Wants Wife Back
Q: Because of adultery, I have totally lost my wife's trust. We are now divorced because of what I did. We were married for nearly 43 years. Is there any hope that her trust can be rebuilt? I know you can't give a definitive answer in my case, but is it possible for trust to be restored in a case like ours? -- Laurence, 66
Dr. Susan: Your wife felt strongly enough about what you did that the two of you have actually gone all the way through to divorce. Many women won't get that far because they still love their husband so much, and because their husband is truly remorseful. So I'm wondering if your wife still has enough affection for you to bother trying to get her back at this point. Many couples endure affairs of one partner or the other and do manage to rebuild trust, forming a more satisfying union than the one that preceded the affair. In your case, your now ex-wife would have to be willing to start over with you. Would she even consider seeing a counselor with you to get the process started? Infidelity is brutal for the betrayed mate, making all the years of marriage before that come under a microscope. She may hate you for how you've hurt her and made her feel "lesser than." I suggest you both read Frank Pittman's Private Lies to gain insight, as well as my own Loving in Flow, which details some success stories of the type you're longing for.
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Advice for Her
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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.