Secret Life and Timely Death of a Cell Phone

Hello. My name is Candace. I have something to share with you today that was submitted to Affair Recovery by an EMS Online participant just about one year ago. It’s a piece about the secret life and timely death of her husband’s cell phone.

In this post I am going to read what she wrote and then I am going to share some pro tips to help create safety surrounding cell phone use.

My husband purchased a new cell phone yesterday. The disdain I felt towards his old phone would be considered totally irrational if it wasn’t so relatable to those who have been betrayed. I could write a tragic novel personifying the life of his former phone.

It went on dates disguised as rounds of golf by day and poker games by night.

It went on romantic getaways masquerading as legitimate business trips.

It charged on night tables of hotel rooms shared with another man’s wife.

It called and sent text messages to her every day, multiple times per day, for years, often while I was only a few feet away.

It held romantic quotes and fantasies about her. It made dinner reservations, requesting only the best tables to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and promotions with her.

Alarms were set on that cell phone to remind my husband to put his wedding ring back on since she asked him not to wear one in her presence.

My husband used it to call, text, and email me lies compounded by lies regarding his actual location and real plans for each day.

Following D-Day, it had the audacity to send a text message to her that was all for show. It was merely pretending to end their affair. Void of guilt, incapable of shame, it mocked me.

Yet, one of the most shocking revelations was not something ever to be found on that phone. On the contrary, there was a glaring absence. I, his wife, was nowhere to be found on that cell phone. There was not ONE single picture of me. My image ceased to exist. I had been strategically cropped out of EVERY photo, if not deleted entirely. It was not as if I was no longer alive. It was as if I was never born.

The irony is that eventually, it was that very cell phone that finally grew a conscience. For its grand finale, it transformed from enemy to ally. It produced phone records based on cell phone towers, revealing evidence far exceeding my worst-case scenario.

Despite my gratitude for its final efforts, I could not get that cell phone out of my house or out of my life fast enough.

I am so glad that this participant shared this piece with us.

While seeing her husband on any cell phone might always remind her of what once was, she explained that discarding that particular phone that wronged her repeatedly was a much overdue and a very appreciated call.

I am sharing this piece with you today because we recognize that some triggers are easier to conquer than others. While we fear that we might never escape some of them, others can simply be dropped off at the Verizon store, never to be seen or heard from again.

Cell phones are a widespread trigger for many of us who have been impacted by infidelity. So here are some pro tips you can do, or you can ask your partner to do, that we think might help reduce anxiety around cell phones:

  • Avoid cases that conceal your home screen.
  • Use your phone in front of your partner versus walking away to speak or text.
  • Use voice to text so your partner can hear what you are sending.
  • Limit, if not abstain entirely, from social media.
  • Share the password that unlocks your phone or add them to facial recognition.
  • Take screenshots of text or email exchanges that show when your plans change and forward them promptly.
  • Enable credit and debit cards to send text message alerts to your partner anytime they are used.
  • Do not text or email people of the opposite sex without having your spouse on the text chain.

  • Do an audit of your apps, browsing history, and photos. Let your betrayed partner decide if they would like to be a part of that process.
  • Have a location-sharing app on your phone, like Life360.

One of my co-workers shared this tip with me and I love it. He called it “Intermittent Cell Phone Fasting.” Here’s an example of what it would look like:

The unfaithful says something like, “I need to have access to my cell phone during my work day from say 8am-5pm. But after that, I’m going to place it here in a common area of the house to charge and I’m not going to pick it up again at 8am tomorrow.”

I know. I know. There are some of you that have jobs that you need to be accessible 24/7, but I think we can agree that’s not the vast majority of us. At least think about it. Think of not only how much more present you would be, but how many hours of the day you could literally eliminate a massive trigger from our partner’s view.

My last pro tip came from a coworker suggesting that the unfaithful switch over to a burner phone. This would allow the unfaithful to call and text, but they wouldn’t have any apps. I can absolutely see where depending upon the type of infidelity or addiction, trading in your smartphone for a basic cell phone, could be an excellent demonstration of your commitment to safety.

For additional insights into healing and overcoming challenges like this check out our EMS Weekend or Harboring Hope Course.

We would love to hear what tips you’ve found helpful to create safety around cell phone use. If you have some that have not been mentioned, please consider sharing with us by leaving a comment below.

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Great tips!

Great tips!
We went through my husband’s social media accounts together and he unfriended anyone I asked him to unfriend.
He also never takes his phone behind closed doors - bathroom or bedroom if he’s napping.
He encourages me to pick it up and go through it at any time and shares with me any spam texts/calls he receives. Being proactive like this reassures me.

That makes my heart smile!

That makes my heart smile! Thank you for sharing!

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-D, Texas