How to Trust Your Husband After an Affair

Can you trust your husband after an affair? It depends why he cheated and how you found out about the affair. It’s difficult to rebuild trust in marriage after an affair, but your bond may become stronger.

how to trust your husband after an affairTrusting your husband after he cheated on you is “easier” (! it’s never easy!) if you know you’re not alone. Reading books like After the Affair: Healing the Pain and Rebuilding Trust When a Partner Has Been Unfaithful can help you move from mourning to healing to forgiveness to acceptance.

“More marriages might survive if the partners realized that sometimes the better comes after the worse.”  ~ Doug Larson. If you’re dealing with the worst thing that you thought could happen in your marriage (infidelity, money problems or debt, illness, etc), remember that your relationship with your spouse could actually get better.

If you’ve tried everything you can to forgive and trust your husband after an affair, read When You Can’t Let Go of the Past. And, here are a few tips on healing after an affair…




How to Trust Your Husband After an Affair

Use your husband’s physical or emotional infidelity as an opportunity to build a better marriage and take care of the things you were avoiding or letting languish.

Mourn the loss of your marriage as it was

Your marriage will never be the same after an affair, and it’s important to grieve that loss. You will never be the same – and either will husband spouse. It’s the end of one chapter of your marriage, and the beginning of another – possibly healthier and happier – stage.

Remember that rebuilding marriage trust takes time

It’s very difficult to trust a husband after an affair because infidelity shakes the entire foundation of your marriage. If you can accept and commit to the long, challenging process of rebuilding your marriage, your relationship stands a better chance of succeeding.

If you’re not sure if you want to trust your husband after an affair, read You’re Not Happy Being Married, But Unsure About Divorce.

Take responsibility for your role in the affair

It’s important to remember that in most cases of infidelity, both spouses carry some responsibility. I’m not defending unfaithful husbands or wives; you might want to read Why Men Cheat – Insights From a Marriage Counselor for an explanation of how both spouses contribute to affairs in relationships. To rebuild marriage trust, you need to accept your own culpability, because most affairs happen because of problems in the relationship.

Understand why the affair occurred

how to trust your husband after an affair

“How to Trust Your Husband After an Affair” image by kayjensen via DeviantArt

Take a step back and try to understand why your husband cheated from his perspective. What was he seeking? Healing and rebuilding trust involves seeing the reasons for your spouse’s behavior, and then figuring out what you can do to save your marriage and make your relationship better.

Practice self-forgiveness

Be kind to yourself; you did the best you could in your marriage, with your spouse, and with your children. Infidelity may trigger feelings of guilt or shame – even in the spouse that wasn’t unfaithful. To rebuild trust, you need to forgive yourself for real or perceived mistakes.

Practice forgiving your husband

Forgiving a betrayal isn’t a one-time thing. Forgiveness is a process that you may have to go through several times a day, week, or month! If your husband’s behavior doesn’t change – if he’s still unfaithful or deceptive – then you won’t be able to forgive him. And if you can’t forgive him, then you won’t be able to rebuild marriage trust. So, your husband needs to take an active role in saving your marriage.

Tell your husband what you need from him

To trust your husband after an affair, what do you need from him? Do you need time apart? Proof that the affair is over? Regular phone calls throughout the day to reassure you that he’s where he says he will be? Figuring out and sharing what you need from your husband can help rebuild trust because it gives you some control. To make sure the control you’re taking is healthy, I encourage you to…

Make an appointment with a marriage counselor

If you want to save your marriage, consider seeking couples therapy so you can work out your issues together. A marriage counselor who has professional experience with infidelity can help you reunite and rebuild. If you’re dealing with anxiety, depression, or stress because of the infidelity (or other life issues), consider going for individual therapy first or simultaneously.

It might help you to move forward if you can learn How to Protect Your Relationship From an Affair.

I welcome your thoughts on how to trust your husband after an affair. I can’t offer advice or counseling, but it might help you to share your experience. Often, writing brings clarity and insight.

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How to Trust Your Husband After an Affair
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Trusting your husband after an affair depends why he cheated and how you found out about the affair. It's difficult to rebuild trust in marriage, but it is possible.

Before You Go...


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Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen
I live in Vancouver, BC; my degrees are in Education, Psychology, and Social Work. Most importantly, I am a Christian! I love God, Jesus, Spirit. Your comments are welcome below, but I can't give advice. Are you lost, hurt, scared? Take a deep breath, and remember the reason you exist. "The eternal God is your refuge; His everlasting arms are under you." - Deut 33:27. Feel free to share your prayers and experiences here.

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50 Responses

  1. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear crushed,

    Thank you for being here, and sharing your experience. There are few things more devastating than learning that your husband has been having an affair. And the decision – do you attempt to rebuild trust in him and your marriage, after all trust has been destroyed, or do you seek a divorce? – is so painful and difficult.

    I shared my thoughts in this article on healing after an affair: http://whenlovebugsyou.com/healing-after-an-affair/

    In that article, I offer my tips on how to trust your husband, how to accept his affair, and how to move on. I had too much to say for this comments section – you inspired me to write an article :-)

    My prayer for you is for peace and healing. May you move from your shock and devastation, to a place of serenity, acceptance, and peace. I pray that you find hope, faith, and strength as you begin to heal from your husband’s betrayal. May you find the right people, resources, counselors, or support groups to help you know what to do and how to move forward. I pray that you connect with God, and renew your sense of spirituality, faith, and hope. May you learn the true source of love, peace, and trust! And may you learn that people are frail, weak, and not really very dependable. We are all weak, we humans, and the only source of power and strength is God. I pray that you connect with God and find a channel of power, strength, peace, and love. Amen.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  2. crushed says:

    My husband of the last 17 years has betrayed my trust because of an on-going, deeply emotional, sexual (at the very least in his strong desire for her) affair with someone else. I had no idea. I trusted him more than anyone in the world. The affair was discovered by me on March 21, 2015 at 11:35 a.m. when I was faced with the unimaginable–text messages that were exchanged over 5 months, containing evidence that cannot be disputed.

    I have been absolutely crushed. Our 15 year old daughter has been equally hurt. He has rallied between denials and minimizing the unbearable truth. He has steadily been far less able to cope than anyone would have guessed. He refuses to leave our home. He has promised how much he loves only me and swears constantly he does not want a divorce. He has said many times that he will never let me go and will follow me (to a new town, state, anywhere).

    I cannot imagine why he would want to stay married. The person he steadily confessed his extreme “lust” for could not be more opposite than I am on every level. She is 20 years younger, sexually promiscuous with no job, no children, no responsibilities. All of which (I have discovered) he seems to find “sexy”.

    He becomes angry when I continue to return to the topic, particularly when pressing him for answers about why, how and what actually occurred that was not in writing. He refuses to admit that we have grown apart (possibly) or that he feels/felt more strongly about her than about me. He refuses to continue to pursue this person instead of staying in the marriage with me.

    My daughter and I left the home and stayed in a hotel for the first several days, but I had not been prepared financially to be a single-parent and could not do anything except return to the house we share.

    We went to a marriage and family therapist. She has worked with us for ~10 years off and on to sort out other issues and is great. We made no headway and I still find it impossible to get any understanding about how to continue (staying married as husband insists or leave and move on) with my life and our daughter’s.

    I cannot overstate what a shock this has been or how much I trusted him. It may be connected proportionally in how crushed I have been since the horrible truth was discovered.

    Any advice would be appreciated. Books to read. Websites. Support groups, etc.

    Thank you.

  3. Laurie says:

    There aren’t any black-and-white answers or solutions after your husband has an affair. Some women can trust their husbands after they cheated, and other women immediately end their marriages. It depends on so many factors: the marriage relationship, why the husband cheated, who he cheated with, when, how the wife found out about it — and that’s just the very surface of it!

    Nobody can tell you if you should forgive your husband after he cheated on you.

  4. LoveBird says:

    What married couples need is to stop focusing on perfection and just try having fun together. take trips, vacations and picnics to just go and have fun as you enjoy each others company. that will remind you why you fell in love and got married in the first place.

  5. dr kavita deore says:

    as i am a psychiatrist still facing a mental state disturbance because of my husband this is very difficult to tackle & dealt with cheated husband still it was an love marriage he cheated me for more than 3 months in 4 yrs relationship but still i am i was unable to stable my self

  6. Frances says:

    In April 2010 I was diagnosed with cervical cancer, throughout this awful time my husband was fantatic, a huge support & is never have got through it without him. Then on February 19 the world as I knew it came crashing round my ears, I found out that he had been having an online relationship with a woman from a weightloss website. They had never met, well they couldn’t because they live in different continents! But that didn’t stop them professing their love for each other & what they would do to each other should they ever meet!!
    They had been chatting for 4 months but only intimately for a month or so he says! & in the last 3 weeks there were phone calls & text messages. I managed to find a way to log on & read every single disgusting message they sent to each other. I was devastated. Still am!!!! We are trying to work it out & to be fair he really is trying, but I’m finding it so hard to move on. Why would he do that after everything we had been through? I just feel so lost & hurt. I love him but don’t know if that’s enough. Id be grateful for any advice. Tho just writing this down has helped, all be it a little.

  7. CATHY says:

    I HAVE BEEN IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH MY BOYFRIEND FOR GOING ON SIXTEEN YEARS.WE HAVE A 5YR OLD AND A 1.5 YR OLD.HE JUST TOLD ME HE HAS A DAUGHTERWHO IS JUST 2WKS APART FROM MY 1.5YR OLD.I HAVE NEVER FELT SO MUCH PAIN AND HURT .I CAN`T EVER TRUST THIS MAN AGAIN I EVEN THINK THAT I HATE HIM.I HAVE TWO CHILDREN TO THINK ABOUT,YHEY LOVE THEY FATHER SO MUCH.I WANT TO END THIS RELATIONSHIP BUT I DON`T WANT TO HURT MY CHILDREN.HE IS REALLY TRYING HARD TO MAKE AMENDS BUT MY PAIN IS JUST TOO MUCH.HOW DO I MOVE ON FROM HERE

  8. Lost&confused says:

    I have been m arried for 7 years , My husband is such a wonderful man hes kind and caring and everything I have always wanted in a man.. when we first got married I was 18 and he was 20 we didnt really know what the true meaning of marriage was. I had a 3 year old from a previouse long term relationship and her father was in prison.. When he got out all the feelings came rushing back so I made a mistake I went backk it killed my husband so he then cheated on me with his ex. we got back together and my daughters father died and everything was great we moved on.. I was at home one day and his nextel rang it was gi female and he had given her his number at the drive thru of a restraunt… SO I reacted badly and held a grudge and 1 month later I cheated on him. I came clean and told him about everything and he flipped out and started a online dating profile met a girl in Sarasota and began a sexual relationship going to see her and what not I found out about it and just couldnt continue living our lives this way so we both sat down and said that this was it either we loved each other or we dont… We forgave each other and moved on. From that point on we both decided to give our marriage everything we had nd be 100% faithful to one another. Here it is 2012 and we are still togther and have a great marriage and couldnt ask for more we have a 3 great children togethera 10 yr old a 6 yr old and a 21 month old! We received a letter in the mail for a DNA on this little girl…. From the women he had slept with. NOW I am so confused and dont know if I want this anymore I dont know if I c an handle another women in my life forever with him.. It is not the child I am worried about she turned 2 in January and I have no problems with the baby she didnt ask to be born and she is 100% innocent but the mother is another story. I just dont think I can do this and now I am lost. all the suspicion and worries are coming back to me and I dont trust my husband anyore I stopped looking for reasons to susoect him of doing things now that I am looking for them again it seems like I am finding more and more is it my mind playing tricks on me or what! I dont know where to go from here I desperatly love my husband and our family but I cant deal with this thing again in our lives!

  9. Sharon says:

    By the way I wanted to add also that i wrote an email to the lady in question to ask if she has reciprocated the letter of my husband or there was more to it, but she chose to ignore my email and it looks like she’s told it to another friend. My husband said that shes innocent because he felt she became distant from him after she received the letter which he dropped in her mailbox but because of her ignoring my emails I suspect she also wanted to have an affair. But I want to give her the benefit of the doubt because there wasn’t at anytime that I have seen my husband and her having a long conversation and that my husband is 24/7 with me and I kept checking his phone. He said there wasn’t any contact on phone or email or text, just that one letter he sent to her and that was it. He was so guilty and kept saying sorry and cry and promised that he will never break my heart again and then he realized now that he will be lost without me and that he loved me so much. I am confused because I will have to make sure we won’t be joining the group where the woman in question regularly go to and because of that I am now ashamed because of the stupidity of my husband he said he will not choose this woman over me and that he’s so scared of me leaving him if he tells me the underlying problems and want to make sure to secure himself in the arms of another woman eventhough he admits if this woman will even like him. So please let me know what you think! Is it worth saving this marriage after I found out he got lost in the track and planned on cheating on me?

  10. Sharon says:

    I am glad to find this site because I am going thru a very hard situation right now. I have a blissful marriage and my husband is the kindest most loving man in my life. O have helped him deal with his ex partner who was giving him a lot of trouble and blackmailing him and after we got married I still help him deal with abusive letters from the ex. We were victorious because the ex stopped all her abuse. Now in our marriage I feel that I am more intellectual and he is indecisive in many ways that’s why I took charge.
    Taking charge is not easy because I do things that I know is right and he agrees on it as well. However, there was no indication that he was being unhappy. One day I found out 2 draft letters he wrote to a friend of mine and the letter states that he wanted to have a chat and get to know each other better. But he also wrote lovely things to this woman and words like I will miss you, you’re gorgeous , and if she can give him her phone discreetly and that he will keep it private, I confronted him and there he was telling me things like he felt I have been too controlling and that I always put him down (whereas I don’t feel I do because I dress him up I tell him he looked gorgeous etc ) now it made me sick knowing that he blatantly disrespect me as a woman as his wife and he betrayed my trust in him and I felt it’s a betrayal of his vows and promises. In that 1 whole week he swore to the bible that it was just this one letter and it never went further, he was so remorseful and he said I don’t want to break up and he wanted to stay in our marriage. It was hard fir me too and I said many times that it will be much better if we just part ways as I will not be able to trust him again. He looked too miserable especially when I didn’t allow him in my bed for a week. He still said there wasn’t anything and I know he was telling the truth. He said he just needed a friend and that he felt I wasn’t giving him anymore attention. We talked things thru and because this was the first time anything happened to us as I believe in my heart he was just lost because he felt a lot of pressure being the only bread winner and by the way he also said that I was spending too much. Now after swing his remorse I decided to forgive him and after a week of finding it out we made love again. But after that I felt as if I made it too easy for him so I decided to tell him that the sleeping arrangement will remain the same (he in the spare room) and I said I will invite him when I want to or if I say so. And the worst thing is that I want to take revenge and want to cheat on him so that he can feel the same pain I felt when I found out about the draft letter. I don’t know if I can trust him again . What should I do? Leave him or carry on but Cheat him or give me a 2nd chance since it was only this time ever that he did that stupid thing. Please enlighten me

  11. Romie says:

    Husbands Says I Only Concentrate On The Negative And Not The Positive Of Our Years Together

    THIS IS A LONG ONE::
    I met my husband in college when were were 20. He was a “flirt” in those days and even though I would get jealous I would say to myself “he is young, that is what young men do”, I know he went out with other girls but I decided to write it off until I became more serious and one time I caught him with someone else and broke up for 6 months. Eventually, I went back with him again, and after a couple of years of dating we married (no formal wedding) and we moved in together at 26. At 29, something was happening between us (from his side). I had a feeling but again I tried to think it was all in my head. My mother passed away that year too and he went to to Argentina for 3 weeks with his brother on a vacation. After he came back I found letters crumpled up in the trash that he was writing to some girl in Brazil. I didn’t say anything, again, I thought it was something I should handle but at the same time I blamed myself, I thought it was me, I had to deal with it. Throughout the years I traveled with my work, and there were times I would be suspicious, I would get upset. and again forget. We’ve had great times too, he is a good and responsible worker, so am I. We are not into debt and keeping up with the Joneses, instead we have invested in property and are very financially secured. About 11 years ago again, another one of those “times of doubt” began. He was coming home late and falling sleep in the sofa. I was also traveling a lot in my job as a Regional Transportation Mgr. but he never asked me to quit and never complained about my travel. He would show up late to pick me up at the airport and I would get in very bad moods, then just a kiss and he would go to sleep. I finally got a call from someone that he was seeing a woman. I eventually saw the same phone #’s in his cell bill and called it, and it was a woman. I didn’t confront her. I just wanted to hear her voice. Eventually I confronted him and he said that it was a lie and that someone was trying to hurt his marriage. He denied it but he had the cell phone bills mailed to his office ever since. All that time (a few months) we were not really “connected”. Something “was” going on. Eventually, it ended and he began to pay attention to me and we were great for a few years. I got pregnant at 41 and lost the baby at 5months. It was very devastating for both. We felt very close at that time. I was not traveling anymore as I had quit my “corporate” job and took up Real Estate. As time went by he began to get more busy again and we started to have this relationship of a couple that is just used to things. I would ask him to take more time off (3-5 days at least) and eventually he would. I normally ended up going on vacation with my father many times and with my sister. The last two years things really have become even more of a “roommate type” of relationship. I started thinking maybe “something again” was up. So, I decided that I would pay attention to myself and get into shape. I have been up and down in weight over the years but mostly in shape. Well, just last August I find out he has a 21 yr old daughter!! This goes back to 1989 the year my mother died and we had been married 6 years. He never acknowledged that this girl was his daughter when the woman told him (this is not the woman from Brazil, this woman is from here in LA). He says, he didn’t believe her and that he only wanted me and didn’t want to hurt me when he found out. But he wasn’t sure it was his child and time went by and he later found out she was married so he just let it go. So, he said that when I lost my baby 11yrs ago is that he felt remorse for this baby that might be his daughter. He didn’t actually try to find out (via DNA) until 2.5 yrs ago. He had a niece find her on FACEBOOK and it turned out that this girl was working near his job!! He befriended her (she not knowing his intentions) and eventually he got the DNA sample to prove she was his daughter. Until then, this girl had no idea she had another biological father. The mother never told her. Now, his daughter is having a hard time and I understand she has refused him. His family became aware also 2.5 years ago and some are her friends on FB. I discovered this after I just found out in August. He never had the courage to tell me so I found out via my sister who found out via my brother-in-law a week before I did. My husband had just told my brother-n-law but he couldn’t get the courage to tell me because he says he didn’t want to hurt me. AFTER finding out, my mind started to go back to the other times I thought or known something had been going on and the times I cried alone thinking it was just all in my head, etc. . I’ve become also detached in the last 2 years because of him being so busy with work and now he claims it was because of the daughter. I’ve always voiced my desire for us to do things together, to talk. Last time we went to the movies was in Nov 2010 and again it was because I told him we didn’t do anything together and it was getting boring. He claims again his work is exhausting and he is very tired. He does have time to have dinner with clients and would call me to come have have dinner. I refused many times because I had to drive 15miles in traffic to get over to his work area. But, it was never a dinner with “me”. My last birthday he had me meet him on his way home with his brother for my “birthday dinner” and he gave me a CROSS for my BD. I cried that evening and told him how out of touch he was to give me a “cross” with so many other things I actually like!! To me this also showed his disconnection with me. So, with all of this and the past issues, I began to feel so detached that I actually started to like sleeping alone and not really caring any more whether we did things together or not..I feel empty. I don’t hate him but I just can’t see myself continuing my life with him and forgetting everything. I feel I have to live with myself and be happy with me. He insists now that I’m throwing everything away!! That I’m only looking at the negative and not the positive. I told him it was not me who threw everything away, that he has done it with his lack of effort, mistrust, and indifference to my needs and our relationship as a married couple. It is really a combination of many things. I feel strong about my decision. I have given it time. Right now we don’t really speak much and have been living in the same house but I sleep in one bedroom and he in another. We also have our own bathrooms. I even waited to see it through the holidays and I didn’t feel myself missing him at Christmas or New Years. I was with my family who supports me 100%. Even my father who is 81 told me to do what was right for me. My issue now is that today, after I called him to tell him I wanted to start the divorce process, he called me and is making me think that I’m the one who is causing the divorce. I’ve told him that this had been coming a long while and that he had not noticed!! I believe he just got used to this relationship and yes, he loves me in his own way. He is a salesman and one of the BEST and he always has to win. He’s always told me I’m the woman of of life. I’m sure is true but then again, why all did he have to go out and look for others, why didn’t he pay attention when I’d been telling him we needed to spend time together? By the way, I have never ever cheated on him and I had the opportunity. I even quit one job because I didn’t want to do anything of the sort. I do care for him but not because I feel love for him in a romantic way. I told him that today again.
    Thanks for your thoughts!

  12. Made a fool says:

    We have been married for 5 years and have 3 children (one mine from previous marriage). He always seems to get into situations where “it appears” he is cheating, but has an explanation for everything(most of which have never made sence).He would tell “half truths” and tell me I was crazy when I would question him. I left him a few months ago and was back with in a week. I thought that he had realized that he wanted to spend his life with me, and only me. Things were going great! We were physacially connected in ways that we had not been in years. Emotionally connected in ways we had not been in years. Then out of the blue, a long time friend of mine showed up at our door with her child and needed a place to stay. She had nowhere to go. So with my good hearted nature, I allowed them to stay. I had a job where I worked evenings and would not get home until late at night. When I came home the third night, they both had been drinking, a lot! I was very upset about it as I did not think it was appropriate. Then one day she got very upset with my husband because he did not fix her flat tire on her car. I found it strange that she could be that upset with him over anything. After all we were providing ALL of her needs at that time. I chalked it up to her stress level. Then another day,out of the blue she asked me in front of him, if I remembered her telling me she could not have anymore children. I said “not really” and she continued to try to get me to remember. Finally I agreed, and she changed the subject quickly. I got tired of my husband and I arguing over her refusal to contribute to helping cook, clean or even care for her own child so I told my husband it was time for her to go. He argued with me about it and said it was not right for me to put her out. He asked if she gave me $50 if she could stay. I said propably not. The next day he claimed she gave him $50. I never saw the extra $50. Then I could not take the strife between him and I over her anymore and asked her to leave. Before she could get back to get her stuff he quickly went to our room and “went to bed”. As she was putting the last of her things in her car, she tells me he told her he wanted to have an affair with her. I quickly got him outside to confront the situation. They argued back and forth (with me feeling like the outsider) about half truths (his expression thrown at him by her) and “what she does not know won’t hurt her”. The both denyied any physical contact, but he admitted to more after drinking to much one night then claimed “I never said that and if I did I was just messing with you”. Long story short, they both deny anything happened. I can’t prove anything happened so I feel stuck in limbo. I don’t want to leave if nothing happened but at the same time, I feel like the non physical evidence shows it did. I also feel like I can’t move forward because I am to hurt by him not giving me the courtsey of telling me what happened. I don’t know what to do! It kills me everytime I try to talk about it and he tells me I am crazy and she was just scorned and made the whole thing up to mess with my head. How do I forgive and move forward? Is it even possible to move forward?

  13. Paul says:

    I posted some comments on here back in July 2009. I’d like to look at the feedback. How can I get those comments?

  14. Lonely says:

    How awesome to find a site where all are pretty much in the same boat.
    And there is a spiritual aspect on this site which I so desperately need!!
    Please help me, and tell me how can I fix this devastating mess!!

    For the last year I have had a suspicion that my husband was involved with someone else. Yes I did the normal checks; I freaked out, tried to commit suicide. But he swears he has always been faithful. During the past year I have felt that he and I were drifting apart, mentally, emotionally and obviously physically. Then, 7 months ago I went to visit my parents alone for a weekend. When I got back I found out he lied about where he was during the time I was away. But I left it and 3 months later I had to go away (again to my parents) again for a weekend and guess what? Yes lies again. However, he sent me a text that was supposed to go to his friend (this friend’s wife and I are friends too) that said: “My friend if you speak to your wife I was only at the club. Thanks!” Well, of course I freak out this time!

    Then a few months ago I got really ill. I went to the doctor and we started with cervical cancer, but it was negative, thank goodness! But the end of it all is I have PID caused by Chlamydia. So we were both treated, however I got the fingers pointing at me, from 15 years ago!! I have had surgery and a baby since then, but he stands firm it is my fault! However, I am trying to trust him again but he is so inconsistent with what he says and does. He says he loves me in the morning and in the evening I sit with no conversation, no interaction all I might get is random sarcastic remarks.

    I know I have been faithful for the whole of almost 13 years of our marriage. I don’t trust a word he says. I feel like I am the one doing all the work. It’s not the normal way for me to seek advice, but I need “objective” opinions on what to do and how to try and get through this. If this is not the place to get this advice please do not hesitate to tell me. However, if you have anything for me I would be soooooo eternally grateful!!

  15. mandy says:

    I am the one he was cheating with. I did not know. Now, he divorced and is with me. He claims that it was all an arrangement they both knew about and were ok with. He paid, she gave him legal status. Upon him returning to this country, I found several emails and texts exchanged between, ranging from being confused to hoping to make amends. I chose to let it pass. But now that is just haunting me. I can not trust him. And I love him. So, I am devastated and I am hesitant. What a difficult thing relationships are.

  16. Cynthia says:

    The most important thing to do is to forgive and move on after your husband had an affair. Try to settle things with him, and consider the people affected and your happiness. Live a healthy and productive life.

  17. nina says:

    my boyfriend and I have been together for 8 years, and I just found out he cheated on me with some one he worked with, back in April. I have a feeling then that something was going on. but I guess didn’t want to admit. he has told me he was sorry and that he knows now it was a mistake, and it will never happen again and that he don’t want to lose me or the kids, but I can’t get it out of my head no madder what I am doing it is on my mind. why did he do it? what did I do for him to do it? why didn’t he say no? I want to get passed this and try and work out.we’ve got three kids. what can we do to work though this?? I have reads the article and I under stand that both of us had a part in him cheating.

  18. Dear Shelley,

    I think it’s possible for him to love you and love her at the same time. You’re both important to him, and he’s not strong enough to say no to you. That’s a major weakness – it’s despicable that he’d cheat on her with you.

    But I understand it, because cheating isn’t about love.

  19. Dear Tressa,

    Trusting your husband after an affair is probably one of the hardest things you’ll ever face in marriage. That betrayal is devastating, especially if it was a long-term affair.

    There are no quick tips or easy answers to rebuilding your relationship. It takes time, effort, and a commitment to reconnecting. Both spouses have to be willing and able to face the reasons for the affair, and want to work through it.

    I think rebuilding marriage trust is a daily effort. Every day, sometimes several times a day, you have to make a conscious effort to save your marriage. I don’t think you can just forgive and forget the affair. It’ll always be part of who you are as a couple – and it can be what strengthens your marriage. The reasons for the affair can be dealt with, and your and your husband can become stronger both individually and as a couple.

    I’m glad you’ve gone to counseling, and I hope the counselor helps you figure out how to trust your husband again.

    I wish I could offer better, more personal help. I wish I had the magic words that heal marriages, that take away the pain. But all I can do is encourage you to keep the faith in your marriage, and work towards a better, happier, brighter future together.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  20. Shelley says:

    I was involved with a man for 5 years and then had to go away to establish my career, so we seperated. Towards the end of our relationship when I knew I would be leaving, he became depressed so I encouraged him to start dating again. I went away and didn’t see him often for 2 years. I came back to town once a month over the past 2 years and saw him sometimes but he claimed that he was just dating this woman that he couldn’t let me meet. However, I recently discovered that he has been engaged for about a year to her, and they will be married soon. How can he love her if he cheated on her with me?

  21. Tressa says:

    I am 28, and have known my now husband for 16 years. He was my first boyfriend when I was 15 and for lack of better words, we broke up because we were too immature to understand a dating relationship. But we stayed friends and kept trying at our relationship over and over again. One of the times we tried again, he was moving to another state shortly after, and there was an understanding that he would let me know if he wanted to date anyone else. I was led on by him for 2 years while he lived there that he was with me and no one else and he couldn’t wait for me to be done with college because he wanted to marry me, when the reality of the matter, was that he was with his ex-girlfried Steph*. It took years for me to trust him as a friend, and things slowly moved into a romantic relamtionship again and we decided to get married. While we were engaged, we were in pre-marital counseling. This was wonderful for us and I was able to share a lot of the residual feelings from that betrayal several years ago.

    A month after we got engaged, Steph contacted him and he felt that he “owed her” an explanation of why he never called her to tell her he was engaged. In counseling the following week, I told my husband in front of the counselor that if we were to continue on the path that we were, I could not handle any kind of contact with her. We got new cell phone numbers and he never spoke to her again. We were married, Oct. 16, 2010.

    Two weeks before our 1 year anniversary, I was just poking through his cell to play games and it was opened to his recent call list. I saw a phone number that looked all too familiar. I confronted him and when he looked me in the eye and said he didn’t know what that number was, I asked him to call it on speaker phone. He finally broke down and told me that he had called her the one time. I questioned him, trying to make sure that it was only the one time. I even told him that I would go through all our cell phone bills to check. I was upset, but slowly getting over it because he swore that he had called her only because he had found a box of her childhood photos. As far as I’m concerned, it was a pretty stupid reason to call her for that, but he’s too nice for his own good sometimes, so I was letting it go. I was leaving to run errands, when he finally told me that he had called her several times since we had been married. He told me that she just understood him better and it brought him back to a time of his life where he didn’t have as much responsibility.

    He continues to hold to that he never had romantic feelings toward her that entire time.

    Since then we’ve been in several counseling sensions, and I haven’t left him, but I have no idea how to trust him. It takes me right back to where we were when he lied to me last time. I feel sick every day about it, and I’m trying to not take it out on him, but I can’t help but be at a heightened state of emotion. I cry everyday about the betrayal. He looked me in the eye that Sunday and lied so many times. All I can do is look back over the past year and remember all the times that he told me Steph was completely gone and I never had to worry and he loved being able to be completely open and honest with me and all of these things, which at the time I treasured, but now they’re all lies.

    The entire first year of marriage feels like it was a lie.

  22. Cindy S. says:

    I was an unfaithful wife 13 years ago with an emotional affair that did not get physical yet. My marriage was good at the time but somehow I must have thought it was exciting & fun with the other man.
    When my husband found out, I was actually going to break up with the other man, but it was too late.
    I quit my great job & found another work place & tried to be a better wife & had no contact with my “old life”, including girlfriends at my old work place. We went to counseling for awhile but my husband quit because he said they’re not telling him anything he already knows, it’s the same old yadda yadda yadda, etc. I went by myself for a while but then I stopped also.
    Slowly, over the years, we finally worked it out that just this past weekend, I thought we had a great marriage! The kids were older, so we were slowly doing things as a couple now, since the kids don’t need us as much.
    Then this past Monday, I get a wrong number on my cell phone. I left my cell phone in the car while I ran out to pick up my youngest daughter from a party and when I came back, my husband was cold to me. He said some guy called and seemed surprised when he answered and said hesitantly and curtly “Is Kawika there?” My husband thinks that “my boyfriend” covered himself asking for someone else.
    I redialed the wrong number but didn’t get an live answer. There was a message for some kind of Publishing Company.
    I tried to reassure my husband that I don’t want to hurt him like I did 13 years ago and go through all that drama and pain. But he doesn’t believe me and I am falsely accused.
    I don’t have a boyfriend! I don’t even have any close girlfriends any more! When I made that stupid mistake all those years ago, I was stupid & immature. But I broke off contact with that old life. The only events I go to is events with him or with his friends. The only friends I have is only with his own friends. People at my work think I am standoffish because I don’t get close to anyone. I just mind my own business, try to do a good job, & it doesn’t matter to me because my home life is what matters!
    And now, I am still paying for it when there’s a wrong number on my phone with a male voice.
    I hate myself. If I was brave, I’d just kill myself. But I have kids. Maybe I’ll just do it slowly because I don’t feel like taking care of myself now. Forget my blood pressure meds and the exercising. He’ll just think I’m doing it for someone else.
    I am scared to go counseling. He’ll think I’m just going out to see the other person.
    This “new affair” is only in his mind. No matter what you do or don’t do, it’s never over.
    I don’t know how to reassure him. Everything I say of course, is a lie.

  23. Dear Ally,

    I am so sorry to hear about your husband. It’s devastating – I think you were in shock the first night!

    Can you trust your husband after his affairs? I don’t know. I think you should talk to a counselor in person, and try to figure out what you want to do with your life.

    You can choose to stay with him and try to rebuild your marriage, or you can choose to walk away. You have the power to control your future! But, you need to figure out what you really want.

    If I were you, I’d ask for time and space to figure out what I want to do. I’d leave, or ask him to leave. I’d ask for a least a month to get counseling and come to grips with the affair.

    I wrote this article for you:

    Can an Affair Save Your Marriage? It Depends…

    I hope it helps, and welcome your thoughts here or there.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  24. Ally says:

    Hi, after 26 years of marriage i found out that my husband had been cheating on me for 3.5 years with several women. The last 2 for about 2.5 years. having a religious background and middle age I was thinking how fortunate I was to not have to worry about a husband thats cheating. Then one night I told him how I felt, happy being married to him and not having to worry about a cheating husband since I had suspected a friend of mine husband was cheating on her. I pose the question “isnt it nice knowing we don’t have to worry about that, having religious onvictions?” He didnt say anything. I got worried and ask him again, he didnt say anything. Then I ask him did he commit adultry. He still didn’t say anything. I got nervous and told him its better that he tell me. Finally he admitted to it. I was very calm that night, but the next day it hit me and I was devestated. One of the women called him who by the way is 20 years younger and him and my self and ask that he come over. He told her I know about them and that he was ending the relationship and that he loved me. Since then I have been literally sick, knowing that for 3/5 years he’s been cheating on me with several younger women, and had gotten somewhat serious with one of them. We are trying to work on our marriage, but of course like most women I dont fully trust him. He admitted to having a sex problem. He says it was developed within the last 4 years having several women. He wants our marriage to work, but so often I want out, because what he was doing is sick. I do love him, I think. But this new side or person I never knew has been hard to deal with. I hate what he did to me and our family. What should I do? Please help.

  25. Dear Ann,

    I am so sorry to hear about how your husband betrayed you. It’s devastating – not just that he had an affair, but that it went on for so long. And, other people did know about it – such as the woman who told you about it.

    This article, I wrote for you:

    4 Steps to Recovering From a Long-Term Affair

    One thing I really want to “pound home”:

    Your husband lost the right to stomp his foot and say “but I don’t wanna to go to marriage counseling”…After a three year affair, he has absolutely no right to say whether or not marriage counseling is an option.

    Of course he doesn’t want to face the music, own up to his actions, and explain himself. It’s hard to accept the consequences of immoral, disgusting, lying, cheating behavior! Are you going to let him off the hook?

    The painful truth is that if he was really sorry and remorseful about his years of infidelity, he’d do anything he could to win you back and heal your marriage. He’d lead the way to marriage counseling if he thought it would help YOU recover from his long-term affair.

    By refusing marriage counseling, he’s putting his own needs ahead of yours.

    I hope the article helps, Ann, and welcome your thoughts here or there. I encourage you to find women in person to talk to, who have learned to trust their husbands after infidelity.

    You are a survivor. You’ve survived other heartaches, and you WILL survive this.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  26. ann says:

    In January, a woman called and told me that my husband of 34 years, was “hooking up” with another woman. He regularly plays and sings music with a group of people, and I knew this woman was one of the singers, but didn’t think they were anything besides friends. I went to his computer and found emails he had saved in several accounts, that indicate this affair has been going on for more than 3 years. He is 60 and retired, so he has lots of free time during the day. She is 41, married and doesn’t work either, so he was emailing her to meet him right after I was leaving for work each day. We live in a small town, so I wonder how many people saw them together and know about this affair? He has promised to stop seeing her, and swears that he hasn’t been in contact with her since I found out. I confronted her and she said she wasn’t interested in leaving her husband for him. My husband wants to pretend that everything is okay, but I am devastated by this betrayal. He refuses to go to counseling, since we both hold degrees in psychology and “know what they will say to us”. I think he doesn’t want to be faced with what he has done to us. I thought I would be feeling better by now, but I still cry each day and get nauseated when I leave the house each morning, thinking about all the times he was waiting for me to go to work so he could be with her. I have lost trust in him and don’t believe things he tells me. I worry about silly things now and never did before. How do I get past this?

  27. Ashley says:

    My husband of 6+ years went to VA for training for a month. While he was there I received a email from a girl saying my husband was a cheater. I know before my husband left he didn’t cheat on me because we were always together. I have a 3 year old son and just had another son in April of this year. So when I received this email in July that my husband was cheating I confronted him and he said it was a lie. What am I supposed to do??? Take the word of a complete stranger? Or the word of my husband? So I took his word for it, but I was very wary about it. My heart told me he could never do that, but my gut told me that maybe it was the truth. When he got home in August we went a few weeks where everything was fine….then one day I came home from school and he told me that he had too much to drink one night and had a one night stand and he panicked and went and got tested and popped up positive for Chlamydia. I was in shock and disgusted. Here I am sitting at home waiting for him taking care of our children and he had a one night stand!!!!? I never thought he would of done something like that to me.

    We are away from family (in a different state) and I was so embarrassed that I knew if he went and stayed with a friend people would know something was up. So I stayed on the couch. I went and got tested and came back negative, but my husband had to be treated. Pretty much at the same time I found out that we were expecting again. I found out a few days before I told my husband. I cried about it because I didn’t know what I was going to do about our situation yet. I knew that I love my husband more then anything, and I could see that he was upset and disgusted with himself. I did a lot of research of infidelities and one night stands and decided for ME that I wanted to try and work past this. I know some people in my position would of walked, but I love my husband more then anything and I want to fight for our marriage. We sat down and I told him what I need from him and I asked him what he needs from me. Anytime I am having a hard time my husband doesn’t get upset with me for bringing things up….and I feel like I can talk to him, but sometimes I don’t think he understands just how hurt I am. I have cried everyday since he told me. I am trying to stay healthy because I am pregnant, but I am so hurt and depressed. I have talked to my doctor about this (since he had to test me)…he’s the only one outside of my marriage that knows about this.

    We’ve been working through things and on most days things are ok…not forgotten, but ok. I have moments where I have extremely hard times with everything, especially when my husband has to be away for trainings. I’m trying to find a way to trust him again. I have caught him in little white lies. My thought is if he can lie about something stupid…then what else is he STILL keeping from me? How do I learn to trust him again? I want to have my husband and my marriage and move on….but I feel like we take 1 step forward and 2 steps back sometimes. I understand it’s still all new…but I need to move on and learn to trust him.

  28. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Hi Lynda,

    Why would you want to stay in this marriage? It doesn’t sound like you can trust your husband, especially after he introduced the woman he had an affair with to his relatives!

    He’s not committed to your marriage. He doesn’t love you enough to do everything he can to make the marriage work. What’s he doing to earn your trust and love?

    I think the best course of action is to separate from him. Get your own place, and give yourselves time and distance to figure out what you want. You may end up back together in a few months — and if you do, get marriage counseling!

    This is just what I think — it’s your life, your marriage, and you need to look into your heart, mind, and soul and do what you think is right. Don’t let fear of the future or other people’s advice sway you from doing what you think is right.

    Here’s an article that may help:

    Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay

    I wish you all the best.

    Laurie

  29. Lynda says:

    Hi all. I have been suspecting my husband since early Feb this year, from SMSes ending with “luv u”, to me finding out that he was that where he said he would be. I found out about the affair in end May and it’s someone 10 years younger than me. He has even brought her to visit his relatives in his hometown. I take that as a HUGE insult (it’s as if I’m already dead in his heart).

    Since the discovery, he had been wishy-washy about his decision, telling me he has no guts to leave me or her. Recently, he went back to his family to seek advice and came back telling me that he had broken off with her and only want to be with me. He said he will change for the better and all that crap. But even as I am typing this, I couldn’t get him via his phone for the past hours.

    I am hovering between working the marriage out or leaving him. I’m only 31. And he drinks every day, smokes.. Am really confused whether to stay or leave. I can do so much more without the shackles of marriage. The only reasons of staying would be that tiny bit of love and hope (I have known him for 13years in all). People tell me that it takes a strong character to forgive and stay on in the marriage but I feel it’s unfair that I have to put up with such uncertainty, worries, especially when we are supposed to be in the recovery phase right now and he’s supposed to earn my trust back.

    Can someone please tell me what’s the best course of action?

  30. Yvonne Ryan says:

    On March 21 while playing with the features on my husband’s cell phone I accidentally ran across emails between him and a girl that were signed i love you. When I confronted my husband about the emails he admitted to having an affair with the girl since last July. I say girl because she is blonde, petite, and 10 years younger than him. This news just shattered my world. We have been married for 19 years. During the middle of his affair I was diagnosed with breast cancer and have been going through significant treatment to include a mastectomy and chemotherapy. These traumas have been so overwhelming.

    He says he never loved her and has ended the relationship. He also says he never wants to lose me and that he is sorry. However, he does not seem to be concerned with reading books, going to counseling, etc. I bring up questions about the affair and he either avoids the question or tells me he can’t remember.

    Shortly after learning about the affair I was very much into my husband…wanted to be with him all of the time, we were very intimate, etc. However, in the last few weeks I can’t stop thinking about him with another person and at best I can only be a friend to him right now. He tells me he is tired of me playing games and he needs me to move past the affair and work on our relationship, but I just don’t know how I can do this alone. Are these emotional experiences normal for a spouse who has been betrayed? Will I eventually move past the constant thoughts of him with another person so we can move forward with our own relationship?

  31. Carly says:

    Also one of the websites he found women to cheat on me with he is using again called mocospace. Due to the economy and my lack of finding steady work I moved back home to my mother, first he told me he was staying in a shelter but when I sent the divorce decree to the mistress home he recieved it “from the post office” he says his sister is in town now and they are staying with his mothers significant others sibling. Yesterday he called me private twice and he emails me in the wee hours. I dont answer the calls because my heart is so torn I cant stand to hear his voice. He has no job so he donates plasma twice a week and when we were together he gave me that to help ends meet but then he started to change up and say he couldnt help me with the bills anymore because he needed to pay the tickets off on his license. He knew I had a daughter to provide a home for and I couldnt do it alone, I felt he was being selfish, Ive lost everything Ive had and now Im back home with my mother whom I have issues with because she never protected me as a child. Im an emotional wreck and for once I’d like to have a constant but I feel like my husbands need for sex constantly and infidelity could be signs that he is pedophilic and I cant feel safe being in a home with a man like that around my baby girl, I have tooken her to the doctor when I felt like this and she has had no signs of trauma. Am i paranoid from my childhood molestation and rapes or do I have an good reason to be suspicious of my estranged husband? This is a continuance from the post above.

  32. Carly says:

    I got married on November 20, 2009 in the Courthouse. I never wanted the big beautiful wedding just a faithful constant in my life, something Ive never had. I grew up in a lesbian household, my mom had several different life partners one whose son molested me at age 5. I told my mother at 12 this happened and that I had also been touched by my aunts live in boyfriend. Her response was I guess not what I envisioned it to be, at 13 I had excelled so well in school my mother shipped me off to a christian boarding academy. I left and went back my sophmore year to have a first boyfriend. I was the only black girl in the school dating a wealthy white social outkast, I felt very isolated, so I came back home, I had my first child by 17 and the second at 18. I placed my son for adoption and kept my daughter, I went to college learned a trade then I met my husband. I thought he was the answer to my miserable life but he was 19 years older than me and a s*x addict, also I suffered from trust issues with him especially around my daughter. He didnt meet her until 1 year after we became intimate and committed, he lost his cna license due to proffessional misconduct and harrassment, he didnt tell me I found out on my own, to date he has cheated on me numerous times and lately with one particular woman. I filed for divorce. My issues are trusting him around my daughter, his infidelity which could jepardize my health, his accountability for his actions, and communication. I need advice I am 21 and I dont have any family or friends to support me through this. Should I continue wtih Divorce or is this even worth saving.

  33. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Alison,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your husband, and how difficult it’s been for you to move past his affairs and betrayal.

    You need to remember that he betrayed you in the biggest, worst way possible. I’m not saying you should make him feel guilty or worse than he already does — but you need to allow yourself time to grieve the end of your marriage as you knew it. Part of you died when you found out about his extramarital relationships, and something like that isn’t just forgiven and forgotten! So, I think you need to cut yourself some slack. Give yourself time to heal.

    Secondly, it’s definitely more difficult to reunite with an unfaithful spouse when he’s out of town so much. My friend’s husband cheated on her, and he often goes out of town on business. She had a very, very hard time trusting him again…it took her six years to really get over it.

    Please stop trying to move on and forget about it. The more you try to stop thinking about it, the more it’ll haunt you! Instead, focus on your future with your husband. Write down the ideal marriage you want with him, and what you both need to do to reach that level of love and committment.

    I also suggest that you talk to a counselor on your own, or read books about forgiving an unfaithful spouse. What you’re going through is NORMAL — but even so, the more you focus on healing and loving and freedom from the past, the happier you’ll be.

    I hope this helps…and I’m sorry I don’t have easier answers for you.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  34. alison says:

    I am going to be married 25 years this month but have been with my husband for 32 years. I always condiered our marriage normal, good times ,bad times and some really amazing times. We have 3 wonderful children who are vey normal and we love them very much. It is a year and half since I found out my husband had been e-mailing with women he met when out of town, and had 4 one night affairs all with different women. He kept a seperate e-mail account and met up with some of them though only had sex with four of them the others appeared to be platonic. He confessed to all when confronted,stopped immediately and stated he always loved me and wanted us to work things out. We went to counseling and we are communicating btter than ever. But I can’t seem to get passed it. I cannot beleive it happened and will never be able to understand it. We’ve been together forever and he is my best friend as I know he considers me. What I don’t get it is how he did what he did. He is out of town half the month . He is in the aviation field. I will admit he has done all the right things,expresses his love for me and wants to go forward with all our plans that we always talked about. Why can’t I move on? i love him and cannot imagine him not being in my life. so why can’t I move forward and forget about this?

  35. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Tara,

    I’m sorry to hear that you’re having trouble trusting your husband, even though your marriage has never been stronger! Reconnecting emotionally, physically, and spiritually after a spouse has cheated is difficult. It takes a long time to truly “get over it” — and some betrayed spouses can’t stay married.

    It’s important to recognize that your marriage is different now, and that you and your husband are different people. You can’t expect your marriage to be the way it was before he cheated! I think the first step to reuniting with an unfaithful spouse is to accept that your marriage will never be the same.

    The second suggestion I have is for you to figure out why you hate yourself. What did you do wrong? What are you now bottling everything up inside — and why? Figuring out why we do things, feel things, and think things isn’t easy. It requires alot of self-awareness and insight….which is why counselors and therapists are so helpful! A counselor has an objective perspective, and can see things about you that you can’t see.

    So, my third suggestion is to talk to a counselor. I’ve heard that the military offers counseling to spouses…and I encourage you to take that opportunity! A counselor can help you figure out why you’re so down on yourself, and how to rebuild your trust in your husband.

    I hope this helps, and wish you all the best.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  36. Tara says:

    In December 2007 I found out that my husband was cheating on me, I had come home and he was on an online game bragging to one of our friends. I wanted to work things out, and did everything I could to try to bring him back. He told me he was no longer in love with me. I started going to counseling and started doing better for myself, I had lost weight. In March of 2008, he told me he was still in love with me, and he missed the little things. He said he wanted us back, he cried and I cried and at that point I again was floored. I didn’t know how feelings could change that quick then change back. He said he didn’t mean them, that he was ashamed of what he had done and I had always said if he ever cheated on me I would leave. He said he was helping me be truthful to myself because it was what I had always said. About a week after we had started to talk again, he called and told me he was thinking about joining the National Guard, that it would be a weekend a month. I was worried but ok with his decision. I got a call from my sister in law who informed me that he again had lied to me, that he wasn’t joining the guard and that he had “already joined” the army. I felt betrayed again, because he didn’t tell me the truth. I somehow worked past it, he drove an hour to explain everything to me, and told me he wanted me to go with him. I had lived all my life in the same area, close to family and friends. But I loved him so much, so I went with him. It is now over 3 years and things are great in our marriage. He is very loving, and is more open to talking. He tells me he loves me more every day and that our marriage is the strongest it’s ever been. But I still have difficulty believing or trusting. When he goes somewhere I fear he is going to cheat on me again. I don’t want to feel that hurt again. I moved 2200 miles away from family and friends to be with him because I love him that much. I want so much to get past this and move forward, but how do I do that? Can someone please give me some advice? The worst problem I have is I hate myself, and I’m the one now who bottles everything up inside and doesn’t let my feelings show. Any advice would be greatly appreciated..

  37. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your daughter…that’s probably a million times worse than your husband having an affair! That’s heartbreaking, and my sympathies are yours.

    It’s great that you’re seeing a counselor with your husband, and I’m so glad to hear how honest she is! There is no guarantee that he won’t cheat again, no matter how great your relationship is.

    One thing that came to my mind while reading your story — why does an intact family appeal to you so much? You’re independent emotionally and financially, and you’re not crushed to have a separate life from your husband.

    I think it’s important to figure out WHY you’re working on your marriage….you’re not scared to be alone, and you are able to live on your own.

    Some women were raised to believe that family is everything, and an intact family is the true measure of success. And it IS the measure of success for some people….and if it’s your measure of success, then maybe you should be putting all your energy into rebuilding a relationship with a twice unfaithful spouse.

    I encourage you to figure out what would make your life most meaningful, and then pursue that. I think individual counseling is a great way to figure out who you really are and what you really want…..and so are books like “This is Not the Life I Ordered” (just Google that phrase, and you should be linked to Amazon — or borrow it from your library!).

    On my See Jane Soar website, I’ve listed several of my favorite books for women, about authenticity and living life fully and self-identity. Here’s a link to one of my articles; the books are in the right hand column.

    6 Ways to Retain a Sense of Self When You’re in Love

    Another thought is to take a 3 or 6 month break from living with your husband. I can’t tell from your comment if you live together, but I think giving yourself some time and space to figure out how you want to live the rest of your life — and with whom — would be wise. You don’t need to rush into saving your marriage or letting it go…but you do need to take time to make the right decision.

    I hope this helps, and invite you back anytime. I’d love to hear how things are going!

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  38. Barbara says:

    My husband had an affair with his high school girlfriend (he was 45 at the time) 10 years ago- he confessed, we went through counseling, and after a lot of work our marriage felt good, although my husband left his job for a much lower paying position, resulting in me working more. My daughter died suddenly a few years later, which was the worse thing ever. My husband was supportive, and I worked hard to come to grips with living again and enjoying life. Two years ago I found out that he had been seeing the woman again for the past several years- we divorced, but my now-ex has never stopped keeping in touch, says he is faithful (celibate) and wants to get back together. We have a teenage son. I am doing well on my own. Since my ex left his job years ago I had been the primary wage earner, and I know my ex struggles financially. He has remained very involved with our son, although he doesn’t live in the sort of place where one can have a child visit. He stays at my house if I’m out of town, and does other things with our son.
    I am not sure what I feel- I am enjoying my independence, but the idea of an intact family is hard to resist, and I wonder if it’s possible. We are going to counseling; the therapist says that he has a good heart, but there are no guarantees that he will always be faithful.She feels it is encouraging that he is faithful now, but someone who is underemployed and lives in a motel has limited options!Our marriaage was actually better than most; we have many common interests, and have always enjoyed each other’s company. My ex is bipolar, and takes meds. Can you comment? Thanks.

  39. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Ana,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your husband and his affair. Rebuilding trust is so difficult, especially if your spouse seems to be unfaithful more than once. That’s very sad.

    Unfortunately, I can’t give you the support and guidance you need over the internet. Please call a counselor, and go see him or her in person. Even just one session can help! You need to talk through your pain, disappointment, and heartache…and you need someone to guide and help you figure out what the best thing is for you and your family.

    You could also call a women’s help line or a distress line. Honestly, just talking it through can be SO helpful…but you need to take at least an hour to explain what’s going on, and to hear what the counselor thinks.

    Will you do that, and let me know how it goes? I’d love to hear from you again.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  40. Ana says:

    We’re married for 9 years. Been through a lot…but the worst was last 2003 when I learned that he has an affair with his officemate. It was very chaotic back then. So painful…especially when I caught them together in our own house. I left…went back to my family. But after a month he beg for forgiveness so we (w/ our only son back then) went back to him. It took time for me to forgive and forget. Until recently…just last november…I found out that they had a child. The kid’s already 5 years old. And the most unbelievable part was…the kid grew in my in-law’s guidance. They took care of him since birth. I felt so betrayed and stupid because everyone from their family managed to keep it a secret. To think that they live just 2-3 villages away from us. Again…he asked for forgiveness and I did thinking that the only reason he’s communicating w/ the other woman is because of the kid. Until last week…I noticed his restlessness…I asked him why…I beg him to be honest…he told me that he heard from someone that the woman’s planning to get married. I thought I could handle it…but it was a slap in my face. I stayed w/ him for 9 years…loved him…sacrificed a lot of things…and this is what I get! We’re still together but everyday’s a misery for me. He tells me he loves me but it’s hard to believe. I strongly believe that you can’t love two people at the same time. I felt such a loser…I can’t help thinking that he may be here…still w/ us..but his heart belongs to someone else. I told him I’m willing to set him free but he wouldn’t let us go. Right now…I’m torn between leaving him and giving the marriage a chance. If there’s anyone out there…maybe a counselor whose reading this…please help. I’m in so much pain. I can’t tell my family about it yet because I know it’ll be a huge dilemma and it’ll be hard for now our 2 kids. I grew up w/o a father…I wouldn’t want them go through the hardships I’ve been through.

  41. Kaitee says:

    I recently discovered that my Fiance made a new friend on the internet. However I was looking at his profile pictures the other day and noticed a woman had written a message beneath it telling him that she wanted him. Curious as to who this girl was i looked at her profile and saw a comment my fiance had left her telling her to “Bring it”. needless to say that hurt enough in itself. i confronted him about it and he swore that he didn’t write it that it must have been his brother, he looked in my eyes and told me that he only wanted me and that he would delete that profile so she couldn’t talk to him anymore. When he went to his email to deleted the profile I noticed her picture on the screen. He had given her his e-mail so what did he need the profile for now? He told me that he was going to delete that as well. We fought and I cried. The next day I woke up and still had the gut wrenching feeling that he wasn’t telling me the truth. When I got into work I will admit I pulled up his email and sure enough he had sent her a message telling her that he wanted to get to know her and that he couldn’t talk much right now because I had found the profile messages.
    I broke down at work and called him to confront him. He admited to it and said he didn’t know why he had done it and that maybe he needed help. Needless to say he told me that he was writting her at that moment telling her that he couldn’t talk with her anymore because of what it was doing to me. But I didn’t believe him. I wanted proof instead of just words. I went to see the sent e-mail but he changed his password. He says that he wants to go through with the wedding and that he loves me. But after being lied to more than once has made me wonder how many times has he done this, and if he is telling me the truth. i love him more than anything and that’s the only thing that has kept me from leaving. I just don’t know what to do.

  42. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Andrea,

    This can turn around and be good again — but it takes time and commitment to your marriage. You CAN learn to trust your husband again after an affair, especially if you figure out why it happened in the first place.

    Marriage counseling is a great idea…I hope you and he try it together, and I hope it helps.

    Also, I don’t think you can break the cycle and stop the messages that this other woman is leaving for your husband. Your husband needs to do that — he needs to be strong and assertive enough to take control and end the relationship. He may need help with that, which is where a marriage counselor would be ideal.

    I wish you all the best, and hope you and your husband heal your relationship even faster than you thought possible!

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  43. Andrea says:

    Angela, I am experiencing almost exactly the same thing, except my husban works with this girl. There are texts, facebook messaging, emails, messages that she misses his, stolen kisses etc. It absolutley rips you up inside, this was even happening on Christmas day. It started out as a “friendship” which was supposed to be nipped in the bud right away, but it seems it has spiraled out of control. Secret meetings, going 4wding together. I feel like this behaviour is dirty, deceitful and i feel soo betryaed. Can’t eat, trouble sleeping. I am on anti depressants at the moment to help me through. I want marriage counselling, which i didn’t earlier because it didn’t seem to be a huge problem that we couldn’t work out ourselves. He said he feels bad, like I don’t deserve him, which I think means that he knows this is all wrong. But how do I break the cycle, how do i stop the messages etc, I feel she is manipulative and insensitive. How does this all come good again??

  44. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Hi Angela,

    I’m sorry this happened to you…it’s such a blow to learn your husband was cheating on and lying to you.

    I think there are two important first steps when you’re rebuilding trust after an affair:

    1) Your husband has to realize the importance of emotional cheating. He thinks that infidelity is about physical cheating — when emotional cheating can be more destructive to a marriage. How do you make him see the destruction emotional infidelity can cause? By reading books about emotional affairs and talking to a counselor about how it affects marriage.

    2) You and he both need to understand why he was communicating daily with this woman. If you both know what need he was filling through the affair, he’ll learn to get this need filled in your marriage, and you’ll feel more confident that he won’t cheat on you again.

    One of the best ways to survive anything — infidelity, illness, major life situations — is to get information about it. The more you and your husband learn about infidelity together, the more you’ll understand why and how it happened.

    I encourage you to talk to a marriage counselor, even just for a visit or two. That may be all you need to figure out what you need to quit obsessing, and how he can help you learn to trust him again.

    Also, it takes TIME to rebuild trust in marriage. There’s nothing he can say to erase your feelings of betrayal and heartbreak…healing a rift like this takes months of deliberately working on your marriage (which is where a marriage counselor can help — by giving you specific tools you need to rebuild trust).

    I hope this helps a little, and I’m sorry I have no easy answers.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  45. Angela says:

    hello, I recently found out my husband has been having a text message relationship with another woman for the last four months. I have rarely questioned his fidelity or loyalty to me therefore, didn’t feel the need to be constantly looking at his cell phone or monitoring his facebook for possible “transgressions.” However, there was a slip up on his and her part and i read an facebook message with a salutation “hey handsome” and closing “night, baby” so enough said on that. Clearly there’s an inappropriate connection. he actually made me aware of this message and said it was meant for his friend and not for him. He only told me because he was out of town and knew he left his laptop email up so i investigated.

    The story wasn’t matching, i kept questioning. He insisted he thought the woman was unattractive, etc. After a solid week of investigating and of the little voice in head nagging at me saying, this is not right, i finally found my proof…an email in his sent telling her not to message him there, etc. Even after this, he continued to downplay this as a “friendship” and of course the cell phone/text bill revealed the friendship to be more of an obsession and led to my own obsession….for which i have eaten very little in the last few days and can’t seem to have a moment of silence without my head swirling. I found the text messages have been daily for the last four months. There were 6 calls made to the number from his cell but of course there are other phones out there.

    he admits the relationship with her was wrong and yes, there was flirtation but that it was “innocent” and that the talk between them was never about our marriage. The amount and times of the text messages were painful to look at, from waking to right before bed, on my birthday, day of leaving & returning from our vacation. PAINFUL, needless to say.

    WHAT DO I DO NOW? I want to know everything and if I could get a copy of their text messages I could. Oh yeah, I talked to the woman as well and she too insists it was simply a friendship and that they had seen each other in social situations but never alone. She apologized for her words but said not for her actions… but what loyalty does she have to me? it was apparent that she cares for him (in her friendship way). I”M SO ANGRY! and i don’t know how we’re going to get over this.

    Now he seems annoyed by my incessant questioning of the relationship…he says that he’s admitted he’s wrong, he’s ended the friendship, it wasn’t worth it, and that he loves me. So that is all he needs to say according to him. He also feels since nothing physical happened that it wasn’t infidelity…

    ok, i could go on forever here but just some advice on how to start again with each other, how do i quit obsessing about this picturing them together, etc. ? thank you

  46. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Char,

    I’m sorry to hear that your husband lied to you for two years…that’s a devastating thing to find out about someone you love and trust — and who is supposed to love and trust you!

    Trusting your husband after an affair is a long, gradual, and even painful process. I think the key to reuniting with an unfaithful spouse is to figure out why he cheated in the first place. What was he looking for, that he couldn’t or wouldn’t get from you? Once you figure out the root of the problem, it can make the process of rebuilding trust easier.

    A marriage counselor would be very helpful in both figuring out why your husband cheated, as well as finding ways to reconnect as husband and wife. Even reading books about infidelity can be helpful — if you read them together, with equal commitment to rebuilding your marriage.

    I’m sorry this happened, Char…and I wish you all the best.

    Laurie

  47. m magid says:

    How trivial traits may derail even the most beautiful of relationships is subtle and unexpected. The results, however, may be explosive and catastrophic. This scenario is not uncommon; it is endemic to our modern society. As a family physician, I see the consequences and regrets daily. The question is how can couples avoid what they really do not want?
    Perhaps, the best way to prevent infidelity would be to step into the future and look back. This is of course impossible, but seeing people allow their relationships to slip away and remain with their regrets, I undertook writing a novel to elucidate this very problem. So many couples will be able to identify themselves and hopefully gain insight into their own lives and avoid disaster.
    Mannie Magid

  48. Working on saving a marriage is a daunting task. Not to mention the stress of dealing with the distance between you and your partner as well as dealing with the emotional aspects of everyone involved.

  49. Bonnie says:

    FORGIVE and move forward

  50. Char says:

    My husband started to travel for work about 2 years ago. Shortly into his travels (to Mexico) he met a woman whom worked in the reataurant at the hotel he stayed at. He is gone for usually 3 weeks at a time before coming home again. I have been given very limited information but from what I have been told, they became “friends”. He would see and talk to her every day while eating. After being there 3 months she took him sigh seeing. I was shown pictures of this EXCEPT the 2 that her in them. I found the pictures of her in his computer bag several months later. When I asked about him carrying pictures of a woman I had never seen I was told just a guide. He was going to give them to her if he ever saw her again. To make a very long story short, I became nore and more suspicious becasue he seemed less interested in us and when I questioned him it was always just him saying that I was paranoid and I had a problem with insecurity and I was jealous and that I needed to get over it. He had moved on to another part of Mexico for a job that was about 5 or 6 hours from the first job. A year after he started the first job he was on his computer a lot even on our vacation and was distant with me. I questioned him and again it was my jealousy and my problem. A few months later while I was clearing up my files on my computer I checked his kodak gallery to see what pictures he had saved so I didn’t save the same ones and found that every piture he had taken of every thing that had happened in our life (personal and his work) had been e-mailed to this woman. All EXCEPT any that had me in them. I wondered why? When I hinted around about him sending pictures to people and if he sent his friends all out pictures from vacation he said of course. I said even pictures of me to your friends in Mexico and again was told yes. I knew he had not. One night I finally told him I knew he had been e-mailing a woman in Mexico had been telling her and sharing with her every aspect of his life. He denied it over and over. He looked into my eyes and lied. I told him I had proof of it and would show him. He finally said yes, that there was a woman that he sent pictures to and that he had lied to me about it. When asked why he said he didn’t know. After a huge fight and many hours of discussion I was told he lied to her and told her he was not married. When I asked why, again I don’t know was his answer. He said I will never forgive him and our marriage won’t work. But he also says he didn’t tell me all this becasue he was worried that I would leave him and that it would hurt me to know the truth. Why did he not stop all this if he knew it would hurt me. He let it go on for alnost 2 years. I feel like 2 years of our life was a lie. He was almost living 2 lives – one with me when he was here and one with her thru e-mail where he was “single”. He and I sat down at his computer and he e-mailed her and told her he was married and that he had lied. He says he has not heard anything from her since then and he has not contacted her. It has been about 5 /6 weeks since he did that. He told her he wanted her to know the truth so he could move forward with his life with me. I DO NOT KNOW WHAT is the TRUTH about my life with him and what is a LIE. He seems to be trying with us but how to I know for sure? How do I ever believe anything about him again?

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