My Christian wife is unable to forgive my infidelity
I have been married for nine years and have two children. My wife and I have had a good marriage except for the last two years when things became tough. I cheated on my wife.
I thought we had talked things out and that she had forgiven me and we moved on. But of late, she has been acting up and reminding me of how I hurt her.
We are both born again Christians and I’m wondering whether she practises forgiveness. We can’t go on like this— what can we do to make things better?
Thank you for your question. Infidelity in marriage is not something to be taken lightly.
So often, we think that once we admit that yes, we have cheated, we expect our spouse to forgive us and quickly move on.
Forgiveness is different from healing. One can decide to forgive and to stay on in the marriage, but healing is something else.
It takes time to heal and without properly processing our pain, sharing what needs to be talked about, and soliciting the right help, even time won’t heal.
We normally think time alone will heal, even when we bury our heads in the sand and assume nothing happened.
You need to confront the reality of what happened, have those difficult conversations in order for both of you to be healed of the pain you caused your spouse and the guilt you have been left with as a result of what you did.
Where we seek help is also important. Sometimes calling on our parents or relatives doesn’t help because, one, they tend to be biased (blood is thicker than water, you know).
Secondly, they want to hide the shame, and so they are quick to nudge you to move on in spite of what has happened.
When that happens, we tend not to go to the root of the matter, instead moving on hoping that things will sort themselves out as we continue being together.
Religious intervention like from the Church can also sometimes not help much as they want the two of you to stick together at whatever cost.
While it is important that you remain together, it is important that the issue be dealt with conclusively.
Back to the drawing board
It is, therefore, important that you go back to square one and pick up things from there. Ask your wife if she would like outside intervention, that is objective and can help you both process the pain.
Cheating causes loss —a loss of fidelity, which like any other loss needs to be grieved and to be grieved well. Let her take the lead in asking the questions while you support by answering.
Sometimes, she might ask you the same questions over and over again. Seek professional help from people who are objective, have enough experience and the right training in handling such issues. - The writers are marriage and relationship coaches, [email protected]