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In the fog

Strongest posted 1/8/2020 00:35 AM

I have been married for 20+ years. Two years ago, I found out my husband cheated on me 8 years earlier when he was away in school. I was shocked, but I didn't know how to deal with it and my mom had just died, so I put it aside and told myself it was probably situational. Last spring we were at an event with a volunteer organization he is in and I got strong vibes that there was something going on between him and a woman there. I confronted him about his previous affair and said I was not putting up with another one. He never dealt with the issue satisfactorily. Also, the previous affair and the situation with this current woman got conflated somehow, so I never got resolution on that either. Our relationship seemed to get better and he has acted very committed and loving over the months since then. Now he and that woman are officers in the organization and have reasons to talk more. She called him when I was in the car one time and she just kept talking on and on. He was polite and answering, but not saying as much. I am concerned about her again. I told him this last week and he said that nothing inappropriate was going on. He was very reassuring, but I am still suspicious. This is taking up too much space in my life and I need to move forward one way or another, but I don't know how. Any thoughts would be helpful.

amethyst0323 posted 1/8/2020 04:56 AM

In my experience if you have doubts the chances are the relationship he is having has crossed boundaries. My husband was very reassuring for 21 months of his 24 month affair - I suspected it immediately when it turned physical. He gaslit me and lied and reassured me. People who have affairs are excellent at lying and covering their tracks. I wish I had stuck to my gut feelings and challenged/dug more.

It sounds like you know that you rug swept the first affair and he has never had to face any real consequences from it.

After an affair is discovered for the marriage to be repaired I truly believe it needs to go forward on honesty and openness. Your husband isnít providing these things. It sounds very much like he is reverting to previous wayward behaviour. If this isnít an affair at the minute it would be an easy, slippery slope for it to become one from what you have wrote.

You both need to work through his previous affair and set boundaries for your relationship. Unfortunately if he is in the ďaffair fogĒ he wonít want to do this and will simply not acknowledge and maintain they are just friends.

I would be keeping a very watchful eye on him and what he does. If he is suspicious that you are monitoring him he will get good at covering his tracks unfortunately.

You wonít be able to move forward until you know the truth and feel he is committed to honesty and openness.

Butforthegrace posted 1/8/2020 05:22 AM

Even if he is honest in his perception that nothing untoward is happening with this woman, by your description of the car conversation, boundaries are being blurred. Both of you ought to read "Not Just Friends". It talks about how this process can be insidious. Even being charitable to your WH, at the very least, he doesn't understand nor recognize boundaries, which makes him an unsafe spouse.

Strongest posted 1/8/2020 06:21 AM

Thank you for your insights, amethyst0323.

Strongest posted 1/8/2020 06:25 AM

Thank you, Butforthegrace. I have believed for a long time that he doesn't understand boundaries in a lot of areas. I will read the book. He needs to also.

The1stWife posted 1/8/2020 17:57 PM

If he continues to engage in a personal (not professional) relationship despite your objections is disrespectful to you.


Do not back down.

Strongest posted 1/9/2020 03:41 AM

Thanks, The1stWife. I'm glad it worked out for you.

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