How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Mark Manley Your Own Question
Mark Manley
Mark Manley, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 402
Experience:  Want help with your most important relationships? Licensed Marriage/Family Counselor.
Type Your Relationship Question Here...
Mark Manley is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I recently found out that my husband of almost twenty years

Customer Question

I recently found out that my husband of almost twenty years was having an affair with an old girlfriend from highschool. We are trying to work through it and save our marriage, but how will I ever know for sure if he doesn't secretly wish it was her he's been married to? His parents divorced when he was younger and I fear that he just doesn't want to hurt the kids, that he would rather be unhappy than to seperate. He assures me that he loves me, and we are talking more now than we have in years, but I am so unsure about what I can believe. We began going to counseling, but I just didn't click with the counselor. How do I move forward and stop wondering?

Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  psychlady replied 6 years ago.

It is good that you are talking - that is priceless. It can't erase the past but it can explain it and eventually get past it. You will never know anything for sure. It's up to you to decide how much of what he says you belief and what you choose to forgive. Don't over generalize though. Because he had an affair doesn't mean he even considers he could have married her. You must use this new communication to rebuild and to find your peace again. He is reassuring you so you have to begin to trust those words again. This will take time and patience. I don't think a lot of people really stay for the kids because those relationships can be maintained through a divorce. Most people stay for their own happiness. Consider that when you are thinking of his motives.


If you are going to stay together, give it 100% and find trust again. Find a counselor that you both like and go together. They are out there.




If this has helped please submit accept. If you want to respond, I am here for you.


Expert:  Ask Eleanor replied 6 years ago.

I am very sorry to hear about your husband's affair, but glad to know you are still with him and want to work things out. Once trust is broken in a marriage it is difficult, if not impossible, for the couple to rebuild trust without professional help. You were wise to see a therapist; I am sorry you did not find someone who could help you. Please don't give up. I recommend that you find a Marriage and Family Therapist to help you through this. MFTs are highly trained to deal with couples issues, including affairs. You can find an MFT in your area by going to . It has been my experience with my couples that affairs can be worked through, healing can take place and a new trust can be built. It will take time, but with work your marriage can even become stronger. I hope I have answered your question. If so, please click on the green accept button so that I will be credited for my professional time. I wish you and your husband healing in your relationship, take care, Eleanor

Expert:  Mark Manley replied 6 years ago.
I totally agree with the experts above and would add that gaining a good understanding of male psychology and the psychology of extramarital affairs can help move you to a place of greater trust. You have to come to trust your ability to know what is up in your marriage and you have to trust your husband's ability to change. He doesn't deserve trust until he changes into a trustworthy person. How do you know what that person would look like? How can you come to trust your ability to discern when you are with a trustworthy person?

Something that will help you in your quest for trust is for your husband to first understand, and then effectively convey to you exactly what unmet needs or desires he was attempting to fulfill with the affair. This can be a difficult task and this one of the places some of the professional help mentioned above may be useful. Many couples choose to skip this step because it is painful. If you skip this step it's a white knuckle ride the rest of the way, because you know in your heart everything depends on his will power alone. This crises could be a wonderful opportunity for his personal growth, your personal growth and the growth of your relationship. Let me know if I can be of any assistance.