My husband and I have been together for six years, four of them married. I have a son who is 11, my husband has two daughters, one in college and the other one college age but living at home and working. I always thought we were happily married until last Saturday.
I was folding laundry when I came across a pair of panties that didn't belong to me. They don't match anything in my stepdaughter's dresser, either. They might belong to the stepdaughter who is at college, but as I do most of her laundry when she is home, I don't think they belong to her, either. I've already eliminated every possible reasonable explanation (no overnight female visitors, no switching of clothes at the beach, etc.).
I really don't know what to do. I haven't spoken to anyone about this. If there is a reasonable explanation, I will look like a jealous, suspicious shrew. If there isn't a reasonable explanation, our home is wrecked, our marriage ruined. I hate to be this way, but I am the woman he cheated with during his previous marriage. My mother tried to warn me — once a cheater, always a cheater. — Panties in a Wad
An almost identical event nearly ruined my third marriage. It turned out that my daughter had been babysitting and, in the process of snooping around her employer's house, had taken a fancy to some Victoria Secrets and 'borrowed' them. They got mixed in with her stepmother's laundry (the woman didn't know how to sort), and subsequently found during the folding process. It was impossible for me to explain to her in a way that she would believe that the panties didn't come off anyone I knew.
Eventually, my daughter admitted to the theft and saved our marriage (albeit temporarily), but not before the damage of trust had been done. Her suspicions aroused, my wife eventually realized that I was telling the truth when she discovered that my girlfriend didn't wear panties. Until that moment, she thought I had bribed my daughter to take the blame. I wish I had thought of that.
You may think you have eliminated every possible reasonable explanation, but I assure you that you haven't. There are any number of possibilities, some of them good, some not so good. For example, have you considered that your husband may be a crossdresser? It could be that they belong to one of your stepdaughters, and the reason you have never seen them until now is that she's been hiding them from you. Let's hope they don't belong to your son. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
The only way you will ever know is to ask, but there are ways of asking that won't generate the confrontation you fear. You might ask your stepdaughter to fold some laundry and let her discover them. If they disappear, you'll know they belong to her. If she brings them to you, you'll know she is innocent. She might even ask the other daughter about them and save you the trouble. Your husband will eventually be drawn into the discussion, and it will all come about without you looking like the bad guy.
I hope it ends well for you, but chances are, your fears are well-founded. Thankfully for men, women don't often listen to their mothers.
Got a problem? Jack Waggon will set you straight: firstname.lastname@example.org