Red Responds: He Cannot Believe His Own Behavior

Celina in Exeter writes:

Three years ago just after the birth of my second child I discovered that my husband was having an affair with a woman at work. I was incredibly hurt and angry and he says that this stopped him being able to get close with me and the affair continued for a short time but he continuously lied about what was going on. At the beginning of this year I was still suspicious and told him our marriage was over – he was devastated.

Then we seemed to get closer and just as I was beginning to think it would be ok, he talked about moving out and seemed unable to make a decision about whether to stay or go. I then found out that he was seeing the other person again (or perhaps it had never ended, I don’t know). He says it is all over, he cannot believe his own behavior but is concerned that we cannot move forward because I will be unable to trust him. Should I try to make it work – we have two small children and I am heartbroken. How do I ever believe him again. Can I trust him?

Dear Celina,

You and your husband are going to have trust issues for a while. However, your marriage doesn’t have to be over.

Your husband has cut ties with the other woman, but keeping those ties severed largely depends on how well your marriage progresses. He really doesn’t want your marriage to be over, but he fears his guilt and your anger may be a challenge that is too huge to overcome.

If you want to save your marriage, then the two of you really do need the assistance of a counselor. There are many underlying issues that caused the initial rift in your relationship that still need to be addressed. The two of you talk, but you guys have ceased to communicate. With life moving full-steam ahead, the two of you lost sight of each other.

You have to work through your pain and anger. He has to work through his fear of your anger and pain. The communication issues that exist are a bit too great for the two of you to work through on your own. The buffer of a counselor will provide an awkward, but much more productive arena, for each of you to discover and reveal the core issues of your marriage. Face those challenges, rebuild the foundation of your relationship, and you will find that you can trust him once again.

Your husband can’t live his life on a leash, nor can you live in fear and despair. There is a lot of work ahead of you, but you can become a loving couple, and family, once again.

Brightest blessings!
Ext. 9226

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