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Coping with my wife’s affair

Discussion in 'General Struggles' started by seanjm, Jul 7, 2018.

  1. seanjm

    seanjm New Member

    United States
    My wife has admitted to an affair with a coworker from a few years ago. While the affair is not recent, her confession is not that old. I am still coping with the pain and lack of trust, but trying to forgive if possible. I have written her a letter, but still do not have the courage to give it to her. Any words of support or encouragement are welcome.

    A letter for my wife...

    I am not sure where to start. I decided to write down my thoughts in case I feel the need to reflect on them when things get rocky and even possibly share them with you once I feel like I am whole again. Remembering the progress we have made so far is the best way I can heal and hopefully move forward. I feel like having something I can read when needed helps this process.

    While I have never been so deeply hurt like this in my life, I have never been filled with so much love and joy from the family we have started than I am right now. We have two beautiful children and I know our third will be an amazing addition to what we currently have. Our kids are happy, healthy, and eager to explore and learn about the world around them. We have so much to be thankful for that, while it is difficult to get this situation out of my thoughts, I know there is happiness outside of this event in our lives.

    Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2

    Our relationship during the time of the affair had obvious flaws, which I realize now that I contributed to many of these, if not most. My transition from being a single adult, to a married man, to a father with growing responsibilities was messier than I thought as I reflect on it now. I feel like my number one priority is and has always been providing for my family, but I misplaced this responsibility through focusing on work and neglecting the very reason for my effort: our family. There were even times that I labeled hanging out with coworkers as networking which I truly thought necessary to get ahead at the time, but now I realize was just selfishness. I have never been prone to looking back with regret because I do believe things happen for a reason and according to a plan that has provided us with a blessed life. But I do regret letting our relationship slip to the point that you felt empty and I was not there to comfort you when you needed it most. At the core of it, I feel like our inability to communicate these issues ultimately drove you to seek other forms of consolation outside of our marriage. I am not condoning your behavior, but admitting that I was at least partly to blame for what happened.

    The wound is still very fresh and the discussions we have had are confirmation of things I never truly knew, but I feel like I was always aware somehow. I had suspicions during this time that I eventually grew to accept as my own imagination after never having real proof. And by accepting it, I feel like I somehow started to forgive you at that time without knowing it. However, there has been an unspoken distance in our relationship since then. It is obvious now that this has plagued our marriage and held us back from truly rekindling the fulfilling partnership that we promised each other when we exchanged vows. While it was difficult to deal with this hardship, my love for you over the years has still been so great that I eventually settled on the possibility that I loved you in a way that might not be reciprocated, and that was okay. I realize now that I want the best in life and in love as well. I was willing to be content for the sake of our marriage, but I regret not forcing a discussion knowing what I know now.

    If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

    Through your confession about the affair, I could see that you were truly remorseful for your actions. You have always been the type to hold yourself to a relentlessly high standard and that is why it was so hard for me to think of you in this light. That part of you is one of the reasons I fell in love when we met and it makes me want to be a better person when I am with you. I wanted to be continually mad and resentful toward your actions, but I find myself still full of compassion for you as well as guilt that our relationship was allowed to deteriorate to this point. Again, while I had suspicions during this time of our marriage, the fact that you brought your actions to me in a state of remorse allowed me to maintain my respect for you. You were open to answering my questions no matter the level of discomfort and you were open to radical changes in our lives if they would help me to heal and rebuild trust. These acts are crucial for us to move forward and to eventually move past this point in our lives. I know what courage it takes to confront your own behavior to a loved one when it potentially causes pain for them, and this somehow strengthened my view of you as a good person in the long term. I have realized that there is no such thing as a perfect person and we are only defined by our actions. But one mistake in this form doesn’t discredit the many reasons why I fell in love with you.

    Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:31-32

    I can tell that you have tortured yourself with regret and this realization gave me the ability to let go of the desire to use scorn as a way to cope with my own emotions. There are many petty thoughts that I have held back to avoid using them as ammo during our discussions. I feel that you are able to see my pain and anguish without the use of these words. When you told me that you were ashamed, I was able to relate to those feelings. However, when you told me that you were afraid that you damaged your ability to be a role model for our children, I couldn’t have disagreed more. I was able to quickly dismiss this thought on my end. You have been an amazing mother to our kids which allows me to separate this issue between us in our relationship from that which we have with our children. I could easily use this vulnerability that you shared against you in an attempt to make you feel the same level of pain as me, but I don’t feel like cruelty is a useful method of healing and moving forward. I also dismiss your feelings of failing our children because I wholeheartedly know that is not true. You are hardworking, intelligent, and continuously strive to be better which are things I know our children are fortunate to witness in their mother. I also feel like my reluctance of using this situation as a weapon was a sign early on that I wanted to possibly rebuild our relationship if we agreed to do so and I knew surrendering to any temporary feelings of hate would only damage this process further.

    I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more. Review the past for me, let us argue the matter together; state the case for your innocence. Isaiah 43:25-26

    By setting emotions aside when possible, I think we were able to have mature and in-depth conversations about the situation in our marriage early on that could have been postponed by hateful exchanges of blame. We were able to discuss the root causes for the degrading emotional connections and communication in our lives with one another. Rather than pointing fingers about how we got to such a place, we both accepted fault for our actions which, I believe, is key to reconcile a relationship. We can both agree we are in different places now and this could hopefully just become a road bump in a potentially long and happy marriage. I still feel a strong love for the woman I married, the mother of my children, and even the person you are today with this heartache of mine. When you weigh the good with the bad, it is encouraging that there is still so much love and joy in our marriage up to this point, and that it is worth fighting for from my perspective and I believe I feel that desire from you as well.

    For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. Matthew 6:14

    Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13

    And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. Mark 11:25

    Forgiveness has been the hardest step so far. How can I begin to forgive or know when I am truly ready to? I can already feel a compelling desire for forgiveness even though not much time has passed since your confession. I have accepted the fact that I want to move past this and move on with our lives, but there is so much at stake that I haven’t taken this decision lightly at this point. My love for you makes me want you to be happy as much, if not more than myself. Forgiving this betrayal feels impossible at times, but your love and comfort since admitting this affair has helped me to see a future for us that could be more fulfilling, intimate, and loving than ever before.

    This is what I want not only for us, but for our children as well. I want them to learn from their parents what it is like to know a loving marriage firsthand. I want them to feel confident in their own relationships as they grow and fall in love. As I know you feel this as well, I would never want them to develop relationship issues based on a lesson they learned from their parents. We truly are role models for them, so whatever decision we make, they are at the core of it with their best interest in mind.

    Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17

    The one thing I do know up to this point is that I am committed to striving for eventual forgiveness and hopefully a better, more fulfilling marriage. I have found comfort in prayer and scripture. I have always considered myself a Christian, but I feel like I need Christ’s love more now than I ever have before. There is so much that can be learned from scripture that could have helped us in our time of need. My hope is that we move forward with a firm foundation in Christ if we decide to rebuild our marriage. I feel like there is a part of our marriage that we will never get back, but this also makes me hopeful for the future by having room to grow. Starting fresh may be exactly what is needed in order to move forward.

    I now know that I want the same things in a marriage that I want for our children. I want a relationship built on open communication and honesty. I want a marriage centered around a strong faith and spiritual guidance. I want a love that is unconditional with no strings attached. And I want a future together with our children filled with laughter, joy, and unwavering support for one another. I feel like all this is possibly still achievable even after everything that has happened. I can only hope you want the same so we can begin a new life that others can use as an example in their own marriages.

    For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

    In the end, I truly feel we can make this work if it is in Gods plan. We have so many great memories in our marriage outside of this event that we do not have to completely start over, but only reestablish the best parts of it that we want to base a new relationship on. With all this said, I still love you with all my heart and want you and our kids to be happy above all else.
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. Kevin Snow

    Kevin Snow Well-Known Member

    United States
    I understand this feeling and oh how hard it is to go through it! I am having a very hard time reading this message as it hurts me deeply as I feel your pain.

    This is one of my fears about marriage. I am so sorry that you are made to go through it. What more could have been done? These thoughts run through you I'm sure. Maybe something could have been done. But I know that we all stumble in many ways and that we all must come together through seeking the Lord. Through every pain and heartbreak there is restoration in him, if we only continue to repent and be transformed after the pattern of his image.

    I pray and hope that you are able to communicate to her clearly what has been missing. That she is able to pour herself out for you in love that hasn't been there; that there is renewal and even a new thing is done in your relationship.
  3. Paul of Eugene OR

    Paul of Eugene OR Finally Old Enough Supporter

    have you read Hosea lately?
  4. vinsight4u

    vinsight4u Contributor

    United States
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2018
  5. vinsight4u

    vinsight4u Contributor

    United States
    deleted video
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2018
  6. Traveling teacher

    Traveling teacher Well-Known Member

    United States
    sorry to here this
    i would wait on the letter....

    give it some time see how God works....

    but I encourage you that you are doing better than most would....
    with coping and forgiving

    this is an example that needs to be followed.....

    to encourage you though there is pain it is still only half as much as divorce
    that I have seen many go through

    to those who have committed adultery......
    pray before you share this with your mate.....
    yes repent...yes confess it to a counselor or close friend...
    and confess it to God...and get forgiveness

    but I have run across this a number of times as I worked in a mens ministry for many years
    and most of the time I tell the brother not to tell their spouse
    as most of the time this makes it worse......IMO

    i know some will disagree with me
    but the last guy I ran into I told him to deal with it with his brothers
    and God.... and spare his wife.....

    i believe he did share with his wife as I saw them at church and they seemed
    really troubled........

    last I heard they stayed married but his wife had major depression.....

    if my wife committed adultery...personally I woudnt want to know

    and I garuntee if I had ever fallen into adultery I would not tell my wife...
    but I would confess to some close brothers....and God
  7. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting The Librarian Supporter

    United States

    Find out what she needs in her life. Fill that need.
  8. now faith

    now faith Veteran Supporter

    Word of Faith
    Your letter is so beautifully written, it was inspired by God.
    I believe your letter will restore your marriage and re establish trust.
    When She reads your letter, she will truly see the depth of love you have for Her.
    You have given a great gift in this, you have given the gift of mercy.
    I honestly believe this will pass and be forgotten.
    Many of us in times past have made mistakes and were filled with sorrows.
    Many of us were never given mercy from others, even though through this the healing is set in motion.
    You sir are a very special person , may God Bless You and keep you and your generation's to come