Carolyn: I suspect my husband of 18 years may be straying, which as far as I know would be for the first time. I cannot point to one incident just little things here and there. For example, I overheard a small part of his end of a phone conversation. He did not know I was there. It was not what was said, but the very familiar way he was speaking to the other person, and I just knew.
Im unlikely to ever prove an affair because I do not have his passwords, and I know he would deny if confronted. I love my husband and believe he loves me. If he is cheating then I will feel incredibly hurt and disrespected, and want him to stop.
What outcome are you hoping for?
You say you want him to stop, of course, but I dont think it works on its own.
What Im sticking on is, I know he would deny if confronted. That tells me you dont want an honest husband or an intimate marital relationship you just want the other woman erased and the status quo back.
If, instead, what you want is a loving and intimate relationship with your husband, then youre going to need to come clean with what you overheard, what your mind leapt to, and with your expectation that he wouldnt tell you the truth if confronted.
This is where knowing the outcome you hope for beforehand is so important. He is going to answer your remarks somehow, be it to surprise you with a whole and messy truth, or a denial or some surprising other thing. If the answer isnt satisfying, then tell him why, based on what you were hoping for.
For example: I was hoping youd trust me enough to tell me the truth, no matter what it was, and while I cant prove it, I do suspect you arent telling me everything. Your depth and honesty are your best chance at receiving the same from him.
One of the hardest things when one partner sees signs of an affair is that you cant prove a negative; sometimes a denial is the truth, yet the skeptic doesnt believe it. An accusatory tone can make even an honest denial sound defensive and insincere. Set a tone of transparency in the discussion and that will help the truth stand out for what it is, whatever it is.
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