I am certainly not one to air my family’s problems publicly, but I was told that this might be good therapy for me to write and share my recent experience that my husband had an emotional affair.
Due to the nature of our business, my husband Jim, is away from home for months at a time working at an office that is out of state. I am a workaholic for my own company as well as care for our family to maintain a stable home life for all of us. While it has been difficult being apart for long periods of time, Jim and I were working towards a common goal for our future.
Well, Jim’s last visit home was a disaster for the two of us. One of our partners insisted on the company hiring a consultant several times to come in for lengthy periods to handle some outside projects. Sarah’s first visits to the company didn’t give me any cause for concern, however, this time was different. From the moment Jim got off the plane until the day that he left, she was emailing, texting, calling and Skyping all day long. He was never without his phone and even began taking it to the bathroom with him. Red Flag!
Jim had a doctor appointment, so I left my office early and went home to pick him up so we could be on our way. When I walk into the house, he meets me at the door is an unusually happy way. As I walk in, I see he is on the phone with Sarah laughing and giggling. This is the most active and lively Jim has been since he got home. Red Flag!
During a conversation one day, I told Jim that since I had the business under control and someone now that could manage it while I could be away for short periods of time and the kids were old enough to fend for themselves for awhile, I was thinking about visiting him every few weeks so we wouldn’t have to be apart for such long periods of time. Well…I didn’t receive the reaction I was expecting. Instead, he basically attacked me asking me why would I want to do that. Red Flag!
By now I’m very suspicious and, after his reaction about me visiting, feeling a bit down on myself. A couple of days later, it comes to a head, or so I thought. I confront Jim about his relationship with Sarah to which he says that they’re “just friends” and that he has never even been alone with her. Every time that they were together, it was always a group of people from the office.
This discussion went on into the next day, in which he begins crying and asking me to believe him that he has never been alone with her – at dinner, in his apartment or in her apartment (which are were the same building).
The stressful visit home is now over and I take him to the airport for him to head back to the office. But something just doesn’t seem right to me, so I take matters into my own hands. Since I was the one who set up the company email addresses, I had access to his business emails. So…I did something that really isn’t like me to do – I looked through Jim’s emails.
As I read the emails, from the time she was first hired in, it didn’t take him a week to begin making her feel at home within the company, which I found odd as she wasn’t considered an employee. After reading through their communications, while I didn’t pick up that they were having a sexual relationship, I could tell that there was more than “just friends” here and that many boundaries had been crossed. Each was to blame as one was encouraging to the other.
Jim would confide in her right after he and I would have Skype visits about both personal and business conversations. He couldn’t wait to turn around and share my ideas with her regardless of the time – day or night. He WAS spending time alone with her in her apartment. They were enjoying breakfasts, weekend brunches and dinners together.
Probably one of the things that hurt me the most was when I read the emails where he would call her the names that were the endearing names that he always reserved for me and the kids. Then I read the one that took my breath away. The one where he told her that she was the most amazing person that he had ever met – the kind that comes along only once in a lifetime. It felt like my heart left my body.
Then I find an email where they were sharing a secret about Jim’s smoking. He had quit but due to extreme stress began again while away which I was not aware of before viewing the emails. She knew that he was lying to me about his smoking. This was “their secret” which showed her that he had no problem lying to me.
He would be in a restaurant waiting for others to arrive and email her to tell her where he was and that he couldn’t wait to take her there when she was back in town. When he flew out of town on business meetings, she would ride along with him to the airport and then be there with the driver to pick him up. This is wrong on so many levels.
So…with his flight layovers going back, I had plenty of time to put together something to address all of this information. I made notes that I wanted to make sure that I addressed to him and felt the best way was to put distance between us. Then I confronted him with this while he was at the airline lounge. I asked Jim to get headphones so I wouldn’t be on speaker. Then I went through everything – that I had reason and accessed his office emails, read the correspondence between the two of them, which was highly inappropriate and crossed so many boundaries, in both business and in our relationship. I went on to address how as we are a growing company that people will come along and try to leach on so they can be part of our company. They won’t do the work and will try to create posh jobs that make themselves look important doing “busy” work.
I reminded him that this company is his and my creation and dream and no outsider is going to come in a screw around with it, and, that we were paying much too much money for someone to do nothing more than stroke his ego.
When he arrived at the airport where our new company is based, he contacted his driver and told him to make sure that he came alone to pick him up. Once he got back to the office that day still believing that I was wrong about the situation, he confronted her in front of the other employees about how no one else from the company invaded his time alone with his family yet she sent him hundreds of emails alone, not to mention all the phone calls, texts, and the need for Skype video and messages. He asked her why she had such a lack of disrespect for him and the company to do such a thing. Sarah didn’t apologize for the disturbance or the lack of disrespect.
Then Jim asked to see the work that Sarah was to have completed from the list he left for her to complete while he was away. Well…she had not completed nor had she even worked on on the list. She didn’t defend herself or even complete the work than she said she would finish, yet she felt entitled to the full month’s consulting fees. Jim knew that I was right about what was going on.
The next day, Sarah left without saying anything to anyone at the office.
Through all of this Jim contends that he did nothing wrong other than be “nice” to her. He saw nothing in having conversations where he confided our family’s personal information, hopes and dreams, and business information with someone. Jim isn’t ignorant, though he was amazingly stupid. He played and was played by someone looking to for a high paying job that required little less than stroking his ego.