I am Lyn’s husband and I had an affair. I cheated on my wife. Depending on where you are in your journey, you might feel that there isn’t anything I could say that would interest you.
I would suppose that the first questions you might have are: “Why? How could you possibly betray and disrespect your wife like that? What were you thinking?” You can be sure that I had to answer these same questions for Lyn. Questions that have no “good” answers. Questions that I DEFINITELY did not want to answer. Eventually I came to realize that I needed to.
I have a lot of respect and love for my wife for not exercising the “nuclear option.” It might have been justified, but it also would have added some layers of anger and pain that could have clouded the core issue or derailed progress. Coming to grips with the reality, coming to full accountability is hard enough on its own; don’t pile on complications that take your eyes off the goal. You can burn their stuff later, and the way the offender handles themselves in the coming days might tell you whether or not you should.
In our case, it took a few days, maybe even weeks, for communication to start heading in the right direction. Quite simply, it happened because Lyn demanded it, and because I still loved her and wanted to give her what she needed. She made it very clear that answers to her questions were essential to our recovery. To a large degree, the offended person gets to write the rules. The offender has the choice to play by those rules…or not.
Going through the aftermath of an affair provides an opportunity to closely examine what your relationship is made of. Do you care enough to fix what’s broken, or is it time to go your separate ways? In spite of our problems, I knew that what Lyn and I had was well worth saving. Saving it meant giving Lyn what she needed, and she needed some answers.
My first instinct was one of self-preservation. I honestly thought that it would somehow protect Lyn if I didn’t give her too many details about what happened. What it really meant was that I wanted to protect myself from being open and honest, from having to admit the depth of what I’d done. Opening up about what happened, and why, was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done.
It was worth it. Lyn was, is, worth it. Three years after the affair, Lyn and I have a much closer, more meaningful marriage. Neither of us can imagine being any happier. Yes, we’re still flawed people, and flawed people have conflict. The difference is that there is a more solid foundation of love and respect that bonds us together.
To offenders: if you care about saving your relationship, start talking. Give them what they need, and what they need is answers. To the betrayed: hold the offender accountable.
I just want to know why. Why did you think it was ok to cheat? Why was it worth it to you to risk your marriage for cheap sex with some worthless tramp? These are the questions I have asked my husband over and over again…he can’t seem to provide a satisfactory answer, although he is very sorry and regrets what he did. But how does a person even GET to the place where they can be intimate with someone else? Aren’t the warning bells going off??? Doesn’t the guilt eat you alive??? WHY can’t you guys make the choice NOT to cheat?
My guy’s answer to these questions was just basically that “I thought that you would never find out” “She made me feel wanted” “She offered” And in the beginning when he claimed she harassed him for sex, made him feel bad for not doing it again “I didn’t want to disappoint her, or hurt her feelings” Oh yeah? What about my feelings, jerk? (Later he admitted that he often was the one that asked her for the sex after the first time). So, I guess.. in the future, his only reason for not cheating would be that I might find out again. Yeah. That’s no reason to stay with someone.
Sadly, my husband was reading to me from a study which said that the main deterent to affairs, for men, is lack of opportunity. Not encouraging.
My father-in-law once told me that by the looks of how women dressed, these days, it was clear that they don’t know what a man “IS.” He made it sound like, left to themselves, men are a seething pile of testosterone easily triggered into arousal. I heard a statistic last night which stated that 47% of men look at a woman’s breasts when talking to them, so…getting to a point where they can be intimate with someone else is obviously different than it is for women, who seem to need more of an emotional bond.
I understand how you feel and can’t blame you for feeling discouraged and wanting out. The key is how sorry is he and is it enough for him to submit himself to seriously making every minute of your life together, better?
Has it been long since you have found out?
I am curious why your husband didn’t/couldn’t/wouldn’t answer Trish’s questions.
Our recollection is that my husband did answer Trish’s questions, and, here on this blog. I don’t know why it no longer appears.