My wife thinks I am having an affair when I am not
Consistently throughout our relationship since we got married my wife has accused me of having an affair with another woman. I am in an industry that requires travel occasionally and this has led to issues. In recent times she has installed monitoring software on my phone to track my movements and be able to turn the camera and microphone on and off.
What is upsetting is that while I have never had an affair on her - she had an affair several years ago that lasted for 18 months. After therapy I forgave her. So it is very hurtful that despite my every effort she will not stop accusing me of cheating. Her relationship with her mother and sister is strained, she also accuses them of cheating constantly, including with me in the past.
I am concerned it is some kind of issue requiring help because she also keeps accusing me of smirking or laughing when I am not and hears me admitting to things I am not saying. She is now fixated on a woman who lives in another part of the country whom I have never met. She gets very angry and emotional regarding this other woman and I am not able to convince her that I am not having an affair with this person (or anyone else). She tells my children I am talking to this other person and accuses me of stealing things from her to send to this other woman.
Nearly every happy occasion is ruined by accusations including birthdays, Christmas and other important days.
I am very ill and was only given 5 years to live a few years ago though I will fight to make sure that does not happen as best I can- I do not want things to end like this. It is very distressing.
For me, one thing that stands true is that we are shaped by our past or life experiences.
Your situation does sound quite sad and distressing.
If I could summarise your post - your wife has had a affair, which you forgave her for, and now believes you are having affair(s)?
Could there be some small behaviour that she sees which then gets mis-interpreted as something much larger. for example, if at some stage you agreed or laughed at something said by mother and sister could that get blown up into something much larger.
Perhaps she sees you as too good? She had had an affair, you have never.
If you spend time with the person in the other part of the country and more than your wife thinks is reasonable then something innocent can taken otherwise. I guess what I am trying to say is that it is about perceptions.
With that said some of the things you have mentioned in the post sound a little controlling - the monitoring of your phone. Does your wife want you to stop being friends with this other person? I assume you speak with this person is either a work or personal capacity.
What does your wife want you to do?
It is easy to speculate on possible truths. Communication is key to marriage and I wonder if you can speak with about how her actions feels and the effect it has on you. You could perhaps ask her about your alleged cheating. Many problems have solutions and it depends on the solution we are looking for as well.
I am sorry for the position you are in. I hope you will come back and share some more of you story.
What is most distressing is I have never actually met the woman in question. I have never had an affair emotional or physical with anyone else.
I believe my wife wants to leave the marriage but feels guilty about doing so because I am so unwell. Therefore in order to leave me she must make me a monster. Her belief I am having an affair has led to physical and emotional violence against me where she will hit me and say some very cruel things.
Outside of occasional quick hellos when my children call them - I do not speak to my mother in law or sister in law except at family gatherings.
Discussion isn't possible because my wife will hear me (or pretend to hear me) admitting to the affair or will talk as if it is a confirmed fact. When I say I am not having an affair she says she knows it is real and I am gaslighting her.
I have been very careful over the years to limit my interactions with women to only work colleagues.
But this has not helped - when we are at the shops or watching television she will accuse me of looking at another women in an inappropriate way. Again, this is something I do not do. Sometimes she will take a picture of the woman I am supposed to be have been looking at and show me - and I had never even noticed that person.
I'm saddened to hear about your current situation. You come across as a well balanced person trying to do the right thing.
Yours wife's behavior is alarming, to say the least. At first I thought your wife behavior was perhaps a defense against your illness, but then you said she has always been like that. Clearly there is a problem, but I think the solution will require professional help.
Have you considered couples counselling with a phycologist. Your wife may have unresolved childhood issues that are now running out of control. Her strained relationship with her own family would suggest the problem is deep rooted. That being said, your illness is probably fueling the problem; but that is not your fault.
Sorry I could not be of more help!
As Mr Paul said..."Yours wife's behavior is alarming,"
And from your posts, you have mentioned tracking software on your phone, and has used physical and emotional abuse against you.
Have you ever considered having a chat with Mensline (https://mensline.org.au/) on 1300 78 99 78? If you have a chat with them you might find some ways to move forward. Just a thought.
I am very sorry about your health prognosis, let's hope it's completely wrong.
Please only share if you feel willing.... do you or "they" know what caused your health issues?
When did you fall ill?
Does your health improve when you're away from W on business trips?
I think your W is using "projection" - meaning putting her own behaviours on to you.
It deeply concerns me that this has been happening all of your relationship.
If you can answer the health questions.... I'm sorry but I have more worrying concerns than W blaming you for cheating.
I think it's pretty obvious that W is very unstable.
It has been difficult. I keep saying I do not know this person and have never met them but to no avail.
In the house I am not allowed to be alone in case I am messaging "her". I am unable to even go to the mail box in case "she" has sent me something. Even watching television is not possible because I might be using it to message the other person. Christmas Day last year was ruined because of this when I went down early to make breakfast and she assumed I used the television to send a message. (It's an old television without any capability to send messages.)
Being away from home makes no difference to my health based on my condition. In terms of rest there is none. As my phone has tracking software with an open mic at all times there is no ability to rest anywhere. Any conversation is tracked.
I'm so sorry you're going through this.
I wouldn't want to say this to your wife (I would leave it up to a MH professional to say this but they'd probably just write it in a report)... your wife appears to be so controlling that it's verged on paranoia.
I had a friend that went through this with his wife for 2 intense years and he was wrecked by the end of it. She had absolutely nothing to worry about but he had to change everything about the way he worked and had to turn female clients away using excuses.
Would it help seeing a MH professional over this even with your wife in the room?
Have you tried ignoring her. You can't control her bad behavior, but you can control the way you want to live.
Remove the tracking software from your phone and keep it out of her reach. The more you accept her control; the more you acknowledge her paranoia, the worse she will get. I don't see how you can change a lifetime of self-serving entitlement over night.
From what you have shared, I don't think you can sit back and do nothing; it's not an option.