Discovered my husband has been cheating for seven years
I recently discovered that my husband of 14 years was having an affair for 7 years with a former client.
I love my husband, we have raised 4 children together and I don’t know if I should divorce him.
He’s apologized and told me that he loves me and wants to make our marriage work.
I feel hurt, humiliated and angry by his betrayal and deceit.
I have so many questions I want answered:
- Can I trust him again or is a 7 year affair totally unforgiveable?
- How or when will I know if the damage is too much to recover?
- Should I ask for a a divorce?
I feel so desperate for answers.
Please help me.
Romantic relationships provide us with our most basic sense of security and comfort. This confidence, which comes through being physically and emotionally intimate with a spouse, helps us function in other areas of our life (see forming attachments).
Discovering a spouse’s infidelity is so painful because it shatters this basic sense of security. Discovering infidelity creates nothing but uncertainty. People begin to question everything they know. Nothing feels familiar, safe or certain. Discovering infidelity creates the feeling of being out of control (see surviving infidelity).
No one likes to feel so helpless.
So, in such situations, people do a lot of things to try to regain control. Victims of infidelity often ask a lot of questions, they attempt to control their spouse’s behavior, and they try to make rash decisions (e.g., should we get divorced?).
Although it is normal to want quick answers, the more you can take your time in reaching a decision, the better that decision will be. When people rush decisions in an attempt to calm their anxiety, they often make decisions they later regret.
Talking to someone, who will listen to your feelings, is a more effective way of dealing with your feelings right now. In fact, making important decisions when you are anxious often leads to nothing but more uncertainty (i.e., did I make the right decision?).
As difficult as it may be, it is in your best interest to let the process unfold on its own. When you are less anxious, you’ll have a better sense of what’s best for you.
And the following issues are things you might want to consider about forgiveness when dealing with a spouse’s long-term affair:
- Nature of the discovery
Did your husband confess or did you discover his infidelity on your own? Relationships have the best chance of success when cheating spouses decide to tell the truth on their own—it signals a genuine willingness to want to change (see will the truth come out).
- Severity of the betrayal
The more severe the betrayal, the more difficult it is for couples to save their relationship (see consequences of discovering deception).
- Quality of your relationship
The more satisfied you were with the relationship, before your husband’s infidelity was discovered, the easier it will be to work things out (see is relationship worth saving).
- Husband’s willingness to repair your trust
Making promises to change is easy. Working to create meaningful change is much more difficult. Does your husband have the motivation and ability it takes to change his behavior (see once a cheater, always a cheater).
I have my own question to ask
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