I will never forget the day I finally asked him. Five words was all it took for the walls of my world to crumble and my devastating new reality to sink in.
“Are you having an affair.”
As if the past few weeks and months hadn’t been enough to make we wonder, the days prior to that question being spoken out loud, just solidified my suspicions.
It was Little E’s second birthday weekend. My parents and grandparents had flown down to San Diego for the weekend to celebrate and I couldn’t have been more excited.
Thursday evening, he had come home from work and we loaded the girls into the car to meet my parents for dinner. On the way, he informed me of his new desire to start working out… But, that it must happen after work… And would probably be for at least 2 hours… He’d either stay late at work or go back to the gym after dinner and into the night… And that it’d be at least every other day because he “had to be consistent if [he] wanted to see any results…” I asked him when he would be seeing his girls (who were 4 months old and 2 years old at the time) with this new plan and he guilted me about being concerned with my needs and not his… Oh, and lastly, that this new workout plan must begin tonight.
Shortly after we ordered our food, he asked my parents if he could send the girls and I up to northern California, for a week or so, because of some new business trip that I had never heard of. He then explained that he will be having a lot more extended business trips coming up and that he didn’t want me alone with my newborn and toddler, that being up north would be easier on me… how thoughtful… When we returned home from dinner, my parents drove back to their hotel and my husband left to “work out.”
I’ll never forget that night when he returned. I had awoken around midnight to the front door creaking open. When I came down stairs I remember the distinct smell of pineapple and I remember thinking, the air freshener at his gym smells disgusting. I found him in the kitchen reheating fries in the microwave and he told me to go back to bed.
The next few days were hard and frustrating. I was so excited but anxious and little stressed out trying to prepare everything for Little E to have a perfect little party and feel celebrated and loved. He was aggravated that I wanted help.
Saturday came and her birthday was so wonderful. A couple of her little friends and their sweet and beautiful mamas joined us at the park as we had iced coffee and donuts. The kids wore themselves out at the park and we came home for presents and cake.
Little E felt loved and adored and so to me, it was a total win! The rest of that day was spent playing with her new toys and enjoying time with her grandparents. Little did I know, as the sun set on her birthday, so began farewell to my marriage.
The Answer I Didn’t Want…
Little E and my birthday are two days apart. And when my family came down to celebrate little E, they also brought gifts for me as well. Once of those gifts was a check. My husband had seen me open the card and was aware of the amount within. So Sunday morning, once everyone had left, he told me he was going to go deposit my birthday check into our account. I told I wasn’t comfortable with that and that I’d actually like to have a finance talk. I mentioned that I had been noticing some odd things financially and that we would need to have a talk when the girls weren’t around. But he told me he wanted to talk right then.
So I began to share with him the things I had been noticing over the last few weeks and months. I showed him our checking account transactions, that I had printed out and highlighted, and inquired about where all the missing money had gone. I asked about the multiple times a week he would withdraw $20-$100 in cash from the grocery store or gas station. I asked about the eating out charges for meals we had not shared and the increase in his gas purchases. We were hundreds of dollars short each month and I asked him what was going on. He wouldn’t give me any direct answers. As the strategic and analytical type person that I am, I told him we needed to create a solution/a plan so that this doesn’t happen again. Being negative every month wasn’t something I was comfortable with. He refused to discuss it but said “[he’d] try harder to spend less.”
We talked for an hour. An hour of him not making eye contact. An hour of him refusing to communicate with me. An hour of him denying that he knew where all of that money could be going. And I began to catch him in lies. Lie. After lie. After lie. Finally I asked it. I said the one thing that my heart already knew, “are you having an affair.”
He didn’t deny it.
He was silent. Heart pounding. Silent… And then he said, “Lindsay, are you kidding me?”
That was about the most I got out of him. I told him innocent people say things like “no.” Faithful men do everything in their power to prove their faithfulness. But not my husband. Minutes later, I asked if I could see his phone.
He wouldn’t allow it. He claimed that I didn’t have a right to his things and that he deserved his privacy. That I was offending him for even asking to see it. And then in a distracted moment, he bolted upstairs.
I laid my 4 month old down and took off after him. He tried to lock me out of the bathroom but I was able to push my way through. He elbowed me out of the way and pushed into Little E’s room, throwing elbows at me as he hovered over his phone. I was able to see the screen a few times as it read, “are you sure you want to delete.” I was hysterical. Absolutely hysterical. See now, my suspicions were no longer just fantasy, they were fact just awaiting proof. I knew the truth.
Actions speak a heck of a lot louder than words.
I grabbed the girls, loaded them in the car. We needed Jesus. We needed help. But we were 45 minutes away from all our friends, so I drove us straight to our church in town.
My poor girls. I was a devastated mess. I was in shock. The world was so so eerily quiet and yet I could not have been more aware of the sound of my children breathing. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t breath. All I could think about was my babies and finding someone to talk to. I spent a good couple hours with their counselor before returning home to confront the mess I had left. Only to discover that my home was empty, the dog was gone and he had cleared out half of his closet.