A friend of mine, has found out that her husband has been repeatedly unfaithful. Every time he is ‘caught’ he makes all sorts of promises (meaning: he says all kinds of words) but hasn’t done anything concrete to assure her safety.
The other day, she was telling me all the wonderful things he is saying to her. He tells her that he doesn’t want her to feel sad or humiliated or scared. He says he wishes there were something he could do to take away her pain. He tells her that he deeply regrets his actions. In the same conversation, she told me that she still doesn’t trust him (understandable) and she is trying to figure out his email password.
Here he is saying he doesn’t know what he can do to make her feel better, while at the same time she doesn’t even have access to his primary means of communication. Perhaps that is a good starting place.
I don’t think women who have been traumatized should spend their time obsessively searching for information on line. I don’t think they should have to secretly upload GPS trackers to their mates phones. I don’t think they should need to run home during their lunch hour to be the first to get the credit card statement and to check if for florists, hotels or escort services.
If you are in a marriage with a man who sincerely wants to develop an intimate relationship with you, and who wants to create a safe environment for you to love him, then there IS something he can do to make that happen.
I honestly believe that a good marriage isn’t laden with secrecy. The next time your spouse says “I wish there was more I could do….” here are some suggestions you can throw out:
1. Give me your phone access code so I can see your text and call histories
2. Let me know your email passwords
3. Let me install GPS or iphone tracker on your phone
4. Tell me when you are leaving work during the day to go to lunch or attend meetings
5. Attend therapy
6. Look into 12 step programs if appropriate
7. If you need to associate with affair partners, BCC on any emails you send
8. Invite me to your work social events
9. Log into your email RIGHT NOW – TOGETHER so we can review any suspicious emails
Living with the aftermath of an affair is hard enough without feeling like you need to become a private eye. Anyone who has been betrayed but is brave enough to try to save the relationship deserves to know that his/her spouse is being transparent. A marriage is no place for secret email accounts or hidden phones. These are pretty basic truths. If your spouse isn’t willing to do this for you, it is because they are A. still cheating/hiding the truth or B. Don’t care about making you feel safe.
Your mate can say a million times that they are willing to do anything to save the marriage…so why not put those words to the test and see if he really means it. Maybe then you can really start rebuilding.