Why Can I Not Completely Move On After My Husband’s Infidelity?

By: Katie Lersch:  I sometimes hear from wives who don’t feel as if they have completely healed since their husband’s affair.  This can be true regardless of whether or not they stayed with their husband.  Often, no matter what has happened or how much time has passed, they still feel like they haven’t let go or haven’t moved on.

I heard from a wife who said: “my husband had an affair three years ago.  We are still together.  Our marriage has mostly recovered.   I know for a fact that the other woman is out of the picture. I believe that my husband is sorry.  All of the conditions that I required of my husband have been met.  I mostly have my life back. My marriage is in tact.  My family is together.  So, why don’t I feel triumphant?  And why have I not been able to completely move on?  I find myself harboring anger at my husband for things unrelated to this.  If he does one little thing wrong, I will think about the affair in my own mind although I do not bring it up.  It is like I am adding one more little slip up to the long list that I keep in my head.  I don’t want to feel this way about my husband.  But I can not forget what he did.  I want to wake up one day and stop thinking about this.  I want to completely move on.  I want this to be gone from my life.  Why hasn’t this happened yet?”  I will try to address these concerns in the following article.

Is There A Part Of You That Doesn’t Want To Let Go Or That Doesn’t Want To Give Up The Upper Hand?:  I am going to give you fair warning that some of the things that I am going to say might push your buttons or make you feel defensive.  I promise you that this isn’t my intention.  I am saying things that might be difficult to hear because what I truly want, more than anything, is to help you move past this so that you can feel unencumbered joy for the rest of your life.  I have been there and I know that you don’t deserve (or want) to live this way.  So the things that I am going to say are difficult, but I feel that they are necessary.

My first question (again, from experience) is whether somewhere deep down, you want to keep the upper hand.  I know that this was the case for me.  Letting go means that you no longer have the crutch of his cheating when you argue.  You no longer hold the trump card that allows you to put this in his face.  That means if you make a mistake, you have to own up to it and get called on it rather than pulling out your trump card, which can be oh so easy and habit forming.  It’s addicting when you have the upper hand.

But at the same time, it keeps you stuck.  It keeps the anger churning and bubbling.  And when there is so much inner turmoil, it’s almost impossible to truly move on.

Have You Reclaimed Your Life Outside Of Your Marriage?:  This is another tough question to ask.  And by no means am I asking in an accusatory or condescending way.  I am asking it out of concern.   I know from experience that sometimes you don’t or can’t move on because you feel like you haven’t been able to replace what was lost.  Therefore, you have underlying resentment that you haven’t yet been made whole.  But the thing is, sometimes only you can truly make yourself whole.  Other people can disappoint you, or misunderstand you, or just be unable to provide what you need.  But you have the power to do all of these things for yourself.

It takes courage.  It takes drive and it requires for you to step outside of your comfort zone and step into the light.  But I find that a lot of the time, we haven’t been made whole out of fear or isolation.  We become comfortable in the dark.  We don’t seek out or demand what we are afraid to admit that we really want.

Take a minute and sit down and list who you were and what you enjoyed before the affair.  Now, do the same for the here and the now.  Many times, you will find that you have stopped or slowed the things that you used to enjoy which have nothing whatsoever to do with your husband, your marriage, or even the affair.   You might blame these changes on the affair, but in reality, the only person who can give you your life back is you.

This wife admitted that her husband had done everything that had been asked of him. He was sincere and he was trying extremely hard to make things right again.  He had proven his love and his commitment repeatedly. And yet, she still had been unable to move on.  So it was time to take inventory and find out where the resentment was coming from.  Many times, it comes from the fact that you have not yet picked up all of the pieces of your life.

Infidelity can bring out our fears and insecurities. And this is unfair and not our fault.  But all we have control over is today.  Now is the time to take control and take your life back.  The time is now. You deserve to live your best life.  None of this is your fault, but you have to take the initiative and be your own best advocate.

I can honestly say that I feel that I’ve put my husband’s infidelity behind me.  It certainly wasn’t always this way.  But there just came a point where I no longer wanted to live in the past.  I no longer wanted to feel that I was dragging around dead weight.  I wanted to feel free.  I wanted to feel hope.  And I made that happen, sometimes by sheer stubbornness.  If it helps, you can read more on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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