by: katie lersch: I often hear from women who are very reluctant to trust their husband again after his affair. One major issue that frequently crops up is the husband seeing, thinking about, or being with the other woman again after the affair has supposedly ended. Usually, the husband will deny that this is going to happen, but the wife doubts it since the infidelity has shown that he isn’t exactly trustworthy. This can leave the wife in a situation where she really does want to believe and have faith in him, but she’s afraid to do so.
I recently heard from a wife who asked, in part: “how do I know if he’s going to see the mistress or the other woman again after the affair? I made it a condition of my trying to save the marriage that he have nothing whatsoever to do with this woman. And he hesitated. He said he needed time to decide what he wanted to do. He clearly felt reluctant to let her go. In the end, he decided to stay with me and save the marriage. And he says he will agree not to see her again. But how do I know that I can trust him with this? My biggest worry is that I’ll decide to be very vulnerable and place my trust in him only to have him sneaking around again behind my back. Is there any way to tell if he’ll see her again? Or to make sure that he won’t?”
Although this is a common issue, it feels very real and very troublesome to the woman living within it. Dealing with your husband’s infidelity is very difficult on so many levels. But having to worry that he’s going to see the mistress or other woman again is an issue that you just shouldn’t have to deal with. I will discuss this more in the following article.
If You’re Concerned That Your Husband Will Continue To See The Mistress, Try To Put Some Safeguards In Place: I often suggest that wives don’t leave a lot to chance when they are working on saving their marriage after their husband’s affair. Yes, you will need to trust him to the best of your ability. But this is a lot easier if you both agree to some safeguards that increases your comfort level. It’s not too much to ask of him to request that when he’s not at work, he’s at home or with you. It’s not an unreasonable request to ask him to check in with you often. It’s usually best if you are together as much as possible when you are rebuilding, because, when this is the case, you’re not having to worry about where he is or who he’s with.
If you know that he’s with you or regularly (or checking in with, texting, communicating with, or reaching out to you,) then these reassurances usually mean that you aren’t worrying about her nearly as much. Some wives agree that these safeguards sound promising, but they are reluctant to ask these things of their husband. Sometimes, they suspect that their husband will resist this or feel some resentment as the result of it.
I had a wife tell me that she worried that her husband would ask if she intended to spy on him or to keep him on a “short leash” forever. While I suppose that these kinds of comments or responses happen, you can try to avoid this by the way that you approach this conversation. You want to make it very clear that this is necessary for you to have confidence that he is being faithful. You may want to offer some reassurance that this may not always be necessary, especially once you’re able to rebuild the marriage. And a man who is serious about saving his marriage will want to make concessions. Of course, you know better than I the kinds of words and phrases that will work best for your husband, but a suggestion would be something like this.
“Part of rebuilding our marriage is our being completely honest with each other. So I need to be honest with you right now. As much as I want to save our marriage, I’m very concerned that you will continue to see her. I know that you don’t intend to, but for my own benefit, can we discuss some safeguards that might make this easier for me? As we make progress, I hope that I won’t need these reassurances forever. But for now, will you show me your commitment to our marriage by agreeing to some things that will make things easier for me?”
Be prepared to negotiate and to talk again if your needs or feelings change. The whole idea is that you are both open and up front about what you need to be comfortable and fully committed. It’s better to speak up and request what you need than to not say a word and struggle with your doubts.
What If The Mistress Insists On Continuing To See Your Husband Or She Won’t Take No For An Answer?: Occasionally, I hear from wives who trust their husband and know that the husband has made it very clear to the other woman that it’s over. However, sometimes, the mistress just doesn’t want to accept this. She is the one who reaches out to the husband or who tries to continue to have contact with him. In this case, while it’s not fair to blame the husband, you can’t let the behavior continue either.
Your husband may need to reassert that the relationship is over and then cut off all contact. If necessary, he may need to change his phone number, email, or other accounts. Sometimes, he may even need to take legal action. The chances of saving your marriage when your husband continues to see or even has to deal with the other woman are less than if you both were confident that she was out of your lives.
Focusing On Your Own Marriage Is Actually The Best Way To Keep Him From Continuing To See The Mistress: I very much understand your fears right now. This was one of the biggest fears that I had in my own recovery after my husband’s cheating. But I can tell you from experience that sometimes when you continue to dwell on and worry about the other woman, you give you more power and you weaken your own marriage and chances for recovery.
I know it’s difficult to put your fears aside, but honestly, making your own marriage as strong as it can possibly be and placing your focus on your husband and your marriage is one of the best ways to make sure that you no longer have to worry about the other woman. Because when you rebuild to the point where you know that your husband prefers you to anyone else, then she’s no longer a threat.
I know that worrying about this woman is no fun. But don’t place all of your focus on her so that she continues to damage your marriage. Sometimes, if you return your focus to you and your husband, you get her out of your life that much faster. Although I never would’ve believed this two years ago, after some struggles, my marriage is stronger than ever after my husband’s affair. It took a lot of work, and I had to play the game to win, but it was worth it. Because of all the work I did on myself, my self esteem is in tact. I no longer worry my husband will cheat again. If it helps, you can read more of that personal story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com
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