I Think My Husband Had An Affair Long Ago. Should I Confront Him About It?

By: Katie Lersch:  I sometimes hear from wives who suspect an affair.  But sometimes, the affair is not a current event.  Some of these wives suspect an affair that has probably long been over. And they are wondering if whether, after so much time, it is even worth it to mention it now.

I heard from a wife who said: “the other day, I was in the grocery store and I ran into my husband’s old office assistant.  I haven’t seen her in over a decade.  She worked with my husband after we first got married, but she later quit to go back to school.  We were friendly but I didn’t know her all that well.  So as we are chatting about small talk at the grocery store, this woman starts talking and asking about my husband.  In fact, he was all that she seemed to be interested in.  And her eyes lit up at the memory of him.  Suddenly, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up.  I went home and called one of my girlfriends and told her about the incident.  I asked my girlfriend if this was all in my own imagination or whether I was being silly.  My friend told me that no, she didn’t think that I was being silly because she always got the vibe that there was something going on between them but she didn’t want to hurt me by saying anything.  After both conversations, I started thinking about how often my husband worked late during that time period and I also thought about how they went on overnight trips for work sometimes.  At this point, I’m reasonably sure they might have had an affair.  This was over a decade ago and we’ve been happily married ever since.  Should I confront my husband about something that happened so long ago?”  I’ll answer these questions in the following article.

If You Don’t Ask, This Is Probably Going To Always Bother You: I understood the wife’s reluctance to stir this up.  After all, a decade had passed and they had been happily married.  And, if she was wrong, her husband was going to be very hurt and possibly angry.  Also, as a wife who has been cheated on, I can tell you that sometimes, it’s easier if you don’t know, at least initially.  But, the thing is, if you don’t ask and find out for sure, then you are always going to wonder and worry.  And the worry can become an overriding factor in your life and in your marriage.  In short, sometimes if you don’t say anything then this festers and hurts your marriage anyway.  So, it’s my opinion that it’s best to just bring this out in the open.  Now, let’s talk about how you do it.

How To Ask Him About An Affair That Is Long In The Past:  It’s important not to go in and immediately become accusatory.  Yes, you might have some very good reasons to be suspicious.  But, you still don’t really know and he deserves to be given a chance to explain or to confirm or deny.  So, you might want to say something like: “you’ll never believe who I ran into at the grocery store this morning.  I have to tell you that she was completely fixated on you.  She brought every subject back to you and it made me uncomfortable.  I have to ask you about something that is really bothering me.  Was there ever anything beyond a  professional relationship between the two of you?  I need for you to tell me the truth.  We can deal with this, but I need for you to be honest with me. We’ve been happily married ten years after the fact and that will count.  But you still owe me complete honesty.  Please be very candid with me.”

At this point, he will give you an answer.  He may very convincingly deny it.  Or, he might break down and disclose an affair from long ago.  You’ll need to decide if you believe what he is telling you.  To do this, you can often look at his behaviors over the course of your marriage.  If he does admit to an affair, does the fact that it happened long ago change anything?  Well, that depends upon you, but it can.  If your husband has been faithful and loving for a decade, then that should count for something.  But, I can also tell you that healing after infidelity is a process, no matter how long ago the infidelity occurred.  You will still need to restore the trust, determine what contributed to the affair and then work through it.  But understand that you can work through it and you can get past this.  And some men will look right in the eye and deny that anything inappropriate occurred and you may well believe this because you know him well enough to know when he’s telling the truth.

So to answer the question posed, I believe that most women will probably want to ask about the affair because if they don’t, the wondering is going to become a problem. However, if he does admit to an affair from long ago, you can recover and heal, if you chose to.

Although I was not in this situation (as my husband’s affair was current,) I did go through the entire recovery process.  It wasn’t easy.  But it was worth it.  If it helps, you can read my story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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