I Can’t Get Over The Fact That He Chose The Other Woman, Even If He’s Now Saying He Wants Our Marriage Back

By: Katie Lersch: In some marriages that have been marred by an affair, there comes a time when the husband has to chose between the other woman and the wife. The wife is usually hoping that he will do the right thing and chose her. This doesn’t always happen though. It’s often assumed that once the husband choses the other woman, the marriage is over. But what happens when the husband realizes that he has made a mistake and wants his marriage back? It can be an incredibly difficult situation with many variables to consider.

To demonstrate, a confused wife might say: “I was devastated when my husband announced that he could not give the other woman up. He said that he had developed real and lasting feelings for her and that they were going to try to make their relationship last. So he loaded up his car, said goodbye to the kids while everyone was sobbing, and went and moved in with her. I assumed that this would be the end of my marriage and I tried to pick up the pieces as best as I could. The last couple of months have been a nightmare for my children and myself. But what choice did I have? I have just been taking things day by day. Well, nearly three months after he left us, my husband came by the house and after we put the kids to bed, he told me that he made a grave mistake. He says that being with the other woman full time made him realize that she is not who he thought that she was. He says their relationship is completely over and that he now wants his marriage back. Well, what about what I want? I would tell him to go jump in a lake and that it’s too late for all of this. But I see how miserable my children have been without their dad. My parents were divorced and this affected me deeply. I don’t want to do this to my children. But I am not sure how our marriage can ever work because I know that when the chips were down, he chose someone else. I am not sure that I can ever get over this. All I keep thinking of is that I wasn’t his first choice. So part of me thinks that saving our marriage is just going to a waste of time for both of us and it’s going to get my kids’ hopes up needlessly. I just don’t know what to do.”

I absolutely understand your confusion, pain, and frustration. I believe that most people would feel exactly the same way. This is a difficult situation. And my inclination in situations like this is to not make any snap or quick decisions. You don’t have to commit to saving your marriage right now. You don’t even have to make any major decisions right now. You can tell your husband that you are willing to spend more time together in the near future for the sake of your children, but you can’t make any promises beyond that.

Then, you can watch his behaviors very closely and gage your own feelings as you move through the process. I would suggest not forcing anything and not rushing it. This may take a while to iron itself out. You may not know how you feel or what you want immediately. But you get to ultimately decide what you want to happen. Just because he has had a change of heart, this does not dictate your actions. You have a say in your own life.

I know that many people will resist counseling, but in a situation as difficult as this one, I think that it may be helpful and I would suggest individual counseling first before you even decide if you want joint counseling, but your therapist would certainly know best as to what is advised.

Finally, I don’t mean to discourage you. Couples can and do reconcile all the time in this scenario. It is absolutely possible. At the same time, I don’t feel that you should feel pressured or rushed. You likely need a good deal of time to process this and to begin healing before you can even think about what you want to do about your marriage. Sure, he may have had a change of heart. But you get to decide what (if anything) this means for you. And if you do decide that you ultimately want to save your marriage, then you get to do it on your own terms.  There’s nothing wrong with spending time together for the sake of the kids and then seeing where that leads you.  But the choice really is yours.

I did ultimately save my marriage after my husband’s affair, but I took my sweet time before I decided that I was open to it.  I figured if my husband really cared as much as he claimed, he would wait.  And he did.  If it helps, you’re welcome to read more on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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