It's time to talk about an issue you are likely to face after discovering infidelity in marriage: how to hold on to your reality and embrace self-trust, even as the lies and deception continue to come your way.
Discovering infidelity in marriage is bad enough.
What makes it even worse is dealing with the lies and denial you get once you ask for the details of what happened, and why it happened.
Trying to get to the truth is often when major lying games begin.
This is especially true in early discovery - but it can continue long-term.
Sometimes it's up to you to dig for the truth when he isn't forthcoming, (because you deserve to know what happens in your marriage,) and to not fall for deception or denial when you do.
This is where being loyal to yourself, and having faith in your ability to uncover the truth - even in the face of lies and denial, can be your best friend.
Unfortunately, gaslighting happens to many women who are dealing with the aftermath of infidelity in marriage.
Gaslighting can throw you off track, keep you in a state of emotional confusion, make you doubt yourself, and keep you from uncovering the truth.
Wondering what Gaslighting is? Here is the definition from Wikipedia:
Gaslighting is a form of manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or in members of a targeted group, hoping to make them question their own memory, perception, and sanity. Using persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying, it attempts to destabilize the target and delegitimize the target's belief.
Does any of this sound familiar to you?
If so, read on . . .
You are one of the truly lucky ones if gaslighting doesn't apply to your situation.
That means he has been willing to step up and take full responsibility for his actions.
He is open and forthcoming and your recovery after infidelity looks promising.
But what if he isn't willing to do that?
- What if he lies about what you've uncovered.
- What if he only agrees to talk about what you have undeniable proof of.
- What if he won't talk about any of it?
What are you going to do then?
We could certainly talk about ways to communicate with him that will support him opening up to you, (and in my upcoming online course, I do that,) but for this article we are going to explore tips to help you embrace self-trust.
Here are 4 tips to help you stay loyal to yourself, embrace self-trust, and become proactive when he isn't willing to openly tell you what happened:
1 | Trust your intuition - but verify what you suspect.
For many women, intuition provides the first clue that infidelity is a possibility.
It is important that you pay attention to your intuition because it is your built-in danger signal.
It is equally important, however, that you verify if your intuition is, in fact, correct.
Sometimes our intense feelings after discovery can cause us to overreact and see danger everywhere.
This is why I recommend the following:
Trust yourself, but always verify.
2 | Write down the facts you've uncovered to refer back to when you feel self-doubt or confusion.
Keeping a journal of the facts as you know them will help you during times when you get a different story from him, he tries to cause you to doubt yourself, or YOU begin to doubt yourself.
Make sure you stay anchored in the truth.
3 | Write down and verify what he tells you.
One of the ways you can find yourself in false recovery, (believing you are in mutual recovery when you aren't,) is by falling for promises or by taking his word at face value.
Promises are not behavior changes, and deception is the name of the infidelity game.
As much as you may want to believe him because that seems like the kind thing to do, or he comes across as being sincere, you need to be careful.
Infidelity is based on a house of lies and deception and many engaged in infidelity don't give it up easily.
The best policy is this: If you can verify it, it happened. If you can't, it didn't.
Maybe that seems harsh.
But the reality is, there are a whole lot of women who have been tricked into believing an affair has ended when it hasn't.
I don't want you to be one of those women.
4 | Consider having him take a polygraph.
Ask him to take a polygraph so you know everything is out in the open.
- This will give you peace of mind, knowing the truth is on the table.
- It will provide you with a foundation of truth from which to rebuild your marriage if you chose to do that.
- It will begin the trust-building process.
In fact, you can use the polygraph option not only in early recovery, but also as a check up 6 months and 12 months after discovery.
This helps assure you that things are moving in the right direction, and that you are not being deceived or in false recovery.
I hope you've found these tips helpful as you attempt to learn the truth about what has happened in your marriage.
A truly intimate marriage after infidelity is created on a foundation of trust and truth.
Until next time . . .
Hope and Healing,