What happens when you discover infidelity but decide to forgive and carry on?
There’s the pain of betrayal that the most trusted person has caused them. But that’s not all. The partner who has been cheated on also has to struggle with intimacy issues that could be physical, emotional or both.
Giving your marriage and the cheating spouse a second chance
Bonobology gathered these small but revealing bits from the various stories, counselling queries and confessions we got over time. Affairs and betrayals are not as infrequent as we would like to believe. It’s just that being in the society we are in, we do not share them openly, even with the closest of friends. We all want to maintain the image of the perfect, happy couple, and in the process, often deal with this traumatic phase without much support and help from outside.[restrict]
These snippets are from those who decided to give their marriage another chance. The partners shared how they dealt with their everyday lives as they went through the process of forgiving, forgetting and reconnecting with their partners as much as reconnecting with their own selves. We are indebted to them for sharing this very personal ordeal with us.
We will call the day when they either discovered or were told by their partners of the other relationship, as the D-day.
Related reading: Spirituality helped me heal my relationship with a cheating partner
Confessions of the one who forgave
“It has been a year since the D-Day and I have no desire to be affectionate whatsoever to my wayward husband (in reconciliation). I hope this will pass. We have a beautiful family.”
“I keep asking myself, when it went from friendship to an affair. How and where would she meet him?”
“I just cuddle at night with him, that too when he is already asleep. I cannot show any affection, I don’t know whether what he feels is guilt or love for me.”
“It has been six months since I discovered the text and the days I feel very angry I want to possess her physically. She does not resist, but it does not make me feel better.”
“I feel we are just apartment mates going along because the children have to be sent to school and parents need to be looked after.”
“Weirdly we have actually gotten closer after I found out about the affair with his colleague at work. The indifference that had crept in our marriage has vanished, maybe because of the sheer avalanche of raw emotional expression. We cry, we share and we make love like we did in the first years of togetherness.”
“It has been almost nine months and I dare her to say no to me every time I ask for sex. But it is not fun. It is guilty sex, not intimate.”
“I decided his cheating will not define me. I am more than a wife who was crazy about her husband and still got cheated on. It will not define me.”
“I am obsessed with the other woman. I think of her day in and day out. I have checked her FB profile, Googled her for any information that the Net may throw up. Every image of her is embedded in my mind, tearing at my heart. I do not know what to do.”
Related reading: 7 ways to know that your partner isn’t cheating on you any more
“I just stay out more often. I take any opportunity I get, work, friends, etc. I don’t know how to talk to her any more.”
“I lost almost 10 kg because I just could not bring myself to eat. My stomach was in knots. And then my hair started to fall out because of under-nutrition. I cut my long hair short. When I see my short hair in the mirror I remember her.”
“I want to forget, but every time he picks up his phone the memory of it all comes flooding back. He came and confessed to me and that makes me want to work towards our relationship. But it seems forced, whatever I do or he does.”
“I keep asking myself this, over and over again, ‘Why did her attention feel so good while he didn’t care about mine?’”
“I have been on a roller coaster of emotions, hating my husband one day and pledging to work it out the next, screaming my lungs out at him for doing this to his family one day and promising to build our life again. He is now numb to my outbursts. This is not the real me. The affair has turned me into this person that sometimes I don’t even recognise.”
“I reminded myself what was at the core of our relationship and take solace in a belief that it was a lapse on her part and that we’d get through it.”
“I realised he was happy with us, me and our kids, but wanted something on the side. Maybe I never had the time and space for it because of my children or else I would have done it too. I can move on. We are better. We are talking more.”