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Dear Stavroula

Dear Stavroula: My Wife Has Not Forgiven Me

November 26, 2022

Dear Stavroula,

 

I am married with three children. My job requires me to travel quite often and I am sometimes away for long periods of time. One of these times, I had a casual fling with a colleague overseas, which ended once the project was over and I returned to my home and family. I’d never had an affair before. It’s not something I was used to, it was a mistake and going back home, I lost my peace of mind. I couldn’t look my wife in the eye. I avoided being alone with her, not because I was pining for the other woman but out of guilt. Unfortunately, she realized something was up and I, in a moment of weakness, admitted everything, even though I had decided not to tell her anything. After many painful discussions we decided not to break up our family. But since then she has changed. While she talks to me nicely and seems calm, she doesn’t approach me romantically, she avoids sleeping with me, and when I try to approach her romantically, she is very cold and distant. I think she’s still reeling from what happened. Do you think this is something that will pass? I love her and I wouldn’t want her to stay with me just for the sake of the kids. Will she really be able to forgive me? What usually happens in these cases?

 

Kostas

 

 

Dear Kostas,

 

Infidelity is a common occurrence in relationships, but that doesn’t mean it’s simple. And this is because when the romantic exclusivity of the couple is somehow breached, dynamics are created in the relationship that can be devastating for both. This is why infidelity is almost always a traumatic event.

The one who experiences the partner’s infidelity feels anger and pain and often struggles with the feeling of humiliation or inferiority, searching to find what it is that is missing, so that the partner sought out someone else.

On the other hand, the partner who has been unfaithful often feels guilty, embarrassed, or ashamed – he finds it difficult to manage the new situation that is created in his relationship. What is certain is that with infidelity, the couple’s relationship changes.

Maybe something like this is happening in your own relationship right now. You put infidelity into your relationship and your wife is trying to deal with it. However, things are not that simple.

It is very important to understand that your relationship as you knew it no longer exists. If until now your wife felt that she could trust you every time you were away on business, it will be very difficult for her to continue thinking the same way. Trust in relationships is hard to build and when it is lost it takes even more effort to get it back into the relationship. And this lack of trust can manifest itself in various ways. One is the reluctance to be together romantically.

However, the fact that she is showing you that something is wrong and you realize it can be the first step in improving your relationship – if you both want that.

Because most of the time infidelity is not so much a random act as it is the way one of the two chooses to solve problems that concern him personally or that concern his relationship. It is a way of showing that something is wrong. If after this the partners act like nothing has happened and try to continue their relationship by brushing the problems under the carpet, it is very likely that the infidelity will repeat itself and the impasse in the couple’s relationship will grow.

But if you decide together to fight to overcome the problem and improve your relationship, if you face your problems with honesty, love, and respect, maybe even asking for the help of an expert, then maybe this is the safest way to keep your relationship healthy in the long run.

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