What would YOU have done?

United States
March 12, 2007 5:44am CST
There is an incident that occured several years ago between my husband and I and quite honestly I felt I handled the situtation very well. He obviously does NOT feel the same way as he keeps bringing it up in the middle of arguements, saying I don't trust him. Even though I have talked this over many times with my close friends who have even shared their views with him on the matter, he still maintains that I was unfair to him and showed him that I did not trust him at all. Am looking for insight and opinions that will hopefully help us to 'bury the hatchet' so to speak....please read on.... My husband and I married in 1999 after a very whirlwind romance that started in an online chat room. We connected in a way that I have to admit I hadn't ever in my life. To the marriage we brought children, each of us, from seperate relationships/marriages and of course, excess emotional baggage from those same previous relationships/marriages. It was a second marriage for both of us and we knew that a blended marriage was going to be rough at times. We knew what we were getting into. Our first year of marriage was rough in a lot of ways. Adjustments for the kids, new school for the oldest, one of the kids was hospitalized, job changes...if you have ever been in a sitution like, you know the stress factors it can have on each person and the marriage in general. However, we were (and still are) very much in love with each other and loved (and still love) our children and want the best life possible for them. My husband had changed jobs right before our first anniversary to a better paying job with insurance. Right after our first anniversary, he was working on training a guy to run a machine on evening shift (my husband ran the same machine during the day). It was overtime and I certainly was not in ANY way going to tell him 'NO honey, I do NOT want you to work overtime and bring that NASTY money home...' With training this guy, he usually made 10-20 hours of overtime each week, which was great financially for us. I worked from home running a home based daycare so his work schedule was not ever a problem. One particular afternoon, he hadn't told me that he was working overtime and he was usually home at 3pm when he didn't work over. When 3pm came and went, I just naturally thought he was working over, still training that guy. Well, my daycare kids had been picked up and my oldest had gotten off the bus and it was now well past his normal time of being home, even with training this guy. And I knew we had an appointment for one of the kids at 5pm so I thought I would call and see just what time he would be home so I knew whether to go ahead with the appointment without him or not. I called the office and asked if I could leave a message for my husband (as I knew it wasn't an emergency) though I did explain why I needed to talk to him. They were going to let me go ahead and talk to him and asked who my husband was--I told them and the receptionist told me to hold on. When she came back on the line, she said he didnt' answer the page, so that would mean he wasn't there. I figured he had already left and thanked her and hung up. He was only working across town so I figured that he was on his way home and shouldn't be much longer. I waited til a little bit after 5pm and when I didn't see nor hear anything out of him, I decided to call back. I talked to a different receptionist and I explained that I had called earlier and that my husband didn't answer the page which made me think he was on the way home and he wasn't here. She took his name and went to check through the plant and asked me to hold in the mean time. When she came back on the line, she told me that his time card said he was out at 2:34pm that afternoon. I asked if she was sure as he had been staying over training a guy to run the slitter (the machine). She asked me to hold on again while she checked with the second shift supervisor. When she came back on, she told me that the second shift supervisor had not seen him all evening. I thanked her and she said that she hoped everything was alright. After I hung up, my first instinct was to call the hospital and police. After calling both and not finding that my husband had been admitted and that there was no wrecks, I didn't know what to think but my imagination was going into overtime. Much as I wanted to be absolutely furious, I thought to myself, 'now how should I handle this?' and reacted differently. Knowing both my husband and I had had bad relationships and lots of emotional scars, I didn't want to make his wounds worse and I didn't want mine to make a mountain out of a molehill. Ok so what to do...so I decided to put the kids in the car and ride to his job. I wanted to see if his vehicle was there or not...maybe he had stayed after to talk to someone..maybe he had problems with the truck...I wanted to know that he was ok and safe and then I would deal with the rest later after I had cooled down. I felt I was AT LEAST due and explanation as to where he was since he had worried the crap out of me. So I drive to his job...took me all of 10-15 minutes as we were only a couple miles from his job. I pull into the parking lot and sure enough, there is his truck. His truck there but his time card says he left at 2:30pm????? ooooooo I am getting REALLY angry. So I decide to leave a note in his truck, simply stating, 'we need to talk as soon as you get home' and signed my name and left. The appointment we had was with an in-home therapist and she was waiting at the house for me as soon as I got back (right around 6pm). I briefly explained what was going on and she said that if he got home before she left, she would watch all the kids for a bit so he and I could go outside and talk. That would be a good idea...the kids did not need to hear this conversation at all. So about 6:15pm, he comes in the back door. I quietly told him we needed to go outside and talk. Though at the time I had no idea what I was going to say, I knew that I had to not let my imagination get the best of me and I knew that I couldn't make assumptions. So I just quite honestly asked him where he was and he said, 'Work...you know I have been training someone to run the machine that I do' and I stated that I had called his work and what had been told to me and that I would like an explanation as to where he was. He started getting defensive and said that I didnt' trust him. I told him that I was worried about where he was since his job said he wasn't there and I had no idea where he was. He told me that I should have come in the factory and found him if I doubted anything. And that all I had to do was look at this paycheck next week and it would show his overtime hours. I was told I didn't trust him and that if I loved him, I would doubt him at all. Well honestly I didnt' know what to say but I did know that I didn't want to argue. He did say that he was going to take it up with the office about what had been said. I tried to keep things as low key as possible. I didn't accuse at all. I just simply wanted to know what was going on. The next day he came home and explained to me that when he worked training this guy, he had to clock out on his day shift time card and clock back in on an evening shift card. He had even made a copy of the hours so he could prove to me that he was indeed there. He didn't need to do all of that however I told him that I apprceiated the effort he went through to bring this information to me. And I dropped it, right then and there. I didn't yell or call names or accuse. However to THIS day, he tells me that I DID accuse him by not trusting him. This is thrown in my face time and time again during an arguement. I felt I handled things well. I haven't EVER gone into a job of a boyfriend/fiance/husband unless it was a company party or some other event. What do you think? Did I handle things right? Should I have done something differently? Is my husband over-reacting? I would really like to hear opinions on this very sensitive (to us) matter.
2 people like this
10 responses
@foxyfire33 (10009)
• United States
12 Mar 07
Obviously I wasn't there to hear the tone in your voice or see your mannerisms during this discussion. I don't know all the little bits and pieces of the conversation you may have left out to save space but... I think you did the right thing. From the sounds of it, you weren't accusing him of doing anything other than maybe being inconsiderate and worrying you. You had know way of knowing about the time card procedure. It wasn't your fault they slightly misinformed you when you called. It's not like you met him in the driveway and started screaming that he was a lying, cheating bas***d. You TALKED in private, sharing your concerns and explaining why you were upset with him. He didn't need to get defensive, all he had to do was explain right then and there the time card issue. It was very nice of him to tell you the next day but I think the whole argument wouldn't have happened if he'd explained upfront instead of acting like you were accusing him of something he wasn't doing. I would assume that part of his "baggage" is a lack of trust, maybe deserved maybe not. If a woman before you accused him of lying or cheating, he's going to be more sensitive to anything you even question. His sensitivity might even be worse if she was right because he feels guilt for doing it then and loves you so much it scares him to think you would ever suspect him of doing the same to you. Even though I think you handled things right at the time based on what you knew then, I think if anything like this happens again you could handle it differently so the outcome is different. Next time he comes home late on a night you were expecting him on time don't panic. You can drive down just to make sure his vehicle is there but don't leave any evidence you were there. Whether it's there or not, when he does finally show up just tell him how glad you are he's home, you didn't know he was going to be late and you'd been so worried but didn't know what to do. Let him do the explaining. Then follow your gut instinct about his story.
1 person likes this
• United States
12 Mar 07
Thank you for your response. And quite honestly, I didn't even think about what his ex could have accused him of. I know that she was not a very nice person (have heard many many stories about her). I will take your advice if he is ever late again and forgets to call me or whatnot. Never thought of doing it that way before either. Makes perfect sense though to lead him into doing the talking and explaining. I, too, have trust issues, and have had to work hard on mine through our marriage. Its hard sometimes to not let the past cloud things. Thanks again for the advice :-)
@foxyfire33 (10009)
• United States
14 Mar 07
It is incredibly hard to let go of the past. I don't know how many times during an argument I've said to my s/o "I'm not her or her" because I can tell he's reacting from their wrong doings and assuming I've done the same. Of course it goes both ways too as there are things I have trouble letting go of too. It takes a lot of hard work but of course it's worth it.
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Mar 07
You are so right. The past haunts us no matter and sometimes its so hard to let go of and just go on. Even when you THINK you have moved on, something happens that is vaugly familiar and BOOM you get those old feelings again. Sometimes it really blindsides you too. No relationship is perfect and all relationships take a lot of work. But as you said, in the end its all worth it.
@Connie1013 (1098)
• United States
16 Mar 07
I think you did a great job. I don't know if I would have screamed but I might have. I probally would have gone into his work. The most important thing is that you trust him now. The past is the past and you can't do nothing about it.
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Mar 07
Thanks for the response. I was really afraid to go into his work. I didn't want to do anything to jepardize his job at all. Last year at the job he was working, a spouse came into a company picnic and outright accused her husband of sleeping with this VERY young gal. Made a complete fool of herself, her husband and the gal. I would not want to be one of THOSE type people...I will do my screaming at home LOL
• Philippines
15 Mar 07
Hi! its eye-opening for me to get a woman's point of view regarding things such as the one you related in your story. It makes a guy such as myself understand where my wife is coming from. I admit, at least in my case, that i tend to act defensively if i even detect a hint of mistrust on my wife's part especially when i was at work the whole time....although i tend not to show it and just keep it simmering inside. Again, the wonder of technology nowadays....the miracle of the cellphone, helps a lot in avoiding these kinds of situations! Thanks for sharing your story.
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Mar 07
Thank you for responding. Its nice to hear from guys too. Its especially nice to hear that you were able to understand a bit more about how a woman might feel.
• United States
14 Mar 07
Am I reading correctly that this happened five years ago? And he still won't let it drop? He is the one who is overreacting, not you. Sounds to me like he has a guilty conscience (maybe for a totally unrelated reason) and this really affected him because of something in his past. Maybe he just needs to hear what you wrote, that you were so worried you were considering calling the police and the hospital, that cheating had not even crossed your mind as a possibility, you were just worried about him. If that doesn't work he may need to see a counselor to deal with whatever is behind his holding on to an issue for that long. Sounds like you did a good job trying very hard not to jump to conclusions, talked with him calmly in private about how worried you were, and did not blame him for anything that didn't happen. Maybe he just felt really dumb for forgetting to call and is just saying it's a trust issue. Any sane woman would get freaked out if her husband is several hours late without calling, all sorts of horrible things could happen and how are you supposed to know? That's not a trust problem.
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Mar 07
Thank you so much for your response. And yes, you read right. This actually happened in late 2000. Every time I think we have addressed it and that everyone has aired their feelings on the subject (mine haven't changed...I dont' feel guilty over my reaction at all or how I handled it). He is seeing a therapist (his choice, which I told him I was proud of him for making that tough decision) and I do go with him every time though we don't always have a session together. I want him to know he has my support through his therapy. I am hopeful that this will help things work out. I hadn't thought about letting him read responses but I DO think its a good idea. That way he can see what other people have to say...unbiased opinions to boot. Thanks again.
@kurtbiewald (2628)
• United States
14 Mar 07
I think you have a trust issue I figure trust cautiously, until or unless people give you reasons not to trust. Sounds a bit suspicious to me, just by how he was acting. If you can't prove anything, maybe see if here are other cases. I asked my wife, if I find out she was cheating, could I leave her forever and not deal with her ever again. She looked me in the eyes and said yeah I could, and she wasn't cheating , any time in the past 20 years. I did and just told her. The first time not right away but I learned my lesson. Best to just admit it. Better yet admit it BEFORE you do it, what you are planning and why. Then if she doesn't care its easier I think.
• United States
14 Mar 07
Thank you for taking the time to respond. Personally, I do not think I could continue a relationship with anyone who is unfaithful. However I do have to applaud your honesty in admitting that you did.
@Jshean20 (14367)
• Canada
13 Mar 07
I personally think that your husband is overreacting.Bad things happen everyday and when a loved one isn't where he should be when he says he'll be, it's only natural to have the worst possible scenerio cross your mind. I probably would've been calling the hospital as well to make sure he wasn't admitted and then checked out his work place as well. It's unfortunate that he keeps throwing this harmless situation into your face, if anything he should feel great knowing that you got a bit worried, it shows how much you love him.
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Mar 07
Thank you for responding. That is something I have tried to convince him of...a simple phone call would have avoided all of this. We have since invested in cell phones and to be honest, he DOES call now especially since he works nights if he is going to be later. I was more worried at first that something happened to him (car accident, etc) than I was anything else but when you eliminate all the possibilities, your mind DOES start to wander...Hoping we can put this to rest soon between us.
@minty3 (592)
• Nigeria
13 Mar 07
you really hurt your husband by over reacting. your worry increased your fear and panic. ideally you should have waited for his arrival. your husband is acting naturally (the pain/hurt of someone innocent) and you acted same way, so allow him. however, you need to see when he's in the right mood and bring up the issue again let him pour out his heart and hurts to you and frankly apologise to him and let him know you want the matter completely closed.
• United States
13 Mar 07
Thank you for taking the time to respond. My husband knew that we had an appointment with an in-home therapist for one of the children and he had assured me that morning when I reminded him (as I usually do when there is an appt so I know whether to wait for him or go on) that he would be home on time (so he could shower and such). A simple phone call to say 'hey things changed and I have to work a little later' would have been all that was necessary and nothing more would have ever been said, period. At least not by me. And we have talked gently about this particular incident several times over the years and still he brings it up (him not me). We both have 'baggage' (hey who doesn't?) to deal with however no one should be bringing up past incidents in the middle of arguements when tempers are hot and emotions high. There is a time and place to discuss matters but the middle of arguements is not it. Thank you for the time you took to post a response. I don't agree with you, however I DO respect your opinion and the politeness you used to express it.
• Philippines
13 Mar 07
dont worry you handled the situation better than me handling it..lol Honestly, for me you are a very kind and honest woman and you handle situations maturely.. And yes, i think your husband is over-reacting..Past is past we should not bring it back to new arguments..
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Mar 07
LOL I have to be honest, I REALLY wanted to meet him in the driveway and say quite a few choice words to him and had it been even a mere 5 years earlier, I would have done just that. Guess we grow up even after we grow up (if that makes sense). I had heard many times that women are the ones to bring the past back to arguements...this was the first time I had ever heard a man do that LOL I know his past holds a lot of bad memories for him and hopefully we will be able to overcome it. Thanks so much for your response.
• United States
12 Mar 07
I think you handled it great. You simply asked him where he was and told him what you were told. If you were told that he wasn't at work then of course you thought he wasn't there. There is nothing wrong with wanting an explanation especially when you were so worried. It's not like you were calling just to check up on him for no reason. It doesn't sound like you accused him at all. Have you tried sitting down and talking to him about it. I know it's a sensitive subject but maybe you should tell him exactly what you were thinking that day and that you do trust him.
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Mar 07
Thank you for your response. We have tried to talk about this time and time again, and for some reason, no matter how we talk about it, someone always ends up hurting in the end. I think its just part of his emotional baggage and we need to work through it on a more professional level. Several months ago, he just said, 'I am going to start therapy. I feel like its something I need' So the next time the therapist wants to have a hubby-wife session, I plan to bring up this discussion and all the great advice I am being given.
• Canada
12 Mar 07
You handled things just fine!! I couldn't have handled things better myself. My boyfriend and I both have cellphones. You had a good reason for needing to reach him, and when you coudln't find him you did what you needed to. It makes perfect sense to me. Often guys just don't get it, and that's their problem.
1 person likes this
• United States
12 Mar 07
Thank you for your response. I WISH we would have had cell phones then but to be honest, neither one of us thought of having one at that time. When we married, I was a WAHM and therefor was most always there for the kids and around a phone all day and didn't really need a cell phone. And he figured he didn't need one either. A cell phone would have saved a lot of hurt feelings. And your right, most of the time, guys just don't get it. Although this particular situation has kept him calling me when he was going to be late, work overtime, stop after work, etc