Am I Being Paranoid About This?

Updated on May 06, 2010
L.S. asks from Los Angeles, CA
18 answers

Before I ask this question let me give you a background…my husband cheated on me last year in January 2009. We went to counseling for months and worked through it. It was very hard on me as you can imagine! Counseling was a true blessing for us. I was able to forgive him. Since about November of this past year is when I stopped bringing it up and have felt happier with my husband then ever before. I came about to discover the cheating because my husband was acting SO different. Not giving me as much attention, on the computer a lot, stopped responding to my flirtatious text messages and the final give away is when he hardly noticed the sexy nightie I had bought for Christmas that I wore for him after the kids had gone to bed. After much prodding he admitted he did cheat.

Now let’s fast forward to now. In the past couple months my husband has again been acting different, not as affectionate, when we’re out his eyes wander a lot noticing other women (he’s not usually like that) and last week I sent him a very sexy flirty text, which is never responded to. What really threw me was we were out to dinner with my husband’s brother and his wife (who BTW got a breast augmentation last year and is HUGE on top, very sexy woman) my husband was sitting between me and my SIL. At one point I noticed my husband leaning very close to my SIL gently stroking her neck. At first I was thinking that’s weird but then when he kept doing it I finally said something kind of in a joking manner like “what am I chopped liver? Why is she getting the neck rub?” HAHA right? My husband quickly leaned towards me while they both laugh nervously. It’s almost like he was doing it without being aware that he was doing it. You know like doing something that just comes naturally. You would think after these past few months of him being way less affectionate with me that naturally he would lean towards me and gently stroke my neck!

I do talk to him about all this but I try not to get too weird about it. When I asked him why he didn’t respond to my text messages he just says that he didn’t see it until late (he works nights).

Am I paranoid because he cheated on me over a year ago? Hopefully I gave enough info that I can get some opinions here or at least some suggestions on what I can do… Thanks!

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answers from Boston on

What the hell!!! why didnt the SIL tell him to keep his grubs to himself!! I would have been really pissed off if my husband stroked someones necks unless it was the dogs! You have every right to get weird about this, ask him what the hell is going on and you want to know now. Enough with the coddling of him. A womens intuition is hardly ever wrong. I send you a huge hug and lots of luck!

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answers from Fort Wayne on

What did his brother say? I can tell you right now that if another man was stroking my neck, my husband would FREAK out! I would never let anyone but my husband touch me that way. If I had to guess I'd say there's an attraction there at the very least.
I give you MAJOR kudos for trying to make it work after he cheated on you. I don't think many women would do that.
It's time to confront him and see what he says. I don't know what to do if he denies it. There's clearly SOMETHING going on.
Big (hugs) and best of luck to you.

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answers from Jacksonville on

My guess would be something is up. You knew last time and you know this time. You deserve so much more than this!

On a side note: I strongly disagree with the advice you've been given regarding polyamory (sp?). Although this is a very real and valid choice for some, it is not under any circumstances to be used as a substitution for cheating! Polyamorous couples will tell you the lifestyle is all about openness and honesty, both of which are lacking in your marriage.

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answers from Los Angeles on

Trust your feelings. Whether he cheated or not his actions were hurtful and inappropriate at best. He should understand that he has lost a certain level of trust. I can tell you my husband would NEVER do something like touch another woman in that (very intimate) manner, much less do it in front of me. And most men wouldn't. Not because their wives are nags, but because they just wouldn't hurt someone they love like that. Someone who is a cheater will always try to make you feel like YOU are paranoid or crazy or overreacting. Even if he never cheated before his behavior was bad. Consider his behavior NOT his words and explanations. And totally agree with Stephanie H. on the SIL. I would not tolerate a man touching me like that and would have moved where I was sitting if I had to. Not to mention why didn't the brother deck him?! I know my hubby would deck a guy if he touched me that way. Honey, you need to look out for yourself because there are some odd people surrounding you! Take care of yourself. And your kids!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

My ex husband was texting and chatting with women online. He would not/could not give it up. I finally thought, "do I want to be checking on him the rest of my life"? NO. So we are now divorced. I didn't want to live my life with someone that the first time he came home late, or said or did something weird, I had to wonder what he was up to. SO NOT WORTH IT! So I am now happily married to a wonderful man who is great to me and the kids and I trust him completely. You just have to figure out what you want from life and if you want to spend it with someone like this. Good luck!

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answers from Cleveland on

I would talk to him again to see if there is something you need to worry about. And let me applaud you for giving him another chance, i think you must be vert strong to do that. I dont think I could.

Do I think you're being paranoid? Nope, he's already proven that he may not be trustworthy. And if he's repeating the same behavior......what are you supposed to think? He should still be bending over backwards to prove to you that he wont make that mistake again. And it sounds like hes already being very reckless. granted you cant punish him forever, but to bluntly flirt with another woman in front of your face? That takes alot of nerve.
Like the old saying goes, fool me once......
Good luck, and you deserve better then this. Always remember that.

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answers from Boca Raton on

A woman's intuition is never wrong....My parents divorced years ago due to my dad cheating and my mom says now, that looking back, there were signs but she was so in love and had 3 kids that she overlooked it for the sake of us kids....Touching another woman is not okay when your married and you need to keep on top of this situation....You should be queen of his castle and he needs to do whatever he can to make "YOU" feel comftorable and loved....Nuff said...

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answers from Jacksonville on

You need to trust your intuition. I don't think you are paranoid at all! And what's up with the SIL that she would just sit there and allow your husband to touch her neck like that? Very inappropriate all the way around.

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answers from New York on

You are not paraniod but suspicious because you have reason to distrust him based on past behavior. If you can't effectively talk to him on your own I strongly suggest you go back to counseling and have the counselor mediate the conversation.

I am glad that someone posted about polyamoury. I have many aquaintences who have made this work and one friend that had it destroy his marriage. In the case of the friend he was the one who wanted monagamy and his wife couldn't make that work (she was attracted to men and women and exploring that in the context of marriage didn't work when they tried it). I am married and have been with my husband 14 years. We dabbled a bit with poly early in our realtionship and basically agree that honesty is more important than monagamy. But with 2 children 4 and under right now we have to struggle just to make time for a sex life together. I wanted to bring this up to say poly relationships can work but not if one person really wants monagamy and is just settling. I personally think a lot of the hurt in cheating comes from the dishonesty. But some of the hurt is also about feeling you are not getting the affection and attention you need from a cheating partner.

Whatever you choose, I hope you can find a solution you can live with.

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answers from Washington DC on

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.

Marriage is a two-way street. BOTH parties MUST want the marriage to work and be committed to it. I tell friends who are having problems that marriage is like a garden, it needs to be tended to daily so it can flourish and grow. When it is not being tended - weeds grow.....

Talk to your SIL - what was HER take on the situation? She obviously didn't mind him doing it.

Talk to your husband. DO NOT accuse. Just ask - "what's going on?" Are you in this marriage or not? Just be blunt about it. If he wants out - let him out. You can't keep ANYONE. He is an adult. NO ONE can MAKE him cheat. He has to be held accountable for his actions. He needs to realize that his actions affect others - like anything in life - there are consequences for ANY action whether positive or negative.

You need to be prepared to be able to do it on your own. It will be HIS loss if walks away. Ask yourself this question - am I better off with or without him? If the answer is without - let him go. You deserve to be happy and be around people who will respect you. This may sound harsh - but he may not be worth your time and effort.

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answers from Toledo on

Men don't seem to understand that when they betray our trust, they need to go back to square one with us. Saying "it's over, forgive and forget" doesn't cut it. He has an awful lot of being open and upfront ahead of him to prove to you that it was a one-time thing. He should be bending over backwards to show you how sorry he is. Fondling your SIL is not OK. He thinks anything short of sleeping with someone is OK, like oogling. I can hear him now, "Cheez, now I can't even LOOK at somebody??" Square one means remembering why you fell in love in the first place, and treating each other the way you did back then. Was he fondling and oogling other women then?

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answers from Minneapolis on

I'm sorry to hear, you're having to deal with this at all let alone round 2.

I also believe he has something going on. He may think you'll forgive again. He's being very selfish.

My ex husband cheated on me. I knew nothing until the day I came home and before I even set down my purse, he told me he was moving out. 2 days later the evidence came in an accidently answered phone call to him, from me.

It still isn't always easy but I've learned when to trust my intuition and know when not to worry about something that is nothing.

Be strong.

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answers from Chicago on

What's that saying "you're only paranoid because they're out to get you" ?

I don't know what's up with your SIL, but if any of my brothers-in-law started to rub my neck, I would be totally shocked!! That is not very normal, even in a friendly family IMO.

I think you have every reason to be concerned. Frankly, counseling only works if BOTH people in a marriage are truly committed to solving the problem long-term. You talked about how counseling helped YOU to forgive your husband- but what did it really do for him?

If he is acting the same way he did before, I would not be surprised if he has reverted back to his old behavior. I think you should make him return to counseling with you and confront him about his change in behavior and his returning to old habits. If he says you are too suspicious, remind him that he has given you good cause to be.

Seriously, if he is not really interested in changing permanently, then all the counseling in the world doesn't matter. If he is cheating again, you have to decide if you will put up with it or not.

I am so sorry you're going through this! My ex didn't cheat on me, but he was a habitual, compulsive liar and we went through tons of counseling. He said all the right things in the therapist's office and changed his ways for a while- then gradually reverted back to his old ways, worse than ever.

Confront him and get to the bottom of what's going on. If he is cheating, or even thinking about doing it again then HE is the one who has a problem he is unwilling to fix, not you. If being married is not really the lifestyle he wants, then the best thing you can do is face reality, however painful, and figure out how to move on with your life. Good luck!!

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answers from Dallas on

Hell no you are not paranoid. There is no way my husband would ever give my sister or sil or any other woman a neck stroking like that, not only because I would kick him out if he did, but he would think it was cheating on his own. So, there ARE men out there that have high standards and don't even entertain the idea. My husband doesn't flirt, or even look at other women... in fact, when we were engaged a woman was flirting with him and put her hand on his shoulder, he asked her to remove her hand and walked away.

And seriously, I would be freaked out if any man, relative or not started stroking my neck like that, very inappropriate behavior. If he is blunt enough to do that in front of you, just imagine what he is doing behind your back.

Dump this loser excuse of a man. Because if he hasn't cheated YET, he is SERIOUSLY considering it, and do you really want to go through that again?

It's better for your kids to see you as a strong single woman, than one who forgives the behavior to happen again.


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answers from San Francisco on

It doesn't sound good...

Don't know the answer. It looks like you have kids so you need to take strong action now. Something is definitely up.

p.s. my ex cheated on me, and in hindsight all the signs were there. Very few people can cheat without giving off signals.

EDIT: After reading other responses -- am I the only one who's never heard of "polyamoury"? I'm not morally against it, just really skeptical about it's being able to work long-term...(I know I couldn't do it -- I'd end up falling madly in love with someone else...)

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answers from Los Angeles on

I think you need to go with your intuition. No man absent-mindedly rubs another woman's neck like that unless something is going on.

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answers from Phoenix on

You've been given lots of great advice, so there's not much more I can add except to reiterate that you're NOT paranoid. My husband cheated on me as well, but it was almost 2 years ago. He'd always tell me that I was being paranoid if I caught him staring at other women. Touching another woman is just not acceptable, whether she's part of the family or not. After an affair it is very hard to gain the trust back, especially if only one of the spouses is trying to make it work. It's normal for you to have suspicions of him cheating if he doesn't do anything to assure you that you can trust him and that the only woman he wants to be with is you. I struggle with these suspicions all the time and I ask myself if I'll ever trust him again. I wish you the best of luck because whether you decide to work on your marriage or move on with your life, it's not easy. Should you ever want to chat, please feel free to send me a message through this web site and I can send you my e-mail addy. It helps a great deal when we're able to talk about our feelings, but it's also more difficult to get advice from people who have not been through the same situation you have.

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answers from Charlotte on


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