I Live In Fear Of Him Cheating Again Or Having Another Affair.

By: katie lersch: I often hear from wives who live in constant fear that they will have to deal with another round of cheating or yet another affair.  Many times, their husband has repeatedly assured them that they have nothing to worry about and that he’ll never cheat again.  But of course, that’s a hard sell to someone who has already been betrayed once.

In the back of their minds many wives are thinking “yes, and I thought I didn’t have anything to worry about before and yet you cheated on me then.  What’s to stop you from doing it again?  How am I supposed to trust you when you’ve already betrayed me once and I never saw it coming?”

There’s no doubt that restoring the trust can certainly be a challenge.  But living in fear is really no way to live at all.  In the following article, I’ll offer some tips to help you if you’re having constant fear of him cheating again.

Do You Really Believe That He’s Sorry, That’s He’s Rehabilitated And That Your Marriage Can Recover?:  These really are the questions that you must answer.  Because if you can’t very confidently answer yes to these questions, then there’s still work to do because you still have doubts. And the doubts really are the root of all fear.

Now, I realize it’s very difficult (if not impossible not to have doubts.)  But if they are constant and if you don’t know how to respond to them, then they will take over everything else.

And if you have done the work with your husband that necessary for recovery and have strengthened both yourself and your marriage, then frankly, the doubts do not have nearly as much power over you anymore.

Yes, they still come.  But they are much easier to brush off and to quiet because you have laid a new foundation.  If you’ve not yet there, this doesn’t mean that you can’t get there.  It just may mean that you still need some time, need some more assistance, or you need more from him.

If you do not have what you need, sometimes you have to take responsibility for getting it.  Yes, recovery lies mostly on your husband’s shoulders  because he is the one who cheated.  However, he can’t always read your mind or know what you need.  Men aren’t as intuitive as we might like them to be.

And, to be fair, many men tell me that they will ask their wives what they can do to help her and she will rebuke him or tell him that she’s fine when very obviously she is not.

So, it can really help to take a very honest look at where you are in the recovery process and make sure that you have everything you need.  If you have your doubts about his rehabilitation or remorse, then by all means address this.  If you still don’t believe your marriage will survive, then act rather than allowing the doubts to win.

How Confident Are YOU In YOURSELF?:  Please don’t think I’m putting all of the responsibility on you because I’m not.  But, in addition to your beliefs about your husband and your marriage, your belief in yourself can truly make or break your recovery and your confidence after his affair.

I often ask women in this situation what they are so very afraid of that they are living in fear.  They will often say something like “I am desperately afraid that he’ll cheat again.”  To which I’ll often reply “but why?”

And they will hesitate.  Of course they don’t want to go through this again.  No one does.  But at the end of the day, you have to know that you will be just fine no matter what.  You have to have confidence in yourself that, should he betray you again despite your best efforts, you are strong enough to handle it.

I know this may not seem like a good or fair deal – but neither is living in fear.  Because when you are filled with fear and doubt, you can’t really live completely fully.

When you’re so fearful or obsessed about the next affair or the next bout of cheating, you can’t be fully invested in your marriage and your husband will know the difference.  In essence, you could well be bringing about exactly what you don’t want to happen – the failure of your marriage – all because of your fears.

I know that this is difficult, but you don’t deserve to live in fear.  Please do whatever you need to do to make a decision about rebuilding your marriage and yourself.  Because regaining your confidence in your marriage and your own abilities really can help to quiet those doubts.

I did live in fear for a while after my husband’s affair.  But then I decided I was really just sentencing myself to more pain – which I certainly didn’t deserve – so I choose to let that go.  Today, my marriage is stronger than it ever was.  My husband proved himself worthy and I no longer live in that fear.  If it helps, you can read about how I got past the affair on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

My Husband Finally Confessed To An Affair. Does This Admission Mean He Was Dumped?

By: Katie Lersch: Many wives have to deal with a lot of frustration and waiting in order to get their husband to finally admit to an affair. Some wives even have indisputable proof – and still the husband will dig in his heels, look at his wife with the straightest of faces, and insist that he is not cheating when both people know that he is.

So when the husband FINALLY admits to the cheating or confesses, the wife is left to wonder what dramatic turn of events lead to this. She might explain a situation like: “for the past four months, I have known that my husband has been cheating on me. I did not know who he was cheating with. But I could tell that something was seriously wrong by the change in his behavior. Not only that, but a mutual friend actually saw him at a restaurant all over another woman. So I knew that he was having an affair. But no matter how hard I pressed him, he would not admit to it. He basically told me that I was paranoid and crazy. Even worse, he didn’t stop his weird behavior and he didn’t come home any more than he used to. Basically he just kept up the affair, but he continued to insult my intelligence by denying it. Well, last weekend, he came home and announced that there was something that he had to tell me. He finally admitted that he’d been ‘seeing someone else’ (He refused to actually use the word ‘affair.’) But he insisted that it was over. He also said that he wanted to save our marriage and that he wanted to move on. I asked him why he admitted to this all of a sudden. He said that he had decided that it was the right thing to do. I don’t buy this at all. By the dejected look on his face last weekend and by the way that he has been moping around, I would say that she dumped him. But when I brought this up, he denied it. He said that they mutually decided to end it. I very much doubt this. My husband gets angry when I harp on this. And he does not understand why it matters to me. It matters to me because I would honestly feel better if he dumped her. But if she dumped him, then he’s only coming to me with his tail between his legs because he had no other choice. I am the consolation prize. I am not his first choice. And this makes me angry and makes me not as enthusiastic about saving my marriage. How can I find this out? Should I make it my business to find out who the other woman is and ask her?”

I know that some will disagree with me, but I never advocate contacting the other woman. It simply almost never goes well and it almost always makes the wife feel worse instead of better. Plus the other woman is always going to follow her own agenda – not yours.

You can certainly ask your husband to provide you with more information. But you may have more success with going to counseling and allowing the counselor to extract the information. Right now, things are fresh and he isn’t as likely to be as forthcoming. But give it a little time. You DO deserve more answers than he has been giving you, but you also need to understand that his perceptions are going to be somewhat skewed. Just like the other woman has her own agenda, he has his. And it’s just human nature to see things through the lens that is going to hurt the least.

If she did dump him, he probably doesn’t want to dwell on this realization because it is painful and embarrassing. Also, it’s likely to be more painful because it is new. Men often see the affair much more clearly in time. In fact, give him a few weeks or months and he may realize that the affair ending – no matter who broke it off – was the best thing that ever happened to him. And at that time, he may be more forthcoming.

Also, it’s natural for him to hold the information about the affair close to the vest – especially at first – because he may understandably be afraid of how you are going to react. He may not want to hurt you and he may be trying to slant the information in a way that is going to make saving your marriage more likely. He may loosen his grip on this in time.

In terms of an immediate response, I would try something like: “I am going to need much more information than that in the future. I understand that things are very fresh and explosive right now. But you can’t just give me vague answers and expect for me to be satisfied with them, especially if you want to save our marriage. I deserve and want more information than this. I can’t make sound decisions if I don’t have all of the pertinent information.

He may give you more information after this conversation or he may delay for a while longer as he tries to ascertain both of your feelings and wishes. But the truth has a way of coming out in these situations. The only question is when. And, in my opinion and experience, you usually don’t need to invite in more trouble by allowing the other woman into your life.  There’s more about how I handled an affair in my own life on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

Dealing With Insecurities After Infidelity

By: Katie Lersch: I often hear from people who are struggling to restore their confidence or self esteem after their spouse has cheated or had an affair. Often, they will tell me that they are a completely different person after the affair.   And many intuitively know that in order for their marriage to survive, they are going to need to effectively deal with these insecurities.

I heard from a wife who said: “my husband cheated on me with a much younger, much prettier woman. When I found out, he said he would break things off and it appears that he did. We have been working on our marriage and I feel like we’re making a little bit of progress. But I do have problems with being very insecure. This wasn’t an issue for me before he cheated. Yes, I’m older, but so is he. I take relatively good care of myself and I feel like I’m relatively decent looking. But I can’t compare with someone who is much younger, prettier and skinnier than me. My husband says the affair wasn’t about her looks. He says it was about his own desire to be young and desirable again. But what does that mean for me? I can’t change my age. So I can’t make him feel young around me. And now every time we’re out and there’s a young, pretty girl, I feel insecure. I worry that my husband is staring at younger women and I find this a little disturbing and pathetic. And then and I look in the mirror and I see an aging, miserable woman. The sad thing is that before he cheated, I actually liked what I saw in the mirror. I would never want to be young again because I am so much wiser than I used to be. At the same time though, my husband has proven to me that he likes eye candy and he will pursue a younger woman. He tells me that he loves and is still attracted to me, but how am I supposed to believe this when he’s proven otherwise?” I will try to address these concerns in the following article.

His Infidelity Doesn’t Change Anything About You Or Your Physical Appearance: I know that you might think that this is easy for me to say, but it really isn’t. I was in the same situation that you are. And I too looked in the mirror and worried if I was pretty and sexy enough. But here’s something that I didn’t realize at the time and you may not either. Your attractiveness and sex appeal before and after the affair have not changed at all. Your looks aren’t going to change in a few months time. But your perception of those looks can change. Because your confidence has taken a hit. It’s so important to understand that nothing about you has changed except for your circumstances and your perceptions.  And, the good news is that you have control of both.

Ways To Erase Or Deal With Your Insecurities After Your Spouse Cheated Or Had An Affair: I’m not silly enough to think that this is a “mind over matter” issue or that if you just give yourself a big enough pep talk, this issue will be over for you. I know from experience that just relying on positive thinking doesn’t work. I also know from my own life that in order to believe that your husband loves and finds you attractive, then you yourself must absolutely believe this yourself. Because if you believe that you aren’t good enough, or pretty enough, or alluring enough, then it truly doesn’t matter what your husband says or how sincerely he says it. You are not going to believe him anyway.

That’s why whatever you try must include self work. If you had confidence before the affair and only find your confidence shaken because of the infidelity, your job will be a little more easy. As your marriage heals and time shows you that your husband is sticking around because he wants to, then you will begin to get a little of you swagger back. Because in truth, very few people are going to stay with someone to whom they are not attracted, especially for the long term. So time has a way of restoring your confidence because you know that he won’t and can’t fake it forever.

In the meantime, you can help this process by being very kind to yourself. If there are issues about your appearance that bother you, there is nothing wrong with addressing them. However, never use this as an excuse to beat yourself up. Surround yourself with kind, loving, and supportive people, including yourself.

And, if some of your insecurities existed long before your husband acted inappropriately, you will usually have a little more work to do. A very wise counselor once told me that an affair doesn’t have to do with a person’s love for their spouse. It usually is at least partly due to a lack of self esteem on the part of one or both of the spouses. When I first heard this, it confused me and made me a little angry. However, after I thought about it for a while, I realized that my own insecurities had always plagued my marriage. I had long acted out of fear and lack because I didn’t believe that I was a good enough mother, daughter, or wife. And this gravely affected me in many areas of my life.

I would never claim to be grateful or even OK with my husband’s affair, but I am able to look back and admit that some good came out of it. One example is that I was forced to look at my insecurity issues and then not only acknowledge them, but to fix them. It was to my benefit to form my own career and to address things about myself that I didn’t particularly like. Doing this helped with my healing but it also improved my marriage.

And once I made progress, when my husband told me I was lovable, or beautiful, or sexy, I believed him. Because it was the first time that I believed it about myself.  I know that feeling insecure after the infidelity is very painful, but vow to move through it.  Because if you use the insecurities as a catalyst to change what isn’t working, then you’ve flipped this and used to your advantage and your marriage, your happiness level, and your peace of mind will be much higher as the result.  If you’d like to read about how this worked in real life, you’re welcome to check out my blog http://surviving-the-affair.com

My Husband Is The One Who Cheated. But Ironically, He Doesn’t Trust Me

By: Katie Lersch:  I would say that most everyone understands the problems that couples have with trust after an affair has damaged their marriage.  But most people assume that the trust issues are going to stem entirely toward the spouse who cheated.  Very few people consider that the cheating spouse may suddenly have trust issues with the faithful spouse.  But this is sometimes what happens.

A faithful wife might explain: “It’s been about five months since I found out about the affair.  And it was a doozy.  He has been cheating with a friend of mine.  Now, she’s certainly not my best friend, but I would call her a close friend.  She’s certainly comfortable at my house and around my children.  Our children are friends.  Her husband is the sweetest, most even-tempered man. And I can not believe that she would do this to me or to him.  Of course, both my husband and her can not apologize enough and are begging their respective spouses not to leave them.  I don’t know what I am going to do about my marriage.  But I am angry and suspicious all of the time.  I think that my situation is worse than most.  Because this woman lives very close by.  So I always have that paranoid feeling that she is right around the corner.  If this isn’t bad enough, yesterday my husband was going to walk the dog and I made some sarcastic comment  about why he suddenly wanted to walk the dog.  He then tried to turn it around on me and said how does he know what I’ve been doing for all of these years when I walk the dog? Later that night, I found him on my facebook feed like he thought he was going to catch me doing something wrong.  I asked him what he was doing.  And he said that he was tired of me acting like he was the only person capable of wrongdoing.  He said that I seem to think mighty highly of the other woman’s husband. It’s crazy that I have to spell this out.  But I will: I have never ever cheated on my husband and I never would.  He can search all he wants, but he will never find evidence that he can’t trust me.  I don’t understand this.  He is the one who can’t be trusted.  Why is he acting like I can’t also?”

This attitude is very common.  And there are couple of reasons that you might be seeing it.  First, people who have affairs can come to believe that affairs are more common than they are.  It helps ease their conscience if they think that everyone is having an affair.  Sometimes, they may confide in a friend or coworker who admits to their own affair.  Sometimes, the other woman will mention mutual acquaintances who are also cheating.  This can lead him to look around him a little more closely (and at you) when he begins to think that the whole world is cheating.

Also, infidelity can bring out a lot of paranoia in a person.  The cheating spouse is typically constantly worried about being caught.  So he starts to become an expert watcher of behavior – including his own —- and yours.

Third, he often worries that you would be justified in retaliating against him.  Family members and friends may be telling him that you deserve much better or could even do better.  He may start to become worried that you will divorce him or start looking for someone better (like the sweet husband of the other woman.)  So he begins to make assumptions that you COULD cheat and might if given the right circumstances.  To prevent this, he starts to let you know that he is watching your behavior in the hopes that this will discourage you from retaliation cheating.

(Note: I know that this thinking is ridiculous.  I’m not saying that it’s logical.  I’m just saying that it’s often how a cheating spouse thinks when they are right in the middle of this.  In fact, many wives have told me that the main clue that their spouse was cheating was that he started accusing her (the wife) of cheating.

Finally, he may be trying to turn the tables on you in the hopes that doing so will bring your attention away from your suspicions of him.  He may know that he deserves your scrutiny and suspicion, but it wears on him just the same.  So to put a stop to it, he tries to turn the suspicion on you, even if he knows in his heart that you have done nothing wrong.  It’s noting more than sleight of hand and he’s trying it in desperation.

So how do you handle this?  In my own experience, you calmly stand your ground. Don’t get too excited or defensive because he may try to say that you protest too much. Simply try something like: “we both know that your inference isn’t true and is slightly ridiculous.  I’ve never cheated. Nor do I intend to.  If I wanted to be with someone else, you’d be the first to know.  This isn’t where we should be placing our attention.  It’s a nice try on your part, but it’s not even remotely valid. It’s frankly unfair and misplaced.  When you’re ready to discuss reality, I’m listening.”

You may have to redirect him a few times until he gets the hint.  In other words, he may not give up immediately.  But as you stand your ground repeatedly and return the attention back to where it belongs – on the legitimate affair – he will often see that he is wasting his time and will give up.  And often, it takes time for him to see that when he really stands up, takes responsibility, and facilitates healing – THAT is when he is going to get the response and progress that he wants – not by playing silly games or trying to turn the tables on the truly innocent party.

My husband tried this strategy for a very short time.  It was very short because I nipped it in the bud immediately.  There’s more on this on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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

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

Does The No Contact Rule Work After An Affair? If So, How?

By: Katie Lersch:  I sometimes get correspondence asking me about the “no contact rule” after a spouse cheats or has an affair.  People want to know if, and how, it works.  It’s important to note that often, people are talking about two different things when they discuss no contact.

No Contact As It Relates To The Person Who Cheated: First, they could be talking about no contact as it relates to the other person in the affair.  So from a husband who cheated, you might hear: “my wife is saying that I must have absolutely no contact with the other woman.  But we have become legitimate friends.  It does not seem realistic to think that I’m expected to just act as if she never existed.  What if she calls me?  Am I supposed to just slam the door in her face.”

In this case, no contact means exactly what it says. And yes, you are expected to carry it out to the letter.  Think about it this way.  If it were your wife who had done the cheating, would you want her to cut off any and all contact with the other man?  Of course you would.  Would you want her to try to sneak in some contact or to try to justify “keeping in touch” to herself while hiding the same from you?  Of course you wouldn’t.

When your spouse cheats on you and is asking you not to divorce him, then you want to know that he is worth it.  And in order for this to be so, they have to be trustworthy.  Still sneaking around to contact the other person (even when you are not technically still cheating) is not being trustworthy.  It is not putting your spouse first.  It is not having integrity.  And you need all three things to successfully be rehabilitated.

So yes, in this case, there is really no confusion or sleight of hand.  It means just what it says – that you make a clean break, that you communicate (very clearly and quickly) that it is over, and that you avoid interaction after that.  Your priority and your focus is on your marriage now.  You owe that to yourself, to your marriage, and to your spouse.  There is no room for anyone else.

No Contact As It Relates To The Faithful Spouse: The other way that people discuss no contact is when a couple (or a faithful spouse) decides that they are not going to communicate with their spouse for a while because of the high emotions associated with the affair. The thought process is that this break gives both people a chance to calm down and allows the cheating spouse to think while he can’t reach out to the faithful spouse.

Along those lines, someone might ask: “my mother told me that I should kick my cheating husband out of the house.  I reluctantly did that because quite honestly, it was painful to have him around.  My mother also indicated that I should not let him call or come by.  She said that I should let my silence speak for me and that this will make my husband even sorrier than he already is.  I understand the thinking behind this, but I feel that this tactic is a little cruel, especially since my husband is going to want access to his children.  My kids are not going to understand why they can’t see their father.  How far do you take no contact and does it work?”

How far you take it (and whether you want to participate in it) is up to you.  Some people have some success, but many people find that there are some problems with it.  For one thing, it’s common to wonder if he is continuing to cheat when you are not interacting with him. It’s also common for both people to assume the worst about the other – since they can’t possibly know what is going on without being in touch.

“No contact” seems to breed mistrust at a time when you might be trying to rebuild the trust. A couple can also drift further and further apart this way.  But I do see the point about allowing things to calm down, which is why I think a compromise might be in order.

Considering A Compromise: If you think that this is a viable option, why not limit the contact, but not negate it all together?  Perhaps he may call the kids at set times and see them once a week.  At that time, the two of you could touch base and talk if that feels comfortable to you.

If things go well, you could very slowly increase the contact if it feels right to do so.  But I think not having any contact when you share kids might be a bit drastic and quite difficult to carry out.

As you probably can tell, when “no contact” means that the affair is truly over, I am very clear on the fact that this should happen – with no excuses. If the affair is over, then it should be totally over with no interaction.  It’s not that hard to understand.  You must completely end it and then not communicate afterward.

As far as “no contact” between the spouses goes, I think that this one has shades of grey and is harder to carry out, although perhaps a less drastic version of it may work.

My husband and I did live apart for a short time after his affair.  But because of our children and because I wanted to know what he was up to, there was definitely limited and well-defined contact. You can read more on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

I Know My Husband Had Very Strong Feelings For The Other Woman But He Won’t Admit It. What Can I Do?

By: Katie Lersch:  It is every faithful spouse’s worst fear – that her husband is actually and truly in love with the other woman. Some husbands are quite honest about this and they proclaim their love very matter of factly.  Others try to deny it – either because they believe what they are saying or they are trying to not to hurt their wives.

Some wives suspect that their husband has strong feelings for the other woman regardless of what he claims.  Some wives do their own detective work and come to this conclusion and others have the other woman telling all about the relationship.  Many worry about what these feelings are going to mean for their marriage.  And this is even more difficult when your husband denies the feelings because you wonder how you are going to deal with this if he won’t even admit the truth.

A wife might have this issue: “the other woman told me about the affair.  If she had not come forward, I might sill not know about it.  My husband tried to deny it at first, but the other woman gave me letters in my husband’s handwriting that were obvious proof, so he finally had to admit it. The problem I have now is that my husband is trying to claim that he really didn’t care for the other woman and he’s perfectly fine with ending the relationship now.  I know that this isn’t true because I have those letters.  Plus, he is moping around here like he lost a limb.  He’s clearly miserable without her.  He says he was only saying what he thought she wanted to hear in the letters and he is moping around because he’s so ashamed of himself.  I asked the other woman about his claims and she says that he is in denial.  She says that he told her that he loved her all of the time. So I feel pretty sure that my husband was and is in love with this woman. But he firmly denies it and he gets mad when I mention it.  Both my husband and the other woman say that the relationship is over.  But I just can not move on until he admits the truth to me.”

Understand That The Husband And Other Woman Have Very Different Motivations: I understand wanting and needing the truth.  But please allow me to point out some things that you may be missing because you are so close to the situation.  The other woman may have her own agenda for painting a picture of love that may be only based on her own point of view.  I am not denying that your husband may have had feelings for her, but he may have seen his feelings very differently than she did.

What “other woman” doesn’t want to believe that the man she is cheating with truly loves her and thinks she is special?  This makes it easier to justify her cheating and of course, it strokes her ego.  So, naturally, she wants to believe that they were deeply in love.

And your husband has his reasons for wanting to downplay those feelings.  He knows that it is over.  And he’s said that he wants to be with you.  What good is it to dwell on the feelings which may or may not have been there?

I understand that you want and deserve the truth. But it is going to be much easier for him to tell you the truth once a little bit of time has passed and things calm down.

Where You Place Your Attention Is Very Important: Right now, it is possible you are devoting too much attention to his feelings for HER when you should be devoting his attention to his feelings for YOU.  It would be different if he wasn’t willing to give her up or the relationship was ongoing.  But even the other woman admits that it is over.  So now, assuming that you are open to saving your marriage, the attention should turn to the feelings between you and your husband.  There should no longer be any place in your lives for the other woman.

If you like, you can explore those feelings once healing has truly begun but right now, things are too fresh and your husband is invested in continuing with his version of things.  He may even completely believe he’s telling you the truth and so he isn’t likely to suddenly change his version of what he believes is the truth because you want him to.

Right now, what matters is what the two of you decide going forward and not what happened in the past.  At least for right now. Because if you consistently focus on the past, then you are more likely to stay there. But if you want to put this behind you and move toward the future, then that is where you must place your focus.

I understand needing to know the truth, but your husband may believe that he has already given you the truth as he knows it. And you may more success getting this through counseling.  Professionals are usually pretty skilled at cutting to the heart of the matter but they can also help you both to deal with it once it comes out.

For now though, I’d place my focus on the two of you and what you want.  As long as the relationship is over, dwelling on the past doesn’t propel you forward. I understand where your head is though.  I used to drive myself crazy wondering about the dynamic between my husband and the other woman.  But it did no good.  And I eventually taught myself to stop.   You can read more on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

How Do I Love My Husband Again After He Cheated And Had An Affair?

by: katie lersch: I often hear from wives who are having a hard time believing that they are ever going to feel the same way about their husband and their marriages again. Even though that many of these wives really do want to save their marriages, some doubt that this is going to be possible for them.  They just can’t foresee ever feeling love for their husband again after he cheated on them.

I recently heard from a wife who was experiencing this first hand.  She said, in part: “How do you love your husband again after he cheats or has an affair?  Because I can’t imagine that this is ever going to be possible for me.  And I can’t be married to a man that I don’t love.  But his infidelity changed my love for him.   Because when I look at him now, I see a completely different man.  He’s no longer the loyal, attentive, and rock solid man I married.  I now see him as dishonest, sneaky, and manipulative.  I don’t want to end my marriage, but I can’t see any way around it when I no longer feel love for this man.  And I feel that love and marriage go hand in hand.  Would it ever be possible for me to love him again?  Or am I just wasting my time?”

These weren’t questions that I could answer for this wife.  But I could tell her that many wives are able to love their husbands again after cheating, an affair, or infidelity.  This often isn’t an immediate or fast process, but it is quite possible.  I will discuss this more in the follow article.

Loving Your Husband Again After Cheating Or An Affair Isn’t Something That You Should Expect To Happen Immediately: I can’t help but notice that many of the wives who ask about loving their husband again after his infidelity are relatively new to this situation.  Of course, when you are newly struggling, you want to know how long you can expect for the struggles to last.  It’s natural to want to feel better and to want to get your life back to normal as soon as you possibly can.

But love is a very deep and complex emotion.  It isn’t something that can be forced or just decided upon.  It takes time for it to grow. And it takes time for it to be rebuilt once it has been tested.  In order to love someone, you must respect, admire, and genuinely like them.  You often will need to believe that they bring something to the table and add something to your life that you can not (and do not want) to get from any one else.  But, when your husband has disappointed you in this way, it can be difficult to feel this these things for him.

However, this doesn’t mean that you won’t ever feel love for him again.  Many wives do, in time.  But usually, a lot of things need to happen between today and the day that you begin to feel loving toward him again.  You will need time to observe him making good on his promises and conducting himself in a way that you can respect, respond to, and admire again.  As I’m sure you might imagine, this is a gradual process.  There may be days when you can’t imagine feeling love again for your husband because you are so angry at him.  And you may not believe that there will be a day when this anger lessens, even a little bit.  But time can be more healing than you can imagine.  And your husband can and sometimes will rise to the occasion in ways that you might not have previously imagined or hoped for.

The Burden Of Loving Your Husband Again Lies At Least Somewhat With Him: Many wives that I dialogue with give me the impression that they think that loving their husband again is an obstacle that they must overcome alone.  It’s almost as if they think they have to make a decision or declaration about loving their husband again no matter what circumstances or struggles are happening around them.  It’s just not that easy. You can’t turn your feelings on and off at will. And you can’t love someone who isn’t proving to deserving of your love.

It’s my opinion that while you have the responsibility to decide if you want to be open to the idea of loving him again, he has the responsibility to show himself to be worthy of your love.  He can’t expect you to feel very loving toward him if he’s not doing everything in his power to prove to you that it’s safe to do so.

I sometimes have men contact me on my infidelity blog and tell me that they are devastated because their wives have decided not to love them anymore.  I often respond by asking them what they have done to earn their wife’s love all over again.  In other words, what have they done to show themselves to be truth worthy, rehabilitated, and remorseful?  I have to tell you that it’s obvious that some men just don’t have a clue that your loving them is completely connected to their actions and behaviors after the affair.

And I do believe that this doesn’t mean that they’re stupid or that they just don’t care.  It just often means that men can be lost about what they should be doing after they cheated.  Many will look to their wife for clues as to how they should behave.  Unfortunately, often their wife is waiting for them to make the first move.  As a result, sometimes no one makes any move and both people wonder why nothing positive is happening to move the marriage and the feelings forward.

If your husband hasn’t done enough to inspire your loving feelings for him again, I would recommend speaking up and requesting what you need.  Because sometimes, men just don’t know what you expect or they don’t understand what would be their best course of action.  Many wives resist having to “spell out” what they need. They think that their husband should know what to do or should immediately begin making things right because he is sincere.  The truth is, many sincere men are just at a loss.  They aren’t sure if you want for them to back off and leave you or alone or if you want them to take action.

Frankly, sometimes asking for the behaviors that you need to see provides the best possible outcome.  Seeing your husband work tirelessly to regain your trust, to show his love, and to make things right can eventually bring about those loving feelings that we’ve been taking about.  So to answer the question posed, yes, it is possible for you to love your husband again after he cheated or had an affair.  But often, it takes time and it takes very measured efforts.  You often don’t get the best results if both of you just sort of sit back with a “wait and see” attitude while waiting on the other to make the first move.

I can tell you that today, years after my husband’s affair, I love him completely.  This is in direct contrast to how I felt about him in the weeks following the affair.  It took time but the love did eventually return and it remains today.  If it helps you can read about what worked for me and more of that story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com/

Is An Affair Ever Really Over?

Sometimes, I hear from wives (and occasionally husbands too) who tell me that, no matter what, they don’t feel as if the betrayal from the affair will ever be over.  Both the person who cheated and the person who was cheated on can come to think the affair is never really going to be over because it’s going to follow you around endlessly.

I often hear comments (from cheating husbands) like: “I’m starting to think that the affair is never over – not really.  I have nothing to do with the other woman anymore and I’ve moved on within my own heart and mind.  However, my wife can not seem to move on.  I don’t think she ever will.   In a sense, the affair is never going to be over for her no matter what I do.”

This is one side of the equation, but here’s another side.  Sometimes I hear from the wife on the other side of this and she’ll say something like: “He says the affair is completely over.  He swears he won’t have any contact with the other woman.  I am not sure if I believe him or not.  But what I do know is that even if he doesn’t see the other woman anymore, she has to be in his mind.  He’s scattered.  He’s distracted.  He’s just not the same as he was.  Sometimes I look at him and I think that he’s thinking about her at that very moment.  So, he can say whatever he wants about it being over, but I just don’t think I buy it.  How can I stop thinking this way?”

In this case, both husband and wife had valid points and both deeply believed what they were saying.   And both had view points that were completely understandable.  Even so, reading these comments saddened me.  And the reason is that both of them could potentially be very wrong in their assumptions.

In my view and experience, the affair is over if you both decide if it is and conduct your life in the same way.   I will discuss this more in the following article.

If Your Spouse Is Telling You That The Affair Is Really Over And You See No Indications To The Contrary, Then Continuing To Question This Is Counter Productive:  Please don’t get angry at me when I make this observation.  I am making this because I really want to help and I can tell you that I did the same thing and made the same assumptions.

I was constantly watching my husband like a hawk and examining each and every thing that he said.  Anytime I was puzzled or worried about what I was seeing, I would start to think that he really wasn’t over this and didn’t really want to be with me.

And you know what happened, this just kept the cycle going.  Because when he saw me have these doubts, then he started to think that no matter what he did, I was always going to hold onto this.  So in this way we were both assuming things that didn’t need to be true.  But because we believed them to be true we kept the negative cycle going for much longer than it had to be.

Sometimes, our worries, our fears, our “what ifs,” and our speculations keep us from really moving forward.  We sometimes worry about things that never need to happen and never would if we didn’t push our spouse away because we are full of doubt.

I can’t guarantee you that the affair is really over.  But I can tell you that if your husband is saying it is and he’s not giving you any reason to doubt him, your continuing to insist that it isn’t over is potentially going to do so much more harm than good.

Why I Believe That Affairs CAN Really Be Completely And Totally Over For Good:   I have seen countless marriages recover from affairs.  Mine included.  I have seen countless men never repeat the infidelity more than the first mistake.  That’s not to say there aren’t serial cheaters out there, because there are.  But there are also remorseful men who learn from their mistakes and who never repeat it.

So sometimes it really can be a mistake to assume that the affair is never really over when it truly is.  With that said, you can certainly place some safeguards in place.

Making Sure The Affair Is Really And Truly Over And Then Moving On:  It’s normal to not be sure if you can trust your spouse when he tells you the affair is over.  You’re going to doubt him because he has betrayed you about this before.  There’s nothing wrong with watching him closely.

There’s nothing wrong with telling him that you expect him to be accountable.  There’s nothing wrong with asking him to be very open honest and free with whatever information or reassurance that you ask for.  But once he’s given you this, you have to make a decision as to whether you really do want to move on or not.

Sometimes you have to make a decision to do your best to trust until he gives you another reason not to.  Because those doubts and fears really do impede your process if they are constant.  My stance on this has always been that I chose to trust him until he makes that a stupid decision.

And that did work for me.  Time has shown me that the affair is really over.  Had I assumed that it wasn’t and acted accordingly, I might have a much different outcome than I have right now.

I know that these worries are very difficult, but try to stay the course.  This was just one issue I had to deal with when my own husband had an affair. Like all of the other issues, we worked through it. 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 pretty high. I no longer worry my husband will cheat again. You can read a very personal story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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