The last month has been…kind of horrible. I want to say it was completely horrible, but that feels rude to the people who have even worse months than me. I’ve been debating writing something about this for a while, even if I don’t end up publishing it, I feel like it might be the release I need to get some of this mess out of my head so maybe I can move on a bit.
So, here it goes. I’d been having this weird unsettled feeling for a few weeks, and I couldn’t figure out what it was all about. Things seemed alright with me and the boyfriend, he didn’t voice any concerns about anything and he wasn’t acting weird or anything…but I could just tell something was off. One thing that kept bothering me was that I kept seeing a girls name come up on his phone when he would get texts, or showing up on the list of texts. I don’t make it a habit out of snooping on his phone or anything, we are both fairly open with our phones and often show each other articles, pictures, etc., with our phones.
Ever since I met my boyfriend I’ve known that he has a decent amount of female friends, honestly at first I was a bit freaked out by it until I quickly realized that’s all they were. They were his friends wives or people he went to school with, people he worked with and went quading with, etc. Over time I met most of them, and heard all sorts of silly stories about most of them, and stopped worrying. So it was weird to me that a female name kept popping up that I was pretty sure he’d never mentioned before. I left it for a while, figuring it was a random friend he didn’t talk to much who’d just come out of the woodwork or something.
But one day, he left his phone in the truck for a few minutes while I was waiting in the truck. I kept looking at it and my curiosity started growing and growing, I just had to know what was going on or who this person was. I was almost immediately obsessed with it. Like I said, I don’t make a habit out of snooping on his phone or anything else of his, and I knew I shouldn’t do it…but I did anyways. I unlocked his phone, the pin has never been a secret to me, but I’ve never unlocked it without him asking me to do so. I went to his messages and found her name near the top, she’d texted him recently. I scrolled through the first 10 or so messages and nothing looked strange, but I just had this feeling…that there was something. So I scrolled up a tiny bit…and yep. There it was.
My first thought was that we were at a friends place who had guns, and that I could just walk over, open the gun safe, grab a gun and shoot myself and be done. I was so distressed immediately that that was my first thought. My first thought wasn’t even that I was angry or felt betrayed, my first thought was that I wanted to kill myself and be done with it all. My second thought was how bad of a idea my first thought was, and would be really inconvenient for anyone involved, but it still felt so tempting.
I quickly exited messaging on his phone and put it back to the contacts screen where it was when I’d unlocked it, and spent the next few minutes trying to keep my breathing steady and trying to calm myself down. I had a lot of thoughts rush through my head in the first 2 hours after I found out, a lot more thoughts of suicide, a brief thought of shooting him in the foot, but mostly I was focusing on trying not to cry or to act different. I didn’t want him to know that I knew, not yet.
But of course he instantly knew something was wrong when he got back in the truck, I was doing my usual looking out the window with a sad face and taking deep breaths to try not to cry. He asked what was wrong and I think I said “Nothing, we can talk later.” Which was what I really intended to do. I wanted to give myself some time to calm down and think a bit more rationally. I cried a bit on the half hour drive home, and he kept looking over at me concerned and asking if I was okay, and what was wrong…but I kept saying we’d talk later. Once we got home I think I quickly ate supper and immediately crawled into bed, turning away from him and facing the wall…and the tears just all suddenly spilled out.
He was laying in bed next to me and had tried comforting me and finding out what was wrong but gave up after a few minutes and was checking a message on his phone when I finally got up the courage to ask, “Who is Lindsay?”. I could hear him sigh, and he put his phone away and rolled over behind me to rub my arm. He waited a few seconds, then said, “Just a friend, why?”. I immediately wanted to scream and shout at him, but all I could do was half sobbing, half angrily say, “I think you know what I’m talking about.” I remember how hard to was trying not to start screaming obscenities at him, but as much as I wanted to I don’t think I could anyways. He sighed again, and said, “You looked at my phone.” I said I had, and that something had felt weird for a while and my curiosity finally got the better of me so I’d looked and saw a message. I don’t remember if he said he was sorry or not, I’d like to think that he did, but I’m pretty sure he said, “I’m a piece of shit.” and I remember saying, “Yeah, you really fucking are.” I asked him why, and he said he wasn’t sure, but lately he’d been really happy and for some reason he felt like he didn’t deserve it and had to ruin things. It’s a feeling I know all too well, and based on his past I believe that this was probably true.
For the next hour or so there was a lot of silence while he sat next to me and I cried off & on, asking questions between. How long had they been talking, when did it start, was it just texting? Who was she, how did they first meet, was there any pictures involved? After a certain point I ran out of questions, or maybe I was just scared to ask any more. And we’d ended up sitting in the living room a few feet apart on the couch in silence. I desperately wanted to run away and leave, to where, I had no idea. I thought I could message a friend who I used to do drugs with…but I knew he had a girlfriend and I didn’t really want to see him or do drugs either. I thought I could just go out, and walk across town to my sisters, about an hour and a half walk. I thought a lot of things, and I kept wanting to go to my sisters or go somewhere…anywhere but there…but I couldn’t.
I knew he felt horrible, I could see it in his eyes and hear it in his voice. I also knew if I left he would probably punch the wall, get in the truck and drive recklessly to a liquor store, and go ride his quad in the dark while drunk out of his mind. I was even worried he might do something worse and commit suicide. I’m not sure why I was more worried about him than I was with myself, or maybe I knew that either of us going anywhere at that point was a bad idea…but after about 10 minutes of awkward silence in the living room, I told him I was going to watch TV in bed and I wanted him to come with me. He seemed a bit surprised but got up and followed me to the bedroom.
We both got under the covers, and I told him I wanted to watch something funny, so we went on youtube and started watching videos of skateboarder fails. After a few minutes we were both distracted and even laughing a bit, or making jokes, and both of our moods had improved considerably. We probably watched random youtube videos for about an hour, and eventually I reached out and put my hand on his arm. I’m not sure why, I just needed the contact and I needed him to know that I didn’t completely hate him…even though it still felt pretty close at that time. We eventually curled up and he fell asleep quickly, as usual…but me…as tired as I was I laid there for about 2 hours with my mind going nuts before I got up and went to the living room to watch tv in an attempt to distract my once again suicidal mind.
A friend of ours ended up messaging me on Facebook, and I told him what happened…and I spent most of that night I guess mentally preparing for the fact that I was going to leave my boyfriend. I figured after he went to work in the morning, I’d ask my sister to help me move my most important things and crash in their spare bedroom for a while. I was about 75% set on this plan until right after he left for work…and suddenly I got into this weird mode, I thought, if I’m going to leave him I might as well clean up the house a bit. Then I thought, he probably isn’t going to eat if he realizes I’m gone…so I could at least put something in the crock pot for him when he gets home from work. I felt tortured for about half of the next day, torn between leaving and staying.
All that night I’d thought about betrayed I felt and that my trust was completely broken, I felt suicidal for most of it and honestly just wanted to run away. But my mind kept going back to him. I kept worrying that he would do something stupid, not eat properly and get sick, stop going to work, all sorts of things. And honestly…the thought of not being with him also terrified me completely, as upset and hurt as I was. I’ve known for a long time that this is the man I want to spend the rest of my life with, and while the fact that he cheated on me was really upsetting and horrible, I knew I still wanted him in my future and I wanted to be in his future. So I decided I’d try to make things work, and started looking up articles on how to work things out after someone’s cheated on you, and I looked at articles and blogs on how people went to couples therapy, and all sorts of things. By the time he got home from work I felt a bit more positive about things, though still incredibly upset.
The next few days I actually spent at my sisters babysitting, it was an arrangement made over a month before..and I figured the few days away would be good for both of us. We both told each other we still wanted to stay together, but I still felt horrible while I was at my sisters. I love watching my nephew but I felt like I had way too much time to think, and my brain kept going into really bad places I didn’t want it to go. I had a hard time not breaking out into tears in front of my nephew multiple times for the next two days. But, those 2 days apart were good, it gave me some time to work out a few things in my head, and more importantly…to calm down my crazy rush of emotions. During that time I wrote him a long e-mail, because I felt like he didn’t really understand how upset and hurt I was, and what was going on in my head. I felt like he needed to know what it was really like for me. I also wrote something that I knew I’d have a hard time saying in person.
That while I did want to stay together, I wouldn’t do it if he didn’t try to get some help. By help I meant trying to talk to a therapist or counselor, or something. It didn’t have to be right away, as the wait in our city to talk to anyone is outrageous, but I wrote that I felt it was very important that he work on what he said the problem was, or I didn’t think I could stay. He said he wasn’t sure it would help, as he’d been to many therapists and such in the past for other issues and it didn’t help, but he would go and try. I felt a bit frustrated by his response, but I also understood where he was coming from. I’d also been to many therapists, counselors, etc, over the years and constantly felt like their advice was ridiculous or they’d just suggest the same thing over and over again even when I’d try my hardest and have it not work out. I told him that I understand, but wanted him to try talking to someone at least once and we’d go from there.
So…now it’s just over a month later and things are feeling a bit better. We have settled back into our normal routine for the most part and I feel like I am slowly able to trust him a bit more each day, though I still have far too many moments where I worry that something is still going on, or that I just have to cry for a few minutes randomly in my day. So far he hasn’t talked to anyone yet, but like I said earlier, I know it’s a long wait to get into see anyone in this city, especially this time of the year. In the meantime I am hoping that things work out, I already feel a bit better getting this all off my chest.