I’m pretty sure my partner is cheating. I saw a very suggestive text on his phone, from a number I don’t recognize. I feel totally paralyzed. Should I confront him? Just keep an eye on it? I honestly thought we were doing great.
Regardless of whether or not he’s cheating, the short answer is definitely get into couple’s therapy. This is too much of an insecurity that reflects a foundation that is cracking… and it can’t “repair” itself. Time to pull out the big guns and get help — and if he won’t do it with you, it’s over.
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That may sound harsh, but our partner’s response to a request for therapy is a great indication as to where they’re at with their priorities. Does he/she want to further invest? Go deep? Expose some of the major cracks and do the work?
Now, the longer answer: It may be that your insecurity is what needs to be explored, here. As someone who has been married a long time to a man who’s in contact a lot with adoring fans, I have had to realize that it’s on my partner to make the smart choices and do the right thing. I can’t help it if someone sends my husband a suggestive text or reaches out at an inopportune moment not conducive to our family’s lifestyle.
My hope is that he’s not the one contributing to any of the dynamics. But he is human. I believe in our foundation, our commitment, our dreams and our history. So, what is it about how you’re working as a team that makes you feel like he may be contributing to the “suggestive” tone you saw on his phone?
Something in the bigger picture is making you feel a lack of trust. There is something about your style as a couple that is making it hard for you to withstand reacting to the text message you saw. If you felt reassured overall in your love and life together, perhaps this would be of no concern to you.
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Now let’s look at things from his end. For someone who doesn’t feel fulfilled in their romantic or domestic life, flirty texts can feel like they are “supplementing” that life. I always think of any “extracurricular activity” in a relationship as a symptom, not the cause, of. Sure, it’s not honest or transparent. It lacks character. It’s reckless. But something is incredibly wrong if someone can’t be forthcoming with their feelings — if they cannot freely explain what they feel is lacking in a relationship.
We’re human beings. We need food, water, shelter, love. We need to be touched, heard and reassured. If we don’t get these things from our partner, we’ll find it elsewhere, and it comes in many forms. For some, it’s wanting extra — extra everything. Exercise, gambling, drinking, drugs… for others it’s finding extra love itself! That’s just how it is.
So: Look at the overall health of your partnership. Ask some questions. Check in with your partner and see where he is at. Be brave enough to ask how you’re doing, as a partner to him. And if he doesn’t engage… well, see my short answer above!
Chantal Kreviazuk is an award-winning singer songwriter. She is married to Our Lady Peace frontman Raine Maida. They have three kids.
Got a question for Chantal? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org