Have you ever gotten to a point in your marriage where you’re beginning to mistrust your spouse? You have noticed certain behaviours, actions, and maybe defensiveness that makes you feel like something is wrong. You have stumbled on chats, pictures, receipts, and other kinds of evidence that signal a problem in your marriage.
On noticing these fragments of red flags, your initial reaction may be to confront your spouse, hire an investigator, or just begin to inform people about the development immediately. Well, instead of taking any of those steps, I’d advise that you tread with caution. Don’t be tempted to rock the boat yet.
You can apply the following techniques to deal with suspicions in your marriage:
The first step to take is to identify the cause of your suspicions.
Why are you suddenly suspicious of your partner? Has your partner been guilty of infidelity or dishonesty while you were dating or in marriage? If your partner has had a history of past indulgence, this can trigger a feeling of suspicion.
In identifying the issues, you will need to trace the source of your suspicion. What have you seen lately that arouses your feelings?
Have you stumbled on chats that are making you feel this way? If you have, you must understand that the information before you can lead to more—if you can pay more attention.
If you immediately go ahead to confront your spouse, you may lose out on the opportunity to discover other vital details that will give more meaning to the information at your disposal.
So, after you have identified the cause and the source of your suspicion, the next technique to apply is to question your suspicions.
Now, for you to question your suspicions, you must look into the pieces of evidence before you. As it will help you figure out a more concrete picture of what’s going on. You must determine exactly what your evidence leads to.
Is it leading to an affair? Is it leading to dishonesty? Secrecy? A past secret?
You have to question the kind of evidence that you have.
Now, before you think of confronting your spouse, you should also get the physical evidence of some of the information you have seen that can help you logically table your confrontation.
At this point, you’ll need to document screenshots, emails, and receipts and keep them on your device, or any secure place. When you’ve successfully gathered most of your evidence, you can then begin to think of a peaceful way of confronting the issue.
The third step to take is to go ahead and confront the issue.
Confronting the issue does not necessarily call for a fight. It means you should confront the suspicion at hand, by finding out a good time when your partner is in high spirits. Then, sit with them to ask some questions.
If your partner shuts you out or makes you feel like you aren’t making sense, do not become frustrated. You should understand that people would go to any length to hide their secrets. Take a calm posture and ask your partner for the reasons behind certain actions that you have evidence of.
It is ill-advised to begin the confrontation process with your evidence. I say this because your partner may get infuriated, and smash the phone, or come up with a counter-lie. Therefore, it is always good to start with questions that would make you see if they would open up or conceal the truth.
When your partner decides to defend and lie, go on and show them your evidence and watch their body language. Their body language reveals the truth of the matter. Listen to their reasons and follow patiently. If your partner chooses to stick to their lies despite the evidence, then it means there’s much more dirt under the carpet, and they are not ready to come clean.
You may need to tell them that you would report to your accountability mentors, that both of you need to see a counsellor, or that you schedule another time to discuss the undisclosed evidence that you have.
If your partner gaslights or blames you, and declines responsibility for the information you have seen, then you would need to accept that the issue can only be solved with some level of patience and wisdom.
However, if your partner is remorseful, then there are two options. It’s either your spouse is willing to make things work. In such a case, you would need to create structures and systems that can help both of you navigate that season. You’ll also need to go through the process of healing based on the things you have noticed.
On the other hand, if your partner apologises, but all signs indicate insincerity to properly deal with the issue, you will need to ask them for accountability measures to prevent the repetition of the issue.
The next technique is your ability to manage your information well.
With all that has happened, it is time to set some boundaries. Let your partner know that certain things will no longer be acceptable in the marriage. You may need to speak to a professional counsellor like me who can guide you on how to react appropriately to the issue. When you’re able to find the help that you need, you can then carefully deal with the issues.
It is crucial to point out that sometimes, your partner may remain defiant after applying all the measures. In cases like this, your best bet is to embrace a posture of prayer, knowing that some issues may not be resolvable immediately. Some of the ways you can cope are by getting all the help you need, receiving the required clarity, and being open to support from people.
If you need to speak further concerning this issue, please send an email to [email protected].