So, I got an email from a reader, and I’m sharing it with his permission. There’s a bit of confusion on whether or not he’s being cheated on by his wife – and if he’s NOT, it looks like he may be stalking her. I want my readers to know that the only reason I am answering this question is that the writer of the letter seems genuinely worried.
“David’s” letter reads:
“Angie – I love your videos and I just need a bit of help here. I don’t know why, but I am so, so anxious all the time. It’s all because of my wife! I don’t think she’s a narcissist, but my wife is so beautiful and seems overly friendly. She has a lot of friends both male and female and is really popular. But I am always scared she will leave me. So can you help me out? Why don’t I trust her? I feel a little weird telling you this, but every time she leaves home, I feel like I have to trail her. I’ve even skipped work so I can keep an eye on her without her knowing. I know it’s irrational but I just can’t help myself. She thinks we have the perfect relationship, but I’m always worried about what she’s doing when I can’t see her. Am I just paranoid or is she really doing something against our marriage? Is this going to cause me to lose her? I’m so scared and I don’t know what to do!”
Here’s my answer.
First, you have to know that your wife clearly doesn’t think you have the perfect relationship. Without knowing more about your situation, I can’t give you an answer on whether she’s actually doing something wrong here. With that being said, have you tried asking her? Maybe just a simple discussion would help you to ease your mind a bit. But if you’re truly worried, start here.
Know the signs of cheating, which may include:
- A Change in Appearance – If your wife has gone through a change in appearance, it could be a sign that she is cheating on you. What you will want to look for is small, but significant changes in appearance. For example, has she always worn glasses but has all of a sudden opted for contact lenses? Has your wife recently started showing more skin? Dressing provocatively is a common sign of cheating, especially if your wife typically dresses conservatively. Switching perfumes or wearing it more often can be another sign of cheating. This can be done to impress a new man or to cover up another man’s scent.
- A Change in Affection – A change in the amount of affection that your wife gives you could be seen as a sign of having an affair. For example, has your love life been happy and healthy in the past? Was your relationship filled with fun, adventure, and great sex? If so, has that changed? If your wife no longer compliments you as she did before or does something as simple as pull away during a kiss, an affair may be going on. Many cheating women try to avoid close contact with their husbands in fear of getting caught or letting their guilt show.
- Secrecy – A wife becoming more secretive can often point to an extramarital affair. For example, does your wife spend too much time on the phone or the internet? If so, what does she say when you ask her what she is doing? If you receive a “nothing,” or a “not your business,” response, something may be going on. In keeping with phone and internet use, does your wife automatically hang-up the phone whenever you walk into a room? Does she shut off the computer or try to block your view of it? If so, your wife’s secrecy may mean that she is trying to cover up an affair.
- Changes in Bills – One of the simplest ways to catch a cheating wife is to start paying your bills. In some relationships, this is the woman’s responsibility, but make it yours, at least for a while. Examine your wife’s cell phone bills. Does it show what phone numbers are called or what numbers text messages and pictures are received from? Also, closely examine credit card bills. Are there expenses listed for hotel rooms, vacations, restaurants, or anything else that you have no idea about? If so, your wife may be cheating on you.
The signs mentioned here are just a few of the many that you will want to look for in a cheating wife. If you think that your wife is cheating on you, just be sure to keep your eyes and ears open. Unfortunately for the cheaters, they often make mistakes. Many women get so comfortable, that they slip up at one time or another. If you know what to look for, this is when you may be able to catch your wife cheating.
What if she’s really cheating? How do you deal?
If you do find out that your wife is cheating on you, you may want to carefully approach the subject. Never confront your wife in front of your children. No matter how angry you are, do not get violent and try to keep your voice at a reasonable level. As hard as it can be, calming approaching the situation can better allow you and your wife to have an honest discussion. Then you can decide what will happen you to and your relationship next.
What if she’s NOT really cheating?
It’s possible that this isn’t really anything she’s done but that it’s simply an insecurity issue. If that’s true, think about what may have triggered this insecurity you have, but if you can’t get things under control, talk to her honestly about what’s on your mind, and get back on track, then I suggest you get some professional help. Otherwise, you are on the path for emotional self-destruction.
Know this: a jealous husband makes life miserable for his wife. It’s a really toxic way to live. One client tells me that her ex would follow and stalk her constantly. He sat outside her workplace, called all her friends. He even questioned her boss one day.
In the long run, it destroyed their relationship and eventually destroyed him too. Today, they are divorced and she says she is barely holding it together. My advice for you, if you want to stay married, is to understand that this is your problem, not hers. Speak to someone you can trust. Tackle this now before it kills your marriage too.
If your wife hasn’t given you any reason for your behavior, you need to dig deep and figure out why you feel this way. If you DO have a legitimate reason to not trust her, perhaps you are in a toxic relationship and you need to consider moving on.
Another Possibility: Projection
This may be a delicate question, but are YOU doing something that your wife wouldn’t approve of? Are you cheating on her? I only ask because if that’s the case, it’s also possible that you’re projecting your own behavior on to her. It’s important to be honest with yourself in this situation.
So what do you think? Is “David’s” wife cheating, or has his own paranoia caused him to become a stalker? Tweet me @angieatkinson and let’s discuss it!
Angela Atkinson is a Certified Life Coach and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic relationships since 2006, Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own.
Atkinson offers trauma-informed coaching and has certifications in life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves.
Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy. In her life coaching practice, Atkinson’s clients enjoy her personalized approach that allows and encourages them to become the best possible versions of themselves and to succeed in doing what they love most. She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online and NarcissismSupportCoach.com.