A most unusual phone call

Yesterday, at work, I was at my desk putting together a proposal for a customer when my phone rang. That’s fairly common for me in my line of work. However, this did not turn out to be a typical phone call from one of my customers/engineers.

The voice on the other end was a woman who asked me to confirm my name. So I introduced myself, and I asked her the same. There was something vaguely familiar about her surname, but it didn’t seem important at the time. Then she asked if Mrs. Fastenatingguy and I were related. So I said yes, and then as she started to continue the interrogation, I interrupted her and said “excuse me, but what is the point of your call?” She replied matter-of-factly that “my husband and your wife have been having an affair for the last ten months.”

I had to push the reset button–“would you repeat that?” She went on to explain that her husband was handling taxes for my mother-in-law’s estate (my wife being executor) and also for my wife’s home business. As she continued I realized that her surname did mean something–her husband and my wife dated in high school (over 35 years ago). When I started hearing her words again, she was going into details that seemed more than just coincidental. I let her continue to talk because I was dumbstruck. I was not completely “processing” all that she said, but in fact that was a line that she repeated two or three times: “before you do anything, you need to process this…”

I have commented here in the past that my wife and I have remained in a loveless marriage for the last fourteen years. We may live in the same house, but her heart turned to stone a long time ago, at least as far as her feelings for me. We still had our children (now 26 and 17) to raise, and so that was our common (only) bond. My hope was that our children, time, and God’s grace would heal the wounds. After a difficult transition to this new lifestyle, I just focused more on the Lord, and the Church, and our kids, and work. My wife stopped attending mass years ago and got angry with God when her mother got cancer and suffered. Our lives went in different directions. I supported our family (her) financially for many years while she started her own business.

Back to the phone call. I finally got around to saying “but how do you actually KNOW that they are having an affair? If he is doing the taxwork, the time spent certainly seems believable.” But then she said that she confronted him on this just before Thanksgiving, and that is when he confessed the whole thing to her and their daughters. Concerts, lunches, dinners etc over a dozen or so weekends (the guy lives in California). The business related activities may have been genuine back at the beginning, but not so much anymore.

So I am still trying to process this. I am ashamed that I do not feel more horrible than I do, both at her and with myself. This call came at 10:00 am and I continued to work effectively for the whole day, thinking of this situation only a bit. I was emotionally exhausted through several years of neglect, avoidance, silent treatment, and her disdain for me, etc. to the point where I am empty inside. I pray for my wife’s soul and for our children (who I presume don’t know, but I’m pretty clueless here, obviously). Fortunately, our Basilica had Exposition and Confession last night, and I was able to pray and contemplate. But still I have not fully processed this. Not sure what the next step should be in terms of confronting my wife and so on. Just talking/writing out loud. :confused:

May I ask for your prayers, and even some guidance or encouragement, especially as it relates to “processing” this. I had a brief discussion with my best friend an hour ago, but his cell phone was low, the battery died, and we won’t reconnect for a few hours or more. So I thought that it might be helpful to acknowledge this in some way–and CAF is an available forum in which I enjoy participating and interacting.



I’m sorry your wife has done this terrible thing to you and to the other mans wife. Other than that I can offer nothing except prayers. I was raised and spent most of my adult life in Protestant or secular circles where most people would have divorced long ago. In a few cases, where there was still affection, I have seen marriages survive affairs. But for a 14 year loveless marriage with an affair I got nuttin’.

Again, I am so sorry for the hurt this must have caused the mans family and the confusion it has caused you.

Praying for you.
So sorry your wife has chosen to hurt you. No one deserves this.

FG, I’m sorry. I’ve been there, finding out about cheating, although not in the same manner. I’ll be praying for you. Best advice I have is don’t rush into anything.

It sounds like you’ve been estranged for a long time. I’m sorry about this. Your wife is obviously lonely and there was no affection between the two of you, so this development can’t be surprising.

Too bad she had to involve another married person, but you don’t know much about his story or marriage. Usually there is blame all around in a marital breakdown.

for now its still just here say until you get hard proof or your wife confesses I wouldnt lose sleep over it

I’m sorry. I have no advice for you, but I will gladly add you to my prayers. God be with you.

I find it sad that you have had to distance yourself (and harden your heart) so much that you were able to work for a full day after a call like that…
And then to finally reach out to a friend and have his battery die! Double ouch!

I hope you connect with that trusted friend …on a land line :wink: I’m sure he feels like **** that his battery died in the middle of such a critical personal call!
I will keep you and your family in my prayers…

No expert here, but I guess I would have to talk to my wife if I were you. I would simply tell her of the phone call as you did here and tell her you would appreciate the truth. She may simply admit this is happening. However, we all know she could deny it, or that for some reason someone is trying to cause you trouble.

I would certainly want the truth, and if you feel there is a chance of it, then there is always the option of a Private Detective. (Reputable) If this is proved then of course there is a question of seeking an annulment and that requires your Priest, none of us can recommend here.

I will pray that you learn the truth and that God will provide all of you the grace and strength to deal with it fairly and maturely.

No advise, Just prayers. I’m sorry this has happened.

Praying for you

Right. You mentioned he lives in California while she lives with you in Illinois. Were there any prolonged trips that corresponded roughly to the alleged trysts? Have you talked to her yet?

Everyone is so focused on this maybe relationship. But the real problem is that the OPs marriage has been dead for 14 yrs. :frowning:

I suppose some advice that never fails is to pray for guidance. I would talk to your wife, despite not loving each other any more hopefully you can both have enough respect for the marrage you once had to be honest with each other, as put by st Augustine " we all want to live happily, in the whole human race there is no one who does not assent to this. Some times the lord works in mysterious ways, a failed marrage is never ideal but the church annulled my first marrage and I now truly beleive I am married to the man God intended for me. There are also people who have been in a similar situation to you and once they reliesed it was really going to be the end of the marrage it truly sank in what they were loosing and they fell back in love and decided to recommit to their marrage, so what seems like ( and is) a terrible betrayal now may lead to better happier things for your future. Praying for you and wishing you all the best.

Thank you all for taking the time to respond. I truly appreciate all of your prayers and kindness.

I’d like to condense my responses here instead of individually, please understand.

Yes, there is plenty of blame/responsibility to go around, no exclusions.

I have not spoken with my wife yet, and haven’t quite figured all of that out just yet. I figure that I need to give this some serious thought for both the near and long term consequences.

My friend and I finally reconnected. We had a midnight breakfast last night and talked about this for a few hours. Unfortunately, he had a similar experience, and then went through a difficult divorce. But as he told me, it really hurt his two daughters, especially the younger who was 17 at the time (same as my son now). And it has been four years since, and their pain is still quite evident.

My wife travels for her business about one week every eight weeks. One of her recent trips was to California. According to the wife of this man, he has traveled to the midwest twelve times this year.

Yes, our marriage has been dead for 14 years. But I always had faith and hope that her heart would soften, especially if my behavior and actions were Catholic and Christian in all respects. However, she took a different approach. After about seven years I had lost most of that hope, but felt that keeping the family intact was essential to our marriage covenant. At this point it’s pretty obvious (even to me) that she has moved along entirely.

Thank you again, and remember us all in your prayers.



From what I know of divorce in my family and friends, one thing you want to do as soon as possible is to get copies of all financial statements, including those of your wife’s buisness and income and banks. This should be done discretly and quietly. Because if it ends in divorce, all financial records are important to make fair decisions. I’ve seen where people hide their money, stocks, and secret banks, and records. Once the divorce is in play, then info becomes very hard to come by. Of course I hope it dosen’t come to this.

May God bless and keep you. May God’s face shine on you. May God be kind to you and give you peace.

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