My Wife Thinks I Cheated

Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Male
I really messed up bad with good intensions. While my wife was gone out of town, I got in contact with one of my female friends. We were both going through some problems with our other half. We would talk about it while she was at work (night shift). One day I invited her to come over to talk while my brother was there. She really was helping me understand my wife because I didn't know what was going on in our relationship. After she left we continued to talk and email each other. Sometimes we would go onto other subjects instead of just talking about our problems.

One time we got in to it about why I left her hanging years before. We got in to it petty dead and I ended up telling her some like I think she always been really good looking but it just couldn't see it working. Then she ended up asking her husband for a devorce for his metal abuse to her. I told her (one the phone) why did she do this I'm not on the market anymore, but this was a joke. We then talked about it on email and I said that I could mess with her anyway because when my wife came back I wouldn't be able to be with her.

As my wife comes back she goes though my email and find some of the emails and reads them. She is so mad because she thinks I cheated when infact I didn't. It looks bad, yes I can admit that and I should have never let her come over, and never carried a conversation like that with another women because I'm married. Now my wife has asked for a devorce and I don't want one. She feels she can't trust me because I use to cheat when she was my girlfiend. The problem I'm having is how do you live down something you did earlier in a relationship (boyfirend and girlfriend) after you're married.

She has now said we'll stay together (gave me another chance) but has since moved out. Now remember the reason I was talking to my friend was becuase I knew something was wrong in the relationship for a while and was trying to fix them. I thought that I should turn to someone who knew me and my ways so I could get the best answer. I guess that turns out to be my biggest mistake. My wife now kisses me with no emotion, I'm affraid to touch her, we're quite, and when we're intement it's just sex not personnal.

What do I do to get my wife back? Advice
Here's the thing - you'd cheated before, so she was already feeling like she was being 'extra trusting' by staying with you. And now she finds out that you were hanging out and flirting with another woman who was actively interested in you, and were joking about being together with this other woman. And while you say this was all "innocent", somehow you neglected to *tell* your *lfie partner* that any of this was going on. So it will be pretty hard to prove that nothing actually came of all of this situation.

Yes, you were talking to this other woman about the problems in your relationship with your wife ... but why weren't you talking to your *wife* about these problems? And why did't you tell your wife you were getting advice from a friend? The primary focus of any relationship should be the relationship. If there is a problem in the relationship, the primary person you should turn to for help is the *partner*. You should have been having all these conversations with your wife, to figure out what was wrong and how to fix it. Instead, you had them all with another woman, poured your heart out to her, expressed your concerns to her, were in essence emotionally intimate with this other woman. You gave this other woman all the time and attention that was really due your wife, so in a way that is a form of cheating. And you never told your wife any of this was going on.

Yes, it's important for all of us to have opposite sex friends, and to use them for support and discussions. But they should *always* be secondary to your real partner. Otherwise, your relationship *will* suffer because your partner isn't hearing what you're feeling and thinking and working on solutions! Also, your partner should *know* these talks are going on. If you're sneaking around seeing members of the opposite sex, hiding this from your partner, that's not good either. Why wouldn't your wife have known about this woman, and about your talks with her, and the results of the talk? If you were *really* talking to this other woman for the good of your relationship, shouldn't your wife have known both about the talks and about the results and how you felt about the results and so on?

In any case, I think you really need to apologize to your wife, both for running around behind her back with your female friend, and for keeping your wife in the dark for so long while you poured out your thoughts and emotions and concerns to this other woman. You definitely confused the line between who was primary and who was secondary in your life. Your wife might understand that this was a learning process for you, but it will take a while for her to rebuild her trust in you.

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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