(NOTE to clarify: After D-Day #3, my H agreed to tell me when/if he ever received any contact from OW via snailmail, email or voicemail. Then he said he would let me delete or erase it or burn it with him. After his third strike, I wanted to give him ways to prove he was trustworthy and I ignorantly thought that his passing these tests would help me build my trust in him.)
"DEAR OW, I pretended I WAS YOU to test my WH via VOICE mail, E mail and SNAIL mail AND GUESS WHAT???????"
He PASSED 3 out of 4 TESTS. (And the one he ‘failed’ was only because I didn’t set it up right.)
TEST #1: At first I freaked when I got a call at work from a number I did not know with your area code from across the country. It was from a fledgling actor who, after discussing the business at hand, agreed ‘to play a practical joke’ by calling my WH to leave a “just saying ‘Hi’ from a friend” voice mail. I wanted to see if he would tell me about it before erasing it.
TEST #2: I set up a fake email account similar to yours and sent him a “Please pray for me” message to see if he would tell me about it before deleting it.
TEST #3: I put a 2007 pocket calendar in one of your envelopes (w/obscured postmark) from a love letter you sent him (yeah, he gave them all to me). I also included a stamped envelope addressed to my office in case he refused it and tried to return it to you after I dropped it off at his part-time job.
TEST #4: Actually, a family member set up this test inadvertently over a year ago…… before you decided to respond to his “let’s be friends since we can talk so easily we must be soul mates” messages and ended up having multiple phone fornication (and email sex) sessions, and pledging your lives to each other as soon as he left me and you could get rid of your husband who you claim is morbidly obese, has health issues and does not meet your sexual needs.
PASSIVE/AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIORS we never realized we had until the week before Test #4
My husband and I are now learning from our new/old MC that our passive/aggressive behaviors played a huge part in the detachment of our 32 year marriage that contributed to his affair with you. And, just like a glutton about to binge one last time before having gastric surgery, I will not hold back if my passive/aggressive voice tells you about the 4th test.
Over a year ago, I agreed to help a family member after surgery 400 miles away. I had no idea it would be scheduled 4 months after the 4th Devastation Day of my husband’s affair with you. You may dispute that date (just like you dispute that it was an “affair” because you did not physically fornicate), but D-Day #3 occurred when you were on vacation 6 months ago.
During the following weeks, I tried to be your friend, just like I did after D-Day #1 when you wanted to apologize to me personally after my husband called to tell you he’d been caught. The day after D-Day #1, you promised to do anything to help us recover our marriage, BUT you willingly answered his secret new email account, betraying me within 24 hours of that pledge. I should have known then what liars you both were, but I tried to exercise good Christian forgiveness and you both rewarded me with 6 more weeks of secret exchanges. (The MC we saw at that time said we should just ‘trust God’ that you would confess to your husband or that he would confront you, and that neither of us should contact you for any reason. That MC knew nothing about withdrawal or WW fog.)
I EVEN TESTED YOU TO TRY TO REBUILD MY TRUST IN MY WH
During late August after D-Day #3, when I was still trying to get you to say you would #1) refuse to reconnect with my H and #2) tell me about it if he tried again, I pretended to be my husband and used one of the secret accounts he set up ----yeah, he gave me all the passwords----to send you a fake email. While I was glad you said “No, do you know how much this would hurt Ace?” you only passed the first part of the test. I waited 3 hours and you never did inform me of that fake message like I had begged you to do after D-Day #1 but I let it go.
I believe I know why you would not promise to tell me if/when my husband tried to reconnect with you. You were probably still holding out hope that he would still follow through with your mutual pledges to look each other up when your husband and I were out of the picture. You thought I was trying to be his mother by spying on his every move and trying to hold him accountable. And before Test #4 as well as today, you still may be secretly hoping I fail.
I GAVE UP FAKE TESTS, REALIZING HOW COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE THEY WERE BY FOCUSING ON YOU, NOT MY HUSBAND
Actually, I "failed" and let go on Nov. 10, D-Day #4, when my husband lied about playing those same online games, trying to see if he could resist you if you were online, too. It was the night before our vacation. I agreed that he should go away....to live in his truck or wherever...but when he turned at the door and begged for another chance, I gave in. We used the next 10 days together 24/7 as a one-last-chance to prove to me that he wanted to change. We actually had the best time in our marriage up to that point and it’s only gotten better since then.
But as we’ve learned from the MB program, (which I told you about when I enclosed a copy of His Needs, Her Needs with my husband’s handwritten NC letter), the fear returns in the form of triggers, painful reminders of your illicit exchanges ‘triggered’ by some associated item or memory.
A 4 WEEK TEST OF A 400 MILE SEPARATION 4 MONTHS AFTER D-DAY #4
I followed through with my pledge to be gone 4 weeks (which ended up being 5 weeks away from my job), trusting that faith in God for our marriage was real or it wasn’t.
Was it difficult? Hardest thing I’ve ever done. The area was so remote that I had no cell phone, no voice mail, one channel TV and very limited on-line access (dial-up when it worked). One of my biggest fears was that if I could not get online, and if you were lurking and noticed that I disappeared from this forum, it might possibly signal that I was gone so that you might try to reconnect with my husband or respond if he secretly tried to contact you.
Was I paranoid? Yup! Did I trigger often? Every time I went into his voice mail, just like he allowed my calls to do when he was on the phone with you and many other times.
Was it worth it? Yes, for the family member and for the growth of my relationship with my husband who drove the 800 miles to visit me every weekend. He also began telling me in advance (on the land line with no voice mail) why/when he would not be available on his cell phone. We continued our nightly reading HNHN, Bible study and prayer times the entire 4 weeks via land line. And we even conducted our weekly marriage counseling sessions via speaker phone.
WE BOTH ARE NOW PASSING OUR TEST OF RECOVERING OUR MARRIAGE
My husband has apparently become indifferent towards you and I am approaching that same status. In fact, he expected me to trigger yesterday (a year after you reconnected after he first tried to break off your affair after 3 weeks according to your emails) but I didn’t remember an unrelated incident until he showed concern.
And he has become my MR. ROMANCE, buying me flowers, setting up dates and spending ALL of his leisure time with me, telling me he’ll do anything to help me heal and following through for the past 6 months.
In closing, there’s a thread on these forums about bashing the OP (other person). My H wanted to bash you when I tried to be your friend. He called you a worse liar than him because you were/are still in denial and he figured you might be already cheating with another guy.
I've learned from these boards that if I wanted to, the best way to bash you might be to focus all energies on our relationship, not you or the triggers you represent. If our marriage recovery (and apparent discovery of an even better relationship) constitutes ‘bashing the OP’, then I am guilty, too. But I’m also thankful that you are now becoming a ‘nothing’ in our lives.
Only God can convict you but you will have to choose to denounce your denial, repent, and get right with your husband, with your family and with God.