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Ryan LCSW, Relationships
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 872
Experience:  Professional therapist
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My husband had an affair and it has been almost a year since

Resolved Question:

My husband had an affair and it has been almost a year since I found out. I am wondering, based on your clients that you have worked with, do they recover from this? Does the pain ease with time? Do you clients feel whole again with time?

Thank you for your time
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Ryan LCSW replied 5 years ago.
Hey there,

I'm terribly sorry to hear about what you've been through with your husband. It's not uncommon for it to take a year or longer in order to truly recover from this, however it is certainly possible. The biggest thing that determines whether or not a marriage survives this is how dedicated both people are in repairing the marriage. If your husband has recommitted himself to the marriage and is doing what he can to earn your trust back, that is an encouraging sign that his heart is in the right place and that he is trying to make things work on his part. However, an affair is a serious violation of trust, and some people feel that they can't ever get past that and are forced to move on. Others are willing to work on the marriage and can eventually learn to start trusting each other again. These people are able to move past this and be happy once again in their relationship.

Typically the clients that I see are the ones who are dedicated enough to their marriage that they are willing to put in a lot of effort into making it better. They tend to have a pretty good success rate, and I attribute that largely to their determination to make it better. Most people don't see professional help, and I would suspect that the number of positive outcomes is not as high. That being said, if you feel like you're really struggling to feel whole again, it could be a great experience for you to meet with a marriage counselor, either with your husband or by yourself at first. With an outside professional perspective of your situation, you may come away with a much better idea of how to get back on your feet again, and whether it is possible to make this work.

I hope I've been able to answer your question and I certainly wish you the best. If there's anything else I can do to help just let me know.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Do people who have affairs, do they fully get over the other person, or do they hold on to the thrill of the affair and that special connection that they felt from it? My husbands affair was about a year and a half to two years long.
Expert:  Ryan LCSW replied 5 years ago.
It can honestly be very different from person to person. You can probably tell a lot more about how your husband feels and is handling it by the way he is acting. Sometimes affairs are basically like completely separate relationships, and in that way, it can be viewed like any other past ex girlfriend in his past. Typically once they are over that person, they are ready to move on, and while there may have been a connection at one point, there may not be now that the relationship is over. Other times affairs are more about physical intimacy, and while there may have been some thrill there, there isn't actually much of a special connection other than the fact that they were physical with each other. If you're getting the feeling that he isn't over her, or that he is holding on to some connection they had, that is definitely unnerving. However, I would also not make that assumption based on how long the affair is, because it has more to do with his attitude and how he is handling the situation with you.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for your answers so far, they are very helpful. My husband is 45 and this appears to be a mid life crisis, and he feels that is what has happened. He says that it is a faded memeory and he does not like or want to talk about it at all. He ussually gets upset and tells me for us to work out, I need to "shut up and move on" and put it behind us and not think or discuss it, live in the present and look to our future together. I can say that the last few months he has showed great strides in being transparent. The person he was with is a stripper. I know that he has given her money to leave town, but refuses to acknowlegde this. She has even tried to get me to pay her money to get details about the affair, I refused. Does this sound like a one time thing, so to speak as a mid life crisis or could this be a character flaw in my husband and something that I will always be worried about happening again. Will he be able to have a satisfied sex life with me after he has been with a "professional" or will I never measure up for him?
Expert:  Ryan LCSW replied 5 years ago.
I'm glad I've been able to help you out. It's hard to know where you husband stands with all of this if he refuses to talk about it. I respect the fact that you have tried to give him the space he's asked for in order to move on, but without being able to find out more about why this occurred in the first place from him, it's hard to know whether this is something you should be worried about happening again, or whether this was a crisis that is now in the past. The same thing applies to the issue of sex, and if it was something about sex that drove him to do this in the first place, it's hard to know whether he's going to be satisfied with his sex life or what this was all about. These are legitimate and important questions that he really needs to be the one to answer. Considering what you've been through, it does seem like you deserve more than "shut up and move on" when you're trying to get a handle on where you stand and feel the need to talk with him about it. It does sound encouraging that he has begun to be more transparent, and if things seem to be moving in a positive direction, and that certainly is encouraging. Hopefully he will continue to open up, and if you can eventually get him to go to counseling with you that would really be the best way to handle this.

I certainly wish you the best and hope that I've been able to help. At this point I'd have to ask you to accept my answer to this question by clicking the "accept" button, and if you'd like to continue the conversation by opening a new question I'd be more than happy to do that.

All the best,

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