My Spouse Had An Affair And I Don’t Think He’s Over It

By: Katie Lersch: I often hear from wives who have no doubt that their husband has ended his affair. They have often kept very close tabs on him and are satisfied that he is no longer seeing the other woman. Unfortunately though, even though he is no longer with her physically the wife worries that he still invested emotionally or that he has never gotten over the affair.

You might hear comments like: “when I demanded that my husband end his affair, he did so. He didn’t really question this demand. He just agreed to it. And after this, he did start coming home on time and staying home. I do believe that he’s no longer participating in the affair. However, at the same time, I don’t think that he is really over it. He often just mopes around and has a faraway look on his face. The other day, I looked at the history on our computer and saw that he was looking at the other woman’s Facebook page. He’s obviously trying to keep tabs on her and see what or how she is doing now and this bothers me. When I mention this to my husband, he says he’s not sure what else I want from him. He says he is not longer in contact with her and they no longer have a relationship, but that he can’t help the way that he feels. He says that he can’t and won’t pretend that he doesn’t still care about her but that he’s made a commitment to me and he is going to honor it. Well, I want more from him than just a commitment. I want for him to love me. I want for him to want only me. How can we move forward in our marriage when he isn’t really over the affair? Will he ever get over it? Does our marriage even stand a chance if he’s not really over this other woman?”

I know that this is a difficult situation. Dealing with infidelity is very painful. But it is easier if your husband is falling over himself to show you that it is only you who he loves. When this doesn’t happen or when you believe that she still has some hold over him (even when she’s out of the picture) this can cause huge amounts of doubt about his love for you and about your marriage.

This Is A Very Common Situation That Often Improves With Time And Patience: It may help to know that it’s relatively common for a man who has just ended an affair to still have some feelings, particularly if it hasn’t been that long since he ended the affair. And that’s also especially true if he was encouraged to end the relationship suddenly and without much closure. But it’s also common that, with time, the feelings fade and eventually disappear altogether. Sometimes it doesn’t happen as quickly as you like, but it often does happen.

I understand feeling that you can’t move on in your marriage while he’s still not over her (assuming that this assumption is true.) But I don’t agree with this thinking completely. If he’s doing everything that you are asking of him and he’s making a genuine effort to make things right again, then I honestly see a lot of benefit to trying to move forward anyway, with the knowledge that as your marriage becomes stronger and the time goes on for longer, you are likely to see more improvement in your marriage and less feelings for her.

Don’t Make Assumptions Without Sure Knowledge: I also think that it can be a mistake to assume that he is never going to get over her. Things change. Perceptions become more clear. Feelings fade. I know that this is painful. I know that you can worry that he will never be able to forget about her, but I believe that is you improve your marriage and fix what lead to the affair, then there is a very good chance that he will.

Finally, in truth, you can’t possibly know what he’s feelings. It’s normal to expect the worst after the pain of an affair. It’s normal to doubt his feelings for you. But honestly, you have no way to know what or how he is truly feeling about her. It can be a mistake to assume that he still has a burning desire for her or that they have a bond that will never be broken. Often, as time goes by, a husband is more able to see things more clearly. He will often come to realize that she wasn’t who he thought she was or that the relationship was fatally flawed by the very nature of it.

Once these realizations are made, it can be very hard to maintain the feelings. And at that point, the odds become very likely that he will get over her for good. But to answer the question posed, I believe that with work and effort, your marriage can definitely stand a chance in this scenario. But the key is that you don’t allow the perceived feelings to discourage you from moving forward. You know that time and history is on your side and you act accordingly.

I spent a lot of time second guessing my own husband’s feelings after his affair.  But, over time, I realized that this was a losing game.  So I vowed to give my husband credit for trying to make things right and I vowed to see things through without bowing out because of things I couldn’t possibly know for sure.  I’m glad that I did this because our marriage is back on solid ground.  If it helps, you can read the whole story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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