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Recent Letter to the ElderWisdomCircle™

MARRIAGE: How to heal after husband's infidelity
Letter #: 409730
Category: Marriage

Original Letter

My husband (6 years together, 4 yrs married) and I were having a difficult time in our marriage the last year. It got to the point that I decided I needed to take a job 150 miles away in my hometown and only see my husband on weekends when we could work on our relationship. The weekend which I accepted the job, instead of telling me he didn't like this idea, my husband spent the weekend in his hometown with a friend and ended up sleeping with his best friend's wife's best friend. I didn't find out until almost a month later when I discovered some texts/emails between him and the other woman. During that month, between his cheating and my discovering, our sex-life amped-up; it was like we were teenagers again. We discussed, at length, how we would NOT date during our separation, nor would we confide in or have sex with the opposite sex. We agreed it would complicate things and no one but us could ever understand our relationship. We still said we loved each other. I truly began to think that the separation would be very temporary. Upon my discovery I moved in with my parents (for the job), and filed for divorce two days later. A hasty decision and acted on only to make him hurt like he'd hurt me. It worked. He began confiding in his friend's wife and her sister. One woman has never liked me and the other has never met me, yet they had my husband's ear about why he should divorce, saying horrible things about me, always inviting him to go out with them, and defending the other woman (their friend)! After a couple weeks of talking to my husband he did tell the two ladies that if he is going to regain trust with his wife, he needs to cease all communications with them during that process. I was happy. I do want to work it out with him. I love him. I understand how such a mistake could happen - doesn't mean it should ever happen- but I understand. My husband has invited me on a (new) first date this weekend, either a football game watch party with a group of friends or a concert with the couple whose house he cheated at. How do I face this couple? The man was best man in our wedding, yet this betrayal happened at his house! I am embarrassed, humiliated even, and I think they should apologize to me. Especially the wife who has such horrible things to say about me.

Elder Response

Becky, I understand your pain. Being with this other couple will bring up all the memories and bad feelings that you are trying to get past. Let's try to get to the basics here.

The most important thing you have to focus on is your relationship with your husband. If this outing is to be a true "first date" you can't bring baggage with you. First dates are about possibility. That's how you should see it. That said, if you feel strongly that being around this other couple will negatively impact on the date, you need to convey that to your husband. Tell him that right now you need to focus entirely on him and your relationship with him. You feel that you know you will have to ultimately deal with your experience with the wife of the other couple, but you prefer not to do so right now. Suggest another type of first date, one in which that couple isn't a part or one in which you two are alone. 

As for the wife situation, you really will have to deal with that eventually on an emotional level. It is highly unlikely that she will ever apologize. It is highly unlikely that you will ever get satisfaction. But, it is entirely in your power to put this into perspective and see the event in a way that works for you instead of working against you. Your husband was hurt and he presented his story to them. For that reason they weren't impartial. They saw this from one perspective and they made poor choices in their reaction. Whatever happened, your bond with your husband was more powerful than any of that. And moving forward you need to focus on exactly that: to continue to build the powerful, supportive bond that you have. 

Healthy relationships are built on trust, shared values and solid communication. You have suffered losses in all three of these areas. Now is the time to repair and rebuild your relationship with your husband as an equal partner. You are a smart, strong, loving and caring woman. You can do this. 

Best Regards,

Renee


    

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