I joined this community to try and make sense of my feelings, to offload and to gain insight on how I can be a better person / husband and then hopefully help others. This post mainly relates to an issue in my marriage that I simply can not shake, so grab a coffee and I'll begin.
I am 34 yo, I have been with my wife since I was 18 and married for 10, we have a 6 yo son. Like every family we have had ups and downs but what has put more strain on our relationship is that our families do not get on and have no contact AT ALL. Over the years we have been on this roller coaster of a ride of being in love and then just co-existing and taking each other for granted.
Around 2007 I got addicted to computer gaming and would play a few hours a night, our extended family problems have always been at the forefront of our issues and I used online gaming and being part of a community as an escape / excuse to get away from my real life responsibilities / issues. For many years I blamed everyone else for how I was feeling (lonely, powerless, I was and still am subject to cohesive control - Not by wife, this may be a separate post) and it got to the point where I would come home from work and go straight upstairs on PC until early hours of the morning. I made numerous attempts to speak with my wife about my feelings and she would listen but no further action was taken so I kept falling back into my addictive behaviour making things worse.
In 2012 I worked at company and had a good group of colleagues including my brother in-law. One particular guy was more of a friend (Man-A) and everything was fine. He had text contact with all of us (me, brother in-law and wife). everything was fine and I trusted my wife 100% at this point, until one day in 2013 I was clearing out my PC and found old iPhone backups so I restored them to have a look for fun and when I turned it on it had restored some deleted texts from Man-A for conversations years back (this back up was from my wife's old phone).
What I found to begin with was just general chatting but over a period of 8 months the messages would be every single day asking how their day was going and talking about everything under the sun getting more and more flirty. Then the messages mostly from him got sexual in content after about 6 months, I may add that my wife briefly talked about our relationship in a negative way and they were both making jokes at my expense. Also he was talking about his sexual exploits and my wife always reacted jealously.
So I went to talk with her nice and calmly. At first she denied everything point blank and that he was just a friend and it was long ago and didn't remember anything. I believed her and left it at that but went and spoke to Man-A when he came round to our house one day, He said absolutely nothing apart from acting shocked, left our house and I have never heard from him since 2013, I mean if it was just flirting surely he would have apologised and not throw away 6 year friendship. A few months ago out of absolute nowhere a small niggle started to grow and I have no idea were it came from, all my old feelings of suspicion flood back into me. When I say flood its like every emotion up to that point pretty much paralysed me with fear, anxiety etc to the point where I had an exhaust hose pipe from my van in the window as I could't function. I have no idea why I started to think like that.
I spoke to my wife again and after some talking she admitted what she knew what she was doing and was craving the attention but nothing had happened physically, but there was guilt written all over her face after I probed deeper, things did start to get more heated now as I felt she had lied and betrayed me as the text message content suggested otherwise and the fact she deleted all his messages and never told me, and too this day I would't have known had I not looked at the old backups. The trouble is my gut tells me she is not telling me the whole truth as you can imagine I have a sick feeling in my stomach all the time. She still denies any physically contact, and from what I can gather reading posts on here that is a common theme.
But now where she works is mostly females, but recently these two males have just joined one older and one around her age, she talks normally about the older one but the one around her age she doesn't really mention and when she does its always negative and she seems like she is very careful what she says and avoids all conversation about him I have also picked up on the way she speaks and looks at me almost gauging my reaction - hope that makes sense, The effect of her lies and hiding stuff from me is that now my trust has been smashed and I have become very paranoid because I know she is capable of those things now and I hate feeling like this.
I don't want to keep going on about the past, I want to heal and leave it were it belongs but I can't until I know all the details (Which I doubt I will get). I am very ashamed of myself for neglecting her but I would never even entertain another women (and I have had a few chances but refused point blank everyone of them) but I don't know how to get the truth or live without knowing.
I have since given up computer gaming, and initially focused on trying to make myself happy as I thought if I can do that then she and my son will then be happy. But what I have since found out is that if I put all my effort into making my wife and son happy THAT is what makes me happy. We have really connected since I have starting being a 'proper' husband but I am a very emotional person underneath my "tough man" persona but I can't live the rest of my life feeling sick in my stomach and the mental issues I'm starting to suffer with because of these niggles, its just who I am and I won't be able to let go until I know for sure.
Life is full of chaos and is what makes it interesting, I know there no black and white in matters of the heart but it would very much appreciated any insightful wisdom regarding how I can control my emotions and move forward. I hurt like hell that I made her feel that way and the way she made me feel in her conversations with Man-A.
Thank you for reading and letting me off-load all this. I am open to discussion and criticism as I want to understand the issues underneath and sort myself out as it is getting too much to cope with. It may seem a small issue at hand but trust is the only thing that matters to me and when that breaks it wrecks all kinds of havoc. I have an overwhelming urge to track her phone, messages and emails but I think once I get into that territory its pretty much done for anyway.
I am struggling that she deleted all the text messages and then lied, if they were just innocent flirting then fair enough but my gut tells this goes deeper, it has also made me see a side of her of didn't think she had, we all think we married a good 'un. I keep going on a roller coaster of emotion of i'm ok then I'm not. I don't want to keep having these conversations for fear of her getting sick and ending it but at the same I want to gather my thoughts and have one last talk about it.
Thank you again for reading and I hope I can help others in the future once I figure out what to do with myself and any outcomes learned.
Anyway back up my Munro