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John-Michaels, Counselor (LPC)
Category: Mental Health
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My husband had an affair after 27 years of marriage. He is

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My husband had an affair after 27 years of marriage. He is totally remorseful and has ended the affair. The other woman was his college girlfriend who dumped in just prior to their wedding. He consistently says he does not know why he had the affair. I am having a hard time forgiving him until he can explain himself. Thank you for any clarity you might bring. I want my marriage to work
Welcome to JustAnswer! I am a Licensed Professional Counselor. Please note, this is not therapy, but information. I do hope I can help you though. I am sure it hurts to feel betrayed after all those years. I applaud you for your desire to forgive him. In order for your forgiveness to complete though, you feel that his sorrow should be genuine. I first of all suggest you both seek marital counseling. It is a tough road to forgiveness and you need all the help you can get. That said I have outlined some steps below that I believe might guide you down that road.1. Acknowledge the pain he has caused you and your marriage. Don't down play it. It is real and harsh, so both of you acknowledge the pain. He can only genuinely seek forgiveness and you can only completely let the pain go as you both acknowledge the extent of his error.2. Rebuild the trust you have lost. It wasn't lost over night nor will it be regained over night. Take your time and allow him time to prove himself. Do not force something that is not there. Allow your reunification to be real.3. Don't give up. He has made a mistake. Give him the opportunity to prove himself faithful again. But do make sure he proves himself faithful.4. Realize it will never be the same again nor should it.. This does not have to be bad though. Take this as an opportunities to rebuild the romance and rekindle the flame like it has never been before.5. Last of all, understand the 4 steps outlined above were more about a forgiveness that leads to reunification. Understand that you don't have to reunify in order for you to forgive. You must though forgive in order to experience a healthy reunification. That same forgiveness is necessary for your own well being. Don't simply forgive him for the sake of your marriage. Forgive him so you can be released from the pain he has caused you. Trusting him must be earned on his part. Forgiveness is a release on your partI hope this is helpful. I really hope you two work things out. Please feel free to ask questions. God bless your efforts!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your response. I was hoping you could provide clarity to why he would pick up a relationship that ended 40 years ago.
Of course, there is no way to know for sure. Only he really knows and in the end you will have to either trust his reason or not. Only you can make that decision. I am guessing it is a case of maybe trying to relive his childhood or even resolve a pain he experienced from long ago. Not to excuse it, but it is not so uncommon for men (or women) to try to revisit their youthful crushes as they approach their retirement years. They are attempting to resolve the question, what could have been? As I said though, that is only an assumption on my part. Honestly, if I were you I would demand a total explanation from him. If he doesn't offer it in a way you are satisfied you will wonder for the rest of your years together. The other option is to just let it go, taking whatever reason he has offered as the total truth or of course you could just accept my explanation. I hope I have helped you in some way. Please let me know if you have any further questions or thoughts.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Are there certain questions that I might ask that will help draw him out.

I really feel like I need to know why this happened. He says it has nothing to do with our marriage. I know in my heart that he loves me. I just can't seem to stop obsessing over what he got out of this. It had been 8 months since I found out. He ended the affair abruptly telling her it was a big mistake and was never leaving me. I guess I should be content with that. But I still want to understand what he got out of this affair. He just says he doesn't know.
Honestly, eight months is not long considering what you have been through. You need to give yourself time and hr needs to allow you the freedom to do so. i figure he really doesn't know why he did it. i would assume my explanation is reason at least in part. Please consider couples therapy. By all means Don't give up without at least first trying counseling. In the end though, you will either have to accept his explanation or reject it. I hope you find resolution....
John-Michaels and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Hi! I appreciate you allowing me to help you maybe arrive at a solution the other day. I hope I was helpful. Let me know if I can help you in any other way.

John Michaels, MS, LPC