I am still angry at my wife for cheating on me

I have been married for over 30 years. My wife has a rep for being very conservative, a real "miss goody 2 shoes." While tapping my phone calls, I was always a jealous person but was certain that she would never be unfaithful, I discovered a call from my wife’s co-worker. The conversation was fairly innocent until SHE said "I hope you are still thinking about me?" It ended with each of them saying "I love you." I confronted her with this and found out that these conversations had been going on for about 4 months. Most of the calls were on her cell phone. I took her phone away (one of the reasons I did not walk out on her right then).

She said there was no physical contact whatsoever and they talked about meeting somewhere outside of work but didn’t. She promised it was over and would never have any contact with him again, but a few weeks later while walking through the halls where she works I saw the two of them talking. They did not see me. When I confronted her, at first, she denied it but then said they were just talking and she would really not talk to him again. I told her I was leaving her but she "persuaded" me to stay.

A few months later I caught her with a pay as you go cell phone. Guess who’s phone number showed up? After 30 years of marriage I can say that this is so out of character for my wife.

It has been 3 years now and our marriage has been very rocky. She has been overly affectionate and caring (she does not want me to leave). I have been very upset, hurt, and have been treating her badly ever since, even though I do really love her. This is not like me. I have not worn my wedding ring or told her I loved her for 3 years. My trust in my high school sweetheart is gone. My marriage is not a happy one for me. I am having a real hard time dealing with this for the past three years.

Any suggestions?

Response:

The desire to punish a spouse for their misbehavior is common.

When we are hurt, the desire to “get even” is one of our most basic and universal responses. But, with that said, three years is a long time to punish someone. Moreover, the problem with punishing a spouse is that it not only hurts your wife, but it also impacts the quality of your relationship, and the quality of your life as well (see quality of relationship questionnaire).

Life is short, is this how you really want to spend the rest of your life?

Our best advice is to try to identify the problem—whether it is jealousy, unresolved anger, betrayal, lack of trust—and work hard to solve the problem. Putting your energy into making your wife pay for what she has done, is a natural short-term response, but it isn’t a long term solution.

Ultimately, professional help is often needed to break out of this self-destructive pattern.

And while many people avoid counseling for a lot of different reasons—turning to a trained professional with any complex problem is usually the best way to solve it. Most people wouldn’t think twice about seeing an attorney when they encounter a legal problem, but are reluctant to seek out professional help when problems arise in their relationships.

But when you consider that our relationships are the source of our most rewarding experiences (and our most painful experiences), it makes a lot of sense to try to fix problems rather than let them fester.

By talking to a professional you have nothing to lose and so much to gain (see counseling resources).

We hope this helps somehow.

 cheating wife | lying wife | monitoring phone | troubled relationship

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