Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Private Investigator Extraordinaire

When your world is crumbling all around you, you will do almost anything to find out what’s truly going on. When you know there is something not right in your marriage, but you can’t do anything to prove it, every part of you will do your best to gather as many clues as you can to figure out what's going on. The moment I felt that my marriage was walking a tightrope, every sway or bump sent me into hyper-investigative mode.

It started off by finding the smallest of things. I would check his phone and his computer daily. I would always notice that on the computer there was missing history. He would be on from 8:30pm - 1am, but the hours between 10 and 12 were missing.  Things stated getting more sticky when I  uncovered some things with her original AIM screen name on it, knowing that I had never spoken to her on AIM. I tried to confront him about it, but he always had an amazing story that left me speechless. His stories always seemed to be so real! He got wise after that one though, and realized that the safest way to speak to Lauren without getting caught was to make an email account that they could both log into.

Shortly after this I was trying to log into my own email account and noticed a list of possible gmail accounts that were recently entered (you know that feature on a computer that remembers what you have already entered?) and a name similar to her AIM screen name popped up. This was beyond fishy, because the only time she had been in my house was when I invited her over with a bunch a friends to play games and at NO time was she on my computer. But again... Jesse convinced me it was nothing.

I know, I know... I know what you are thinking. Stupid girl, there have been so many signs and you fell for it again! I KNOW!  But listen, when you love someone so much, you desperately want to believe he or she is being honest and telling you the truth. He had gotten so good at manipulating and was so convincing in his explanations that I was sucked right back into all his lies. Trust me … I was kicking myself later.  I look back now and think to myself "what was I thinking?!?" and I feel so crazy, insane, and completely brain-dead!
The next logical place for me to start digging was the place we all worked. You would also think that with us all working together I would know a little more about what he was doing and how they interacted together.  Not I. Other co-workers knew more than I did and not one of them would talk.  They also were both VERY good at sneaking around by now and keeping they're dirty little secret. This doesn’t mean I was completely blind to the fact that every time I walked into the showroom Lauren would turn away and never look me in the eyes. Though that was a small thing to catch onto that was a huge hit to my "wife radar."

Another big thing that I did was ask questions.  Unfortunately, I never asked the right one and now looking back I would have asked A LOT more questions. Not necessarily to Jesse, but the people around us and in our lives at the time. I would have asked more questions at work, asking co-workers if they noticed weird things while the two of them were together. Because in hindsight there were plenty of indications such as a co-worker seeing something overtly inappropriate on the surveillance camera early in the morning before anyone had gotten into work that day or the fact that my dear friend Kasey noticed them chatting at her car after work and instead of driving home for dinner she watched him drive in the same direction as Lauren, the opposite direction of our home. Looking back she told me she wished she said something to me, but at the time she tried to convince herself it was nothing and didn’t want to get me upset.

I also would have asked more questions to the family Lauren was living with at the time. Questions like, “Does Lauren go out a lot by herself?”, or “Do you know who she is hanging out with?” After everything came out they too told me that they noticed that she was going off a lot by herself and that in itself seemed fishy largely because she was so new to the area; but just like Kasey, they wanted to believe that it was insignificant.

You might be thinking that if I had all these questions why didn’t I ask them? You need to understand that I felt completely crazy and at times I feared that it might all just be in my head. I didn’t want to start a fire where there weren’t any leaves to burn.  I didn't want to think that my husband would betray me like this.  I didn't want to think that Lauren would do this to the only girl who reached out to her when she got here.  I DIDN'T WANT TO BELIEVE IT.  So I convinced myself otherwise. 

God also played a huge part in my investigation. The week before this all came out I was driving home from the hospital because my friend had just had her baby girl.  As I approached the exit to her house I felt the Lord say, “GET OFF NOW AND GO TO HER HOUSE!” I swear,  I’ve never claimed to hear God in an audible voice but this was loud and clear! I prayed the entire way there, praying my heart wouldn’t be in pieces by the end of the night. I slowly drove into her development and looked for my husband’s car and my heart thumped out of my chest.My husband's car hard to miss because it’s a bright yellow Nissan. I didn’t see it... so I went home.

A week later, after everything came out I asked Jesse where he was that night.  I couldn't believe my ears when he told me he was with Lauren and not at his friend Gavin’s which he originally used as an excuse that night.  To this day I still have no idea what God was trying to tell me that night. Whether God wanted me to find out then or just make me more aware that Lauren was the “other woman,” I'll never know. I don’t know if I was too late or I just didn’t look hard enough, but I know that God was trying to tell me something. God was my partner through this whole thing and always had my back. This was a big reminder about how much the Father was helping me along the way and how much He wanted to be there for me.

The reason I'm bringing up all these little details is because there is always something we seem to miss when our hearts are so tied to the person hurting us.  If anyone can learn from my mistakes, that would be so comforting to me.  I made some big mistakes that I think let this go on longer than it needed to.  Even though we don't always want to see the truth, we have to suck it up and just get to the bottom of things even though our hearts might break from what we are about to find out.  I'm also trying to tell those that know of friends going through some tough times like this, to not just "let it go," or tell yourself what you saw was nothing... because most of the time it IS something.  I know that there are a handful of friends that told me that they wished they would have just spoken up when they felt something was wrong.  We all did it, we all wanted to believe.  I don't blame them in the slightest because at the time they were just trying to protect me and I probably would have done the same thing.  But I'm saying now... if you see it happening in your own life or your friends life, TELL THEM what you see.  It might stop something more from happening. 

I think, looking back, there would be a million things I would have done differently, but hindsight is always 20/20. At the time I thought I had uncovered a lot of things on my own, but then after finding out the truth of everything there were still so many more surprises. My biggest mistake was not checking the phone records. If I had checked those darn phone records I would have stopped this long before July came around. I know that it’s probably the first thing anyone would do in these circumstances, but I was SO SCARED of everything in my gut being true. I think I convinced myself not to go there, so I wouldn’t get hurt. I know that it doesn’t sound logical, but at the time... ignorance felt comforting. After all this investigating and as much as I didn’t want to know the truth, it was inevitable that my fears would soon be a reality.
Natalie Grant 

ALSO - Remember "Ask US Anything Friday" 


Rachel said...

It's so easy to say "I would've straight up confronted her and punched her in the face the moment I had my suspicions" but in reality, I would've done the same things you did. I ran from things because I didn't want to know the truth. Even though it was a different situation, I did the same thing, even though I knew it in my heart.

Jarod said...

"I know that it doesn’t sound logical, but at the time... ignorance felt comforting." I know exactly what you mean. Unfortunately it only delays the pain and certainly does nothing to prevent or lessen it. In fact, I think it may make it worse when the truth finally comes out. As you said, you want soooo badly to believe in the one you love ... that they couldn't be doing this to you. All I can say is "Thank God!" for His help, peace, strength, love, and even mercy both during and after an affair. It really is amazing to see the similarity in how both Satan and God worked in each of our situations. It just goes to show that the enemy uses the same tactics over and over and over ... and yet we still manage to fall for them! Thanks again for taking us all on this journey.

Shannon said...

It's so true that we become PI's. I knew something was off but had no idea what or with whom. But, one night, I had a feeling that I should get out of bed and check to see what he was doing. Well, he was texting the other chick at close to midnight and when I asked him who he was texting, he lied to me. Then, wouldn't let me near his phone. The next morning, I hacked into our AT&T account and saw that he had been texting someone RIGHT after I go to bed for months. And it wasn't who he said it was. I called the number and then everything became crystal clear. I'll never know if he physically cheated on me, but I know he did emotionally.

Unknown said...

We've all done the "Should have, Would have, Could have...But we didn't" a time or two before in our lives. Whether it be an affair or just a daily activity.

Of course you were protecting yourself. I have something to say towards being a friend that didn't say anything, but knew... better yet, maybe it's a question for you Lyryn.
Honestly, If someone would have came up to you in the early stages of this horrible gut feeling of this affair, would you have believe that person, or shunned away and be shamed of that person?

This is a question I fight with myself. Maybe not with an drawn out affair, but with much smaller issues. I know something, but don't want to be the one to start the fire where the leaves aren't there to burn.
My Mom has taught me many things, but one thing for sure, "The Truth always finds its way out."
That's the truth. No matter when or how... it comes out.

Once again, great post.
God is GOOD.

Anonymous said...

Lyr- Looking back I still can't see anything in my husband's situation. He let me see his phone, he didn't distance himself, he didn't treat or act me any differently NOTHING changed in our marriage, including our intimacy. He's affair was emotionally and physical but his work was more effected than our home life. He would leave work for hours at a time. His boss knew something was going on but had no idea what.

I even confronted my hub about the way SHE looked at him and the way she followed him around like a little sick puppy, IN FRONT OF ME, but when I confronted him and he denied it and called ME CRAZY. UGH Meanwhile, it was happening right in front of my eyes.

Since then everything has been brought to light and her husband actually confronted my husband about him texting her and contacting her a month of so before it came to light, some balls my husband had. They found different ways to communicate that couldn't be traced. The husband of the other women told me at a later time that he knew but didn't want to confront them b/c unless they were ready to quit it would only drive them closer together. true statement. GOD'S timing is PERFECT.

I ALWAYS SAW IT IN HER but everyone including myself keep saying "not him, he would never do that to you, now her I wouldn't trust her further than I can see her"

You never think it would happen and neither does the person having the affair.

Questions for friday-
how did you find out?
Did you ask questions? like all the details? I did and they are biting me in the butt now.

Megan Ashley said...

I never picked up on the little clues. I wish I would have, my husbands affair went on much longer than it should have, but could I have changed it if I had known earlier?!?!?

I didn't find out until she text him one day when he was home with me. He immediately said "I don't know who is texting me" My blood got hot and I called the number, he didn't think I would. When she answered, I thought my heart stopped. My whole world, my everything fell right out from under me and slipped through the cracks.

I still have a hard time with trust, and I am a work in progress, as is my marriage. How did you decide to sart trusting again? How long did it take?

I feel like sometimes the devil plants illusions in my head now even years after just to watch me jump and to try and tear my marriage apart all over again.

Anonymous said...

I have a question for you. When you confronted Jesse about the things you had found while playing PI, did he ever get angry and turn things around on you? What I mean by that is, did he ever get angry and start accusing you of not trusting him, invading his privacy, and/or telling you that you were wrong in going through his stuff?

Katie @ Loves of Life said...

You are a private investigator, you really are. You're GOOD. If I ever need investigating about anything, I know who to call ;)

LucieP said...

girl I am all about stalking ;) within legal limits of course!
I'm catching up on posts, wanting to hug you for your courage.
I hope this is as theraputic as it seems.

Alexa said...

Thank you for commenting on my blog! I just wanted to say that your posts are so amazing! I admire your strength to not give up and follow God through it all! Though I do not know you, you are an awesome woman and such a great role model!

Naturally Caffeinated Family said...

I'm just catching up, thank you for being so real and honest, you are so strong, and I believe you are going to help many and strengthen marriages!

Rachel said...

Question for Friday for Jesse

In the beginning when you started to pull away even before the actual affair, is there anything that she could have done to reach out to you? My husband is starting to pull away/detach emotionally and am concerned that he might be headed down that path.

More Than Words said...

Shortly after one of my best girlfriends got married, she told me of an "affair" she was having with a co-worker. Her husband (who was/is also my good friend) had a GUT feeling and would always question her, and even tried to get the information out of me. I never once told him because she promised me not to say anything. Nothing came out of it, but I wonder if she or even he (the husband) still thinks about that time. This was a long time ago, 1994!