Anxiety and infidelity
My husband recently took a three week business trip. Halfway through he started acting very strangely and stopped contacting me. He also told me some pretty hurtful things about how he was feeling about our marriage (of less than two years). I found out later that he had spent over 10000 that trip and had hired the services of a 'professional' for what I can only assume to be more than once given the amount of money he had spent.
Finances were a stressor for him and I felt like he was sweeping things under the carpet. He didn't listen to me in the several times when I suggested we get some support or that we ought to be prepared for his tax bill.
Since he has been back I have felt very insecure. I have been looking up phone records and generally driving myself batty with suspicion.
He agreed to counselling but I felt like the counsellor didn't hear my voice at all. He has also used some of the labels she gave my argument style (passive aggressive) against me. He says he's worried about my mental health.
The infidelity happened 3 months ago but I am still super anxious. Last week the professional did a tour of our home town. Two days prior he had me do his manscaping. He then booked a haircut and disappeared for hours. I feel like he lied to me about where he was but I don't know for sure.
Throughout this I have made contact with a great counsellor who unfortunately is away at the moment.
I spent a sleepless night last night as he stayed in town at a friends place.
I didn't sleep at all last night. I checked the phone records.
The poor guy clearly needs help and space and I need to be treated respectfully.
Welcome to the Beyond Blue forums. I'm glad you've reached out.
I can feel the stress and anxiety as I read your post, so I can imagine it's pretty intense for you.
Has your husband admitted to any infidelity?
I wonder how you'd feel about chatting to a counsellor on your own so that you are heard and you can express some more of the anxiety and worry you have as something has to calm down for you otherwise you'll end up completely exhausted physically and emotionally.
Are you able to take a bit of a time-out break for yourself in your own mind where it doesn't matter about your husband for let's say an hour. Have a bath or do your favourite activity have a chat with a close friend or coffee with a friend, just something to give you some space to get some energy back. Your mind will probably want to thrown all manner of scenarios and feelings at you during your "you" time. With a little practice there's a trick you can do where you become an observer of your thoughts and feelings instead of experiencing them. As an observer, when you think something you don't respond to it with your self talk like you normally would, you just let it come and be, then pop it in a pouch. When an emotion comes along, again, be the observer but this time give the emotion a name then let it be. So you might feel fear that your husband is doing something that could jeopardise your marriage simply you say to yourself "Hmm that's fear" then let it be for a little while and pop it in the imaginary pouch. It takes practice and helps if you are in a quiet place and relaxed. That little trick might help you find some respite from uncomfortable thoughts and feelings.
We've really got to look after ourselves physically and emotionally, so I wonder if having a chat to someone professionally would help at least with that part. Once the fears and anxiety and all of the wretched emotions that come along with something like this are more manageable working on your marriage and understanding what's happening with your husband might become a bit easier.
Below there are links to "get support" and "find a professional" if you need a hand finding someone professional to help out. There are also some resources on Anxiety on the site that may help.
If you can Hannah, get yourself some emotional respite and some energy back then deal with what needs to be delt with at a later time.
Stay in touch and let us know that you're OK.
Thanks for the reply. Yes, he has been honest about some things. I'm feeling a little better now.
I have decided to give myself some breathing room. I have found a lovely little place I can stay whilst I gather my thoughts. I have a tendency to make hasty decisions which I'm trying to avoid so I will have regular counselling sessions until I feel like I know what is best for me.
I'm drinking lots of camomile tea and avoiding caffeine, prioritising sleep and trying to maintain my appetite.
Still a little shaken but feeling a bit more myself than I was before.
This whole thing is really crappy.
Hey Hannah - glad to hear you're feeling a little better.
The whole thing is crappier than crappy :(, I like your approach though especially regular counselling until you feel ready to deal with things - ready on your terms.
Take care, spoil yourself and stay in touch.
dear Hannah, again thank you for posting your comment, and as Paul has said ' I can imagine it's pretty intense for you'.
I wonder whether you had these feelings even before he took this trip, because if this was the first time you worried about what he was doing then he could have talked his way out of it, but this didn't happen, and when he returned he was sleeping at a friends house.
I am pleased that you have taken Paul's advice and given yourself some space and a place to stay, because in this time you will be thinking whether or not you want to stay in this marriage.
This is an enormous decision to brew over, but if both love each other then this decision could be easy, but if you don't, and feel as though you won't be able to trust him any more then you have to decide what to do, and I hope that you may have some friends who will be able to give you some assistance.
Keep these counselling sessions going even when you feel as though you don't need them any more, because we never know if and when we can fall back into it, which I hope you sincerely don't. Geoff. x
Here is the update. He was totally cheating the whole time. He accidentally sent some info to me that was pretty clear evidence and, when confronted, he admitted to several other hook ups.
I moved out and it's pretty crap losing your husband but at least I'm not second guessing my own sanity anymore.
This bout of anxiety was definitely triggered by my relationship with someone who totally denied my sense of reality.
Next time I will listen to the quiet inner voice that says 'there is something not right here'.
I am sorry for what you're going through. As someone who has also been cheated on I understand how painful infidelity is. All I can say is that your husband is clearly disrespectful and not worth your time.
From my experience I also hope you don't let this incident and his awful behaviour impact any of your future relationships. Trust and paranoia surrounding infidelity is something I have had to work on as it comes up frequently with my anxiety. Make sure you stay confident in yourself and no there are plenty of people out there who would never inflict that kind of pain on their significant other.
All the best and know you can get through this tough period!
Sorry to hear that he was being a dishonest cheat.
How have you been? Are you OK?
There's some info on grief on the site here that might help explain some feelings that you might be experiencing. From the menus at the top "The Facts" then "grief and loss". After losing something important or a big change we all generally go through some common emotions and they're in a rough sequence. They can feel a lot like depression sometimes and I think understanding them helps with anxiety.
Stay in touch, we're here to listen Hannah.