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Thread: Advice about snooping and finding more than I bargained for

  1. #1
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    Advice about snooping and finding more than I bargained for

    Hi - I have never asked for advice online before so I appreciate any feedback. I can't ask friends or family.

    Long story short: suspected semi-serious stuff. Snooped. Found evidence of what I suspected and worse. Now sad, scared, and don't know what to do. See below for details.

    background: My husband and I have been together since we were 17 (so for 20 years). Married 6 years ago. All of my friends are married to his friends. No kids. Our families are very close. We have a good relationship on the surface with regular couple fights. We are best friends (or I thought) and have a lot of fun traveling and weekend activities with friends and family.

    Issue: I suspected him of doing steroids because he started hanging out with the steroid type group and started putting on a lot of muscle. I also saw some "steroid stuff" delivered to the house. I asked him about it and he denied it. I have noticed odd behavior and other things and I have been doing through depression for over a year because of my own issues plus feeling like our relationship is failing. He is obsessed with his appearance, phone and ignores me for games, chatting, and news articles. Our relationship has been trusting in general. He goes on trips w/ his friends, goes out, and I don't snoop or ask too many questions or care when he gets home. I trust him completely.

    About a month ago he left his computer on, which he never does. I was home and did the one thing I told myself I would never do - I opened his chat logs (since the computer is connected to his phone I guess). I feel horrible and if he had snooped on me I'd be livid. I was looking for evidence of steroids but found so much more.

    I found evidence of not only steroids but also cocaine use behind my back. I found evidence of lying to me constantly for the last 4 years (maybe more but I couldn't read back that far). Lies about drugs, steroids, strippers, strip clubs, and porn accounts online. Also I found evidence of lying about little things that don't really matter that much but still lies nonetheless (like where he was going one day and who he was going with). I didn't find absolute evidence of cheating but I found evidence that would lead any reasonable person to believe he had cheated. (for example when I wasn't going with him to wedding a friend of his said "well there's a girl going who I can hook you up with" and my husband replied "damn that's be sweet but other people (who I know) will tell". Other similar things to this which doesn't prove cheating but the nonchalant way he and his friends talk about it leads me to believe that hooking up with other girls is normal.

    I have been holding this in and sick to my stomach because I am afraid of how he will react when he finds out I snooped. He can get angry when he is being accused of things. I feel like I don't know him at all after reading this stuff and I feel like a fool. I have a job that keeps me very busy and know that some of this is because I have not paid attention to the signs. I have done the calculations and I don't see any way this is salvageable. I don't trust him and I don't think I ever can. The amount of lies and the length of time is too much for me.

    We are 37 and I feel like it may be best to end things now than to try to fix it just to end up here when we're older. They will blame me. I don't want to tell anyone what I found. What makes this hard is that he is the perfect husband on the surface. He is sweet to me, loving to my nephews and father, handsome, sexy, funny, and despite all of the above things - I know he loves me very much. Despite all of that I am numb and just want to be happy again. I want to end our marriage. It will hurt a lot of people.

    To complicate things we live in my house (one that I own with my dad as separate property) so I can't just pack up and leave. I would have to ask him to leave (and he has nowhere to go) or we would have to co-habitate for a while.

    Questions: Am I in the wrong for snooping and therefore have no ground to bring up the stuff I found? I know for sure he is going to gaslight me as he has done our whole relationship when I suspected something and the conversation will end up being about me snooping. How do I bring this up to him without walking into that trap? Am I being unreasonable in jumping right to wanting a divorce? I can't live a life where I have to make him do drug tests and keep tabs on him.

    I am sorry for the long post. I am really just looking for any advice because I am alone and sad and suffering. everything I've known for the past 20 years is a lie and my life that I've built is a lie and might be over and it is a sick loss that I feel and I don't know what to do. The other option is to pretend I never found this stuff and keep going as if nothing is wrong but I don't think that will be good for me. I have started seeing a therapist but she focuses on my mental health and helping me to avoid panic attacks, anxiety attacks and self harm.

    Thanks anyone who has advice. I know there are probably more details that are needed and am happy to add if anyone has questions.

    Cornucopia

  2. #2
    Forum Supporter ~Seraphim ~'s Avatar
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    Personally, I wouldn’t confront him with drug use he may be dangerous. I would pack up and leave . Between drug use and strippers and god knows what else it is over.

    Keep up with your therapist and enlist on your family to get you out . Make a get out plan with your therapist. Tell them everything and getting out is your immediate goal.

  3. #3
    Gold Member Gary Snyder's Avatar
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    Your relationship is not necessarily a lie, he may have some more recent issues. It sounds like you have been married a long time and have a good foundation. You obviously have some issues to address, however - his drug use, his control freak attitude.

    It's unclear to me that he is cheating? It sounds like his friend was talking about hooking up with a girl, not him? It just sounds like locker room talk to me. Maybe you can rephrase that.

    You can talk about it or go to counseling if you wan to fix it - if he'll go.

    If that does not work you could try tough love. Cut off sex and when he asks, What's wrong?", then he'll be ready to really listen to you and change.

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    Thank you for the advice. You have a point but it's hard since it is my house. I would have said he'd never be dangerous but apparently I don't know what I think I know. Appreciate our thoughts. I am still considering this option.

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    Platinum Member LC8328's Avatar
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    I actually agree with Gary that the cheating aspect isn't necessarily proven. I mean sure he said some douche-y things but in the end he said no to the date, right?

    Seraphim has some valid points too which is why...I know you won't appreciate this but we have to circle back to the snooping. I mean honestly it makes you wonder that had you never snooped, would you know about this side of him? With that said...stumbling on information whilst snooping puts you into a tough situation because everything you find, you do so out of context. Would it be different if he came up to you one day and said "honey I have to talk to you and it isn't easy but..." and get into the steroids etc. I mean yeah I'm sure most of us, me included, would conclude that he never would have told you on his own BUT we don't know that for a fact. Which is why it's so important to at least give him the decency of discussing it with him first. Otherwise it's unfair to him for you to just up and leave.

    I'm not saying he's right of course. I'm sure it hurt a LOT to see that whole side of him. But if you don't give him a chance to discuss this with you, that would be wrong imo. Sure he'll be mad that you snooped but you have known this man for so long and your families are so close...you will have to just plow right through it. Rip off the band aid and own up to the snooping. That may be an issue yes, but the drugs are also an issue, an issue that could kill him. You are married to him and in my (probably unpopular) opinion...you need to discuss, air it out.

    I view the porn as a separate issue. Strippers, ok, not the way I'd want my husband to spend his time...but again that doesn't guarantee cheating. I guess a lot of this would depend on what you think is acceptable and what you two have discussed about such things over the years. Everyone has different boundaries.

    Again, unpopular vote...talk to him first and if he shows no signs of holding himself accountable or does not respect you and your feelings...at that point I would consider leaving. But this situation is complicated and your emotions about this may be on a roller coaster for a while. It might even be good to not make any final decisions until you've sorted through some things. Which is why going to a therapist on your own could benefit you greatly. I just think that if you two are really that close, to give it a shot in saving this marriage. But I'm not you and I'm not feeling the pain you're feeling. I wish you the best of luck.

    ~LC

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    Thanks *Gary Snyder* for your advice. I am not 100% clear that he is cheating. The quotes I found did sound like locker room talk but it sounded like the groom was offering my husband a girl to sleep with since I wouldn't be coming to the destination wedding. Another example was a different event I couldn't make because of a work and a friend saying "oh your wife's not coming? nice we're going to get so much strange!" and my husband replied "nice". Again - no solid evidence but looks pretty bad.

    I have been asking him to go to counseling for years but he refuses. Maybe this conversation could lead him to finally agree - if he is willing to accept. Thanks again for your advice. It is nice to get another perspective.

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    My opinion is that you are not wrong for snooping ‘cause you didn’t do it systematically. It’s still “bad” and you are going to be accused of if anyone finds out, but you show the opportunity and took it and found so much about the person that you thought you knew very well.

    I think that you have to share your worries about your relationship with him, but don’t tell him about snooping and steroids and cocaine and all this stuff. Act like you don’t know a thing.

    Tell him about the things that bothered you before finding about the steroids, cocaine, porn etc.

    Tell him, for example, that he cares more for his friends and spends more time, more quality time even, with them than you.

    I don’t find you unreasonable for wanting a divorce.

    If I were you, I would tell my therapist everything about the situation and also I’d find someone (a family member for instance) to help me get out of this marriage.

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    Thanks LC8328. Funny you bring it up because I constantly wish I simply hadn't snooped sometimes. Had he brought these things up to me w/out snooping - you're right - I would just talk it out with him. I suppose it is the lying that twists the knife. I so appreciate your taking the time to give me some thoughts - I have been spinning a bit and appreciate a grounded and thoughtful reply.

    I can be a pretty open and forgiving person when approached with things. The lying hurts. I didn't mention this but in his chats he constantly made jokes about how I have no idea and "Cornucopia has no idea LOL" and sort of joking with his friends about how little I realize what they're doing. I am the bigger bread winner in this relationship and sort of wonder if he is just keeping me around for convenience.

    It hit me what you said - give him the decency of discussing it with him. Given our history I suppose I owe him that much. Again. Thanks. This helps me tremendously - just talking it out a bit.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member LC8328's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by cornucopia
    Thanks LC8328. Funny you bring it up because I constantly wish I simply hadn't snooped sometimes. Had he brought these things up to me w/out snooping - you're right - I would just talk it out with him. I suppose it is the lying that twists the knife. I so appreciate your taking the time to give me some thoughts - I have been spinning a bit and appreciate a grounded and thoughtful reply.

    I can be a pretty open and forgiving person when approached with things. The lying hurts. I didn't mention this but in his chats he constantly made jokes about how I have no idea and "Cornucopia has no idea LOL" and sort of joking with his friends about how little I realize what they're doing. I am the bigger bread winner in this relationship and sort of wonder if he is just keeping me around for convenience.

    It hit me what you said - give him the decency of discussing it with him. Given our history I suppose I owe him that much. Again. Thanks. This helps me tremendously - just talking it out a bit.
    Well, that is hurtful, indeed. "Cornucopia has no idea LOL". Yeah that's not going to earn him any brownie points for sure. From the little that I know, I don't particularly appreciate his locker room talk as Gary put it, but then again I think of how I talk to my girlfriends. I don't say pervy things about men, but would I talk the same way if my husband was around? Honestly, I would probably dial it down a notch. I mean I don't pretend that I don't think any other person is attractive. But I think a lot of people are different with our friends so this is a gray area to me.

    You know...you can write down what you want to say to him. Even if it's a memo on your phone. I think you should jot this down: "I am the bigger bread winner in this relationship and sort of wonder if he is just keeping me around for convenience." And any time your head gets stuck on a thought like that, add it to your list. If you *do* decide to work on this marriage, these are topics that will have to be sorted out.

    Please keep us updated on how you're doing. *hugs*

  11. #10
    Gold Member Gary Snyder's Avatar
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    okay, so it sounds like lockeroom talk but looks bad. Cheating usually requires face-to-face kissing or more. Still, men looking at other women, including porn, feels like cheating to so many women, that in reality it is cheating. People and women cannot change their feelings.

    But forget about the cheating for now - you have enough other problems that put this marriage in jeopardy

    He won't go to counseling so all you have is communication or tough love options. Over the 17 or 20 years of marriage you have probably already talked enough.

    You mentioned the word "dangerous". That scares me. Yes, him being a control freak (narcissist) and doing cocaine and steroids does make him ripe to be dangerous. Most abusers start out as people with bad attitudes or crazy, and control freak is a mental issue - in layman's terms it's a form of crazy. Add the influence of drugs to the mix and it's a bad cocktail.

    Besides the tough love option of cutting off sex in order to "wake him up", and shock him into feeling what's it's like for you to be deprived in this marriage, another option is to leave him/your house. I don't care if it's your house, you can leave - saving the marriage, and especially your sanity, is more important than sleeping every night in your house. What price could you put on your happiness and sanity? You have to stay open minded.

    You could leave for an evening, a day or two, even weeks or months, depending on the situation - there is friends and family or motels you can stay at. I know these are huge steps, but other people have done it, you can too.

    (edited to fix typos)

    (excellent advice from Hollyj, Seraphim, itsallgrand and others today)

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