My Spouse Cheated And I Don’t Know If I Would Even Want To Try To Get Over It

By: Katie Lersch:  I hear from a good deal of women who have recently found out about their husband’s affair.  A large number of them are at least open to the idea of one day repairing their marriage, but they have doubts as to whether or not this will be possible.  The main factor in these doubts is often the wife wondering if she will ever be able to “get over” the affair.

And there is another subset of wives that tend to get less discussion.  These are the wives who suspect that, in time and with a lot of assistance, they may in fact be able to get over the affair.  But they don’t necessarily know if they want to.  They wonder if it would even be worth it to try.

Here are is an example of the type of comment that you might hear from someone in this subset: “honestly, my husband seems so desperate to win me back after his affair, that I have no doubt in my mind that he will do whatever I ask of him.  So it is not outside of the realm of possibility that we could save our marriage.  I could envision a scenario where my husband would make a super-human effort to be the kind of husband that I deserve and then afterward, I might be open to ‘getting over’ the affair and moving on with my life.  I do believe that I COULD do that.  The problem is that I am not sure that I WANT to do that.  Because I feel that doing so would say as much about my own character as cheating did for my husband’s character.  I’ve never had much respect for women who blindly ‘stand by their man.’   It seems a little pathetic.  And so to keep my own self respect intact, I feel that I have to almost cut my husband loose and just accept that this might be the end for us.  And I’m really sorry about that.  But I’m not the one who cheated.  Is it valid to just not want to get over it?”

I think that any choice you make is valid.  You didn’t choose for him to have an affair, but you most certainly have a choice as to how you want to move forward.  No one can make this choice for you.  Only you know how you feel and what your wishes truly are.  I can’t really address that for you.

But what I can address is how you may look at things a little differently as this process goes along.  I can only speak from my own heart – having gone through this.  I had very similar concerns as yours.  I worried about my self esteem and self respect if I stayed with my husband.  Because of these concerns, I did not make a commitment to stay.  And I did not make a decision to leave.  ( Since I was just as worried about my anger causing me to make decisions as I was about my own self respect.)

I will admit that my kids were a big influence on my decision.  People may feel that this isn’t right or valid or that I was putting someone need’s instead of my own.  I’m not here to debate this.  I’m admitting that, in the beginning, it influenced my decision.  That said, if my husband had not been willing to step up to the plate and make things right, then no outside influences would have mattered.

I would not have been willing to save a marriage unless there had been remorse and rehabilitation. And there was both.  Because I was concerned about my self esteem and self respect, I set very high hurdles for my husband, none of which discouraged him.  He did everything that I was asked and even a little more.

I was very aware of rebuilding my self esteem and building myself up.  I did not want to always think that I had settled because I was afraid not to.  Because of this self-work, I never feel as though I was forced to stay or as though I didn’t have other options.  It was a choice.

I hope that this has helped some.  You don’t need anyone’s permission for any choices that you make after a spouse’s affair.  Not wanting to get over it is valid. You know yourself better than anyone else.  You know what you are willing to recover from and what you are not.  For me, my feelings did change over time. But perhaps because of my kids, I was willing for that process to happen.  I eventually became open to it.  And I realize that this will not always be true for everyone. You can read more about that process on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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