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Lost Trust


I recently found out that my wife had an affair with my friend a little over a year ago. It happened during a bad time in our marriage and I was drinking excessively. I have since gotten help for my alcoholism and haven’t had a drink in over 6 months. She says the affair didn’t last long and its been over for a long time. She says she really wants to work on our marriage but I am so hurt, I don’t know how to get through this. We do have a son, age 8, together. How can I ever trust her?

This Disclaimer applies to the Answer Below
  • ‘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).
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  • 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.

As you said – it was a bad time in your marriage. You escaped into the bottle and she escaped into another man. But you are both back now and have much to gain from trying to make proper repairs. Trust isn’t something you can force or produce on demand, so don’t make your regaining trust in your wife a precondition of trying to work out your difficulties with her. Rather, accept her statement of wanting to work it out with you at face value and meet her in the middle with the same attitude. Over time, if she remains faithful and you remain sober than you will probably begin to trust her again. Ask her to go to a marriage counselor with you as soon as you can so that you both will have some help in working things out.

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