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Affairs And Broken Hearts

Question:

I found out 7 months ago that my husband had an affair with a coworker. We have been married for 22 years and have 3 children. This is the first time he has been unfaithful. I decided to forgive him. He did not have feelings for the other person and we were going through a bad time. I had put my children first and spent little time with him. We were drifting further apart. Since everything has come out, our relationship has been better than it had been for a long time. I know he is sincere and loves me. The thing is, I can’t seem to put it behind me. I still think about it and try very hard not to bring it up. I’m afraid I will drive him away by bringing it up all the time. There are times I feel fine but then it all comes back and I feel like I am dying inside. How can I put this behind me? I want the marriage to work for my children but also for me. It made me realize how much I really love him.

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Answer:

You want to forgive him, and at least publicly, you have. But, inside where it counts you have been unable to forgive him for the affair. This is nothing to be ashamed of. Feelings are not things to be ordered about. You cannot will yourself into a forgiveness that you are not ready to give. Your trust in your husband has been shattered, and it will take time, loving communication, continuing efforts towards forgiveness and knowledge that no new transgressions have or will occur before it can be restored. You are probably going to need to speak about your feelings; to your husband, and to trusted others. Not that you should dwell on them excessively, but they will need their due. In a way, you need to grieve for what has been lost, while simultaneously allowing new growth to occur. If you haven’t been to marital counseling with your husband, now would be a good time to start. A good marital counselor is on the couple’s side (and not the side of either of you individually), and will act as part traffic-cop (keeping fighting and bickering to a minimum), and facilitator (helping you both to speak your pain and to be heard by the other). Good luck.

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Comments
  • Jan

    there used to be a great resource listed in the comments for this article from a service dog trainer who's husband was a vet - please post that email addressa again so folks can contact them- they are an invaluable resource

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