Because of my failure to maintain my sense of self-control longer than two days, I needed another way to keep tabs on him. Even though, eventually, despite the fact he knew I had his email, he would fail in that area over and over again. I’m convinced he wanted me to catch him, even if it was subconsciously. Nobody leaves that many windows open and doesn’t want to get caught.
So, I was wracking my brain trying to figure out what to do. And I don’t even know what made me think of it, but I decided I need to figure out a way to bug him, a way to record him when he thought he was alone. And I knew the only time he was alone was when he was in his truck. I had no idea how to accomplish this, so I headed to Amazon first, to do some research. I found out that you can buy very small electronic recorders, and on top of that, you can set them to record only when they hear sound. I went to Walmart. I obviously could not wait for even two-day shipping. Alas, Walmart had those very recorders, likely used in college classrooms and such. I bought one for the bargain price of 39.99. ( I would have paid anything)
I brought it home and read and re-read the directions. Then, I put it in my car and took my boys to practice, set to record when it heard sound. I could barely wait to get home to see how it worked. Imagine my most pleasant surprise when it picked up perfectly! Now, the hard part, where to hide it in his truck. I ended up hiding it in various different places over time, but the first time I hid it in his boots he kept in his truck for site visits. I snuck outside in the middle of the night and hid the recorder and got back in bed. Again, no sleeping.
Now, came the hard part…I had to wait all day for him to get home, and then likely all evening until he went to bed to retrieve the recorder. You know, how you think, there won’t be anything there. I know he didn’t talk to her. Yada yada yada. Wrong. Around midnight I went and got the recorder and hit rewind. After listening to the sweet voices of my children before school, and some of the radio, his phone rang. You think you know how you will react to something like this, but let me tell you that you don’t. I heard him talking to her, he told her her tits were nice. He told her he would love to go on vacation with her, but knew that could never happen and that it would happen he would go on vacation with us. My heart sank. And here I was in the middle of the night knowing I absolutely cannot blow this cover. And I also knew there was no way I could say nothing about this conversation.
So, I lied. I woke him up and told him that I wasn’t going to say anything and that he had “accidentally” three-wayed me into his phone call with her that day. And being clueless about technology and how his phone worked, he bought it. One would think that this would be lesson learned for him, but it wasn’t. Each time he made me believe it was all her fault and that he was done. But, then a couple months later, he was due to take a several day trip out of town with her and another co-worker. He was all out saying it was completely over and so was she. I didn’t believe them. So, I talked him into taking our car. I had to play nice. I had to act like I believed him. I had to do anything to make sure it was our car he took on the trip and make him believe I believed in him. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.
So, hid the recorder under the second row of seats in our SUV and hit record. I had no idea how long it would record with the batteries. It was a chance I had to take. I talked to him many times while he was away, acting normally. And I waited for him to come home. And even when he was home there was no way I was going to be able to retrieve it and listen to it immediately. It was a Saturday. And my brother was coming over. I finally got a short opportunity on my way to the grocery store. After weeding through all of the conversation when they all were in the car, I got to the part where just them were in the car. Minutes into that, I heard her talking to him about having sex on her couch. I started to hyperventilate. I really never believed that he would ever have intercourse with her. I came home and told my brother to take my kids to his house.
Maybe the trauma of it all has caused me to forget most of it, but the only thing I remember is telling him a complete lie about how I recorded him and convincing him by going to my laptop that I had deleted it. I couldn’t let him know how I was really recording him. And I made him call her. And I could tell by the way he said, she knows about the three times, that there were many more times.
I was devastated. And this is where the fighting and leaving and fighting and crying and leaving and staying all began for us. I would make him leave and for both of us, the kids compelled him back. My older son would tell him to fix it. My younger ones were broken-hearted. He would genuinely be back and somehow every time she would manage to lure him back into her web every time. I don’t even think he understood the manipulation that she was using to get him. And the cycle would start again and I would record him or read his email and catch them again.
Once I hid the recorder in a pocket of his briefcase that he never used. She was home waiting on a repairman and he was talking to her from his work phone.
This is the point where I started to watch the decline in who my husband was at his core. It was really the way I knew that he did love me and wasn’t going anywhere, and that he was cornered. He started opening up to me at this time. He was still seeing her on the sly, but he was looking for a way out. He started to confide in me about her. And I decided to listen. And it was hard. She had given him her ex-husband’s password to his FB account for him to be able to see her stuff without actually being her friend. He told me immediately and gave me the password. I tried it and it worked. He started telling me that he didn’t trust her, that she was too touchy-feely with everyone. He started saying that he didn’t know what was wrong with him, that this was not him.
And then he said this: I need you to trust me. I need you to have faith in me. He used the scene in Indiana Jones when you couldn’t see the bridge but you had to have faith and take the step to go across anyway. Don’t think that I just let him continue doing what he was doing. Now I know that he was still with her, but I also know that he was working on his escape. He told me after that she was putting a lot of pressure on him to leave me. She was becoming increasingly more demanding. Meanwhile, I was completely convinced that the affair was over. When I think back I realize that it was so believable because in his mind it was coming to an end, even if physically it had not.
These months were the hardest for us. Did I do what he asked and have faith and trust him…..not really. It’s hard to explain, because I knew he was staying, but I didn’t know at what cost. And every single day I had to remind myself that my children needed and deserved both parents. It was the only thing that kept me going. He showed no signs of her in his life. He was loving and we talked about how we would move forward. I could have recorded him again. I ended up giving him the recorder so that I wouldn’t. I couldn’t take any more of that. I was blindsided by her phone call. And I remembered our New Year’s resolutions weeks before where we committed to putting this all behind us for good…….
Although it isn’t for the faint of heart, and I’m not sure I would ever do it again, I guess recording him told me what I needed to know.
And that opened up a huge new problem, why did I keep “catching” him and then really do nothing about it? I’ll touch on that in my next entry.