I’m worried my wife is cheating on me – Ask Evie

Hi Evie

My name is Chris.

I’m not too sure if my wife is cheating but it sure as hell seems like it. She places things to make it obvious, and then says it’s my imagination. The guy is starting to p*ss me off, he’s harassing me as well. I don’t want to give up on my marriage. I have also had a fall out myself, but was just a friend who has never gotten over it.

What do I do?

 

Dear Chris,

Thanks for sending this in!

I’m sorry to hear that you’re facing challenges in your marriage, and it’s great that you’ve taken the first step in seeking guidance on how to navigate this difficult time.

Relationships can be extremely complicated, and it’s important to approach these fears such as yours with patience and understanding when you don’t yet have all the details.

First and foremost, from my understanding, you don’t yet have concrete proof of any infidelities. It can definitely be a vicious circle of self-doubt (and doubt in your partner) when you’re experiencing what you believe to be inklings of an affair, but also not being entirely sure of whether your partner is lying and what to do next.

So, for starters, prioritize open communication with your wife. Even though reining in your emotions is no doubt easier said than done, try to initiate a calm and honest conversation where you can express your feelings and concerns. In this discussion, try to avoid making assumptions and accusations, but instead, focus on sharing your perspective and emotions.

Let her know how her actions are affecting you and emphasize your commitment to working together to strengthen the marriage – as you’ve voiced a desire on not wanting to give up. The fact that you also used the word ‘harassing’ does also suggest that the actions of this ‘other man’ are definitely serious and do exist beyond just your imagination. If you are experiencing harassment or some other violation of your private or personal space, do please be sure to prioritize your own safety, your wife’s, and to alert local authorities of any inappropriate behavior. 

Returning to your marriage, it’s also crucial to create a safe space for both of you to share your thoughts, hers just as much as yours. To do so, allow your wife to express her side of the story, and be open to listening without any premature judgment. Misunderstandings can happen, even in long and resilient partnerships and marriages, and it’s essential to give each other the benefit of the doubt at points (especially without all the facts!)

If issues or people from your pasts such as the fallout with a friend you mentioned are still lingering and on your mind, know that addressing them is important for the overall health of your relationship and your own mental health. Whilst it may well be uncomfortable for you to approach this subject with your friend as with your wife, discussing these matters can lead to a far better understanding and resolution. We tend to repress our feelings for reasons such as not wanting to cause a scene, being unsure of the originations of these feelings, and not being sure how to voice them.

However, try to remind yourself of the benefit of ‘clearing the air’ or ‘getting to the bottom of things’ versus having to carry a heavy emotional load which in time might affect you far more than if you tried to deal with it at present. And this counts for both your relationship with your wife as well as any fragmentation you might have experienced with friendships, which will also vastly benefit from an honest and level-headed talk about the situation.

In terms of your marriage, it might be a good idea to seek the assistance of a couples’ therapist if this type of direct communication proves challenging. An outside and neutral third party mediator (hopefully a professional) can help you to create a neutral and supportive environment, and to facilitate really constructive conversations which help both of you work through the challenges you’re currently facing.

Building (and rebuilding) trust takes time, and it’s essential to be patient with yourself and your spouse during this process, but also to know your own limits and dealbreakers. If your inklings do turn out to be true, try to set certain boundaries of what you’re willing to forgive and work through. If they turn out not to be, be cautious of how repeating this cycle of accusation will also do you both little good.

Now, with open communication, mutual understanding, and a sincere commitment to making things work, there’s potential for growth and strengthening your marriage if you have your sights set on that!

 

Sending you strength and hopefully a bit of courage for your next steps!

Evie.

Ask Evie

Ask Evie

Evie is on a mission to revolutionize relationships and help you sort through your emotional woes. Her popular column helps readers break free from societal restraints and create empowering relationships - both with their inner selves and with those around them. With a wealth of experience in relationship counseling, backed by several professional certifications, she’s open-minded, big-hearted, and extremely compassionate… But she’ll also be completely honest in telling you the (sometimes) brutal truth, so you can get straight to the heart of the matter. Maybe you’re trying to save a marriage that currently feels like a sinking ship? Or worrying that your new friend isn’t quite as nice as they seem? Perhaps you’ve accidentally killed your partner’s goldfish and are weighing up the pros and cons of going to the pet store and finding a doppelganger, or fessing up? Whatever the dilemma, Evie’s at the ready to help sort through the emotional turmoil and guide you towards the next best step. To get in touch with Evie, click here.

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