Am I Just Supposed To Ignore The Fact That I’m So Afraid That My Husband Will Cheat Again?

By: Katie Lersch: Sometimes, you really wish that you could just quiet all of the voices in your head after your husband’s affair. You wish that you could shut up the voice that ask you how you could have missed the signs. You wish that you didn’t hear the voice that asks you how you could be caught so blindsided. But what you’d really like to go silent is the voice that is taunting you with the idea that one day, just about the time when you gain confidence in your husband and your marriage again, that’s about the time when he’s going to cheat again and you’re going to have to repeat this process. You don’t want to hear these voices, but you don’t know if it’s prudent to ignore them, either. After all, aren’t you supposed to listen to your instincts? Don’t your instincts serve you?

Someone might describe it this way: “my children don’t know why I’ve asked their dad to leave our home. But they are devastated that, at least for a little while, their dad is sleeping elsewhere. I’ve tried to play it off like he’s just visiting his family, but my children are not that naive. They know that something is up and this upsets them. They know that their parents are struggling and they want their family back. In the meantime, my husband calls every night to say goodnight to the children. After he talks to them, he asks to speak with me. During every conversation, he asks me to give him another chance. He says that he will never make so big a mistake again. He says that he loves me and will go to counseling or do whatever I want him to do. Part of me is tempted by this. But another part of me is so appalled by the fact that my husband was carrying on this very long-term and apparently serious affair and I had NO inclination whatsoever. I never had one suspicion. I thought that we had a great marriage. So I don’t trust myself to see the signs if he were to cheat again. And I never want to go through this again. I don’t necessarily want to end my marriage. But I also don’t want to take the risk that I will be cheated on again. And am I just supposed to ignore the voice that is telling me that he’s going to cheat again? He’s always been a flirt. For all I know, this isn’t the first time that he has cheated on me. I’d like to think that we can recover, but I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to quiet the little voices in my head. Am I just supposed to ignore these voices? I worry that ignoring them is what got me into this mess in the first place.”

You Don’t Always Need To Worry About A Long Term Decision In The Short Term: I had the same worries, and I definitely don’t think that you need to ignore the voices. But I can tell you that the voice may tell you that your husband could be cheating again when he’s definitely not. Because it’s normal to have some paranoia and to expect the worst for a while. That said, I don’t think that you need to make a firm decision right away (or during any set period of time) anyway. I basically told my husband that I was going to wait and see how I felt from one day to the next. I’m sure he didn’t love this slow pace, but his actions made it necessary. And that is just the way that it needed to be. There is nothing wrong with telling your husband that you will take him up on his offer to go to counseling and then you will see how you feel after you’ve given the counseling time to work. You don’t have to give him an answer right now. My husband and I definitely interacted for the sake of our children, but he knew that I was making no guarantees for the long term – especially in the beginning.

Know That You Can Always Reevaluate At Any Time: As time went on and I came to see that my husband was doing exactly what he promised and was acting in a completely trustworthy manner, then it became more obvious that we were both committed to a long term future. Did I still have doubts that he would one day cheat again? Maybe some of the time, but not nearly as much as I did in the beginning. I figured that a man would not go through all of the effort and time that my husband had put forth if he only intended to sabotage his marriage once again. And every time I did have those paranoid thoughts, I would tell myself that since my husband had proven to be trustworthy on each and every promise that he had made after the affair, I was going to trust him. The second that I caught him telling even a half truth, then I would reevaluate. Thankfully, this never happened. He has always made good on his claims moving forward. So I have always made the conscious decision to trust him. If he gave me a reason not to, then I would reevaluate. If there was a nagging voice that just kept making itself heard, then I would listen and I would discuss it with my husband. But I am also aware that doubts are very common in the beginning. They only begin to quiet once you’ve begun to heal. And once you’ve basically fully healed, they become much more rare.

I hope you get the idea.  You’re going to have those doubts in the beginning.  They are unavoidable.  In time, they begin to quiet as you make progress.  And you might get to a point where you want to make the decision to trust. But you never have to turn a blind eye to or not listen to your own instincts.  You can always reevaluate as needed. I’ve never regretted saving my marriage after the affair, but I would never ignore any serious doubts either.  There’s more  to read on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com.

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