My husband loves female attention and has had friendships that were flirty and inappropriate that I know about. I am not sure what else has happened that I don’t know about. I know he has come close to cheating several times. I know that if we go even three to four days without sex. he acts like it’s an eternity. He wants sex 24/7. He hasn’t directly said that’s why people cheat, but I got the impression he thought that.
We have been married 10 years and I am always paranoid. I love him and have two kids with him, but this mistrust and paranoia are driving me nuts. I feel like I cannot believe anything he says because of all the lies. If he is doing something, I don’t want to be a naive fool.
I usually am picky about underwear, and there’s a tiny possibility I bought these panties in 2011 when I lost some weight. But I really do not remember ever seeing them. I am not sure what to do. I would like him followed, but that is soo expensive. I feel lost. We have tried therapy in the past, but our last therapist didn’t want to see us anymore after my husband stopped talking because we had a big fight. We made up like always. She said we need a longterm therapist which we cannot afford.
I don’t want to break up my family and I don’t want to be a fool if my husband is messing around, which I am afraid of but have no proof of. The underwear is very suspicious but not real proof. Should I have him followed? Set up nanny cams? He had mentioned he would never be so low, if he ever cheated, as to do it at our house. He pays for most things with cash, so I have no clue if he could have gotten a hotel or something. This all could be in my head, but I don’t know what to do. If he is cheating, I want to know. He would never tell me because he knows I would leave him if he were. Please help. – Not My Panties
You know what, it doesn’t matter whom these size medium lacy panties belong to. You don’t need nanny cams or a private detective. And for God’s sake, you shouldn’t be questioning your teenage daughter about see-through panties you found in your drawer. (Even if they ARE hers, she’s probably too mortified to claim them; wouldn’t YOU be?). You have your answer already: you don’t trust your husband. Nothing else really matters if you don’t trust him. You say your lack of trust is “horrible and toxic” in a relationship but that you simply can’t overlook the many, many lies your husband has told you over the past 10 years. It doesn’t matter if these panties belong to a woman he’s sleeping with if they’re your stepdaughter’s or if you yourself bought them when you were thinner and you just don’t remember. All that matters here is that you don’t trust your husband and that the foundation of your marriage is cracked so severely that the truth couldn’t stand stable on it even if it tried.
Get yourselves back to therapy. Find a way to afford it. Start communicating with each other. Tell your husband you found these panties and the first thing you thought of was that he was cheating on you because you don’t trust him and you know that’s a problem you can’t surmount without some help. Ask if he’s willing to get help with you. And if he isn’t, or if the help isn’t enough or if it’s simply too late, you’re going to have to accept that you have two choices: to stay in an unhappy marriage, or to “break up your family,” as you say, and MOA. The thing about an unhappy marriage for which help is too little or too late is that it forever remains unhappy. The thing about leaving an unhappy marriage is that you give yourself the opportunity to find hope and happiness again. A broken family is simply one whose pieces haven’t yet been reconfigured.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.