A woman shares her story of struggle to survive an affair – her own.
Somebody sent us this letter via email over the weekend and we felt that it was pretty powerful stuff.
The email was from a woman who is apparently working hard to survive an affair – her own – as well as the backlash of emotions and painful feelings felt by her husband as a result.
What struck us was how after the affair, the wife (the cheating spouse) feels tremendous remorse and wants more than anything to work on their marriage and “win” her husband back, yet the husband (victim) wants no part of it and won’t change the way that he feels.
Utter frustration and desperation is setting in and she is at a loss for how to proceed. Divorce is becoming a real possibility.
An Unfaithful Woman’s Struggle to Survive an Affair…
It seems like reading your blog accurately depicts the last year or so of my life. I went through the “I love you, but I’m not in love with you” chapter. I’ve been through “the affair” chapter, as the cheater. I’m now in the middle of the “question of divorce” chapter and “can my marriage be saved?” chapter.
The actual words of “I love you, but I’m no longer in love with you” came from both my lips and my husband’s. Those words were uttered from him just recently, and I have to say the meaning behind them scares me! I remember how I felt when I said that to him, and now being on the receiving end of it, I now know how he felt when I said it. I also know how he feels now saying it to me. Because of this, I get this sinking feeling that he has about thrown in the towel.
He is completely caught up in the very real pain of having been cheated upon and lied to, and I can’t blame him at all. However, I do not want our marriage to end! I have made some HUGE mistakes, but I believe there is hope.
I am the last person on Earth he wants to receive any help from. He is in absolute denial, and it’s killing me! I want to try so badly! I want to do the hard work, but I’m not sure he does! So do I sit back and wait as he stagnates?
He tells me that he doesn’t know what to say to me anymore, that he doesn’t want to hurt me, that he doesn’t like me very much. I know that forgiveness is a process, but he won’t do anything about the way he feels. Above all, I don’t want him to hurt anymore. I want him to feel joy and happiness again. I want him to be able to trust me again. I want to have the happiness we once had. If he doesn’t, then none of my desires to make things right matter. I’m afraid any move I make will push him out the door toward divorce!!
I read your blog, and I’ve read some of the books, and I’m willing to do the difficult work of rebuilding my marriage. I’m willing to be completely transparent. I’m willing to be completely open and honest, but none of this matters if he won’t listen.
I know that numbers don’t lie! I look at the stats about divorce and I know that those numbers depict a grim future for us if we get a divorce! I don’t want to be with anyone else! I wish that I could take it all back! I wish that it didn’t take this separation and these awful events to make me realize how much I love my husband!!!
All of that is now water under the bridge, and I can never ever take it back. I can only move forward, and move forward with the knowledge that I will never be that person again, and that I will never do those things again! I will keep persevering because I believe that our marriage is worth it! I believe my husband is worth it! I just hope that our story can someday be a testament to truth, faith and hard work! Because right now, we are in the thick of the battle.
I don’t know what the outcome may be. I believe that if my husband is not sure about a divorce, then there is still hope. It’s hard to see that sometimes. I get so bogged down in the sadness and heartache that it’s hard to see that there is some beacon of hope for our marriage.
It’s in those dark times that I pray for strength and perseverance to make it through one more day. What Dr. Gunzburg says about knowing when it’s time to get a divorce, that its clear cut and one doesn’t have to ask others whether or not he or she should, gives me hope that there is still a chance for our marriage to work because my husband isn’t sure. He’s questioning himself. He is still doubting.
I believe he still loves me, even though he’s very angry, hurt, and betrayed. If he isn’t sure, if he doesn’t feel that 100% feeling then I still have hope. It seems counterintuitive to be assured by such a negative prospect. I look at it this way, if he wasn’t hurting, if he wasn’t doubting, if he wasn’t questioning, if he wasn’t angry, then I would know he didn’t care.
But with all of that in mind, I can say that he does care. It may be only a fraction of a percent right now. It may be so small that he just doesn’t see it, but it’s there nonetheless. Now, that does not mean he will be willing to try after he gets unstuck. He may be too worn out to even attempt at giving our marriage a second shot. That may still be the case, and if that is well, then, I guess I will cross that bridge when I come to it.
But for now, I feel at least a small comfort in knowing that he hasn’t completely given up. His reasons may not be very good. As a matter of fact, I asked him why he didn’t want a divorce the other day, and he said because he didn’t want to hurt me. I can’t deny that I didn’t like what he said. It hurt, but I also had to take into account where he was, emotionally in the game when I asked him this question. I had to take comfort in knowing that he cares enough to try to not hurt me even after all the hurt I caused him. It put a different perspective on what is happening at this stage of our relationship.
I know that I want to try. I also know that I have received lots of counseling and spiritual support since we have separated. I have sought to change. I have taken accountability for all of my actions. I have re-committed to my marriage because I believe it is worth all of the hard work. I’m vulnerable and willing to remain that way. But he’s not there yet, and I can’t force him to be there. But I also believe he is trying to be honest in the best way he knows how.
The problem is, he doesn’t want to ask for help. I don’t know if he thinks it will show weakness on his part or if he thinks that there is nothing that anyone can do to help him out of this bad place he’s in right now, but either way, he’s in a regressed place compared to me. I have to keep this in mind every time I want to talk about our relationship.
Where I see hope, he sees no hope. Where I see potential he sees all the negative images of my infidelity. And I have to remind myself that he’s just not ready. It’s the waiting that is the hardest part of all of this.
This letter demonstrates yet again how painful and destructive an affair can be, and just how tough a struggle to surviving an affair really is – especially when only one spouse is interested in doing so.
We would love to get your responses to this letter, as we’re sure that it hits home with many of you.