". Here we go. Underwear photos THE DAY AFTER we returned from the beach vacation, and the morning before her return to work. I can only assume she sent them to her boss, because I didn't get them. This is far out of her typical safe zone, so now the intensity and level of their relationship is starting to hit me. And then I see what appears as an accidental screenshot that she took of a text exchange with her boss, the day before the HOTEL. The gist is how they are planning to have lunch or something together, mixed into a swath of hearts with the kicker from the boss, "I've been waiting to see you since last Friday when you left I'm waiting for you babe". I look in her browsing history on her iPad, I see a Google search for "how to say one more day in spanish", searched for the day of the panty pictures, and the day before we returned to work. It reminded of how she would flirt with me back when we started out, more than 10 years ago. Someone else gets to experience that now.
I am absolutely convinced at this point, and the 2 months of my denying and avoiding the obvious have no more fight in this. My life is about to change forever.
I drive to my business and she meets me there later as planned with the kids. We hang out for a bit, but I am still in shock. She knows something is wrong and keeps asking. We drive to her brother's almost silently. The whole visit is incredibly awkward because I am just stewing in this realization, attempting to process, while she sits there, seemingly terrified of what's to come.
I text a partner of mine. A gentlemen I am involved in business with, and who happens to be a partner at one of the area's most-reputable law firms. He's known as one of the top divorce attorneys in the state. Hey, maybe he can help. He calls me right away and I step outside. I walk him through as much as I can stutter out in a panic. He calms me down, and tells me that the only thing to do, is to get her alone and put all the cards on the table. In the end, it doesn't matter how they got there, what matters is what's on them.
7) Partial Confession and where I am right now.
After speaking with my attorney we eventually head back home. Nothing is said. The tension is impossible. Finally, after I am sure the kids are asleep, I sit and wait in the kitchen. I ask her, as I did in #5, "where is our marriage headed?". I state that her and her boss have something going on, and from the information I now have, it is indisputable. She kind of breaks down, but no tears. Before admitting anything, she immediately begins saying that she has felt disconnected from me this summer. Ya think? The first incident here, completely out of character, happened in the first week of June. These have been monthly all summer and since she started working with this guy. She goes on to say that they spend time together. Nothing admitted. I ask the questions point blank "Have you had sex with him?". No, of course not. "Has anything happened". No. I ask again. She finally admits they kissed. I let this set in. I ask her where. She fumbles around her mind, but I can tell it's pretend. She says after work. I ask again, "Where?" She can't get it out. I say, "Were you at a hotel?". Yes. "Was he there?" Yes. "Was your co-worker there?" No. "So you went to a hotel with your boss, and kissed?" Yes. But that's it. Nothing else happened. "Well, what else did you do then?" We talked. We talked about all of this. "Adults don't kiss. They have sex. You didn't go to the hotel to kiss." She doesn't deny this, but she denies anything further happening. She says that she couldn't do it. She just couldn't bring herself to doing it.
Like it actually matters now.
We went back and forth about this, with no yelling or shouting, just awful. The entire time she is saying "I WANT YOU. I WANT THIS. I WANT US. I don't know what the hell I was doing." She admits that, despite some disconnect (caused by her, she will come to learn), there was nothing significantly wrong with our marriage. We vacationed, made love, grew our children, dated, etc. After about 30 minutes, it all hit me like a ton of bricks.
"Wait. You asked me to leave my job early to pick up our children, from the after school program at the very place you work at with this guy, so that you could leave work early, to go to a hotel with him, where you two planned to have sex? And on our son's first day of Kindergarten (I actually left that part out)" I recall the text message from #6. He has been waiting for her. They planned to have sex. I recall the old #2, but I fail to bring it up. I recall the hotel being mentioned while on vacation the week before. THIS WAS IN THE WORKS while we sat on the beach together with her family. IT WAS NOT SPUR OF THE MOMENT. The conversation goes nowhere but further into this new hell that I have just inhabited - the last place on earth I want to be. We go to bed. She cuddles me and its disgusting. I feel infected, violated, ruined, and motionless. It stops, I lie awake for 3 hours, then hop onto the internet, desperately searching for success stories where couples come back from this. THERE ARE NONE. It's all about how to realize the situation, how it will never work again, and that it's time to move on, regardless of money, kids, love, history. Just AWFUL, hopeless. I start contemplating divorce then realize I am 5 hours into a sleepless night, just hit by a freight train, and not a clean thought in my head. She wakes and asks me what I am doing and I don't have much to say. Then I ask her about #2 finally, which would confirm my earliest suspicions, and nullify her claims that this "just started". I tell her that I knew her car was at that facility. She admitted to meeting with him and said that they only talked in the car. I can only imagine. Another detail left out, and a revelation that this is much more longstanding.
Morning. She hops in the shower and I completely break down. I held it together all through the night, but I just imploded as soon as I sat up. I finally noticed one of my son's was up and on the potty in the other room (he's been doing a great job training) and I feared that he heard me weeping. I wipe my eyes, walk into the bathroom to see if he needs help, and for the first time in my life, my knees gave out completely. I dropped to the floor and sobbed in front of him. The sight of one of our innocent sons, completely oblivious in all his perfect, moldable youth, just wrecked me. Who can be so careless, so completely narcissistically motivated, that this beautiful child we are responsible for could be forgotten for some meaningless sex. My other son comes in and sees his father sobbing on his knees, holding his youngest. What in the hell has happened to my life? It all just changed in an instant. I held those boys so tight as I realized the tables had turned. I've held them so many times as they cried, but this was the first time those little boys held me. What a dramatic moment, but it felt good to know that while I've lost her, I still have them.
Finally, I pull it together and go downstairs to make coffee. She has no idea what I am going to do. At one point in the middle of the sleepless night from hell, I said that I am beginning to think that I can't get over this. That everything we have built together is for nothing. I hinted at divorce, but I have no clue what to do. We somehow ate breakfast together with our children, awkwardly, trying to come to grips with the unknown ahead of us. Afterwards, my wife and I embraced. We held each other tight and sobbed without the kids seeing. She knows how severe this is. I saw her off to work with our youngest, and I said that it would take a miracle to fix this. I have no trust whatsoever, and it is going to be incredibly difficult to grow that again. It took 10 years for us to get this far and we just drove off a cliff. She again said she wants nothing more than our children, our marriage, and our life. She is going to have to pull me out of hell.
I walk my eldest son down to his school where he had just started kindergarten 3 weeks prior, on the day my wife planned her hotel sex trip with her boss. It took every ounce of energy I had left to not start sobbing like a fool again. I watched this beautiful little being reluctantly run off into the playground, checking to make sure I was still there every few steps. He loves me so much. I watched all the parents coming in, some together and holding hands. I can't believe what my life has become in the last 12 hours.
UPDATE: I completely failed to mention that my wife said she has been struggling with this for a while (it's only been a couple of weeks since the last known incident at the hotel, so not that long). She says that she has canceled an upcoming business trip to California with HIM, that I have absolutely been dreading. She also said that she is withdrawing from the program that has required her to work closely with him. They will be on opposite ends of the building. None of this really means much to me.
AND HERE I STAND
The thought of splitting up is more painful to me than the thought of living with this right now. I can't focus. I can't work. I can't eat.
- Do I let the dust settle?
- Do we try to make this work?
- Is counseling worth a shot?
- How can I possibly trust her ever again? This was the cruelest thing ever done to me. It's a life-ruining thing, happening without any awareness of that.
- How can we possibly be in love? She says that she loves me.
- Are the months of lies and deceit worse than the acts?
- She definitely had sex with this guy, right? Of course. There is no way she can prove otherwise.
- Does she need to see a psychiatrist?
- How did I miss this?
- This is not the person I married or the person I know and love. Where did this reckless fool come from?
- Do I tell the boss' wife?
- Do I tell her parents whom I am close with?
- Do I inform her work?