After Brittany had ended things he still was contacting her about once a month. She would sometimes reply back. Sometimes she wouldn’t. The last contact being only a few weeks before. I wanted an explanation. He said we were fighting a lot and that it sort of just happened. He developed feelings for her but there was nothing physical. I didn’t believe him although part of me wanted to.
Two nights later, I can’t sleep and it occurred to me that maybe Brittany wasn’t the only one. I had banished him to the couch and he had fallen asleep hours before. Fucking typical men shit there. He was caught cheating but can still sleep while I sit up all night, worried about he future.
I took his phone and started to go through it. Then I found what I hoped to not find. He tried to set up a date with a girl named Harley but she said that she wasn’t interested. He asked for her friends number. It was the same week that we went for our ultrasound. The fact that he sat there by my side looking at our growing baby and had asked hours before to take another girl out while I was working. with our son in tow… it made me sick.
I woke him up and asked him what the fuck is really going on. If he “just accidentally developed feelings” for a co worker, why was he actively soliciting a date from a girl? He was angry that I was “going through his phone”.
Well fucking of course I am. You cheated, you lied, and you wonder why I would go through your shit?
I should have gone through his phone right then but I guess I was overwhelmed.
I didn’t really have time to fully process everything that I had learned. He was seeing Brittany and now he was trying to solicit dates from Harley. I don’t know how I made it through the next week but we had a vacation planned two days later and we went. He was of course on “good behavior” and although thoughts of what he had done were on my mind constantly, it was also easy to just… pretend like it didn’t happen. At least while we were out on vacation.
When we got home, my older kids went to their dad’s place and I was finally ready to listen and not freak out. I asked him to be honest. He had this one chance to tell me everything and be honest.
He said that he met Brittany after returning to his old job. I had helped him find a construction position that he wanted but he was laid off and was hired back at his old job. He said that she was really friendly and that he was depressed after losing his job and having to come back. He said that it turned into something more after going bowling with “his coworkers”. I remember the bowling trip. It was supposed to be “work friends”. He was out all night long and I was upset because it was supposed to be a few hours but he was there pretty much all night. I had thought it was a bunch of people, but it turned out it was him, Brittany, a male coworker and his girlfriend. (Sounds like a double date to me and not “an accident”. I wouldn’t be surprised if he had actually set it up that way.) He said she asked for his number and they began hanging out over their lunch break. He said they admitted having feelings for each other and she stepped away because of his relationship and eventually she moved onto another job. They talked on snapchat still and although he said he never sent her nudes, he admitted she had sent photos to him.
He met Harley, who worked in the office and not in the warehouse, one day because she was listening to (a relatively obscure band that he likes) and he mentioned it to her. They began talking and she asked for his number. Girls don’t often approach men for their numbers and yet two women ask him for his number? He has been working the same job (aside from the few months he left for the construction job) since before we began dating. I met many of these people, they knew he had a child with me and many knew he was expecting another child. Why would a girl ask for a number from a guy who was obviously attached? He swears that it how it happened, even now.
In the same text that he asked Harley out, he also inquired about “Brooke”. He asked if she was seeing anyone. Harley said she was in a relationship.
After he “admitted everything”, I asked for his phone and checked it thoroughly but at this point, he had deleted almost everything off of it. He said it was too show his commitment. All the social media accounts, his past texts, phone numbers… everything. I was suspicious. If he wanted to prove that was the “only thing” he had done, why did he delete it all before I got a chance to see that there was nothing else to hide?
I looked in places he wouldn’t think. I went through his hard drive on the phone and couldn’t find pictures or saved images. I looked at his activity on facebook (although I couldn’t see messenger as he deleted it). It seemed to check out so far.
A week later, I asked him to log onto his facebook account on the computer. He deleted everything on his phone, but I don’t think he realized I could still see the messages on the computer.
Immediately I saw that he had started conversations with countless women in the last year. Mostly just a “Hi, how are you” that most didn’t respond to. But there were about 15 women he had talked to. An ex girlfriend that he told “our relationship was over and we were only together for our child”, another that he called referred to as “sweet heart” and “love”. Some that he exchanged snap chat info with. Others that he was sexting with.
I had given him the chance to be completely honest, but here was more proof that not only was Brittany not the first girl he was talking to, he was talking to girls before he “lost his job” (and thus was depressed).
What stung the most though was realizing that he was trying to talk me into another baby and talking to these other women on the side. What am I to him? His fucking baby delivery machine? I just stopped looking. There didn’t seem a point really. Everything he had said was a lie.
When I showed him the texts, he panicked. He said he “forgot” about the 15+ women he was talking to online. That he didn’t “see them in real life” and didn’t think they counted. Even though the last woman he contacted was only a few weeks ago. One woman he attempted to sext with was 2 days after we found out we were expecting our baby, also my daughters birthday, also 3 days after my birthday. Like, how the fuck do you find out you are having another baby with your girlfriend and start trying to sext another woman?
He left that night. I couldn’t have him in the same fucking house any more.
I have a long history of depression and had already set up an appointment with my counselor to get back onto antidepressants. It has been years since I had suicidal thoughts but here they were creeping back into my head. How could I be so stupid to stay with a man who had proven over and over that he thought the truth was only what he wanted to tell me? Who I had caught red handed in lies about his drinking but stood fast to his lies instead of admitting the truth?
I thought about all the things that had made me insecure over our relationship and whether those were signs that I was ignoring. Last summer there was this life guard who was obviously into him. She would blatantly check him out while we were together. He would go to the pool to “sun bathe”. I knew that he liked her checking him out. She was blonde, tan and very attractive (if not a bit of a bitch for being so obvious while he was with his girlfriend). I had thought, did he flirt with her while I wasn’t there? He went to the pool a lot and was there for hours. But when I went with him, we held hands and his attention was on me and our child/my children. And I would tell myself to stop being an insecure idiot. He was with me. End of story. Some young blonde was going to steal him away.
And there were other things. He would go out of his way to be helpful to (young attractive women). He seemed to enjoy their attention and was a flirt. I was feeling self conscious about my own body after putting on baby weight and also being older than him and these girls that he was talking to. And I would reassure myself, again, that he was with me. That being attracted to someone isn’t the same as love and he was with me.
I honestly, honestly, was completely in shock when I found out. He had been telling people that he was going to propose. (I am not a romantic person and told him not to do that but he thought it was something he needed to do). We fought, sure, sometimes a lot, but it was usually over typical couple stuff. Who didn’t do what chores and who turn it was to do what and both feeling under appreciated. Both feeling the effects of no alone time and my complete lack of sex drive (it never fully recovered after my last pregnancy to pre-pregnancy levels). But we both adored our son, we both seemed very committed to our family and he had a lot of opinions about “cheaters” in general.
It wasn’t that I was so naive to think that some woman could come in as a fantasy and put our relationship at risk. I have been there. I had told him myself about how my affairs had happened. I had cheated on my ex husband when we were still teenagers and later, after marriage and 3 kids, had an emotional affair. I knew what that was like to want to escape all the realities of a real relationship. Part of it was being young, I was 16 when I cheated and 22 when I had an emotional affair. Both times, the guilt ate at me immediately.
Both times (my ex husbad and I) had talked frequently about breaking up. The first time, I slept with a coworker that was showering me with attention. I was 16. I wanted to hang out with my friends and do stupid teen age stuff and my boyfriend was suffocating me. We took a break after cheating and then tried again a few months later.
At 22, we were having a hard time in our marriage. I had started looking at apartments and told him I was leaving. He was absent mentally. I was pregnant with my 3rd child and felt alone. I began having feelings for a close friend and when I admitted my feelings to him, he made it clear that he was not in a place to be step daddy to 3 kids. I was heart broken. I didn’t tell my ex husband about the emotional affair. I cut off contact with the friend and eventually felt like I loved my husband again.
I am not a saint, and I felt like maybe I could forgive him for Brittany.
But Haley? The 15+ girls online? The active hunt for someone else? These were not indiscretions that happened due to chance. These were calculated efforts to find women to cheat with.
During one of my fights with Douche Bag about the cheating, he did admit two things:
He never planned to leave. His intentions were always to have a side chick. (well, his words were that he wanted a family with me and he didn’t know why he kept contacting other women)
He still believed that I had an affair with his brother which is what made it easier to excuse his behavior.
I asked him which was it: That he wanted to have an affair to get even for his completely delusional belief or that he was acting impulsively (and in my mind, possibly exchanging one addiction for another). I don’t think he even knows.
I was young (16 and 22) when I had affair 1 and 2. I had over a decade of faithful behaviors and I thought I learned a lot about why I chose to be unfaithful and actions to prevent that in the future. But here are some things I did do right. I didn’t lead my ex to think things were going fine. Both times things were obviously not fine. I didn’t make choices that affected his future knowing that I was not being honest at the time. I didn’t repeat the behavior and both times the affairs lasted a few weeks. Not a year of lying behaviors.
The cheating was bad enough, but being pregnant by a man that was cheating, before and during my pregnancy, who told me “lets not get the morning after pill and see what happens”, who was planning to buy a house, knowing he had lied to me for a full YEAR. Who excused his behavior based on his own fucking demented lies about MY behavior?
It was much worse than just “he accidentally fell for his coworker”. I am carrying a child I would have never consented to had I known what he was doing and that makes me livid all over again. That I have to share my newborn daughter with this fucking man child douche who didn’t care enough about me, his son, or our future daughter, to put his fucking dick away.