I recently found out that my husband had an affair. He still wanted to make the marriage work and I forgave him; but he still didn’t want to stop speaking to her after I gave him an ultimatum. Soon I found out he had created a new email to talk with her. When I saw that he told her he missed her and couldn’t wait to see her on his day off, I asked him to leave. He packed his things. I’m not sure what to do at this point. Do I give him time to realize? Or should I assume that the marriage is over? I know I have to come to terms that I can’t control his actions but I’m just trying to come to terms with what has happened.
We’re truly sorry. We hate to see couples split up.
Your husband wants to have his cake and eat it too. But this type of thinking doesn’t work for most marriages, unless you have some sort of “open” arrangement, which we are not recommending. (Those arrangements usually don’t work out either. One person is often driving it while the other follows reluctantly.)
Was he even remorseful when he asked you to try again? It doesn’t sound like he was. In order for this to have a chance at working he needs to show some remorse; he needs to show that he’s willing to do whatever it takes to regain your trust; and then he needs to show he’s taking steps to change his behavioral patterns. (Maybe see a professional to help him understand why he’s making the choices he’s making, and then how not to repeat them. Therapist or counselor.)
He’s got a long way to go. If you weren’t married we’d say move on. But since you’re married and you’ve invested so much time and emotional energy into the relationship, we suggest you give him a little bit of time to see if he’ll wake up and realize what he’s done. (You don’t want to have any regrets and feel like you didn’t try your best to reconcile. Perhaps through this year? Your call of course.) But remember, if he’s not 100% consistent about getting back together he’ll fall into the same old patterns before you know it. Then you’ll have wasted another year or so trying to make him change when he’s invested on staying just as he is.
Hang in there. Feel free to ask as many follow-up questions as you’d like. And keep us posted on what you decide.
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