I cannot let go of the idea of my wife cheating

I’ve been married faithfully for 29 years. I’m having some trouble with past feelings and insecurities with my wife. I have a strong feeling that she may have cheated on me at least once and maybe multiple times in the past. I’m talking about at least fifteen years ago.

There were some warning signs and some evidence that would suggest cheating but nothing was strong enough to be without a doubt. There was a period in our lives when our kids were real young that I worked days and she worked nights. She developed a friendship with this guy whom she worked with. She never tried to hide this from me and in fact she used to bring him up in everyday conversations.

The thing that raised my suspicions about his motives early in their friendship. One night due to our only vehicle being broke down he gave her a ride home from work. My wife told me that during the trip he related to her that the only reason he remains married to his wife was for the kids. He told her that his wife had let herself go and had become overweight and unattractive to him and they didn’t have sex anymore.

I immediately told my wife that this was a ploy. He’s trying to soften you up for some sympathy sex I said. I told her I didn’t trust him and I didn’t want her to be alone with him. She told me I was crazy and not to worry about it. There were nights after that when she came home late and I couldn’t reach her on the cell phone. Never usually more than an hour or so. She would either blame it on traffic or say that she stayed after work and visited with some of her co-workers or both.

To her benefit she did travel one of the most congested routes with accidents and traffic delays not being uncommon. Also, the cell phone was not the most reliable form of communication back then and she would often complain to me about not being able to get a hold of me when I had it.

I’ve talked with my wife many times about this and she thinks I’m crazy. She swears to me nothing ever happened. I want to believe her with all my heart but there is just this nagging suspicion that tugs at me constantly. For years I’ve buried this deep in my soul. Sometimes the feelings of hurt and sadness are just overwhelming. I did try counseling; it seemed to just make things worse. I’ve gone into a sort of depression cocoon. I live life with a happy facade.

How to I let this go. If I could only know for sure one way or the other I could love her so much more. I’ve built this psychological defensive wall to protect me from the hurt if I found out it was true. I’m trying to tear down this wall but it’s hard. I love my wife... I want to grow old with her.

What do I do?

Response:

It may help to ask yourself why you are focusing on this issue after all of these years. What is motivating your preoccupation with this issue?

When people focus on a problem from the past, often it has little to do with the problem itself; rather thinking about the problem is driven by some other emotional issue.

With that said, did you ever have feelings for someone else? Did you ever share this with your wife? Are you having problems in your relationships because you think that your wife’s experiences must have been similar to your own?

In a situation like yours, a situation where people are having a hard time letting go of an issue or where people are making accusations which are not relevant, such behavior is often driven by one’s own unacknowledged feelings.

Simply put, have you done things in the past which have made you uncomfortable? Are you dealing with feelings from your past by raising accusations against your wife? Unfortunately, making accusations against others is often easier than examining one’s own behavior.

So, when your nagging suspicions overwhelm you, try to not focus on your wife’s behavior, rather try to think about your past behavior. Can you think of situations from your past which are similar to the accusations you are making against your wife? If you can focus on yourself, and possibly identify how your lingering suspicions may be stemming from your own actions or feelings, it may help you resolve this issue (see should I tell).

Additionally, it may also help to keep in mind that your memory of what happened 15 years ago is not perfect. Our memories, even in the best of circumstances, get distorted by our emotions. So, the memory of what happened with your wife is almost certainly worse than what really happened at the time.

And given that your wife told you what was happening, it is unlikely that she was interested in cheating on you. If your wife had romantic feelings for the other guy, why would she have told you about his marital problems? Telling you about his marital problems would only raise your suspicion (as it did) and telling you keeps you in the loop. If she had been interested in cheating, she would have not shared his secrets with you, rather she would have kept this information from you as a means of creating intimacy with him (see information on cheating wives).

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Hope this helps.

 cheating wife | denies infidelity | suspect cheating

Other Options:

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I have my own question to ask

Truth About Deception – back to our home page.


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