Expert Blog Compelling advice, stories, and thought-provoking perspectives straight from YourTango's lineup of Experts to you

Is Jealousy Justified?

Heartbreak, Sex

Is he really being unfaithful, or is her jealousy causing her to see a cheater where none exists?

Question: Okay, I’ve been married for only eight months and my marriage is basically borderline divorce.  My husband tells me that I am way too jealous and can’t control myself. I am always accusing him of doing stuff and he swears he is not. Now I found out last night that he is indeed meeting up with this girl after work (he gets out at 7am), and tells her that he will tell me he is staying late. I wanted the marriage to work, until last night.  Now I am confused.  I haven’t confronted him, but when I ask what’s going to happen to us, he says he doesn’t know - he is confused.  So I'm thinking, ‘is he afraid of commitment?’  We have been together for almost four years.  He says that I’ve been the only person that has treated him right, and tells everybody how wonderful I am.  So now I’m even more confused.  Plus last year he broke up with me, and while broken up (we were still living together), he messed around with someone from work, and that’s when I started getting more jealous. What kind of advice can you give me? ...Christina

Answer: I must tell you that your situation is a little tricky to respond to. The way I see it, either your husband is a lying philanderer or you are incredibly insecure, or both!  But since neither of us knows for sure what your husband is actually guilty of, all I can do is give it my best educated guess. 

That said, let me first address what happened last year when the two of you were broken up.  If you were both in agreement that you were no longer in a monogamous relationship (generally the case when you’re “broken up”), his messing around with a woman at work was not cheating.  Yes, it wasn’t the smartest move on his part, since having sex with a co-worker is always a little dicey, and the two of you were still living together, so you were bound to be emotionally impacted.  But as upsetting and unsettling as it may have been, it does not, in and of itself, indicate that he is incapable of fidelity.  It does, however, explain why you might be a little less trusting than perhaps you were in the past.

This brings us to the present.  By your own admission, for some time now (possibly since you got married), you have been suspicious of your husband, regularly accusing him of having “extracurricular” activities.  It is not clear, whether or not he actually was doing anything untoward.  What is clear is that, whether he is guilty or not, you don’t trust him - and without trust a relationship cannot survive.  Given what happened last night, it does appear that your husband has reached the point that he is at least considering cheating on you with another woman.  And whether or not this is his first time, or one of series of indiscretions, it definitely does not bode well for your marriage.

I also cannot be certain if your husband’s current confusion about your future together is a result of his lack of commitment to your relationship, or his fear that your continual distrust of him (justifiable or not) has inevitably doomed your chances of marital success.  What I can be certain of is that your relationship has reached critical mass.  You must either decide to do whatever it takes to resolve your issues and conflicts, or end the relationship before things deteriorate further.  It certainly might be helpful to seek the services of an experienced marriage counselor to help sort things out. 

If it turns out that your husband was, in fact, unfaithful, you must decide if you can forgive him and move past it, or if his betrayal is a “deal-breaker.”  On the other hand, if your suspicions and accusations prove unwarranted, then you have some serious trust issues that you must deal with.  Failure to do so will only guarantee discord in this and all future relationships.  And while I know my assessment isn’t particularly sunny, there is always hope.  If you both are committed to making your marriage work, then it probably will.  If not, then it’s best you determine that now, so that you can minimize the pain and suffering you both may have to endure.

© 2010 David M. Matthews.  All Rights Reserved.

Besides being a relationship coach and author of the controversial book, "Every Man Sees You Naked: An Insider's Guide to How Men Think," David M. Matthews is an Emmy-winning TV Writer/Producer who's worked on some of television's best shows.

For more information on David or to get a copy of his free report on "The 3 Things Men Are REALLY Looking For In A Relationship," go to

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.


Explore YourTango