I sometimes hear from people whose spouse is sure that they are cheating when they are not. Sometimes, the spouse thinks that they have seen or “caught” something, when in fact, what they are seeing is a misunderstanding. However, it can be hard to explain this or to make your spouse believe that nothing inappropriate has happened.
Here is an example. A wife might say: “last week, something so awful happened. And I’m afraid it’s going to ruin my marriage. But I honestly have not done anything wrong. My husband was not home. He is best friends with a guy he has known his whole life. This guy was his next door neighbor growing up. Needless to say, this guy is always at our house. He will come in and help himself to whatever is in the refrigerator. I have always considered him a friend also. Anyway, he came over and my husband was not home. I expected him to leave, but he said he wanted to borrow a tool from my husband and he knew where the tool was in the house. I let him in and then he proceeded to tell me that he had something to confess to me. He told me that he had always had romantic feelings for me that he could not deny anymore. Then he kissed me. I was so stunned. I turned my face away and I most definitely did not kiss him back. I told him that I thought it would be a good idea if he left. He kept talking about how he couldn’t stop thinking about me. After he left, I figured that he must have been drinking. I’ve been alone with him countless times and nothing like this has ever came up. I debated for a long time as to whether to tell my husband. I decided not to for a couple of reasons. First, this guy means so much to my husband. He is like a brother to him. I didn’t want to cause my husband the pain of knowing this guy was willing to betray him. Second, he left when I asked him to and I honestly believe that he was drunk and not completely in control of his actions. So I decided that since nothing happened, to just say nothing and hope that it never happened again. The problem is, the other guy told my husband. But he left out the part about me basically asking him to leave. He apologized to my husband, but told him that he was in love with me. Now, my husband thinks that there is something between the friend and myself. There isn’t. Nothing happened. I did cheat on my husband when we were dating over a decade ago. But I have never cheated on him since we have been married. And I never would. But he is acting like I did. I don’t know what to do. But I’m hurt that he would assume this about me.”
I understand why you are hurt. You are being punished for a crime that you didn’t even commit. But you are likely still being punished for the previous bout of cheating – even if it was so long ago.
Remember how you said that you didn’t tell your husband because you knew how hurt he was going to be? Well, you are seeing that hurt now. And that is why he is acting like he is. I am not saying that he is right. But his emotions are running away from him because he is so hurt to think that this man who is like a brother to him would attempt to cheat with his wife. I don’t know if not telling him about the pass was the right call or not. Your intentions were good, but he’s likely wondering why you kept it from him if you did nothing wrong or if nothing happened.
However, in the days and weeks to come, he might think about this a little more. He may start to wonder when you would have betrayed him. He might start looking at the calendar or checking emails or texts and figure out that there has been no communication between the two of you except when it relates to him. And it’s quite possible that the other man, who doesn’t want to lose your husband’s friendship, will be honest and tell your husband that nothing actually happened and that every inappropriate action was his and his alone.
This may happen without your needing to do anything. And your husband may realize his mistake and apologize to you. If this doesn’t happen, I’d continue to calmly repeat the same true story. And I’d ask myself if the relationship truly did heal from the previous bout of cheating. If it didn’t, then it would make sense that your husband would expect the worst now. It’s never too late to finally address the previous cheating if you’ve swept it under the rug. It’s better to finally heal that wound than to let it continue to fester.