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Karin Samms
Karin Samms, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 300
Experience:  with over 15 years experience offering support with relationship, mental health & addiction issues
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My wife is Turkish, I am American. Before we were married and

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My wife is Turkish, I am American. Before we were married and going through the process of getting her Visa, we were separated for 6 months. She became very depressed and I began to talk with other women. After she came, we got married and she found messages on my computer. I was never physically unfaithful, but I know I was wrong. Now she is so angry at me and feels I betrayed her. I feel like I betrayed her and I feel terrible about the whole thing. I want to make this work, I want to make things better, but she says she can't forgive me and she is going to just try to forget everything including our relationship. She says she is willing to stay with me but I will have to give 90% and she will only give 10% so she can heal. I said I will work as hard as I can, but I have to feel loved, because I feel like she just doesn't love me, she is just going through the motions. She is back in Turkey now. I bought her tickets for her birthday. She said she is going to call all of her male friends to go hang out with them because it was ok for me to do that. As a professional, what would you say to her? I want the marriage to work, but I can't fix her. I can't choose for her. I want her happiness and I want my happiness, I want a good life with her, but I know that I can't MAKE this happen unless she is trying too. What would you tell her?
Hi there, welcome to Just Answer. I will try and help you with your question.

I'm sorry that you're going through this, she seems very angry and very much wanting to hurt you as she feels hurt. This is not going to work, like you say, unless she is willing to try and make some effort. However, your question is what to say to her - I believe you seem to have expressed your regret very openly and honestly for your mistake and error of judgment. Some things you could possibly consider saying to her might include the following:

"Xxxx, I'm sure you're aware how sorry I am for my very regretful error of judgment, I love you and don't want to be without you. You mean the world to me and of course, I will do everything within my power to gain your trust again. However, xxx, this can only happen if we are near to each other and not so far apart. I would be willing to consider couple counseling, if you feel this is what we need. I would be willing to provide you with 100% but you too, will need to provide me with some gradual forgiveness and start to let go of what I have done. We cannot move forward until you are willing to really try and not just be angry at me. I understand your anger but please try and understand - I made a huge mistake but I am paying for it - through your actions of trying to hurt me and your distance from me. I love you, and care for you and hope that you can see we have something too good to throw away."

How would something on those lines sound? You can amend it however you wish, it's just there to give you an idea of the tone and level of assertion needed. You don't want to come across as so needy that she has you right where she wants you - to attack emotionally but you need to portray a level of apology but also a level of 'I won't allow you to keep pushing me around' does that make sense?

You are totally right in that you can't MAKE her change, you can't stop her from visualizing how you might have been behaving while she was not around, but you CAN show her that you have a good thing and you don't want her to throw that away due to your mistake.

Perhaps also consider HOW she moves back, could you both live separately (but near enough to talk this through)? It might need some support from a professional on a one to one basis so here are some details if you wish to take a look:

USA therapists website:
Another website where you can search for counselors:

I do hope this is helping, please do come back to me for further assistance and support if you need it, I'd rather support you as much as possible and receive a positive rating and I'd be more than happy to continue supporting you until you feel satisfied.
If I have answered your question, kindly rate my service positively before you leave the site so I may be credited for my time. If you choose to rate me anything less than positive, please do come back to me and I will clarify further or support your query further. Your question will not close and I will continue to support your question. Bonuses are always appreciated.

Kindest Regards, Karin
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I understand what you are saying...believe me I know. I have said all that you suggested and I have apologized and continue to apologize, but she continues to bring it up. She feels that she can't forgive and I feel if she can't forgive that our marriage is doomed. One person, even if they are guilty cannot support a relationship. I do want it to work. I don't want to lose her, but I believe if she is not willing to meet me half way 50/50 then I can't do it on my own. I don't think she is willing to talk to her friends or family about it and the fact that she is willing to hurt me back makes me wonder if she does truly love me or if she was just enamored with the idea of a marriage and now that it is work...she could do without it. She was 33 when we got married and had never been married before. I wasn't actually asking you what I should say to her. I have said all of that. What, as a counselor, would you say to her, given that she wants to work through this mess, I freely admit that I made? How would you explain how to begin healing? Forgiveness? What is most important now to begin the process of reconciliation? How should she treat me? I keep apologizing, but she keeps bringing it up and her distance and coldness is breaking my heart.

My apologies for misunderstanding what you needed.

You're right in your thinking, you cannot do this on your own, she needs to give you something.

As a counselor I would say to her that if she wants to really try and see this through and give the marriage a go, she will have to begin to focus on the GOOD things about your relationship, what was it that attracted her to you in the first place? What made her want to take the leap into getting married etc? These are important to try and focus on the positives of your relationship, she then needs to begin to understand that you did not sexually break any boundaries but the trust has been shattered and that she would need to work on this to ensure she can envisage whether there is a future there or not. Anger is very much part of this process and so she will begin to heal - gradually and when she's ready, you need to be able to give her the space to return to you- to talk to you again and take things slowly, but it is important that you recognize that unless she is willing to even HEAR this either through a phone call or via email or letter, she will continue as she is until she is ready to let go of the anger.

Only she can decide now what steps to take to try and make a move forward/ a step forward so that you are BOTH working towards something.

Here are some resources around building trust after any form of infidelity, you and or she might find them helpful. If you were to offer them as a link to her, how might she respond to this, would she feel that you're trying to make things right by helping and trying to understand things from her point of view?

Rebuilding trust can indeed, take a while and a lot of work, but you can both do it as long as you both are keen to work towards a goal. As a counselor, I would also ask her to consider using some form of support and if friends and were out of the question, then books and seeing someone confidentially might be the answer. There is no easy direct response as her response currently is purely emotive and she is not able to clearly see where you both need to be in order to work on this - which is together as her anger is currently too high, she may soon get past this but if you want to give her some further food for thought, then here are some books and resources that may help you and her to understand the processes of what she might be going through:

Infidelity: A Survival Guide by Don-David Lusterman.

Not "Just Friends": Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity by Shirley P. Glass and Jean Coppock Staeheli. will stock them or your local library may have them.

Please do come back to me if you have further queries, if I have answered your question, kindly rate my service positively before you leave the site so I may be credited for my time. If you choose to rate me anything less than positive, please do come back to me and I will clarify further or support your query further. Your question will not close and I will continue to support your question. Bonuses are always appreciated.

Kindest Regards, Karin

Karin Samms and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

What is step 1 for her? Should I continue to beg for her forgiveness, which she says she cannot give?

Hi there,

Thank you for rating my service, it is very much appreciated.

The first step for her would be to fully understand whether she REALLY wants to make changes and work on letting go of some of her defenses. She's built walls very high around her and she needs to begin to lower them slowly but surely. This would mean beginning to show acceptance of you and to remember that people are humans - we all have flaws and are not perfect. You are going to need to let her question you, she will need reassurances from you and you will need to also ensure she does not take too many liberties (remain firm but be fair).

I don't believe begging her for forgiveness will move or shift your positions any further. She will continue to hold her stance. It is now time to do some of the above - something different that changes the status quo.

I hope this is helping.
Kind regards,

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