Ask the Marriage Maven: Angered by an Affair
Q. About a year ago, my husband had an affair with someone we both knew. It happened while I was pregnant. He said it would never happen again, but I’m not so sure. She’s still in and out of our social circles.
I want to try to work things out, but every time I think about it, it makes me sick. The sad thing is that we’ve been married less than three years. Maybe he wasn’t ready to be married. How do we work through our problems and have a happy marriage? Right now, it seems impossible.
A. First off, let me say that I’m sorry that this happened to you. It’s hard to overcome the powerful feelings that linger after an affair. But if you think it’s impossible to have a happy relationship now, that’s exactly what it will be. However, if you throw away the attitude of the impossible and embrace the one of determination, having a happy marriage can happen.
You might be right. It is possible (maybe probable) that your husband did not fully understand what your marriage would entail before getting into it, but now you both have a responsibility, and that includes raising your child.
It seems like you’re making some good moves. Seeking help from books and the internet is a great idea. However, I would suggest that if you are not seeking professional counseling or coaching now–do it! Go with someone you trust to get you thought this difficult time. Even if you’re the only one doing it at first, it’s good to get started with a person who can give and objective approach and help you resolve some issues.
Ultimately, you and your husband will need to determine if renewing your commitment can work. Each of you will have to make a choice to consciously work at making your relationship better. Both of you will need to make your marriage a priority—even above taking care of your child(ren).
Despite what many people think, love is not a feeling, it’s a decision. I once heard a saying: “Marriage is like a pet snake, you better feed it every day or bad things will happen.” If your husband is willing to change, positive action towards making your marriage better will be evident. That said keep your eyes and heart open.