What do I do? How much do I take before I give up?
My wife thinks I am having / had an affair. I am not / did not. She has compiled a list of a number of (innocent) incidents and convinced herself that they accumulate to sufficient evidence. The woman in question (apparently) has a ''reputation,'' she is employed in a job in a place which brings us into contact with her occasionally (I have been in her office about 5 times in the past year, never alone, for periods not exceeding 5 minutes and all for official reasons). It started when my wife came in on the end of a short telephone call I made to this woman asking for her email address to send her an business article I had previously sent to another member of staff; she heard me say "I''ll be down there soon to explain." I was on my way down to pay a bill and to save typing an explanation I just forwarded the email. My wife later accessed the email and printed it up and can see all as is I explain. She then started totting up other things (change in brand of shower gel, my choice of words on our anniversary card) and formed a view. Yes there is history and although that was 16 years ago I do accept that it places me in certain position. I have patiently explained every suspicious incident. I have told her how much I love her. I have pleaded with her to believe me. If am quiet it is taken as admission of guilt, if I defend myself vigorously it is taken as a sign of guilt. All this and as we are together 24/7 the logistics of having an affair would mean that I our meetings would be like a planned military operation snatching a 5 minute f*** in the back of a car as we passed.
I thought I''d convinced her that I was innocent then I found evidence that she had bought a ''spy gadget'' tracking device. If I am innocent, so what you might ask? I am so close to this it is difficult to know what is right and what is wrong. Although I am not without previous guilt I wonder if that is sufficient reason for to expect me to be held to account for anything that comes up no matter how fanciful. Although I have nothing to hide and I accept that I have betrayed her trust I am not happy with the thought that at any time on any chosen day I could be ''bugged''.
I can''t go and get my hair cut without permission and being timed. I can''t go anywhere alone without the reason, time and place being subject to scrutiny.
I love my wife and would like nothing more than to spend a life time of love, care and peace with her but I accept that just because I want it doesn''t mean that I can have it and I wonder whether it is possible. At what point would the average person draw a line in the sand?
You say you are innocent in all this and can prove so, in which case, has your wife always been suspicious of your every move or has this really all come about because of the email and overheard end of telephone conversation?
I am assuming your "previous" although 16 years ago, was when you were with your wife?
You don''t mention either of you having taken legal advice so guessing that you are still together.
what is your wife saying, apart from being extremely suspicious? Do you think that you may benefit from suggesting you both go to Relate or some other form of counselling together - If you were together 16 years ago, how did you both overcome the problem, if you just buried it and carried on regardless, it rather sounds like your wife is reacting so badly to her feelings at the moment as she did not really deal with it back then.
All you can really do i would say is try and keep calm and answer every question she has, keep talking with her and then maybe suggest relate
I hope it works out for you as you do sound like you want it to, and bearing in mind her reaction to all this, she still cares for you too.
The other side of the coin is, and you may not like this suggestion, is that she wants out and is using your past as a smokescreen.
I hope she has just allowed her fears to unleash her undealt with feelings from 16 years ago and that you can both deal with it now, move on and be happy together.
My wife was ''suspicious'' when I met her, before I met her, but because of my previous indiscretion I accept the suspicion and accept that I have to go the extra mile.
Relate - we did go to relate about 5 years back - not because of any infidelity or alleged infidelity just because of irrationality. I asked for it because I thought that an independent person would listen to all that had happened, all that had been said and make a value judgment on what was right and what was wrong. I hoped that after hearing both sides of the story they would tell her that she was acting irrationally. The woman spent zero time listening to anything and simply said, if you can''t get along together - get divorced. Maybe she was right but clearly that not what either of us wants. That said, perhaps, as I said above, maybe it''s not a matter of what we want but what must be!
I can answer all her questions on anything I have done or anything which has happened, I can produce proof of things that I have done but producing proof of something I didn''t do - how do you do that? I don''t believe that there is anything more frustrating than being accused of something you haven''t done. "Oh yes, you say that, I know you''ve been sniffing round there" she says. No I haven''t, I haven''t ''sniffed'' or even thought about ''sniffing'' I just sent an email with a link to an article on managing staff and I went to pay a bill. I can prove I sent the email; I can prove the content of the email; I can prove I paid the bill; I can''t prove that on route to the shops for a loaf of bread I didn''t stop off at the woods for 10 minutes!
I know this is a one sided story but based upon the fact that I would be stupid to ask for advice based upon a lie - would the average person form the view that it is a lost cause give up and walk away?
Is living with the likelhood that at any particular time, today, next week, next month, next year, a covert recording device will be placed with me to make a record my voice and location be something that I should accept as ''acceptable behaviour'' or is it an act which could define a relationship as finished?
I really have no answers for you unfortunately (hence why I have ended up on this site myself), however from what you say, I would say that your position is almost impossible.
You clearly love your wife and it would seem that she loves you, but and this is a big but, can you actually live together happily? It would sound not.
From that conclusion, I would suggest that you go with your gut feeling - and it would seem that your gut is telling you that there is or can be no happy future for you together.
I don''t think that I could accept having to put up with being accused of something I have not done, even if I did have a history. Trust has got to come into it somewhere, and if your wife does not trust you ....
What a sad situation having two people who care for each other, just not being able to get on with caring for each other.
I do think in your posts, you have actually answered your own question - go with your gut feeling, it rarely steers you in the wrong direction. It will be hard to give up on the relationship when you clearly don''t want to, but it may actually be the only thing you can do to ensure your future happiness, even if it does bring sadness in the medium term.
I wish you all the best in whatever you decide to do.
If you really can''t go for a haircut without being timed then I would say that her behaviour is irrational to the point of being abusive. Probably you should leave - but of course then if you do she will say that it just shows that she was right. But do you want to live like this for the rest of your life? Just because you did something stupid 16 years ago she shouldn''t be able to control you forever. Get out - ultimately you will be happier.
So it sounds like me you need to talk honestly and openly with your wife. Think about turning toward her instead of turning away from her. What I mean is listen to her then turn toward her with the conversation. Can you accept her insecurities about your fidelity? Can you talk about it without getting defensive or thinking that she''s nuts? Can you really communicate together about the best way forward to solve this issue together? This will rip you apart and you will end up divorced...
I would like to think if you hold her, look in her eye and tell her how concerned you are with where your relationship is right now you could get on the road to recovery together. It will be a lot of work, but hopefully worth it.
My advice would be to love your wife. Love her fully and completely. Love her flaws and her attributes. Figure this out together.