Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).
Your husband is having trouble dealing with the fact that you had an affair.
I feel your husband is taking longer to deal with his emotions and he feels that his self esteem is bruised. The reason why he feels this way is because he has regrets.
His regrets could be that if he was different this affair would have never happened.
I feel he feels more guilty than anything.
Some times what helps in forgiveness of an affair is asking questions why it happened.
He seems to be unsettled in why this all happened. If you can forgive him he should be able to forgive you.
These affair never happened again and it is clear that you both love each other.
This is just a time for you both to start over again.
You both need that fresh start and to let go of the past. He needs to understand that when two people love each other they need to stay together to work things out because it is never worth losing the person.
He is upset right now and has so many emotions that he is not able to understand.
It is hard for him to truly express how he feels and everything he is saying is not what he truly wants.
He does not want to leave or find someone else, he is just looking to vent but does not know how to get those emotions out. It is almost like he can not explain how he feels.
Almost 11 years of marriage you both have been through many things together and you get through it together.
When two people first meet they are getting to know each other, they are focused on the person and they want to learn so much about them.
You are fully focused on the relationship.
As the relationship progress people become comfortable in the relationship.
Then what I call is life gets in the way and those outsides distractions pulls the focus off the relationship.
Problems arise, work, obligations and little by little that focus becomes about other things in life.
It is time to get back to the first stage in a relationship where you want to impress the person and all you want to do is spend time with them. It is like you both would be dating again. One way of doing this is recreating your very first date. This sparks peoples memories
Picture and talking about all the memories you both shared is a great way for you both to reconnect again.
I want you to know he is just upset because he loves you and he is not able to handle that this has happened.
But he realize that you both need to work this out.
You have dealt with things correctly you opened up about the affair talking with others, but he doesn't not want to talk about it, he just wants this to have never happened. But it happened and it does not change your love for each other. You both just need that second chance to repair this marriage.
In order for him to get his self-esteem back he needs to understand that you love him and that he is the only one you want. He has to let go of the past because you can not fix the past, but you can move on from the past.
I want you to tell him that you want this marriage to work and not only for you, but your children. Ask him if you can start over together.
I want you to open up and explain how you feel. He needs to hear how you feel and that you love him.
I think his self-esteem will begin to change when he begins to realize how important too you it is to save this marriage.
You both need to begin to rebuild trust and communicate on how you both feel. He needs to get those emotions out so that he can forgive.
He needs to see that love will get you both through this and it is time for a new beginning for you both.
This marriage can be fixed and I just feel he is venting, but I do not feel he could live without you. The way he is reacting is because he loves you so much.
The more he opens up his emotions the more he can let things go and move forward with you in this marriage.
He said he was unwilling to try, but that is just one of his many emotions where he is experiencing the angry stage.
There are many emotions and he will be going through many, but it is good he is expressing his emotions. People often say things they do not mean so I do not want you to look at what he said this mourning as how he truly feels.
I feel that is not what he is trying to say he says he is unwilling to work things out, but he loves you so he knows he wants to work things out
So what he says does not mean that will not be his actions. He is saying he is unwilling, but he is going to work things out because of his love for you.
Often times feelings get blocked because of things that happen, but in time people begin to find those feelings again.
It is just going to take time.
Explain too him that you are not willing to give up on this marriage and tell him that if you both work together you can get back to that place where all that matters is your love for each other.
Tell him all that matters is your love for each other.
Thank you for your question and if you have anymore questions you can title your question Dear XXXXX. Thank you again.
I am very sorry to know about this very sad, frustrating and painful situation.
This is truly very sad and frustrating, since it shows how when both of you decided to be fully honest and open with each other about what happened in your past, as a way to be fully consistent with your commitment, on one hand you were able to accept and respect, cope and show you appreciate his honesty and him taking the risk of revealing such a sensitive situation, trusting he was being accountable, proactive and consistent showing you know much he cares about you and your marriage. On the other hand his reaction, shows he could have felt so overwhelmed to the point of not being able to effectively cope with it, to literally feel betrayed even to the present and unable to trust and forgive you, just as you did about his own mistakes, when he had all his affairs.
Again, I believe his lack of ability to effectively cope with the psychological and emotional impact of knowing you also had different affairs at that time, has been overwhelming to him, limiting this much his reaction and now leading to this extremely sad and frustrating situation, where instead of being reciprocal in understanding, forgiving and supporting you, just as you did towards him, he is reacting this hurt and even retaliating in more subtle or obvious ways because of your mistakes, when denying the fact that it is very unfair for him to treat you this way, when you have been absolutely understanding, forgiving and proactive about it.
It’s obvious to me both of you care about each other, otherwise you would never have allowed yourselves to reveal what each of you did at that time in your marriage, that both wanted to grow from it after allowing necessary healing, that always requires full honesty and respect. But now, he needs to focus on his own healing process, since he is obviously having a hard time trying to cope with it, and this could be much more about his personality, personal issues, core fears and coping skills that about you. This is why he needs to start by fully taking responsibility for his own feelings about it and for what he chooses to do about it, the actions he implement in order to heal and grow from it. Once he is feeling this overwhelmed and unable to cope, heal and move on, he needs to seriously consider professional individual psychotherapy, which would allow him to get necessary support and tools to make of this healing process something real and effective, and it is from there that he would be able to join you, and with marriage therapy work together as a team, empowered buy your reciprocal love and caring, on healing together and growing from it. Obviously it would not be an easy process, but it is necessary and worthy for sure.
Now it is a time for you to be unconditionally gentle, patient, understanding, empathetic, supportive and compassionate with yourself and with each other. The more painful reality becomes, the harder you need to work on being supportive and consistent with the love and caring you have for each other. Please, remind yourself that his reaction shows much more about his personal struggles and conflicts because of what happened than being a way to retaliate against you because of your mistakes. You are different and unique persons, but share a love , family and life together, and that's why this crisis triggered by reveling a reality that happened tat long ago, could be necessary for you to grow even stronger, closer, enriching and fortifying your intimacy, attachment and affection, making it much more resilient and less vulnerable to present and future challenges and problems.
Does it make sense? Please feel free to reply with any further questions you may have, since I am here willing to support you as much as possible, and know that only through open and genuine dialogue people could understand and support each other in healthy and constructive ways.