Molehills Or The Tip Of The Iceberg: Trust But Verify

Here’s the situation - You discovered a clue that she might be cheating/involved with someone. But it’s not a lock that she is cheating. It’s not like the text message said “OMG I can’t wait until your cock is in me again”, it’s more like “meaningless blah blah blah”, but it’s to a guy and you suddenly get a bad vibe about it in your stomach and all the way up your back to the base of your neck. You just freaking know. Except you don’t really know for sure.
So the question is…. Is she;
(1) Cheating: The tip of an iceberg can look pretty small, but the whole iceberg under the water is enormous.
(2) Innocent: A molehill is a pretty small pile of dirt. A whole mountain though is an enormous thing of rock and is quite different from a molehill. “Meaningless blah blah blah” is in fact meaningless.
Can you see how it is possible that you can jump to the wrong conclusion? After all you only found one clue. Are you looking at the tip of an iceberg, or a molehill? Are you sure she’s cheating?
On her end she realizes that she has presented a clue that indicates she might be cheating/involved with someone else. So her choices are;
(1) Destroy The Clue: Omg omg omg that looks really bad, delete delete delete. #^%$ing #%$^ why did I do that?
(2) Deny The Clue: We are just friends, it’s nothing. This is not a clue that I am cheating or involved with some one else. It’s like a Jedi Mind Trick… these aren’t the droids you are looking for. You can go about your business.
(3) Cry Like A Bitch: Good wives who think they just accidentally misled their husband into thinking they cheated on him will utterly breakdown in shock and horror at the probable destruction of their marriage by their own hand. Unfortunately cheating wives can usually do a pretty good impression of this too. I’ve read a few stories where they even throw up at the “hurtful accusation of their husband” and it turns out that they were doing the nasty the whole time. Maybe it’s the morning sickness that makes it so realistic, I don’t know. Either way, you’ve still got nothing helpful to go on.
The trouble is none of her options really defend her against you thinking she might be cheating/involved. If she denys, well she quite possibly is lying so that’s no help. If she hides the evidence, then that’s probably because it’s just the tip of the iceberg… or a molehill she doesn’t want viewed as a tip of an iceberg. So that’s no help either. Either way she looks worse and worse and you get madder and madder. “It was nothing”, “then why did you just delete that text message?!?!?”   See how that just creates a maelstrom of unprovable angst. Around and around and around with anger and tears. Wife won’t stop crying. Check.
You both need to breathe and try and regain composure. Usually on discovery of a potential cheating clue the husband becomes extremely emotional. The can either be anything from expressed as an eruption of anger, pure icy assessment, emotionally shutting down, revenge seeking, property destruction or self inflicted harm. Discovery of potential cheating always sets a man off – the wife may have just done something “dumb” that looks bad, or may have started on the road towards cheating, or be actually cheating but he will be set off about it. It’s very rare than a guy can stay calm and just politely inquire further what exactly is going on with whatever the clue is.
If it’s the tip of the iceberg and you do nothing, you will be cheated on, so you must bump back on it hard. But if it’s just a molehill and you bump back on that hard, eventually she will deeply resent the accusation that she was up to no good. Either way your marriage could suffer or end because of it.
So after the intense and expected male reaction subsides – and it’s not inappropriate to express anger verbally in discovery “who the hell are you texting so much, what is going on?”  You need to breathe and get to the bottom of things. Try and objectively discover if she is involved with someone, or this is simply a dumb action on her part. In other words, are there more clues out there that support the idea that she was being involved, or are there more clues that support that she isn’t.
The old line is “trust but verify”. The solution is simply to have her turn over her phone and all her passwords to everything and start going through it all. If needed pull up phone records. Ideally she offers this straight away and says “go knock yourself out trying to find something, I’ll be at my mothers until you are done and are ready to apologize”. If she does that it’s actually a good sign.
Ideally all you find is gnawing panic that you will find something and life together continues on.
I do advising basically trusting your wife, no one can live under constant surveillance without fighting back somehow. But if you’re a basically trusting guy and you get that tingle on your sixth sense that something is not right… I’d very much pay attention to that.

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Comments

  1. Badger Nation says:

    Semi-related, I'm curious about something that's recently cropped up in my LTR (going on over a year). I'm starting to get regular "do you like spending time with me?" comments and the occasional "do you love me?" (In case you were wondering, I'm getting zero questions/pressure on marriage or "where do you think we are going?" type of things.)

    I read these as "I'm bored, need more excitement" signals, or possibly as "I am not getting signals of appreciation and my comfort routine is starved for data." I feel like it may be a signal that says "STOP gaming me and be more straightforward."

    I don't really view it as a shit test, but I'm sort of responding to it like one – with (VERY soft) deflection of the question, avoidance of emotional supplication and more dad/less cad.

  2. Athol Kay says:

    If you've been improving your sex rank recently, she's probably getting a little nervous and seeking reassurance.

    Also it's possible that you're not fully hitting her button that makes her feel loved.

    See http://www.5lovelanguages.com/learn-the-languages/the-five-love-languages/

  3. Badger Nation says:

    Athol,

    I think you are right on both counts. We tend to go in a cycle where things are good, then she gets a little crabby or sh**-testy, I respond by gaming hard which leads to more compliance and appreciation from here, sometimes accompanied by the behaviors I outlined above. We balance, soften, and go on until she gets crabby again, and redo the cycle.

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