Posted by: hopeful | 2009-03-02

Knowing the truth

I suspected my husband had a sexual affair some years ago with a married colleague. We are still together with children and generally have a good relationship. When I ask him about details he either avoids questions or refuses to talk ' about his private life' . Recently he snaps and says ' you will be asking me this question on my death bed, I will never escape it' 

The problem is about integrity! Where does his private life end and our relationship of openness start. If he had nothing to hide why doesn' t he clear up this matter? Do you think its important I know this answer?
Do you have any suggestions how I can finally put this demon to rest.

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Our expert says:
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He needs to realize that when one is married, one has no more right to a "private life", especially not a private sex life, and to consider it none of one's partner's business. Does he consier that you have an equal right to a "private life" within the mariage, including anything, sexual or otherwise, as you fancy ? I somehow doubt that !
Now, it is both understandable that you remain curious, and important to recognize that even if he told you everything he can recall, with videotapes and photos, that wouldn't actually satisfy you or make you feel better. nor help you to trust him. Trust will be about what he has done since, and what he is doing now, not actually about whatever he did then.
This is where mariage counselling could be useful, not about pursuing one specific line of questions, but working on the larger picture, of integrity and trust, which you wisely raise.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Eating at you | 2009-03-04

There you go, you are on the right track. Too many people sit with an issue and its never faced down and dealt with. It will hang around in the back of your mind all the time. You HAVE to get the confession to be able to move on. Thats the whole point. Hiding it away will never help. Sure you will NEVER be able to trust him either way, whether he confesses or not, but at least it will provide closure and that is what you need. You simply have to persue that point. I am sure the others who tell you to leave it and forget it have not faced it down and dealt with it and they still have those lingtering unanswered questions lurking. Hey we are all different, some people CAN just fob it off and get it out of their minds as if it never happened, and maybe they are the lucky ones who can do it, but if its worrying you, you are not one of those fortune ones, neither am I. I would need to get it out in the open and THEN decide on your options, but at least you will have faced it down. Good luck

Reply to Eating at you
Posted by: hopeful | 2009-03-03

Thank you for your varied views. For me its not a matter of persecuiting him once I know either way. I feel its a step forward. We have many other positive aspects to our relationship that does work. I have already chosen to stay with him knowing there is a possibility that this part of him I can' t trust. This is an area that needs attention as it seems to have a knock on effect to other issues in our marriage more like a wobbly wall because the foundations are rocky.

Reply to hopeful
Posted by: what then? | 2009-03-03

say he confesses the whole gorry details of the affair, what then? are you going to throw a bash, or maybe divorce him or do you just want to remind him that he did you wrong and you will never let him hear the end of it?

Reply to what then?
Posted by: Eating at you | 2009-03-03

I think that to just leave it makes it 10 times worse. Its running away from a problem and that never solves anything. Even if it happened a long time ago it is obviously constantly on your mind, so you HAVE to resolve it. If you were one of those people that could just forget all about it, then fine, but clearly you are not. He cannot just be allowed to walk away with no consequences or he will just continue it and you will ALWAYS have doubts, driving yourself crazy. Face the truth rather and then deal with it.

Reply to Eating at you
Posted by: dreamon | 2009-03-03

let sleeping dogs lie or get a divorce.

Reply to dreamon
Posted by: R | 2009-03-03

If you suspect he had this relationship some time ago, leave it at that. Believe me if he admits to having had this affair, your whole life will change!!!! mine did!! Rather build on what you have now, and leave what has happened in the past where it belongs!!

Reply to R
Posted by: You are right | 2009-03-03

There can be no " private life"  in a marriage ! He needs to make a full confession, either to deny your suspicions to the extent that you can verify the truth, or to admit his infidelity and face the consquences. Hiding behind the " private life"  facade is cowardly and decietful and shows a total lack of respect for you and your marriage. I would not allow him to continue to abuse you in this fashion. Lay it on the up or you will escalate the situation to another level. If you don' t, he will continue to lead you about by the nose, cheat on you at will and thereafter simply say it his " private life" . Remember, people will treat you to the extent that you allow.

Reply to You are right

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