How can I help my husband after my affair?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-23-2012
How can I help my husband after my affair?
Thu, 03-29-2012 - 6:11am

I am so worried about my husband.

Community Leader
Registered: 06-08-2010
Thu, 03-29-2012 - 8:32am
Hi Lost,
It is incredibly painful to watch our spouse struggle with visions of our affair in their head. Unfortunately, there is not much you can do to take those visions away from him, but just continue to love him through this time. He is going to really have to take a close look at himself to find what it is that he needs to work on, but this pain is all so new right now and it is tough. Would he consider therapy? Does he have any close friends to talk to? My H would ask me if I would feel comfortable with him telling one or two of his friends about what happened to us. This was never done in a spiteful way, and I know he never once bad-mouthed me to his friends. He would share with me everything he wrote in an email. My H doesn't have many friends, though, so that is a concern of mine. My H did go to therapy for a short time, and I would like him to go back. It does help.
Your H is grieving, Lost. The best thing you can do for him is to encourage him and love him through this. Be as transparent to him as you can. The one major downfall in these addictive A's that we get ourselves so enmeshed in is being deceptive. Even now, over one year out from D-Day, I have some struggles with being completely transparent, but the more I fight that struggle and continue to be honest with him, it brings us closer and puts another solid stone as the new foundation to this M that is being rebuilt DAILY. It works, Lost. As painful as it is to watch your H go through his suffering, just remember that this is all so fresh in his mind. Did he even suspect anything prior to D-Day? The hardest thing to do is watch them grieve and feeling so helpless because of the pain we inflicted with our actions. Just remember, though, we are not the only ones who have contributed to the pain you are at in your M...somewhere, down the line, your H has also neglected your needs and has not been as attentive to you as he should have been. This is your journey to healing. This is your H's journey to healing. This is your M's journey to healing. Your M can be rebuilt! There are others on this board that
can attest to that and perhaps will chime in as well.
Books I recommend you read and suggest to read with H...The Five Love Languages, by Gary Chapman, and His Needs, Her Needs, by Willard F. Harley, Jr. There are also some other very good titles out there, maybe others can suggest some.
((((HUGS))))) to you, Lost. Be sure you are also doing things to rebuild your self-esteem as well, since we allow ourselves to take such a beating while in the A. Is your xap blocked and no possible further contact? For your H to be reassured of this is very important in his ability to rebuild trust in you.
Please take care and post here often. There is a good community of support here. :)

Hearts <3
Community Leader
Registered: 05-23-2003
Mon, 04-02-2012 - 12:37pm
I second everything that Hearts wrote.

Transparency is a big one - and patience - and empathy, as well.

But the biggest thing that you can both do in order to help with the rebuilding process is communicate. Trying to hold things inside where they can fester won't do either of you any good. And I know - I KNOW - how scary it is to put everything out there, for both of you. But it can really help. So encourage him to talk about what he's feeling - even when it's bad, and even though it will be hard for you to hear.

Set some ground rules - set up a time each day to talk, with a time limit, and with limits like trying to speak in a respectful tone to each other, not crossing the line into any abusive sorts of words, no name-calling, etc. Let him say the things that he needs to say - and try to listen, and not respond from a defensive point of view.

It's hard work - and it will be rough going in the beginning, but it can get easier, with practice.