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/
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