By: Katie Lersch: We all want to believe that difficult times, and huge mistakes ultimately end up being lessons that teach us how to be a better person. It’s often said that failure is the only way that you learn. But what happens when you fail at your marriage by being unfaithful? What do you learn then? This question can be particularly important to the faithful spouse, who really wants to believe that the spouse claiming to “learn his lesson” has in fact done just that.
In this situation, you might hear from a wife who says: “my husband is always talking about what having an affair and almost losing his marriage has taught him. I realize that he is most likely doing this because he wants for me to think that there is something valuable and redeemable about this whole situation but I am just not buying it. What has he really learned? How to betray me and cover up his tracks? How I look when I’m furious? How I’m almost ready to walk out on him because of his carelessness? But when I argue with him about this, he continues to insist that he has learned things that are going to help us with our marriage. He says if I give him the chance to prove it, then I will see for myself. What in the world does he mean by this? ”
I can’t read this husbands mind. And I am not a man who has cheated. But I hear from many of them. And some do claim that they have learned a lot about life, their marriage, their spouse and themselves after having an affair. Because of this, I feel like I have a pretty good handle on their thought process. Here is some of what they will tell you that they learned.
Many Of Them Learn That Their Inability To Deal With This Problems When They Are Happening Leaves Them Vulnerable: Honestly, I strongly believe that many bouts of infidelity could have been avoided if a man wasn’t trying to deny or run away from his feelings or problems. To me, many men fall into an affair as a way to feel better, more secure, or more in control. Often, they end up getting the exact opposite – at least once the affair has run its course and is over. But worse than that, they have done tons of damage and their situation is even worse than what they started with. So many realize (a bit too late) that they are better off dealing with problems, stress, and insecurities, as these things come up. Otherwise, things are only going to be worse later.
They Learn That Their Actions Can Deeply Hurt The People Who They Love: To be honest, I do not think that many cheaters think too much about getting caught when they start the affair. Many don’t plan it – and they do not plan for it to be a reoccurring thing. When it does go on for longer than that, then they tell themselves that they will be very careful and that if you don’t know, then you can’t be hurt. Very few of them actually let their mind think about your being as hurt as you eventually are.
When they do see the consequences of their actions and they see you devastated, they realize, first hand, just how much devastation they have caused. And this is enough for some men to never want to cheat again. They never planned for this day. And when they have to face you and look into the pain in your eyes, it hurts them too. I know that it is hard for you to believe this. I am not defending people who cheat. But many men in this situation tell me that it is so painful to know how badly they have hurt their wife. They wish they could take her pain onto themselves and yet, there is not really anything that they can do to undo the damage.
They Learn To Stop Their Risky Behaviors: Many men end up cheating when this was never their intention. There might be the business trip where they drink too much. Or the class reunion. Or the bachelor party. Or the late night sessions with their female coworker. In short, there are certain situations that make a man more vulnerable to cheating even when he has no intention of doing so. Men who have fallen into this trap often learn not to put themselves in these type of risky situations any longer. Many become fully aware that it is just not worth it.
They Learn To Appreciate Their Wives And To No Longer Take Her For Granted: It’s not uncommon for cheating husbands to tell their wives that they have never loved or wanted her more. She usually thinks that this is just him trying to get back into her good graces or him talking nonsense. But, many men are sincere when they say this. Because where they had taken you for granted before, they are now at risk of losing you and this isn’t a good feeling for them. So yes, they cling to you and they realize how much they love you and what a big mistake they have made to put your marriage at risk. This new appreciation means that they are less likely to take you for granted.
I do believe that my husband learned some important lessons and changed for the better after his affair. Of course, these lessons came at a high cost. And I wish the affair hadn’t happened. But I do admit that many of the changes in him (and how he views and treats me) are positive. You’re welcome to read more about my experience on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com
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