I Really Think That The Affair Is Over.  Am I Naive?

If you are a faithful spouse who is still at least somewhat open to trying save your marriage, one of your biggest concerns will often be whether or not the affair is actually over.  Sometimes, the cheating spouse will hesitate or delay in breaking it off.  Or, he will break it off immediately, but the faithful spouse will notice that he seems miserable or resentful.  Therefore, she wonders if he is unhappy without the affair relationship.  So, one big worry is that either the affair never ended at all or it is going to pick back up at some time during the future.

Someone might say, “my husband told me that the affair is over and I want to believe him.  His behavior is different.  He is not as distant toward me.  He comes right home after work.  He leaves his phone on the charger the whole time that he is home.  But some of my friends say that I am extremely naive and that I’m a fool if I think that the affair is truly over.  In some emails that I found between my husband and the other woman, it appears that they were making future plans to be together permanently.  My friends say that there is no way that my husband would just walk away from that and just end it so abruptly.  They say that I am fooling myself.  Are they right?”

No one can really answer that question but your husband.  Statistics indicate that once a person has cheated once, they are more likely to cheat again.  I’ve read a statistic which indicates that 45% of cheating spouses will cheat again.  But this doesn’t really tell the whole story.  Because you can’t know how many of the repeat cheaters actually took responsibility for their actions, sought counseling, and became so rehabilitated that the idea of cheating again (and jeopardizing their integrity) turned their stomach.  The numbers also don’t indicate the state of the marriages where the repeat cheating happened.

I am aware of many couples (and I include myself in this) who have had one instance of infidelity and never any more.  On the other hand, I do know some marriages that have dealt with repeat cheating.  The difference, I think, is that the one-time infidelity marriages took the time (and sometimes the considerable and long-term effort) to really heal the marriage.  Because the cheating spouse had to put in all of this time and effort, he truly understands the cost of his decisions, so he is going to be much less likely to want to repeat this process.  And he is also well aware that his spouse might not give him a second chance.  But, because he has healed his marriage, he has a great deal of empathy and concern for his spouse and never wants to put them through this type of pain again.  In my observation, the couples who tend to rush healing or gloss over the affair are more likely to have incidents of repeat cheating, but this is very individual to each couple.

As far as to whether or not you are naive, this is only my opinion, but I’d say you’d only be naive if you didn’t have your eyes open to the risk of future cheating and you weren’t watching your husband’s behavior.  However, you ARE watching his behavior and you are noticing that he is acting like a man who wants to spend most of his time at home and on his marriage.  If that weren’t the case, then there might be cause for concern.  I know from experience that it’s quite painful to always be suspicious of your spouse.  I really struggled with this.  If my husband was a few minutes late, I’d start to worry. If he wasn’t completely attentive to me at all times, I’d panic.  And then one day I decided that my paranoia was really hurting us both.  I made a pact with myself that I’d trust that my husband so long as his behavior meant that my trust made sense.  Of course, I was always watching extremely closely. And if he had started acting in any way that made me take pause, then my stance would have changed.  But like your husband, he was doing exactly what he told me that he was going to do.  He was present.  He was involved.  And he willingly went to counseling.  As long as he continued in these things, I would give him the benefit of the doubt as far as trust went.  The good news is that my trust paid off because he did not repeat the cheating.

Did that make me naive?  I don’t think so because believe me, I was always watching. I completely understood the risk and I was always on the look out for behavior that would indicate that I should worry.  However, when I didn’t find it, I felt safe to trust.  I think it would only be naive to blindly trust and then to not be watching the behaviors, but that is just my opinion.  If you believe the statistics, 55% percent of men do not cheat again.  So, if you work hard to heal your marriage and believe that your husband cares enough to not want to hurt you again, there is no reason to think that he won’t be in that 55% percent.  But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be attentive to his behaviors just the same, especially at first.  There’s more at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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