Hello everyone!

If your spouse says they no longer love you, and you feel more like enemies than friends, what chance is there for turning the relationship around and restoring the love? (Dr. Frank Gunzburg say’s the love may NOT really be dead.)

Our discussion for this week centers on these questions…What if your spouse walked away? Can you persuade them to return, even after you poured your heart into it? What are you willing to do to make them come back? Do you really have anything to lose?

Please feel free to explain your situation and also offer help to others!

Have a great day!

Doug & Linda

See also  Dealing With a Marital Rut

    12 replies to "Discussion: What Will You Do to Make Them Stay?"

    • Jenn

      I’m having such a hard time right now. Is there a website or somewhere on this site that gives tips to the cheater on how to treat his betrayed spouse that helps her to heal? My husband says he is caring for me, but it’s not the way I need–it’s what HE thinks I need and I feel so alone right now. I truly want our marriage to work, and fully thought he would treat me like I am a valued and special part of my life once he came home to me. I thought I would hear how great and wonderful he thinks I am–he told the OW she was ‘amazing’ and ‘beautiful’ and ‘sexy’ on a constant basis but I am getting nothing like that–NOW is when I need it most! It makes me feel like there is something he isn’t telling me. He says he’s trying, but I believe I would feel more love from him if he was sincere in meeting my needs and helping me heal. Nothing I tell him seems to resonate, and there are so many facets I’m having to work through. We’re only 3 months from D-Day, but it seems like he would be bending over backward to help me…..

      • Doug

        Jenn, for me the most difficult part of healing from the affair was the lack of interest Doug had in meeting my needs. I would beg him to reassure me, or tell me that I looked nice, etc. but he had a very hard time doing so. He would always have an excuse:, too busy, concentrating on work, not good at it, etc. At one point he told me I was being selfish for asking for those things. You can image the frustration and hurt I felt, while I was trying to do everything to meet his needs. I also imaged that he had told the OW all of these things during their affair. I took such a toll on me that I finally stopped begging and decided I needed to make myself feel better. I started reading books about happiness, self concept, etc. and I stopped concentrating on the marriage and started focusing on what I needed. I really don’t know what happened to make Doug more aware of my needs, but slowly he began to come around. I hope it was the realization of what his affair really did to me personally and to our marriage. I don’t think that until recently has he been able to grasp the pain that it has caused. You know at the beginning of this journey I believed that he would end the affair and come back to me with open arms, it just doesn’t happen that way. There are a lot of issues that needed to be addressed. The mistake I made was thinking that his ambivalence was only based on his feelings for Tanya. Thinking that was not conducive for my healing, I needed to look at the bigger picture and realize it also had to do with guilt, anger, resentment, selfishness, illusions…..Recovery is not a fast process, it takes time and patience. Linda

    • Jeffrey Murrah

      A counselor acquaintance of mine often says that the divorce courts are full of couples who love each other. Likewise, an affair does not automatically mean that the love is dead. It does mean that something needs to be done NOW in order to salvage the relationship.

      In terms of your question “Do you have anything to loose?” many people do not consider the long term picture. The fallout from the affair could last over GENERATIONS. The damage from the affair last way longer than the affair itself. The potential damage is inestimable.

      Another question to consider, what is your love and relationship worth?

      Eating crow has fewer calories than do beer or chocolate.

    • Michael

      First, I want to tell you about the agonizing afternoon I had yesterday.
      I am in outside sales so I tend to have lunch wherever I am at the time. Yesterday I stopped at a restaurant to grab some lunch. Sitting down I noticed a couple at the table next to me. It was odd, an older guy (late 40s) with a younger girl (mid to late 20s) sitting close and being lovey dovey. I couldn’t help but overhear their conversations.
      I heard the girl talking about her mom doing her laundry, brother was a pain, and school was boaring. The man described how his daughter was doing in school, having to buy her wiper blades, and the nice large laundry room he had. They also talked about plans to go to vegas and room service.
      I already don’t like him because I have a niece getting close to her age. And then it happened. His phone rang. He looked down and looked at her with a disgusted look “its my wife”.
      The girl told him “ill be quiet, go ahead”. He hit the ignore button and said “ill tell her I was in a meeting”. All while rubbing her back and looking content at her.
      My stomach turned, I got angry and contemplated telling this girl she deserved more. She was cute and attentive. She could do a whole lot better.
      Then it started to hit me. Is this what other people watched as my wife was with her other man? Is this how she acted? Is this the way he was with his wife? I became humbled. And I became jeolous. It wasn’t a good afternoon.
      Ok, back to your question of the day. I did do everything I could think of to keep my wife from walking away. At a time where she did not know what she wanted. I asked her about why she told me about her affair. I asked if it was in some way in hopes of me leaving her. Me showing that I didn’t really care for her. And letting her go. Her answer “maybe”. I know she would never leave for what she did wrong, so maybe she was hoping I would end our marriage so she could go on to have a wonderful life with him. The life she dreams of. The man she has thought about for some of the last 18 years. And thought only of for most of the last year.
      Did I make a mistake by doing what I could to keep her here? Should I have let her leave so that she could find her own way back? Maybe. But I didn’t, I did what I did for my family. And then I also did it for my own selfish reasons.
      Given the same choice again I think I would do it all the same.

      • Doug

        Michael, I felt the same way, when I made the effort to say in the marriage I did it because I felt I had to be the responsible one, I was looking out for our children, I understood the effect this would have on their lives, and their future relationships. Doug said they would be resilent and get over this, I knew this would kill them. I know that would look at their childhood and think it was all a lie. I also knew they would never respect Doug again. I also knew that this man was not the man I have know for the past thirty years, he had lost of sense of consciousness and reality, so I couldn’t give up without at least trying. I often wonder what would have happened it I would had said OK, you may leave and am starting a new life on my own. I wonder how it would have turned out. Linda

        • Jennifer

          Thanks, Linda and Michael for sharing these comments. Michael, that must’ve been an awful situation for you to witness. I would have fallen apart.
          Thank you both for acknowledging your feelings about ‘Should I have let them go?’ I wonder that about my own marriage. H says he wants to date. I think he is trying to reclaim his teen years. Thanks for admitting WHY you stay. This is how I feel about my marriage – the same reasons why I stay. None of my friends can understand ‘why I let him treat me this way.’ They can’t figure out why I’ve held on this long and they gripe at me when I complain about how hard it is. But I know it’s for the greater good. And I will not make it easy for him to leave this family. HE may give up one day and walk out, but I’M going nowhere. I believe in this marriage. Thanks for being honest, you two.

    • ppl

      i dont understand the question. you cannot “make someone stay” they do or they dont, it is their choice. They may not like their options but there are always options. you can offer inducements (behavior changes, financial etc) for them to stay but for whatever reason they do stay, they decided to. everyone has choices. maybe their staying should be enough to convince us all that they wanted to or that the alternative choices were worse in their minds. i read statements about affair proofing your marriage–what nonsence their is no such thing. we are all vulnerable. whenever i give someone bad medical news that wasnt expected i usually hear but they were in perfect health. you cant say with certainty that anyone is totally healthy no matter how extensive the check up. i firmly believe you can not declare any marriage perfectly healthy and affair proof. if you survive a bad illness you realize how important your health is and dont take it for granted. you realize how rapidly it can deteriorate. perhaps that is what we are all realizing-how tenuous relationships can be. those who believe themselves totally secure are only fooling themselves. we have all faced the end of our relationship and realize that it can happen at anytime and will never learn to be totally secure again. we have lost our “innocence” or is it ignorance. dont expect it to return back unless we get hit on the head and forget.

    • NotBroken

      ppl… I think your right, I can’t force my H to stay, and he can’t force me to stay. We made a decision to stay together, whether it works out or not is yet to be seen. Either ways, I don’t believe you can affair proof your marriage. It’s up to each spouse to make a decision whether they will stray or not. Even in happy marriages there are affairs. So what are we to do? Hope that it doesn’t happen. That’s it. No matter how hard I try to make my marriage work, I don’t believe that will keep my H from straying. I believe that in the end, it will be a decision he will make. He has to decide what he wants and what he is willing to lose. Some people stray no matter what. And some people stray for reasons other than unhappy marriages. Who knows why they do it.

      • ppl

        the certainty and security we seek and crave are only illusions or dellusions. once that is gone it will not return with a new partner. we all believed that when we married we believed our straying spouses would be faithful. why would we trust a new partner since we were wrong on the last. is it only that we trusted the wrong person, i doubt it. anyone can and will stray under the right circumstances. some easier than others. i need to recognize that being with a new person will not make me secure. there is something to the saying that the devil you know is better…

        • NotBroken

          ppl… I guess your right. I always imagine that if I had a new relationship that my trust issues would follow me. I don’t think I will ever trust anyone again. I have serious trust issues even with my own family. I believe that as humans we all have the ability to cheat, just some of us follow the need and others don’t. You know… I’m seriously getting sick and tired of thinking and talking about it. Sure I have my days where I want to talk about it non-stop and then most of the time I’m like I can’t do this anymore. It’s aggravating and depressing. I just want it all to disappear. How can I talk about this and think about this for over a year now! It’s crazy. I’m starting to let go and I’m not sure if it’s because I’m exhausted or I just don’t give a shit anymore. My brain is fried. 🙂

          • ppl

            i agree will intentionally not focus on this site. need to move on. i find obscession on some parts to obviously reflect hurt but wonder if some of it is to keep the pain alive to avoid dealing with “real” issures of family and living. i think we both entered the site about the same time and have followed each others posts. if you care to converse, will leave a link to notbroken on craigslist under platonic m4w at washington d.c. location. i think it stays there for a week or so. good luck to you

    • Jennifer

      It’s dangerous to assume your marriage is ‘affair-proof.’ It stops couples from doing the hard work necessary to keep the relationship alive and thriving. Nothing in this world is certain, but it shouldn’t be. It keeps us responsible and accountable. It’s a good thing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.