How Do I Reassure My Spouse That I Still Love Him After He Cheated On Me?

By: Katie Lersch: As strange as it may sound, I sometimes hear from faithful spouses who feel that they need to reassure the cheating spouse. Often, the spouse who was unfaithful will worry that the marriage can never recover because the infidelity stripped the marriage of the love that the couple previously shared. This isn’t always the case. Even though the faithful spouse can be hurt and furious, neither means that they can just turn off the love that has been there for years just because of a recent development.

Common comments are things like: “I will fully admit that I don’t much like my husband after I caught him cheating. I no longer see him as a person of integrity. He’s no longer someone who I would seek out as a friend. I don’t respect him in the same way that I used to. And I have fully admitted all of these things to him. But he’s taking things a bit too far and assuming that I don’t love him anymore. To be honest, my life would probably be easier if I didn’t love him anymore. But I do. And I can’t help it. But when I tell my husband how I feel, he doesn’t believe me. He asks me how it is possible for me to still love him after what he has done. He says it’s impossible for me to truly love him. He feels that I am scared of being alone so I have convinced myself that I love him. But he feels that there is a difference between loving him and needing him. I don’t buy any of this. I can’t just turn off my feelings. My still loving him doesn’t necessarily mean that I am going to stay married to him. I don’t know if I am or not. But my feelings for him have not disappeared. How can I convince him of this? Because at this point, he’s saying that there’s no sense in staying when his actions mean that are are going to end up divorced anyway.” I’ll address these concerns below.

You Can Lay Out The Facts To Reassure Him But You Don’t Want To Put Yourself In A Position Where You’re Trying To Win Him Over: I have to caution you that it’s very common for a cheating spouse to posture in this situation. What I mean by this is that sometimes, they figure it would be nice if they can get you to try various ways to convince him that you still love him very much. So all of a sudden, the focus is off his own mistakes and actions and on what you can do in order to show him that you still love him. As a result, this takes the heat off of him and puts him in a position when he’s on the receiving end of affection that should be coming your way.

That’s why my opinion is that while I think that it can be perfectly OK to tell him that you currently do still love him and are still evaluating your wishes, you don’t want to put yourself in a position of weakness instead of strength. Because you have done absolutely nothing wrong.

A Suggested Script: This situation can be a bit tricky because you want to give reassurances but you do not want to lay any ground work to give him advantages or concessions that he absolutely doesn’t deserve, at least not yet before he’s even attempted to make this right again.

So a suggested script might be something like: “I can tell you very honestly that I still love you because I can’t simply turn my feelings off and on. I certainly do loathe what you did but this didn’t erase my love for you.  I am unsure about what the future holds for our marriage. But that doesn’t mean that the feelings aren’t still there. Frankly, the fact that I am still here after the huge blow that you have dealt our marriage should tell you something about my feelings for you. And, we have a lot more pressing things to worry about than the way that we feel. In order to heal our marriage, we are going to need love, healing, and rehabilitation. Having one without the other two isn’t going to work anyway. So yes, I can honestly say that I love you but I also don’t feel as if I am the one who needs to do the convincing. We have a lot of work to do in the days and weeks ahead. If our marriage is as important to you as you say then you will place your focus on healing and on moving forward rather than how I see you or how I feel about you. My feelings about you are going to improve if you show me that you are willing to make this right again. I will respect that much more than your fretting about my feelings. My feelings are all over the place right now and aren’t always favorable because of your actions. So yes, I still love you. But love isn’t all we need right now.”

I can’t promise that these words are going to ease his every fear and free him up to focus on rehabilitation, but it should at least let him know that you aren’t interested in constantly reassuring him. Instead, you are interested on seeing if you can heal and move forward. I was always clear with my husband that he was the one who had to convincing. I wasn’t interested in convincing him of anything. I told him the truth and it was his decision as to whether or not he wanted to accept this truth. If it helps, you can read more read the whole story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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