If There Hope For A Marriage Where There Was An Affair With Love?

By: Katie Lersch: I sometimes hear from people who are extremely worried that their marriage is over. And it’s not because the marriage was marred by an affair. It is because their spouse is adamant that he loves (or loved if you’re talking about in the past tense) the other person with whom he cheated or had an affair. It’s very common for the wife to find his love for the other woman to be the worst part about the affair. She often believes that she can get over the betrayal and the lies. She might even get over the hit to her self esteem. But, she fears, she might never get over the reality that her husband has loved someone else.

I might hear a comment like: “I feel like my marriage is over and there is nothing that I am going to be able to do about it. My husband had an affair with one of my friends. As if this isn’t bad enough, both of them are freely admitting that it wasn’t just a fling. They both insist that they were in love and that it was a real, healthy and loving relationship. Just hearing that makes me sick. My husband has agreed to end the relationship because of our children. However, it is clear that he is not at all happy about this. I believe that he is only doing it because of his love for his children. But, if it was only us, I’m pretty sure he would chose to stay with her. He says that he is willing to try to save our marriage. Notice that he said ‘try,’ and not that we were actually going to do it. I am starting to wonder if there is any hope for us. The other woman has promised to stay away. I believe that they will both honor that promise. But I know that they don’t want to. The question I have is whether or not there is any hope whatsoever for a marriage when there was an affair with actual love?”

I am not unbiased about this. I am a wife who has saved her marriage after an affair. The process was difficult. There were times when I was sure that our relationship was over. But in the end, we did it. And that is why I believe that nothing is hopeless. I daresay that I firmly believe that there is always hope even when the cheating spouse believes and thinks that the other person was their one true love and their soul mate.

Notice that I said “think.” I also believe that many people merely think that they love the other person. Why do I say this? Because I see so many of these same people come back later and who admit that, now with the luxury of hindsight, they now understand that they were wrong in their assertions that they were in love with the other person. Does this make them liars? Not necessarily. Often, they genuinely believe that the love is there. And I have a theory as to why this is.

Why It’s Easy For Them To Believe It’s Love At The Time: Think about it for a second. Try to reverse the roles. I know that you don’t want to pretend that it was you who had the affair. But, just for a moment and just for the sake or argument, let’s just pretend that it was you. Wouldn’t it make you feel better about the whole situation if you were in love with the other person? Wouldn’t it feel better to say to yourself that you are only acting as you are because you are in so in love with the one person who turned out to be your soulmate? After all, who can expect you to turn away from that type of love? This is just a handy justification and it is so much prettier to say this than to tell yourself that you’re just betraying your spouse because you want to have a brief sexual fling like scratching an itch with someone who isn’t anything special.

Thinking You’re In Love Makes Justification Easier: In short, this sort of thinking helps the cheating spouse to justify it to himself and to others. But, once he is away from the other person and he begins to face reality, then he is much more likely to actually see the truth. And this is why there is most certainly hope for your marriage. Countless cheating spouses in this situation eventually change their minds and realize that what they felt wasn’t love after all – it was merely justification.

And for the sake of argument, even if it was on the same realm as love, people can and do find that those feelings are fading as they begin to reconnect with their spouse and strengthen their marriage. Suddenly, they see how the person that they truly have loved for all these years has been right in front of their eyes. And they see what a waste it was to jeopardize this. And this is when you will usually see them change their stories and express extreme remorse.

I would suggest taking your spouse’s claims right now with  a grain of salt.  Emotions are typically high and claims are somewhat exaggerated.   When healing is well underway, that is when you will typically hear information that is more accurate.  If it helps, you can read more about my healing process on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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