I Could Almost Get Over Or Forgive The Affair. It’s The Lying I Can’t Tolerate

By: Katie Lersch: It’s very common for a person to chose one thing about their spouse’s affair that drives them particularly crazy or is the deal breaker above all others. For some, it is the fact that your spouse had sex with someone else. For others, it is the lack of character that this actshows. For many, it is the lies.

A wife might say: “If I am being honest, I can almost understand why my husband had an affair. I did not make time for him over this past year because I have been caring for my sibling. No one could help this situation. It was my obligation to do this and there was no one else. However, I probably could have handled this better and managed my time in a way that still left energy for my marriage. This is not to say that my husband was right to cheat on me. If I had been in his shoes, I may have been frustrated, but I would not have cheated. Still, I can almost see his thought process. But what I can not see, and will never understand and forgive, is the lying. My husband made up an entire phantom hobby just so he could get out of the house to see the other woman. I encouraged this because I thought that it was helping to alleviate the stress around our house. It makes me sick to think that I was actually feeling relief that he seemed to be coping better. When all along he was deceiving me. He set up a very elaborate ruse and that is really what bothers me – that he could lie so easily. I work at a job where I listen to liars all day and I have very little tolerance for this. My husband knows it. To me, people who lie are just losers. And here my husband is, the most efficient and skilled liar of them all. I am not sure that I can forgive these lies. Of course, now that my husband is caught, he is begging me to try to forgive him. I could almost forgive the affair, but not the lies. And yet, I feel compelled to try because of our kids. But I have my doubts that I will be successful. How do you ever forgive or deal with the lies?”

I am not sure that you have to resign yourself to the fact that you will have to forgive – especially so soon. Some people who are still married and who managed to save and even improve their marriages after an affair will tell you quite frankly that they have not forgiven their spouse completely. And although they will never forget it, they have chosen to move on.

The Real Problem With All Of The Lying: The big problem with the lie aspect of an affair is that it makes you a lie detective afterward – you are always on the look out for the next lie – even when your spouse is telling you the complete truth. This can create as many severe problems after the affair because no one can really relax. And every one is always guarded.  You keep waiting for the day when your life can go back to normal, but it really can’t feel normal when you are on your lie detection duty every day.

In this situation, I think the best course to take is to agree to complete transparency and honesty from today forward.  Your spouse needs to understand that complete honesty is required for you to even think of saving your marriage. Of course, your believing in this is going to take time. But if you can get your spouse to agree that you will both always tell each other the complete truth – no matter what – then you can begin to eventually have confidence that there will be no more lies.

Knowing The Price Of Truth: This takes time and there is a price to pay. Sometimes, the truth is painful. You have to accept that if you want to go with the “complete and full disclosure” policy, you can no longer ask your spouse a question to which you aren’t sure if you really want to know the answer. But some consider even small lies so heinous, they figure that this is a small price to pay.

Trying To Put The Lies In Context: Other than the “complete honesty strategy,” I can only suggest that you look at the lies as part of the affair. He may have seen lying as a way to spare you pain in a time in your life where you were under so much stress trying to deal with your sibling. This most certainly doesn’t make it right. But if you can almost understand the cheating, then maybe you can see the lying as going hand and hand with the cheating.  And then maybe it becomes a little more understandable.

Many people become quite different when carrying out cheating. They aren’t themselves. They compromise who they are because their struggles lead them to cheating in the first place. By no means is this an excuse, but it is true that honorable people do sometimes make the grave mistake of cheating for various reasons.

I think it helps to realize that we all make mistakes and then to make it clear that this is a mistake that you will not tolerate more than one time. Obviously, if you give your husband a chance and he continues to lie, then that is a separate issue. I’m not telling you that you should give him a pass. I’m just saying that if you decide that you’d like to give your marriage one more chance, you have to figure out a way of thinking of moving forward that allows you to reconcile the lies with your wish to maintain your marriage.

I admit that I was a lie detective for a while.  I think that, to an extent, this is unavoidable because you are trying to avoid getting hurt.  But being a lie detective is painful also because it keeps you stuck.  You’re welcome to read about my own journey on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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