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Eventually, The Truth Will Out

Jonathan wrote:

Hi, I'm married. Three young kids. Dated my wife for three years, married eight years. Eight months ago I started to work abroad four days a week.

Four months ago our three year old daughter started telling strange stories. The upshot is that I was the centre of a child sexual abuse investigation. The result was unfounded and the investigators actually want to use our daughters video as a control video to judge future cases against (this is what a completely normal child is like etc.).

During this my wife said to me one day "There's other stuff to be told, but if we can get through this then nothing matters". This stuck in my brain, and when it was mostly over I asked her if she had an affair. She denied it but then she said she "went to have one once". Over the last two months the story has come out. She has admitted kissing him.

I did a lot of research as you can imagine, and there were many lies from her. I was broken hearted. I just couldn't believe it. It happened around nine months after we were married. She was travelling a lot for her work at the time. He lived in Africa. I wasn't suprised to hear his name. In fact I guessed it.

The last version of her story approximates to the truth. We have attended two sessions of relationship councelling. The councillor has told my wife what I have been telling her from the start, she must tell me the affair story in order for me to move on. At first I wanted it immediately, but now realise she must be given time.

The councillor has identified her as a possible adult child of an alcoholic. Over the years she has accused me of many affairs. She accused me of being homosexual. (all of this usually during rows.) All of which is unfounded. I learnt not to mention the names of women I worked with as I would be accused of having slept with them.

The big problem for me is she denies sleeping with him. She went to an exotic island for four days with him. He paid. etc. etc. I don't really believe her.

I do believe she has an over active imagination. She didn't purposefully accuse me of abusing our daughter, but neither did our daughter, so where did the accusation come from? It was a storm in a tea cup that very nearly ruined my life. We still make love, we're still together, We're working on our relationship.

However, and this is where I need help. All of our relationship, I felt that I was the immature one. Any troubles we had, I felt I was the cause. She was not afraid of confrontation. I now see that she was. Its easy to confront a teller in a bank and have a row, not so easy to confront your inner self. My wife excelled at the first type. At the same time, I felt that that I was being hard on myself and maybe she had problems too, I didn't truly feel at fault.

I now feel totally vindicated. I am looking at a woman who is totally different from the woman I fell in love with. Someone who could betray me like this. Someone who even now won't do the right thing and tell all so I can decide the rest of my life with all the facts in front of me. I love her. I want to be with her. I love my kids. But I cannot go on with her the way she is. She has not yet collapsed crying begging forgiveness, and maybe never will. I think if she did It would help. I don't believe she understands the depth of my hurt and sense of betrayal......

How about that!

Dear Jonanthan,

Indeed, how about that!

You've been through a lot, and you've come to know yourself better; you've also re-assessed your whole life, and you see your wife in a new way. And then all this comes out.

On the good side, you have both put in a lot of effort to move forward, even if your wife has come to a stop. Why might that be? It is conceivable that she's telling the truth. In some ways, that would be awful - as you will never believe her. It may be that she is now frightened of losing you, once she takes that final step - after all, you've changed.

There's also the fear that you are enjoying this new-found power over her, and she fears your 'victory'.

In your head, you recognize that putting pressure on her is counter-productive, but I suspect you are actually leaning quite hard; probably much harder than you realise.

You say you love her, and that you are still close - so you need to think seriously about the time after this 'final confession' - or the time after she finally refuses to tell. Are you prepared to walk away from the marriage if things don't work out as you'd like? Does your wife have to 'surrender' to keep you? Will you be happy with the new humiliated wife? Will she survive? Will the marriage survive?

Believe me, I understand exactly how you feel - but I'm not sure that you understand quite how she feels. Remember that when the accusations started, she must have expected the marriage to end; she may now be facing that again.

I'm not sure that you see the size of the problem facing you both - not just you, not just her, but you as a couple.

I do not (in fact I cannot) condone what she did. But it was a long time ago; the marriage survived at the time. Is it right for it to end now?

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