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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5809
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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25-30 years ago (when I was, pretty and thin!) I stayed out

Resolved Question:

25-30 years ago (when I was young, pretty and thin!) I stayed out all night several times (maybe five times) partying and dancing. Usually I was with girlfriends, but once or twice I was alone and met up with friends. My husband of 30 years has suddenly began to dwell on the fact that I cheated on him years ago. I realize it freaked him out at the time and I wish I could go back and change it, but I never slept with anyone else and know there's no way I can prove it after all this time. I have offered to be hypnotized - that's the only thing I can think of. He brings it up every day now and it is making me really mad. We have had several tough periods in our marriage when he could have walked away, but he never did, nor did he bring up his suspicions about the past. I have been a good wife, but feel now, each time we are intimate, that he thinks of me as a whore. I don't know how to resolve this.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

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

It sounds like there could be two things going on with your husband. One, his jealousy is about his own issues or two, he has a physical problem such as dementia.

When someone is jealous, it is because of several reasons:

One, they feel insecure. This is caused when someone feels they are inferior to others and are in competition.

Two, they are fearful of loss and rejection. They do not want to end up alone or rejected.

Three, poor self image. They feel they don't measure up to others and that other people are better than they are.

Four, low self confidence can cause a person to feel they are not good enough for you or the relationship.

If your husband suffers from any of these problems, he will be sensitive to what you do and who you see. He may even think of things from the past that make him feel jealous. If you feel this is the case, counseling can help you both overcome this issue.

But going back 30 years is a long time. If you have not given him any reason to believe that you have done anything in your marriage to cheat or otherwise, then his reasons for bringing up this issue now cannot be easily explained. That is what makes me think that his problem might be physical in origin, especially since he now brings the topic up everyday.

As people age, they can develop a dementia. Jealousy can be a symptom of dementia and become unreasonable in it's intensity. Dementia can start at any age but is most common in later years. You may want to ask your husband if he would be willing to see his doctor for a check up. Before he goes, call the doctor and let him/her know what you are noticing. That way, they can screen your husband especially for dementia.

I hope this has helped you,

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for your answer. I want to be clear, because I intend to show my husband my question and your answer, and I do not want him saying that I mislead you. He says that he always knew I slept with someone else, but he kept quiet because of the kids. He will respond to your answer that he has always known I was unfaithful, that it just lately started to bother him. He says he loves me and knows I have been a good and faithful wife, except for those few instances.

There is no way to prove right or wrong here; I am trying to figure out to make him see that this is an unfair situation and how unhappy it makes me. Why did he wait all this time to give me grief over this? Really, if he keeps it up I will leave him and that would be a tradegy to end 30+ years over a crime I never even committed.
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

I understand. But if you were not unfaithful, then he is imagining the situation and accusing you of it as it is real. That means there is something wrong with him, not you. Most people do not just make up situations like that in their marriages then act on them as if they are real.

Your husband needs screened by his doctor to be sure this is not a biologically based issue. If not, then an evaluation and treatment with a therapist is a good idea for both of you so you do not lose your marriage over this.


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