What Are The Long Term Effects Of An Affair?

By: Katie Lersch: Sometimes, when your spouse is having an affair, it’s very difficult to think beyond tomorrow – much less well into the future. But once the shock wears off and the dust settles, many faithful spouses realize that this is exactly what they have to do. Because, in order to make a sound decision about the course of your marriage, it makes sense to consider what your marriage might look (and feel like) into the future. But this is often difficult to gage and it’s a topic that you know is so important that you don’t want to just guess at it.

I might hear from a wife who says: “my husband is begging me not to leave him because of his affair. I have agreed to wait a couple of months before I make a decision. But sometimes, I regret making this promise. I truly would like to save my marriage, but I’m not going to be naive about it either. My husband likes to pretend that we can just pick up our marriage like the affair never happened. I know that this is very short sighted. I know that this isn’t reality. I have had friends who have dealt with the reality of an affair and it seems to me that almost all of them continue to struggle, long after the affair is over. I’m just wanting to understand what are the long term effects of an affair on a marriage? What does our long term future look like?”

This is a very difficult question to answer. Because honestly, the answers depend upon several variables like the depth of the deception, the length of the affair, the state of the couple’s marriage after the affair, and the amount of work done during recovery.

The Long Terms Effects Of An Affair Can Be Both Positive And Negative.  But The Marriage Is Rarely Completely Unchanged: While the truth is that it’s very likely that you are not going to have the same marriage after the affair, what is often up in the air is whether this will weaken or strengthen your marriage. To be fair, I’m going to list common negative and positive long term effects after an affair because I feel like both are completely possible. Honestly, the course that you end up on is, at least in some ways, up to you and your spouse and how much work and effort you’re willing to undertake.

Some people don’t believe their spouse deserves their efforts and this is a fair argument. I understand it. I’m not trying to tell you what you should do. I’d just like to give you a glimpse into possible outcomes, keeping in mind that all couples are different.

Negative Long Term Effects Of An Affair: I would say that most every couple knows those neighbors or mutual friends who have a marriage that is rocked by an affair but who never truly recovers. Although this couple stays together, it’s often clear that they are doing so reluctantly and that there is still a good deal of anger present. There can also be resentment by both parties. The faithful spouse has resentment for obvious reasons. She has been wronged. But the cheating spouse can feel resentful too. Because he can feel as if he’s going to have to pay for this mistake forever. And he can feel as if his spouse wants to make him grovel for the rest of his life, no matter how remorseful he is and no matter how much he tries to make amends.

In short, this couple is beaten down. Both of the are well aware that this isn’t a great marriage and that neither one is happy or at peace. But, they just accept this as their lot in life. Often, they really do not want to live this way. They would like for things to be better. But they just do not know how to cross over toward healing. And so they feel stuck, frustrated, and a little bit angry most of the time. At the same time, they don’t want to let their spouse off of the hook by just walking away.

Positive Long Term Effects Of An Affair: I hope that the above couple of paragraphs weren’t too depressing. There is some good news. First, couples like the ones described above don’t have to live this way forever. You can always chose a new way. You can always begin to heal even when you think it has been way too long.

And, some couples actually find themselves in better marriages than before the affair. I know that this is hard to believe. When a therapist told me this, I thought she was only trying to sell her services to us, at one of the most awful times in our marriage. But, with time, I can tell you that this is true. I’ve seen it in my own life and in the life of others. It is not easy. It is not automatic. And it’s also not constant. There are ups and downs. I’m not going to tell you that every day in my marriage is rosy and that I never think about the affair because that wouldn’t be true.

But I can tell you that bad days are mostly rare. In fact, our communication today is actually stronger than it ever was. We speak up if there is something wrong because we know what can happen when we become complacent. I have also made big changes in myself and in the way that I look at marriage and all relationships.  My relationship with my husband is something I chose. It is not something that I depend on to define myself. Never again will I depend on someone else for my own happiness and self esteem. I trust my husband. I do not believe that he will cheat again. But if he does, it’s not going to make me think less of myself. I spent a lot of time building myself up and becoming the type of person that I want to be. In part because of the affair, I have learned that all I can really control is myself and the way that I live my life. This has changed my outlook on control. I used to want to control my husband, keep him on a short leash, and make him feel guilty if he disappointed me. Now, I realize that this is manipulation based on fear. And it’s not the way that I want to live my life. I can be responsible for my own happiness. And in turn, this has opened up our relationship so that we feel much less pressure. We know that we are both here because we want to be. And this really has transformed our relationship.

I hope this article has shown you that there are almost always long term consequences of an affair. Your marriage is rarely unchanged. But those changes can be positive and negative.If it helps, you can read more on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

My Husband Doesn’t Understand How His Affair Affected Me

by: katie lersch: I often hear from wives who are struggling to make their husbands understand just how devastating and far reaching his affair truly was. Many wives struggle with making their husband understand that moving on or getting over the affair is going to take far longer (and much more work) than the husband may have realized.

I recently heard from a wife who said, in part: “my husband’s affair has been over for about three months.  It’s becoming obvious that he feels like my time to grieve and process this is up.  He wonders aloud when I’m going to recover and for how much longer I’m going to “dwell on” the affair or on the past.  He often makes comments like ‘the past is in the past.  Now it’s time to move on and start again.  We can’t life our lives always dwelling on the past or dredging up the pain from yesterday.’   It’s as if he thinks that I should just turn off my feelings or quiet my doubts because he’s tired of having to deal with my pain.  He doesn’t seem to understand how his affair affected me and continues to affect me.  It floored me.  It hurt me deeply.  It made me question my judgment, my marriage, and my ability to trust and to love.  I no longer feel like the same person in the same marriage.  I am trying to improve and move forward, but I certainly don’t like feeling rushed or being made to feel as if I’m not making progress fast enough.  I don’t think that any of this is fair.  How is it right that he gets to hurt me this way and then get impatient as I try to recover?  How can I make him understand how his affair affected me so that he has more patience during my recovery? Because every time I try to explain this to him, he says I’m dwelling on the past or holding onto the pain.”  I’ll address these concerns in the following article.

Actions That Probably Won’t Make Your Husband Understand How His Affair Affected You: Before I get into some things that might help with this situation, I’d like to go over some very common reactions and strategies, that, although understandable, often don’t work all that well.  Many wives will wonder if having their own affair will “force” their husband to see just how it feels to be cheated on.  So, many will consider cheating (or at least making their husband think that they are.)  I so rarely see this work or even not turn out to be a disaster. The husband is often so angry that he’s not in any position to feel any empathy for or try to understand the wife any better.  And the wife will often have even more baggage to carry and even more feelings and struggles to deal with.

Another thing to wives are often tempted to try in this situation is to attempt to communicate in a very dramatic way so that their husband has no choice but to listen or pay attention.  A wife will often tell me that she finally explodes and begins yelling things like: “do you have any idea how this feels?  Do you have any idea what it’s like to know that your spouse who was supposed to love, honor and cherish you slept with someone else?  Do you any idea what this does to your self esteem and your ability to trust?”  Although these are all valid questions which often might cause your husband to slow down and think, we often say them in such a way that he feels defensive rather than sympathetic.

Understand Why Your Husband Probably Doesn’t Completely Want To Know Or Understand Just How Deeply His Affair Affected You: Here’s something else I’d like for you to consider.  Even if your husband doesn’t realize this,  he often has a vested interested in downplaying just how devastating his affair has been to you.  He usually already feels a lot of guilt and remorse about his actions.  And he really wants to believe that you and will recover because this helps to alleviate some of his guilt.

So if he has to face the difficult truth that you are still hurting, still struggling, and not yet recovered from actions that he set into motion, then he still has to feel those negative feelings of guilt, shame and remorse all over again.  Often, the husband who cheated wants to feel better and wants to recover in the same way that his wife does.  But part of his being able to feel better about himself means that you feel better too.  So he’s often reluctant to admit or acknowledge when this isn’t happening.  But you can sometimes use this knowledge to your advantage.

Tips On How To Make Your Husband Understand The Multiple Ways That His Affair Has Affected You: I understand that you are extremely motivated to get your husband to understand the way that you feel and why you’re struggling.  But  you are more likely to get the result that you want if you can deliver the message with calm, measured words so that it’s clear that you’re not trying to hurt him, but are merely trying to make him understand you better.

So, at time when emotions aren’t boiling over and you are as calm as is possible, you might consider saying (or writing) something like:  “I know that both of us just want to feel better and want to move on.  I want that too.  But I want for you to understand why I’m struggling because of how deeply this affair has affected me.  I’m not telling you this to make you feel worse or continue to pin point blame.  My intention is for you to understand what I’m feeling so that hopefully you can help me to move forward so that we can both feel some relief eventually. But please understand that your affair has made me reluctant to trust you and my own perceptions.  I do want to move on and to trust again, but this is a struggle for me because when I did those things before, I was betrayed.  And I’m reluctant to offer my trust again because I never want to feel this type of pain again in the future.  This has made my doubt myself, my own desirability, and our ability to put our marriage first before we make decisions that might destroy it.  I’m not telling you this to paint a negative picture or to insinuate that we can’t or will never recover.  I just want for you to know how and why I’m struggling so that you will have patience with me and help me to move past this.  I’m asking you to imagine that it was you who were the one who was betrayed before you’re critical of my progress or lose your patience with me.”

I know that making him understand you and your struggles is difficult.  But sometimes, you just have to keep moving forward while continuing to have patience with yourself and demanding that you be given the time and space to heal.  Although I never would’ve believed this two years ago, after a long struggle, I did eventually truly get over the affair. It didn’t happen overnight, but I know longer worry my husband will cheat again. If it helps, you can read more of that story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com/

My Husband Lied About Me To The Other Woman In The Affair

By: Katie Lersch:  I sometimes hear from wives who have just learned some of the details about their husband’s affair. Understandably, they are hurt by both the act of him cheating and by the betrayal and the lies that he used to carry out the behavior.  Many wives are surprised and furious to learn that they themselves were the subject of many of these lies.  Some find out that the husband denied their existence or painted them out to be someone who they definitely are not.

She might say: “I only know this because the other woman posted to me on Facebook.  I hate that she did that.  I want nothing to do with her.  But she did tell me some interesting information.  She actually apologized and said that she honestly didn’t know about me in the beginning.  My husband told her that he was recently divorced.  Later, she found out about me through her own digging because my husband acted secretive.  At that time, she found out that I existed so she confronted him and he admitted that he was married, but then told her that he wanted to divorce me.  He said that he had to move slowly because he knew that I would try to take him from everything, including the kids.  She actually then looked at my facebook and saw the RECENT pictures of us looking happy and she knew that he was lying, so she broke it off.  She’s right that these are all lies.  Until I found out about the affair, my husband and I were actually trying to have another baby.  We’d just closed on a house. As best as I could tell, he was planning on continuing to be married to me as we were making plans for the future.  When the other woman confronted him, he basically told her that he lied because he knew that if she discovered he was married, she wouldn’t have given him a chance. Well, he was right about that.  I have to hand that to her.   When I question my husband about lying and whether he really planned to leave me and try to get custody of the kids, he insists that he had no plans to break up our family.  He claims that he doesn’t know why he had the affair and admits that it was very stupid.  But he says in his defense that he only planned for it to be a temporary thing that would really change nothing for us. Well, it’s changed everything for me.  And the weird thing is, my husband is not normally a liar. He’s been honest to me about everything else.  So why would he suddenly turn into this huge, blatant liar?  I’m just stunned by this.”

I understand why you are so upset.  Sometimes, the betrayal actually feels worse than the act itself.  I know that this may not matter to you right now, but it’s so very common for men to lie during the affair.  They will tell the other woman that their wife is abusive or ill.  They will tell her there’s been some delay in the divorce or separation process.  They’ll tell her that if she’ll just wait, he will sort all of this out.  Does he mean any of it? Not usually.  He’s saying these things because he wants to make it easier for her to cheat with him.  And he wants to justify it in his own mind.   He knows that any decent person is going to hesitate to start a relationship with a man who is not only married, but who plans to stay married.  So, to get around that, he has to paint a picture that isn’t reality.  People will sometimes go to great extremes to make the cheating and the guilt a little easier to take.

I can’t tell you what to do with this information.  I know that it is very hurtful.  It doesn’t always matter when he claims that he didn’t mean what he said.  He still said it.  He minimized your marriage and out and out told untruths about you.  That’s a big betrayal and it can hurt deeply.  You may see this as a deal breaker or you may ultimately want to give him a chance to make this right for the sake of your family.  If you go that route, I’d highly suggest counseling or self help because this is going to create a very deep wound.  Telling untruths may be a very common tactic by a married man.  But it’s still a very hurtful tactic and it’s still extremely damaging.  He will need to do a lot of work to convince you that he didn’t mean what he said and doesn’t believe his own lies.  He’ll also have to work very hard to restore the trust because if he doesn’t, you will always wonder what additional tales he’s spinning.

I think that right now, you have to focus on what you know for sure.  You KNOW that you aren’t a terrible wife and mother or a vengeful person who was trying to take his kids.  You know that you are a good person who doesn’t deserve what happened.  You know that you love your children and will do your best to make this as easy on them as is possible.  And you know that you deserve a loving and faithful spouse who will treat you like you deserve to be treated.  (That’s not to say that some spouses can’t be rehabilitated to be loving and faithful.)  This is possible, should you want to do the work. But you deserve no less – whether it is with your current spouse or someone else.

Ultimately, I did save my marriage after infidelity.  But I always believed that I deserved fidelity and loyalty.  And I demanded the same.  We had a lot of work to do and we slogged through it.  This wasn’t always easy, but I have never regretted not breaking up my family.  My husband stepped up to the plate and I was willing to give him that chance for the sake of my family.   You can read more on my blog at at http://surviving-the-affair.com

Why Would A Husband Cheat And Tell His Wife Many Years Later? Like Decades Later?

By: Katie Lersch: I sometimes hear from wives who are quite confused as to a confession that has just come from their spouse. He has confessed to cheating, but there’s a catch. The cheating hasn’t just occurred, even though the confession is fresh. There are some people who choose to confess to the cheating years, or even decades, after it occurred. The faithful spouse often wishes that the cheating spouse had just kept quiet, or she wonders why in the world he would wait so long to be honest.

A wife might say: “to say that I am floored is an understatement. Today, out of the clear blue, my husband came home and announced that he had something to tell me. He asked me to sit down. He held my hand and told me that almost twenty years ago (about two years after we first married,) he had a four day affair with someone at his work. He found out recently that the woman had died. But he said that other than that, he hasn’t thought of her in years. However, he stressed that he wanted to go ahead and tell me because he didn’t want to die having not confessed this.  (He just had a health scare that turned out fine, but scared him.)  He said that he felt that I deserved to know. He said he hadn’t cheated since – not even close. And he felt that he did so early in our marriage simply because he was young and immature. He says he’s very ashamed and he doesn’t want the guilt following him around, although he stressed that he firmly believes that he has been a good husband ever since. I am stunned because in fact, he HAS been a good husband. If he had not have told me this, I never would have guessed. Frankly, he does not flirt with other women and he gives me his full attention. I am confused.  And I am furious. Why bring this up now? Does he want to hurt me? Does he want me to know that someone else found him attractive? I really don’t understand because we really do have a good marriage. I thought we’ve ALWAYS had a good marriage. But I guess that I was wrong. He said that he didn’t tell me earlier because he didn’t want to lose me. I’m not sure why he doesn’t think that he can lose me now. I guess he thinks that it doesn’t matter since so much time has passed, but it still matters a great deal to me. It’s still cheating, no matter when it happened. I just don’t understand why in the world he would kick this hornet’s nest now.”

I can certainly give you a guess that I base on a similar situation between some friends of mine. Because of my own experience and my articles, I asked the husband in question why he would make a confession so long after the fact. He answered in a similar way to the husband above. He basically said that now that he was older, he was looking at his lifetime accomplishments, his mistakes, and his legacy and he didn’t want to leave anything on the table.  He wanted to make things right while he still had the opportunity to do so. The affair wasn’t the only thing he confessed. He basically reached out to everyone to whom he felt that he owed an apology. He tried to heal old wounds and to heal grievances and broken relationships. Yes, the affair was the biggest surprise that came out of this, but he also reached out to old business partners, former friends, or anyone with whom he wanted to gain a sense of closure. He wanted to get everything off of his shoulders and know that he’d done what he needed to do to feel free of past burdens. He honestly did not realize that he was now placing this burden onto his wife. Because she felt the same way that this wife felt – she wondered if he just wanted to hurt her by bringing it up now. All he could say in response was that he never meant to hurt her, but that he wanted to be completely honest now. I’m not here to say whether or not I agree with his reasoning. I’m just trying to share the possible thought process. In his mind, he was trying to do what was right, even if the attempt was very late.

So where does this leave you? Well, at the end of the day, I think you have to decide whether his behavior as your husband for all of these years cancels out the deception not only of the affair, but of not telling you for all this time. You’re right that it is still an affair and you would be well within your rights to demand that he make amends and become rehabilitated (just like he would have if the affair had happened yesterday.) He must have expected that this might be the case when he chose to confess.

You have every right to feel the pain and the shock that you would have felt if the affair was fresh. Time doesn’t negate that. It still happened regardless of the date that it happened. However, in a fresh affair, you are often unsure as to whether or not your spouse will rise to the occasion and become a good and trustworthy spouse again.   You have no way of knowing if he’s going to make things right.  In your case, there is no mystery about that.  Your husband DID rise to the occasion. You have had a happy, long-term marriage and that’s quite an accomplishment. You’ll have to decide if you want to just wipe that out over something that happened a while ago. In my own case, the affair was relatively fresh, but I still decided that I didn’t want to just give away the life that I’d built without a fight, although I placed very high standards on my spouse and my marriage moving forward. I have never regretted that, but everyone has to decide the best answer for them. You can read more on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

How Can A Man Who Loves His Wife Have An Affair?

By: Katie Lersch: I often hear from wives who are really struggling with the reality that their husband has had an affair. Often, the hardest part for them is not the betrayal itself, but the circumstances that preceded the betrayal. Many of these wives are so confused because they had good marriages and loving husbands. In fact, many believed beyond a shadow of a doubt that these same loving husbands would never cheat. And, many of these wives will admit that they suspect that their husband still loves them, even after his cheating. That’s why his cheating can be so horribly confusing.

I heard from a wife who said: “there is no doubt in my mind that my husband loved me during his affair and I fully believe that he loves me now. That’s why I simply can’t wrap my brain around why he would cheat on me. I admit that our lives were stressful when I was undergoing treatment for severe medical issues. But my husband was so loving and supportive during that time that I never would have suspected that he was caring for me in the evenings and then having an affair with his coworker during the day. How could he know that I was home sick and still carry out what he did? How could he love and worry about me and then sleep with someone else? How can a man who truly loves his wife cheat on her?”  I will try to answer these questions in the following article.

Often, A Husband’s Affair Doesn’t Have Anything Whatsoever To Do With His Love For His Wife: There are many types of affairs. We all know of or have even heard from the husband who will claim he cheated or had an affair because his wife just didn’t understand or appreciate him. Or, he’ll say that his wife had let herself go or had changed, so as a result, he fell out of love with her and had an affair with someone else.  In fact, that is so common an excuse that many people will just assume that a cheating husband no longer loves his wife. This is most certainly not true in every case. A good number of cheating men actually love, adore, and lust after their wives. Men who have good and active sex lives cheat. Men who could not ever imagine their lives without their wives still cheat. Men who look their wives right in the face and truthfully declare their undying love cheat on those same wives. Why? Because sometimes the cheating and the love have nothing to do with one another.

If Men Don’t Cheat Because They No Longer Love Their Wives, Then Why Do They Cheat?: There isn’t one answer to this question. But, if I had to simplify it, my answer would be to provide a diversion or relief from some problem or issue that is usually completely separate from their marriage. Sometimes, they cheat in times of stress during which they feel powerless. In the above scenario, the wife’s health issues had been very stressful on both she and her husband. By no means am I using this to defend her husband’s actions. But, for whatever reason, it is very common for men to cheat during times when they under a high amount of stress like an illness, a job loss, or a period of feeling helpless. During such times, the cheating is in response to the stress and is an attempt to make the man feel less helpless or worthless. It doesn’t have anything to do with his love for his wife, which is still very much in tact. In fact, sometimes part of the frustration comes with loving your wife and with feeling powerless to help her like with the above situation.

Another thing you’ll often hear is the husband say is that he didn’t feel that he was “good enough” or “worthy” of someone like his wife so he sabotaged his relationship because, again he was struggling with those feelings of being worthless.

If Your Loving Husband Cheated Or Had An Affair, Where Does That Leave You?: Most likely, you will have a choice to make. There are times when wives in this situation will begin to doubt their husband’s love for them, even when there is that little voice in the back of their head that says things like: “but remember that time when he stayed up with you all night when you couldn’t sleep?” Or “remember how he looks at you? How can he fake that?”

It’s very difficult to juggle the knowledge that he has done very loving things and acted in loving ways and yet he has committed an act that betrays that love. And yet, among all the confusion, there’s still a choice to make. You’ll ultimately need to decide if that same love is enough. You’ll need to ask yourself if the remaining love is enough for you to try to rehabilitate your marriage and work through whatever personal issues may have lead up to his cheating.

That is not a decision that anyone can make but you. Some women will look at both the man and the marriage over the course of many years and decide that the good things that he has done outweigh that one bad decision. And others will decide that no matter how much they love their husband or he loves them, cheating is just not something that they will ever overcome.

I know it is a difficult decision, but I hope this article has shed a little light on how it’s possible for a man who loves his wife to make a very huge mistake and to cheat.

I actually never doubted my husband’s love for me after his affair.  I knew he loved me before, during and after it.  The question really was if that love was enough to pull us through.  In the end, it took more than love.  It took a lot of work, determination and skill.  But we made it.  If it helps, you can read all about it on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

My Husband Says He’s So Confused After His Affair. What Does This Mean? What Can I Do About It?

By: Katie Lersch: I often hear from wives who are so frustrated by their husband’s “confusion” after he has been caught cheating or having an affair. Often, the wives expect or hope that he is going to apologize profusely and immediately begin to attempt to make amends. But this isn’t always what happens. Sometimes, the husband doesn’t act because he isn’t sure what he wants in terms of his feelings or his wishes.

I heard from a wife who said: “my husband admitted to me that he has been cheating and having an affair with my daughter’s gymnastics coach. Since I really had no suspicions and he had no reason to tell me, I expected that this  meant that he would immediately break it off and make every attempt to save our marriage. Instead, he is telling me that he doesn’t know if he’s going to end his relationship with her. When I ask him if this means our marriage is over, he says he doesn’t know. He insists that he is “so confused” because he has feelings for both of us. He claims that while he ultimately wants to save our marriage, he is not sure if he is ready to let her go because he has genuine feelings for her too. That’s just wonderful for him, but where does it leave me? Do I have to just sit around and wait for him to decide who or what he wants? Am I just supposed to patiently wait for his confusion to fade?  And what is there to be confused about? He made wedding vows to me, not her.” I will try to address these concerns in the following article.

A Man’s Confusion Is Often At Its Highest Right After The Affair, But It Will Eventually Wane Once He Walks Away For Good. The Longer The Affair Continues, The More Confusion There Is: I can’t tell how often men attempt to play the confusion card. And quite often, they aren’t completely lying to you. They do feel confused. Because the truth is, if they wanted to end their marriage or they wanted you out of their life, they would have divorced you while they were cheating or before they started being unfaithful. They cheat in secret because they want both relationships. They usually don’t have any intention of ending their marriage, especially in the beginning. But usually the other woman begins applying the pressure to make their relationship more official and lasting. And the intensity of the deception can be mistaken for intense and real feelings. So many men are genuinely confused because they have two women to whom they feel responsible and for whom they have feelings.

But here’s something that they usually do not understand. The more they continue to see or contact this other woman, the longer they are going to be confused. As soon as they truly end it and focus their attention on their wife and their marriage, whatever feelings they think they may have had will usually become clear for what they really are – part of an unrealistic fantasy. He has to convince himself that he feels very strong and real feelings for her. Because if he didn’t, how stupid would he be to risk his marriage for someone he didn’t really know or feel anything for? He may not believe that his feelings will change. But they will. If he is not seeing her and giving the relationship any momentum to keep it going, it will die a natural death.

How To Handle It When Your Husband Is Confused After Cheating Or Having An Affair: Many wives are tempted to offer ultimatums and tell the husband that he must decide between her and the other woman immediately. This is a very tempting ultimatum. But the risk with this is that he will either chose her or he will chose you and be resentful because of it. Or he will mope around thinking that he misses her. Some women will become fed up and tell the husband that the other woman can have him. Some of these women later regret acting so hastily.

To me, the best compromise is to tell your husband that you are willing to work with him after he makes a decision as to who or what he wants, but until then you can’t participate in a marriage that includes three people. When you back off from your marriage, this will often give him an incentive to make the right decision. He may wavier a little bit initially, but once he decides, you will both know that he made his own decision alone without any pressure from you.

You should also know that many men will lose their feelings for the other woman as time goes on. Because now they you know about the affair, that exciting level of secrecy because of a forbidden relationship is gone. So a very important component of their relationship has been taken away. This is sometimes the beginning of the end and it helps the true nature of the relationship to become more clear – that he risked everything for someone who was essentially little more than a stranger.

Once this happens, you will likely find his confusion beginning to wane.  I have to admit that it was me who had most of the confusion in my own marriage.  I just didn’t know if I wanted to put in all the work to rehabilitate a man and a marriage that had been so damaged by infidelity.  In the end, I couldn’t walk away and now I am glad for that because our marriage is actually stronger.  If it helps you can read the whole emotional story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

How Can I Get Over My Husband’s Affair Once And For All?

By: katie lersch: If you’re Googling and researching phrases like “how to survive an affair,” “how to forgive my husband’s affair,” “how to get past an affair,” etc., then I can certainly identify and empathize with you and hope that I can help. My husband had an affair several years ago and at that time, I thought my world was ending and could not see past it for a long time.  But, although I never would have believed it at the time, not only did I survive it, it actually made our marriage stronger. No, it wasn’t easy and it took a lot of patience and work, but in the end, the affair brought certain issues into the light that were hiding in the dark, issues that I never knew existed, but which were laying in wait, ready to sabotage my marriage. The affair also gave rise to self esteem issues that I had been battling for a long time, but finally overcame. However, first things first. This article will give you some tools to help you survive or get over your husband’s affair.
Don’t Obsess Over The Issues That Won’t Help Your Healing, Like Details About The Other Woman Or Who Knew About The Affair: I know that this may sound impossible to you now, but trust me when I tell you that obsessing over the other woman or what she has that you don’t, (who she is, how they met, what she looks like, etc.) will not help you heal. All it is going to do is contribute to a destructive cycle that feeds upon itself and only makes the situation and your mental state worse. It’s perfectly normal to wonder about this, but it just isn’t worth it. It will only put destructive images in your head that will be hard to banish.
There’s a well known infidelity study which polled married men who had cheated. Only 12% of them said “the other woman” was prettier than their wife.  So put that worry to rest. There’s nothing special about her. Another common place where we get tripped up is that we want to know ALL the ways that we were betrayed. We want to know who else knew and how this whole charade was pulled off. So, if one of our neighbors or friends knew, then we will then turn our rage towards them too. The problem is that now we will begin to feel that the whole world has conspired against us, when really, this isn’t true. Feeling like a black cloud is hanging over you is only going to delay in your healing. No good is going to come of it.  For me, people I trusted (my husband) deceived me, but others (neighbors) were trying to protect me. Understand that there are really only two people to place direct blame upon here – your husband and her. Of those two, your husband is the only one that you want to have contact with – this should be the only relationship with which you concern yourself.
When You Are Ready, Understand Why The Affair Happened: It may be a while before you are ready to hear and understand the full details of the affair, (you may never want to hear it all) and you may need help understanding what your husband is really saying. Men are sometimes horrible at effectively communicating their feelings. They will give you vague, silly explanations like “it was just a mistake,” “it didn’t mean anything,” or “it’s not me, it’s you.” These things can sometimes sound like lies your husband is either telling himself or telling you.
However, you may be surprised to know that according to much research and counseling I have participated in, these phrases are often rooted in the truth.  Many men cheat simply because they’ve lost important feeling about themselves. I’ll explain. When a man is young and in love, he feels virile, alive, attractive, worthy, and competent. This is often because the woman he loves is lavishing a lot of attention, appreciation, and affection his way (often when you are first dating). Eventually though, married couples have to focus on other obligations like your job, your kids, your aging parents, etc. Many wives assume that their husband sees their struggle to juggle it all, knows that you love him, and would give him more time and attention if you could.
This assumption is partly wrong. Men feel guilty to want and need so much of your attention. So, instead of saying “hey honey, you know all those good feelings we were generating? Well, I want to get them back. Can I have more of your time?,” they will go and try to generate these feelings somewhere else. (Of course, this is messed up logic, but they don’t see it at the time.) Often, they don’t mean to hurt you, it really doesn’t mean a whole to them, and they never think you will find out. So, they assume they will just take care of this problem themselves and then everything will carry on. (This is unbelievably wrong, but they don’t understand this.)
In the infidelity study I mentioned earlier, over 77% of the men surveyed said they were “deeply sorry,” about the affair. And the vast majority said they cheated for EMOTIONAL not  PHYSICAL reasons. Many people assume that affairs are all about sex. They aren’t and it’s a huge mistake to think so. Knowing this then, should at least give you a foot hold on how to proceed. You absolutely need for your husband to understand the devastation of his actions. He is certainly not blameless. But likewise, you need to understand the factors that contributed to the affair so that you can address them if you want to save your marriage, if you want to.
Turn The Focus Away From Him (At Least Initially) And Turn It Towards Healing Yourself And Boosting Your Self Esteem:  Obviously, especially at first, the affair is going to encompass a huge chunk of your life. However, don’t let yourself get lost in the mix. Don’t put yourself on the back burner. So often, a woman whose husband has cheated will have a huge blow dealt to her self esteem. She will feel old, ugly, and not sexually alluring. Please understand that although these feelings are natural and understandable, they will eat you alive.  And, this self doubt is a marriage killer.  Your husband may be very sincere when he tells you that he still finds you extremely attractive, but self doubt or low self esteem will ensure that you don’t believe him.
It’s a vicious cycle. Take great pains to focus on your own self care and your own self worth. Get a complete make over. Take up a new hobby. Get out and see friends. Do whatever you need to do to put a genuine smile on your face. This will send a distinct message to your husband and to your own self conscience. In order to really “get over an affair,” you need to fully understand that it wasn’t your fault and that there is nothing at all wrong with you or something that some other woman had that you don’t or didn’t. This was a horrible, unfortunate decision your husband made that has less to do with you then you might think. But, you can heal from it – and so can your marriage, if that is what you want. Yes, it may take a bit of work, but in the end, I know from experience that you, and your marriage, can emerge stronger as a result.
Although I never would’ve believed this two years ago, my marriage is stronger than ever after my husband’s affair. It took a lot of work, and I had to play the game to win, but it was worth it. Because of all the work I did on myself, my self esteem is at an all time high. I no longer worry that my husband will cheat again. You can read my story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

How Do You Find Happiness After Your Husband’s Affair?

By: Katie Lersch: I sometimes hear from wives who wonder if they are ever going to feel truly happy again after their husband cheated or had an affair.  Understandably so, finding out about the affair has been almost life changing and has changed their outlook on life.

Common comments are things like: “will I ever feel happy again after my husband had an affair?  And if so, how?  Because every morning I wake up and feel as if life as I knew it has come to an end.  The marriage that I thought was actually good is a lie.  I doubt my ability to judge people.  I doubt my own attractiveness.  I am scared to be on my own.  I feel awkward and unsure about my husband.  In short, I am miserable and scared.  And I don’t see this ever changing.  Is it possible to feel true happiness again after infidelity?  And if so, what can I do to help myself be happy again?”

I firmly believe (and know from my own experience) that it’s completely possible to feel authentic and unbridled happiness and joy after infidelity.   I won’t tell you it’s a fast process.  I won’t tell you that it’s an easy process.  But I will tell you that it is absolutely possible.  And in the following article, I’ll offer some tips on how to reclaim the happiness that you deserve after your spouse’s infidelity.

Separate Your Personal Identity From Your Spouse’s Actions:  Before you can begin to heal and to reclaim your happiness, you must accept that none of this is your fault.  Your husband made his own decisions and acted as the result of his own free will.  Even if your marriage wasn’t perfect and even if you contributed to this imperfection, you are in no way to blame for someone else’s actions.  You shouldn’t own a responsibility that is not yours to  own.

And along that same line of thinking, you should not judge yourself based on the things that someone else has done.  You are not less or a person because of your spouse’s decisions.  You do not have less value because your spouse chose to be unfaithful.  His cheating says something about him, but it should not say something about you.  Know that you are every bit as attractive, funny, smart, and valuable as you were on the day before you learned of your spouse’s affair.  So, your opinion of yourself should not waiver or be negatively affected by your spouse’s mistake.

Fall Back On Those Things (Outside Of Your Marriage) That Have Always Made You Happy: Stop for a second and think about what has made you happy in the last year.  Not everything should be related to your marriage.  It’s a safe bet that you have a family, friends, and hobbies that do not include your husband or your marriage.  That’s not to say that you can’t or won’t save your marriage.  But in the initial days when you are just beginning to heal or are determining what you want to happen with your marriage, it’s a very good idea to seek happiness outside of your marriage.  There are likely people, places, and things in your life that have brought you joy, happiness, and peace.  Now is the time to draw on those things.  In the days immediately after the affair, you may have to draw on the small joys in life – the sunrise, the fact that you woke up and you still have choices, the sound of birds singing or children laughing.  Whatever it is that brings you joy, find ways to feel more of it and to spend more time doing it.

Many wives will admit that they didn’t cultivate a life outside of their marriage and so they feel particularly lost when their marriage is in question.  If this is the case with you, then now is the time to start finding yourself outside of your marriage.  And this is true even if you want to save your marriage.  I was always clear on the fact that I didn’t want to give up on my marriage, but it was also very clear to me that I had lost some of myself within my marriage.  And frankly, if both you and your husband are happy and whole individuals outside of your marriage, then you will have a stronger marriage as a result.

Know That Whatever Happens, Brighter Days Are Ahead: Some wives admit to me that they are worried that they must save their marriage or walk away from it to truly be happy once again.  It’s my experience and observation that women can return to a happy life  in either situation.   Sometimes, I hear from wives whose marriages were affected by an affair years earlier.  Some have saved their marriages and some have not.  But most tell me that life is back to normal and most feel that things worked out for the best.  Wives who saved their marriages will often say that their marriages have improved.  People who ended their marriages  often feel that it ended up being for the best.  The human spirit has a very unique and fortunate ability to bounce back under challenges, even when the person who owns that spirit has their doubts.

So yes, it is completely possible to be happy again after infidelity.  The keys are understanding that none of this is your fault and that your value and your worth has not changed.  It’s also important to take responsibility for your own recovery and happiness.  Give yourself what you need to heal and don’t apologize or feel selfish about the same.

There was a time that I worried that I would never regain my original happiness after my husband’s affair.  I felt sorry for myself for what seemed like a long time but I realized I had to be at my best for my children and for myself.  Honestly, the affair forced me to make many long overdue changes that actually improved my life.  If it helps, you can read about my entire transformation on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

 

What Are The Chances That My Husband Will Stay With Me After An Affair?

By: Katie Lersch:  I think that most of us assume that if our spouse ever cheats on us, we will be out of the marriage before the door can close behind us.  Most of also assume that we would never cheat on our spouse. And yet, statistics prove to us that both of the above assumptions are, for many couples, proven to be false.  For many people, before they even have time to really think about or to ponder the consequences, they cheat.  The affair is discovered and then the fate of their marriage is up in the air.

Speaking of assumptions, people sometimes assume that the person who cheated had checked out of the marriage and wants a divorce anyway.  This is often not the case at all.  In fact, the cheating spouse is often looking for any way at all to beg or plead with their spouse not to leave the marriage.  They often realize that they’ve made a very big mistake and would do nearly anything to save their marriage, but they know that this is completely up to their spouse.  Many will go to counseling, seek out self help, and research statistics in an attempt to tempt fate in their favor.  They might say: “I know that this is all on me.  I am the one who cheated in my marriage and it isn’t like me at all.  I would give anything to take it back.  I had everything.  It was perfect.  And I had to go and ruin it.  My husband is a good man.  I was simply bored, I guess.  And I didn’t take the time to think.  I never planned for it to get out of control.  But my husband found out.  And now he’s not even living with me.  He’s staying with a coworker because he’s so angry with me.  He hasn’t asked for a divorce yet.  But I wouldn’t blame him if he did.  If he had been the one who had cheated on me, I know that I would be furious, so I can’t be a hypocrite and act as if I deserve him.  But I would do anything if he would give me a chance.  I’m considering going to counseling, even if he won’t go with me.  But some of my friends say that I’m wasting my time because my marriage is over, since I ruined it.  What are the chances that my husband will stay after the affair?”

Statistics And Real World Numbers: I can tell you what statistics show.  And I can also tell you that after an affair, I stayed.  (But I required that many things happened first.  More on that later, though.)  Statistics indicate that anywhere from 50 – 60% of couples actually stay together after an affair.  Most people are surprised by that number.  (Because most people think the same way as I did – and as you did – that if their spouse cheats, they will be out the door.) The thing is, you don’t just stop loving your spouse or wanting your marriage in that one instant.  There are other things to consider sometimes.

What the statistics don’t tell us is why the couples chose to stay together, whether they separated first, and whether or not they are happy now. I suspect that some stayed together because of kids or out of habit and others are just sort of existing in their marriage.  But I can tell you that it’s possible to get a healthy marriage back after an affair, but you after to really want to do so.  And you have to be willing to put in the effort that is going to be required.  It sounds as if you are willing to do that.  The question is whether or not your husband is going to be willing to allow you to do that.

Proving To Your Spouse That Giving You A Second Chance Is A Good Risk: It sounds as if you are giving him time to evaluate what he wants and are respecting his space.  My husband did that as well and I did appreciate it.  But in our case, there were children involved, which did factor into my decision to at least be open to staying in my marriage.  However, I would not have stayed if my husband did not rise to the occasion and prove that he was willing to rehabilitate the trust and the marriage.  He took that responsibility and he stepped up to the plate.  I can’t possibly know how your husband feels, but I’d think that doing these things would be a good start toward increasing the odds that he will stay.  You mentioned counseling. I agree that it’s a great option.  There’s also great self help.  I don’t think that an affair needs to automatically be the end of your marriage. But that doesn’t mean that the marriage won’t need serious attention and fixing.  An affair is very damaging and hurtful.  However, with work, it doesn’t have to destroy.  Some spouses do stay.  And many, like myself, are glad that they did.  Because they have sincere and remorseful spouses who made it worth their while to do so.  It would be helpful if you could show your spouse that you are in this category by demonstrating patience, kindness, and your own willingness to do whatever is necessary to regain his trust and affection.  Because spouses who stay ultimately do so because they hope that staying is a good risk.  What I mean by that is they hope that their taking a chance on their spouse is going to be worth it in the end.  This is within your control because you can make certain that it is worth it to him by becoming the wife that you know that you can be.

I’ve never regretted staying, but that is because my husband did make good on his promises and we both worked very hard to rebuild.  I would have been very disappointed otherwise and it may not have been worth the risk.  You can read more about this process on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

I’m Not Sure If I Still Love Him After His Affair

By: Katie Lersch: I sometimes hear from wives who are not only unsure about how they feel about their marriage after their husband’s affair, they are unsure about how they feel about their husband himself.  I heard from a wife who said: “my husband cheated on me with our accountant.  I have known this woman for many years and I trusted her.  At the same time, I have been married to my husband for half of my adult life.  No one knows me better.  No one else has been through life’s up and downs with me in the way that he has.  He’s begging me to give him another chance and has promised intense counseling of my choosing.  My problem is that I’m not sure if I love him anymore.  I understand that I am angry with him.  But it’s more than that.  I need to respect someone to love them.  I do not respect what he did.  I am not attracted to someone with a lack of character and I feel that he doesn’t have the character that I thought that he did.  He says he will prove to me that the good parts of his character are still there.  And there have been moments that I will look at him and still feel some simmering of love, but then I think back to how he betrayed me and whatever I’m feeling is extinguished almost instantly. How do I know if I still love him? And what should I do in the meantime?”  I’ll try to answer these questions in the following article.

Why I Think It’s Best Not To Try To Sort Out Love Until You’ve Had Enough Time To Reflect:  The wife was probably right in her assumption that her anger and shock was clouding her feelings.  Because right now, all that she was able to see was how his character was lacking.  This is completely understandable and no one can blame her for this.  However, when all you can see are the bad parts of his character, you aren’t likely to see any of the good parts.  Which means that you aren’t looking at this even remotely objectively.  Any decision about your marriage is an important decision.  Give yourself the time to make the right one for you.  I know first hand that in the initial time period after the affair, your anger clouds almost every feeling that you have.  It’s nearly impossible to truly determine deep emotions like love or even hate in that emotional state.

Try This Exercise: Some women tell me that they know for sure that they hate their husband and no longer feel a shred of love for him.  They won’t even consider that their anger is clouding their feelings.  They are completely sure that every ounce of love that they ever felt for him is long gone.  So here’s an exercise to test that.  I’m not bringing this up to be cruel or to try to hurt you more.  I’m not even trying to prove you wrong. I’m just trying to give you some perspective.

Imagine that it’s five years from now and you’ve saved your marriage.  Imagine that you took your husband up on that offer for counseling and this actually improved your marriage to the point where you renewed your wedding vows. Imagine the dress and the look on your face when you say your vows all over again.  Can you imagine this scene without any strong emotions? (Positive or negative emotions count.)

Now imagine that it’s those same five years later but you went the other way.  Let’s say you determined that you didn’t love your husband because of his cheating and you divorced him.  So let’s say that he and the other woman picked up where they left off and that, because he couldn’t have you, they eventually married.  What if you ran into them one day and made small talk?  What is your reaction to this scene?  Anger? Sadness?  Something else?  Are you have a strong reaction at all? My point is, if you have strong reactions to either scene that I’ve just described, you’re still responding very strongly to your raw emotions.  Determining the outcome of your marriage (or even your feelings for your husband) when emotions are running this high can be the wrong call.

Why You Can Hate What He Did And Still Love The Person:  I think there’s an important distinction that many people miss here.  You can loathe with everything you have what your husband did.  You can be so angry that you feel as if you will explode.  But you can still deep down love the person even if this frustrates you.  It is totally possible to hate the act and still love the person.

And the reason for this is that one act, or one character flaw does not negate all of the kind, loving things this person has done or all of the positive character that they still have.  Nor does it negate your history. So to address some of the questions that this wife posed, I don’t think it’s possible to totally define any feelings of love or hate after the affair until you have given yourself plenty of time to process this.  And trying to rush the process could lead you to decisions that you might regret.

I will freely admit that I doubted my love for my husband after his affair. But, after I had time to reflect, I realized that I hated the act, but still loved the person and we eventually saved (and improved) our marriage. If it helps, you can read my story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

  • RSS Infidelity Articles By Katie Lersch

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Posts