Betrayal and Integrity: Surviving The Lost of Trust

Dear Neil:  I’ve been married for just about a year.  Through that year, my husband has had an affair.  He has denied the entire thing, but there is just too much evidence.

In a two year span, I have gone through a divorce (married twelve years), met my current husband, got pregnant by him, and after eight months he finally decided to marry me.  When we said “I do,” a note from his former lover was left on his car at our house, stating “It’s been a few days, come see me again, I miss you.”  The note was on the ground, and I found it.  I was devastated, and I have not been the same since.

Since I learned of his affair, I have found myself to be extremely jealous, and my self esteem has basically vanished. I am fairly attractive, but I feel so unsure about myself all the same.  He knows that I won’t leave him, because I love him so much.  I have given him everything.  I am a great mother and a wonderful wife.

I was once told that if you keep your man happy at home, he won’t be out looking around, so where did I go wrong?

Tampa, Florida 

Dear Tampa:  The first step is to be absolutely certain that your husband really is having an affair.  Confirm your suspicions, and then confront him with the information you have.If you are certain of the affair—and especially if he continues to deny it—you need to figure out a way to lessen the “head over heels” feelings you have toward him.  The two of you have some serious issues that need to be addressed and resolved, and you need to be on an equal playing field with him.

Although being deeply in love is a magical and joyous feeling, it doesn’t permit you to be level-headed in realistically assessing your situation and deciding on how you wish with this. You have a husband who may be intentionally deceiving you and violating the trust and good-will of your new marriage.

Tell him that you know about his affair, and you know that he is  not being truthful with you.  Tell him you are getting badly hurt by both his behavior and his dishonesty, and that your trust toward him is eroding.  Then ask him to come clean and talk about the other relationship, although you may ask to be spared some of the details. 

It is difficult to have a long term, vital love relationship with someone that you don’t think is operating with integrity, honor, respect or honesty toward you. 

There needs to be full admission of his infidelity and deception, or a plausible and believable explanation of his behavior so that you may let go of this.  Only then will you be able to begin to trust him again, which the two of you are going to need if your marriage is going to stabilize and survive this experience. If this issue is not resolved soon, you are likely to lose belief in him and in his integrity, and you’ll then fall out of love with him anyway, and you’ll be angry as hell to boot. This is very painful to go through. I am sorry you’re having to deal with this.


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