How Do I Prove I Didn’t Have An Affair?

By: Katie Lersch: I don’t think that there is anything worse (at least in terms of your marriage) than knowing that your spouse is cheating on you. However, I’ve had people tell me that having your spouse think that you are cheating or having an affair when you absolutely aren’t is also miserable.

For example, imagine a wife saying: “my husband is convinced that I am having an affair, or at least have recently had one. My ex husband and I have been spending a lot of time together recently because of some issues with our child. I will admit that we now get along better than we ever have. I also admit that I have leaned on my ex for emotional support right now because frankly, he understands and cares about what I am going through more than anyone else (since we are going through the same thing.) So yes, I have learned on him. And yes, there have been times when we have talked or met one another face to face where I didn’t tell my husband. But it wasn’t to pursue any relationship or to try to reconcile. It was to share information about our child. My husband gets very stressed out about my child and I can’t share everything with him. He found an email between my ex and myself discussing meeting at a restaurant. My husband took this to mean that we are seeing one another romantically. I have offered to let my husband talk to my ex to get reassurance that there is nothing going on. I have also offered to let him read all of my emails and texts but he just scoffs at this and seems to prefer to think that I’m having an affair. How can I prove that I’m not?”

It’s my theory that proving you’re not having an affair is often a gradual process that happens over time. People often want to bombard their suspicious spouse with “proof” that they aren’t cheating and then they are surprised when their spouse doesn’t immediately pounce on this. Most spouses are really wanting emotional, and not physical, reassurance from you. Most of the time, they aren’t looking for actual proof that they can hold in their hands. They are looking for reassurance from you so that they can put their mind at ease. And by reassurance, I don’t mean a response like: “I can’t believe that you would think that. You know what kind of stress I’m under and I can’t believe that you’d even come to me with something so selfish. Why is it all about you? Oh course I’m not cheating on you. And you can read my emails if you want.”

This kind of response is likely to make him both defensive and even more worried that you care more about your ex husband than him. Of course, I don’t know your husband and can only make a suggestion as a wife who eventually found out that her husband was in fact having an affair. I can tell you what the faithful spouse would like to hear. So I’d try something like: “It really upsets me to hear you say this and not because of the accusation being hurtful to me. But it bothers me that you would think that I would do this to you. I am committed to you and to our marriage and it’s upsetting to me that this situation with my child is affecting other areas of my life. Yes, I have been in contact with my ex husband more, but that’s simply because we have to co parent our child during this challenging time. However, if this is making you uncomfortable, I’d be more than happy for you to participate with us. I didn’t offer that before because I didn’t want to burden you with all of this. If you’d like to come along next time or if it would make you feel better to read through our correspondence, I don’t have a problem with either one. But I can promise you that I am not and I would not cheat on you.”

I have to admit that he may not just blindly believe you at first. He may still have his doubts. But as you make an effort to include him and you stop reaching out as much to the other man, he is more likely to see that you are sincere. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to give him some additional attention and reassurance when it is natural and convincing to do so.

Also, if you are in counseling for the child’s issues, then your counselor can likely help you with this marital issue also. It’s important to address it before resentment and anger surfaces. There is already enough to deal with right now without adding issues for your marriage into the mix. Right now, your marriage should be your rock and your support system. Which is why it might be a good idea to lean a bit more on your current husband and a little bit less on your ex husband.

I can tell you from experience that it is so important not to just assume that your marriage is going to be OK and that your spouse understands your commitment.  Because from my experience, things can deteriorate rapidly once your spouse feels taken for granted.  If it helps, you can read more about my own experience on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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