Q: I have been with my wife for five years now, and we’ve known each other for thirteen years. We have a solid relationship. We have sex, we talk, we enjoy our own friends, we each have great careers. We even were talking about starting a family. Just last week I had left work early to run errands. I was walking past our favorite restaurant and I saw my wife there with one of her co-workers. I’ve met this guy before when I dropped off lunch for my wife to surprise her for her birthday. I didn’t think much of him, but when I saw her at lunch with him something seemed off, they were sitting really close and he had his arm resting on her chair. So I texted her. I said, “Hey honey, hope you’re having a good day. How is that project coming?” She picked up her phone and didn’t even reply and went back to talking with her co-worker. I don’t have defninitive proof, but I felt something was off lately. Should I mention this to her? I don’t want to accuse her of cheating if she isn’t. I love her and want to work through this, especially if she hasn’t done anything yet but was thinking about it.
A: From what you’ve told me I can’t tell you whether she is cheating or not. I would say this is something to bring up for sure. If you have never had reason to doubt her trust, then bring this up gently and mention that you saw her the other day with that co-worker. See how she reacts. Don’t accuse her of cheating because she will most likely become defensive, and will be hurt especially if she isn’t cheating. When you say cheating do you mean emotional or physical? I know most people assume cheating is physical, but are you worried about the emotional connection she has with this co-worker?
In all honesty, gently mentioning this would be the best. If she hasn’t or wasn’t going to cheat then that is something you want to know. If she was planning on it, but hadn’t gone through with it, then talking to her now might prevent the actual cheating from happening. If she has already cheated (whether emotionally or physically) then something is off in the relationship if this isn’t your wife’s usual behavior. Cheaters cheat often because they feel something within themselves isn’t right or they are looking for something that has nothing to do with or relfect on their spouse. Esther Perel is a psychotherapist who has talked about sex and cheating in relationships and the reasons behind why people cheat. She has two Ted talks which are great to watch! Even if no cheating has occured these Ted talks are fascinating to listen to. I hope that your wife hasn’t cheated. I also hope that you can be honest with your concerns. I wish you the best of luck! All is not lost if cheating has happened, there are many couples who recover.