How Do I Let Go Of My Fear That My Spouse Will Cheat Again?

By: Katie Lersch:  I sometimes hear from people who truly want to move past their spouse’s cheating but one huge issue is standing in their way – and that is the issue of fear. It’s absolutely normal and understandable to be so afraid of something that has hurt you so much. When you have been so wounded by the pain of cheating, of course you are naturally going to put up your guard to ensure that this never happens to you again.

There’s a problem with this strategy, of course. While your being this guarded does mean that you are less likely to get hurt again, it also means that you are always have a heavy wall built around you so that real, spontaneous love and trust can no longer find its way in.

Common comments are things like: “how do I begin to let go of the constant and paralyzing fear that my spouse is eventually going to cheat on me again? I want to move past this so badly. My husband and I have done so much work on our marriage since his affair last year. In many ways, our marriage is stronger and better. My husband has done everything that I have asked of him and yet, deep down, I know that he loves me. But I also know that love isn’t always enough. Because if it was, he would have never have cheated on me in the first place. I want to blindly trust him like I used to, but I can’t seem to let go of my fear. My husband is a very nice looking man who has a business that means he is going to have a lot of female clients. This didn’t bother me before the infidelity but now I always wonder about a new client’s appearance. I always worry if he seems to be spending too much time with one of them. If I notice him look too long at someone else when we are out or at a restaurant, I worry about that also. I sometimes find myself taking an accusatory tone with my husband when he is talking about another woman, even if their relationship is completely innocent. I hate feeling this way. I hate that I always worry that he is going to stray again. He has put a lot of work into our marriage. I know that he wouldn’t do that if he intended to cheat again, but I can’t get these worries out of my head. And it is affecting my marriage. My husband gets very frustrated because he feels like he can never win. And I want to stop my feelings but I can’t. How do I move past the fear?” I will try to address these concerns below.

Accept That The Fear Is Normal And Is In No Way Your Fault: As a wife who has been cheated on, I know how awful this feels, but I also know that it is absolutely normal. You must accept that the fear isn’t there because of something that you have done wrong. The fear didn’t just crop up for no reason. The fear cropped up because of a mistake that your husband made. It is a natural reaction to something that isn’t your fault. So please don’t beat yourself up about it or feel that if you were just strong enough, you wouldn’t be experiencing this. You are very strong, but you are dealing with a situation that is very challenging and you are doing the best that you can.

A Method That Might Help You To Move Past The Fear: I will tell you how I moved past the fear. I can’t promise that this method will work for every one but I found it very helpful and I know others that have benefited from it also. For me, it came down to one simple consideration. And I will share that shortly. But before I do, I have to confess that I went through a very similar process. My husband has to travel for his job. It got to the point where I was either constantly traveling with him (which wasn’t healthy for my children) or I was driving myself crazy when he had to travel without me. I would then resent him for putting me in a situation where I felt a lack of control. I became angry at feeling so helpless to overcome these emotions. And one day I asked myself to consider the worst case scenario – that he would cheat again. Then I asked myself what would be the worst thing to come out of that. So I allowed myself to list all of those fears which were: that my children would grow up in a broken home; that I would feel like a fool for trusting him again; and that I would have wasted my time trying to rehabilitate a marriage that was only going to be ruined a second time.

Then, I looked at my list and I thought that I was almost making all of the things that I listed more likely with my fears.  For example, I was so worried about my children and yet they were affected my the tensions that my fears created. I worried about feeling like a fool if he cheated again and yet I felt insecure and silly in my current situation. I worried about wasted time but I had to admit that I spent hours of out every day worrying.

And then a little voice in my head said “if it happened, you would handle it then like you have handled it before. But you won’t allow this fear to steal away another minute of your life.” That was the turning point for me. I had done enough individual work on myself that I knew that I had become much stronger and I knew that I could handle it if I had to deal with this again.  I certainly wouldn’t like it.  But I was capable. And I vowed that I would do everything in my power to strengthen my marriage and remove any vulnerabilities and then I would chose to have faith in myself, and in my husband, and in the universe’s wisdom. And I decided that I would deal with infidelity if it surfaced again but I realized that by worrying about it, I was continuing to give up pieces of my life and that was almost as bad as the actual infidelity. And so I let it go. And it was a huge relief. It was so wonderful to walk away from that suffocating fear and this improved my marriage also.

I have to say that my fears have never been realized.  I honestly think that my husband would have been more likely to cheat again if I had been unable to let the whole thing go.  I have more confidence and I am willing to just wait and see what happens rather than sabotaging my life with anxiety and worry.  It is a much more satisfying reality and it has been very beneficial to every member of my family.  If it helps, you can read about my recovery process on my blog at

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