Reality Check: The Instinct to Investigate

The desire for the truth. It has been the catalyst for countless stories of discovery throughout the ages. We have a natural desire within us to uncover, unearth and unveil and when it’s about something important to us, that desire can be too great to ignore.

Before finding out about my husbands infidelity, I hadn’t thought to conduct any investigation in terms of his affair, simply because I didn’t suspect a thing. The truth of his betrayal came very much out of the blue and when it was exposed, everything went on lock down in terms of his honesty and truth. My husband left me but in a bid for self preservation, refused to tell me anything at all and insisted nothing had happened between him and his work colleague.

I wanted to believe him, more than anything and I almost did! This would have been the easier, less painful thing to do but I couldn’t ignore the glaring neon signs, flashing with certainty that he had been unfaithful. There had been no indication of any problems or unhappiness in the marriage, so I would have been naive to not connect the message I found on his phone from another woman that night, to the fact that he was now throwing away our marriage.

When you are being denied the truth, especially about something as big as an affair, it can cause you to construct your own version of events. This can be a dangerous road to go down. Our imaginations naturally always venture to the worse case scenario. We can torture ourselves with our own imagination. We try and piece the puzzle together with only the fragments of information that we have been given (or have found) and when we step back we see a distorted, disjointed picture. This leaves our minds to fill in the blanks.

We can look for clues, for signs, a chance to catch them out and cajole them into being honest. The desire can become all consuming. The need for answers greets you in the morning and robs you of sleep at night.

I wasn’t finding any answers in the here and now, so I spent months revisiting the past. I summoned my precious memories of the love, affection and happiness we had shared and gazed at them through my new lens of suspicion. Had they been real? Was I being purposely distracted? Was he ever sincere? I began looking at old messages and emails for signs of unfaithfulness, for holes in his narrative. Everything became questionable, the answers were there somewhere and I needed desperately to find them.

The world I had existed in with my husband for all those years suddenly looked like a very different place to me. I stumbled and fell in the darkness, trying to find my way to the truth.

In the months that followed, there were so many occasions where I started to realise that the scent of the other woman was now on my husband’s life. He was still coming to the home now and again, which enabled me to pick up hints and clues that he was clearly with the person he denied being with.

This all fuelled me to learn the full truth, I deserved it. I would feel a rush of nervous adrenaline with every bit of snooping I did, not out of excitement but pure fear. I was so scared to learn something more that would hurt me and yet I was driven out of a compulsion to find the truth.

Having always avoided social media platforms in the past, I now found myself joining them in the hope that someone from my husbands work or friendship circles would contact me and confirm his infidelity. Not a peep. I would try and speak with my husband and trick him into coming clean about him having a relationship with her but he stuck to his story. At times after he had been in the home I even went through the rubbish searching for evidence and receipts that might hint at his current activities. I met so many dead ends and it felt like all the odds were stacked against me. I would find myself praying for God to unveil the truth to me and yet I was petrified of it.

When I did find things; a perfume he had bought for her, theatre tickets for two on a bank statement, those moments were like a deep visceral punch to the stomach. They literally took my breath away. Yet I felt a strange sense of relief. Relief of simply knowing because the not knowing was destroying me.

The harder I tried to find answers, the further things seemed to go ‘underground.’ When my husband felt I was getting too close to the answers, he simply created more inventive lies and took more care in covering up his behaviour. He became paranoid that I would record our occasional conversations about the end of the marriage and about his denied affair. I think this was very much all driven by his need to keep his reputation intact to those around us.

In time, I realised when I found a clue, no matter how small, it would send me into orbit. It would make me feel ill and drain me of so much energy that I actually felt worse. When I did find real hard evidence that an affair had been taking place all along, it ultimately took me to an even darker place. It was awful but necessary in order to come to some kind of understanding for what had caused the end of my marriage.

I also realised, that I was not only driven by the need for the truth regarding his affair but also by my need to still know what was going on in his life. I was so so desperate to be apart of him still. I had been cut off so quickly and being outside of his world felt cruel and unnatural after so many years together. He had already checked out but I was trying to hold on in my own covert way.

It was having such an unhealthy impact on me, this quest for knowledge, both in terms of the affair and his new life. I got to a point where I had to say to myself, enough is enough.

It was so hard but little by little, I started to stop looking. I still felt the compulsion to look but I really worked hard to reframe from trying to unearth, unveil and uncover. It took everything in me to do this. I realised the longer I held onto him in this way, the harder it was becoming to let go. I kept my eyes and ears open but I started to refocus the energy on myself and my wellbeing rather than focusing on his new, seedy life.

When I stopped actively seeking the truth, strangely, bit by bit, things started to be uncovered and started to fall into place. Sometimes the truth came looking for me with no effort at all, slowly revealing the relationship between my husband and his affair partner. This affirms my belief that what goes on in the darkness, often finds it’s way into light.

If you are in a situation where you need to find out the truth, it is such a natural thing to want to investigate. You deserve the truth and closure can come from this. But please remember, this is about you now.

Your energy and emotions are very important and need taking care of at this time. If the drive and impulse to investigate your partner and their behaviour feels like it is becoming unhealthy, you may need to pull the focus back onto yourself. You have every right to have answers but it should never come at the expense of your wellbeing.

You have to be your priority now.


4 thoughts on “Reality Check: The Instinct to Investigate

  1. dianemcdermott says:

    Your last line says it ALL. Have you read the book Psychopath Free by Jackson MacKenzie? The healing from such a relationship is not short or easy but it helps to know others have experienced it. Keep sharing your journey!

    Liked by 1 person

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