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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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My wife and I are going through a separation due to me being

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My wife and I are going through a separation due to me being unfaithful. I had an affair with the same woman on 3 different occasions. My wife is angry one day and semi-nice the next and says she wants to get divorced one day and wants to work things out the next. She tells me know she doesn't know if she loves me or wants to proceed with working our marriage out. We have 4 year old twins and a 7 year old son. I don't want to lose my wife and break our family apart. She is willing to go to counseling with me this week but I need to know what I do?? I've been out of the house for 3 months now. Please help me out with any good advice.
- Ethan

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.

Your wife is acting in a very normal way. She still loves you, so she is torn about how to stay in the marriage. The pain of the affairs is hard for her to live with, so she goes back and forth with her feelings. She also has the responsibility of trying to make a go of the marriage for the sake of the children. That can also account for some of her conflict.

What your job is right now is to be sure you support her, love her and let her know how sorry you are for what happened. Taking responsibility for the affair(s) is very important. Your wife must know that you see this as your fault totally. As difficult as it is for you, she must be able to see you take these actions, repeatedly if needed.

Also, take the lead on repairing the marriage. Keep trying to go to counseling. Make sure the counselor is helping you both with your issues. If not, find another counselor. Get a referral from your church or try on line at

If your wife does not want to go to counseling with you, go yourself. Again, she must see that you are trying. She may end up joining you if she feels she can.

There are several resources that can help you work on this at home, as well. Here are some to help you get started:

Not "Just Friends": Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity by Shirley P. Glass and Jean Coppock Staeheli

How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair: A Compact Manual for the Unfaithful by Linda J. MacDonald M.S.

Infidelity: A Survival Guide by Don-David Lusterman

You can find these books on or your local library may have them for you.

Trust is the biggest issue in your marriage right now. Your wife has lost her trust in you. You must earn it back. Make sure you treat this as a priority. Be where you say you are going to be, allow her to call you anytime, anywhere. Be honest and open. If she asks you about the affair, tell her the truth. When you had the affair, you involved her. So she has a right to know. Be as gentle as you can when telling her, but let her know what she wants to know. Be sure you show your pain and hurt about what you did. If she sees it is painful for you to recall, it helps her connect with you.

This is hard for both of you. But if you can get through this, it will make your marriage much stronger. Keep trying, even if you feel you can't. Get support for yourself by talking with other men (maybe through your church) that have been through this too. Many marriages survive affairs and with some work, yours will too.

I hope this helps,


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