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.
- ‘Anne’ is the pseudonym for the individual who writes this relationship advice column.
- ‘Anne’ bases her responses on her personal experiences and not on professional training or study. She does not represent herself to be a psychologist, therapist, counselor or professional helper of any sort. Her responses are offered from the perspective of a friend or mentor only.
- Anne intends her responses to provide general information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
- Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
- No correspondence takes place.
- No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by ‘Anne’ to people submitting questions.
- ‘Anne’, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. ‘Anne’ and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
- Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.
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.