Friday, February 8, 2008

What do you do when you catch someone you love in a lie?

My husband lied to me - and badly - it was obvious he was lying as he stumbled around the lie and double talked. I was upset at the time as this lie involved an hour and a half long phone call he took in privacy from an ex girlfriend.

Here's how it went down - Wednesday night we are sitting in the living room watching TV when he suddenly answers his cell phone which he had set on vibrate and on his person (normally it's in ring mode and in his coat pocket) and he takes this call and goes out in the garage. As he leaves I look at him confused and say "who is it?" he says he'll tell me when he comes back in. Well 1 hour and 18 minutes to be exact later he comes back in.

I'm in tears because of this "private" conversation that he obviously doesn't want me to hear. And on his cell phone so I can't even eavesdrop on the other extension! (not that I would ever do that - just saying) He says it was a friend from the air force someone he was in Turkey with in 1985-86. Then he says it was a female friend - Diane. I'm no dummy and I've listened to him talk about his time in Turkey - Diane was his girlfriend so I say "you mean your ex-girlfriend Diane?" and he has the audacity to say "no this is a different Diane I never dated her" hello I'm really not that dumb lie #1. And the way it all went down it's obvious he was waiting for her call.

So I ask how she got his number and he says he called and left his number with her sister because she (Diane) had emailed him that day. I asked - how did she get your email? He says from another friend that he has kept in touch with over the years. I accept this as fact, UNTIL I ask - why did you call her sister? She emailed you but you have no contact information? Why didn't you just email her back. He says - I don't have her email address. WHAT?? This guy is a fucking MCSE Computer Nerd Extraordinare. He has to know that I'm not going to buy that and I say - really she emailed you and you don't have her email address? He fumbles around that it's her work email or somesuch nonesense lie #2. I let it go and go on to what on earth he could talk to her for that long about. Just catching up he says.

I let it go - but do some searching around later (next day) and find that he signed up for a account (yes I am the awful snooping wife who goes into his email to see what he's up to - but only when he is clearly lying to me) and that he searched for her there. So he clearly initiated this contact - but why? He was 19 years old the last time he saw this person - he's 41 now. I don't understand what is going through his head. I was miserable on Thursday over this thinking all kinds of crazy things. (Some history - we have had a very rough 7-8 months in our marriage, all the MS crap going on, stress of job changes, and him going through a serious depression where he acted in ways that had him about 2 minutes from living in a cardboard box downtown, he was so close to ruining it all it's not funny and I'm still shell shocked by it all where as he, in typical man fashion, thinks that since we did get it all out in the open and I didn't throw his ass out on the street that it's all over and ancient history while I recap these events in my mind every time he does anything out of the ordinary - but I digress)

So I came home from work yesterday having sobbed like a child in the car on the way home from the stress of pretending nothing was wrong all day so as to keep co-workers from knowing about my crazy dysfunctional marriage. I come in the house and don't speak to him, still not sure what I'm going to say. I feed the animals and start cooking dinner. He comes in the kitchen, he's happy, he's planning a trip to Florida for us for the end of March, he tells me I look nice, he is like the husband I had 3 years ago and I wonder what alien being has taken over his body. I'm cautious, I'm reserved, he senses it but keeps going. He eats what I make without comment, thanks me for dinner - again unusual behavior for the husband I've had for the past year or so but more like the Ohio hubby I had before the depression set in. We are later watching TV and he says something that is very sweet and complimentary and I ask him why he is being so nice - he says "because I love you".

All I can say is "really"? Cause he hasn't been saying that much for the past year and in fact the last time was several months ago if my memory serves me right. So I say "wow that something I haven't heard in a while". He continues being sweet, acting happy. Something very strange is going on.

So did this one conversation with ex-girlfriend trigger this sudden happiness? And he threw me so off with his sudden change in behavior that I never did bring up the lie I had totally caught him in or address the account. The thing is I wouldn't have cared that he wanted to get in touch with old friends - even an old girlfriend. If he had told me he found her and gave her his number and was hoping she'd call I'd have been okay with that. If she had called and he went in the other room (away from the TV) so he could hear better while he talked (but not out in the garage where I couldn't hear anything if I tried) I'd have left him alone. I had a call recently from a high school friend and we talked for 2 hours, that wouldn't bother me.

But he lied to me about how he got in touch with her, and he went to a place away from me so I couldn't hear his conversation. And that made me suspicious and catching him in his lies made me very hurt. And now I feel like I've stepped into a time machine and it's happy go lucky husband and I'm the bitter bitch that the past year has turned me into.

I don't know what I'm going to do about it all. Maybe I should just enjoy having him back?

Edited to add: He just left me a voice mail while I was out to lunch where he actually sang "I just called to say I love you." Am I on some kind of hidden camera show? LOL


verybadcat said...

I don't know. I guess what you should do depends on a few different things.

If you're liking the new happiness and the increased affection, and you truly aren't worried about anything funny going on with this ex girlfriend, then leave well enough alone, I think. (Except for continuing to follow his computer activities, because he brought that on himself!)

If you're still pissed about the past year, then maybe now is the time to talk about how you feel about all of that, and call him out on his strange behavior with the ex. A lot of times I wait to talk to WH about him being a dick (like he has been lately) until it passes, because if he's interested in being a dick, why try to have a thoughtful and productive conversation with him? Maybe he's feeling happy and well enough now to give you some answers you've needed for a long time, and maybe a much needed apology.

Maybe he's had doubts, and he's resolved them now. I know that the way I feel about WH right now, when things turn around for us (if they ever do), I will probably overwhelm him with affection and attention, being so grateful for some normality

Tricia said...

No I'm sure there is nothing funny going on with the ex. If I thought there was happiness be damned I'd take his ass through the wringer! LOL

It's not so much that I'm pissed about the past year as still hurt some by what happened. He did apologize for all of that which is why he thinks it's all ancient history now and doesn't realize when you are 2 seconds away from breaking someone's heart they don't recover over night like that. I forgave - forgetting is harder and so when stuff like this comes up I do jump right to the worst case scenario a lot faster than I would have a year ago.

I think your last paragraph is probably part of it. I think he woke up and realized that if he kept pushing me away that I'd just give up eventually and in fact I had started to give up and just let him pull away. All of a sudden he's laying it on thick because he realizes that he could actually lose me. That part happened before we got married and me pulling away is what brought him around and ended up with a proposal. I admit I have been purposely pulling back to see if I could make that happen again but it sure didn't feel like it was working until last night and now it's like someone threw a switch.

I'm not so worried about the lying - because he's so bad at it that he never pulls one over on me. But yes I will keep an eye on his internet usage and it's just arrogance on his part for not hiding any of that - or maybe trust? LOL

verybadcat said...

Well, the reunion site, without the ex call, is innocent enough.

I totally get what you mean about still being so hurt, and being able to forgive but not commit. WH thinks I should erect a fuckin' statue in his honor for going to work at Waffle House, so anytime I'm not just a fountain of love and joy he's just an instant asshole- just add discontent.

You did the right thing, though- pulling back always seems to lure them back in.

Maxie said...

I don't know what to say- there are so many different possibilities. I say definitely keep following the thing. I just don't know why he would have lied about it; it's weird.

I'm not saying this is the right thing to do, but I would check his phone (if you get the chance) to see if he's been talking to her more often. It's just...weird.

But hopefully he's just trying to make an effort because he loves you. Why else would he plan a trip and everything.

Meghan said...

Wow, I'm sorry Tricia. I can imagine how you feel. My take is that he is going through a lot (and I know you know this only too well) that, in typical male fashion, makes him question his manhood, life, youth, accomplishments, etc. I think it's the root cause of the earlier situation this yer with the woman, as well as possibly making him think he should reconnect with a gf from his younger days. It all probably started out innocently enough on his part (, etc.), and is probably still innocent, but overall that place for a man to be in is a potentially dangerous one to a marriage. Well, and of course, even though I know you know it and have understanding for him, can't feel good when you already do and buy so much for him trying to keep him happy (or, at least, less depressed) at your own expense! And then, the danger in that is the old saying "we always bite the hand that feeds us", because deep down he knows how much you put yourself aside for his needs and feels guilty about it, and that's not where you want a man's head. I do hope the turnaround sticks and that he's genuinely realized how very good he has it! Try to stay aloof, and be more "selfish" in general too, I would say. Believe it or not, it might cause less resentment or his feeling he's someone you have to take care of while a different woman might look at him like the big man who can do for her instead (difficult to explain, but I'm sure you get what I mean). I'll be hoping V-Day brings a great romantic reconnection for you both! This is just a hard time for both of you, hang in there!

Jennifer McKenzie said...

Wow. I don't know. I'd be VERY pissed if my husband had an hour long conversation with his ex-wife without telling me or lying to me about it.
He says NOTHING nice about her, so why should I worry?
I think it's the fact he'd hide it. I mean, what does THAT mean. Men are weird though. I hate that "I said I'm sorry so it's all okay" attitude, but I've learned to let things go in my own time without taking my continued resentment out on him.
I have to say that you're a better woman than I am. I'd be in his face. In. His. Face.
But you know him best. With my husband, confrontation and honesty are best. It's tough, but that's what WE have to do.
In your case, you're probably handling it the best way.
You've definitely deepened my respect for you. Just Sayin'.

Tricia said...

Oh now if the conversation had been with his ex-wife that would have been a problem. He was married to her for 10 years. But this was an ex-girlfriend - someone he dated for just about a year when he was 18-19 years old.

The thing is he's been depressed and wallowing for awhile, and he seemed to snap out of it after he talked to her. I'm afraid that me going off on his ass about the lie would make him revert back to that depressed place he'd been in for some time.

Since he's happy again and it seems to be sticking (4 days now) I don't want to risk it to argue about a stupid lie. I did come home from work Thursday ready to do battle but then I was met with happy hubby and I just couldn't.