It’s Been Six Years Since My Spouse Had An Affair. And I Still Worry. Should I Just Walk Away?

By: Katie Lersch:  I sometimes hear from people who are still disappointed with their progress after their spouse’s affair.  Often, they had assumed that they would have made much more progress than they actually have.  And they are devastated that they are still experiencing pain, worry, and doubt.  As a result, they can start to wonder if they shouldn’t just walk away from their marriage since they now consider it obvious that things are never going to right again.

Common concerns are comments like: “if you would have told me five years ago that I would still be so tormented by my husband’s affair, I would have been so very discouraged.   I can’t believe that I am still going through this.   For the most part, I love my husband and I feel my husband and I are on relatively solid ground.  But I fully admit that I still have serious worries that he is going to cheat on me again.  He hasn’t really done much to facilitate this.  He’s a nice looking man and he’s pretty friendly to both men and women.    Probably, it’s my own insecurities that I am reacting to.  But I still worry.  If he has to be away for work, I always wish that I could go with him even though this isn’t realistic.  If I notice a trend of him coming home a little later, then I worry that he’s seeing someone after hours.  If he gets a wrong number phone call late at night, I become suspicious.  He doesn’t appreciate my lack of trust, but I honestly do still worry.  I probably don’t worry as much as I did in the beginning, but I still worry so much that it affects our lives, our marriage, and my own peace of mind.  I’ve started to realize that this might not be healthy for me.  And I’ve started wondering if it wouldn’t just be better for me to let me husband go.   I don’t think that he wants for me to let him go, but I also don’t see myself ever letting go of my worry.  What can I do?”

I have a definite opinion on this because I’ve been in this place myself.  In fact, I think that the majority of wives who are faced with the task of recovering from their husband’s affair struggle with this.   It’s normal to worry about the same thing happening all over again when the initial instance caused you so much pain and may have caught you off guard.   So, please understand that there is nothing wrong with you if you are still struggling.  Often, if the affair caught you unawares, you were probably in a situation where you thought that your marriage was a good and happy one and yet infidelity happened to you.  So when you rebuild and are happy once again, this doesn’t always make you feel all that much better because you’re in the same situation as you were initially.  So, what’s the say that it won’t happen again?  Well, that’s where you have to identify where you might need to put some safeguards into place.

Take Inventory To See If Any Behaviors Or Situations Are Repeatedly Making You Insecure:   Sometimes, if you look closely, you will find that there are some very identifiable behaviors or scenarios that really bring out your insecurities.   For this wife, she struggled when her husband traveled, which he did quit a bit.  I don’t think that there is anything wrong with your taking a hard look at your marriage and your life in order to determine where you might need some more reassurance.  Yes, this husband had to travel for his job.  But perhaps the couple needed to evaluate if he needed to travel so much.  Sometimes, a change in lifestyle really can make a huge difference.  For example, if your husband’s texting brings out your insecurities, there’s nothing wrong with asking him to stop.   If he goes out with friends who make you uncomfortable or who don’t use good judgment, then I think that all of this is negotiable.

Think about it this way.  Many couples negotiate various things that tax their marriage.  Some examples are things like money, in laws, and parenting.  Many couples have no qualms or reservations about negotiating in other areas of their lives.  But when infidelity happens, talking about it can seem almost  taboo or off limits.  It shouldn’t be this way.  In fact, it’s my experience that it should be just the opposite.  You should be more willing to talk about the things that make you the most uncomfortable and the most worried.

Sometimes, You Have To Make A Calculated Decision:  I understand how you feel.  I struggled with this type of worry for a while and it really start to have a very negative effect on my marriage.   I had to take a hard look and ask myself if my husband was doing anything to perpetuate my worry.  I asked him change bothersome behaviors.  But even with this done, I still worried.  So I decided that I would stop this until and unless my husband gave me a reason not to.  In other words, I made a promise to myself that I would stop my hyper worrying as long as my husband continued to be trustworthy.  That way, I knew that I had permission to go back to my old crutch if he changed his behavior.  He has always upheld his part of the bargain.  So I haven’t had to worry again.

I also made a promise to myself that I would build myself up to the point where I could handle whatever came my way on my own.  This gave me a lot of freedom from worry.  Because I knew that should the worst happen, I would still be fine either way, so what was the point to all of the worry? If it helps, you can read more about my recovery process on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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