I have been married for a while now and I found out that my husband is cheating on me. I love my husband and I have never thought of divorcing him but there's no day that goes by without picturing him with other women and I think I'm going crazy. Any time he steps out of the house I assume he's going to meet a woman. It's so bad that when he gets home, I go through his pants and sniff his shirts and underwears to see if it smells like a woman. I know I can't live my life like this but then I really don't know what to do. Thanks. Pls do not publish my name.
Save My Marriage
Dear Save My Marriage,
Thank you for writing NwaVic at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Infidelity is an incredibly sensitive issue and I must first acknowledge how you are feeling. It is normal after finding about a cheating partner to feel anger, insecurity, obsessive thoughts, and inability to concerntrate. Hang in there and please don't blame yourself for your husband's personal shortcomings. In majority of 'unfaithful' cases, the infidelity really isn't about you.
Some couples successfully survive an affair and even go on to build stronger trust and closeness. Hence, I understand your need to save your marriage but you can't save your marriage alone. Have you confronted him? Has the affair ended? Are there children involved? Is he remorseful? (both in words and actions) Do you see the zeal in him to make it up to you and rebuild your relationship/marriage?
In order to successfully move on from infidelity, (1) the cheating partner must be remorseful and understand the impact of their actions (2) both parties (especially the cheating partner) must be willing and ready to rebuild the relationship at all cost. The latter involves honesty and open communication. The cheating partner must be willing to explain the reasons for his/her actions so that the other partner can understand. That way, recovery can include working on what's missing in the relationship to prevent a reoccurrence.
If your husband has done the above, you can "decide" to forgive him, especially if there are kids involved. If so, he has to allow you do what it takes to reach this clean forgiveness and he has to give you reason to trust him again. Practically, this may include counseling, a getaway for just the two of you to focus on each other and rebuild any love lost, him spending more time at home, etc. Once you decide to forgive him, you have to refrain from checking or sniffing his pants. That will drive you crazy! Realize this takes time. Once there is commitment on both your parts, you can make it, with time.
Having said that, if your husband hasn't done the above; That is, if he isn't remorseful, is still having an affair or unwilling/uncommitted to rebuilding the marriage, you may not be able to survive this with your sanity in tact.
In this case, sadly you have two options; You can leave because you deserve better than a man who'll unrepentantly disrespect the sanctity of your marriage or you can stay knowing that your marriage as is intended to be and as you know it, is over. The latter option is really common when there are children involved but it requires, in essence, accepting his character, the fact that your "husband" will become more like a roommate and that you'd now have to take precautions when you're intimate with him.
“I believe everything happens for a reason, people change so you can let go. Things go wrong so you can appreciate them when they are right. You believe lies so that you will eventually trust no one but yourself, and sometimes, good things fall apart so better things fall together.” —Marilyn Monroe
Whatever decision you make, don't forget that marriage is a lifetime commitment and you have to consider your own personal happiness in the long-run. Good Luck!
*Email email@example.com with any further issues, concerns, questions, suggestions for a prompt and neutral response/advice. :-)
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