The Reporter (Vacaville)
Long-ago affair continues to haunt wife
DEAR AMY >> My husband had an affair eight years ago, but it feels like I found out yesterday. I hurt every day.
I filed for divorce when I found out. He begged for a second chance and ended the affair, and I took him back.
When I want to talk about my feelings, it ends up in a fight, with him saying that I should be over it and that he's not the same person.
I have so much anger inside that I am wondering if counseling would help me deal with my issues, or if it's even possible to move on from this. What do you think?
— Still Hurting,
DEAR HURTING >> Yes, counseling could help both of you to recover from this betrayal. Discussing this might lead you to also unpack aspects of other relationships, going back through time.
A well-matched therapist will guide you, and you will come to understand that you can actually feel your negative feelings and emotions, and then release them.
This episode has engulfed many years of your life. It sits as a wedge in your marriage, interfering with your ability to regain intimacy and trust.
Your husband's reaction to your attempts to discuss this is unkind and unfair. He may be responding to his own fear of facing accusations — when for you, discussing your own feelings, and perhaps hearing an acknowledgment and bid for forgiveness would help you to heal.
If he expects you to “get over it,” he should be brave enough to be with you every step of the way.
But you cannot count on your husband to respond in any particular way. Therapy can help you to recognize this reality — and face it.
There are many books relating to healing from an affair. My own longago experience taught me that after the anger and sadness, forgiveness would be my liberating path.
DEAR AMY >> “Mom” wrote to you, explaining her worry about disclosing to her eldest son that he was conceived through “artificial insemination.”
Nowhere does she state that she used a sperm donor, and yet you assumed that she had!
— Confused Reader
DEAR CONFUSED >> You are right — I did make that assumption, which was based on the mother's extreme concern about disclosure.