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After my husband’s affair how can I take a stand and rescue our marriage?

heart to heart
I have been separated from my husband for 6 months. Our marriage broke down for many reasons on both our parts and I have been working on acknowledging how we both could have done things differently. I am willing to work with my husband to work through the issues and develop a new relationship and to move forward positively in a way that allows us both to grow.

However, one of the issues of separation was his affair with a younger woman. He continues with this relationship and does not want to finish it Yet ever since he left our home, he is constantly contacting me -phone, email, text to tell me how had he is feeling and how much he loves and misses me. In recent months - I have been 'giving it a go' being in his company etc, on the belief that he had ended the affair and wanted to build a new relationship with me, only to find out, more than once, that this was an untruth.

I have finally decided that I will not accept this situation as the secrecy and lies it obviously involves, dishonors me and lowers my self esteem and have asked for space to let go and get on with my life.

He is still pestering - and says that he cannot control his actions and that he wants to 'come back' and needs time and that it can only ever work in the future if we stay in contact now. I feel he is using me to assuage his guilt and to have the best of both worlds and that agreeing to this would keep me in a negative place. He has gone through what seems a mid life crisis in recent years and has a lot of unresolved issues. He is very depressed and anxious and as I hold affection for him I often respond to his 'calls' as I want to help. (He is a man who has many good qualities but has always been selfish about many issues). I am so 'pulled down' by all this - I want to live positively in life and have a relationship that helps me do that.

Am I right in letting go? Is there any future for us?

Wallace's reply
I sympathize with your good and honorable intentions. You are right to give your marriage every last chance to work. However sometimes we have to draw a line in the sand and be prepared to say "I will not accept this" for the marriage to have a chance to grow and develop. This is the situation you are in now.

Consider having a conversation with your husband. In this conversation you need to express your love for your husband and say that is why, despite all that has happened, you want to spend the rest of your life with him. You say there are faults in both sides of the marriage, but be responsible for the faults you have committed by apologizing for all the mistakes you have made in your married life together. Trust that your husband will apologize for his mistakes. Share with your husband the hurt and distress that you feel and your willingness to work through your difficulties.

Tell him that because you love him so much that you are now making a stand for an exclusive relationship (a relationship between you and your husband alone). Tell him that it is your wish to continue in the marriage, but for you to do so he must promise to give up all contact with this other woman for good. Tell him that if he breaks this promise no excuses will be accepted and the marriage is finished. Explain to him that you are doing this because you know your marriage only has a future if it is a relationship between you and your husband alone.

If doing this does not work, you are finding out now that your marriage is finished. Otherwise it could take years for you to admit the inevitable.

Whatever happens believe in the universal power of love, that you did the right thing, that this has happened for your own good and that you will be looked after.

My thoughts and prayers are with you.

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