A marriage with secrets is doomed to disappoint

I want to follow up on my last post in which I pointed out that after infidelity I think that the offending spouse should be willing to share any and all information that will help his/her mate feel safe.  I want to add a bit to what I had said.

I absolutely believe that if the ‘cheater’ is truly committed to changing then they will have absolutely no hesitation in providing the information and access that is requested.  This is not a violation of privacy.  This is a partnership where there are no secrets…and that is the only kind that seems worthwhile to me.  If your spouse is unwilling to share something like his phone code, then what else is he hiding.  Why does he think that is OK?  Why does he think his actions shouldn’t have consequences.

My husband has GPS on his phone.  He has given me all of his passwords.  He will “share” his computer screen with me at any time with no warning.  He shares his feelings.  He goes to therapy.  He attends SAA meetings.  He never has one on one lunches with female colleagues.  I have every one of his credit card passwords.  He is willing to take yearly lie detector tests.  On paper this sounds overwhelming.  But these are the things I asked for a year ago and which he agreed.  These were some of the boundaries that I set with the help of my therapist.  At the time, I used all of these “powers’ and he was supportive of it.  He never questioned my following up on him.  He just assured me he has nothing to hide.  Time and again it proved to be true.  I have all but stopped looking after him.  Because I understand how sneaking addicts can be, I sometimes spot check things on c/c statements or GPS or email.  But to date, there have been no slips.

I always tell my husband when I feel the need to “check” on him.  It shouldn’t be my burden alone.  He hurt me and ruined my trust and I shouldn’t have to experience the painful moments alone.  He deserves to go on that journey with me, if only as a witness to my pain.  Not for him to feel guilty but to understand me and support me.

If you can’t stop researching and spying on your mate then I think you need to really talk about that and discuss with him reasonable steps that he can take to help your security.  Its not healthy to spy – in fact it is a dishonest act and not the example you want to be.  The other harm with secretly spying is it puts your efforts in the wrong area.  If you have been betrayed you need to work on yourself and care for yourself – you don’t need to spend hours hacking into an email account.  This isn’t beneficial.

Calmly ask your spouse to help you by giving you the safety nets you need so if you are ever freaking out you can use those tools.  They aren’t meant to be abused (though in the beginning they probably will be).  At first I checked my husbands GPS multiple times a day.  Now it’s more like once a week.  That is progress that would not have been possible without the cooperation of my husband.

Another thing to note.  This is a two way street.  I will happily provide my husband with any information about my life that he desires.  I have nothing to hide.  I am married to an amazing man…so why would I want to?

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2 comments on “A marriage with secrets is doomed to disappoint

  1. Maybe this is simply semantics, but I don’t consider it spying if I look at my husband’s phone or email. When he cheated and I agreed to stay, it was with conditions. One of those conditions was transparency. He willingly gave me access to his email, phone, etc. He told me I could look whenever I wanted. I gave him the same access to my accounts as well, and that doesn’t bother me one bit. He could look back years and years and never see one improper communication. Spying (to me) is looking when someone doesn’t know you are looking and likely doesn’t WANT you to look. Checking occasionally when you have been given permission by a spouse who cheated? I call that accountability. Granted, the need to do so should lessen over time and if it doesn’t then there is an issue. One that needs to be explored with a trained therapist to suss out if this is YOUR issue, or something that remains hidden and is tripping your radar.

  2. […] tagged Compassion, I stumbled upon thisismystoryofrecovery’s Do His Actions Match His Words. It was one of those posts that gives you an immediate gut wrenching reaction, and you see yourself […]

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