After My Husband’s Affair, He Asked Me If I Could Ever Love Him Like I Used To. What Am I Supposed To Say To This?

By: Katie Lersch: People often ask me if they will ever be able to truly love their spouse again after an affair has rocked their marriage. It is my belief that with a good healing system and a willingness to have an open mind, the love can return to many marriages. This isn’t a good enough answer to many though. Many want to know if they will love their spouses as much or in the same way that they used to.

A wife might express it this way: “when my husband told me about his affair, he said that he assumed that I was going to leave him because he assumed that our marriage could never recover. I told him that many marriages are able to make it and that I thought it was a possibility that our marriage could make it too if we were willing to work hard. My husband’s answer to this was that he doesn’t think that I will ever be able to love him like I used to, before the affair. I don’t know how to answer this question because I fear that he might be right. But I don’t want to discourage and punish him by telling him this. I am willing to stay in my marriage with the knowledge that I won’t love him in the exact same way but I might love him a new way and I am committed enough because of my kids to see it through anyway. But I’m not sure how encouraging it would be to him to hear me say this. How should I respond to him asking him me if I can ever love him in the same way again?”

I’ll try to answer that question in depth in just one second, but before I do, I have to tell you that I am not sure that you can just assume how you are going to feel in the future. Even after our marriage was fully tested by infidelity I can tell you that years later, my love for my husband remains and it is just as strong. Does that mean I don’t ever think about the affair or that the hurt just magically went away? Certainly not. You can’t erase the past. But quite honestly, over the life of any marriage, there are going to be countless things that test your marriage. There might be money issues or job losses. You might have different personalities or one of you might become ill. You may struggle with these things. Some of them may test your marriage or change it for the worse. But none of these things need to erase your love for your spouse in the long term, especially if you pull together out of the commitment that you have for one another based on that same love.

Do you look at your spouse differently after an affair? Yes, you certainly can. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t still love him or love him again eventually and with time and with healing.

This is only a suggestion, but in your situation I might try something like: “it’s impossible for me to know how I might feel in the future and before we have even attempted to work on our marriage. But I would suspect that if we work really hard and if we restore the trust, heal, and restore the intimacy, I might love you in the same way or even more. I’ve heard of couples having an even stronger marriage after they worked to get through the affair. I can’t rule that out. But I would think that we would both have to work very hard in order to make this happen. I don’t think that we can expect for it to just magically happen without our working for it and without us doing to the work to heal. I’m certainly willing to work toward that if you are. And I am open to any outcomes. But it’s impossible for me to tell you how I might feel. With this said, I’d expect good feelings to be the product of good healing. And if that’s so, I can’t imagine not loving you, assuming we are successful in our healing. But it is going to require effort from you.”

Notice that you haven’t made any specific promise but you’ve set the groundwork that good efforts on his part might result in good feelings on yours. This isn’t making false promises in my opinion. Because I know first hand that when you are both willing to put in the time and the work, then there is no reason that you won’t have a good result in the end.

As I said, I love my husband today very much.  I can’t tell you that it’s as if the affair never happened.  You can’t erase it.  But the healing process can actually strengthen your marriage in time.  And that strengthening can bring about very strong loving feelings. You’re welcome to read more on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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