It’s all about Life & Style: I’m unable to move past my husband’s affair despite him changing for better

By , K24 Digital
On Mon, 7 Aug, 2023 07:26 | 2 mins read
Girl on phone. PHOTO/Print
Girl on phone. PHOTO/Print

Hi Achokis. I have been married for 15 years now with three children. My husband and I have been through a lot of ups-and-downs.

Several years ago, he cheated on me and I was hurt deeply and haven’t been able to go past that hurt. He apologised, promised to reform, even broke off with the other woman, but I’m still stuck in that past.

However much he encourages us to move on, I just can’t. I know he’s repented and has changed, but it’s just hard for me to let go. What should I do? Please help!

- Achieng’

Hi Achieng. Thank you for reaching out. We don’t get into a relationship thinking that our partner will cheat on us. When it happens, it can be devastating as one feels utterly betrayed. It is never an easy issue to navigate as it results in deep hurt.

When one partner has an affair, the one who has been wronged has two choices: quit the relationship or stay and try to work things out. The latter, which you chose, is commendable, but unless handled well can leave one feeling stuck.

There has definitely been a loss of trust because of what happened. It is said that when faced with a loss of any kind, one needs to grieve that loss. We grieve by accepting, adjusting before advancing. But it is easier said than done, especially if we do not grieve the loss well, it becomes hard to let go.

Grieving the loss
As one grieves the broken trust, numerous questions run through their mind. “Why me? Did my spouse ever love me? Am I adequate? Was my partner ready for marriage? What have I done wrong to deserve this? What did I not give him?… Questions that might never be fully answered.

In grieving your loss of trust, you might go through some stages of grief, beginning with denial and then anger. You try to convince yourself it never happened and then you become very angry, asking yourself why he did it and how come you never saw it coming?

How we deal with this stage is critical. We can allow ourselves to feel the pain or can suppress it and become numb making it difficult to let go and move on.

Process of healing

You need to come to a place of acceptance— accepting that this thing actually happened and it hurts. You need, together with your hubby, to go back to that scene of crime and have those difficult conversations. You will definitely need the services of a therapist, to help you process what you are going through.

Pain that is not processed properly never heals and is usually transmitted to others. Like a physical wound, it must heal or it will become septic. Accepting that it happened and it hurt and expressing the same to your hubby, may make him see how it impacted you and genuinely apologise for his misdemeanour.

As you have compassion on him and forgive him, you will find yourself letting go and moving on. Forgiveness not only releases the offender, but even you, the offended.

The writers are marriage and relationship coaches
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