Marriage better after an Affair?

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-05-2012
Marriage better after an Affair?
13
Tue, 09-25-2012 - 1:46pm

I was just pondering this thought today, not really sure why maybe just because I heard it on Dr. Phil a couple days ago and I wanted to punch him HAHA! I remember after my D-day through all the haziness and anger my husband reading and then actually saying to me that some marriages/relationships turn out stronger after an affair. Well yesterday during our therapy appointment our therapist said that we were doing so well and that the marriages that do survive an affair usually end up in a more positive place then before the affair. Well let me tell you I lost it!!!! I am so sick of hearing people say that. I told my therapist and my husband that that remark sounds good when you are the person who cheated. It gives the partner who committed the infidelity to feel that their wrong made a right! Hell NO! In no way shape or form will my H infidelity ever be a positive thing that occurred in our marriage. Our marriage wasn't bad before, even our therapist is still trying to dig deep I mean real deep to figure it out. I am just venting, and wondering what the rest of you think? Do you all hate that comment as much as I do? Do you feel like it makes the infidelity seem OK because maybe in the long run things will be better? I say no way but am very much intrigued with what others think.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-22-1999
Tue, 09-25-2012 - 8:37pm
Good for you! That is just a stupid comment. Maybe communication might be stronger after an affair but no way is my marriage stronger. Good.yes. Different yes, but stronger no. way.
Avatar for pater_familia
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2008
Wed, 09-26-2012 - 3:33pm
I'm with elmosmom,

Having said that, I will say that I'm behaving better generally than I was before my spouse's affair, my spouse also behaves better, and we communicate better, but we lost somthing getting here. Maybe one could argue that we needed to lose that in order to get here? The thought that the only way to get to where we are is to go through what I did, makes me sad.

Thomas

We have five kids. Our D-Day was in August, 2008.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-22-1999
Thu, 09-27-2012 - 8:11pm
Myra,
I think you are totally correct saying people convinc themselves out of desperation to NOT split.o
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2007
Wed, 10-03-2012 - 1:39am
Just a quick apology for the way my above post appears. I forgot that it comes out as one long, tedious paragraph that makes reading it difficult when I use my iPad to post.

Nothing has any meaning save the meaning I give it.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-03-2010
Mon, 11-26-2012 - 11:46am

I don't like the comment either.  And I have been using it myself.  There are much better ways of getting to a better place in a marriage, less hurtful ways.  It kills me to think of it, but I suppose it just is the way it was for us. Maybe we wouldn't have taken the steps needed to change things.  It was forced upon us by some very bad choices and another bad person who took advantage of my husband being in a bad, depressed point in his life...and my husband stepping over that line.  We are 2+ years out and doing well.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-03-2010
Mon, 11-26-2012 - 11:46am

I don't like the comment either.  And I have been using it myself.  There are much better ways of getting to a better place in a marriage, less hurtful ways.  It kills me to think of it, but I suppose it just is the way it was for us. Maybe we wouldn't have taken the steps needed to change things.  It was forced upon us by some very bad choices and another bad person who took advantage of my husband being in a bad, depressed point in his life...and my husband stepping over that line.  We are 2+ years out and doing well.

Avatar for Kendahke1
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-09-2012
Wed, 11-28-2012 - 5:21pm

le5820 wrote:
<p>I was just pondering this thought today, not really sure why maybe just because I heard it on Dr. Phil a couple days ago and I wanted to punch him HAHA! I remember after my D-day through all the haziness and anger my husband reading and then actually saying to me that some marriages/relationships turn out stronger after an affair. Well yesterday during our therapy appointment our therapist said that we were doing so well and that the marriages that do survive an affair usually end up in a more positive place then before the affair. Well let me tell you I lost it!!!! I am so sick of hearing people say that. I told my therapist and my husband that that remark sounds good when you are the person who cheated. It gives the partner who committed the infidelity to feel that their wrong made a right! Hell NO! In no way shape or form will my H infidelity ever be a positive thing that occurred in our marriage. Our marriage wasn't bad before, even our therapist is still trying to dig deep I mean real deep to figure it out. I am just venting, and wondering what the rest of you think? Do you all hate that comment as much as I do? Do you feel like it makes the infidelity seem OK because maybe in the long run things will be better? I say no way but am very much intrigued with what others think.</p>

I'm a bit torn about that one, but not for the reasons you've laid out.

I think that any marriage which survives this kind of a trauma can be stronger if true forgiveness has taken place and not lip service forgiveness--and I mean on both sides.  The one who cheated has got to demonstrate in every way imaginable their contrition over what they did. It's never enough to just say "I'm sorry, I made a mistake". Their atonement has to be absolute. Every breath they take from then on out has to demonstrate their willingness to put their neck in the yoke and pull. Absolutely no half stepping can be tolerated when they've fouled their vows.

The one who was cheated on also has to own up to the genuiness of their forgiveness if they're choosing to stay in the marriage; or they just need to call a divorce attorney and end the marriage because nothing spins the earth backwards to the moment before the cheater made the decision to cheat.  Forgiving releases one from an emotiona prison of their own making; it takes back their power which the transgression has taken from them and has held over them, keeping them locked away. I'm not saying it's an easy flip of the switch, but one has to truly want to not stay in the prison, because there is a bit of pay-off staying stuck in that place in the sense of being able to emotionally bludgeon that person at will.

My own D day happened a little over 2 years ago and while we weren't married, we were together for 15 years. I've never reeled from anything, save the death of my father when I was 17, like I did the discovery of his affairs--yes, there's an S on the end of that word.  It's only been recently that we've attempted to see if there is anything worth salvaging.  If I sit and think too long about it, I end up pissed off about the whole thing; but I am no where near being as out of control as I was this time 2 years ago. I think I wound up with a mediocre therapist who just summed up the situation as "he's just a dog". Well, no duh... thanks for nothing. I could have saved my money and got that from my friends.  It came down to one of my dearest friends asking me "how genuinely do you forgive him? Are you saying it because you're afraid of the change that will result when you go to live those words and you honestly mean you want to give up the power being angry with him has over him?"  I really had to sit and think about that, because that anger was turning me into someone I didn't know and didn't like and didn't want to be.  It was crushing all the rest of my creativity--the things about myself that I really love and that just would not do. My main focus was on making him feel pain, which I must say he took without flinching, but at the same time, it was turning me into someone I didn't recognize.  I decided that my reclamation of genuine joy in my heart has to be my priority and I wasn't going to get there by paying lip service to forgiving him.  Either poop or get off the pot, as they say.

Things get better in the long run when you decide what you are and aren't going to allow to control you and your access to genuine joy in your heart. Perhaps that's the wider point Dr. Phil and your therapist were trying to make.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-04-2012
Tue, 12-04-2012 - 7:34am
Yes, I agree with you. We're now (only) 6 months since DD. Miraculously, we've done everything according the 'books' in order to get back together again. I already feel stronger than I was before all of this happened. And I do feel that our marriage is better too, even though we didn't have a bad marriage before. I wouldn't want to go back to before the affair. I have 'grown up', my husband has grown up and are marriage too. I am still sad and hurt. Some weeks are fine, some weeks are difficult or hard, but not like it was in the first months. Reading Anne Bercht's book 'My husband's affair became the best thing that ever happened to me' helped a lot. It's devastating that things like this happen, and I wish there had been an other wake up call for us. But it is as it is, and we're working really hard to make it work again.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-01-2012
Thu, 12-06-2012 - 12:38pm

I would answer this question with yes and no.  Before my A, my M was really suffering.  I had been my H's floormat for over 20 years.  We were high school sweeties who married right out of high school.

I got older and wiser and decided to not SERVE him anymore.  I had ideas and goals of my own and things I wanted to do.  I had lost a lot of desire for him because he was always taking and never giving, plus I was giving to my 3 kids and not getting a lot in return.

So, I was giving out so much of me, there really was nothing left.  I went to a therapist and still continue to go for a little over 4 years now.

I told my H I was losing desire and attraction for him.  I told him there were things I would like to do for myself before I die, that I needed him to quit spending all the money so we could pay our bills.  He wouldn't change, wouldn't make any improvements, and the stress level got so high, I didn't know where to go or what to do.  I had no income of my own so I couldn't move out.  I had no friends or relatives who offered to help me.

I talked til I was blue in the face how I was unhappy with him and the marriage and just unhappy in general.  I asked for his compassion, his help, for him to compromise and help out a little.

In return, i got a couple of years of fighting everytime we were in the same space.  I got called names and made fun of if I cried.  i got called weak, lazy, got called a bitch.  All the time, crying myself asleep when I went to bed ALONE at night, because he was addicted to the TV.

So, I had never had any alcohol before.  I had started to drink a little heavy, and I was online when this guy sent a chat message to me.

So, that's how it all started. it happened fast.  It didn't last long, and I will regret it and be upset til the day I die, beause I can't seem to fix the fall out of this no matter how hard I try.  So, in that case, no, it does not help a marriage.

But, since DD 8 months ago, my H listens to everything I say.  He can't give me enough compliments, he stopped spending the money and not only cares if we pay the bills, he is paying the bills.  I have to beg him to back off a little so i still have something to do.

He recognized the stress I was under.  He knew that I wasn't the "type" to go out and have an A and that if he still wanted the marriage, he had to stop, listen, and try to understand.  He also had to forgive, which he has.

So our marriage is not only as great as when we first met, but it is leaps and bounds better.  Sometimes I wonder how long this will last.  Are we only trying harder because we both want to stay married and get over the hurt of the A?  Or are we finally being truthful and genuine 100% with each other, letting it all hang out, and letting nothing hold us back?  Are we finally committed enough to release the true love we have in our hearts for each other and love each other with the energy and passion of newlyweds only with 20 + years of experience and memories behind us?  I hope so.  It feels like it is working out.  Only time will tell.

I think of that old saying, "You don't know what you've got, until it's gone."  In this case, we both came so close to losing each other, I really think that we realized how valuable each other is.  It is similar to a near-death experience.

That being said, I would never recommend anyone to ever have an A. Run as fast and as far as you can, because the fall out of an A goes way beyond you and the AP, it reaches the spouse, the kids, friends, and everything you knew and loved from your past as far as that circle of people, gets ripped from you and out of your heart and leaves a hole so big it will never be filled! So, no one should ever do it.  We all think we can get away with it.  We won't be the one to get caught.  In my case, I kept thinking I'll use him til I get over my grief and get my own income, then I'll dump him and dump my spouse.  If we don't get caught, no one is the wiser and everything will be fine.  But he did get caught, and his W, my x-friend hates me and has nothing to do with me.  The remorse feels like it's going to kill me sometimes.  It takes over my thoughts at least once a day, but usually more, and I fight the grief of losing our friendship every day.  It's horrible and certainly wasn't worth it.

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Registered: 12-08-2012
Mon, 12-10-2012 - 2:28pm

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