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How will my husband ever forgive me for being unfaithful?

Tagged as: Cheating, Marriage problems, Trust issues<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (31 May 2015) 3 Answers - (Newest, 1 June 2015)
A female United Kingdom age 30-35, anonymous writes:

Hi aunts and uncles. I have been married for four years and have two children with my husband. I absoloutly adore him. However, at a hen party two years ago, in a moment of madness, i kissed another man. It wasnt a proper kiss, as there were no tongues etc, but it was still so wrong. I regretted it instantly and came home and told my husband. He left for two days, and even though i totally deserved it, i was devastated. I couldnt beleive i hurt the man i love, all for what, a stranger who meant nothing to me. My husband came back to me, saying he forgave me cuz he loves me, and i was so grateful. Only he brings it up all the time. He throws it in my face every arguement. I know i dont deserve his trust, but i really am trying to earn it back. I let him check my phone, emails and i havent went out or drank since. I said to him i understand if he cant be happy with me anymore, he deserves to meet someone else who wont hurt him like i did. But he said he only wants me. I know i cannot expect him to ever forget this, but how will he ever be happy again if we always fight over it? I just want him to be happy again. I am truly sorry and will never ever do it again. How can i make him see this?

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (1 June 2015):

Ok,I don't know if I'm the only one here standing here, feeling like this,but my initial reaction was this:

"Really? He's holding a grudge AGAINST you for such a MINOR incident? Still the same after TWO years?"

I must say, my reaction is still not very changed-

1) Flirting with another man (yes, very bad,and you should not do that. However everybody flirts a bit-even at work! There are such things as "couple at work" (i.e. they're not really a "couple") etc. where you know it's not going anywhere and is some innocent flirting)

2) Ok,a kiss, very bad, but no tongues, not even someone you know. So no feelings involved? (I find it a bit strange to fathom you having feelings for a complete more of a physical attraction thing?)

3) What's your action after these very bad actions(but fairly minor)? You fess up, immediately.

4) Your actions speak louder than words- you thought you had done something wrong, so your conscience not being able to live with it (and not wanting to lie to your loved one) you fessed up and were ready to face the consequences. You DID something about it, you did NOT keep it in the closet.

5) He left rather than deal with it.

6) He now brings up this minor transgression in EVERY argument? I think you are exaggerating there,but if you are not, I wonder how much is there left to save?

Yes, being cheated on is not nice, but sooner or later we all have to "get over it" (I say this as someone who has experienced it).

What's the alternative? To never move on?

My view is slightly tainted by the fact that I don't even see this as cheating-there was no sex involved! But that's an opinion.

If even YOU yourself describe it as cheating then it must have felt that way to you.

I'm sorry but living a life in misery is not an option (well,it is...just not an inviting one).

Two lives wasted in constant misery... :(

I'd say give him a deadline-if he hasn't "forgiven" or "moved on" by then, then maybe you should leave him as him not being around YOU might be the only thing that he needs in order to move on.

I agree with the other anon- you should acknowledge his feelings and maybe not phrase it as I did, but essentially you can't live your life constantly being painted as the "sinner" with him being the "saint".

I think whatever his feelings about this-he hasn't really faced them. At all. And the anger, betrayal etc. are still bubbling up inside.

But "getting over it" has stages- it seems that he (and you!) never moved on from the first ones. It's something that you should be able to work on together.

If you can not work to get over this difficulty in your relationship TOGETHER, then what happens if other hardships come your way? Is this how you're always going to play things? With blame, anger and resentment?

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (1 June 2015):

Difficult, at best, possibly impossible.

The only way through is to let him know frankly, lovingly, gently, but firmly, that you love him, and will do everything you can to earn back his trust and respect, but that being his whipping post for the rest of your life isn't on the list of productive steps towards him respecting you.

He will bring it up for years. If it is Germaine to his emotional state, then you will need to acknowledge the hurt, but not let him heap damage back at you in a vengeful manner. If it is not relevant to his emotional state, then you need to remind him that you are deeply sorry for that hurt, but it isn't the point of the current discussion.

Whatever you do, don't come across as telling him to "get over it". A huge part of what hurts about being cheated on is the lack of value we feel our unfaithful partner places on our emotional well being. If you ever seem like you're telling him to "get over it" (even if you use a different, but roughly equivalent phraseology) you'll be setting back your progress by unintentionally delivering the message that you still don't care about how he experiences his pain, grief, and vulnerability.

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A male reader, Garbo United States +, writes (1 June 2015):

Garbo agony auntI think your husband either did not forgive you or he does not know the definition of forgiveness. To forgive means never to bring it back and blast you during arguments. So one thing you should clear up is which is it: fake forgiveness or clueless on what forgiveness is.

The issue of trust, however, is totally separate from forgiveness. The fact that you are transparent with him about your phone, email etc helps but for some men, and I think your guy is like this, that exercise fuels his suspicion and feeds into his fake forgiveness and paranoia about infidelity. So bargain with him: tell him that you will let him roam thru anything of yours anytime in exchange for true forgiveness such that he will never keep blasting you for what you did but if he brings it back up at you, you will pull all your personal stuff private.

Second, rebuilding trust is a process, so discuss that process and find out what are concrete steps he would need to feel at peace because ultimately love which he professes requires sense of trust.

Suggest counseling if your communication channels are broken. Sometimes conversations that are mediated are needed in order to come up to a lasting, constructive conclusion.

I personally don't think that your deed is a grave thing for your marriage but it sure is a very dark mark on it, particularly for men because men value loyalty. However, in two years since that, some sort of an improvement should have occurred, but it hasn't, so I think some sort of an external mediated influence is needed to drive the issue of forgiveness as described and pave way for trust. I also think that it is doable because within those two years he has not left, so he definitively does view the marriage as something that he wants. Since you both have the will to work it out it seems to me that the only thing left is to figure out how. Be optimistic.

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