Struggling to trust my wife
Struggling to regain trust with my wife. How to let go of hurt and misdeeds and trust again? My wife who is a teacher works during the summer at a restaurant at night. She went to work at the restaurant and I was at home with our 3 year old daughter.
Some of the women she works with are single and a bit younger, they sometimes would go out after work for a drink. I went to bed around eleven (typically she would get home between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m.). I woke at 3 a.m. and she was not home, by four I was panicked. I took our daughter drove to the restaurant and past the bars and friends’ houses where I thought she might be.
She did not have a cell to call. I called her friends and co-workers (restaurant), one took my call reluctantly and told me not to worry that she had gone to a party but she would be safe.
Midday my wife walked in like it wasn’t a big deal said she had gone camping with girlfriends after going to a party, she apologized for scaring me and not checking in. I told her I talked with one of her waitress friends, at which time she told me she had "kissed" a guy she met at a party the night before.
My wife denied and went farther. She refused to give me any more information or tell me who the person was. She went stonewall and made me the villain for not letting it go. Days later a friend mentioned he had seen her at this party and said she was drunk and with a guy he didn’t know. He said there was certainly a lot of kissing but implied there was more than a kiss happening.
I felt horrible for what people might think of her, I told him she admitted she kissed, he said "oh is that what she told you." I brought it up to my wife, she still maintained she went camping, and he didn’t go it was just girls. Really, had to be 2 a.m.? I asked a person that supposedly went camping with her, she said yes I did. It felt contrived.
I just want to get over this, how do I let it go?
It’s very difficult to put an incident in the past when trust has been damaged. From your question, you clearly have doubts about your wife’s story and don’t believe that she’s telling the truth—a difficult situation for anyone to endure.
You’ve approach your wife with your concerns and she’s stonewalled you and made you out to be the villain. In situations like this, it helps to see the situation from your wife’s point of view. If you can see the situation from her perspective, you might be able to get her to open up about what happened that evening.
In fact, it may help to assume the worse—imagine that she made a horrible mistake and is trying to hide it from you. Why would she do that? Most likely because she fears the consequences of telling the truth (see why people lie).
If this is the case, rather than approach her with your accusations, it might help to tell your wife that you want to understand what happened and resolve the issue—not punish her. Tell her that you care about her and want to work through the issue and that you’re not interested in ending the relationship or getting even for what happened (see getting partners to tell the truth).
Ultimately, to resolve this issue you’re going to have to find out the facts of what happened that evening. You may hear things that are very hurtful and difficult to handle. However, relationships are built on trust, which requires telling the truth, even when painful mistakes have been made. Working through betrayals of trust is possible, but it does require honesty and candor (see rebuilding trust).
At this point in the process, confronting your wife with your suspicions probably won’t help you accomplish your goal of getting the truth out in the open. Again, it helps to stress to your wife the importance of trust in a relationship, the importance of telling the truth, and that you’re willing to work through this issue with understanding and compassion. If your wife thinks that you’re simply going to punish her—based on your history together or her experiences in prior relationships—it can be very difficult to get her to open up and move beyond the hurt you’re experiencing.
We know it’s not fun to approach problems in a relationship with understanding and compassion, especially, when you may have been harmed. However, such an approach often works best in the long run.
Hope this helps.
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