I’m Going Back To My Marriage After My Affair But I’m Not All In And Have My Doubts

By: Katie Lersch:  It would be wonderful if both husband and wife would be equally committed to saving their marriage after an affair.  It would be ideal if, no matter who cheated and who didn’t, both spouses were equally determined to make it work.  This isn’t always the reality, though.  Often, even if both people know that staying together is probably going to be in the best interest of their family, they can both sometimes have doubts about whether or not their heart is in it and whether or not it can possibly work.

Someone might say: “I am embarrassed to say that I am the spouse who cheated.  I don’t think that anyone who knows my husband and I would have suspected that it would be me who was unfaithful.  I’m very much a straight arrow.  And the affair is something that very much caught me off guard. I admit that I got caught up in it, and I used to fantasize that, once my kids were grown, that I could be with the other man.  Of course, I got sloppy and complacent and my husband eventually caught me.  Rightly so, he demanded that the affair end or that I leave.  I could not end the affair immediately.  I had become too dependent on the other man, so I left.  Looking back, I can not believe that I did this.  I left my children for a man. It’s so embarrassing and shameful.  Anyway, it took me about two weeks to realize what a stupid mistake I had made.  I did love the other man, but not as much as my children. So I contacted my husband and asked if I could move back home.  He reluctantly agreed.  He told me that he was furious with me, but that he felt about the same as I did – that we owed it to our children to try and work it out.  So here we are.  I’m present and I’m trying.  But if I’m being honest, I’m not really here emotionally.  My heart is still with the other man.  My heart is here because of my kids – but certainly not because of my husband.  Still, I know that I can not bail out once again.  I have made this commitment and I am determined to see it through.  But I can’t help wondering if this ever really works out.  Does anyone want to be here again in these circumstances?  Am I always going to be this miserable?”

I know many couples who certainly had their doubts when they tried to reconcile after an affair, but who now find themselves glad that they stuck it out because they are pretty darn happy now.  I count myself as one of these couples and I’m pretty upfront about the fact that if it had not been for my kids, I probably would not have given my husband another chance.

Now, my situation is different because I was the faithful spouse. But I know many cheating spouses that have gone through something similar.  It can be hard to give up something when you have no guarantee that what you are giving it up for is going to work out, or even make you happy.

You can KNOW that what you are doing is right, but you can’t know if it’s going to FEEL right.  The problem, I think, is that sometimes we expect for things to fall into place much too quickly and easily.  An affair causes a great deal of destruction.  There is so much damage to clean up.  And doing so takes a huge amount of work, patience, and time. But people try and shortchange all three of these.

Also, people sometimes mistakenly believe that having the will to make it work is all that you need.  Oh how I wish that this were true, but it isn’t.  Often, you are going to need some help.  You are going to need some counseling or you are doing to need a plan.  You may need to learn new skills and allow yourself to be vulnerable as you are rebuilding.

But yes, if you are willing to do all of these things, you can feel right and secure and happy again.  It isn’t instantaneous.  And it means that you will have to give up something (the other person) to get something in return (your family back.)  It may not be an easy process.  You might deal with anger, sadness, and feelings of being lost.  All of this is normal.

I find that people in your situation often fantasize about things that aren’t reality. In other words, it would be normal for you to think that if you could go running back to the other man’s arms, then you could be happy.  This isn’t usually reality.  You’d go running back, but you’d miss your family.  You might even resent that you had to make that choice. And this would damage your relationship.

There is no perfect solution in the beginning.  You just have to do the best that you can.  Some days, you just have to make it based on your determination alone.  You’re feeling your way in the dark.  But for many, it slowly does get better.  You begin to recover what has been lost.  And it is only with time that you can see how wrong your perceptions truly were.

It’s not rare that I have people tell me how thankful they are that they stuck with their families even when they had their doubts.  I am one of those people.  I know that not everyone can put their family first.  But I am very grateful that I did. The rest of my story is at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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