This article is not intended for those who have recently discovered their spouses extramarital affair, but rather for those who have been on the healing journey for a significant period of time, who desire to stay married, and whose spouses have done their part in taking responsibility for their affair and doing the work necessary to heal the marriage.
Dear Anne - My husband has been wonderful about continuing to answer my questions. We talk about it almost every day. I know you would tell me not to talk about it everyday but it just seems that it's been going that way. He's been patient and honest and I've told him how much I value our talks.
However, two things are happening. As you know I have asked many questions repeatedly because after we talk something pops up that I forgot to ask. Then I obsess over what I thought happened vs. what might have happened. Is it normal to want to know the exact sequence, first kiss, first time they said I love you?
It's normal to want to know these things, but not always profitable. What is the benefit you hope to achieve by knowing this? The motive behind your questions needs to be to understand your husband better so you can make changes if necessary to better meet his needs. The motive behind your questions needs to be healing, understanding and improving your marriage today.
Also, it seems the more info I get, the more hurt I get, because it's much clearer to me now how intense this relationship was. He was planning on leaving but was waiting for the right time to do it and eventually stayed. I feel devastated all over again.
This is a reality you need to face and put to rest. If you're looking to feel better about yourself by feeling he never had an intense relationship with another woman, you're looking toward the wrong thing, a false foundation (building your house (self-esteem) on the sand), to feel good about yourself.
You need to feel you're of value because of who God made you to be which can never be taken from you (building your house on the rock). Then whatever storms may come in your life and beat against your house (self-esteem), you won't be moved, because nothing and no one will ever change how special you are to God and how special and unique he created you and how incredibly much He loves you.
What's past is past. Your husband had intense feelings for another woman, and he was emotionally messed up (impaired), so his feelings were messed up too. Our feelings often follow our actions (because we have to begin to think differently in order to act differently). Today is what matters, and the future, not that brief moment in time when your husband screwed up royally (which did not make you a lesser person of a lesser value - it made him lesser). Today your husband has intense feelings for you and he is learning and doing the actions necessary to keep growing in his intense feelings for you.
You can leave if you want, and perhaps find another man who you've shared nothing with so far, who is not the father of your children and who also once had intense feelings for another woman (or has something wrong with him at this age), and what will you gain?
Why not let go of the past? So it's got an ugly black spot on it. I don't think there is a person out there who doesn't have an ugly black spot of some sort on their past. How well you handle rejection is part of what makes you a beautiful woman (or man) to be admired.
This is your life. Take what you want. Do you love your husband/wife? Does he/she have intense feelings for you today? Has he/she learned from his/her mistake and changed his/her behavior to ensure he/she always has intense feelings for you exclusively from this day forward? Then don't let your past rob you of what belongs to you today.
As in the Robin Williams movie, Dead Poets Society, "Carpe Diem!" Seize the day!
For information about seminars click here.
For information about confidential coaching with Brian or Anne click here
©Copyright 2005 Anne and Brian Bercht. All rights reserved.
If you would like to share a success story,
helpful insight or comment on this article we welcome your remarks.
Email your questions or comments to Brian and/or Anne firstname.lastname@example.org
(Due to the large volume of emails we receive, we cannot answer all emails, but we care about every person who contacts us and will do our best to respond personally to you.)