As if discovering your husband has had or is having an affair isn’t bad enough, it often happens – very often happens – that an unfaithful husband will say that he “loves” the other woman.
Does he really love her? Who knows.
What I do know is that your knee-jerk response as his wife – “It’s her or me, you have to choose!” – will get you nowhere fast.
Here’s something else I know. Almost all unfaithful spouses, whether a husband or a wife, would prefer to keep the status quo. That is, they would prefer to stay married and to continue with the affair. That makes life easier and more enjoyable for them.
The power of love…
One way they can do this – or at least buy time – is to say that they love (or think they love) their affair partner. After all, love is a justification for any kind of behavior or betrayal, right? Love casts a magical spell that no one can or should break, right? Of course not.
But it’s scary as hell to hear, isn’t it? I mean, if he loves her…if he really loves her…then he might leave you to be with her. And so you’d better back off and let him realize, no matter how long it takes, that he loves you and not her, right? Of course not.
Again, does he love her? Who knows. What I do know is that allowing the affair to continue while he “decides” which one of you he wants to be with will chip away at your dignity and well-being while doing absolutely nothing to motivate him to actually make a decision.
I’ve worked with betrayed spouses for years. More specifically, I’ve worked with betrayed spouses whose partners are refusing to end an affair, often because they claim to “love” the other person. Yes, it’s a complicated issue, particularly if the marriage has deeper or long-standing problems.
Only one woman matters – you!
Yet you, the betrayed wife, must get it through your head that YOU are the only woman who matters. And the sooner you realize that, the better off you’ll be. I know this is contrary to what many marriage counselors will tell you, but “legitimizing” your husband’s “love” for another woman is in my opinion one of the most ridiculous, self-sabotaging things you can do. You can have a better marriage moving forward, but it’s often easier said than done.
If you’re tired of the drama, pain and frustration, and if you’re ready to make a real change, I offer plainspoken, practical help that you can access immediately. Thank you for reading.
• Debra Macleod’s Marriage SOS practice now offers immediate online relationship help. See your options.