After hubby’s affair, it started. The need to check his phone. The need to read through every message to make sure that there wasn’t anything shady going on. It was part of the transparency that we had to have with each other in order to re-establish trust. But what started out as transparency turned into an obsession. I was reading every message in every platform. Emails, texts, snaps, DMs. It didn’t matter, I was reading them all. I was asking questions and trying to figure out if messages that he didn’t want me seeing were being deleted. I was trying to figure out if what I was seeing made sense or not.
It became unhealthy. I was logging into his accounts. Sometimes multiple times a day. I wanted to find something. I wanted to have this “I gotcha” moment. It never came. This behavior of mine lasted for years. I was checking on him for years. Years. (I don’t know why he put up with it. I don’t know why he didn’t ask me to stop.)
Then one day I decided that I had to stop. I had to either trust him or not. I had to either be okay with not looking at his phone or I needed to not be with him. The decision was easy, but putting it into practice…well that was a whole other thing. Every time I heard his phone make a noise or vibrate, I wondered who it was and what they wanted. I struggled with not looking, but slowly the want disappeared. I stopped asking who it was every single time and just asked occasionally when the timing was weird (late at night or during the dinner hour). I stopped feeling the compulsive need to know what was happening on the other side. I became okay with it. I became okay with knowing that I could, but not feeling like I wanted to or had to.
Slowly days and months passed and it turned into years. And then I fucked it all up. He left his tablet at home the other day. It doesn’t get his messages or his emails, but it is connected to his social media DMs. I picked it up and I looked. I looked at the names. I read the messages between him and some people. I looked at the photos that were there.
What the fuck did I do?
I didn’t find anything that I didn’t know. There wasn’t anything that made me question the last few years. There wasn’t anything that told me he was hiding anything or lying to me.
All there was was a big wave of guilt and sadness. I failed. I gave in. I let myself overthink so much that I jumped into the rabbit hole with both feet. And despite the guilt and sadness…I wanted to keep going. I wanted to keep looking and keep reading.
I told hubby. He wasn’t mad. He told me that I have permission to go through his phone at any time of any day. He told me to stop being hard on myself and realize that it’s not a big deal. But to me, it is a big deal. I took years worth of trust that I had built and threw it away.
I can’t even tell you why I did it. I didn’t have any unnerving feelings of anything being “off”. I didn’t hear a new name from him in our conversations. I didn’t have a reason to compulsively jump back into old habits.
What scares me is that I did it again. Once the initial wave of guilt and sadness passed, there was a feeling that I remember all too well… I wanted to catch him in something.
Well fuck. Guess I know what I’ll be talking about in therapy this week.
One thought on “i caved”
Hypervigilance. The emotional trauma you went through years ago has left you with a new characteristic. It’s not bad. It’s likely not a welcome feeling. It’s part of who you are now. Try to be gentle on yourself. Triggers will always pop up. You have every right to feel…how you respond to triggers today may or may not make them easier as they happen again. You were triggered, the vigilance came out. You shared with hubby, he didn’t explode. To me, this is an indication that there has been positive growth with both of you. It’s quite ok to fall into the rabbit hole. What you do in the hole is also an indicator of your growth and healing. Be easy on yourself. You are human. Totally loveable.
And, it’s one more reason to keep your therapist in business 😆 and for you to blog. 💜💜
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