Can't Get Over Her Affair
Q: Six months ago my wife, who is five years older than I am, cheated on me. I decided to stay with her because I thought we could fix our problems, and we did. However, after six months, I have not forgotten. I think of what happened every day when I wake up, during the day, and when I go to bed. I keep repeating to myself "you are stupid." That's because even though she has changed, she's never asked me to forgive her or give her another chance. Things just fell into place. But the truth is that I am not happy. What should I do? -- Roger, 34
Dr. Susan: Good relationships don't just fall into place without conscious effort after an affair. You're getting along okay, but you're miserable. I recommend that you tell your wife that you're still having a very hard time over her straying, and that you need to talk about it some more. She has to be made to recognize how hurt you are, rather than merely assuming everything is great now that she's come back to you. It's not so much that she has to ask you to forgive her, or even that you have to forgive her or forget what happened. You will probably never forget this traumatic happening, but that doesn't mean it will always hit you in the gut as it is doing now. Six months is nothing when it comes to getting past infidelity! You are NOT being stupid for taking her back. You seem to be repeating old messages to yourself, messages that are drummed into us: that when our mate betrays us, we are fools to stick with them. In fact, you are being wonderfully mature and wise for trying to do such a difficult thing. But talk to her. Part of you feels she's getting off too easy, compared to the pain she has caused. That pain has to be expressed for you to get past it.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.