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Paranoia or legit concern?

I've been married 10 years. My husband has never been someone I felt I couldn't trust, in fact it's the opposite.  For as long as I've known him, I've felt that cheating is not something he would ever do. His father cheated on his mom and his brother in law cheated on his sister, so he's witnessed the problems that it causes. We have 2 children under 5. Recently we moved in with my parents for support so he could open his own business. A lot has changed over the last 6 months. He's gone from working a regular 9-5 job to working late nights, he's barely home to help and spend time with the kids because of how much work is involved in running your own business. I started to get depressed and am being treated with antidepressants.  I also started snooping through his text messages and found some texts among some guy friends of his that really upset me, talking about other women and how attractive they were or what great bodies they have. I confronted him about them and he said the texts were only "guy talk"...that all guys talk that way, etc. of course this angered him that I snooped through his phone. But in the end, i found nothing incriminating him of cheating. One day I was thinking about our relationship and thought, "as depressing as it is, as many problems as we have, at least he's not cheating on me". And then, just as soon as that thought went through my head, I wondered, "what if he is?"  Since then I've been on a wild goose chase trying to find any evidence possible. Most things end up checking out.  The only thing of any concern I have found was a phone charger in his car that didn't go with his phone (he later told me it was a charger for a blue tooth that had broken and for whatever reason, he still left the charger in his car port even though he never used it). I also found a woman's sock in my car that I have never seen before. He doesn't know where it came from. I went to a friend's house the other day and she said it is hers, although she is also a friend of my husband's so I wonder if she may be covering for him (another possible paranoid thought?) my family and friends think I'm crazy for thinking he's cheating. They tell me, "that isn't him" and anytime he finds out a friend of his cheated on a wife or girlfriend, he calls them weak, saying a weak man cheats because they don't have the willpower not to. I really have no other evidence that he has cheated. The nurse practitioner who prescribes my antidepressants basically told me I should hire a private detective when I told her about the car charger. She has said other things that I felt were inappropriate in the past, and as a result, I am no longer going back to her and will begin seeing an actual psychiatrist next week who can hopefully try to help me figure things out. I'm just not sure if this is paranoia or if I have a legit concern, when there really is no evidence.  We have had some problems, so he has had chances to tell me he's done with our relationship, but he chooses to stay with me and work it out. I've asked him a few times if he still loves me and he says he does. He denies cheating and is trying his best to support me during this time, knowing I am confused about things.  He knows I am suspicious but he tries to understand and be there for me as much as he possibly can, considering how difficult that probably is for him considering he knows I think he's cheating. With all the changes in our life lately, could it be that I am just feeling insecure and that is why I'm thinking these thoughts? Or do I have a legit reason to be concerned? My husband has always been the most honest person I've ever known...telling people the truth even when it's not what they want to hear. I just don't know why I'm thinking these thoughts but it's driving me crazy. Could reading the "guy talk" texts have made me insecure, and now I worry about him cheating? Any advice/opinions/insight are appreciated. FYI, I see a therapist but she mainly concentrates on ways I can feel better about myself, and doesn't focus too much on myhubd band my thoughts. She says feeling better about myself and keeping busy will help me avoid the thoughts I've been having. Thanks...I look forward to your responses.
2 Responses
134578 tn?1578161083
Well, hmm.  You sound like you have so much anxiety it has nowhere to settle and so you do things like go through your husband's phone and accuse him of cheating on zero evidence.  (You should see the stupid crap my husband's friends send him on his email (though it is more on the political side); this is the way guys "share."  He sometimes has me read one that he thinks is funny, it's usually something really basic like a picture of a missile with Osama bin Laden's name painted on it, har har har, good one.  About the level an 8th-grader would think is funny.  Sounds like the stuff your husband is getting is about the 8th-grade level too.)

I agree with your therapist when she says feeling better about yourself and keeping busy would prevent this kind of thinking, but you are stuck with the childcare (important but not that exciting and challenging) and you don't have any ability to impact the family finances -- in other words, you have a lot of responsibility but no control over your fate and that of your kids, and just have to hope things will turn out OK with the new business. That is enough to drive anyone slightly nuts; at least if it was your own business, you would feel like you could impact its success and therefore your family's financial safety.  You're living with your folks and worried about survival, again enough to make you really anxious.  So your therapist's advice to keep busy and feel better about yourself is pretty useless unless she feels like finding you a job and a busy schedule so you can feel better about yourself.  What you might try (talk to the psychiatrist about this) is a short course of anti-anxiety meds, along with exercise.  Both things can help break the pattern of obsessive thoughts.  I also think you should cast around for a part-time job.  You've got to get out of your parents' house and feel like the master of your fate again.  It is really hard to be the wife of an entrepreneur, you will always wonder if it all could disappear tomorrow unless you are a super optimist.  You are going to need coping tricks for a long time, and it helps a ton to have a job of your own.

One thing I should also mention is that your refusal to believe your husband is insulting to him.  Either the marriage is strong and solid or it is not.  If he is intending to stay, he will stay, don't make it so hard on him to want to.
One job that even a mom with young kids can take is assisting at a day-care place.  They are always looking for good people with clean work histories who will do what it takes and care about the kids.  It is possible you can find somewhere that will allow your kids to come in as part of your pay.  (Or even if it takes a whole lot of your pay, at least you would be building your work history and would be out in the world with friends at work.)  Try one of the larger centers.
973741 tn?1342346373
Hi there.  Well, sweetie, it does sound to me like your depression and anxiety are clouding your thinking.  Here is a man that is working really hard to make something and you are focusing on how busy he is and what that might mean.  I do totally agree that guys talk like pigs and it is typically meaningless.  You've found nothing to suspect he's cheating.  Let it go before you damage your relationship for good.

I think staying home is very noble.  I'm glad you are doing that.  Not everyone can and it is a gift if you are able.  I stayed home with my kids when they were young and I was the mom that everyone knew at school because I volunteered, I planned fun things for my kids and their play mates, I made good friends with other moms at the schools my kids attended.  You can find all sorts of fulfilment as a mama, I promise.  So, think about how you can connect and fill up your worry time with other things.  Do you have a public library near you?  I found this to be a fantastic place for myself and my kids.  In my city, all the library branches have lots of offerings for the public from music and movement classes for little kids, illustrating classes for older kids, read aloud times for kids, arts and crafts for kids, book clubs for adults, learning about certain subjects with speakers, etc.  Pick up a schedule at your closest library and look for these FREE things to do!  We hit the library 2 or 3 times a week during my kids toddler/preschool years!  

The YMCA is a great family center too.  They have different ways they do memberships with a goal that cost will not inhibit people from joining.  They have sliding fees often as well as scholarships (mentioning these money saving things because your husband is working hard to get things going and money may be tight for you.  It was for me as a stay at home mom).  They offer everything under the sun for families.  First, you can do the treadmill or take a class while your little ones hang out in the daycare.  Second, they have (typically) all sorts of programs for young kids--  we always took a mommy and me fitness class, for example.  They offer tumbling, karate, even day care (that you have to pay for but much cheaper than your typical preschool).  

Have you ever heard of MOPS?  I joined this when my kids were 2 and 3.  It's Mother of Preschoolers and typically is run through a church but is not necessary to belong to the church or even go to church to go to it.  That's just who hosts it but it is a national organization.  Anyway, there are monthly meetings with child care and we would go and there would be a speaker that talked about things mom might care about (topics like organizing the house, juggling kids and house cleaning, how to have more sex with your husband (no joke, they had a sex therapist talk to us about spicing up the bedroom!, ha ha),   there was always yummy food that women took turns providing, there was a craft where we made something that wasn't hokey but usually really cute, and then general chit chat time.  I made one of my best friends at MOPS.  AND, besides the monthly meetings, they usually have 'play groups' where you'll get an email blast that anyone who is available and would like to , meet up at such and such a place (park, zoo, someone's house, etc.).  We even did things like a lunch on a Saturday just with the moms while dads met at the park with kids.  So, look that up for connection, activities and other moms.

In fact, look up play groups in your area in general.  

I didn't want to work when my kids were little because I was already tired and really did want to be with them.  So, if you don't want to find a job, think of other ways to be busy.  And stay focused on that therapy, taking medicine if you need to, exercise which will release natural 'happy' chemicals, etc.  And don't cause trouble in your marriage because of simple anxiety.  You've checked up and checked up again on your husband.  He's good but he WILL get to a point of being fed up if you keep doing that.  Good luck!
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