My wife and I are good friends with another couple. The other couple has a home on the island where we live, but they are currently living out of state. My wife had an affair with the husband while he was staying at our house while in town on business. She says it was just one time, and she can’t explain why it happened other than it was an “animal attraction.” We love each other and are trying to keep our marriage together. I have two questions: First, is it OK for me to keep trying to get my wife to explore the reason(s) she was compelled to have an affair? Second, the wife from the other couple still does not know about the affair. Both my wife and the other husband are keeping the secret because they don’t want her to get hurt. I understand this and agree she would be hurt if she were to find out. I am reminded of the affair everytime there is correspondence between my wife and the other wife, and it bothers me a great deal. There is no communication between my wife and the other husband. Am I too sensitive about this? Should my wife let the friendship go? Should someone tell the other wife?
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In answer to your first question, YES, it is alright for you to keep trying to get your wife to talk about the reasons why she had the affair. It is only right for you to know these reasons if it is important in your coming to terms with her infidelity. In my opinion, she should feel lucky that you are forgiving enough to try to understand her reasons. I strongly suggest that you and your wife discuss seeing a marriage counselor. This person might be able offer good advice on how to get past this painful time by opening up your lines of communication with very proactive methods. As for your second question, I don’t believe you are being too sensitive about the situation at all, but if you demand that your wife let her friendship with the other wife “go,” the other wife is going to want to know why, and from that, she will most likely learn of the affair. It’s not my place to say whether or not the other wife should be informed of her husband’s affair, but I would suggest that if she is told, her husband be the person to tell her. He has violated a marriage vow, and should have thought about his wife getting hurt BEFORE he had the affair! I hope this helps, – Anne