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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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My husband has been very aloof lately. We used to go to

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My husband has been very aloof lately. We used to go to lunch together all the time and now when I ask him about lunch, he says that he's not hungry, he doesn't like lunch, he's busy. It's always some excuse about lunch. He never answers his phone when I call him. He used to always answer his phone. I jokingly commented one day, "boy it's sure hard to get a hold of you lately. If I didn't know any better, I'd think you were having an affair." He went into a firestorm about how disappointed he is at me for even saying or thinking that. He even went as far as to say he's been having doubts about MY fidelity. He went on a tandrum and I just listened to him; trying to figure out where all of that was coming from. What do you make of this?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.

I am not sure what your husband expects you to think or feel when he treats you this way. For a person to give their spouse the "cold shoulder" treatment, there is definitely something going on. No one just shuts off for no reason.

What exactly happened to make your husband choose to act this way is very hard to tell when he won't communicate with you. It does not sound like something personal that happened to him such as a problem at work. He probably would have shared that with you and not treated you any differently because of it. So your only conclusion is the one you already made, it is something between the two of you. And assuming it is an affair is a fair guess. Many partners would assume the same thing if they were treated like you are being treated.

Add that to the fact that your husband became overly angry at your suggestion shows that you touched a nerve and that either he finds affairs extremely offensive (which in and of itself is an odd response) or he may be having one and was angry you guessed it. Accusing you of infidelity is a defense mechanism he used to deflect the blame off himself and onto you. Your comment probably triggered feelings of guilt and shame.

Although it is not a certainty, you may be correct in your guess. It is time to sit down with him and talk to him about what is going on. Tell him that your marriage is at stake and that you want answers. Try to keep your tone neutral and open. If you start off accusing him, he will become defensive and may start an argument.

If he will not speak with you, suggest counseling. If he won't go, go without him. You need answers and support to figure out what to do about this situation. To find a therapist, talk to your doctor about a referral. Or if you attend church, your pastor may be able to help. Or you can search on line at

I hope this has helped you,

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I am agreeing with everything you have said. The only problem here is that my husband is a Pastor. I have caught him cheating before; in my house actually with a woman from the church. Even before catching him then, I have always suspected that he was unfaithful. That was 3 years ago. We have talked extensively about his affair and our marriage. He always try to reassurre me that he's not cheating or that he would never cheat again. He goes on and on about infidelity and even preaches against it on Sunday mornings. I guess that's why I'm so confused about it. He says one thing but his actions always dictates something else. I don't want to accuse him of infidelity if it's something else going on. I'm really confused about what to do or what to do think. When I subtlely question him about certain actions, I get very lame excusing or the defense tactic.
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

It sounds like he does not see his actions as a problem. But you are right, what he is saying is not what he is doing. And if he has a history of cheating, then you certainly are not off target suspecting that he is cheating now. Do you feel he would go to counseling with you?

Let me know what you think,


Customer: replied 6 years ago.

He will not go to counseling. I suggested that when I caught him cheating and he refused to go suggesting that we could work it out amongst ourselves. I consider myself a very intelligent person and try to see things with an open mind. I just want someone to be honest with me. Are my reservations way off base because I'm still having trust issues or is it something really behind his actions? He declares that he has a lot on his mind. He openly discusses how he gets depressed at times and doesn't know why. He uses these times to get away to himself and uses these excuses as reasons to his aloofness, hard to reach and not wanting to do lunch. I try to be understanding and sympathetic but it feels as though I get responses like this to pacify or justify his actions. I can go on and on but I guess my biggest concern is am I justified in feeling this way or I am I still harboring trust issues? And if so, shouldn't he be helping me in some way to feel more secure or am I being irrational?

Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

No you are definitely not off base here. Your gut is telling you the right things. Your husband refuses to go to counseling because he is not willing to own up to this being his fault. Many people who chronically cheat also have issues with being Narcissists. They feel that they are right in what they are doing because they need it. It sounds like this may describe your husband.

He is telling you explanations that he feels you will accept. If he really had issues, he would include you in resolving them. You would not be feeling left out and you would not be questioning yourself.

There are numerous resources that will help you sort this out. The more you know, the better you can address what you are dealing with.

The first one I recommend is counseling. Finding a counselor that is knowledgeable in affairs and narcissism would be ideal. And go yourself.

Two, learn what you can about infidelity and narcissism. Also, you may want to learn about emotional abuse. It sounds like there are at least traits of abuse in your relationship.

Infidelity: A Survival Guide by Don-David Lusterman

Surviving Infidelity: Making Decisions, Recovering from the Pain, 3rd Edition by Rona B. Subotnik and Gloria Harris

Should I Stay Or Go? : How Controlled Separation (CS) Can Save Your Marriage by Lee Raffel

Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men by Lundy


The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists: Coping with the One-Way Relationship in Work, Love, and Family by Eleanor D. Payson

You can find the books on or your local library may have them for you.


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