Q&A How Do I Regain Respect and Admiration for My Husband?

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Question: 

It has been 6 months since D-Day and I’m still often bewildered as to how we got here. My husband is willing to talk with me at length, and go to counseling, to explain his emotions and the darkness he felt the last 4 years as he struggled with porn, a few off and on online affairs, and then a 6 month physical affair last year that started online. He never felt love toward these others, but did feel affirmed and like “a somebody” because of their interest in him. He never wanted to end our marriage nor did he speak ill of me. In fact, he was often loving toward me in word and action. This is my struggle. Last night I realized that the primary reason I had deep love and respect for my husband after 26 years of marriage was because he was honorable, I knew he loved his family deeply and would act to protect us...but then he didn’t. We did have a lot of conflict, and it seemed we could never easily resolve arguments that would crop up; but we also had wonderful times and we were able to work together for the common good of our family in parenting and finances. The greatest shock for me in the revelation of his infidelities was that this good and giving family man had done these terrible things. His faith and his faithfulness were the primary reasons I was able to overlook the conflict and love him in spite of it. So what happens now that this rock, this foundation of respect and admiration built on who I believed him to be has been undermined? I want to see him as I once did. I trusted him completely because he was always trustworthy (for 22 of the 26 years). Can we get that back? Can I love him for those qualities again?

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