[Originally published in LatinTRENDS Magazine Issue #81; September 2011]
How can I forget and forgive my husband for his actions? It has been only a few months since I found out about his affairs – which lasted over four months with three different women. One was more intense than the others. He says he has broken off all contact with them and is only with me now.
When I learned about the affairs, I had no information other than he was having one. Someone I didn’t know told me, so I did not have much to go on. I have asked my husband some questions, but he refuses to answer them. He says I should let it go and move on, that my questions will lead to no good, and if I don’t stop I’m going to push him away.
I think about what he has done and different scenarios daily and try to ignore the hurt, but it’s hard. Should I ask questions, should he answer them, and will this pain ever go away? We are “trying,” and I’m running mostly on love and the hope that our relationship will survive.
In Pain in Pelham Bay
My dear, it is so damaging that he even had the first affair…but he had the nerve to do it three times! When you marry, you do so for better or for worse. But this behavior is one of addiction and quite frankly, it’s abusive to your emotional well-being.
I would love to tell you to stay, but I can’t. He has HURT YOU! He has been selfish. Look at what he’s doing, not what he’s saying. There may have been some problems in your marriage already, but it doesn’t give him permission to stray.
If he was truly sorry, you would have heard it straight from him, not from a total stranger. If he was truly sorry, he would have never ever dreamed of doing it again…and AGAIN. If he really feels remorse, he would do ANYTHING to fix his mess. Then he would CHANGE his behavior entirely, including you in everything he can to make you feel comfortable.
A sincere apology means he truly understands the deep extent to which you’ve really been hurt. He would do everything to win back your trust: offer to go to counseling, giving you all details about where he’s going, etc. But he wants you to forget it – put it in the past and move on. That is the talk of a man who will do it again. He’ll just be smarter about it next time.
So to answer your question, yes – you should talk about it as many times necessary until YOU feel relief. Yes – he should answer them – if he really cares that he hurt you, he will be willing to disclose it all. He cannot change what he won’t acknowledge. And yes, the pain will go away, but as long as you stay in this lifestyle of deceit, you’re destined to get more pain. I think it’s YOU who’s trying to hang in there. I give you credit for that, but he is not…he just wants you to “get over it already.”
You are his wife, and you are entitled to be number one. If he makes you anything less than that, he doesn’t deserve you. Aren’t you entitled to be number one? YES! Should you stay? NO! Don’t tolerate this one more day.