I Question My Husband’s Morals After His Affair

By: Katie Lersch: In terms of your marriage, there are few things that your spouse can do to make you question his morals like having an affair. I guess you might also question his morals if he stole from you or told you a very devious lie. But I can’t think of anything as bad as infidelity in terms of integrity. This can make you ask yourself if you want to be married to someone who seems to have no or low morals.

I might hear a comment like: “I will admit that I have impossibly high standards. I have them for everyone who I come in contact with. But I am hardest on the ones that I love – especially my husband and myself. I was very picky when it came time for me to get married. I broke off relationships with decent men if they weren’t honest in every single situation. High morals are something that is very important to me. And I never would have married my husband if I had known that some point in the future he would cheat on me with a woman who is much younger. To my husband’s credit, he did tell me about the affair when he didn’t have to. He is begging for my forgiveness. He has agreed to go to counseling and he even took the initiative to research different specialists in our town. He seems very motivated to try to make things right between us again. The problem is that I wonder if he is not just wasting his time. Because quite honestly, I find myself wondering if I can ever continue to be with a man of questionable morals. His having an affair shows a lack of integrity. I know that this is going to sound awful and judgmental, but I have always seen people who cheat on their spouse as low-quality individuals. And frankly, now I am putting my own husband is this category. Is there anyway to overcome this?”

I don’t think that you should be so hard on yourself. I don’t know many wives in this situation who don’t have some variation on these same thoughts. I most certainly thought all of these things myself. In fact, I lived apart from my husband while I was having these thoughts because I couldn’t ever envision a future with a man who had let me down so hugely.

So how did I move past these concerns? Well, I listened to a helpful counselor who suggested that I take the overall behavior of my husband over the course of our marriage into account. She told me that it was short-sighted to determine the future of my marriage because of just one action in many, many years. My first reaction to this was to think: “yes, well it was a very big mistake. But, we aren’t talking about a tiny mistake like forgetting our anniversary. We are talking about betraying me and lying in the worst way possible.”

But, as time passed, I realized that what the counselor said may have some validity. I hadn’t been perfect over the course of our marriage, although I had never cheated. I had to admit that my husband was doing every single thing that I had asked. And throughout the entirety of our marriage, my husband had shown himself as someone who had quite high morals. Of course, his cheating nearly negated all of this.

And I really think that this is what it all comes down to – if you make a decision that you are going to let one mistake define your husband’s morals or if you are going to look at his moral character over the life of your marriage. That is a decision that no one can make for you. And I believe that whatever you decide is absolutely valid. I would never stand in judgement of some other wife’s decision regarding her husband’s affair. Because only she knows what she can and can not live with or accept.

But I can say that things can evolve and change during the healing process. I can only speak for myself. But I found that things I thought that I would never even consider forgiving have been forgiven. And the reason for this was that as time went by and my anger faded, I was able to take the emotion and anger out of my decision-making a little more. With the passage of time, I was able to look at our marriage over the entire course of it and not just right after the affair.

Not every one can or wants to do this. But in my case, this is what made the difference for me. And it is why I can say that while my husband’s decision to have an affair showed low morals for that particular horrible decision, I do not consider my husband to be a person who is lacking in morals over all. This might seem contradictory. But I can’t deny that my husband is a good man who is active in his community and who will always help others every time he is given the opportunity. Over the many years that we have been together, he is not someone who lies or cheats as a habit. Most of the time, he will be brutally honest – even to his own detriment.

As you can see, I’ve been able to separate the man from his act. But not every one wants to do this. Everyone has their own stance on this and I would never judge anyone for their stance.  You’re welcome to read more on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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