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The Marriage Corner: How Do We Get Through This?


How long have you been together? 11 yrs

What is your age range? 30-35

Please share your story: I found out my wife was in an inappropiate relationship with a co-worker about 7 years ago. We talked through everything and my wife told me they were only friends. There were signs that there was more but I held onto the thought that she could never cheat on me.

It has bothered me terribly for all this time and would make me resentful of her even though I love her. We have had many arguements over these 7 years and I’ve said some pretty mean things in anger. Each time, my wife would let a little more of the story out.

This past fall she admitted that she had been in an emotional affair with the guy, but there was never any physical contact. She finally just told me a few days ago that they did have sex one time. I’m crushed, but am willing to make an attempt to work through this. The worst part is, I feel she is getting a pass for what she did.

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Infidelity is one of the leading causes of divorce. It eats away at the very foundation of marriage and that is trust. So, even though this happened seven years ago, you have sensed it all along and, naturally, it has bothered you.

However, it is important for you to keep in mind that a third person brought into a marriage through an extramarital affair is usually a symptom of things that are wrong in the marriage. That does not forgive what you wife did, it does provide some explanation. The question that you and she need to ask and work on finding the answer to is, what is not working between the two of you? In order to move past this, both of you need to do lots of talking and exploring.

By the way, your wife is not getting what you call “a free pass.” She is an adult and not a child and should not be treated like one. Most probably, this has bothered her all along and is why she kept it hidden. After all, she never asked for a divorce but felt a need, for some reason, to have this affair.

If you both need help in moving beyond what happened seven years ago, there is always marriage therapy. Whatever the impediments have been in your relationship can be discussed securely with an objective person in the form of the therapist. That can help you avoid future mistakes as you learn to better communicate.

While it is possible to speak of forgiveness, in my opinion, this exploration must first occur. Remember, you played a role in this. You wife did not handle your marriage problems well. Instead of talking things over, she went outside the marriage.

Ultimately, both of you need to rebuild trust together.

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