It was near Christmas and we had a rare night out planned with friends. I was searching the computer for my babysitter info sheet so I could get things set for the evening. I am usually pretty organized but I could not find it for anything! I started to randomly open folders in the hope that I would find the file and not have to retype the whole darn thing. As I searched, I found an unfamiliar folder and opened the first document.
It was a list. A list of names. I recognized a few as his past girlfriends. My name was on there. But then came more names - of both genders. And graphic descriptions of sexual activity. And locations - some in our own home. I was paralyzed and just stared at the screen. He was cheating on me with women and men. For the first time, I felt he was a stranger. I had no idea what was real and what was not. The world was swirling around me. I knew that I needed time to figure out what to do so I printed out the list and decided to wait until we were with our counselor to confront him. It felt like the best thing to do as I was unsure how he would react. I no longer felt safe.
Well, you know that phrase about best laid plans, right? Well, he found the list I had printed out. Guess I am not a good secret keeper. He knew I knew. But then he asked ME what it was, claiming he had never seen the list. He said a virus must have placed the document on our hard drive. Really? Did he think I was THAT stupid? Well I played dumb, because I did not want to go any further without a third party. I put on my brave face, went to dinner and no one ever suspected what was going on beneath the surface.
On Monday morning, we both woke up and got ready for work. He left before me. I took my son to daycare, called in sick to work and drove directly back home. I called a computer expert to do a scan of the hard drive to find any deleted documents, web pages, etc. I knew enough to know that just because you delete something doesn’t mean it is gone.
I needed support, so I called a good friend and asked her to come with me. Probably the hardest thing she had ever had to do. The computer expert started scanning and found too much - photos, messages, personal ads. My fears were validated. He had betrayed me and violated my trust in a manner that I never thought possible. I did not know this man. I had no idea what my future would hold but somehow I knew exactly what I needed to do. My emotions went on a back burner. I was in crisis management mode.
When he got off work, I called him on his cell. I told him that I knew. He played dumb. I told him I would not be home when he got there. He said he didn’t understand. I told him to stop playing games because I knew. He explained. He made excuses. He said he was a sex addict. He said he chose to be with men so that it wouldn't be like cheating on me. Seriously? He said none of it meant anything. He said he was sick. He said he did not want to lose me. It was not making sense, but I SO wanted to believe him. I loved him and did not want this to be happening.