From the U.S.: My husband and I have been married for 3 years and we’ve been close friends for 8. We have been through so much together and he has been the one person in my life I’ve always counted on. Our relationship has always been one filled with nothing but love, openess and trust in one another. However, in the past year we’ve fallen on hard times.

My husband ended his military career and we’ve had trouble adjusting financially. He got a job working second shift at a manufacturing plant. Shortly after starting his new job he began acting differently. Like a completely different person. He was no longer the vibrant loving man I knew. When he came home from work he would frequently talk about the people his coworkers.

One of which was a woman named B. He and B worked beside each other and had become friends. Eventually rumors had started to spread that they were a thing. He assured me that they were not true and that nothing was going on. But It was all
very fishy to me. I began feeling sick when he would leave for work knowing he would be spending the next 12 hours with B. I told him I was no longer comfortable with him being friends with this strange woman. He responded that I wasn’t going to control who his friends were and dismissed my feelings entirely.

The stress and anxiety of the situation was killing me. I kept pushing him until finally he broke down and admitted to me he had developed a crush on this woman. That he found her interesting and at one point had even considered cheating on me with her and had even dreamed about it. I was absolutely crushed. I had always been confident that my husband was the last person to ever do such a thing. I had placed my trust fully and 100% in him. After a long discussion and many tears it finally dawned of him how badly the situation was affecting me. He has since cut all ties with B and even moved to a different section of the plant to avoid her. He has expressed genuine remorse for dismissing my feelings and he has returned to his old self.

However, even though he did not cheat on me my trust in him is still fragmented. I no longer feel as secure and confident in our relationship as I once had. I am still gripped with the fear that the next attractive woman he speaks to will sweep him away from me. I want to trust him completely like I used to but I don’t know how or if I will ever be able to again.

A: It’s true that your relationship was tested while you and your husband were going through a rough time. A woman who made him feel special gave your husband a way to feel a bit better. But the good news is that he didn’t let himself be swept into an affair. He stayed loyal to you.

If anything, I’d say you have more reason to trust him now than you ever did before. It’s easy to stay trustworthy when it isn’t tested. It’s much harder, and ultimately more powerful, to remain trustworthy when temptation and feelings are in the way. Once he understood the impact on you, your husband apologized and took positive actions to remove the temptation and the reminder to you of what happened.

In my opinion, the best thing you can do is give that man lots of appreciation and support and love. Forgiving him for a lapse when things were hard and appreciating his responsiveness to your feelings are the most important things you can do to ensure that he will continue to be worthy of that trust.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie