My Parents Want To Talk To And Question My Husband After His Affair

By: Katie Lersch:  Sometimes, it would be nice if all you had to deal with was the immediate fall out of the affair.  What I mean by this is that the ideal is just having this be between your husband and yourself.  That isn’t always what happens, though.  Sometimes, other people find out and, even though it is your marriage, these other people feel that they have a stake in it.  So while it should be you who is discussing this with your husband, you might find that you have to get in line – as others feel that they have some ownership in this also.

Someone might explain: “as if dealing with this affair isn’t bad enough, my parents are furious and are demanding answers.  I did not intend to tell them about it.  But they noticed that something was going on with me and they kept asking me about it, so it eventually spilled out.  My father is seething.  My husband was married before he married me.  So when he went to ask my father if we could become engaged, my father was very honest and told my husband that he had concerns about my husband’s track record.  My husband assured my father that he would never do anything to hurt me.  He told my dad that he would never do anything other than be a loving and faithful husband.  My father told my husband that if he ever did anything other than this, then he would have to answer to my father.  Well, my father believes that now my husband should have to face him with those answers.  My parents want to question my husband because as things stand now, they are not sure if I should stay married and if my husband is able to change.  I know that my parents are wanting to do this out of love. This is proof that they had a right to be concerned.  But I feel like they are just adding stress and problems onto what I am already dealing with.  My husband is actually more than willing to talk to them.  He says that he has no problem taking responsibility for what he has done and he welcomes the opportunity to apologize to my father and assure him that he is getting counseling.  I appreciate that he is willing to do this.  But I worry about my parents continuing to meddle in my marriage.  I appreciate that they love me.  But are they going to want to confront my husband every time we get into a fight?  I also do not want them to bring up the affair every time that I see them.  I want a break from it sometimes.  Is this too much to ask?”

No, I don’t think that it is too much to ask. But it can be a great challenge to balance the opinions of those who love you with your own.  Your parents’ concern is understandable.  Your father wanting to follow up is also understandable.  Your husband’s willingness to allow this is actually quite commendable and shows that he is sincere about taking responsibility (which is a very good sign.)

But I think that you are right to worry that the “concern” may eventually become too obtrusive.  You are an adult with your own marriage, and I don’t think that there is anything wrong with trying to set the boundaries from the very beginning before things get out of hand.  Here is a suggested dialog: “I completely understand why you want to have the conversation.  But I want to make sure that every one can be calm and rational when the conversation takes place so that things do not get out of hand.  I don’t want for it to turn into an ugly confrontation.  My husband is willing to have the conversation because he wants to look you in the eye and express his sorrow and remorse.  He also wants to tell you how he plans to fix this.  Before we set up the conversation, I want to make sure that you give him this opportunity and that it’s not just a scenario where you lash out at him without giving him the opportunity to speak.  At the end of the day, it is my marriage and I would like the opportunity to save it.  So, it’s very important to me that this conversation doesn’t cause more problems than it solves.  We will all have to eventually heal all of our relationships so that we can be harmonious in the future.  I don’t want anything to be said that would prevent that. In the end, this is my marriage and I am the one who ultimately makes the decisions.  I respect your input and I appreciate your concern, but it is my life.  And I want to have this conversation when I’m sure that it can be constructive and not destructive.”

Listen to your parents’ response.  They may be willing to wait until things calm down.  And perhaps they can offer you reassurance that they won’t let the conversation be disrespectful.  It’s important to set boundaries beforehand so that things don’t deteriorate at the meeting.  If they do, don’t be shy about ending the conversation so that things don’t get worse.

I actually understand every one’s point of view here. And every one is acting out of their love for you.  It’s just important that nothing is said or done that can’t be taken back.  The idea is to ultimately heal the relationships rather than to destroy them.

Balancing the opinions of friends and family members is just one of the struggles you may have after the affair.  Be picky about who you share information with.  Always put yourself and what you need first.   Every one has their opinion. But this is YOUR marriage.  And you get to decide what is best for you.   You can read about how I juggled my own struggles and ultimately healed on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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