Can It Ever Be the Same Again?

Quite often when I talk to couples in crisis due to infidelity, one of their paramount questions is, can it ever be the same again?

Honestly, my answer is a frank, but delicate, NO, it will never be the same again.

But I immediately follow up with, “But why would you want to go back to what you had, when you’ve now discovered (or come clean about) what you then had was a lie?” Why would we want to go back to the settings which allowed for and created the affair in the first place? It’s a harsh answer I know.

Don’t get me wrong….before you push send on that ‘leave a comment’ button, I’m never going to say that the affair was the betrayed spouses fault. It’s just not that easy, or realistic, or true.  But what I do want to communicate is the infidelity has ruined what once was, and this is now an opportunity to start anew, and create something fresh, void of the past illusion that you once were living in. Immediately I know that can devastate the hurt spouse, as you are probably just coming to realize the darkness and deception which has been operating within your spouse. It hurts in a way which is almost indescribable I’m quite sure. This may be a tough blog to read, I know, and I apologize for that. I wish only to give you hope for a better future though the past has been shattered.

Make no mistake about it, even if both spouses are merely willing to ‘see’ if the marriage is worth saving, this is a moment to now see God move in a way that is unlike anything you’ve ever seen in your marriage heretofore. Perhaps the discovery of their addiction or infidelity is the very way that your marriage can and will be transformed forever in a redemptive and restorative way.

How can I write this you may ask? What is the backdrop to which I make these seemingly empty claims of a restored marriage?

Well I live in one. After 10 years of marriage, and three kids, our marriage and family erupted due to my own moral failure. After two and a half years of infidelity with at least three women, our 10 year marriage was done. Samantha didn’t want to go back and wasn’t sure if she even wanted to go forward. I certainly didn’t want to go forward with the same old marriage and same old rejecting and debilitating mannerisms within the marriage. I was willing to do whatever it took to sleep in the same house as my three kids, but had no clue how to restore, much less ‘save’ our marriage.

That’s where getting what we call, ‘The Right Kind of Help’ can create a significant chance at restoration.  Without that, I will tell you, I just don’t see much hope at all for change and ultimate healing, especially from those who have never been there before.

My marriage now, is better than it was even before the affair. It’s been 8 years since discovery of my double life and issues we have now in marriage are children issues or financial issues, or everyday life issues. NOT infidelity issues. Our marriage is new and that speaks to our sex life, our communication, our everything. It’s not empty promises that I share with you today friends, but hope. Hope that has been lived out, day after day, session after session, course after course, talk after talk….

It’s more than possible.

It’s probably NOT the way you wanted it, but it is in fact, an opportunity. Opportunities seldom come the way we think they ought to come and want them to come.

Add New Comment:

Comments

I needed this

Thank you for your transparency and hope...I needed this message today.

Hopeful

It's great for someone to take responsibility for the devastation they brought to the marriage and also provide a testimony to the goodness of God in creating something new and even better between you and your wife.  Thanks for your honesty and encouragement.

Allowing myself to grieve

I realize after reading this that I have not let go of what I thought my marriage was. I am avoiding the grieving. To me right now it is like cutting open a wound barely in the healing stage. I still hold on to my version of my relationship because it hurts too much to think he never saw it the same way. I find this so unbearably sad. We have been married 40 years and to me it was all a lie. I am afraid, I guess, to see it as something to count as unreal. That would make 40 years and all my adult life as a lie.

I am struggling with this. I know I will have to do this but I am not sure I like me or my life as it is. I will get through this, I'm just not sure where I am going and I know none of us do but I like a vision of what I am going toward and I do not have this right now. I know what I have to do, I just haven't began the journey. Grief is not an emotion I want to willingly open up to. Karen

I know it will never be the

I know it will never be the same but I would just be happy with getting a footing to start rebuilding a foundation.  With us not only did my husband have an affair but there is a child as a result of that affair.  I didn't know about any of it until the child was already 3 months old.  The other woman is a constant in our lives. Not to mention a living breathing reminder of my husbands sins against our marriage. There hasn't been any chance to heal and she is going out of her way to make it harder in hopes it will break us.  How do you rebuild and get to a better new place with the other person is still in the marriage in a BIG way?

That'a a hard one...

You have two options.

1. You and your husband take responsibility for the (innocent) child. Man-Up so to speak and father and mother the child together to the best of your ability. No contact with the AP via a mediator with everything. She doesn't get to contact  your husband for anything, it ALWAYS goes through someone else or YOU! She has consequence for her behavior not the child. Sorry but she doesn't get her cake and eat it too at the expense of YOUR marriage. The child can be a blessing for you and your husband. An opportunity to take a bad situation and make it beautiful, the child will (in time) respect you and your husband for being honest together. A symbol of your faith and renewed marriage.

2. She gets a check for 18 years and no contact with the child, she can explain it to him/her. Visitation is optional not required by law. Again consequences for the AP's behavior. She made terrible choices and she can explain it to the child.

The question is what are YOUR limits around this situation? The ball is in your court and you hold ALL the cards, not the AP. She may think she does , but she lost her right to a relationship with your husband and has to stop thinking and acing like she has some sort of privilege or part of your marriage. She is in dream land if she thinks the baby is some sort of hold on your husband. What are the facts? She willingly hooked-up with a married man. Got pregnant with a married man's baby. Had the baby. Expects a married man to Daddy their child together.

There is nothing wrong with whatever you choose together. The child will be fine either way. Maybe you go with #2 for a time and then go with #1 in a few years. Right now I would look at the Godly way to approach the situation. No contact with the AP is the bottom line and you can make that happen even with a child.

Jana

different perspective

Samuel,

Thank you for sharing your story.  My story is very similiar but it was my husband who had the affair for three years.  He was always telling me how unhappy he was but could never explain beyond he just isn't happy.  I have been telling him now that everything is on the table we can still save our marriage.  I still want to save our marriage.  He says he doesn't know if he wants to or not because he doesn't want to go back to the way it was and because he just doesn't know what he wants.  Truthfully I do not either.  We have tried to compare how we looked at our marriage of 10 years and his perspective was completely opposite of mine.  I thought we had good times.  And we did, of course, but not as many as I thought.  He feels that our marriage was more trouble and stormy.  At this time he is trying to decide if he even wants to stay married.  We are currently not living together and it makes it even more difficult for me because I wonder what he is doing, who is with, where he is at, and so on and so forth.  But after speaking with my pastor last night I have come to realize that my incescent texting, calling, and emailing is not helping.  He is on a fence and I cannot force him to decide what he wants right now.  And by constantly texting, calling, and emailing I am actually driving him further away.  But the truth is also that by not calling, texting, and emailing is my fear that I will turn away and not be willing to accept trying to save our marriage when and if he does want to.  My husband has a problem.  He needs to work on it but I am so terrified of what the outcome will be that I consistently wear him out.  I have thought several times that if I don't contact him every day he will forget me.  But actually what it is is that if i don't contact him every day I may grow away from him.  I love my husband very much.  I have forgiven his affair and I am willing to do what I can to make our marriage better.  But I also have to realize and understand and accept (the hardest thing) that in the end I may not get what I want.

What type of affair was it?

Our free Affair Analyzer provides you with insights about your unique situation and gives you a personalized plan of action.
Take the Affair Analyzer