Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“I Found (Size Medium) Lace Panties in My Fancy Underwear Drawer!”

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I read a question you answered similar to mine and wanted to get your take on my situation. I have a drawer of lacy underwear that I rarely wear. I was going to wear a pair tonight and came across a pair that was not mine. I am sure of it. I wear a “large” and this pair was “medium.” They were black lace see-through panties made for only one thing. I have a 17-year-old stepdaughter who is a size small. I asked her and she had never seen them. I asked my husband about it and he denies knowing anything about them. I don’t trust him. I know that is horrible and toxic in a relationship. But I have caught him in so many lies over the past 10 years. He lies when I won’t like the truth or he thinks he will get in trouble.

My husband loves female attention and has had friendships that were flirty and inappropriate that I know about. I am not sure what else has happened that I don’t know about. I know he has come close to cheating several times. I know that if we go even three to four days without sex. he acts like it’s an eternity. He wants sex 24/7. He hasn’t directly said that’s why people cheat, but I got the impression he thought that.

We have been married 10 years and I am always paranoid. I love him and have two kids with him, but this mistrust and paranoia are driving me nuts. I feel like I cannot believe anything he says because of all the lies. If he is doing something, I don’t want to be a naive fool.

I usually am picky about underwear, and there’s a tiny possibility I bought these panties in 2011 when I lost some weight. But I really do not remember ever seeing them. I am not sure what to do. I would like him followed, but that is soo expensive. I feel lost. We have tried therapy in the past, but our last therapist didn’t want to see us anymore after my husband stopped talking because we had a big fight. We made up like always. She said we need a longterm therapist which we cannot afford.

I don’t want to break up my family and I don’t want to be a fool if my husband is messing around, which I am afraid of but have no proof of. The underwear is very suspicious but not real proof. Should I have him followed? Set up nanny cams? He had mentioned he would never be so low, if he ever cheated, as to do it at our house. He pays for most things with cash, so I have no clue if he could have gotten a hotel or something. This all could be in my head, but I don’t know what to do. If he is cheating, I want to know. He would never tell me because he knows I would leave him if he were. Please help. – Not My Panties

You know what, it doesn’t matter whom these size medium lacy panties belong to. You don’t need nanny cams or a private detective. And for God’s sake, you shouldn’t be questioning your teenage daughter about see-through panties you found in your drawer. (Even if they ARE hers, she’s probably too mortified to claim them; wouldn’t YOU be?). You have your answer already: you don’t trust your husband. Nothing else really matters if you don’t trust him. You say your lack of trust is “horrible and toxic” in a relationship but that you simply can’t overlook the many, many lies your husband has told you over the past 10 years. It doesn’t matter if these panties belong to a woman he’s sleeping with if they’re your stepdaughter’s or if you yourself bought them when you were thinner and you just don’t remember. All that matters here is that you don’t trust your husband and that the foundation of your marriage is cracked so severely that the truth couldn’t stand stable on it even if it tried.

Get yourselves back to therapy. Find a way to afford it. Start communicating with each other. Tell your husband you found these panties and the first thing you thought of was that he was cheating on you because you don’t trust him and you know that’s a problem you can’t surmount without some help. Ask if he’s willing to get help with you. And if he isn’t, or if the help isn’t enough or if it’s simply too late, you’re going to have to accept that you have two choices: to stay in an unhappy marriage, or to “break up your family,” as you say, and MOA. The thing about an unhappy marriage for which help is too little or too late is that it forever remains unhappy. The thing about leaving an unhappy marriage is that you give yourself the opportunity to find hope and happiness again. A broken family is simply one whose pieces haven’t yet been reconfigured.

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14 comments… add one
  • Diablo

    Diablo November 26, 2014, 10:12 am

    Trust is everything in a relationship. You’ve tried therapy and been given the boot because your husband wasn’t going to play along. He later made up with you to prove he didn’t need therapy. Is your husband a size medium? Because that’s the only scenario i can see where you go back to counselling (to talk about your trust issues, not his love of lacy underthings). If they are not his, then maybe spend your dough on a lawyer, not a therapist.

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  • avatar

    joanna November 26, 2014, 10:18 am

    There’s all kinds of ways for underwear that’s not yours to get in your drawer. Do you do your laundry at a laundromat? Are you the person who does the laundry of the household and folds it and puts it away? If not, perhaps they may belong to your stepdaughter or even one of her friends. Did you change your clothes at a friend’s house and maybe part of her laundry laying around got mixed up with your stuff? Or maybe that happened to your stepdaughter? I really don’t find it that strange.

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  • Kate B.

    Kate B. November 26, 2014, 10:22 am

    I remember the previous letter, and I will repeat my answer verbatim: This is what I would say to him: “Honey, I don’t think that I am getting the whole story, here. These panties did not teleport themselves into this drawer, so I want to know how they got there. I don’t think it’s too big of a stretch to see why I am suspicious, especially given your past history of lying to me. So, if you will not tell me how these panties got here, I will have to assume the worst and think you are cheating on me, which is a dealbreaker for me. Even if you are not cheating on me, I cannot tolerate your being evasive about it. That is also a dealbreaker and I will act accordingly.” Be prepared to follow through with a divorce. His move.

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  • Fabelle

    Fabelle November 26, 2014, 10:35 am

    Yeah it matters not who those panties belong to, this marriage has…um…other issues. Also, come on, an errant pair of underwear is not cause for concern (or, I mean, I have a LOT of underwear and barely remember what I own so maybe that’s why?) BUT seriously, they could be your daughter’s (I buy a size up in certain brands or styles…most women are not consistently the same size, evem if their bodies stay the same size, because of manufacturer differences) or they could be HIS (lingerie fetishes are common). But if you don’t trust him to the point that the only reason you won’t hire a PI is because of the expense, there’s some wack shit happening. I mean honestly, why even think of all these ways to “catch” him? At this stage either leave him, or turn a blind eye if you don’t want to break up (& I dunno, start having your own affairs) (I’m half joking but also semi serious)

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  • Stonegypsy

    Stonegypsy November 26, 2014, 10:44 am

    Seriously, if you have this little trust in your husband it’s a moot point who those panties belong to. Your marriage is broken. It doesn’t even sound like something that can be fixed without a whole lot of effort on both your parts, and he doesn’t sound like he’s willing to put that effort in. So yeah, either decide to stop caring whether he’s cheating on you or not, or divorce him.

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  • avatar

    mertlej November 26, 2014, 10:55 am

    Did we ever get an update on that previous letter? I’d love to know what happened there.

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    • sobriquet

      sobriquet November 26, 2014, 12:39 pm

      Me, too! That’s actually the only DW letter I actively think about from time to time.

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  • avatar

    JudgeSheryl November 26, 2014, 11:23 am

    I think the advice to go to therapy is spot on. If you arent even 100% sure they aren’t yours and are jumping to this conclusion, considering the logistics to get a clean pair of womans underwear in your house in a drawer, then you really need to talk this out with a professional. I don’t know whether your husband is cheating, it’s possible, but to do it in your house where a rogue set of panties could be found, get laundered (hopefully they arent dirty. Ew) and made it into your drawer? Seema extra sleazy and unlikely to me. I wouldnt even bring up the panties yet… Get to counseling, either alone or with your husband so you can work through this first.

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  • FireStar

    FireStar November 26, 2014, 12:57 pm

    He had mentioned he would never be so low, if he ever cheated, as to do it at our house.
    .
    What does one say to that? Thank you?

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    • Amybelle

      Amybelle November 26, 2014, 3:06 pm

      That line reminded me of OJ Simpson’s book “If I Did It”

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  • sobriquet

    sobriquet November 26, 2014, 1:03 pm

    LW, if a random pair of lingerie popped up in my underwear drawer, I would probably assume it’s something I bought online years ago and forgot about. Or, if I lived with another female, I would automatically assume it was hers and probably just put it in the laundry room (no one wants their lingerie hand-delivered by their roommate- or worse, stepmom). My point is that the last place my mind would go is to my husband, because I trust him.
    .
    Plenty of relationships are rebuilt after the trust is broken, but only with years of open and honest communication. Invest in a long-term therapist if you want to save your marriage, or even start by reading and completing marriage workshop books like the 7 Principles for Making Marriage Work. There are options out there that you can start immediately. If the desire and effort is not there, however, this marriage is not worth saving.

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  • Amybelle

    Amybelle November 26, 2014, 3:03 pm

    LW, you don’t trust your own judgement and intuition because you have been living for 10 years with a controlling liar. I have been there. Instead of trying to get evidence to “prove” he is cheating on you, listen to the voice inside you and what you know to be true. In my case, I got proof, and it made me realize that I had been focusing on that to avoid facing the fact that I was desperately unhappy in my marriage and needed to deal with it.

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  • Classic

    Classic November 26, 2014, 7:36 pm

    I found some really pretty ones, too! But they are size Small… I think they are probably Fabelle’s or something.

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  • avatar

    j.walker December 2, 2014, 2:17 pm

    You found them in YOUR drawer! So either dude is trying to get caught or they’re actually yours. Does he do the laundry or you? Someone had to have put them in the drawer, so even if they did belong to some mysterious other woman, the underwear would have had to pass through at least one other pair of hands before being discovered. But anyways, your mind jumped immediately to your husband cheating, and then you laid out a pretty good amount of previous evidence to back it up. If you left him and it turned out that he didn’t actually cheat and leave those underwear for you to find I don’t think it would be a terrible loss.

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