My Husband Says I Took Him Back After His Cheating Only To Get Revenge

By: Katie Lersch:  I sometimes hear from folks who are really struggling with their marriage after infidelity. Often, despite their best efforts, there are leftover issues that are whittling away at the marriage. It’s normal for the faithful spouse to still feel angry and resentful. Unfortunately, this can make the cheating spouse feel as if they will never be able to make up for the infidelity no matter what they do.

I heard from a wife who said: “my husband cheated on me with a mutual female friend of ours. To say that I was furious was an understatement. At first, I kicked my husband out of the house and I cut off all contact with him. I didn’t want anything to do with him whatsoever. He made a huge pest of himself, calling and coming by and begging me to give him one more chance. This went on for months. I finally relented mostly because of my children. Slowly, I began to talk to him. And eventually, I let him move back in. I can’t say that our marriage is a good one. I’m still very angry and it certainly shows. I find myself making negative and nasty comments about my husband. I find myself thwarting his advances. My children have relationships with him but I really don’t. Our sex life in nonexistent. The other day, my husband asked me why I took him back if I don’t want a real marriage. He said that he thinks I allowed him to come back just to seek revenge on him. He said that he thinks that my real goal is to just make him miserable and to make him pay. He says it’s clear that his future life is going to be unhappy because I am going to make it so. I wasn’t sure how to respond. I can’t deny that I am not even remotely pleasant to him, but he doesn’t deserve my kindness and I’m still very angry. I don’t consciously feel like I’m trying to punish him or to seek revenge but I certainly don’t go out of my way to make things good between us. Is it possible that I only took him back to seek revenge? Because at this point, I don’t know what to think or to feel.”

As a wife who has struggled to recover after her husband’s affair, I know that it’s very common to have underlying anger and resentment, even when you don’t mean to. You’re constantly on the look out for his flaws. You’re constantly waiting for him to mess up. And sometimes, you’re almost hoping that he does so that you can lash out at him. I am not sure why this happens, except for the fact that it’s probable that you still have some healing to do. But I do know that this type of situation is not healthy for you. It may seem as if he is the one being punished, but in actuality, living with this type of anger and negative outlook actually hurts you too.

Why Negative Pay Backs Hurt You As Much As They Hurt Him: It’s totally normal to want revenge. When someone hurts you very badly, it’s just human nature to want to strike back and to make them feel what you feel. But you need to be aware that when you do this, all that you are really doing is unleashing negativity that hurts you too.  You are flinging the pain right back onto yourself. I know that you might doubt this. But I know from experience that it is true.

Once I turned my attention away from negative feelings of anger and revenge and turned it toward my own healing, I began to feel much better. Sometimes, you literally have to force yourself to do this. When you begin to feel anger toward him, you have to literally and consciously direct yourself to do something conductive that will help you rather than to hurt him. If you can make a habit of doing this, then I’m relatively certain that you will begin to feel your anger diminish.

Backing Off Of Trying To Make Him Sorry Will Actually Make Him More Remorseful: I honestly think that somewhere inside of us, we want to make him miserable because we want him to be sorry or to be remorseful. But when we are nasty or vengeful, we actually make this less likely. He will have an easier time justifying his actions because of our behavior and he will think things like “no wonder I had to cheat on her because she’s so negative and abrasive to me.” This makes it easier for him to justify his actions. I’m not saying that you don’t have the right to be angry or to want revenge. You do. But I am also telling you that obviously seeking revenge makes you less likely to get what you really want.

I’d strongly suggest focusing on your own healing to see if this lessens your need for revenge. Often, when you begin to feel better, you will no longer worry so much about punishing him and you will realize that moving forward is more beneficial to you than revenge would ever be.

Finally, sometimes you’ll find that you just aren’t sure if you’re ready to let go of your anger. In that case, you have to realize that the anger hurts you so much more than it helps you. It may feel as if it’s insulating you from the pain or is acting as protective barrier, but it’s actually just the opposite. Because most of the time, the anger is what is keeping you from true and lasting recovery.

Believe me when I saw that I’m not being judgmental.  I completely understand the anger and the lashing out.  But I know from experience that it keeps you stuck and it slows your healing.  And when this happens, you’re can’t move forward and the anger will remain.  It’s a vicious cycle that it’s your interest to end.  Once I realize this, things changed for me.  If it helps, you can read that story on my blog http://surviving-the-affair.com

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