Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together


After the Admission of an Affair

posted by Linda Mintle

Susan was devastated. Her husband Dan was supposed to be in Cleveland on business. Instead he was seen vacationing in the Virgin Islands with a female co-worker. The betrayal took her by surprise. She couldn’t believe Dan would risk the ten-year marriage for another woman.

Susan called a therapist. Dan admitted to the affair. He apologized profusely and cut off all contact with the other woman. The hurt and anger in Susan’s face was hard to bear. Dan hoped that by apologizing and admitting his sin that Susan would get over the affair. He felt his apology and cut off from the other woman was enough to reconcile the relationship.

But Susan couldn’t stop thinking of the betrayal. She found herself obsessing on thoughts of the other woman. She worried Dan would be unfaithful again. She felt guilty. Dan had apologized and promised not to ever have an affair again. Dan went back to church, talked to the minister and put himself under the accountability of a men’s group. But Susan couldn’t sleep and was anxious.

Susan sensed Dan was mad at her for not “getting over” the affair. Dan said, “Forget it ever happened. Why are you still talking about it when it’s over?” He was frustrated with her nervous anxiety whenever the phone rang late at night. He resented her constant questioning about late business meetings.

Dan and Susan represent many couples stuck in the aftermath of an affair. They think because the affair is acknowledged, things should go back to the way they were before. They don’t recognize the traumatizing effects of the affair.

Susan never really talked at length about her feelings regarding the infidelity. She was too afraid Dan would leave the marriage and felt vulnerable due to her financial dependence on him. All through her marriage she avoided conflict. She pretended to believe everything was great when it wasn’t.

Dan apologized but showed little remorse. He broke the marital covenant and expected Susan to be over it much too quickly. He didn’t understand the trauma his wife experienced. The apology wasn’t enough.

Dan needed to:

· Share his feelings of remorse more than once

· Allow Susan to question him and give reassurance

· Be empathetic for the pain his actions caused Susan

· Understand Susan’s reactions were typical

· Learn to share his emotions including his fear that Susan may leave

· Be patient. His wife needed time

 

Susan needed to:

· Have time to process, talk and explore her feelings more deeply

· Understand that the injured spouse usually has post -traumatic stress like symptoms (difficulty sleeping and concentrating, hyper-vigilance and intolerance for things that brought up memories of the affair)

· Be allowed to question Dan whenever she needed reassurance

· Not feel guilty when she needed to talk more about what happened

Admission of infidelity is just the first step of reconciliation. The betrayal raises complicated emotions that don’t usually fade away without additional work. A one-time apology is not enough to cover the reactions of the partner. Your partner needs to forgive but also process his/her reactions over time. The one who committed the offense needs to be patient and humble.

 

For more, read about the way back from infidelity in I Married You, Not Your Family by Dr. Linda Mintle. Click on the picture.



Previous Posts

Change Whining Into Gratitude
A mom asks: The other day I was so embarrassed because my child whined around when I was trying to talk to another mom. When our children whine, it really bothers us. We want to turn that whining to gratitude. How do we make that happen? When you want to extinguish one behavior and then replac

posted 6:00:32am Nov. 21, 2014 | read full post »

8 Tips for a Better Night's Sleep
Are you irritable? Difficult to live with because you are constantly tired? Time to look at your sleep habits and do something about them. If you are tossing and turning consider these 8 tips: Women take an average of nine minutes to fall asleep at night compared to 23 minutes for men. IF yo

posted 6:00:15am Nov. 19, 2014 | read full post »

Do You Help Your Teen Too Much? Answer These 5 Questions
Julie was handed her biology test in class. While she studied for the test, the material was difficult. When she saw the red C at the top of the exam, she began to cry. Racked with anxiety, she couldn't believe she barely passed the test. The stress overwhelmed her. One has to wonder why? This is

posted 6:00:30am Nov. 18, 2014 | read full post »

Eating Well: Rules for the Road
I've been commuting between a small town and a large city. The almost four hour rural commute usually requires a meal stop. Here is where the challenge comes. The only food stops on the rural route are fast food restaurants. The temptation is to grab something fast and keep moving-greasy fries, h

posted 6:00:32am Nov. 14, 2014 | read full post »

If You Want a Child Who Sticks To It, Look at Dad!
If you want a persistent child, dads are key. Persistent is a trait most parents want to see developed in their children. When the assignment is difficult, we want  our kids to persist in their studies and do well. When the team is losing, we want a child who stays in the fight until time runs o

posted 6:00:32am Nov. 12, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.