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Should I chuck away his "secret" phone? (Long, sorry)

(17 Posts)
Bogeyface Wed 31-Aug-11 22:03:47

I actually know the answer to this but I think I need some hand holding while I do it.

I found out about his sexting affair (that would have been more had I not found out) because I found his secret phone that he bought home from work accidentally instead of leaving it at work like he had done before. So this meant that I saw all of the texts he sent and received and the dates, including our first wedding anniversary, Xmas, New Year, the date of our babys 20 week scan, valentines....... Nice huh?

As it stands we are not exactly together but not exactly apart. I had hoped that I would be able to deal with this myself, without outside help, I am a great believer in self help books! But I am failing and I have accepted that Relate is now the only option. The only reason I am still with him (well, with him-ish) is because of the baby and the other kids, that and the fact that he really does have nowhere to go. His family stopped speaking to him when he married me (its complicated but not our fault and he supported me over his family all the way down the line) and we dont have the money to fund another place even in the short term. I do have family but I couldnt ask them to put up me and the 5 kids indefinetely, and tbh I wouldnt want to live with my mother, as much as I love her! And because I love the man I thought I was married to and need to know that I tried.

I still have the secret phone and it has become something of an obsession. She was his ex and over the years we were together she would get in touch periodically with something very inappropriate, even when she knew we were together, engaged etc. Photos of herself, explicit messages and so on. He had always told me about it before so I never considered her a threat. Even when he sent her a message saying that he had showed me her photo and he didnt want her getting intouch again, she did and while he did mention it, he DIDNT mention the fact that they were sexting and arranging to meet up hmm. So I know that she will get in touch again. I dont know why she does it, a power trip maybe or for a laugh? Either way, I am now obsessively checking this phone daily to find out if today is the day that she tries it on again. Realistically I know it wont be for months, but every time I look at it I am reminded of the messages and sometimes I read them again and I am back where I was 2 months ago when I found out. And I am of course focussing on her when I should be focussing on him and why he went along with it. It is really harming my recovery.

I know I should just chuck it but I cant bear the thought that I dont know what she is doing. She only has the secret number, and possibly his old number, which I now have the sim for.

Why do I care so much? Why cant I let it go? It says in the "How can I ever trust you again" book that you shouldnt read the emails or texts and I totally agree. I am obsessed!

How do I get rid?

PS I should add before anyone asks, that I did grill him about whether this was the first time he had done this with her, or whether I just didnt find out before and he swears it was the first time. He actually said that the reason he told me she had texted him when their affair started was because he knew that it would mean I wasnt worried about it and wouldnt be suspicious. He is a crap liar and I do believe him on that, although not much else atm sad

Tortington Wed 31-Aug-11 22:11:45

he isn;t just cheating on you he is cheating on the kids too.

if they mean that little to him - fuck him off

if he has nowhere to go....he should have fucking thought about that

the phone is not your problem love

buzzsorekillington Wed 31-Aug-11 22:24:05

If you're determined to stick it out, then yes, you should probably throw out the phone. But maybe not yet, maybe you're not ready yet? You could put it somewhere safe so you stop checking it - or give it to a friend to hold onto until you're ready. Perhaps with counselling you'll find yourself able to move on and then can smash it symbolically or something?

oliviasmama Wed 31-Aug-11 22:25:07

Throw it away, it and he are consuming your life. Ask yourself honestly, do you really want to be with this man? I've heard everything you say but still IMO cant see how you can move forward with him. Whether you have the phone or not you cannot control the OW's behaviour and if she really wants to get intouch with him she will.

I left my ex when my DD was 2, he was a compulsive cheat and liar. I refused to let my daughter grown up in that environment and I wasn't prepared to have a relationship based on deceit. It's awful to feel the way you feel but there is a way out, you have to want the way out though.

FabbyChic Wed 31-Aug-11 22:33:41

Does he know you have it or has he gone out and bought a new one?

Bogeyface Thu 01-Sep-11 00:30:07

Yes he knows I have it, and yes he could buy another one.

I dont know that I want to go forward with him, but I do know that at the moment I would struggle to be alone, on a purely practical level. The baby was 5 weeks old when I found out, she is 13 weeks old today and life is hard work as it is without going through a full on split.

I need counselling to help me see what I really want to do, I am waiting for a call back from Relate. But my issue at the moment is this damned phone. I want to get rid because I am sure that I will think alot clearer when I am not obsessing about it, but I just cant seem to let it go.

TheDreamWeaver Thu 01-Sep-11 00:40:12

I really sympathise with you, OP, you must be going through hell, but you have your head screwed on and are thinking straight, and getting a lot of help from your books.

I think if you'd dumped the man it would be easy to dump the phone and walk away from the whole thing, but I don't think it will do you any good to keep going over the betrayal in black and white.

I really feel for you, and FWIW I wouldn't be able to let go of the phone either. Not yet, anyway.

I think buzzsore gave great advice.

"he knew that it would mean I wasnt worried about it and wouldnt be suspicious" I think this is something VERY difficult to get over, the way he played you like that. Sometimes the less you know, the better, IYSWIM?

I hope you can get through this in whatever way you choose.

solidgoldbrass Thu 01-Sep-11 00:47:26

You've got to clarify whether you are with him or not. Either you are a couple in a monogamous relationship, in which case you should ask him to stop contacting his ex and tell him that if he does it again, he's dumped, or you are living together as co-parents, in which case it's none of your business who he sees/texts/has sex with. Unfortunately at the moment it sounds like you are living in a kind of blurred desperation and hope that he will commit to you exclusively, while he thinks that he can do what he likes and you will put up with it because you are desperate to keep him.

Bogeyface Thu 01-Sep-11 02:33:55

thedreamweaver That is a huge issue for me too, the fact that he took what he knew about how I felt about her being in touch, and then used it against me shows a level of duplicity that I didnt know he was capable of. It has shown a side of him that I never knew existed, but then I suppose cheating always does that doesnt it?
Thank you for making me feel better about my obsession! On the one hand I dont feel I can let go but on the other I feel that it is holding me back. All the time I have that phone I am focussing on this couple that are having an affair, as if they arent real. What I should be doing is focussing on me and how I feel and how I want to move on. And also I should be focussing on the real him that I am married to and live with, not this stranger that I dont know that wrote those messages. I really do feel I need to ditch it because I think that the longer I have the phone, the harder it will be to get rid of it. And lets not forget that when she does get in touch I will want to reply! I know me, I wont be able to let it go without comment and why the hell should she get that satisfaction? It would be better if she was to receive no reply at all wouldnt it?

SGB, I can see what you mean. But if anything it is him living in desperation and me playing silly buggers.
At the moment I feel that we are in that limbo that comes after a betrayal such as this in that he desperately wants us to work and I havent made my mind up yet. He is the one wondering if he is a husband or a housemate. I dont feel ready to make a final decision about us until I am confident that "us" is worth fighting for. Thats why I need the counselling. Am I here just because of the kids? If I am honest, no. I am still here because there is a tiny part of me that thinks (hopes?) that the man I thought he was is the real him and this was just a mistake. The reason I cant commit to our marriage at this stage is because I am frightened that the real him is the cunt-faced bastard that cheated.
And I have to admit to a certain amount of satisfaction that he is confused and worried, which makes me as bad as him I am sure.

Bogeyface Thu 01-Sep-11 02:48:30

I should say that he says that he isnt in touch with her and hasnt been since I found out. I dont know that its true, but as I said, he is a crap liar and I think he is telling the truth about that.

LaLaLaLayla Thu 01-Sep-11 03:51:22

The only reason I am still with him (well, with him-ish) is because of the baby and the other kids, that and the fact that he really does have nowhere to go.

These are not good enough reasons to stay with somebody who clearly doesn't love or respect you.

Catslikehats Thu 01-Sep-11 06:58:08

The phone really isn't your issue is it?

You appear to be blaming the OW for initiating contact, which somehow due to her persistance developed into an EA. You need to be realistic and accept that your husband played at least an equal part in your betrayal. If you are sure that she will contact him again, can you be sure he wont engage?

Chances are whilst you are obsessing over his old phone he has a new phone and a new number and is contacting her via that and all the time you maintain this "together - ish" situation he is justifying it to himself that "you're not together anyway".

Fefeffion Thu 01-Sep-11 07:54:25

Print them out and stick them in a phonebox along with her number - that should sort her out.

solidgoldbrass Thu 01-Sep-11 10:05:16

OK, so he had an affair and he's the 'baddie' in all this. But there comes a point when you have to decide either to stay in the relationship and forgive the partner or end it: having been cheated on does not justify endless punishment of the cheater.

Badtasteflump Thu 01-Sep-11 10:18:17

Really sorry for your situation Bogey sad

As some others have said, I don't think the phone is the issue. You could throw ten of them away and he could always have another one stashed somewhere, couldn't he?

The problem is that you are now 'stuck' (for all the reasons you've said) with someone you can't trust and who doesn't deserve you. I know it's easy to blame the OW, but he is the one who owed you loyalty and respect. When he received that first explicit text/pic, whatever, he should have deleted it and blocked her number, or at least told her in no uncertain terms to not call him again. But clearly he didn't do that.

I think counselling for you would be a good idea if that's what you want. But IMO you should go on your own and work out why you are so down on yourself that you will accept this toxic excuse for a relationship.

ShoutyHamster Thu 01-Sep-11 13:24:43

'Why do I care so much? Why cant I let it go? It says in the "How can I ever trust you again" book that you shouldnt read the emails or texts and I totally agree. I am obsessed!'

You care so much because you haven't done what you need to do, which is to cut out the rot from your life - HIM.

You haven't dealt with it, you haven't sorted it. He's betrayed you utterly - you're trying to find ways of making it ok -'he is great in other ways' - but that's never enough. He needs to be great at being a faithful, loyal partner, and he isn't. That's why you feel obsessed, anxious, controlling - you're still in the mess, and the only way to get out of it is to bin him, because this level of decit and generall shitness - sexting an ex, repeatedly? - will never, ever get sorted. He just ISN'T the man you thought he was - that's the bottom line- and he's never going to be.

Where he lives isn't your problem. She isn't your problem, sad as she sounds. Kick him out and get your peace of mind back!

lazarusb Thu 01-Sep-11 18:51:09

You are using the phone as a distraction (I understand why) because then it stops you from having to push him any harder. He is still living with you and your dcs and enjoying all the privileges that entails. He may have stopped contact for now but there's no guarantee that won't start again in the future as it did before. Does he have unresolved feelings about their time together/break-up?
You need to concentrate on you. Being on your own with 5 dcs, including a tiny baby, would be incredibly hard but maybe not as hard as you think it is. Get some counselling to sort your own head out first, then decide where to go from there.
What exactly is HE doing to fight to keep you in his life?

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