My Husband Came Home And Apologized After His Affair But He Insists That The Relationship Was Justified

By: Katie Lersch:  Many people assume that a wife who catches her husband cheating is not going to have any reservations whatsoever about kicking him out of the house and beginning her life without him in it.  Although I absolutely understand any wife who wants to do this, this course of action is not universal.

Some wives want to save the marriage almost immediately.  Some have husbands who leave the home and who are trying to get him to come back.  For whatever reason, these wives are looking at a bigger picture.  They know that they eventually want to fix things and maintain their marriage or their family.  Many don’t even hesitate with their decision.

But, regardless of this commitment to their family, many of these wives want for their husbands to show true remorse and to be genuinely sorry.  However, this does not always happen.  And when it does not, the wife can question her long term plan of maintaining her marriage.  She may explain a situation like this one: “as difficult as it is for me to believe now, I never considered leaving my husband, even after I found out that he had been cheating on me.  This was true even after he moved out of our home to be with her.  I always felt that I wanted to stay together, mostly because our kids, but also because deep down, I still love my husband.  When he first moved out, I just let him be for a while. I was angry and I knew that he thought he had made the right decision.  So I didn’t see any benefit of chasing him.  After a while, he would ask to speak to me after he was finished talking to our children.  After this, we started talking regularly.  Which eventually lead to us meeting and talking in person.  After some time, I mentioned that perhaps my husband wanted to come back home.  He said that he would like that.  He said that he had come to realize that he had let his family down and he wanted to make this up to us.  So he came home.  And I welcomed him.  I honestly assumed that he would agree to go to counseling since he had been very enthusiastic about making things up to me.  But he told me pretty quickly that he didn’t have any intention of going through a long, drawn out process concerning the affair.  He said that he had apologized to me and that he was truly sorry, but that the relationship was justified and he wasn’t going to debate it.  He said that we both know that our marriage was awful.  He said he truly had strong feelings for the other woman and, if life had been different, he thinks that they could have made it work.  But he insists that things would have never worked between them because my husband would always be aware that he had a family.  And the guilt would have been too much.  This upsets me. While I’m glad he’s back and that we will be able to maintain our family, I’m furious that he feels justified in his cheating.  How do I make him see that it is never justified?”

It’s very tricky to make someone see something that you want them to see when they aren’t a willing participant.  Especially when doing so may make them feel guilt or may humble them.  In my experience, the more you try to do this, the more defensive they get.

There are a couple of things that you can try, though.  The first is just to carry on with trying to heal your marriage.  As time goes on and you begin to heal, your husband will likely begin to feel affection and empathy for you again.  When this happens, he will often just naturally see his mistake and feel guilty without your having to do much of anything.

Right now, he has his walls up because he anticipates that you are going to try to make him feel guilty or that you’re going to try to make him do something which he thinks that he doesn’t want to do.  Once he sees that this isn’t true, he may let down those walls.

Another option is to have someone who he respects tell him plainly that there’s never a justification for cheating.  This is tricky.  Because sometimes this means you have to consider telling someone else about the cheating. This can make you look like a bit of a tattler who is trying to turn people against him.  There is less risk if he respects someone who already knows about the affair.  If not, a counselor is probably the best person to do this.

You may think that you can just tell him that there is no justification, but this often doesn’t work because he’s very well aware that you are not objective about this. It seems pretty obvious that he’s resistant to counseling right now.  One way that you might get him to go is to ask him to go to support you.  That’s one way that many people are able to allow a reluctant husband to see that the counselor isn’t out to get him.  Once he becomes more comfortable and respects the counselor, then it may be time to broach the subject of how big and hurtful a mistake was made and how there is never any justification for cheating.

The key is that he hears this from someone he respects and from someone who he feels is objective.  Unfortunately, he doesn’t usually feel that you, or other family members, have this type of objectivity because you’re very close to the situation and have an interest in him feeling and regret rather than justification.

I learned the hard way that I couldn’t “make” my husband feel anything.  And honestly, if you have to force regret onto your husband, how can it be legitimate anyway?  I think it is better to let him look around, see your progress, and come to this conclusion on his own.  That way, it is truly genuine.  You can read more about my own progress (or lack of it in the beginning) on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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