Trusting or naive
I am currently going through a long rough patch in my 15 year marriage.
Life is tough for all of us, but during this period I rarely feel any passion or affection FROM my wife.
My wife has on several occasions expressed a desire to end our relationship.
I have recently discovered that my wife is arranging to spend a week with an Ex-lover who is still in love with her, whist she is abroad with work. She has never mentioned this person to me, and did not mention her plans to meet up with them.
My wife has previously admitted that she has strong emotional romantic feelings for another person, she has also told me of an incident in her past when she ended a relationship by being unfaithful.
I have had two significant relationships end abruptly by a partner being unfaithful to me, and It has taken a special person to enable me to trust again.
I have subsequently discussed with my wife my concerns about her plans to meet with her ex-lover.
My wife has told me that she does not have any romantic feelings for this person, and that she has not mentioned them or the arrangements to meet as they are insignificant. Essentially I have misinterpreted the situation.
I Love my wife and family with very fibre of my being, and would do anything for them. She is already forgiven anything she may have or planned to do which hurts me.
I want more than anything to believe her, I can believe her and I do believe her.
My questions are should I believe her?
Do I believe because I want to, or does it matter why I believe ?
Should I contact this "other man"
How do I cope and trust when she is away abroad ?
First of all, I'm sorry you're going through this. It's never fun to feel this kind of doubt.
Without knowing your wife, or her side of the story, this is what I'm thinking:
1) there is never an acceptable excuse for hiding plans from your spouse. Saying the person is insignificant, so the plans aren't worth mentioning is a red flag to me. If the plans to contact are truly innocent, she would have mentioned her plans in passing, just as she would talk about her day. There would be no angst building on your side unless you knew, on some level, there is something not quite right with the situation.
2) If you're going through a rough patch, she should not be contacting anyone from her past. Especially her romantic past. You're going through a rough patch because one or both of you are feeling doubt, and are not fulfilled in the relationship. Meeting up with an ex-lover is disrespectful and dangerous, and she shouldn't even be putting herself, or you, in that situation. If you're not okay with her seeing him, then tell her that. And stick to it. She doesn't need your permission to do something stupid, but you don't need to stay with her, either. If she truly respected you and your feelings, she'd have cancelled her plans the second you voiced any concerns.
3) It doesn't matter if you should believe her. It only matters if you DO believe her, and can move on. Because keeping yourself in limbo is a recipe for the end, regardless of what's actually happening.
So, that only leaves one choice, that I can think of. Have a real and honest talk. About everything. All of your doubts, and all of her mixed signals. Be kind, but be absolutely honest. Don't ignore your gut to favor your heart. I've done that with my husband, and paid a very heavy price for it. Tell her she needs to cancel her plans. If she refuses, you have your answer. Because she's either lying and is planning something shady, or worse, she isn't considerate enough of your feelings to honor your request.
Hope things work out for the better, regardless of what she does or doesn't do. What we want and what we need are rarely the same thing, but I hope you get what you want, and need.