If you are currently struggling with the seemingly impossible task of regaining your wife's trust, don't give up hope. It is possible for her to trust you again, but it will take a lot of time and effort on your part. If you have caused her distrust because you have had an extramarital affair, please know that you can fix it!
There are several things you need to do.
First of all, if you are still in the throws of your extra-marital relationship, end it. End it completely. This means cutting off all contact with the other woman. If she works with you, then you need to get a new job. This may seem extreme, but if you really want your wife to ever trust you again, then you can never ever speak to the other woman again.
Make sure it's really over. You would be surprised at how many men keep two irons in the fire just in case one doesn't work out. Do not keep your lover on a string just in case your wife doesn't forgive you. You'll never get forgiveness unless you end all contact with the woman and mean it. Have a plan in place in case you run into her somewhere or she contacts you. Do not chat with her just to be friendly. Do not respond to her emails or phone calls. Make it clear to her that you are not "friends" and not even acquaintances anymore. Keep all future communication with her open with your wife. In other words, cc your wife on all emails, and tell her about all attempted phone contacts and what your response was so that she will feel like you are living up to your word.
Next, acknowledge that you were at fault. Take full responsibility for the affair. Your marriage may have had it's problems which were caused by both of you, but the affair was 100% your choice and your fault - Everything about it. Don't blame the other woman, and don't blame your wife! You are the only one in physical control of your body. It was your choice to have an affair and yours alone. Even if the affair occurred while you were separated and not living together -- if you were still legally married at the time, then it was an affair. You will need to "man up" and talk to your wife truthfully about this and take full responsibility. Don't make excuses for your affair. Just own it and apologize. You will probably have to do this many, many times over a long period of possibly many months.
Next, come clean about details if she asks. She may want dates and places where you met with her. You do not have to go into immediate detail about all sexual activity that took place unless she specifically asks. Those images are often very graphic in a woman's mind and hard to erase. Generalities such as, "yes, we had sex" are enough. Whatever you do, do not lie or minimize your answers.
Be open about everything. If you have nothing to hide anymore, then hide nothing. Give your wife full access to your email, phone, or anything else that she asks. Do not resent her for checking. Do not resent her for not forgiving. It will take time. Betrayal by someone you love is one of the hardest things to ever overcome. You took that chance when you had the affair, and if you want to get back your wife, then you will need to pay the consequences. If you think it's painful to pay the consequences, try feeling the pain from her side.
Finally, do not lie to her about anything. Anything at all. The tiniest little lie can set that trust meter back to the start and you will have lost all your progress. It will take a long time to demonstrate your commitment to honesty. Just keep going one day at a time.
The emotional wounds from an affair will heal in time if you tend to them carefully and lovingly. There will be scars though. Those scars will get smaller over time, and before you know it, you will have your wife back in your arms.
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