I Want To Stay In My Marriage After My Spouse’s Affair, But I Just Want To Be Friends For Now

By: Katie Lersch: There is no question that an affair changes your marriage – at least in the short term. But not every one immediately considers a divorce. Sometimes, there are circumstances that preclude a divorce – like children, finances, or religious beliefs, to name only a few.

Despite these circumstances though, people sometimes want to redefine their marriage, even if they are not going to end it. Here’s an example. A wife might explain: “even though I am furious and hurt by my husband’s affair, getting a divorce never entered my mind. It is just not something that I would do. And this is because of my children. They deserve to have a father. And they deserve the quality of life that comes with two parents. If I were to become a single mother, we would struggle emotionally and financially. So I have no intention of divorcing my husband, and he knows this. But I also do not plan to continue on in my marriage as I always have. Right now, I have no plan of being emotionally and physically intimate with my husband. And I have told him as much. But he does not want to accept this. I have told him that for right now, I want to live together as friends. We will raise our children together. We will eat together. We will talk and laugh together. We will share our lives together. But I have no intention of being intimate or romantic right now. I don’t know how long this is going to last. I can’t think that far ahead. My husband says that this is a silly way to live and that he is not going to live that way forever. He acts as if I am asking him to do something odd or unreasonable. I guess he would be right if we were going to live that way forever. But I don’t know that we are. Am I wrong for wanting to take intimacy off the table for now?”

I don’t believe that you are wrong. I did the same thing. I was not ready to resume that aspect of our relationship for a while. We needed to heal our relationship and restore the trust before I was ready for any intimacy. I’m sure my husband would have preferred not to wait as long, but he knew that we were in that position because of his decision to have an affair.

He also knew that it was not going to be in his best interest to pressure me. If he had done that, we may not still be married today.

However, as much as I defend your decision to redefine your marriage as you see fit, I have to tell you that if you just leave things to chance, this may drag on or not end as you want it to. In order to feel right about the physical or romantic part of your relationship, you have to feel right about the emotional side of your relationship. This means exploring why the affair happened and then not only addressing but fixing those issues. It means working tirelessly to restore the trust. These things don’t always happen on their own – even with time. You have to be very proactive about them.

You may not be ready to even think in these terms.  But one day, you likely will be.  And when you are, don’t be shy about getting help if you need it. Sometimes, counseling or self help can at least keep you on track and point out places where you need to direct your attention.

It’s OK if you want to think about that much later. But over the long term, you might find that you deserve better than living in a friendly relationship with your husband. I understand wanting to take it slow and to take intimacy off the table. I don’t think that there is anything wrong with that initially. But that plan is probably not workable in the long term. Because it’s doubtful that either of you is going to be satisfied with it. In order to have confidence that he is not going to cheat again, you’re going to want to know that he is where he wants to be and that you are both content and getting your needs met in the relationship.

Of course this does not need to happen immediately. And you have every right to set the pace and to take things slow. But you want to have an eye toward healing eventually. Because you deserve more than this. I applaud you putting your children first and finding a way to keep their parents under the same roof for their benefit.  I did the same.  But I also wanted to demonstrate a truly healthy marriage.  And if you work on healing your marriage, you can have that. It does take time. And there is no need to rush. Hopefully your husband will come to understand that it is to his benefit to be patient.

I’ve never regretted making my kids a priority after my husband’s affair.  I still firmly believe that they were better off with two parents, even if we struggled immediately after the affair.  I am proud that my husband and I are able to offer them a united family because neither of us had that growing up.  And we both know that there was a void in our childhoods because of that.  If your kids start out as your motivation to heal, that’s perfectly fine.  But you don’t want to have a kid-based marriage for your whole life.  Eventually, you want to be able to give and receive love.  You deserve nothing less.  You’re welcome to read more about my own journey on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

Comments are closed.

  • RSS Infidelity Articles By Katie Lersch

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Posts