Lied to my husband and it has ruined our relationship
I had not told my husband that an ex-colleague was back in the country (not the same city) and had resumed text contact. When my ex-colleague texted late one night I did not tell my husband who it was. I did want to annoy him but I also knew I should have told him we were in contact.
He thought I must be having an affair and confronted me. I denied everything and said it was nothing. This did not help my husband. I tried to cover it up, but I was covering up a lot of unhappiness with our relationship and life situation. More denials and lies and the inability to see how much this meant to my husband has really hurt our marriage. Three years later our marriage is about to collapse for good.
I have uncovered and shared with him a lot of depression and unhappiness but this does not help my husband understand my deception or the lack of consideration I showed him by concealing these issues for so long.
How do I help my husband live with the fact that I did not tell him I was texting another man behind his back (not a romantic or emotional affair but still a secret relationship)? That I had lied to him? And that I did not show him much consideration about trying to deal with our problems?
When a spouse has been lied to it destroys trust and creates uncertainty. Your husband is probably feeling that he has lost his sense of safety and control. While it is natural to want to offer explanations for your behavior, it is not what your husband necessarily needs to hear.
When people have been wronged, they want their pain to be acknowledged. The best way to do that is to describe what you have done—you concealed a relationship from your husband, lied to him about it, and betrayed his trust by not disclosing problems in your relationship. What you did was wrong. Tell your husband that you were wrong. Make that point clear. The more you can validate your husband’s point of view by acknowledging your mistakes, without offering explanations, the more your husband will feel understood (see validate a partner’s point of view).
Validating your husband’s perspective should help him regain some sense of certainty—at least he will begin to know that you understand where he is coming from. When people truly feel understood, they have an easier time working through problems. When people don’t feel understood, the issue lingers. With time, your husband may want to hear your side of the story, but until then trying to explain what you have done will probably do more harm than good.
You might also benefit by reading the entire section on rebuilding trust.
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