Things Aren’t Getting Any Better With Time After My Husband’s Affair

By: Katie Lersch: I sometimes hear from people who don’t feel that they are making sufficient progress after their spouse’s infidelity. Often, they have been told that it will get better and so they wait for the day that this becomes a reality. Only, things never seems to improve.

I heard from a wife who said: “every one told me that things will get better with time. Well, it has been eight months since my husband had his little affair. And, if anything, it has gotten worse with time, not better. My anger just grows and grows. He says that he is being faithful, but I am not sure that I believe him. He’s so chilly to me and we are not intimate very much so I feel like he must be getting his needs met somewhere. He tells me that my suspicions and lack of trust will end our marriage but I’m not sure what else I’m supposed to think. It seems as if each day feels worse than the last. What am I missing? How come it seems to get better for everyone else but not for me?”

I know that it can feel this way sometimes. In my experience, it did eventually get better. But it wasn’t always a linear journey. I might have had a good day followed by a slew of bad so that I might start to feel as if I would never make progress. But I did. And many people have the same experience. With this said, some do recover faster than others. If you’re not happy with your pace (and most of us aren’t,) there are some things that you might want to watch out for. I will discuss them below.

Understand That You Can’t Always Depend On Someone Else For Your Own Improvement: I will fully admit that healing is easier and happens more quickly if you have a spouse who gets with the program, who is remorseful, and who makes it his or her business to help you heal from a situation that was their doing in the first place. Not everyone is this lucky. Some people are having to deal with indecisive spouses or spouses who aren’t yet completely trustworthy. And sometimes when this happens, you have to accept that you can’t base your own healing on your spouse’s actions (or lack of them.) Because if you do and they are not acting as you want them to, then your own healing is going to be delayed.

To avoid this, sometimes you will need to separate you own healing from their’s. This doesn’t mean that you have to let your spouse go or give up on your marriage. It just means that until they get with the program, you will have to provide yourself with what you need. And actually, I found this to be helpful even when my husband was partially on board. While we were working on us, I was also very aggressively working on myself as an individual because I didn’t want to be dependent on someone else for my own happiness again. That’s not to say that I’m not open to being happy one day in a loving marriage, but if it’s not there yet, sometimes you have to learn that you don’t need this in order to feel whole or happy. Believe it or not, once you get to this place, it can improve your marriage. Two stronger individuals make a more solid marriage. And if he doesn’t come around, you always have the stronger version of yourself improving and healing more each day.

Know That If You Aren’t Seeing The Progress That You Want, You Actively Have To Seek It Out Until You Find What Works Best For You: Sometimes, you will try something with very good intentions and you will find that it just isn’t helping. My first attempt at counseling was like that. I was so disappointed that I was tempted to quit until experienced friends encouraged me to keep trying to find some relief until things got better. It may take more than a few stops and starts until you find that thing that helps you turn the corner. Some people love counseling and others feel as if it is akin to pulling a band aid off a fresh wound. If something is not working, find something else. But know that the worst thing that you can do is recognize that it’s not getting better and then not actively trying something new to change things.

I know that this seems like an unfair hassle but you have to remember that your best advocate is often yourself. Only you know how you really feel and what you really need. And if you don’t evaluate where you are and then ask for or seek out what you need, the unfortunate fact is that it’s possible that no one else is going to do it for you.

But on the plus side, the effort is often worth it. Because knowing that you took care of yourself is a gift. It brings about the confidence that is necessary to trust again. You often won’t know just how much better this feels until you experience it for yourself.

So to answer the concern posed, if it hasn’t yet gotten better, ask yourself what you still need that you aren’t getting. Then, ask yourself how you can provide that thing for yourself. If your spouse is on board, wonderful, then share what you need with him and ask him to take action. But if he isn’t, you don’t need him to begin the healing yourself as an individual. You can start that process on your own.

Even though my husband was on board, I did a lot of work on myself as an individual.  I actually think this was more helpful to me than the work I did on my marriage.  If it helps, you can read the whole story on my blog

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