I often hear from wives who don’t feel that they are being treated altogether fairly after their husband cheated or had an affair. They are often quite hurt, disappointed, and still reeling and yet they can feel a lot of pressure to just pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and move on – even when they feel like doing anything but that.
I recently heard from a wife who said, in part: “my husband had an affair last year. Immediately afterward, I kicked him out because I just could not stand the sight of him. But my kids suffered as a result. And, if I am bring honest, I have to admit that I missed him too and eventually I realized that I do not want to sacrifice my marriage. So I eventually let him move back home. But once he did, it was like he expected me to just put on a happy face and act as if the affair never happened. I have just not been able to do that. I’m still angry. I’m still disappointed. I need to see a lot of remorse and changes in him. But he doesn’t seem to want to hear this. Even my friends are telling me that he isn’t going to be patient with me forever. I’ve had male friends who have cheated on their own wives tell me that eventually, they left their wives because they just couldn’t take her always dwelling on the affair. They advise me to take the high road and resist the urges that I have to contact the other woman, or grill my husband about the affair. This frustrates me so badly. Why do I always have to take the high road and pretend that everything is fine when it isn’t? My husband still hasn’t done enough to make this up to me. Why does he get off Scot free?”
As a woman who has been cheated on myself, I understand these concerns very well. It often isn’t fair that the wife is eventually expected to just move on before she is ready or wants to do so. I will discuss this more in the following article.
If You Don’t Yet Feel Ready Or Able To Take The High Road Yet, Seek A Compromise: I do agree that there is often a double standard with the affair. It’s almost as if the husband and society will give the wife a very set and short amount of time to “get over it” and when that time is up, then the wife should pull stakes and move on. Wives who feel that this is unfair would most certainly be right. It’s not. So what happens if you’re being pushed to take the high road and move on but you feel this is unfair and that you are not ready? Try to find some compromise.
Because at the end of the day, both sides have some merits. I 100 percent understand your right to feel exactly as you do for as long as you need to. I also understand your right to continue to ask questions as long as necessary. At the same time though, I do hear from a lot of men who tell me that, no matter what they do, say or try, their wife seems determined to hold onto the affair for life. They also say that, despite their best intentions and their love for their wife, they are not sure how much longer they can have patience because they are living a life in which their mistakes are always thrown back in their face and they are living feeling horrible about themselves 100 percent of the time.
So you can see how both people are entitled to their feelings. That’s why a compromise can be the best scenario. Find out from your husband what bothers him the most. This might be your continuing to ask questions that he has already answered or your always bringing every issue back to the affair. Some people have success agreeing to one set time to go over any questions or issues that have to do with the affair. Maybe you will sit down and talk once per day or even once a week as recovery has begun. This way, you will know that you are going to have your say and your chance to ask questions, while your husband knows that he will have a reprieve so he will likely have more patience during the set time that you do discuss it.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to sit on or choke down your feelings, but it can be a good idea to limit them to a set time. However, it’s important to get them out and work on what is causing them because you don’t deserve to feel them forever.
Why Taking The High Road (When You Are Ready) Benefits You As Much As It Benefits Your Husband: Please hear me out for just a minute. I truly do know how frustrated you feel right now because I have been there. And I know how tempting it can be to feel self righteous because you are the one who has been wronged and you deserve to feel and express whatever you are feeling. I do not disagree in the least.
But, I can tell you that holding on to the hurt and pain can actually be as detrimental to you as it is to your husband. If you don’t allow yourself to move forward because you are clinging to questions or concerns to which you might never get satisfactory answers, then you might be delaying your own progress and relief.
You deserve to be happy again. You don’t deserve to live the rest of your life always feeling doubt and turmoil because of your husband’s mistake. I would never deny your need for answers or demand that you take the high road when you are not ready to do so. However, there really is something to be said for trying to find the positive in the situation and trying to move forward as you are able. Because living within the aftermath of an affair is absolutely misery sometimes. So it truly is in your best interest to leave that all behind as soon as you are able to do so.