“Why doesn’t my husband trust me?”
question: My husband often thinks I’m cheating on him, but I never have. He gets it in his head that I’ve met someone else and am preparing to leave him. I don’t do anything to prompt him thinking this, and I’m as affectionate as I have always been. He has been cheated on in the past and has self-esteem problems, but I’m growing tired of the jealousy, suspicion and lack of trust. I want to make the marriage work, but how do I get him to believe I am his faithful wife? answer: When someone has low self-esteem and has been cheated on in the past, they may develop a fear of being left again. They may feel unworthy of love and believe they aren’t worth staying with. Their fear can grow stronger and sometimes manifest into reality. We can create what we fear by not understanding ourselves.
If there is no outward change in your relationship, it sounds as though from time to time his fear overwhelms him and his mind starts to tell him you must have found someone else and discovered he is not enough for you, and so he convinces himself this must be the case. Innocent as you are of his fears, it must be frustrating to have to deal with them on an ongoing basis.
Has he tried counselling to address his anxiety? Have you tried couples counselling together to learn effective communication? This is not just about talking, but about listening and understanding what is in each other’s hearts and minds as well as the baggage we all carry from our childhood and past relationships.
It’s important that you both break this cycle of waiting for his fear and jealousy to grow and then coping with it when it rears its head. You need to create a healthy relationship in which you both feel safe, supported, loyal, trusting and loved. Given your husband’s past and self-esteem issues, it may take some time to achieve this, but even initiating the process is a hopeful and healthy step. So, if you want the marriage to work in the long term, the responsibility for healing rests with both of you. bodyandsoul.com.au Looking for advice from Gabrielle Morrissey? Visit bodyandsoul.com. au/relationships