Trickle-truth (trik el - trooth), n. 1. a series of verified or undisputable facts that flow in a slow, irregular manner out of the mouth of a person who was previously reluctant to tell the truth.
2. the culmination of small bits of information shared by an unfaithful partner over an extended period of time, often in an attempt to protect either the unfaithful partner or the betrayed partner. --v. 3. the act of initially lying by omission and/or denial but gradually letting the truth (or parts of it) be known.
Oh, the pain of trickle-truth! This whole experience would have been so much easier if Bill would have just come clean about EVERYTHING from the moment I first confronted him. You have likely already digested the sheer number of lies, cover-ups, and moments of denial my husband told and displayed in the beginning. In the last few weeks, I have threatened him with a lie-detector test. I have explained to him that what I need from him more than anything right now is the TRUTH, in its entirety. I need to hear everything there could possibly be to know, not only about his relations with Tramp, but about any shady thing he has done in his past. I made it quite clear that if he were to tell me today that he has actually slept with not just one but two or three or even four people since we've been married, I might be able to forgive him; however, if that information were to come out six months, two years, or ten years from now, I would divorce him in an instant. You see, right now, it is not so much about the sexual act of betrayal as it is about the lying.
My husband seems remorseful and is doing everything "right" in terms of trying to reconcile, but if I find out that he is hiding more, it is over. I have given him the chance to be honest, on many occasions, but he has given me trickle truth from the beginning. He continues to swear he only slept with Tramp once, and maybe he is telling the truth about that: I will probably never really know. Surprisingly, a couple of weeks ago, I felt like we had a break-through. I gave him one last chance to come clean about his past, and this is what he told me:
1. In the fall of 2007, he attended a bachelor party out of town. While at the bar, he ran into an old coworker who had been interested in him. She invited him back to her hotel room, and he went. They made-out and groped each other, and she wanted to sleep with him. When he realized where it was going, he stopped her and walked out of the room, leaving her pissed off and alone.
2. He "might have" kissed "a couple" of girls while we were dating. We dated for 7 years before we got married.
3. When we were engaged he joined a couple of dating websites. He set up a web-cam and "chatted" in sexually explicit language with people he connected with on the sites. He engaged in self-pleasuring behavior and viewed the same via web-cam. This behavior occurred periodically over the course of several months. He never met anyone locally and had no intention of doing so. (In fact, I once caught him pleasuring himself to a web-cam around this time-frame. I almost broke off our engagement at the time, but he swore it was the first time he had ever done it, that he felt so guilty, that he would never do it again, blah, blah, blah. And the sucker that I am, I believed him. Which is why I am so worried about being a sucker again.)
4. He did not meet with Tramp outside of their business meetings. However, on one particular night when I was out of town with the children, Bill and Tramp tried to arrange for her to get a last-minute flight to our city so they could enjoy one another's company at a local hotel. Their plans fell through when they realized how expensive the flight would be.
Believe it or not, after hearing this "truth" trickle out, I felt a lot better about us. His ability to tell and own the truth made me feel like we might have a chance. Weird, huh? The thing is, there may well be more that could "trickle" out over time. And that is why trickle-truth is so damaging, because every time you find out you were lied to once again (even if its lying by omission), you start the roller-coaster ride to hell and back all over again.
On another note, I found our on-line cell-phone records (Bill was smart enough to have our phone company stop sending paper statements, and he set up an on-line billing account, which I discovered by checking his e-mail recently). I spent several hours last week pouring over the records from October through the present time, and I found out the following:
1. The sheer number of texts sent between Tramp and Bill were enough to make me vomit. From October through Feb. 7th, they must have texted one another 50 to 100 times a day. I don't even know how they found time to eat. They texted throughout our family Christmas Eve celebration, Christmas Day, our New Year's Eve hotel get-away...
2. Bill was telling the truth about the fact that they did not talk over the phone during their affair. There were no incoming or outgoing calls between the two of them, only text messages.
3. The last incoming/outgoing texts to/from Tramp were on the day of my discovery (D-Day, Feb. 7th). He has not sent or received a text (or call) to/from her since.
Point 1. made me sick. Points 2. and 3. reassured me.
But I am still in limbo. Am I crazy?