Marriage and the Husband-Wife Relationship/how to survive spouse affair


QUESTION: After 20 yrs. of a wonderful marriage i caught my husband with a private phone that her stomped on before I could even ask him about it.  He said he took girls for lunch but didn't cross the line.  I was so in shock screaming and asking him why, what when how and he put his tail between his legs packed bags and left.
It's two weeks.  He has been emailing be to say he is sorry and hopes I can forgive him, and that he doesn't want his marriage to end he just made a mistake.
I don't know how I could begin to trust him.  
I don't even know how I can look at him again.
He is unwilling to give me answers just wants to move on and forget it happened.  Is that a normal response from someone who has been caught cheating?

ANSWER: Hi Donna,
This is such a big subject I have even written a book about it:
To rebuild trust, you need to begin by asking yourself a number of questions:
- why am I really angry with him?
- what is causing me not to forgive him or trust him again?
- what does his having an 'affair' really mean to me?
- how did it hurt me and why do I feel hurt?

You need to understand what is causing you to feel the way you do - the real meaning behind it.
It's difficult to give you more than this in a quick answer. In the book I give a 7 step process you can go through to get over the hurt and I think this will really help.
On the OTHER side, he most certainly needs to face up to what he has done. Tell him that you want to forgive him and save your marriage, but that you need to understand why it happened so that is doesn't happen again. You could make this a condition of the two of you getting back together. Be firm, yet also allow him to open up so that you get to the true cause.

Be strong, but also tell him you are willing to forgive - if he is willing to o his part to discuss why he has done what he has done.

Hope this helps and all the best,


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you. I have read several of your books already and that is why I decided to write.  I have been civil w/my husband and did write him an email saying that I don't know how to move forward without having some of my questions answered by him. I need to assess the damage before I can decide if I have the strength and integrity to move on with him or without him. He says telling names and where he went is  not going to change anything.
Am I asking him the wrong questions? I feel that it is important to me to hear him say exactly what he did.  Not just what I caught.
He is not a dweller and he is a very positive person and I understand how he wants to move forward and forget it...but this is not a business decision it is a marriage.  
The last time I heard from him he said I hope you can forgive me one day.
How do I know if now that he's caught that he wants to be free?

ANSWER: Hi Donna,
Thanks for reading some of my books..... I hope they have helped. You and your husband seem to be asking each other for something: he is asking for forgiveness and you are asking for honesty as a way to get over it. You could say to him that you are willing to forgive and move on but that in order for you to do that there are certain things that you want, and tell him what they are. I don't think that it's unreasonable that these are your conditions and they are what you need for you to give him what he wants. Be loving yet firm and see how you get on.
All the best


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

Do I wait for him to contact me again or do I initiate communication with him?

Hi Donna,
My apologies for the delay, I did actually reply but it appears that reply didn't get through. I would contact him and tell him that you are willing to forgive and move on to heal your marriage, but that he must also agree to discuss with you why this happened and how you can both ensure that it doesn't happen again. Tell him that if he truly does care about you and want to have a happy relationship with you that this is perfectly reasonable. Say that the decision now rests with him and to get back to you if and when he is ready.
Then don't initiate any more contact, but spend your time on finding other ways to make yourself happy (such as social time with other friends, developing interests, etc).
If he is worth having he will come back to you.
Hope this helps and all the best,


Marriage and the Husband-Wife Relationship

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Liam Naden


I specialise in helping couples save their marriage and rebuild it after major hurts such as an affair. Creating intimacy, removing hurt, dealing with sexual and communication problems. I have two relationship-saver programs and a free podcast which are available from my website and a free report, "The Five Keys to Saving Your Marriage Now" at


Relationship coach with own relationship coaching business. Author of several books on marriage and intimacy. I offer two relationship saving programs: "Stop Your Divorce" and "Save Your Marriage" which have helped many couples save their marriage and rebuild their love and intimacy.

Publications Amazon Kindle: Author of the ""Growing in Love for Life" series of ebooks for saving and strengthening marriage.

Master of Arts (First Class Honors)

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