How Does The Other Woman Feel To Know That The Husband Regrets The Affair And Even Knowing Her

I sometimes hear from faithful wives who want to know how the other woman in the affair is feeling after different scenarios have played out – usually some sort of rejection by the husband.  A common scenario is when the husband is very clear that the affair was a mistake, which he now regrets.  This leaves the wife wondering if the other woman is hurt by this revelation or if she just shrugs her shoulders and moves on.

The wife might ask: “I wonder how the other woman feels when she realizes that the husband regrets every single encounter with her.  My husband broke off the affair pretty quickly, but she did not want to accept it.  He gave me access to his phone and she kept trying to contact him.  In one text, she wrote something like, ‘I don’t have any regrets at all. Do you?’  My husband responded that he regretted everything and that he wished he had never met her because the affair caused so much destruction that could have been avoided.  She did not respond back to that text, which was yesterday.  I am wondering what she is thinking about all of this.  I know that it sounds mean, but I hope that she is crushed.  I hope that she realizes that she potentially ruined a family over a man who now regrets her very existence.  How do you think that she is feeling?”

That’s very hard to answer.  There is no “typical” other woman, so there is no “typical” response.  Some of the women aren’t all that invested in the relationship and can take it or leave it.  Many make a habit out of dating married men because they don’t want to be tied down.  Others are VERY invested in the relationship and were hoping that the husband would leave his wife and make the affair a lasting relationship.  Women in this category are more likely to be hurt by the realization that a husband regrets the affair.

Understanding How People Sometimes Frame An Affair: The truth is, everyone wants to feel special.  That is often one of the things that drives the affair.  The people in it feel like the relationship is special or necessary enough in order to justify the risk.  So they built the relationship up in their own minds.  And when they figure out that it’s not so special after all, it can be disappointing to say the least.  Most people in the middle of an affair ignore the statistics that indicate that so few affairs ever become lasting relationships.  Some hope that their relationship will be the exception, but so few are.  Because of this, most people DO eventually regret their affair, simply because it almost never works out.

When you risk a substantial thing like your family for a relationship that is destined to fail, how can you not regret it at some point?  Common sense would tell you that, and most people in an affair do come to realize this once they are able to get some distance when things aren’t so fresh.  In fact, many times the “other woman” also comes to regret the affair.  After all, the chances are good that in the end, she will have nothing to show for it and many people will be hurt, maybe even herself.

I guess the potential for hurt feelings really does depend upon how invested she was in the relationship.  Since she doesn’t want to accept it coming to an end, it appears that she was invested, which means she may well be feeling disappointment right now.

Placing Your Focus On What Is Truly Important: While the possibility that she’s disappointed may make you feel a little better, I’d suggest that this might not be where you want to place your focus.  If you’re still invested in your marriage, it’s always best to focus on yourself, your husband, your kids (if you have any,) and your marriage.  The sooner you can chase away thoughts of the other woman, the better off you will be.  It’s normal to wonder about her, of course.  But since the affair is over, she really should not have any place in your life.  Let her go.  Move on.  And know that, like you, she will have to pick up the pieces and carry on.  Perhaps this will teach her an important lesson.  Perhaps not.  But your concern should be your own family.

I suspect that most of us would be hurt to know that anyone who we once cared about regretted knowing us, but like many things in life, in order to carry on, you can’t continuously dwell on things that make no difference now.  Once she realizes that the affair is truly over and that your husband is moving on, hopefully she will want to do the same and will be more than willing to exit your life – regardless of how she feels about it.

I know that it can be hard to move on.  I know that it’s natural to wonder about her.  But I promise that you will feel so much better when you start to heal, so that is where you may want to turn your attention.  If it helps, you can read more about how I finally accomplished this on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

Having Sex For The First Time With Your Husband After He Cheated

I get a lot of emails from wives who are concerned about what sex is going to be like after their husband cheated or had an affair.  Many are trying very hard to save their marriages.  They are doing everything they can to move on in a positive way.

But sex can be a whole different story in this equation because it’s just so raw.  There’s really no where to hide.  If it’s awkward or awful this can negatively affect your attempts to save your marriage and get things back to normal.  And, some women fear that they (or their husband) are going to think about the other woman during sex.

They other worry that either they or their husband won’t get aroused or turned on and that the whole encounter might be a disaster.   And if it’s a disaster, what does this say about his attraction for and desire for you and about the marriage?

This is a shame because sometimes sexual issues after cheating or an affair don’t have everything to do with sexual desire or the lack of it.  A lot of emotions, doubt, fear, and resentment can be tied to sex after cheating.

In the following article, I’ll offer some tips to help make sure the first time you have sex with your husband after cheating is a good experience rather than a bad one.

Although It’s Very Tempting:  Don’t Rush Sex After His Cheating Or Affair:  I admit that I was very tempting to rush into sex after my husband’s affair –  not because I particularly wanted to have it with him, but because I wanted confirmation that he would still find me attractive or be turned on by me.

And I think part of me wanted for him to want me so I could turn around and turn him down.  I know this was silly thinking on my part and a potential power play but that’s the way I felt.  However, after hearing from people I respect, I decided I would be better off waiting and I’m so glad I did because the experience was actually quite good rather than awkward, in genuine, or forced.

If you have any doubt or reservation, I think it is better to wait.  Honestly, if you can wait until the moment is absolutely right and you both want to be together more than anything else and can’t wait another moment, this is how you know that you have waited long enough.

I know it’s very tempting to want the reassurance of sex.  You want to connect again.  You want affirmation.  But isn’t it better to know that you can freely participate without doubt or pain?   I know that husbands have a tendency to pressure you for sex because they want to know that you are forgiven them.

But part of your healing process is putting yourself and your needs first.  You can gently and lovingly tell him that, when you do have sex, you want it to be special and you aren’t sure you’re at that point yet, but that he will be the first to know.  You can phrase it in a playful way that isn’t a rejection.

Regaining Your Sexual Confidence After Your Husband Cheated Or Had An Affair:  To me, the one thing that is going to make sex after an affair good is your own confidence.  If you go into this worried that he doesn’t find you desirable or that the experience isn’t going to be good, this is going to affect the outcome and both of your levels of enjoyment.  I know you might hope that your doubts or reluctance won’t be obvious, but it generally is.

So, I actually think it’s a very good idea to work on rebuilding your self esteem before you have sex with your husband again.  Tweak your appearance if it bothers you, get something amazing to wear so that you can feel your best.

A resource that I’m affiliated with and can recommend is an ebook called “Her Secrets.”   I will give you fair warning that it’s a bit racy.   It teaches you how to tweak your sexual skills and, shall we say and incorporate things that men REALLY like in bed so that at least you can have the confidence that the experience is going to be good for him.

And quite frankly, isn’t that what we all want? To know that sex with us is so good that he doesn’t want or need to go and get it anywhere else?  With that said though, I don’t ever want for you to feel as though you have to put on a performance or do everything right to earn his love or desire.

Because this is as much about an emotional connection as it about a physical one. If your mind isn’t into it, your body can’t be either.  That’s why I recommend making sure you have done everything that you need to heal before you resume your sex life.

I know it’s a lot to ask to wait, but I suspect you will be glad you did.  I’m very glad I did.  The experience was a very good one and our marriage is back on firmer ground.  In fact, we’re never been more solid. If you’d like, you’re welcome to read my story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com.  I hope something here has helped!

Why Do Women Ask So Many Questions About An Affair?

By: Katie Lersch:  I will admit that my target audience is faithful wives.  This makes sense.  This is the position that I myself was in, so I write from that perspective.  It’s easy for me to speak from the heart because I so easily identify with many of the people who read my articles.  I suppose that is why sometimes spouses who have had an affair occasionally also reach out to me.  They want to hear from someone who might share the same perspective as their spouse.  They want insight on what their spouse might be feeling (or on what their spouse might want or need moving forward.)

One very common question that I get from the unfaithful spouse is why does the faithful spouse need to know everything?  Why does she ask so many questions?  And why does she keep asking the same questions over again when an answer has already been given?  Here is what a husband might say: “I like to think that I have tried to be honest with my wife about the affair.  I confessed it.  I told her as much as I could.  I honestly don’t really know why I acted this way.  I am ashamed of it, but I have owned up to it.  I figured that if I came clean and answered her questions, we could just move on.  But she doesn’t seem to want to move on.  Because she can’t stop asking questions.  Every day, there are more questions.  Some of the questions I’ve answered several times.  I try to be patient, but I admit that I’m certainly not as patient as I used to be because this just wears me down.  There seems to be no end.  Why do women ask so many questions about the affair?”

There are multiple reasons, but it really comes down to this:  They are trying desperately to understand.  And they are trying to determine what happens now.  I know that it is frustrating for you to be asked the same thing in various ways.  But frankly, we keep asking because the answer that we’ve gotten before is not making sense or we’re still trying to piece this all together so we know EXACTLY what we are dealing with.  We’re well aware of the fact that our husbands don’t have their motivations figured out – which is why WE’RE trying to figure it out for him (and for us.)  We want to know what lead to this.  We want to know if it’s preventable in the future (assuming that we want to save our marriage.)  We want to understand your thought process because we want to know if you can be rehabilitated.  We don’t want to EVER go through this again, so we want to have every scrap of information available so that we can thoroughly evaluate the best way to move forward.

We know that you’re tired of the questions.  It’s just that our need for information seems more important right now than your fatigue.  I’m not trying to be funny or disrespectful, but I can’t overstate how badly wives want enough information to truly understand what they are dealing with.  They don’t want to make the decision to stay or leave and have it be the wrong decision.  At the same time, they are hurting very badly, so they doubt their ability to process all of this information at one time – which is why they ask again and again.

So what does all of this mean for you?  In order to get some relief, you’re going to have to help her process all of this information in a meaningful way so that you don’t keep going in circles.  You can do that via counseling or good self help resources that allow you to check off what you’ve covered.  You can also agree that at a set time, she can ask you whatever she wants for a specific period o time.  For example, maybe on Sunday afternoons, you discuss it for a five minutes.  This allows her the knowledge that you’ll hear her out, so she won’t feel as much of a need to just bombard you with questions at random times.

Honestly, she probably doesn’t like all of the questions, either.  I know I didn’t.  I hated having to ask the questions.  I hated the insecure feeling of having to sit there and brace myself for the answers.  But being ignorant of what truly happened is a horrible feeling also.  So please try to put yourself in her position and help her to understand what she really wants to know.  It’s truly more simple than you think.  She wants to know why this happened.  And she wants to know what is her best strategy moving forward.  She wants the information to help her to decide these two things.  Try to remember that this isn’t her fault.  She only needs the information because of something that she didn’t put into motion.  She’s the innocent party, here.  So as repetitive and tiresome as it is to answer the questions, you are better off being patient and trying to be very clear and not elusive.  The sooner you make things as clear as you can by being as honest as you can, the sooner the questions will start to taper off.  If you believe that you’ve already done this, then keep at it.  Patience is one of the most important attributes that you can have right now.

I’m sure my husband became frustrated with all of my questions.  But he also knew that I wouldn’t need to ask them if he hadn’t cheated.  So he did take responsibility for being up front and being patient.  I did appreciate this and it is probably one of the reasons that we were able to recover.  You can read more about the recovery on my blog http://surviving-the-affair.com

Our Relationship Is So Different After My Husband’s Affair. Will It Ever Be The Same Again?

By: Katie Lersch: Wives can feel as if they have lost many things after their husband’s affair.  Often you feel as if you’ve lost a little bit of your self esteem, your confidence in your marriage and your husband, and your belief that you are perceptive enough to know what’s going on.  Another loss that many wives describe is predictability in their relationship.  Many describe a marriage that “is just different” than the one that existed before the affair.

I often hear comments on my “surviving the affair” blog like: “we used to have such an easy rapport and relationship but now things are so strained and awkward.”  Or “our marriage used to be filled with laughter and endless conversation but now you could hear a pin drop when we’re together.  The laughter has died and in it’s place is pain and silence.”  One more example is “we used to be very affectionate to one another.  We were always touching or holding hands.  Now, we rarely touch one another anymore.  It seems like we’re both afraid of doing the wrong thing or of facing rejection.   Our marriage right now after his affair is so foreign to me.  It’s so different than the one we had before.  Will things ever be the same again?  Because I want my old life back.  I don’t like this new one at all.”  I’ll try to address these concerns in the following article.

Your Marriage May Not Be Exactly The Same After An Affair.  But, If You Rebuild, Your Marriage Can Still Be Happy, Fulfilling And Sometimes, Even Better: In my experience in dealing with my own husband’s affair, it can be unrealistic to think that you can carry on as if nothing happened or that you can turn back time to reveal the exact same marriage as before.  Despite your best efforts of your intentions, you often can’t ignore what happened.  And, this knowledge will understandably make you a bit cautious and doubtful because you’ve been hurt before.

But many marriages use these doubts and fears as motivation to make positive changes rather than to give in to the negativity that has settled in.  Yes, it’s absolutely normal to be angry or even furious that the marriage you thought you knew (or were even happy in) was not exactly what you thought it to be.  But one mistake does not mean that your entire marriage was a farce.  It doesn’t mean that you and your husband never loved one another, didn’t have a good marriage, or weren’t happy.  It simply means that, for whatever reason, you were momentarily vulnerable and unfortunately, one of the spouses acted due to that vulnerability.

Often, the real key to getting your marriage to place where it feels “normal” or similar to what you’ve experienced before is to identify that vulnerability and then to remove it.  Because if you can do this, then you can usually also begin to remove some of those doubts.  The reason for this is that you’ll then know that the reason for the affair is removed so that you don’t have to constantly worry anymore.  And, not only can this be very freeing and such a relief, but often the work that you do to remove those vulnerabilities will actually improve your marriage.

Couples often find that they are forced to be truly honest, open, and forthcoming.  They are no longer reluctant to discuss any worrisome issues with or to reach out to their spouse because they now know the danger of doing so.  Also, often an affair will show both people just how close they have come to losing their marriage or their spouse.  This is often a wake up call that isn’t other wise possible.  By no means am I saying that an affair can be a positive thing.  But, I do believe that it can bring about positive changes for your marriage if you use it to motivate you rather than allowing it to weaken your marriage to the point of no return.

Identify What You Most Miss About Your Spouse Or Your Marriage And Be Very Proactive About Getting It Back: If you’re in a situation where you’re mourning what you have lost, you don’t have to just accept that the life that you knew is gone forever or that you will never get it back.  For example, the wife in the above scenario missed the easy rapport and the continuous physical affection that she and her husband shared. Being able to identify and then to focus on these things are the first steps toward getting them back.

But rather than merely mourning this loss, be very proactive about rebuilding these aspects of your relationship.  This is hard for many people because reaching out again to someone who has betrayed or disappointed you can make you feel very vulnerable and even a little foolish.  But, unless you want to continue to live in a marriage that is missing something, you will sometimes have to step outside of your comfort zone and take a chance.  I know that sometimes when you do this, you have the sinking feeling that you’re going to be hurt again.  But if you don’t take that chance, you will never know what your marriage could have been.

Countless couples are able to create an even stronger and more open marriage after an affair because they come to learn the vulnerabilities and lacking that were present.  Addressing your issues is sometimes uncomfortable but it is often worth it because it makes you not only stronger, but more aware of your spouse’s wants and needs and just how badly it feels when you face the threat of loosing them.

I sometimes hear women say that their husband’s affair was the best thing that ever happened to them or their marriage.  I wouldn’t take it that fair.  If I had the choice, I wish my husband’s affair had never happened to us. But, at the same time, I can look back at it now and see where the work we did really did improve our marriage and make it even better in some ways than it was before.  So while our marriage isn’t technically the same, it’s actually improved in some areas and we’re pretty darn happy. My answer to the posed question would be that, although it’s unlikely that your marriage will be exactly the same, you can return it to a happy and fulfilling place.

If you would’ve told me two years ago that I would have a happy marriage again today, I would have never believed you.  My marriage went through some very dark days and there were times when I thought we would never get through it, but we did and we’re actually better off in some ways for it.  If it helps, you can read more of  my story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com/

Married Men And Affairs: Who’s To Blame?

By: Katie Lersch: Blame after a husband’s affair is a very common topic on my surviving infidelity blog.  Sometimes, the faithful wife will blame the other woman more than she blames her husband.  (An example is something like: “We were happy, but that woman sees a happily married man as a challenge. She was determined to have him and she wouldn’t stop until she got him.  She didn’t care if my family was destroyed in the process.  I loathe her for what she did to us.”

With that said, there’s no shortage of wives who place a good deal of blame onto their husband’s.  It’s not unusual for me to hear comments like: “my husband should be so embarrassed by his idiotic behavior.  Here’s a middle aged man chasing after someone who isn’t his wife.  Doesn’t he see that none of it is real? I’m the one who has always stood by him but I guess that doesn’t matter to him. What a jerk.”

The other woman who is cheating with a married man will often blame the wife for not giving the husband what he needed to stay faithful. (An example is something like: “it wasn’t my intention to become involved with a married man.  I didn’t purse him and I tried to avoid it.  But, he was so unhappy in his marriage.  His wife didn’t appreciate him and we just just connected and formed a bond.  I didn’t mean to hurt anyone and I’m sorry if I did, but if she had appreciated what was right in front of her, he wouldn’t have sought me out.”

Who the cheating husband blames often more varied.  Sometimes, he will blame himself, especially if he has the time or personal insight to reflect on his actions.  It’s not unusual for me to hear comments like: “I was so stupid.  I had the most wonderful life and family and I jeopardized it over someone that I really didn’t know and still don’t.  I don’t know how I couldn’t been so dumb.”

Some husbands don’t have this insight though.  There are some who will place the blame on the women involved.  Cheating husbands will sometimes paint themselves as the innocent party.  An example is something like “the other woman literally threw herself at me on countless occasions.  I always stressed that I was married and not interested.    And then one night, I got drunk and gave in.  I will regret that for the rest of my life but I want my wife to understand that I did not pursue her.  She pursued me and I resisted for a very long time before anything happened.”

When a husband blames his wife for an affair, you’ll often hear things like: “I didn’t wake up that morning intending to have an affair.  Over time, it just happened.  Things weren’t all that great at home.  We hardly ever had sex anymore.   She never made the time to really listen to me and when I would approach her for sex, she would make me feel like it was a chore or that I was something to be scheduled or squeezed into her busy schedule.  I’m not trying to defend my cheating, but I want to make it clear that if our marriage had been better, I wouldn’t have had a need to go outside of it.”

What’s interesting is that all of the people in the above examples usually absolutely believe that they are speaking the truth at the time.  They don’t see their statements as ones that are meant to shift or assign the blame.  They just see their assertions as their truth. So, who is really to blame when a married man has an affair?  Here’s my take.

Which Person Is Most To Blame When A Married Man Has An Affair?: I have to admit that now that I’ve had years to reflect what lead up to my own husband’s affair, there was a varied amount of blame to go around in my situation.   But, even after all of my research and the help that I received, it’s still my opinion (and yours may of course be different) that the real blame belongs with the people who took the action to cheat or to have an affair.

Yes, the marriage may have been faltering or even toxic. Your needs may not have been met.  You may have been going through extremely difficult personal struggles. But none of this is justification for cheating.  There are plenty of people who have a multitude of problems who deal with them in ways other than cheating.  There is always a different path.  Counseling, reaching out to your spouse, working through your problems, a separation, or even a divorce are, in my view, options that are preferable to cheating.

As for the other woman, yes, I believe there’s some blame for her as well.  And, while she often doesn’t have accurate information available to her (as husbands will and do tell her things that just aren’t true) knowing that a man is married should be enough information.  Whether a man is happy or understood in his marriage or not, the very fact that he is married should be enough.

Finally, I do believe that there is always lessons to be learned for the faithful wife.  There is usually places where, in hindsight, you can see where your marriage was vulnerable and what you part you played in the same.  With that said though, I don’t believe that any of these vulnerabilities justify cheating.  But, I do believe that it’s important to take a long, hard look at them just the same and remove them so that they don’t continue to cause you issues and pain (and they can come into play in the future whether you save your marriage or not.)

So my own answer to the posed question is that I think there’s plenty of blame to go around when a married man cheats.  But, I think that, of the three people involved, the man himself is the most culpable because he himself intimately knows the circumstances in the marriage, he is the one who is married, and he chooses to act anyway. That’s not to say that the other woman is innocent.  She certainly is not.  But she isn’t as legally or morally bound the faithful wife in the way that the husband is.   And she is not the one who has to face the faithful wife and begin to heal the marriage. This is only my opinion that was formed through my own experience and through interactions on my blog.  Your experiences and opinions certainly might differ.

And, frankly, who is to blame doesn’t matter nearly as much as who is going to take responsibility for the healing.  The fact that a husband shares some of the blame doesn’t mean that he can never be rehabilitated or that he’ll never be a good and faithful husband in the future.  It can mean that he should be an active participant in healing as his actions set this whole thing into motion.

I know that deciding who is to blame for the affair might be very important to you right now.  But, in truth, the blame is often not as important as the healing.  And focusing on the blame for so long that you delay your healing can cause continued pain that could be avoided.  It took me way too long to realize this, but once I did, it made quite a lot of difference.  If it helps, you can read more of that story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com/

How Do You Find Happiness After Your Husband’s Affair?

By: Katie Lersch: I sometimes hear from wives who wonder if they are ever going to feel truly happy again after their husband cheated or had an affair.  Understandably so, finding out about the affair has been almost life changing and has changed their outlook on life.

Common comments are things like: “will I ever feel happy again after my husband had an affair?  And if so, how?  Because every morning I wake up and feel as if life as I knew it has come to an end.  The marriage that I thought was actually good is a lie.  I doubt my ability to judge people.  I doubt my own attractiveness.  I am scared to be on my own.  I feel awkward and unsure about my husband.  In short, I am miserable and scared.  And I don’t see this ever changing.  Is it possible to feel true happiness again after infidelity?  And if so, what can I do to help myself be happy again?”

I firmly believe (and know from my own experience) that it’s completely possible to feel authentic and unbridled happiness and joy after infidelity.   I won’t tell you it’s a fast process.  I won’t tell you that it’s an easy process.  But I will tell you that it is absolutely possible.  And in the following article, I’ll offer some tips on how to reclaim the happiness that you deserve after your spouse’s infidelity.

Separate Your Personal Identity From Your Spouse’s Actions:  Before you can begin to heal and to reclaim your happiness, you must accept that none of this is your fault.  Your husband made his own decisions and acted as the result of his own free will.  Even if your marriage wasn’t perfect and even if you contributed to this imperfection, you are in no way to blame for someone else’s actions.  You shouldn’t own a responsibility that is not yours to  own.

And along that same line of thinking, you should not judge yourself based on the things that someone else has done.  You are not less or a person because of your spouse’s decisions.  You do not have less value because your spouse chose to be unfaithful.  His cheating says something about him, but it should not say something about you.  Know that you are every bit as attractive, funny, smart, and valuable as you were on the day before you learned of your spouse’s affair.  So, your opinion of yourself should not waiver or be negatively affected by your spouse’s mistake.

Fall Back On Those Things (Outside Of Your Marriage) That Have Always Made You Happy: Stop for a second and think about what has made you happy in the last year.  Not everything should be related to your marriage.  It’s a safe bet that you have a family, friends, and hobbies that do not include your husband or your marriage.  That’s not to say that you can’t or won’t save your marriage.  But in the initial days when you are just beginning to heal or are determining what you want to happen with your marriage, it’s a very good idea to seek happiness outside of your marriage.  There are likely people, places, and things in your life that have brought you joy, happiness, and peace.  Now is the time to draw on those things.  In the days immediately after the affair, you may have to draw on the small joys in life – the sunrise, the fact that you woke up and you still have choices, the sound of birds singing or children laughing.  Whatever it is that brings you joy, find ways to feel more of it and to spend more time doing it.

Many wives will admit that they didn’t cultivate a life outside of their marriage and so they feel particularly lost when their marriage is in question.  If this is the case with you, then now is the time to start finding yourself outside of your marriage.  And this is true even if you want to save your marriage.  I was always clear on the fact that I didn’t want to give up on my marriage, but it was also very clear to me that I had lost some of myself within my marriage.  And frankly, if both you and your husband are happy and whole individuals outside of your marriage, then you will have a stronger marriage as a result.

Know That Whatever Happens, Brighter Days Are Ahead: Some wives admit to me that they are worried that they must save their marriage or walk away from it to truly be happy once again.  It’s my experience and observation that women can return to a happy life  in either situation.   Sometimes, I hear from wives whose marriages were affected by an affair years earlier.  Some have saved their marriages and some have not.  But most tell me that life is back to normal and most feel that things worked out for the best.  Wives who saved their marriages will often say that their marriages have improved.  People who ended their marriages  often feel that it ended up being for the best.  The human spirit has a very unique and fortunate ability to bounce back under challenges, even when the person who owns that spirit has their doubts.

So yes, it is completely possible to be happy again after infidelity.  The keys are understanding that none of this is your fault and that your value and your worth has not changed.  It’s also important to take responsibility for your own recovery and happiness.  Give yourself what you need to heal and don’t apologize or feel selfish about the same.

There was a time that I worried that I would never regain my original happiness after my husband’s affair.  I felt sorry for myself for what seemed like a long time but I realized I had to be at my best for my children and for myself.  Honestly, the affair forced me to make many long overdue changes that actually improved my life.  If it helps, you can read about my entire transformation on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

 

How Do I Stop Hating My Husband After He Cheated?

By: Katie Lersch: I sometimes hear from wives who feel a good deal of anger and hatred toward their husband after they catch him cheating or having an affair. Sometimes, the intensity of these feelings take these wives by surprise. They are stunned. Most will tell you that they are not the type of person who feels negative emotions like hatred. Most are able to look the other way when someone angers them. And most will tell you that they never would have believed that they could feel hatred toward the man who they loved more than anyone else. However, that is what they are feeling now – white hot hatred that takes over everything else.

Many are scared by these feelings. Some have children and know that feeling this way toward their children’s father is not going to do anyone any good. Many wish that they could stop the feelings in their tracks, but find that they can not just turn it off and on. They might say: “if you had told me five years ago that I would one day feel this type of hatred toward my husband, I would have called you a liar. I adore my husband. I truly do. That is, until I caught him cheating on me. Now I feel so angry and betrayed that I literally think that I hate him. And that is very hard for me because just last week, I thought about how lucky I was and how much I loved him. But I can’t get over what he has done to me and what he risked and may just throw away. However, I have children and a business with him so I know that I can not go the rest of my life hating him. I know that I need to eventually let down these feelings, but I can’t even fathom how it would be possible because I feel this choking anger every waking hour. I look at him and my blood boils. How do women not just absolutely hate their husbands after infidelity?”

I can not speak for anyone else, but I am willing to share some of my feelings with you in the hopes that it will help. Make no mistake. I was absolutely furious with my husband for cheating and at times thought about doing him bodily harm (although I know that I never would have actually gone through with this. I did, however, destroy plenty of household items and mementos.) I really can not overstate how angry I was. And I stayed that way for quite a while. Right now, you can not see beyond the anger, which is understandable. It can take a while for you to be able to set that aside and to think rationally. Do not be so hard on yourself for that. It is normal.

In my own case, I came to learn that while I could not turn off my feelings, I could redirect them. Like you, I did not want for my children to be exposed to any aspect of the affair, so if I were really angry when we were all together, I would busy or excuse myself. If I was so angry that I might say or do something that I would regret, I would try to avoid or escape the situation. I would wait to interact until another time. Or I’d simply tell my husband that I needed a break for a while and he would give that to me.

I do have to admit that one thing that likely contributed to the fact that I no longer harbor any hatred is that my husband did the right thing pretty quickly. He was remorseful, ended the affair, and agreed to do whatever I wanted or needed. If he had dragged his feet with this, the outcome may have been different. He pretty much did what I asked of him, although we both had resentments and hurt feelings along the way.

At the end of the day, I didn’t carry that hate with me because I decided to hate the ACTION and the BEHAVIOR rather than person. I hated the DECISION. I did not hate him. I can not deny that good people sometimes do bad things and make mistakes. I had to look at the totality of our marriage and decide for myself if the good that my husband had done had outweighed the bad. The truth is, it was not even close. My husband has been a rock for my entire family for years and years. He has taken care of myself and my children while thinking very little of himself. Did he do that when he cheated? Absolutely not. But I could not negate years of good behavior by days of bad behavior. A very close family member of mine (who has now passed away) was an alcoholic. Because of this, part of my childhood was very painful and at times, I have felt resentment and anger. But now that the family member is gone, I realize that I can HATE the disease and still love the person. This family member was otherwise loving and kind. You can’t erase those qualities over one negative thing.

So that is how I don’t hate my husband. I hate what he did and always will. But I do not hate the man that he is. Because he is otherwise a very good man. And I was not going to throw away what I had built with a good man over one mistake, for which he showed remorse and the willingness to make it right.  You can read more about this on my blog http://surviving-the-affair.com

My Spouse Says He Wants Space To Sort Himself Out After His Affair. I’m Afraid He Wants To Keep Cheating

By: Katie Lersch:  Your spouse’s stance and feelings can be very confusing after you’ve discovered that he’s been having an affair.  His words and his actions may say two very different things.  For example, a husband may claim that he’s going to break off the affair and that he wants to save his marriage, but at the same time, he may be distant and cold with his wife.  He may go so far as to suggest that the two of them take a break or pause – which of course reinforces the wife’s issues with trust.

She might say: “my head is honestly spinning.  It was only last week that I found out that my husband has been cheating on me.  He is sort of saying the right things.  He has said that he regrets the affair and is very sorry for it.  He has claimed that he wants to save the marriage.  But no sooner are those things out of his mouth than he will start talking about how he has been depressed lately and really struggling with himself.  He claims that this soul searching lead to the affair somewhat and that he’s still struggling.  So he says that because of this, he wants to take a break from ‘everything’ for a while.  And ‘everything’ includes living with me.  He says that he will stay with a coworker who is a good friend of mine and he swears that the affair is over and that he will not interact with her.  He says that he just needs this time for himself because if he had taken the time before, perhaps the affair never would have happened. I don’t like this at all.  I feel like he’s doing this because either he isn’t sure about our marriage after all or he still plans to cheat and he wants to make it easier by living apart.  However, when I object to this, he almost presents it to me as if I have no choice.  He makes it sound like it’s a desperate situation for him and that he must do something.  I think it’s a mistake.  I think that if we have any chance at all, we don’t want me sitting here assuming that he is continuing to cheat.  Am I right?  Is he just asking for too much?”

I believe that he likely is asking for too much.  It would be completely natural for you to assume the worst once he’s away. And it would be normal for you to question how he could claim to want the marriage, but then leave it almost immediately.  At the same time, his claim isn’t unique.  Many men DO struggle with themselves just before or after an affair.  He could very well be telling the truth about that.

However, struggles do not mean that leaving your home at a time when your marriage is very fragile is going to be the best thing to do.  In fact, this may just make his struggles worse because he’s adding additional problems onto what he is already dealing with.  I would strongly suggest that you try very hard to get him into counseling.  You don’t necessarily have to make this sound as if the counseling is just for him.  Tell him that it’s joint marriage counseling meant for both of you.  Or tell him that it’s for you but that you want him to come along for support.

The reason for this is that he’s been trying to handle his struggles on his own – and look where that has gotten him.  If he truly wants to get a handle on his struggles, “space” is not going to help nearly as much as time with a professional.  He can then present his plan for “space” to the counselor and get his or her take on it.  If the counselor thinks that this is a good idea (which I would doubt,) then he or she can walk him through an option to do it in a healthy way that doesn’t harm your marriage.  I’d suspect however, that the counselor would instead suggest that you allow him some alone time perhaps through individual counseling or time with mutual friends so that he doesn’t need to take the drastic step of moving out if you both want to save your marriage.

The potential for trouble is just too great.  You will understandably worry and question him.  Plus it’s doubtful if just being on his own is going to offer him any huge insights.  He’s already tried handling this on his own and destructive behavior was the result.  I would ask him to go with you to counseling to get an unbiased opinion about his plans.  He’s more likely to listen to someone who isn’t you because he knows that you have your own agenda and your own feelings about this.

If he resists counseling, you can always try to find self help that addresses this issue.  While his claims of struggling and his desire for time to work on himself are not unique after an affair, they can be problematic if he isolates himself.  In truth, it’s best for both people to work on themselves, but that is generally done without anyone needing to separate or move out of the home.  You could understandably read this “space” in the wrong way and then worry about things that are avoidable and unnecessary.  I agree with you that it isn’t a good idea, although I’m biased as I was also the faithful wife.

If my husband had insisted on space, I probably would have made the same assumptions that you are.  There were times when we definitely took breaks from one another, but there was never any thought of living apart for any extended length of time.  It would have intensified the distrust and the fear. That’s not to say that living together was not without its challenges.  There are countless challenges when you are trying to recover after an affair, but you can only tackle them one by one and just keep moving forward.  Eventually, one day you look around and are relieved to find that most of it is behind you.  You can read more about our step by step process on my blog http://surviving-the-affair.com

Why Is My Husband So Defensive After His Affair? What Can I Do About It?

By: Katie Lersch: I often hear from wives who are having trouble figuring out their husband’s odd or troublesome behavior after his affair. One common example of this is defensiveness. Many wives notice their husband acting particularly defensive to any question, comment, or remark.

I recently heard from a wife who said “no matter what I say to my husband, I get a very defensive remark back. I’m not always accusing him or even talking about the affair half of the time, but I still get the same response. It’s as if he’s constantly expecting me to attack or criticize him. I won’t deny that I am angry at and disappointed in him. But what does he expect? He cheated on me and he had an affair. Of course I’m going to have questions and some angry words. I feel that I deserve that. But it’s not as if I’m constantly harping on him about it. This doesn’t matter though. No matter what I say, how I say it, or what we are talking about, I’m going to get a defensive response. Why is this? And what can I do it about it?”

I will try to discuss these questions and concerns in the following article.

Reasons That Husbands Are Defensive After An Affair: As you might imagine, there are many reasons that men might feel or act defensive after an affair. He likely knows very well that you are disappointed and angry at him, so the defensive attitude and stance that you are seeing right now is almost a preemptive strike against that. He sometimes will feel that if he can strike first with the wall he’s built around himself, he won’t feel your disappointment, hurt and anger quite so deeply.

Another reason you might feel or see him being defensive is that he feels as if he needs to justify his behavior, even to himself. So he’s always waiting and ready to tell himself (or you) that he had his reasons for acting as he did. Sometimes, this is a reaction to his feeling guilty and ashamed for what he has done so he tries to counter this with his defensiveness.

Finally, I do sometimes have men contact me on my surviving the affair blog and tell me that they constantly feel attacked by their wives about the affair. Whether this is true or not, sometimes when men feel attacked, they strike back themselves in their own way, and this is often with those defenses that they have been rehearsing in their own head. In short, this is a way for them to feel better about themselves when they know that they truly have hurt you and have made a grave mistake.

What You Can Do When Your Husband Is Being Too Defensive After He Cheats Or Has An Affair: First, you have to understand that it’s human nature to want to defend yourself when you think you’re being made out to be the sole bad guy in a situation. With that said, I certainly don’t want to imply that you are anyway at fault because you are not. Your husband is the one who made the decision to cheat. However, if his attitude is hurting or frustrating you even more, then perhaps it’s time to have an open or honest discussion about this.

Here’s just one example. The next time you notice that your husband’s defensive behavior is driving more of a wedge between you or is making the situation worse, you may want to consider saying something like: “l can’t help but notice that your responses and reaction to me are very defensive lately. I understand that you may be feeling like you want to defend or explain yourself. But, your continuing to constantly be defensive and refusing to open up isn’t really doing us any good or making our marriage better. I can’t help having questions and being disappointed or angry, but I will try to make my comments sound less like personal attacks and more like legitimate concerns. If you do end up feeling attacked, please bring it to my attention so that I can be aware of it and stop. In the same way, I will bring it to your attention when you’re being too defensive so that we can both back up and start over. Because we’re both going to have to work together and bring down our defenses, accusations, and hurtful interactions if we can save our marriage and move on. And, whether you believe it or not, that truly is what I want to do. I want for us to heal and move on, but in order to do that, I need to be able to understand what lead up to this, how you feel right now, and what can do to keep this from happening in the future. Along those lines, I need you to be open and honest with me instead of being defensive. So can we agree to both approach this differently from now on?”

Do you see that I tried to keep things positive and direct? It’s important to stress what you really and truly want. Because if you can both keep your focus on saving the marriage and moving forward, you can hopefully take the focus away from the negative things that are going on like the defensiveness and accusations.

My own husband’s defensiveness after his affair was probably at least somewhat due to my constantly attacking and questioning him. However, at the time, I wanted and needed those answers. Eventually, once we changed our focus, this cycle drastically improved and we were able to save our marriage. If it helps, you can read the whole story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

How Do I Know That My Husband Is Sincere In Wanting To Save Our Marriage After His Affair?

By: Katie Lersch:  I sometimes hear from wives who admit that their husband is seemingly doing and saying the right things after his affair. Even so, the wives often have a nagging little feeling that they just can’t shake which is asking them if their husband is really sincere about everything that he says. Often, they really want to believe that they can trust and believe in him. But, despite this, they can’t help but have their doubts.

I recently heard from a wife who said: “I caught my husband cheating on me last month. Turns out, the affair had been going on for about three weeks. He immediately apologized and begged for my forgiveness. Not only did he agree to go to counseling, but he found the counselor and made the appointment himself. He’s doing and saying all the right things. He’s constantly telling me how sorry he is and how he’s going to make this all up to me if I will just give him the chance. But, I can’t put my finger on what is bothering me because in the back of my mind, I can’t help wondering if he is really and truly sincere. It’s almost too perfect and too rehearsed. Sometimes, despite everything that he is telling me, I will watch him when he isn’t aware that I am looking. And I will see this sort of faraway look on this face which I suspect means he’s thinking of her. I almost feel like he’s trying to make me believe in him so I will let my guard down and he can then see her again behind me back. I suppose my question is how do I know that he is really sincere when he’s says he’s sorry, that he’ll never cheat again, and that he wants to save our marriage? How do I know that he isn’t just telling me what I want to hear so that he will have the all clear to do what he wants to do on the sly?” I’ll try to answer these questions in the following article.

Take A Look And See If His Actions Match His Words: Sometimes, wives don’t understand why they have that nagging little feeling that makes them doubt their husband’s sincerity until they begin to put 2 and 2 together. In other words, are his claims and his actions in alignment? For example, is he telling you that you are the love of his life and that he would do anything for you but then when you are together, he’s not showing you the physical affection that would back this up? Or, is he insisting that you can trust him only to be showing up late sometimes or contradicting himself on little things which might add up to big things? Is he telling you that he’s so deeply sorry for cheating but then getting defensive or even dismissive when you ask him questions about the affair?

All of these things will give you little clues that what he’s saying and how he really feels might be two different things. Now, sometimes a man can be very sincere in his words but he may not know the best way to carry out intentions in actions. Men can be very uncomfortable and awkward when it comes to thinks like discussing their feelings and motivations or agreeing to counseling. A lack of these things do not necessarily mean that he’s not sincere or that he doesn’t love you. But, if you are seeing more than a few of this contradictions, then it may be time to pay attention.

Signs Of A Man Who Is Sincere About Saving His Marriage After He Had An Affair: It goes without saying that all men are different. But there are often tell tale signs they will give off when they really are sincere about saving your marriage. One of the first things to look for is their agreeing to some type of counseling, help, or at least some resources to make them understand why they acted as they did and what they can do to keep it from happening again. I am being very honest when I tell you that this process can be awkward, embarrassing, and painful. It’s just not a lot of fun to examine your every thought and motivation, especially when you are the one who messed up. But a man who truly wants to save his marriage is often willing to do this because he knows that it is likely to help him get what he wants – which is his wife and his marriage back.

Also, a man who is sincerely sorry and motivated to save his marriage will often be very accountable. He fully realizes that his situation is the direct result of his own actions and no one else’s. You’ll sometimes have to pay particular attention to the man who says “yes, I cheated and I’m sorry but you were never there for me” Or “you didn’t give me enough attention or affection.” The reason why these phrases are so dangerous is because they show that he almost feels justified in his actions. So that the next time he feels unappreciated or abandoned, you have to wonder if he will feel justified in cheating again. This isn’t to say that if you are seeing this in your husband that he can’t be rehabilitated or made to understand the mistake in this type of thinking. But, this is a warning sign.

Another thing that you want to look for is patience and lack of defensiveness. A man who knows that the affair was all his fault is going to be willing to face up to your disappointment and anger rather than making you out to be the bad guy or implying that your reaction or feelings are not warranted. That’s not to say that he’s going to enjoy your angry words and actions, but he’s not going to turn them back on you as if you are at fault because of his belief and knowledge that he is the one at fault.

It Can Be Difficult To Identify Sincerity In The Early Stages Of Recovery: I would like to make one final point. Often, it is your husband’s long term actions that are going to be the best indicator of his sincerity. Men can and will say anything after the affair is first discovered when everything is fresh. But eventually, dealing with these issues get very old when you are not 100 percent committed to your wife and your marriage. And if a man really wants to be with the other woman, he will usually only hold out so long before his true colors begin to come out.

On the other hand, a man who sincerely wants to save his marriage is going to consistently show you the same behaviors over the long term because he is simply telling you the truth. So there is no reason for you to see any changes because his intentions and his message are always the same.

It took me a while to believe in my own husband’s sincerity after his affair. But over time, I just noticed a consistency in what he said and what he did. He hung in there over the long haul and, at the end of the day, it mattered. If it helps, you can read that very personal story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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