Sometimes the best evidence that your spouse is cheating is undeniable: a sexually transmitted disease (STD).
Here’s what a reader says on my article about cheating husbands:
“We have been married for 13 years and we have four kids. I recently went to the doctor for an infection and tested positive for chlamydia (a sexually transmitted disease or STD). I have never cheated and my husband swears he hasn’t either. We have a great family life and we both seem very happy. I don’t think I’m being naive but he just isn’t the type of person to cheat on me. We never fight and we just never have any issues. I know chlamydia is an STD and I even went to a specialist to see if there was any explanation other than cheating. She said it’s highly unlikely that it could be anything else, but there is always that >1% or freak chance that isn’t documented.”
The only thing worse than your spouse cheating is that he lies about it. His lying makes you doubt yourself, and can seriously affect your emotional health. His lying makes you question yourself, your instincts, and even your sanity. Not only does a spouse’s affair cause sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), it can lead to depression, anxiety, and panic attacks.
More of this reader’s comment:
“I just don’t know what to do and what to believe. I am having panic attacks all the time. When we talk about it he seems completely open and honest, no strange body language or voice changes or anything. I love him with all of my heart and I know he loves me. I have told him that no matter what I want to work this out because I believe we and our kids are worth it. He still says he innocent….please if you have time I could use some help. Thank you.”
Healing the pain when your spouse cheated is a long, difficult process. And it’s worse when he can’t admit he had an affair because it doesn’t allow you to air your pain and start the road to recovery.
Is your spouse cheating on you?
If you think he is cheating, I think you need to trust your gut instincts. Regarding the reader who got the STD from “somewhere” — I really think he cheated because the evidence is in the sexually transmitted disease. He’s lying about it because he’s ashamed and embarrassed.
If you haven’t had experience dealing with conflict in your marriage, then it’s totally predictable and understandable that your spouse isn’t confessing his affair. This wife said they never fight or have any issues – and that’s not realistic in a healthy marriage! Not fighting isn’t a sign of a healthy marriage, it’s a sign that issues aren’t being discussed or aired out.
Even when you have evidence that your spouse is cheating, you may refuse to believe or admit it. This is normal. You’re protecting yourself, your children, and your beliefs about your marriage. Admitting your spouse cheated is awfully painful, like your heart is being ripped out of your body.
What to do next
Go into the pain. You are having panic attacks and anxiety because you know in your heart that your spouse is lying about cheating. He gave you the STD, and he can’t tell you the truth.
As hard as it is, I think you need to pursue the truth. I don’t know what will trigger him to finally confess his affair. Maybe you need to tell him that you KNOW he cheated, instead of asking him if he cheated. Maybe you need to confront him with the evidence that STDs are only transmitted through sexual contact with infected partners. Maybe you need to talk to a marriage counselor or your pastor together.
It’s time to get honest and real with your spouse – and the trick will be convincing him that the truth is the ONLY way to go.
An affair – and even an STD – doesn’t necessarily man your marriage is over. Some relationships are strengthened and even edified after a spouse cheats! Read Should You Leave Your Cheating Spouse? A Surprising Answer.
And remember: Even the darkest hour has only sixty minutes. – Morris Mandel.