How Am I Supposed To Act Romantic To My Husband After His Affair?

By: Katie Lersch:  There’s no question that after an affair, you can become very aware of what is happening to your marriage.  You pay attention like you haven’t in years.  Because many of us are trying to evaluate if our marriage can be saved, we observe, we analyze, we watch ourselves, and at times, we even try to act in a certain way – with not so great results.

Many people are aware that in order to save your marriage after an affair, you will eventually have to get back the trust, the love, the sense of commitment, and the romance.  People tend to try to get all of these back at once, without breaking it down into smaller steps or doing it in a logical and gradual manner.  Because of this, they can be frustrated and confused when things don’t go as planned.  I’m no exception to this.  I tried the same strategy until I realized that I needed to break it down into smaller chunks.

One example is that of romance.  People will often try to get this marital attribute back before they have addressed other things.  Therefore, many find their attempts at romance to feel very unnatural and awkward.  Of course, they then wonder how they are supposed to get it back when they have a marriage that is just a mess right now.

Someone might ask: “how am I supposed to be romantic toward my husband when I am still angry at him and unsure about the affair? One of the very good things about my marriage pre-affair was that my husband and I were very playful and loving toward one another.  Honestly, many of our friends were jealous.  We always left little notes for one another, bought little gifts, and planned things for our marriage that we could both look forward to.  My husband used to put little ads in the paper for me to find.  I loved this about my marriage.  But now when I sit down to think about the romantic things that I could and should be doing for my husband in order to get that romance back, I am kind of stumped.  Because if I left a loving note in his lunch, I would almost have to lie with the wording.  I used to write things like: ‘I will never love anyone more than I love you.’  However, if I wrote those words today, I might get a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.  Because I honestly do not know if this is true.   I don’t know what is going to happen with my marriage.  Frankly, my marriage might not make it.  I might one day remarry and love another man. I don’t want for this to happen. I hope that it doesn’t happen.  But right now, I don’t want to take anything for granted.  Also, I used to spontaneously hug and kiss my husband several times per day, but I am not sure that I want to do that right now.   I am hurt.  And if I tried to force these things, I would just be faking it.  Because of all of these issues, how am I supposed to act romantic toward my husband after he cheated on me?”

Give Yourself A Break And Understand Why You Feel So Conflicted: I think that you are asking too much of yourself.  Yes, you should definitely hope that the romance comes back – at least one day.  I understand your wanting it to come back.  Every one wants a marriage like this.  You deserve to have it back, if that is what you want.  But in order for you to express spontaneous, loving feelings, you must be able to feel them without conflict.  You must be able to feel them genuinely.  You can’t do this until the trust and confidence in your marriage is restored. And this is just going to take time.

Honestly, getting the romantic love back before the trust, the work, and the commitment is like putting the cart before the horse.  I am not saying that you can’t or shouldn’t show your husband affection.  You should if this is what you want to do, but you can’t expect not to feel conflict and doubt when you do it.  This is just natural.

Dealing With The Here And The Now: As fas as the notes go, I think you can still leave them if you want to.  You may have to tweak the wording a bit so that it makes sense and that it is genuine.  Rather than saying: “I will never love anyone as much as you,” you could try: “I never want to love anyone as much as you.”  Or “I am committed to trying to work things out because I miss what we had.”

When I was trying to recover from my husband’s affair, I made a commitment to myself to never lie or claim to feel something that I did not.  Recovery was hard enough without having to pretend.  You can always stay genuine and true to yourself while attempting to put a positive spin on things at the same time.

As your marriage begins to heal, you may find that those romantic gestures feel more natural and genuine, since the trust and sense of hope is returning.  But you don’t have to rush it.  Needing to make changes so that you can be genuine is completely understandable.

As you become more comfortable, you start to realize that this process of rebuilding does not have to be all drudgery and pain.  As you get your footing back under you, then you are free and comfortable to have fun with your spouse again.  To be honest, I remember this time period very fondly.  It was fun and it was like rediscovering one another or falling in love again.  Don’t skip this step.  It is your reward for all of that hard work.  And it is wonderful.

I will admit that it took a while for the romance to return in my marriage.  I did not want to fake anything or to lie. And I wanted to build a genuine foundation first.  Yes, this took patience.  But when the romance genuinely returned, we both knew that we could believe in it because it was real.  To me, this is much better than pretending or faking it.  And I have never regretted my approach.  Because our marriage has more than held due to the foundation that was built.  There’s more at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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