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Wife Had An Affair  

Dear Gerda:

About a year ago my wife had sex with a guy she met at work. She was gone a lot of evenings and I knew something wasn’t right. Then I caught her. She is remorseful about it, and I have tried hard to move forward, but instead of the situation getting better it is getting worse. I just can’t trust her even though she tells me where she’s going all the time. I feel like she’s lying because she lied before. Is there any way to get past this, or is this relationship over?

Rebuilding trust in a relationship after adultery is difficult, but can be attained with time.
Your relationship is over when you say it is over. If both of you are willing to put the work necessary into rebuilding the relationship and trusting again, then both of you will survive this dark period. I hear that you have hardened your heart against forgiveness. To forgive is a decision that you have to make from the same heart that is broken, shattered and in pain. Only forgiveness will ease that pain. Only by mending the heart are we able to receive love and trust again.

In the process of healing you will need to determine how your relationship got to a place that infidelity moved in. Did you fail to communicate? Were you emotionally unavailable? Was she alone in the relationship? Were you intimately available?

Make a commitment to resolve those issues. Tracking your wife’s whereabouts or trying to catch her in a lie will only lead to more mistrust. The only things that can change in the relationship are the things that caused the problem or have been missing.

Moving your relationship forward will require daily effort from you and your wife. Remember that you are rebuilding something that has been destroyed. Communication is the highway that you will have to travel on daily. Make a commitment not to live in the past by making plans for your present and future relationship together. Make a commitment to spend time together daily the way you did when you first met.

Do nice, caring things for each other. Send a love note just because. Make a conscious effort to celebrate the good things in your relationship. Socialize with other couples who have solid relationships, and if possible bring social activities to your home to bring life in again. Spiritual affiliation can help to provide support and guidance.

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