I Am Worried That My Spouse Will Never See Me The Same Way Again Since I Cheated

By: Katie Lersch: I often hear from people who ask if their spouse is ever going to look at them the same way after they had an affair. Often, the worry is that the trust will never return or that their spouse will always see them as someone who is lacking in integrity and who isn’t the person that was first assumed.

Common comments are things like: “no one is more angry at me than myself about my cheating. I can not believe that I would do something so stupid. I can not believe that I would risk hurting my wife in this way. Why in the world would someone who has a good wife and a good marriage risk all of that for momentary pleasure that was marred by guilt anyway? Believe me, I constantly obsess over what a huge mistake I made and I couldn’t be more remorseful. My wife hasn’t left me yet, thank goodness. I can tell that she is really trying to hang in there. But I can also tell that she no longer loves me in the way that she used to. She looks at me with suspicion and disappointment. I never see that look of total adoration and love on her face that she used to give me almost every day. I wonder if I will ever see that look again. One of my best friends also cheated on his wife and ultimately, it cost him his marriage. He said that his wife just could never look at him the same way again. I’m so worried that this is going to happen to me also. I want for my wife to see me as good person again who is worthy of her admiration. Is this even possible? Or am I wasting my time?” I will try to answer these questions to the best of my ability below.

Understand What Will Give You The Best Chance Of Gaining What You’ve Lost: Before I go any further, I’d like to help you to look at this from the perspective of your spouse. Hopefully, I can help you with this because I was a faithful spouse in this type of scenario. Here is what you need to understand. Your spouse may well miss her old perceptions too. It would not be uncommon for her to wish that she could look at you in the same way. She may well wish that she could turn back time and deny today’s reality. But the problem is that she just can’t. Doing so would require that she could completely deny reality and that is just impossible. You can’t ask your brain and your heart to deny what it already knows. And self preservation is a very strong force. It’s just human nature to want to protect yourself from being hurt again. As the faithful spouse, you know that if you look at your spouse in that previous and open way, then you risk getting hurt again.

So how do you, as the remorseful and cheating spouse make this right again? Well, you have to think about it this way. Your spouse looked at as they did before the cheating because they saw you as an admirable person who was worthy of those emotions. The way they look at you now has changed because your actions have changed. This is completely normal and it doesn’t mean that your spouse loves you any less. However, it does mean that their perceptions of you have lessened because of your actions.

In Order To Change The Perceptions, You Must Change The Way They Look At Your Actions: In order for your spouse to look at you in the same way, they have to have similar perceptions of you. People often wonder if this is even going to be possible. I believe that it is possible, but I also know that it just takes time. I will admit that I saw my own husband as flawed after his affair. I began to wonder if I even knew him as well as I had assumed. I began to question my own perceptions and to evaluate what I had missed in his character. In short, I no longer trusted myself to determine what was real. And yes, I am sure that I no longer looked at my husband in the same loving way as I had before. He had hurt me once and I was determined that this wasn’t going to happen again. So I began to look at him in a suspicious way, searching for more flaws. This went on for some time. But my husband hung in there. He did exactly what he claimed that he would – he proved himself to be a steady husband and a supportive spouse. He remained loyal and faithful. My perceptions did not change overnight. But they did change.

Today, I see him as someone who made a mistake but who has more than made up for it. I like to think that today, I look at him with loving anticipation once again. Have I forgotten about his affair? No, and I never will. That would be impossible. I don’t have amnesia and I can’t pretend that I do. Of course, I remember what is in our marital past. But, what I place my focus on today is our current lives, and our current marriage. And these things have been healed and even improved upon.

So to answer the question posed, I do believe that it is possible for your spouse to one day look at you in a similar way. But I have to be honest and tell you that it is going to take time. And it is going to take you conducting yourself with integrity, loyalty, and genuine concern for your spouse and for your marriage.

As I alluded to, my view of my husband did change after the affair.  I did see him negatively for a while and I believe that this is normal.  But the way that I view him has changed, mostly because of his actions and his behaviors moving forward.  He has proven himself to be trustworthy and faithful and so I now feel safe to look at him favorably again.  If it helps, you can read more on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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