Your partner has found out about your affair or you’ve confessed and the full impact of your behaviour is starting to hit home. Your wife or your husband is traumatised: angry, constantly in tears and maybe even throwing up in the toilet. You want to offer comfort but you’re the person who caused the pain in the first place.So what can you do?
The answer is a A LOT but in your panic and attempts to cope with the overwhelming shame, it is highly likely that you’re going to make mistakes which will compound your original betrayal, undermine both of your recoveries and increase the chance of a messy and damaging divorce.
If you’re in either of these situations:
- My wife has discovered my affair
- My husband has discovered my affair
then let me lay out the options…
Five possible outcomes for my affair has been discovered
You don’t know what you want. You’re not certain if your marriage can be saved or whether your partner will give you a second chance. You could also have ‘feelings’ for your Affair Partner (or AP).
So I want to give you some clarity—gained from thirty years working with couples after infidelity—there are only five possible outcomes. The choices that you make at this point will have a huge impact on your wife or husband’s decision and the chances of saving your marriage. So what could you do?
1. Leave for your affair partner
Your feelings are so strong, you believe that you’re got to give this relationship a chance.
- There is the possibility of what some of my clients call a ‘soft landing’—in other words, there will be a lot of pain and heartache but you and your lover can support each other.
- You will find out if you are truly right for each other.
- This is the worst outcome for your partner and your children. I know you are not “leaving” your children (only your marriage) but this is not how your children will see it.
- You are setting yourself up for a bitter divorce with the impact lasting for years – possibly decades. (I know because I’ve also spent thirty years helping adults cope with the fall out from their parent’s divorce when they were children).
- Your children will blame your AP for your divorce and their mother or father’s unhappiness. At best, you can hope for a polite but grudging acceptance of your new partner. This will have a HUGE impact on your new relationship and be the source of endless rows. (Step parenting is hard enough even if the new partner was not on the scene when your marriage ended).
- Affairs are conducted in a bubble of fantasy and until it is tested in the real world, you can’t truly know each other. So it might seems like a soft landing today but it is setting up years of hard work.
2. Quit both your affair and your marriage
The affair has shown up fundamental problems in your relationship but your AP was truly just a catalyst to leaving rather than the solution to your unhappiness.
- Affairs are normally born out of the lovers mutual unhappiness and this is seldom a good foundation for an enduring relationship.
- You won’t leap out of the frying pan into the fire.
- You will have time to get your head together and decide what you really want.
- Your children are more likely to be forgiving and in time come to understand and accept your reasons for leaving.
- Your wife or husband will make a better recovery.
- You are more likely to learn from your mistakes and less likely take the problems of one relationship into the next.
- More options. With time to get your head together, you might look at your marriage through fresh eyes and be genuinely open to trying again (rather than going for option four below).
- This option rarely happens.
- You are likely to feel lonely, your AP will bomb you with ‘love’ or distress calls. You will stay in contact, meet up to talk and, in effect continue the affair (which makes it option one).
- You need a good support system. Sadly many men outsource their emotional welfare to women—first their mother, then their wife and then their affair partner or yet another woman. (If you hook up with someone new within weeks or a month or two of leaving, you will lose the respect from your partner that comes from truly following this option.)
3. Let other people decide
You’re so conflicted that you can’t fully make your mind up and try to keep your options open. You swear to your wife or husband that you want to save the marriage (and often believe your promises) but keep your lover in play by keeping in contact either openly or in secret.
- You can tell yourself fate decided the outcome and therefore feel a little less guilty.
- Most people who’ve had affairs don’t consciously decide to take this option, but drift into it by default.
- If you don’t know what you want, you’ll be direction less.
- Other people will decide what is right for them and that might not be right for you.
- Your wife or husband will divorce you.
- Everybody will be angry with you – including your children.
- You will learn nothing from this painful situation.
- There is a danger of self-medicating to cope with the underlying pain and hopelessness (and drinking too much, binge eating, street drugs, becoming addicted to porn etc).
4. Make a half-hearted attempt to save your marriage
You want to save your marriage and protect your children but there are limits to how far you’re prepared to go or how much you can cope with emotionally—especially if your partner keeps “going over the same old ground” or “harking on about the past”.
- It shows a certain strength of character that you’re prepared to face the some of the consequences of your affair.
- The impact on your children will be less than with the previous options.
- You’re doing the best that you can.
- You will have learnt something useful about yourself, your partner and relationships in general.
- Your partner will not feel truly loved (however much you tell them you do).
- There is a danger of getting stuck in attempted normality (where on the surface everything looks OK but the pain is lurking under the surface).
- Your partner could decide that you don’t truly “get” her or his pain and divorce is the only option.
- Worse still, your partner will seal off his or her pain and carry on for financial security or the sake of the children and you will end up in a Zombie Marriage (which looks alive to outsiders alive but for one or both of you something has died inside).
- There is a high probability that one or other of you will have an affair in the future.
- Once again this is seldom the conscious choice of anyone post-affair but where many people end up.
5. Commit whole-heartedly to making a full recovery
Even when things are tough, you are determined to help your partner heal, to learn about yourself and not make the same mistakes again.
- Instead of being the cause of your partner’s pain, you can be part of the healing process.
- Affairs expose the fault lines of your relationship and offer the chance to sort them out, once and for all, so you could not just save your marriage but build a better, more connected and stronger one.
- It will protect your children from the fall-out (or significantly lessen the impact).
- You will learn a lot about yourself and how to communicate more effectively.
- If your partner does decide to end your marriage, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you did your best to make amends.
- Facing up to your mistakes is character building.
- Your affair partner will get the message that the affair is truly over and start to get on with the rest of his or her life.
- It will take time.
- It involves a lot of hard work.
- You cannot know the outcome ahead of time.
If you’re in the position of my affair has been discovered and you are unclear of how to move forward, torn between your partner and children and your affair partner or need advice, why not book an appointment with one of my team?
We offer counselling in London and Sussex and by Skype to the rest of the UK and the wider world.
I just found your website yesterday and I’m finding it helpful. Number 5 is want I want to accomplish in my marriage and we are trying and it is hard work. I’m at a stand still because my husband is not satisfied yet but why should he be after I ruined him. I want to help him heal. We’ve been together 25 years and married 17. We started dating at 18 and we both knew we were meant to be together but was never really discussed it. We both wanted to finish college and get a job before even discussing marriage. After he graduated he moved to our hometown and got a job and I stayed because I just started my career. Then 4 months later he decided to go to graduate school far away. He wanted me to come to but I wasn’t ready to move that far away. He said he didn’t want a long distance relationship but we continued it. I tried to break it off but he was persistent which amazed me. But in the midst of that I contacted a previous co-worker that I met 2-1/2 years earlier who I was attracted to. We ended up going out a few times since he was breaking up with his girlfriend. Then we ended up having sex 3 times over the 4 months of talking to him. I never told my boyfriend about that relationship. . Then a year later I went out drinking and hooked up with another guy by having oral sex. My boyfriend and I were fighting a lot and I assumed we were close to breaking up so I blew it off. Then I went to visit him a week later and he proposed to me. I was shocked but I could not bring myself to tell him anything. I was happy because all I wanted to do was marry him but never felt perfect enough for him which now I know I’m not. Then after we were engaged about 6 weeks later I went for drinks with a co-worker and ended up back at his place and did oral sex on him. I continued with my life like nothing ever happened. We got married moved to the state he was living in and everything was great. Then a year after we were married his job made him move to another state for a 6 week job but ended up being a year and continued to another state. We only saw each other once a month. I would go visit but he came home more but just for 48 hours. We had a lot of tension and barely talked and I thought he was messing around with at least one of the girls he worked with because she told me that she adored him. During that time I was hanging out with coworkers and one kissed me which I know I just should have woke up and realized what was about to happened. That was 6 months since my husband was out of town and at the end of the 7th month I ended up having sex with this guy. I continue the contact with this guy for the next 4-5 months and was with him 6 more times. I stopped it and my husband was home I never told him because I wanted him to tell me about his affair first. (which never actually happened). Then a year later we had our first child. Things were great then we moved out of that state had 3 more kids. But finally 7 months ago today he asked me about the first guy and I finally told him then over the next couple days and weeks he learned about the rest of it. I’ve answered most of his questions but there are some that I just can’t answer because I don’t remember – its been 15 -19 years since it happened. I don’t know what to do or how to jog my memory. He doesn’t trust me at all and I want nothing more but to regain his trust. I have been faithful to him for the last 15 years but he thinks I might do it again. He has some conditions for me so he can move passed it and they are telling him the truth ( which I feel like I have except the things I can’t remember), being his whore (which we have sex everyday sometimes twice) when he isn’t traveling, and planning a threesome with a friend of mine. I’m willing to do it all to save our marriage and family but I wish there was another option other than divorce. With all this being said I haven’t trusted him our entire relationship until now. He has never slept with anyone else but did some things that were questionable and I assumed the worst and looked where that got me – I ruined a man that didn’t deserve it and a perfect life that we could have had. Also, no one in our families even know what is going on with us because we act like we normally do. I just don’t know what to do. He tells me that he outlines it for me but I just don’t get it. I’m no longer on facebook, linkedin, go to church and agreed to never work again (I’ve been home with the kids for the last 12 years). I just need to remember the rest of the story but how?
Andrew G. Marshall says
I think the two of you should do a lot more talking before you agree to a three-some with his friend (even if he thinks it will magically cure his trust issues). Go back and re-read your post and you will discover some long-standing trust issues on BOTH sides. To reach number five, I’m afraid that you’re going to have address all the baggage that you’ve accumulated over the years. My books will help on this journey but to be honest I think you will need face-to-face support from a marriage counsellor.
Admittedly, every situation is unique and every individual involved possesses traits and tolerances infinitely more so. That being said, the living hell that has been my life for the past 4 years is largely a result of the lying and denying that occurred before, during and after a period of infidelity, rather than the infidelity itself. Make no mistake – cheating is cheating, and my wife and I would not have escaped her affairs unscathed – but the loss of trust and confidence existing between us now has much more to do with lying about what happened than what actually happened.
Andrew G. Marshall says
You’re right – the denying after the affair has been discovered, the half truths and the simple lying is often what makes recovery for EVERYBODY so much harder.
I am guilty. I had an affair. An emotional one at first where I abdicated most of my responsibility and sense to my affair partner. A damaged young woman much younger than me whom I told myself I was helping.
I didn’t realise how badly she wanted it to turn into a physical affair but still contrived to put myself into every situation with her where she could turn it physical, which it then became. I don’t think she knew whether she was coming or going, I was blowing so hot and cold and she was basically begging me not to reject her any more, in the end.
I lied, all the way through. I lied to myself by telling myself nothing I was doing was wrong and I was a good person doing my best and if you’re a good person doing your best things will be fine. A small voice inside me said that an affair is a pretty poor substitute for a happy marriage and that if my marriage was unhappy I should either fix it or ended, and I pretended the voice wasn’t there.
I lief to my wife by hiding everything from her “for her own good” and told myself this would make me a better husband and fix the gaping holes in our marriage that I was too scared to address.
I lied to my affair partner because I had umpteen opportunities to tell her that my family came first and were the biggest part of my life. But I didn’t. I would spend a whole day with them and then she’d message me and ask me what I’d done that day and I’d say “Oh nothing much.” like I was a single person, and switch the focus back to her until she thought I was the most devoted person in her life.
I was so unhappy, I thought I was doing the right thing. Then what happened happened I lost my senses and pressed the nuclear destruct button in between all of us. Not by telling my wife what had happened, that would have been something constructive at least, but by leaving such obvious clues around she started to find out. The more she found out that more I lied. The more I lied the worse and more blatant it got, until she had found out everything and I was literally looking at her and crying and saying “yes but you need to understand it’s not that serious a thing so just get over it.”
Everything has come apart. My relationship with my wife, and somewhat my child, and my relationship with my AP, who was vulnerable herself and whom I willingly and cruelly threw under a bus trying to save myself.
I have next to no contact with her and the times I have seen her I have just made things worse. What was at one point a genuinely sweet and nurturing friendship is in ruins.
My wife loves me and I love her, but I honestly don’t know if either of us will be able to move beyond this.
The one and only good thing to come from this is that I had an epiphany after a year of worrying about this nightmare constantly, and realised that I wasn’t a victim of anything other than myself and my own actions. No one manipulated me, I wasn’t forced into it by circumstance. I was in the driving seat the whole way. I had just chosen to close my eyes.
Just don’t do it. Don’t. You will be found out. If you aren’t found out it will change you so much that you would have been better off being found out.
If there are problems in your marriage be upfront with the person you are married to. Say you need time apart, a trial separation where they can evaluate where to go on their terms as well as you can on yours. Be upfront with the person you are getting close to that you need space to figure out whats going on. If they really care for you they will give it to you.
Don’t do what I did. The hurt it causes will spiral out of control forever. You will never have that innocence again. You will never not be a cheat, no matter who you end up with. You will have the agony of knowing that you hurt people you love and will continue to do so whatever you do.
Andrew G. Marshall says
Thank you for being so honest. I hope your post will help strengthen the inner-voice of sanity of someone in a similar situation and stop them falling even deeper into this quick-sand. I think it will also give an insight into the mind of someone gripped by the mania of an affair to a wife or husband who can’t understand why their partner can not be straight with them.
My husband found out about my affair, it was physically with one guy one time, and emotionally with 2. We are trying to rebuild our marriage but don’t really know where to start, we have 3 young children and want to renew our vows after we over come this but we are kind of stuck. He’s always angry, I have apologized and cut of contact with those guys completely even changed my number.
I found out about my husbands 21 yr affair with my friend who was also his office manager ( for 27 yrs) thanksgiving 2016, unbelievable situation, I am shattered into a million people, have 3 adult sons, I did not throw him out but in retrospect I wish I had.
We had the perfect marriage, or so I thought, never ever suspected this double like, he has shattered our family, my sons now dispise him, as they put it they have lost their role model, this affair started when my youngest was 3, he is now 25yrs, the other women is also married and our families have vacationed and socialized together all these yrs.
I am now contemplating a separation as I cannot be alone with him without seeing them together,
My emotions are everywhere, there are no resources out there that I can find that address this situation. Devastated, now what.
Andrew G. Marshall says
Sorry to hear your story. I call this type of affair ‘extreme’ infidelity because the betrayal is so huge and has gone on for so long. However, there are some resources. Look at my book ‘I can’t get over my partner’s affair’ where I have fifty stories from other people suffering something similar. Perhaps it will give you the clarity to decide what is right for you.
I’ve just found out that my boyfriend of 2.5 years has slept with someone else, a friend of his who he has been working with closely for a short period of time. I discovered it by over-seeing a text message on his phone which read ‘I love you so much.’ Alarm bells rang and I questioned him about it. He told me he has feelings for her and this has only been a recent thing. He says the sex has just been the one time but the feelings have been developing for a while.
Our relationship has been ‘on a break’ for a month or so, which I pushed for as I felt we had been drifting apart. I had been finding our relationship in recent months to not be moving forward (in fact going backwards) for many reasons including his lack of job, money as well as him living far away. To explain, after a year of being together he left London and moved to Devon where he now lives with his parents (I live in London where we met), partly due to work and money issues, which he hates and makes him feel inadequate. Our lack of means to move our relationship forward because of these things (we spoke about moving in together which he wanted but I scrapped the idea knowing he can’t afford it and I can’t afford to cover the cost of both of us. I didn’t want to put either of us in that position of imbalance) and my growing doubts and boredom led me to instigate the break. I am 7 years older than him in my mid-30s and feeling the pressure to settle down and have children or at least look like it could be feasible in the next couple of years. I love him very much and he has always been very loving to me however I started to become bored. The lack of money and his ever increasing feeling of inadequacy on top of the distance and only seeing each other a few times a month made me bored and eventually wonder what I am missing out on – for example a boyfriend who lives closer to me and can afford his own food and train tickets (money has gotten really bad for him). I never acted on my frustration apart from to call the break as I needed to think and not be in it for a while. I haven’t been communicative enough about my feelings and nor has he though we have stayed in touch and still told each other we love each other over this break period. He was reluctant to have the break at first and has always been the one seemingly more keen, ‘in love’ and vocal about wanting to spend his life with and time with me. I’ve been much less vocal about our future and I know I’ve made him feel inadequate and unattractive at times which I feel sad about. And we haven’t had sex for ages which I know must make him feel not great. Nonetheless, during our break I had recently began to feel like I’d like us to work harder at making it work. I have always really loved him and he’s really special to me. However, this weekend on a long planned visit to him in Devon to visit him I discovered the betrayal. He said he was going to tell me. I feel betrayed, hurt and desperate. I don’t want to lose him and I’m not sure what to do as our relationship needed so much attention anyway without this on top.
I’m not sure if he wants us to be together, he hasn’t said that he wants to be with her but that he does have feelings for her. He says he loves me. We spent a day of tears followed by a day where we almost felt like normal again – close and in love. Then I just felt confused and like I had to leave, which I did. We’ve stayed in touch on text message these past few days and he says he’ll come up to London and I’ve said I’d like us to talk more. But I feel like the desperate one and I don’t know how we can move forward or even if he wants to. What can I do? I don’t want to drive him away.
Andrew G. Marshall says
I think you need to step back and think this one through because it sounds like you are both at different stages in your life. You’re in your mid-thirties and you want to get married and have children. He is in his late twenties, he has no job and no money. He lives with his parents in Devon (not somewhere with lots of jobs) and he’s yet to get himself established in the world. He does not sound like marriage and children material. Perhaps deep down, you know this – hence the boredom. Sure keep talking but bring up these BIG issues and see what he has to say. I know it’s painful splitting up but it’s painful staying in a relationship that’s going nowhere (especially when you’re at an age when you should be getting serious).
Thank you Andrew. I appreciate you getting back to me and I’ll definitely think about what you’ve said. Thanks again.
I am the one who will most often get most of the blame. I am the mistress. His wife just found out, she went through his phone and saw a text message from me.
He has admitted it. She told him it was over. And he immediately moved into their vacation home. He’s in a very bad place, mostly because of his 3 children. They have just started college and see him as their hero. He loves them and is terrified that they will hate him forever.
We spoke briefly today, and I told him to take some time to himself, as I do not want to make things worse, and if he needs to talk I will be there. I feel very guilty…. I also feel very sad for him. He is a great father and this was his first affair after 20 years of marriage. I never imagined it would come to this. I never wanted to break up a family.
It gets more complicated… I am also 17 years younger than him and also his employee. I love my job, I care very deeply about him, and this is the last thing that I wanted to happen. But our immediate chemistry was undeniable, and frequent work trips sealed the deal.
I am not sure how to navigate this situation… I don’t want him to hurt (I want to support him), I really do not want to quit my job (it’s my dream job), but everything is so intertwined… I’m not sure what to do next. Any advice would be appreciated.
Andrew G. Marshall says
I’m happy to advise because mistresses hurt too. If you want to support him – as you say – please don’t take his calls any more. Talking to you will not help him take stock of his life and decide what next. He can’t talk dispassionately because you’re caught up in this. Every time, he speaks to you he just perpetuates the confusion. He needs to talk to a good friend – who is not involved. If he doesn’t have friends, he needs to find a therapist. You don’t have to quit you job but you do need to draw a line. Don’t be alone together. Speak about nothing that does not involve work. If he tries to force you out of work – because he will be under pressure from his wife when she finds out – take notes and keep evidence. Speak to personnel at work, a union rep if you have one or consult an employment lawyer. I hope it won’t come to this but best to give you the advice. In a nutshell, concentrate on doing your job well. Get support for your grief (and it can’t be for him because he will try and make you feel better and end up leading you on). Let him find someone else to aid his recovery. Oh and be kind to yourself…
I have had an affair and taken full blame. My wife only discovered a conversation and has no tangible evidence of anything else.
I have admitted to having emotions for this lady but in her heart my wife knows there was more.
As for the lady concerned we agreed she would tell her husband that I expressed feelings and that it was me and not her.
The fact it we jointly and physically had and I believe have intense feelings for each other.
Since discovery I have not seen but have spoken on the phone and shared a few text messages; but nothing serious as phones calls and texts where just updating each other on what was going on.
Personally I have moved out and recognise that our marriage has major challenges; we had been having counselling on and off for years.
The lady involved appears to have taken her guilt and be concentrating on repairing her marriage; although she did say she would catch up to talk after her daughter goes back to school….not sure if that will really happen or not.
For me I feel like I am pining two break ups. The first one being my wife of 17 years and the second the affair partner. I feel like I need to catch up as I need closure on a number of areas. I haven’t seen her body language to talk to and we live in the same neighbourhood so will bump into each other.
As for what I want I am not sure. I know my marriage is over and I need to concentrate on my children. But I also have a feeling the AP will reach out at some stage as her relationship returns to normal. If not she will be the one I will always wonder about.
Really not sure what stage I am at as it has only been 6 weeks and I did have a couple of text exchanges last week. In which she asked me to understand why she hadn’t caught up but at the same time said she wasn’t sure when she could as she has her daughter until she goes back to school.
I think I should add stage 6 confused lol.
For now I concentrate on the things I can impact; work and children. Everything else is challenging as I hate waiting and I know there are further chapters to come.
18 months ago I had a fairly short lived affair. It happened after a big crisis in our marriage when I woke up from a deep sleep to find my husband already on top of and inside me. He says he thought that I was awake and consenting and dismisses my feelings of violation and like I’ve been raped as melodramatic nonsense. After much soul searching I can now just about accept that he believed I was awake and consenting although I still feel like he shouldn’t be so dismissive of my feelings. Immediately after that fateful night, I ended up crying on a male work colleague’s shoulder and much to my deep regret now, we ended up having an affair which lasted approximately a month. I feel like the male colleague who I no longer work with or have any communication with took advantage of me while I was in an extremely vulnerable state when in reality I just needed a friend to talk to. My husband found out about the affair around a month after it ended. We agreed that we wanted to work on our marriage and went to a couple of Relate sessions but neither of us clicked with the counsellor and I feel they dragged up more problems from the past than helping us to resolve anything. Shortly before Christmas last year my husband decided that he cares about me but no longer loves me because he cannot get past the impact of my affair and is continually getting images of me with my former colleague. He is adamant that he has never cheated on me but he is away for work for long periods of time and I have seen some inappropriate videos of him whilst he was away posted on his social media which has given me cause for some concern although he maintains that he has never strayed since we met. I desperately want my marriage back and wish I could turn the clock back 18 months so that none of this ever happened. We didn’t have the perfect marriage prior to the night he violated me but I felt that we were a partnership with lots of strengths within our relationship. We have two beautiful young children together who need their parents to be happy again as they are currently suffering due to the marital stress. My husband still sleeps in our house although we are in separate bedrooms. We have started to attend counselling with a new counsellor but it is early days and difficult when he is so often away with work. The new counsellor focuses on improving communication to improve the future. Do you have any advice please on how we can get past our problems? How I can help my husband get past the images of me with another man? He has stated that although he would love to fix our marriage, he needs to feel that he can fully trust and love me again including develop intimacy again and at the moment he doesn’t know how to get to that point.
Andrew G. Marshall says
Trust comes at the end of the journey to recovery… so don’t expect too much too soon. It is great that you are seeing a counsellor with whom you click and improving communication. So how can you help your husband? You can listen to him when he wants to talk about the pictures in his head without getting defensive and answer his questions honestly. When he sees that you truly want to make amends – rather than sweep it under the carpet – he will feel more intimate again.
Ive been with my husband for 10 years (married for 5) we have been trying for our second baby for over 3 years, over the past 7 months we went through ivf and had more complications then expected, one miscarriage and another failed transfer. The last 3 years have been hard. We put our son and everything else before each other. We know it’s been an issue but our life’s are so hectic the problem never gets fixed. Fast forward to now, I travel for work frequently, I’m usually gone 1-2 nights everyother week. I recently had a trip with a new coworker who I have known for a year now. He is attractive, but so is my husband so I never thought twice about it. This coworker showed interest in me by saying a few comments and it made me feel good about myself again. Nothing happened. I went to my hotel that night feeling so guilty that I ever let a man make me think twice about my marriage but it happened. I made a promise to myself that night that I would do everything I could to get my marriage back to were it was because I want to be with my husband. When I was home my husband asked who my coworker was and I got nervous not wanting him to see that my new coworker was attractive because of how I felt when I was with him. My husband’s not an idiot he knew something wasn’t right. Now I’m struggling trying to keep my husband from leaving me. He says he feels gross about the situation and can’t decide if he can move on from it. I’m waiting to try to get into a marriage counselor but most people I have found are not taking on new clients, so I’ve been online and stumbled onto your page. What can I do? He’s now over thinking the whole situation, analyzing everything I have done over the past year to make this seem as if it was a full blown emotional affair. I know in my heart it wasn’t at all, if anything it helped me realize I truly need to work on my marriage because I love my husband.
Andrew G. Marshall says
I am pleased that you are going to see a marriage counsellor. In the meantime, listen to your husband without getting defensive or trying to convince him that he’s wrong. What he is looking for is reassurance, so tell him calmly: It is you that I love. I want to make my marriage work. I was wrong to let this man flatter me. Keep telling him this, his confidence has been shattered and he needs to build himself back up again.
My husband had an affair with an acquaintance. In September 2018, I learned that my husband was speaking to her for hours I confronted him and we decided that he would not talk to her anymore.
She called me after a few months (in June) and I started to speak to each other and so did my husband.
On March 1st, I heard their conversation where they were talking about their sex.
I confronted my husband with proof and he admitted that he had sex with about three times in October/November and after that they just had those flirtius conversations but no sex. He told me that they men at a coffee shop (couple of times) he took her out for lunch and also bought her a gift. They spoke to each other constantly.
We were not speaking to each other and spending time with each other. After that our life was perfectly normal even when he was having this affair. He was affectionate towards me all the time.
My husband wants to stay with me and is been begging for forgiveness.
He says he loves me and what did was terrible and would do anything to save our marriage.
Its been a terrible month and half, I have cried, fought with him. He has answered all my questions, some of them were very personal. My husband seems remorseful and I am having a real hard time trusting him. I do understand it was a short affair but think he is still emotionally attached to her.
I picture them together intimately and and hear their conversation in my head.
We have two kids and now I want to save my marriage too.
He has been insisting to go see a couple’s counselor to sort things out. He is suggesting that I try not to thin about what happened and focus on our future together.
I am not sure if I can trust him enough. Please advise.
Andrew G. Marshall says
Trust comes at the end of the process not at the beginning. He has started the process by finally being honest but you need to have a conversation about what caused the affair and what changes both of you might need to make. In particular look at how the two of you solve disputes and whether there might be a better way. When you can communicate better, you will trust more – because you will believe that if there is a problem next time, he will speak up. For advice on dealing with the conversations and pictures in your head why not join my support groupAndrew G. Marshall’s Infidelity Survival Training and Support Group – Confidentiality Agreement
I can’t believe I am sitting here reading these articles! What has my life become because of my foolish actions! I’m the OW, but we both always agreed we wouldn’t leave our families for one another. We had this weird beautiful unhealthy mess of a relationship of being there for one another. Cowards, we both are really for not facing our own issues in our own relationships. He’s married, a young child. I’m engaged. Lasted a year, and intense year. His wife became suspicious so he needed to end us so he could focus on her for his family. Which he should. I supported that at our last phone call and agreed. We both knew what we were doing was wrong . He stayed for his son always, me, in a bad spot in my own relationship running from issues. But how can I get over him. I do truly respect his decision , I do! But no phone call after we last spoke, nothing kills me. I guess I shouldn’t expect anything. We work together but he’s now 5 hours away in an office but we are on the same team. Don’t have to work together much but I have to send him numbers. I guess I just wish he could reach out and show me he doesn’t hate me. I’m so stuck on how he views me now after all this and it kills me. My own bed I made, I know, but wow. Lesson learned! His birthday is coming up, I want to send him a quick email as a friend but don’t want to be a distraction. I just want him to know I care I guess and am here for him. Then again, I shouldn’t be right. Uhhgg. Pity fest over.
Andrew G. Marshall says
I know you want all sorts of little things and what’s wrong with sending birthday wishes? Sadly, it just feeds your unhappiness (by turning this into a long goodbye). It also increases the chance of the whole relationship being found out (and you’ll be doubly miserable). So what do you do now? You look after yourself. You get support from your friends and when you’re a little stronger, you learn from the experience. You face your issues. You grow and something good comes out of it. I would suggest that you read my books ‘Heal and move on’ and ‘Wake Up and Change Your life’. Finally, please don’t beat yourself up by saying it is a ‘pity fest’. You are hurting and that’s natural. It would be a problem if you didn’t hurt. Good luck for your recovery.