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Last night, I was doing my laundry and since I didn’t have a full load I asked him if I could throw some of his things in there. (We usually keep our laundry separate.) He said sure, so I started pulling from his hamper when I found a black pair of women’s thongs wrapped up in one of his undershirts. They most definitely were not mine. I asked him immediately whose they were and how they got there. And of course he said he had no idea, denied that he knew how they got there or who they belonged to. It was not a productive conversation to say the least.
I didn’t yell or cry — in fact, I was pretty numb. I just cannot think of any “innocent” explanation for how a woman’s thong got mixed in with his dirty laundry. We don’t have houseguests; we have our own washer and dryer, so we aren’t sharing a laundry facility. He goes to the gym on occasion, but I don’t think he would have picked them up there by accident either.
I feel so sick about this and am reeling over what I should do. I want to believe him, but I honestly don’t. He keeps saying he didn’t cheat and that he is so frustrated because I don’t believe him, but I think there are other just as damning scenarios that don’t involve intercourse, but are still well within my definition of cheating. Though he denies ever being in a situation since we met that involved anything that could be considered untoward with another woman, his attitude is so resigned to the situation, like he has already given up. He said numerous times, “You don’t believe me so there is nothing I can say.”
This is just stinking cliché and embarrassing. I don’t want to talk to any of my friends about it in case this all blows over, because I don’t want to air my dirty laundry, so to speak, and have them turn against my husband. I am definitely open to renewing therapy; however, his work schedule makes it near impossible and the person who did our premarital counseling moved out of state.
I really don’t know what to do. He has lied to me in the past about some things, like hiding his smoking and communications with ex-girlfriends, but after premarital counseling, we had moved on from those. I know that your standard advice is MOA, but I just can’t imagine doing that after only six weeks of marriage to a man I truly love and care about. In the alternative, I also am terrified of being “that person” who had her head in the sand when every other person could see that her spouse was being unfaithful. Do I hedge my bets and try to work it out and trust that he is telling the truth, or should I seriously evaluate how to keep from being “the last to know”? — Found a Thong That Isn’t Mine
First of all, no, you should not “hedge your bets and trust he is telling the truth” because if you were able to simply ignore the evidence and whatever past experience has led you to believe your husband is capable of cheating, you wouldn’t have written to me. If you were able to bury your head in the sand, that would probably be preferable to thinking about the different ways a pair of thong panties that aren’t yours got mixed in with your husband’s laundry. But you can’t bury your head in the sand. You can’t ignore the evidence, and you can’t ignore the overwhelming likelihood that your husband is lying to you — or at best, not telling you the whole story.
Something that stands out in your letter to me is how you’re worried that everyone knows what’s going on but you. I don’t know if that’s a totally irrational fear you have or if you have reason to believe that that could be the case. Has there been a history of your friends being privy to information about your husband before you know the full story? Have your friends ever expressed concern about your husband or your relationship based on what they’ve seen from the outside (versus what you’ve told them)? If so, this might be the right time to ask for their advice or insight, as much as you hate to bring a spotlight onto problems in your marriage or issues you have with your new husband. While no one else can ever know what goes on in a relationship, people on the outside can often see things the couple can’t or won’t see for themselves.
Of course, in the end, this is really between you and your husband and your number one priority should be communicating with him. He says he doesn’t know what to say because you won’t believe him, but you need to let him know he has to say SOMETHING. Saying nothing or continually denying he knows why there’s a thong mixed in his laundry is not acceptable. He needs to provide some explanation. I mean, if he’s going to lie, he at least needs to exert the energy to create a story, however flimsy, and not just deny the truth. At least if he gave you a story, you’d have something to dissect, even if you didn’t believe a word of it.
Thongs do not just magically appear in someone’s laundry, and neither do problems in a relationship. It sounds to me like the issues in your past either weren’t as resolved as you believed or they’ve re-entered the picture. Is it possible you were so involved in wedding-planning that you didn’t notice that your now-husband was distracted or not as invested in your relationship as he should be? Has there been a change in demeanor or attitude that you chalked up to the change in your marital status but could actually be attributed to your husband cheating on you?
I don’t know how you can move forward if your husband refuses to acknowledge that you have reason to be suspicious. I don’t know how you can accept his table-turning, accusatory finger-pointing that YOU are making things difficult because you won’t believe his bull shit reply that he has no idea how a pair of thong panties appeared in his laundry. It’s classic manipulative behavior for someone in the wrong to make the victim of the wrong-doing feel as if SHE is the one screwing up. And people are only manipulative when they’ve got something to hide or something they want.
If you want this marriage to succeed, you need to make it a priority to find out what your husband is hiding and/or what it is he wants. If he isn’t giving you a story you believe, you have no choice but to find outside help to get you both to a place of mutual trust. Not having time for therapy isn’t an option — not when your marriage depends on it. It’s times like this when your vows are being tested. If you both can’t make it a priority to work through your problems — and this is a big problem — then perhaps it IS better that you MOA now before you invest more time and energy into a relationship that has no future.
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MMcG November 26, 2012, 9:08 am
Ugh, makes me sick. What a douche.
WWS. So sorry LW and best of luck!
Krissy November 26, 2012, 9:23 am
So… might be totally irrelevant but I found a thong in our laundry about a month ago that didn’t belong to me, but my last thought was that my fiance was cheating. I’m not sure why my mind didn’t go there at all, but I was more just bewildered about how a thong that wasn’t mine would end up in my laundry machine! Turns out that we had been puppy sitting for a friend and washed some blankets of hers that were in the puppy crate. The puppy likes to drag underwear around and must have dragged it into the crate with her before they brought it over to our house. Anyways, that’s how it ended up in my laundry (confirmed by my friend). I guess my point is, in my case, this didn’t even raise alarm bells for me. I think your distrust of the situation is more of an alarm than the panties themselves. Trust your instincts. If you feel like there is something off with your marriage and his response, don’t ignore it!
j.walker November 26, 2012, 9:45 am
Absolutely same! Except we go to a laundromat and the thong in question only appeared in the clean clothes once I came home. I barely considered the cheating option for a second before dismissing it and that was before I realized that, like the LW, I was picking through laundry beforehand carefully enough that I know I would have seen it. I still confronted my boyfriend though, half jokingly, just to see what his reaction was (horror.)
And PS the thong was bright yellow and had “see you tonight(??)” written in sparkly letters.
Anna November 26, 2012, 12:34 pm
That has happened to me too! I go to a public laundromat and always meticulously sort my laundry into the washers but somehow I’ve ended up with underwear that isn’t mine and once a sock that wasn’t mine. That was my first thought but then the LW said that she has her own washer and dryer so that doesn’t look so good.
Jess November 27, 2012, 1:58 pm
Yes. The point here I think is that your gut does tell you when something is wrong. The fact that cheating didn’t enter your mind, in spite of the evidence, says a lot about the state of trust in your marriage.
We actually have an ongoing joke about mystery underwear in our house. However, we have a LOT of house guests and they often do laundry. About a year ago, my boyfriend delivered 2 pairs of thong underwear with my pile of laundry and when I said they weren’t mine, he shrugged. I made a big stink about it but only in jest. I am pretty sure they belong to our friend’s wife although I have never actually verified it because I don’t have a glimmer of suspicion. Then over Thanksgiving, we stayed with 2 other couples. All the men are cyclists and were doing rapid clothing changes in the guest room throughout the weekend, jockeying for the bathroom, etc. At one point, I found a pair of men’s underwear on the floor near our bed and threw them into the suitcase. Turns out, they’re not my boyfriends. So now we’re even.
I guess it’s combination of trust and the existence of a reasonable explanation. It sounds like neither are present in this case.
Recovering Lurker November 26, 2012, 9:28 am
Maybe I’ve been reading too much Dan Savage, but my first thought was that he secretly likes to wear them.
kerrycontrary November 26, 2012, 9:31 am
Friend of Beagles November 26, 2012, 9:39 am
Me three. 🙂
Amanda November 26, 2012, 10:36 am
CatsMeow November 26, 2012, 11:59 am
karenwalker November 26, 2012, 1:23 pm
JK November 26, 2012, 3:49 pm
Ruby November 26, 2012, 9:29 pm
fast eddie November 27, 2012, 8:37 am
Fabelle November 26, 2012, 9:45 am
I have experience dating someone like this, so that was my first thought too! I thought including it in my response might be too biased, but it IS actually very common.
Michelle.Lea November 26, 2012, 9:56 am
that’s kinda what i thought… my first instinct would be to look and see if they were big enough for him :/
CSP November 26, 2012, 10:23 am
I think this is certainly an option. But don’t you think he would be able to open up to his WIFE about this stuff? This isn’t 1950, ya know.
Riefer November 26, 2012, 10:59 am
I don’t know, if you read Dan Savage you’ll see that there are a lot of people who don’t want to tell about this kind of thing because they’re afraid of the reaction.
CSP November 26, 2012, 12:51 pm
I know what you mean, but this is a marriage. Someone is less of a flight risk by then, right?
Lindsay November 26, 2012, 2:17 pm
I know people are afraid of what others might think, but I’d hope that he wouldn’t throw his marriage away over it by letting her believe he was cheating…
CSP November 26, 2012, 2:23 pm
See, that is exactly my thought. I think kinky stuff is way better than thinking your cheating.
bittergaymark November 26, 2012, 1:43 pm
It’s the OBVIOUS answer to me, too.
haggith November 26, 2012, 10:10 pm
Morgan November 26, 2012, 5:39 pm
Yeah,when I read this I totally thought her question was going to be “So my husband likes to wear women’s underwear.” Cheating wasn’t even on my radar until the LW went there.
E November 26, 2012, 10:08 pm
This. Seriously, if the dude was cheating six weeks into a marriage he’d be paranoid about their being lipstick marks or perfume on his clothing or a random condom in his pocket. Really surprised Wendy didn’t suggest the cross-dressing either. If he’s wrongfully ashamed of a perfectly normal kink, he would react in an overly defensive manner. It was the first thing I thought of when I read the letter.
Me 10 November 1, 2017, 11:17 am
kerrycontrary November 26, 2012, 9:33 am
LW, this totally sucks, and I don’t have much to add to what Wendy said. This mostly reminds me of that Grey’s Anatomy episode where Addison find’s Meredith’s panties in Derek’s coat, and the old black doctor is like “You wanted her to find those panties” or something like that. Basically, IF your husband is cheating (I also think maybe he likes to wear them! What size are they?), he’s not hiding it very well. And men who don’t hide it very well are either a) stupid or b) want you to find out that they are cheating so the relationship can end. All in all you need to figure out what’s up before you draw either of these conclusions, but just consider it…
Lucy November 26, 2012, 9:38 am
One possibility is the husband is a cross-dresser and embarrassed to admit it. That was the first thing I thought of. Cheating seems like a distant possibility because it requires that his affair partner either a) went home without her thong by accident (who would do that?) or b) deliberately planted it hoping he’d get caught (OK, possible, but so evil as to be unlikely).
Obviously it’s all just guesswork. Right now he’s hoping he can stonewall the LW and she’ll drop it. Don’t let him. Raise the stakes. If he realizes his marriage is at risk, he may come clean.
sarolabelle November 26, 2012, 11:07 am
I left underwear in hotel rooms before but that’s because I had 10 other pairs too!
Fabelle November 26, 2012, 9:40 am
I was actually gonna give him the benefit of the doubt when I first saw the headline– maybe he has a panty fetish? maybe it’s an old pair he just uses to jerk off in? maybe he, I dunno, ordered it used off Craigslist? (I mean, ew, that one isn’t the BEST alternative explanation, but it’s possible).
However…. you say he has a history of lying & shadiness, so I’m guessing this really is just a mainstream cheating situation. (Can I just say that I don’t even understand how this IS a clichè? I know it IS one, with good reason, but like, what kind of dude seriously takes a pair of panties home as a souvenir? And what woman isn’t like “uhh, what are you doing? I kind of need those back”?)
Anyway. LW, I understand why there must be so many scenarios floating around in your head right now. Wendy’s right that your husband is being manipulative– I mean, for him to sigh & be all “Well, you don’t BELIEVE me, so what can I even SAY” is beyond douche-y behavior. He knows exactly who that thong belongs to & how he came to possessing it. And he seems to know that feigning extreme ignorance is the way to get you to drop it. (I mean, your question is basically “do I pretend to believe him?”)
You seem to care a lot about your marriage as it appears to others– you don’t want to tell anybody what happened & you’re afraid of being “the last to know” (which indicates that you’re almost OKAY with his cheating? as long as nobody else knows about it??) So perhaps you should explore these feelings as they relate to your marriage. Did you want to tie the knot so badly that you ignored obvious signs that your husband DIDN’T actually resolve his sneaking tendencies?
Listen to Wendy. You need to find time for counseling if you want this marriage to work on another level besides “I look the other way as long as my husband is consistent with his denial.” Because that’s not a healthy dynamic in any relationship.
katie November 26, 2012, 9:43 am
“Thongs do not just magically appear in someone’s laundry, and neither do problems in a relationship”
katie November 26, 2012, 9:47 am
also, is it odd to anyone else that they keep their laundry separate- even in separate laundry hampers? that seems weird to me for a married couple who has been together for multiple years and has already lived together…
GatorGirl November 26, 2012, 9:56 am
I think it is super weird. My fiance and I did our laundry together even before we lived together. I don’t see any good reason to keep it seperate.
Marcie November 26, 2012, 10:06 am
My husband and I used to keep our laundry separate. I don’t have a good reason for this other than we just did our own laundry. We do it together now though.
jlyfsh November 26, 2012, 10:05 am
more than weird it seems like A LOT of effort. i don’t even think we would have enough room to do two hampers. and if we did them separate i could never leave my clothes in the dryer all week and just fluff when needed. way too much work!
the attack November 26, 2012, 10:10 am
It seems weird to me, but I assumed it was just part of their division of labor. Some couples have a “take care of your own stuff” attitude, but I do think that’s odd.
bethany November 26, 2012, 10:11 am
We have 2 hampers, although a lot of our stuff gets mixed together. My husband will only do his laundry, because he refuses to learn how to do mine (He has NO concept of what can and cannot go in the dryer).
GatorGirl November 26, 2012, 10:21 am
bethany that is the only good reason to keep them apart! My fiance is not so great at remembering what does and does not go into the dryer but he’s trying!
bethany November 26, 2012, 10:53 am
I even gave him a very simple rule (“If it looks like a shirt I wear to work, DONT dry it”), and he still can’t even follow that!!
katie November 26, 2012, 10:57 am
ugh i am so with you two. haha… jake has gotten to the point now where he hangs up any of my shirts, and im ok with that lol
MISS MJ November 26, 2012, 10:58 am
We have two hampers for this reason, too, although it still gets mixed up. However, my husband won’t touch my laundry for fear of ruining something, which he probably would, so I don’t mind.
vizslalvr November 26, 2012, 9:51 pm
Yeah. Ours is separate for that reason, too. He refuses to understand the concept of what can and cannot go in the drier and color separation. It’s also just easier, because most of my clothes are in the spare room, most of his clothes are in our bedroom. Once in awhile I’ll throw his in with mine or vise versa to make a full load, and it ends up taking twice as long sorting everything for that reason.
Also, I just don’t see why it’s weird to do your own laundry? We each create our own laundry. Unlike communal dishes or mess, we’re not mutually responsible. I wear my clothes and he wears his. And not gonna lie, I wear twice as much for a variety of reasons.
Ginger Laine November 26, 2012, 10:30 am
Nope. My husband & I have been married for 3 years & living together for 10, and not once have we ever shared a hamper.
Riefer November 26, 2012, 11:08 am
Same here. We have different washing styles. He washes everything after wearing it once, which I think is crazy (and a huge waste of water). He also doesn’t know how to treat more delicate clothes, or sweaters (which he doesn’t wear). I guess I could do his, but it’s a lot of work because he does it so often, and I don’t agree with it, so why would I? He can’t do mine, he’d wreck things by just throwing everything in together.
CSP November 26, 2012, 10:34 am
Honestly, I wish we did this. My husband has tried to “help” with laundry and has ruined so many of my things.
landygirl November 26, 2012, 10:35 am
I keep mine separate because it’s easier for me that way since I have far fewer clothes.
bagge72 November 26, 2012, 10:44 am
Unlike everyone else who thinks my wife and I are weird, we do keep separate hampers, because there are a lot of clothes, we do our own laundry, and my stuff gets a lot more dirtier, and sweatier than hers. She will do mine though if I am working all weekend, and I can’t get to it. We did register for, and get a hamper that has two separate sides to it, but that isn’t enough, because I go through so many clothes between my two jobs, and going to the gym.
sarolabelle November 26, 2012, 11:11 am
We keep laundry separate too. He washes things if they dry the same way and I will wash by color. I think we tried to combine them for about 4 days before I just got annoyed. I don’t care how to wash dress shirts and if he washes everything by how it dries, I see a white shirt turning colors in my future.
bagge72 November 26, 2012, 11:38 am
Yeah I would definitely just ruin her stuff if I washed it haha, I pretty much was everything together, except I do my gym clothes separately, because they get pretty gross!
FireStar November 26, 2012, 10:50 am
My husband and I each do our own laundry. Both of us are particular and have items that have special care requirements. I have a hard enough time remembering what to take out of mine to dry flat much less adding his item to my mental list.
Diablo November 26, 2012, 12:42 pm
My wife and i keep ours separate, just because we keep our clothes, dress and undress in different rooms. We have an older house with limited main bedroom closet space. However, we do wash together, each do each other’s according to who has time to do it, and no foreign panties turn up in mine. However, it suddenly occurs to me that i have NO IDEA if all those panties are HERS. Maybe I should have been monitoring how many pairs and what types and colours she has. For all i know, HALF those panties could belong to other women! Oh, I feel sick inside…
Amber November 26, 2012, 12:32 pm
I keep mine seperate. Some of my clothes can’t go in the dryer, some I wash in cold water only, etc. I would rather just do it myself than risk having to through out a shirt because it found it’s way into the dryer and shrinks.
Anna November 26, 2012, 12:38 pm
No, not weird. My ex has OCD and did his own laundry from age 12. He wouldn’t even let his mom touch his laundry, much less me. The entire 8 years we lived together, our laundry never mixed because it would set off his little OCD tick. A few times, he had to ask me to take his basket to the laundromat because he didn’t have time to go but I still had to keep the two baskets separate and use separate washers and dryers.
Meredith November 26, 2012, 1:39 pm
Could be a reason to keep them separate. My husbands job is very physical and he comes home every night drenched in sweat. I make him keep his clothes in a separate hamper bc they stink so bad I don’t want them touching mine lol. Could be the same kind of thing going on here with the LW.
MMcG November 26, 2012, 3:09 pm
Doesn’t seem weird to me…
There are certain things I always keep separate, I don’t have an issue with washing my husband’s clothes or either of us doing sheets/towels, but I just know he would put one of my bras in the dryer… etc. etc…. and I’m pretty picky about about how my clothes are washed and dried. I started doing my own laundry at 13 because I didn’t even like the way my mom did it… so it could be a bad sign or not at all.
MMcG November 26, 2012, 3:12 pm
I also may or may not have OCD about certain things 😉
Jiggs November 26, 2012, 3:15 pm
Nah, I do that. I just don’t want him ruining my clothes, basically, so we each do our own.
Diablo November 26, 2012, 5:41 pm
Contrary to popular myth, men CAN be trained to do laundry and other simple household chores. You just need to use a reward system (and no I don’t mean those pellets they give rats) and lots of positive reinforcement. Good luck!
LM November 26, 2012, 6:05 pm
I don’t find it odd. My husband and I keep our laundry separate – separate baskets and all – but mostly because we lose socks. We’ve had it this way since we got married and will combine laundry if there isn’t a full load.
J June 18, 2018, 1:07 am
Not really. Me and my husband have lived together for 4 years and we have separate hampers because a) we each have our own closet and b) because we wash our clothing differently. I like all of my clothes to be cold washed without fabric softener and hung dry. My husband likes his clothes washed in warm with fabric softener and machine dried. What would be the point of consolidating our laundry?
j2 November 26, 2012, 9:45 am
I apoloigize for my first long answer here.
LW is in a terrible situation. In CSI or NCIS, they would do DNA testing of the thong, but this is nasty real world stuff with no clear answer before the end of the hour.
Her husband’s refusal to offer an excuse suggests to me that he is an experienced liar and a serial cheater. Only such guys have learned to recognize when saying nothing is better than saying anything.
The exact situation she related has been in many Dear Abby type columns. How the advice may have changed over time, I do not know, but the first time I encountered it was when I overheard what was supposed to be a joke. The reason I remember it was that I was so young and naive that I did not understand the punch line. It was quite a while before I worked up the nerve to ask someone. The “joke” went something like this:
Two men were changing into exercise clothes in a locker room. One guy was astonished to see that the other was wearing a woman’s undergarment.
“How long have you been women’s panties?”
“Ever since my wife found a pair in my glove compartment.”
My point here is not to make light of this, and I pray never to experience its like myself. What I am trying to say is that cheating and getting caught is apparently so common among some guys that it has been a matter of humor to them for years.
LW caught her husband. Suppose she lets it pass and never catches him again. Did he reform? Or, did he simply become more careful? His silence now suggest the latter to me.
What has really been lost here is trust. Can LW ever have it again? If she cannot, is this a marriage in which she really will want to live?
An emotional and contrite admission of guilt followed by seemingly sincere repentance might be enough for me to be willing to try to forgive and try again. A cold and caclulating silent denial like LW described would be a deal-breaker to me, though, even if the “deal” was marriage.
I am so sorry LW, but I agree with Wendy that you should seriously consider the MOA option NOW, and not a surprise bout of STDs later.
muffy November 26, 2012, 2:23 pm
There’s an episode of curb your enthusiasm like that. Jeff has a pair of women’s panties in his car from cheating on susie and he makes larry pretend they’re his and larry has to wear them around and susie stares at him like he’s a crazy man the whole episode.
To be honest I don’t like that episode because it was making light of Jeff cheating on his wife. Sure she’s a real witch but he could just divorce her. It makes me worry for my own marriage someday – if avoiding me finding out will just become so joke between friends even though things like that are so hurtful. They really make you feel as if you aren’t good enough.
RMM0278 November 26, 2012, 9:51 am
I completely understand where you’re coming from on feeling like you’re the last to know. But I do agree with Wendy that you’ve got to talk to some trusted friends on this because they might have information you don’t know about. I don’t normally offer unsolicited advice on stuff like this unless asked. Ask them, ask them, ask them.
Although I didn’t know anything was amiss in my relationship, I later found out my ex had been talking to everyone else about all the doubts he was having. So yes I was literally the last to know…because he didn’t tell me! Believe me…I was totally humiliated.
GatorGirl November 26, 2012, 9:58 am
Do women really misplace their underpants often? Even in my hottest of moments I always have thought to track down my undies post romp.
SixtyFour November 26, 2012, 10:25 am
One time a pair of my dirty underwear got wrapped up in my ex’s pajama pants and then he put them back in the drawer. I didn’t notice I was missing a pair because I had spent the night and brought a clean pair to wear for the next day. It wasn’t until months later that he went to put on that pair of pajama pants that he found it. So yes, this does happen, especially after you’ve been with someone for a while.
But leaving a pair after a one night stand – no, definitely not. I would hunt that shit down.
MissDre November 26, 2012, 10:29 am
I’ve done it…. couldn’t find them anywhere afterwards so I went home without them. My bf later found them tangled up weirdly in the sheets.
jlyfsh November 26, 2012, 10:34 am
i’ve left them when i’ve been somewhere for more than one day and had back ups. and i might be the only person who carries a back up in their purse. you just never know!
Kelly L. November 26, 2012, 7:35 pm
I left a pair of tights in a hotel. I was wearing a costume with about a million fiddly black lace pieces, and then BF and I had sex and threw everything everywhere. In the morning I didn’t need to put any of that stuff back on, because I had normal clothes to wear, and just heaped all the fiddly black lace pieces I could find into my laundry bag. Except I must have kicked the tights under the bed or something in the Throes of Passion ™. Because when I got home they were gone. It could just as easily have been my panties. All it takes is for the woman to have different panties to wear after the act and to not be paying a lot of attention.
temperance November 27, 2012, 12:37 pm
I’ve had mine get tangled up in pajamas etc. in the laundry, but that’s about it. I’m boring, lol.
jlyfsh November 26, 2012, 10:09 am
i have to say the thong appears to be the least of your worries based on your letter. it doesn’t seem like there is a lot of trust in your relationship based on everything else you have to say.
and you might be surprised your pre-marital counselor might agree to do an over the phone appointment if you called. and you might get a better response if you both took the call in separate locations. whatever is going on, your husband should be able to talk about it. whether it be that he likes to wear them, he’s cheating or whatever other reason their is.
Iwannatalktosampson November 26, 2012, 10:11 am
Something fishy is going on here. When people get defensive they usually have something to hide. I understand your desire to keep this situations from your friends in the off chance he’s not cheating – or the off chance that he is and you choose to stay together anyway – but I would highly encourage you to reach out to someone. They may be able to offer insight, but most importantly I think regardless of the outcome you’re going to need someone there for support.
Listen I get it – I don’t like airing my dirty laundry either. But if your friends and family end up hating him for his actions there’s a good chance you should hate him for his actions too. Also if you carry the burden of this secret all by yourself you will start to feel isolated and withdraw from your friends and family making you dependent on the one that is hurting you. DV victims do this all the time. They feel shame about how they got themselves in the situation and because of this won’t tell anyone in their lives and then miss out on the chance for their loved ones to help them out of the situation. Then they’re all alone and don’t have the strength to leave. And the cycle continues. I know your situation is different but I really really do hope that you reach out to someone in your life that you trust. Not only trust to be unbiased but also trust that they will not then make your life the Sunday brunch gossip.
jlyfsh November 26, 2012, 10:19 am
i agree as well that talking to a friend doesn’t mean you have to call every friend and family member and hash it out. you can just talk to one or two people you trust with the information, who like you said won’t turn it in to gossip.
MMcG November 26, 2012, 3:23 pm
I would also add that the LW should feel free to guide her friends and family in helping her… you don’t have to share everything all at once with everybody. Sometimes you just need a good venting session and aren’t really ready to process, sometimes you may have a particular question or concern that you want to tap a particular friend for, sometimes you just need an escape for an hour or two by going to a movie and not talking about it… your good friends and family will understand and be there for you!!
Don’t worry about judgment, people who care and love you only want what’s best for you.
SGMcG November 26, 2012, 10:20 am
LW, I know you’re hurting with the mistrust that’s developing. You should make the time to schedule counseling – and if the marriage is just as important to your husband, he should make the time to come with you. I know you will find the strength to overcome this, no matter what may be.
I (and probably others) are curious to know: Where is the thong now? Is there a way we can get a pic the thong in question? I know we’re all assuming that the thong belongs to a women, but unless you check the label, it could very well be a male thong. He could be experimenting with his underwear choices and is embarrased to admit it. If he’s not willing to communicate about it with you, then you have a much more pressing issue than finding random underwear in his laundry.
ebstarr November 26, 2012, 11:04 am
I mean, they were in the dirty clothes hamper… if she REALLY wants to know whether a man or woman was wearing them, she could do a sniff test. Much easier. I wouldn’t have the stomach for it, though. I can hardly even believe I *said* it. Gross!
Fabelle November 26, 2012, 11:10 am
Yep, I was thinking the same thing…something along the lines of, look at the crotch lining?
But the circumstances of this particular letter REALLY makes me doubt the husband is the one wearing them. Everything about it is just too shady.
KKZ November 26, 2012, 11:18 am
HA! I almost suggested the same thing but thought…nah…that’s too gross. So I co-sign your comment and stand with you in ickyness.
ebstarr November 26, 2012, 11:30 am
Hahaha I’m glad someone else will own up to the thought. 🙂
KKZ November 26, 2012, 10:36 am
Again I am smacked in the face with how utterly naive and trusting I must be. If I found not-mine panties in my husband’s laundry and he insisted he didn’t know how they got there, and I had *no other reason* to believe that he’s been cheating on me, I’d probably chalk it up to “That’s weird” and shrug it off and move on. If another red flag came my way then my tone on the panties would change, but otherwise, meh.
And I can even understand the husband’s frustration and silence. If someone came to me flinging accusations which I knew to be untrue (even if I couldn’t explain why) and they refused to believe me when I said I didn’t know, I’d probably get kinda pissy too and would stop trying. I’d only see it necessary to invent a lie if I was actually guilty and trying to hide it. So that part of Wendy’s letter hit me a bit weird.
Clearly I am not only ripe for exploitation but a manipulative communicator.
Anyway, enough about me. To the LW I say, you two got married pretty recently. Did he have a bachelor party? Maybe they’re a souvenir from a stripper, or a gag gift from a tasteless buddy. And I wouldn’t rule out that he may be the person wearing them, too, or using them for his own purposes.
ktfran November 26, 2012, 10:49 am
Thank you for saying this. I’m kind of with you. Unless I had reason to believe my boyfriend or husband was cheating, I honestly think I would chalk it up to some weird thing that happened. And I can see the husband getting frustrated if he really doesn’t know what happened and LW keeps asking it.
I dunno. That’s why as Wendy suggested, I think it’s good to air some concerns with a trusted friend who knows your husband, LW.
iwannatalktosampson November 26, 2012, 10:53 am
Some weird thing happening? If they do their laundry at their house how would a thong just magically appear in his laundry? Does their house spontaneously create underwear? Sorry I live in the real world and don’t believe in magic. Except Harry Potter. That shit’s real.
GatorGirl November 26, 2012, 11:36 am
112% agree. Undies DO NOT just magically appear. We even use a common laundry room and I would still raise an eye brow to a random pair of undies in the DIRTY hamper.
katie November 26, 2012, 11:48 am
and anyway, “some weird thing happened” is *almost* never a good enough explanation. things that happen in our world always have an explanation…
KKZ November 26, 2012, 11:59 am
Sure, everything happens for a reason, I get that – but the reason isn’t always *knowable.* And if you can’t figure out the reason, that doesn’t mean defaulting to the worst case scenario.
Is there reason to *suspect* he’s been cheating? Sure.
Is there reason to *believe* he’s been cheating? Not in my opinion.
Some women go from ‘suspect’ to ‘believe’ mighty quickly, is all I’m saying.
Fabelle November 26, 2012, 12:17 pm
I get what you’re saying, but the thing is that…it’s a little unbelievable that he has noooo idea where they came from, unless he really DOES know & doesn’t want to say.
My boyfriend once came across a man’s sweatshirt in my spare room (where I have shit ton of clothing lying around) & asked (suspiciously!) to whom it belonged. I looked it over with interest, & realized I had no idea.
However, I knew that when I’d moved home from college, I wound up poaching all sort of clothes. My dorm room was messy & my roommate’s dude friends left stuff there all the time. So I guessed that was where the sweatshirt came from. Like MISS MJ said down below, even if a person wasn’t sure, wouldn’t they kind of try to figure it out? If they were innocent? It sounds like this LW’s husband is shutting down any & all conversation about it.
MISS MJ November 26, 2012, 1:20 pm
Good point about there being a distinction between finding clean underwear that may have gotten mixed in with the laundry somehow and dirty underwear found in the bottom of the hamper. It’s highly unlikely that someone else’s dirty underwear just happened to find itself in the LW’s husband’s hamper with him having no knowledge of where it came from. In fact, I honestly cannot think of a single explanation for how you end up with someone else’s dirty underwear in your hamper with no knowledge of how they got there if you have not had guests or you have not recently been a guest somewhere else. Maybe they got mixed in at the gym? Or some other event where you were changing clothes and your clothes got mixed up with someone else’s? But even then, shirts, socks, etc., I could see, but thongs? It’s a stretch.
muffy November 26, 2012, 2:25 pm
I sure hope HP is real!
KKZ November 26, 2012, 11:10 am
Oh good, glad I’m not totally alone.
I’m just trying to imagine it on the flip side. My husband is doing our laundry (hard to imagine by itself, LOL!) and finds a pair of boxer briefs that aren’t his. He brings them to me and asks where they came from, but I truly have no idea! I’m just as confused as he is. He asks me if I’m cheating, and I insist that I’m not. He presses the issue, I repeat myself. He KEEPS pressing because he hasn’t gotten an answer that satisfies him yet, and I get really annoyed at him for it. I didn’t cheat and I don’t know how the undies got there; he’s already got it in his head that I’ve cheated, and the evidence is admittedly stacked against me, but what else can I say? If I go to extreme lengths to prove my innocence, won’t that look like an attempt at a cover-up? I could just make something up, but how exactly does lying help a situation where trust is already coming into question? So I tell him where I am: I didn’t do anything wrong but you don’t believe me anyway, so there’s not much else I can say to exonerate myself.
Of course, this is all assuming my own innocence, and translated to the LW, assuming the husband’s innocence too. I’m sure the dialogue would go much differently if I were indeed guilty; I’d probably be lying my ass off. But I thought the rule is “innocent until proven guilty.” Panties in the laundry are evidence, but not conclusive proof. In the absence of other evidence, this would get thrown out of court, so to speak.
KKZ November 26, 2012, 12:34 pm
As I said, I tend to be naive, gullible and trusting. Anyone here is free to think me an idiot for being so. I won’t say it’s never gotten me burned in the past, but I still find myself pretty liberal with giving the benefit of the doubt, so I’m guessing this is just one of my personality traits. So be it.
ktfran November 26, 2012, 3:07 pm
I’m still with you KKZ and I imagined the same scenario you did playing out in my head.
Ginger Laine November 26, 2012, 10:52 am
Keep in mind though that MOST people have “no other reason to believe” their significant other is cheating on them until they stumble upon the proof.
In all of my 30+ years, I have NEVER just ended up with someone else’s underwear. Never. (And yes, I even lived in a dorm. I do understand most people’s “underwear left at the laundromat explanations” though.) And even if I HAD somehow ended up with someone’s underwear & my husband found them, I’d be absolutely DISTRAUGHT that he’d found someone else’s underwear among my possessions & I had no explanation for it. The LAST thing I’d do would be to shut down & stop trying. A person who’s telling the truth when it matters will defend that truth with their last breath. No innocent person says to the cops, “I didn’t commit that crime, but you guys won’t believe me anyway, so whatevs.” I likewise can’t imagine a faithful spouse being presented with accusations of cheating just blowing that off. It would matter to them that they’re believed, even if they thought it was a silly thing to be accused of. And if it didn’t… then I’d have to wonder why I was trying so hard when my significant other was obviously less motivated.
katie November 26, 2012, 10:55 am
it is more telling that he is so “eh” about the whole situation then anything else, really… if this was your relationship potentially on the line, if it mattered to you, you’d fight for it.
iwannatalktosampson November 26, 2012, 10:57 am
Seriously. Unless you didn’t want to fight and just wanted the fight to be over because too much digging would prove fatal to your playing dumb.
FireStar November 26, 2012, 11:33 am
I agree. I would have thought he would want to figure things out MORE than the wife would and it would only have taken asking one time before he walked through all possibilities with her, the gym when his clothes fell on the floor, his sister visiting – whatever. And however far-fetched – there IS a reason to explain how they got there.
Amanda November 26, 2012, 11:02 am
WKKZS! My first thought was that the underwear belonged to the LW’s husband since she found them in his laundry. Maybe he is too embarrassed to admit that they are his even though he and the LW are married. Everyone has weird, innocent things that they do that they may not want to admit to doing, even to their spouse.
iwannatalktosampson November 26, 2012, 11:05 am
Okay then now would be the time to admit that – and he’s still choosing to keep secrets. Not okay with me.
Desiree November 26, 2012, 11:38 am
The bachelor party thing seems sorta plausible. I mean, I personally still wouldn’t be particularly happy with that (assuming they came from a stripper and weren’t just a gag gift), but that would be better than outright cheating.
FireStar November 26, 2012, 11:41 am
How often do people do laundry though? Wouldn’t bachelor party clothes already be washed by now?
jlyfsh November 26, 2012, 11:52 am
if my husband was left to do his own laundry he would only wash things he needed, meaning his favorite pants and shirts. i could see him leaving something like an undershirt in the hamper for a few months if he didn’t need it.
although, i would be surprised if that is what it was from. you would think he would just come up with that on his own eventually and not hide it.
KKZ November 26, 2012, 12:13 pm
Unless the LW is really sensitive about strippers….
jlyfsh November 26, 2012, 12:22 pm
if they are that mis-matched about the idea of strippers that he has to lie and they can’t have an adult conversation about it (on both of their ends) then they were either not ready for marriage or not ready to marry each other.
Jess November 27, 2012, 1:17 pm
Or maybe they’re not mismatched about the idea of strippers, and he got ambushed with them and he’s petrified with shame? That’s happened to a couple of my more bashful male friends.
However, I agree with what someone said above. They JUST got married. He should probably be more concerned with trying to save the relationship.
Either way, it should probably be back to therapy with them..
Lindsay November 26, 2012, 3:14 pm
If they were a gag gift or from a bachelor party, then I assume he’d say that and they’d move on. Honestly, if he had any good reason at all, then surely he’d tell her what it was or at least offer some kind of speculation, especially since it sounds like there are very limited numbers of ways that it could have ended up in his stuff.
I’m not too keen on discounting the LW so quickly. I know a lot of you wouldn’t assume that your SO cheating, which is a good sign for your relationship, but that doesn’t mean that it’s irrational for her to do so. This guy has been shady in the past, so ignoring the thong seems like it would be kind of naive.
iwannatalktosampson November 26, 2012, 10:38 am
Oh and duh LW – if you’ve learned nothing from previous LW’s now is the time when you just start snooping through his phone and following him to “work” – assuming that is where he is headed.
Kate B. November 26, 2012, 10:41 am
I haven’t read any of the comments, so I apologize if this is a double post. This is what I would say to him: “Honey, I don’t think that I am getting the whole story, here. This thong did not teleport itself into our laundry, so I want to know how it 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 this thong 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.
llclarityll November 26, 2012, 10:50 am
Did anyone else’s red flags go up with the mention that the thongs were *wrapped up* in his undershirt? My first thought after reading the headline, I thought they could be a sisters/relatives/friends that accidentally went home with her/him after a trip or visit. But thongs don’t just get wrapped up in a shirt.
Trust your gut, don’t just roll over and play dead.
llclarityll November 26, 2012, 10:52 am
Oof terrible sentence structure, sawry
Anna November 26, 2012, 12:43 pm
Yeah, that seemed weird to me too. It seemed like someone was intentionally trying to hide or disguise them.
CSP November 26, 2012, 10:55 am
LW, If it was me, I would wait until a day you both have off. And say that you need all his passwords to everything. Phone, email, facebook, credit cards, bank, everything. Say that in order to feel comfortable, you need to go through them. If he balks, say you need to go to therapy together. Look and see if either of you have coverage through your insurance. Be calm but it is time to get to the bottom of this.
MISS MJ November 26, 2012, 11:12 am
OK, so the reverse of this happened to me. My husband found a pair of random boxers in his drawer years ago. I, of course, had no idea how they’d gotten there since we have our own machine and I hadn’t had any “extra curricular” activities going on. So, when he asked me about it, I legitimately had no idea. Then, I remembered that his friend had stayed with us weeks before, so I told him to ask his friend if they were his and they somehow got mixed in with our laundry, washed and put away. (Boxers are boxers to me, the laundry lady.) Turns out, that’s where they came from.
Like thongs, boxers don’t just appear from nowhere. Unlike the LW’s husband, when confronted with a random pair of undies, I actually was stumped, weirded out and wanted to figure out where they came from. And, that’s the LW’s problem. Her husband isn’t interested in figuring out how a thong magically appeared wrapped up in a shirt in his laundry. He’s only interested in making sure the LW doesn’t keep trying to figure it out by making her feel bad about asking. Chances are, he knows exactly how they got there and it isn’t because he has a panty fetish. As tough as it is to hear, I think the LW should insist on a straight answer, insist on renewed marriage therapy and really think hard about whether she wants to MOA. It’s tough to do, but it’s easier now at 6 weeks than it will be 6 years down the road.
redessa November 26, 2012, 2:00 pm
Exactly! It’s entirely possible (I don’t happen to think it likely in this case, but possible) that the LW’s husband has no idea where the thong came from. But shouldn’t he be mentally retracing his steps and thinking back to anyone who may have been in their house recently and trying to figure it out?
I can’t imagine having some mystery underwear in my hamper and not driving myself nuts trying to figure out where they came from – even for my own peace of mind, not to mention the spouse who also wants an explaination. His lack of interest here is what’s making it look like he knows exactly what’s going on and is hoping she’ll let it go.
MMcG November 26, 2012, 3:41 pm
@redessa, completely agree! If anything else I would be going nuts because there could be some nutball getting off on breaking into my home and laundry (I may watch too many CSIs)
Tzvifl November 28, 2012, 1:39 am
I’d really some more information before jumping to some of the conclusions most of the commentators are making here.
You may be right that the husband has always been totally uninterested in figuring out where the thong came from. But while the LW does so their initial conversation “not a productive conversation to say the least”, it does not necessarily follow that the husband simply refused to discuss any of the various ways they could have gotten there, before concluding he was stumped. And I also would not jump to the conclusion that he has stonewalled throughout with his “You don’t believe me so there is nothing I can say” routine. All that it’s clear from the letter is that he has now arrived at that point – apparently after numerous conversations. I would like to know how long into the process the stonewalling “nothing I can say” responses began.
If the assumptions being made by most commentators are correct – he refused to even discuss any possible explanation, and almost immediately went into the passive-aggressive “”You don’t believe me so there is nothing I can say” routine, then the dominant analysis is right, the guy appears very guilty or at least a major douche. But I don’t think the letter necessarily establishes that.
If not, maybe the guy really does not know. I note some commentators have admitted similar things have happened to them where they really didn’t know where stray undies came from. Of course the thing didn’t materialise by itself, but weird shit does happen occasionally. (Say it got put in his gym bag, or was placed there as a joke, or was somehow packed in a package of men’s undies he bought at a store, or he stayed at a hotel and something was left by a previous occupant which got put in his bag, or he sat down somewhere and a stray thong he was sitting on got stuck to his clothes. Admittedly, each of these is very improbable. But they are not impossible,- and the letter itself is a highly improbably event – and if they did happen, one might genuinely have no idea how one ended up with a thong in one’s hamper. We should therefore not completely rule out the possibility he is telling the truth about that.)
I think the fact that husband gave it to the wife to wash essentially proves he did not know it was mixed in with his clothes (though of course I am not saying he does not know exactly where they came from – just not that they were in his hamper). People are stupid but not that stupid – nor does the LW hint that her husband is generally mentally lacking – and if he wanted to use it as an excuse to break up, it sounds likely he would probably have done so by now, sighing about how wronged he is that she does not trust him.
And I could possibly even explain if not excuse the “”You don’t believe me so there is nothing I can say” routine if they went round and round a few dozen times, he genuinely has no idea where they came from, and he sees no point in talking about it anymore. Some guys do that – get passive -aggressive out of desperation not to talk about a problem with no solution – at some stage without being complete douches.
I agree that in any case, at the very least counseling certainly seems in order – even if my best case scenario is true. But if we want to give the letter writer the best advice, I think its best not to get into a group-think process of making assumptions about the situation which aren’t specifically in the letter.
FireStar November 26, 2012, 11:16 am
This kind of sucks. A pair of underwear in a hamper isn’t really enough to storm off to a divorce lawyer – but it is not something you can shrug off either – particularly if there has been other other deception that makes you question his honesty. I’d sit him down and say you want to hear his explanation for how they got there. Whatever it is. That in a marriage you can’t pick and choose what issues are important to your partner and you have to address them even if the truth is “They aren’t mine, I don’t know how they got there and I don’t really care” You have to go through the history of where you were and what could have happened. His telling you you won’t believe him is just a way to flip the script on you. All of a sudden you don’t trust him – when he hasn’t even given you a statement to mistrust. Of course, if he knows exactly how they got there – it becomes very awkward for him. But that too is better to know now rather than later. Where ever it leads, you have to get to the bottom of it. (so to speak :s )
If you aren’t getting anywhere on your own then I would skip the friend analysis and find a counselor asap. The one that moved out of state is not the only one you can see – I promise you there are other counselors where you live – and since this is important your husband will just have to make time in his schedule. There is no profession on the planet that can’t make time when they need to – and he needs to. Good luck. I hope for your sake that all it is is that he has a not-so-secret account on Victoria’s Secret.
EricaSwagger November 26, 2012, 11:32 am
The most interesting part of your letter was that your husband let you find the thong. He must have remembered balling it up in his shirt and throwing it in the laundry. So I’m surprised your suggestion to pick through his laundry didn’t make him nervous.
I mean, if I had someone else’s underwear I didn’t want my SO to find, you bet your ass I’d know exactly where they were at all times, and protect myself by making sure he went nowhere near them.
Someone who is cheating yet still cares about you will at least have the common decency or self-preservation mindset to hide the fact that they’re cheating. He LET you find them, which either means he’s really stupid or he just plain doesn’t give a crap about your relationship.
FireStar November 26, 2012, 11:38 am
I don’t think he knew at all. If it did belong to someone extra-curricular then – unless she mentioned she was missing them – he would never have expected them to be in his hamper. And even if she was missing them he might have assumed they were in the chandelier or under a bed – not wrapped up in his clothes.
j2 November 26, 2012, 11:47 am
I agree with FS.
Additionally, maybe the two of them took extra-special care to corral all the evidence the first time or five, but they got careless after the tenth time w/o discovery.
EricaSwagger November 26, 2012, 12:59 pm
The thong was wrapped up in one of his shirts, though. That sounds like “intentionally hidden” to me. Someone took the time to ball up the shirt and thong to make sure they weren’t seen. Shirts don’t ball themselves up around suspicious panties.
redessa November 26, 2012, 2:03 pm
Unless his shirt landed on top of the panties, and he just picked it up in a ball and threw it in the hamper. He may not have realized the thong was wadded up with the shirt.
landygirl November 26, 2012, 12:34 pm
My prediction is that the LW will find out her husband likes to dress in women’s clothing.
Also, for those of you who read Dear Prudence, Emily Yoffee will be doing an AMA on Reddit on Dec. 5th at 1:00PM (most likely that EST). It should be interesting.
Regina Chapman November 26, 2012, 12:46 pm
The part about this letter that made me mad is the part were he simply REFUSES to communicate. Yes, I read and partly agree with KKZ’s ‘defense’ of the situation a bit higher up, but I think he at least could have said something along the lines of “Whoa, that’s weird. Eh, let me guess: [reasonable explanation]?”
That kind of reaction would have made it a case of two people wondering about something weird together. His actual reaction of “No idea. Drop it.” kind of shuts her out and (obviously) makes her feel bad and alone in this. That in itself is not a good sign, whether or not he knows where the panties came from.
Also, I think whether or not you feel that your partner is ‘shutting you out’ with a denial is an indicator of whether or not you have reason to worry. Like a lot of other commenters, finding mystery panties in our laundry wouldn’t phase me a bit, but that’s because I can totally tell when my man is honestly clueless and when he’s awkwardly trying to avoid a topic.
AKchic November 26, 2012, 12:46 pm
I can think of a few reasons why a thong would be in your new husband’s laundry that doesn’t mean he cheated.
1) They are his. Seriously. He wears women’s underwear. Are they big enough to fit him? No, well… moving on…
2) They are his masturbation motivation. He got them from a stripper from his bachelor party, from a former girlfriend, hell, from some random chick at a bar (does it truly matter?), but he used them to help get his rocks off and he wanted to wash them up. It would make sense since he wadded them up in a shirt (probably the same shirt he used to clean up after masturbating).
One of the games to play at a bachelor party bar hop is to get a random female to give you a pair of her panties. I know because I “donated” a pair of mine to said cause. The story is hilarious, but I won’t go into it right now (those poor, unsuspecting bachelor party-goers…).
But, as Wendy said, he needs to offer up some sort of explanation. There is no reason for no excuse. As I tell my kids, there is ALWAYS a reason for everything in life. Even if it’s “because I wanted to”, that’s still a reason.
John Rohan November 26, 2012, 12:50 pm
Dear Wendy, I’m going to write an unpopular answer here, but I have a good reason to.
How can you demand an explanation from him, if he really doesn’t know? Calling it a “bull shit reply” that he doesn’t know where they came from, means that you are completely siding with the LW and not even entertaining the possibility that the husband is innocent. I have no idea if he is telling the truth or not, but if he really didn’t know anything, then it stands to reason he can’t give an explanation!
I say this because I found myself in this EXACT same situation as a newlywed myself about 15 years ago, when my wife helped me move my clothes out of my military barracks into our first apartment. When she took the laundry out of the dryer, she found a pair of someone else’s panties in it, and was very angry (they were definitely not her size, for one thing). She asked me where they came from, and I had no idea. If she wrote a letter to “Dear Wendy” back then, it would have looked very much like the letter above. And so I assume you would have called my explanation “bull shit” as well. But I really had no idea!! The only thing I could think of is that the panties were already in the washing machine when she used it (she was using a public laundry). She insisted that was not possible. As a result, we were not on good terms for several days, and finally I thought to ask her what clothes were with the panties that she found? She showed me several pairs of boxer shorts in a drawer she put away. Thing is, I never wear boxer shorts!! It turned out, when she was helping me move, she accidentally grabbed a bag of laundry that actually belonged to my roommate instead (and no, while he admitted they were his, I never found out why…). I never would have guessed that possibility.
Bottom line is, there are a million other explanations besides him cheating, and I wouldn’t jump to that conclusion unless I had other reason to suspect cheating, like frequent, secretive use of the cell phone, or unusually working late, etc.
CSP November 26, 2012, 12:57 pm
But the difference between you and this LW is that you tried to figure it out. This guy is doing the “it wasn’t me.” He isn’t trying to clear himself.
FireStar November 26, 2012, 1:12 pm
Exactly. Truly the bigger sin seems to be leaving the doubt with the wife instead of trying to figure out where the underwear came from – assuming innocence on his part. If he isn’t innocent then there really isn’t a lot of figuring out he would have to do – and no legitimate answer he could unearth like you did.
CSP November 26, 2012, 2:01 pm
Sometimes there is a mystery in my home. Like, I can’t find something or something shows up. or there is a bill on the credit card statement that we can’t figure out what it is. My husband and I will think about it and ponder it for days. Then we will think of something together. It always works out in the end but if he got shady and said, “I don’t know what that wierd charge is.” or something. My antenna would be up, ya know.
ele4phant November 26, 2012, 12:58 pm
But, they have an in unit washer dryer.
And they haven’t (well not within the last six months anyways) recently moved.
And they have a past history of him lying and withholding information from her.
In other words, their situation is different from yours and your wife’s.
Its not guaranteed he was cheating, and it might even be a totally innocent mix-up. But given his behaviour now (he’s being totally defensive and unlike you he seems to have no interest in trying to figure out how this could have happened innocently) and the exact context of their marriage, I think the LW has legitimate reason to be concerned.
John Rohan November 26, 2012, 1:05 pm
Sure the fine details of their situation is different from mine, but guess what – she can’t provide all those details in a Dear Wendy letter. There are probably a 100 other possible causes of action in their life as well.
And I suppose my reaction at the time would have been considered “totally defensive” as well. If we didn’t figure out where they came from, I assume that to this day it would still be a point of contention in our home.
FireStar November 26, 2012, 1:14 pm
It is the figuring it out that saves your story from being anything like this LW’s husband. If he tried to figure out where they came from – that would have been a different story altogether.
MISS MJ November 26, 2012, 1:07 pm
Your case is different from the LW’s (and mine and that of the others who have reported a similar experience) in that there was actually a plausible explanation for where the offending undies came from — shared washing machine, mixed up laundry bag, guests, roommates, etc. — whereas, the LW explained that she cannot fall back on any of those reasons. Not to mention that the biggest difference is that you were as committed to finding out where the undies came from as your wife was. In the LW’s case, it’s pretty plain that the only way those panties got in that hamper is because the husband had a hand in getting them there. It’s also plain that the LW’s husband isn’t interested in helping her find out why there was a random thong in his hamper. As others have pointed out, there are actually several non-cheating reasons why the LW’s husband may have had panties in his hamper, such as they were his, it’s a fetish thing or they were a bachelor party favor. But, none of those explanations involve him being ignorant of where they came from. So, if he’s got an excuse, he should start talking. His unwillingness to do so speaks volumes.
landygirl November 26, 2012, 1:54 pm
All of my salad forks went missing and my husband not only wasn’t alarmed, he wasn’t curious at to where they went. I still don’t know what happened to them but my guess is he threw them out without thinking.
Rouge November 26, 2012, 3:36 pm
This happened to me too!
landygirl November 26, 2012, 5:03 pm
It is mindblowing that they just disappeared, right?
Laura November 26, 2012, 11:40 pm
This has happened to my parents, except nearly ALL of the forks have gone missing. My mom suspects people throw them away when we have lots of people over (or more likely, when my dad cleans up he tosses them because he’s utterly oblivious to stuff like that). I swear they have like 3 left and now try very hard to stick to plastic when they have lots of guests.
Why forks and not spoons or anything else, though, is beyond me!
GatorGirl November 26, 2012, 1:11 pm
Problem is you were using a public laundry facility- not you’re own personal in home washing machine. In your situation the undies were found clean (easily explained with the public laundry) in this situation they were balled up in the dirty hamper (not so easily explained).
Also there is a history of dishonesty in the LW’s relationship. And the husbands reaction was a red flag too.
katie November 26, 2012, 1:17 pm
i definitely agree that there are a bunch of possibilities over where they came from- but this husband doesnt seem to care where they came from.
a “i dont know” IS a bullshit answer 99% of the time about anything! “i dont know how the dishes were left out last night” bullshit- you just didnt want to/forgot to do them. “i dont know how your shirt ended up shrunk in the dryer instead of hung up” bullshit- you just didnt put enough time/effort into laundry. “i dont know how your internet explorer looks different today” bullshit. you accidentally pushed a button to change the settings.
bagge72 November 26, 2012, 1:19 pm
I would actually say that your situation is not even close to the one of the LW. She has in home laundry, they have been living together for almots 2 and a half years so it couldn’t have been a misunderstanding while moving, and you tried to figure it out instead of denying it the whole time. With all of the information this LW provided there really isn’t a million different explanations for this situation, there really is only a couple. Either they are his, he is cheating, he jerks off in them, or somebody is pulling a pretty shitty prank on him, but he definitely knows what they are from, and that is why he isn’t saying anything.
landygirl November 26, 2012, 1:32 pm
You always give the worst possible advice because you’re too busy trying to defend men rather than focusing on the actual situation at hand.
AKchic November 26, 2012, 3:00 pm
Dude, are you a men’s rights advocate or something? Did a nasty woman hurt you in some way that makes you afraid to come off your high horse? Did you do something, or did a woman accuse you of doing something that is now on your criminal record?
My 1st husband likes to tout himself as a Men’s Rights Advocate. The thing is, he is an abusive, violent lout and uses the fact that his first child’s mother was psychologically damaged (the whole reason why he chose her as a girlfriend in order to abuse her) and “abused” him and abused their son as the reason for why he was accidentally abusive to every abusive female in every relationship he’s had since. He’s never the abuser. He’s always abused and therefore it justifies his bad behavior. Sorry, but when there is a 10 year minimum age difference, as well as a 75lb weight difference (minimum), and no issues with any of the women until one individual comes along, it’s time to call a spade a spade.
Let’s turn the tables on this LW. LW is now a man and his WIFE of 6 weeks has a pair of men’s skivvies wrapped up in a shirt in her laundry. She has a history of keeping secrets, lying, and she is not giving any explanation whatsoever about the undies in her wadded up shirt in her laundry. What would you tell this dude?
landygirl November 26, 2012, 3:08 pm
If he isn’t a troll, which I suspect, he is living in an alternate reality from the rest of us.
John Rohan November 27, 2012, 9:16 am
AKchic & Landygirl,
So you are accusing me of being a “troll” because I disagree with Wendy on this letter. I HIGHLY recommend you look up the actual definition of a troll before you comment here again.
And this is too rich. Here you both are, calling me names, trying to take this to the realm of the PERSONAL, accusing me of being a “woman hater” and comparing me to some violent guy you used to be married to. Whatever. You both obviously have issues, and I wish you the best. But I never met you and I’m not responsible for whatever some guy did to you previously in your life, so I shouldn’t have to put up with your crap.
If you disagree with my comment, fine. Let me know why you disagree. But why don’t you keep it to that comment only and leave the personal out of it. I know Wendy has warned commenters about this kind of behavior before. Ironically, it looks like you haven’t been listening.
Wendy November 27, 2012, 9:21 am
John’s entitled to his opinion and to voicing it here in the comments. I didn’t read anything offensive in his comments. Did I miss something? So, he disagreed with me. That’s fine! I welcome disagreement. I guess I’m missing what it is he wrote that was so awful.
lets_be_honest November 26, 2012, 4:16 pm
While I’m 90% sure the husband is cheating, I can see why this guy wrote this out. Details are different, but he was in a similar scenario, so shared it. Some people on here are 90% sure the husband wears them himself, so who knows who is right.
I guess what I’m trying to say is why do you think this commenter is so mean/an MRA/on a high horse? Am I missing something? (very possible!)
MissDre November 26, 2012, 4:30 pm
I think this guy has commented multiple times in the past and pretty much always has the opposite POV as the majority of the DW community (i.e. he’s pretty much always on the side of the man in the letter). He’s been called a troll many times before. I have no idea if he is or if he isn’t but I don’t see his responses as much different than BGM (why everybody seems like BGM so much and then hate this guy, I have no idea).
lets_be_honest November 26, 2012, 4:39 pm
Oh, thanks Miss Dre!
John Rohan November 27, 2012, 9:10 am
Actually, you are so wrong I hardly know where to start. I agree with Wendy about 90% of the time. I only write comments on the few times I disagree, like now.
I enjoy this site well enough, but I’m too busy to become part of the regular “community” and constantly post comments in agreement with the hivemind (I happen to be in Afghanistan at the moment, BTW). I guess some of you need constant affirmation, and can’t stand anyone to disagree with them. But once it ceases to be fun to comment here anymore (like now) I won’t do it. I have better things to do.
MissDre November 27, 2012, 10:34 am
For the record, I don’t think you’ve said anything particularly offensive, I don’t think you’re a troll, but if the only time you ever comment is to disagree, can you sort of see why people might think that way?
At least with BGM, even though he disagrees with many of us and tends to stir up a lot of debates, he’s on here often enough and comments about himself often enough that people know who he is. Now, I’m not saying you have to be commenting on here all the time to be allowed to voice your differing opinion, I’m just saying that since you only pop up once in a while and always to disagree, I can see why people might think you’re just a troll (how is everyone supposed to know that 90% of the time you agree if you’ve never said so?)
Just my 2 cents.
AKchic November 26, 2012, 5:22 pm
What MissDre said. This guy is so anti-woman in his defense of his “bros” that it crosses that border of “hostility” at times. I do get the whole solidarity thing, but sometimes, things are inexcusable. Got a shrewish mate? Deal with the problem or dump him/her, not sleep around. Get caught? Come clean or make up a believable story, don’t just give up and offer no explanation whatsoever and expect the other party to come to their own conclusion. Unless you WANT to be dumped. To me, that says “hey, I didn’t really want to marry you in the first place, but I didn’t want to look for a new apartment so I just went with it”. What a waste.
J June 18, 2018, 12:51 am
I’m a woman and had found a pair of women’s underwear and a shirt that did not belong to me when I was single. I have absolutely no clue how they ended up in my clean laundry pile. The shirt looked athletic so I assumed I must have accidentally picked it up at the gym. If I had been married at the time, Im sure I would have thought my husband was cheating with a gym harlet.
What is someone who doesnt know where clothing items came from supposed to say to not look like he is lying if saying “I dont know where they came from” is definitely a lie?
spark November 26, 2012, 3:21 pm
Based on this evidence, I’d say that the chance of him cheating is very high, like 90%. I’d give it a 9% chance that the panties were jerk material (although that is a good and plausible explanation), and a 1% chance they belonged to him. I think it looks overwhelmingly suspicious. A bold, bright red flag. I just don’t understand how some commenters could shrug it off if they found themselves in a similar situation. It’s underwear! In your wash! When you have a private washer! Things don’t magically appear. Thongs don’t magically appear.
AKchic November 26, 2012, 3:52 pm
I had underwear magically appear in my drawer a few weeks ago. We have our own washer/dryer in our home. The white, threadbare, granny panties were OBVIOUSLY not mine, just by looking at the size (I’m a 6, the tag clearly read “11”). I checked with our roommate, who I knew wore white panties (I do NOT wear white panties, ever). She’s bigger than me (she’s 6′ tall), but I didn’t know her panty size. Nope, she’s a 10, and this embarassment was certainly not hers.
It then hit me – my mom did a load of my kids’ clothes when they were over at her place for the weekend. These must have been a pair of hers. Then I felt bad. My mom’s underwear looked like something a homeless woman would be wanting to throw out. So, a call to my stepdad confirmed that my mom wasn’t wanting to spend money to buy herself new ones (my mom is cheap when it comes to her undergarments). So, for Commercialmas, my mom is getting new, high end undies. She’s never paid more than $10 for a pack of Wal-Mart specials and here I am going all out and ordering special stuff for her.
MMcG November 26, 2012, 4:06 pm
That’s awesome… and you are not alone! I’m forcing my mom to try out the spanx no-underwire bras this festivas 🙂
iwannatalktosampson November 26, 2012, 5:04 pm
I’m so surprised at how many people are all like, “OMG I’m sure it’s just the craziest thing that happened. I’m sure there’s a hilarious way a thong got wrapped in his dress shirt, ha ha ha ha ha – that Joseph is always slipping and falling into thongs.” WHAT? No. If there was a hilarious story Joseph would tell her – and she would be at home laughing not writing into DW.
landygirl November 26, 2012, 5:07 pm
We would be remiss by not linking “Thong Song” by Sisqo to this thread.
MMcG November 26, 2012, 5:17 pm
I was thinking “It wasn’t me” by Shaggy
L November 26, 2012, 8:04 pm
I think you are totally justified in your suspicions. The fact that he was so quick to dismiss it is incredibly suspicious. I think Wendy is right in the fact that things weren’t quite “resolved” as you thought. Look deeply into your relationship: is there anything else the matter right now?
A couple weeks ago when I was going through what led up to my breakup, I was freaked that things were wrong because he just stopped talking to me. He said that I was just being paranoid. And then SURPRISE, less than a week later we had broken up. Turns out my “paranoia” was justified. Listen to your gut. Something else is going on.
E November 26, 2012, 10:00 pm
Um, LW…There is a damn good chance those undies were something your husband likes to wear or a pair he bought as a fetish to carry around. He’s probably just (wrongfully) ashamed of a perfectly normal kink. Seriously, though, if the dude was cheating six weeks into a marriage I doubt he’d be so careless or there would be more red flags besides the fact that he kept in touch with an ex and didn’t let you know about the contact. If he had some sidepiece, I just doubt he would say “go ahead honey, do my laundry” in fear of you discovering some lipstick mark or the smell of perfume. Dan Savage has had plenty of letters from dudes who were hiding their secret cross dressing from their spouse/partner. Why don’t you gently ask him if he has any particular kinks? Offer to share yours, and promise that you would never tell a soul.
christina November 27, 2012, 1:01 am
Another explanation for them being there is that the girl who was wearing them hid them in his change of clothes assuming that he or his wife would find the surprise and then the affair would be found out or that he would be reminded of her. I have had more than one friend who found out their guy wasn’t really going to the gym. Especially when they went infrequently. They had the usual change of gym clothes in their bag and sometimes came home in the workout clothes so that they wouldn’t smell like the other girl or the bar etc. where they really went.
We hear it all the time that the other woman wants to tell the wife or girlfriend so that she isn’t a secret anymore or dude just broke it off so she tries to screw up his world. I’ve also met some pretty mean and screwed up girls who would do something like that. He may not have even known they were there.
I think it’s sad if that is the case and I feel sorry for the LW to be left wondering what the explanation was. Wendy is right that he shouldn’t be able to get away with not giving any explanation and trying to turn it back on the LW. Something is up.
Pantyboy January 10, 2018, 8:18 am
My thoughts are they are his and he’s either afraid to tell you he’s wearing panties.
Clint September 5, 2018, 11:06 am
He might get turned on by women’s lingerie. It is not uncommon. He may buy them and wear them under his clothes or just carry them around with him. It doesn’t mean he is or isnt cheating on you but I would explore that option with him before just accusing him. He may just have a totally innocent panty fetish.