My Husband Has To See The Woman He Cheated With At A Conference

By: Katie Lersch:  Although spouses can and do meet the people who they cheat with anywhere and at any time, many of them meet the “other person” at work.  After all, most of us spend at least eight hours every day with co-workers or people who are not our family.  It makes sense then, then many people who have affairs at work do so at least in part due to the proximity of the other person.

However, once the affair is over, this proximity can become a problem.  It’s more difficult to heal your marriage and to restore your spouse’s trust when your spouse knows that you will be in regular (if not daily) contact with the person that you were cheating with.  That is why some people who have affairs actually transfer or change jobs altogether.  They decide that their marriage is the most important thing and they just can’t risk seeing the other person every day.

However, not everyone has this luxury. Sometimes, even after the affair, it just does not make sense to change jobs.  Often, the consideration is merely a financial one.  Many people put years into their job to get the type of security that they now enjoy.  If they changed jobs, they would have to start all over – sometimes at a considerable pay cut.  When you have a family depending on that income, changing jobs is not so easy.

That’s why some couples choose to stick it out with the job, even though they don’t like it and they know that it is going to pose an unfortunate challenge.  To be fair, most spouses who cheated do attempt to go out of their way to avoid the other person – but sometimes the two of them have no choice but to interact.  And this can cause serious problems with your marriage. An example is when the two of them have to work closely together on a presentation or conference.

A faithful spouse might explain: “my husband cheated with a coworker.  I feel awful just typing that because it is such a cliche.  But that is what happened.  Anyway, her husband found out first and he told me.  She was very serious about saving her marriage and she actually asked for a transfer.  I was very relieved about that.  And since that time, my husband and I have worked very hard on our marriage.  Most of the time, we are doing okay.  But I’m still very insecure sometimes. I know she’s out of the picture simply because she lives far away now.  But next month, my husband is required to attend a seminar in another state with his company.  There is no getting out of this. And although the other woman transferred, she is still with this same company. So she will be there.  I’m very upset about this.  I dread it.  I worry that they will reconnect while there and my husband won’t tell me about it.  Or I worry that nothing will happen, but I will think that it did anyway and I will accuse my husband when he didn’t do anything wrong. Then he’ll get angry with me and we’ll regress on our progress.  I know that this is just bringing out all of my insecurities and I should not let it, but I can’t seem to help it.”

I definitely understand. Even though it has been a long time since my husband’s affair and I can say that we’ve recovered, I still would not like it (AT ALL) if I knew that my husband was going to see or interact with the other woman – even if I knew that this wasn’t his choice or that he never initiated anything.  Even with complete recovery, there is always going to be that vulnerability if it is thrown back in your face.

At the same time, I believe that there are things that you can do to minimize the impact of this. If you are in counseling, please discuss this with your counselor.  She will probably have very specific things that she wants you to do.  I’m certainly not a counselor, but my suggestion would be to accompany your husband to this event.  Yes, I realize that this might be inconvenient and you may have to take off of work or make some special arrangements.  But I think that this is one of those things that are so important to your marital recovery that you may need to try to make this happen.

Why?  Because if you attend, then you don’t have to worry nearly as much.  If you go, then you don’t have to wonder.  You will KNOW that nothing happened and that your husband was with you the whole time.  Plus the other woman will see you together – as a united front.  And, frankly, the other woman’s spouse might be there as well.

Now, I know that some might say that by going along, you aren’t showing good faith or trust.  I can see that argument.  But since the marriage is improving and going well, it should not be unreasonable for the couple to want to be together anyway.  Other than a few instances of walking by or seeing the other woman, it actually might be a nice weekend where the couple might enjoy themselves.  Plus, why invite the wife to invent ominous scenarios that can cause problems in her marriage when she can easily attend and see for herself?  I believe that this alternative is better than trusting your spouse but then being a nervous wreck the whole time and possibly assuming the worst.

When you’re in recovery, you have to protect your marriage.  And sometimes that means minimizing the stress that you put on it.  Both people attending the conference will help to minimize the stress.

I can say with certainty that if I were in this situation, I would attend the conference.  I would bring the kids if I had to, but I would not sit at home and worry when I could easily attend.  My thought process would be that I worked too hard on recovery to put that at risk by allowing something like this to be outside of my control.  This situation is easily controlled by simply going along.  At least that is my opinion. You can read more about my own recovery at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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