Relationships are hard, but once we get to the point of "I do," we think it means something. We think it may be forever. Somehow, though, it can still lead in betrayal, and often does. These brave women share how they found out their spouse was cheating.
1. My mother told me.
"My mother came to my job one day out of the blue and I was super-excited because she'd never seen my office, so I showed her around and then took her to my favorite lunch spot. Right there at the sandwich counter, she blurted out, 'They're screwing!' and by they, she was referring to my husband and niece.
It was like being hit in the gut with a 2x4. My mom had no evidence to support the accusation, just intuition. After about a month of denying it, he finally fessed up. We got divorced and that niece and I don't speak, even today. That was 10 years ago." —Rachel, 34
2. The police caught him.
"He didn't come home at Friday night and by 2AM I was so worried that I had to start calling hospitals and police. He was found at the police station, in jail. Figures he had been arrested for getting in a fight with two pimps when he was trying to buy sexual services." —Katie, 39
3. He tried to move out so he could date someone else.
"I started dating my best friend our senior year of college. We were together for over 11 years when we bought our first house, in which we gutted the kitchen and rebuilt (to his specifications). He had just started a new job and we were arguing a lot, which never happened. He was going out with friends from his old job every Friday night, staying out late when most of the time I was already asleep when he got home.
We talked about how things seemed 'of'" and I was trying like hell to make things work. He mentioned he was going to move in with a mutual friend for a few weeks to give us some space. My therapist asked if he was cheating on me. I immediately said, 'Oh no, you don't know him. He'd never do that!' I told my best friend (who has also known him since college) that my therapist asked that. Her immediate response was, 'Not him! He'd NEVER do that!'
Literally the next day, we went out to dinner and a movie. On the way home, he was quiet and upset about something. I kept telling him that if he had
something to tell me, he needed to just say it. When we got home, I was changing the sheets and he came in to help. In the midst of a conversation, I asked if there was someone else. His response? 'Well, there's someone I want to date.'
I was blown away. We broke up immediately, one month shy of our 12 year anniversary. Turned out she was someone he used to work with and she was into him, too. Emotional cheating is MUCH worse in my mind than physical cheating, which he knew and agreed with. He was going to try dating her while he was living with that mutual friend. I felt like a complete idiot for how hard I had tried, but I let go of those feelings pretty quickly. To my knowledge, he's still with her." —Kerry, 37
4. He left his inbox open.
"I had a great love once. Our love marked the drunken, dysfunctional mess that was my 20s and I spent two years building a life for us that would never come to pass. When we met, he confessed that he'd essentially cheated on every woman he dated, and I lived under the delusion that my love would alter him, would prevent him from looking to a better deal as soon as I wasn't in the room.
We dated for two years, moved in together, and on Valentine's Day we had a discussion that started out harmless but ended with our breakup in the middle of the restaurant. He confessed that he didn't know if I'd ever be the one, and could we spend a couple of years biding time until he figured it out?
Devastated, I left and returned to the home we shared. I did the one thing I never thought I'd do and haven't in relationships since: checked his email. For some reason, I felt his infidelity. Not only did I discover that he was sleeping with the greater part of the Upper East Side, but he had an affair with someone on my birthday; he spent the morning in her bed and came home to mine!
When I confronted him, he didn't deny it. Instead, he confessed that he couldn't ever imagine himself with one woman and that's when I bolted." —Francesca, 37
5. He confessed because he had a guilty conscience.
"He was studying abroad for a semester and we Skyped every night. It seemed like we were closer than ever in our distance. Turns out, he was sleeping with a fellow student. He confessed after he got home, feeling like it would be good for me to know so we could move forward. It wasn't." —Missy, 34
6. His girlfriend called me.
"She said, 'Thought you'd like to know we've been sleeping with the same guy.' I wanted to hate her, but I had to appreciate her gumption." —Melissa, 34
7. I snooped ... and found sexts.
"I was checking his phone for photos to add to a Christmas card, and found sexts I wish I had never seen. And that was the end of that." —Brenda, 35