“I never saw the signs, at least if I did, I denied they were there. I just thought they were friends. After I found out and confronted him, he confirmed what I heard.”
Husband of one of my close friend cheated her with another woman. Everyone “thought” they knew…but she did not, although they were having trouble. For her spouse, deep regret, shame, remorse, and humiliation set in. For her, anger, grief, disbelief, and a ‘avalanche of losses’, including the sweet memories of their marriage ceremony…gone.
While not a bad marriage, I wouldn’t call their marriage good either. It certainly isn’t what I want in a marriage. Some where along the way, they stopped really communicating and meeting each other’s emotional needs…though she never stopped loving my husband, and hasn’t still. “Did I nag too much? Did I do something wrong?” are the constant topics which she speculates often to gauge the reason behind the mistake which her husband made. She lingers on all the reasons he might have had an affair – the circumstances that created it, what’s missing inside her and in their relationship, etc.
Being an independent female, I wonder what makes her stay in a relationship and still wishing to be together until the end. Yes, she does BUT because they have a child together. Is that a big enough reason to make yourself suffer and re-living the moments of betrayal each day. No matter what the betrayal, it can gradually erode the relationship. She confesses that it’s not the betrayal by itself that caused most of the damage. It’s the poor way he handled the aftermath. My friend believes in handling betrayal is more important than the betrayal itself.
It is believed that 70% of all marriages are touched by infidelity. Therapists have rated it one of the most common and devastating problems faced by their patients. They believes that sometimes, it takes this kind of life-changing event for couples to determine the real value of their marriage. It often becomes a catalyst for important and permanent changes – both in the relationship and for every person involved.
I understand that betrayals happen only after a spouse has been trying and trying to reach the other spouse who is unable or unwilling to be empathetic or nurturing. I am a big advocate of trying to fix relationships. But Infidelity of any sorts is out of question for me. Restoring trust in relationships after betrayal takes serious work- honesty, transparency and building a new foundation.
Seeing my friend struggling to keep her marriage alive and pretending to be happy so that her son respects his father as an ideal one, she gives me hope that there is a marital future after an infidelity. I don’t know how to deal with trust issues in a relationship, let alone find the courage to begin the process of forgiveness. Because for me that would be an exit from a relationship. Nothing can chart a new path — the path of trust.