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Dr-A-Green, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 309
Experience:  Clinical and Forensic Psychologist
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My wife of 22 years just recently made a claim that she had

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My wife of 22 years just recently made a claim that she had slept with another man during our engagement. This is a man with whom she was having a sexual relationship when we met and about whom we have had issues with early in our marriage so there is history and some hard feelings with regard to him from me. She has since stated that she only made this claim because she was angry and that this tryst never happened. There was not an argument going on at the time, just a discussion about when their prior relationship actually ended. My problem is I just cannot accept that someone who loves me would make such a claim for any reason, much less just anger, unless it was true. I consider this kind of outburst a relationship killer as what am I now to believe? My question is, does this sound like she is actually revealing a dark secret she has held all this time and this is her way of finally getting it out there or do some people actually think this is OK behavior? She has never made any claim like this before. What do you think?
Okay - well first and foremost, I would want to know why you would consider this a "relationship killer" given that you have been married for 22 years. Could you explain that to me a little further?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

After I had moved from Florida to Nashville and moved in with, got engaged to, but prior to getting married to, my wife, she revealed that the night before I moved in she had driven over to this same man's apartment and engaged in oral sex with him. She apologized profusely claiming it was just because she was nervous about me moving in and she had been drinking. Although I was greatly disappointed I accepted this as I genuinely believed she was someone I wanted to spend my life with. I made it clear that no further contact with this man was acceptable. If this relationship with this man continued even after we were engaged then that for me is a relationship killer. That to me means it is all built on lies. Had she revealed she had slept with this man after the first incident I would have definitely walked away. I just can't accept her making this claim in anger as there is too much bad history attached to him.

I see what you're saying. Thank you for the history. That makes a difference. Unfortunately, there is no way for me to tell if what she blurted out is the truth or if it was simply meant to hurt you in the course of a discussion. Although I think that the latter is possible depending on how she was reacting to the content of the discussion. If this has been a recurring "argument" during your marriage and she didn't want to talk about it anymore, she may have reacted rashly and said something inflammatory just to get under your skin.

If this were the case, would you find it agreeable to keep the marriage intact with the understanding that the issue is forever closed? Have the past 20+ years been relatively good/stable or is this just "the straw that broke the camel's back" so to speak?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Well I guess what I really need to resolve is it really possible for someone to use something with so much negative history and such a point of contention between us as just a way to shut down a conversation. It certainly is not something I would ever consider and no one else I have ever known would strike out this way. It seems like a nuclear response. It has left me numb. In those 22 years she has never, never done anything like this. Are you saying it is possible for someone in love to use something so offensive against the person they love? Our marriage has seen its ups and downs but this is by far the worst thing to come between us.

Well, as noxious as it is, I think that it's possible. Sometimes, if someone is very upset (even if they're not showing it externally) they'll lash out with what they know will hurt most. It doesn't make it right - - - or even acceptable - but it happens. Whatever the reason, it sounds like it hurt you deeply. And, while it sounds like she reacted in bitter anger, is it possible that she is hurting too?

I don't know. I'm just guessing, but carrying a wound around for 22 years must be difficult on a marriage. My hope for the both of you is that maybe you can get past the numbness and anger to the softness that's underneath. What I know for a fact is that you must really love and care about this woman to be so moved by the words she uttered.

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