I Would Give Anything If I Never Had The Affair: Tips That Might Help

ByL Katie Lersch: I sometimes hear from people who feel deep regret about a past affair. Often, with the passage of time, the depth of their mistake becomes more and more clear. This, coupled with the fact that they are now facing the consequences of their actions, can make them feel the weight of their mistake.

I heard from a wife who said: “I would give anything that I own if I could turn back time and make it so that I never had an affair. I have ruined my life with one mistake. My husband found out and left me. He won’t take my calls. The kids are asking me every day where their father is. I am now realizing how much I put at risk over just some short term diversion. I am starting to worry that I have destroyed my marriage and that I will never get my husband back. And I know how much my husband loves our children and it wouldn’t shock me if he were to fight me for custody. Regardless, I don’t want to be alone. And I don’t want to be a single mom raising my children by myself. I wish that there was something I could do to negate all of the damage that I have done. Because right now, I just feel hopeless.”

I felt compassion for this wife even though in my own situation I was the faithful spouse. Her true sorrow was obvious and it’s very common to be overwhelmed by this outcome when there is nothing that you can do to change it. Unfortunately, there is no way to completely erase the affair. It happened and you can not take it back. So, you now have to look to the present and the future instead of the past. I will discuss some tips on how to do that below.

Your Sole Focus Should Be On Your Life Moving Forward: I know that it is very easy to keep looking back with regret, especially if you feel stuck right now. But it honestly doesn’t do you any good. It only keeps you from progressing. Since you can’t change the affair and it’s memory isn’t serving you in any way, it is time to turn your attention to today and to right now. Admittedly, this wife was in a sort of holding pattern as far as her marriage was concerned because she didn’t know what her husband was going to ultimately decide to do. But, there was plenty that she could do to pick herself up while she was standing still. Just waiting on his decision while being consumed with regret wasn’t helping her cause. It was important to try to be as positive as she could for the sake of her children and for the sake of herself.

Don’t Allow Your Anger At Yourself To Keep You From Doing What Is In Your Own Self Interest: It’s not uncommon for me to see people who are so angry at themselves for the affair that they are willing to accept whatever punishment and negative things come their way. They feel undeserving of anything positive and they do not feel worthy of understanding or forgiveness so they are not proactive about improving their situation. What I didn’t want was for this wife to just stay at home surrounded by her sorrow and her regret. Yes, she made a mistake with far reaching consequences. But no good would come of her becoming so discouraged that she didn’t try to improve her circumstances.

Every day, try to do something that is going to help you to rectify this situation. Vow to be the best parent, the best person, and the best spouse that you can. If you need counseling or self help in order to determine why you may have acted this way, then please get it. Because until you deal with anything that might have contributed to this, then you can’t be one hundred percent sure that you will not be vulnerable to this again. And in order to give your marriage the best chance, you are going to need to be as healthy and as strong as you can possibly be. Be very proactive in making yourself as emotionally healthy as you can.

The Best Way To Negate The Effects Of The Affair Is To Rebuild And To Heal: Admittedly, you can’t change reality. There is no way to erase the affair from your own memory or the memory of your husband. But, what you can do is to do everything in your power to ensure that complete healing takes place. You can do everything that you can to rebuild a healthy family. Because limping along and dwelling on your mistake weakens you and make you less of an effective parent, person, and spouse. And you and your family doesn’t less of the whole of what you have to give.

I realize that sometimes you can’t control every aspect of the future. Sometimes, your spouse will have some reservations about resuming your marriage. And you can’t always control this. But what you can do is to heal yourself as much as is possible, show your spouse your sincerity in making this right again, and being kind and gentle to yourself. Every one makes mistakes. Yes, this is a big one. But the biggest mistake would be to allow for this to ruin your life. You have a lot of living left to do. And the best thing that you can do is to grow and learn from this and to make any necessary changes so that this doesn’t happen again.

The remorse that this wife was feeling indicated that she was a good person willing to own up to and learn from her mistake.  So no good was going to come out of her punishing herself any further.

My husband often dwelled on the fact that he couldn’t change or take back his affair and this did nothing to help us.  Finally, he learned to place the focus on the future rather than the past and this helped considerably.  If it helps, you can read more about our recovery on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com


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