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I am devastated by my husband's love affair

By Dear Dudu | 2011-06-24 06:39:17.0

MY HUSBAND and I have been married for six years and we have a child. Three months ago, he confessed that he had had an affair with a woman he works with. The affair had lasted six months.

Even though they still work together, he assures me that the affair has ended.

I was devastated. I did not expect this at all. As far as I was concerned, our marriage was perfect. Sometimes we argue, but for the most part I thought we were both happy.

Now all we seem to do is fight. I have told him to leave, but he refuses. He says that he still loves me.

I have suggested that we go for counselling, but he says we can work this out ourselves. I don't see how this will be possible because I now cannot believe a word he says.

I do still love him because he is an amazing person, but I am confused as to what I really want.

At the moment, I don't want to see him and I don't want him near me.

I have suggested that we should separate and that I should go back home.

He says that this would be unfair because it will turn all our lives upside down. He also says that he does not want our families to know about this.

I don't know what to do, Dudu. I feel as if my life is in ruins and my heart is broken in a million pieces.

What did I do wrong that he could treat me this way?

How can we possibly put this all back together again? Hurt and Confused Wife, Bedfordview

Dudu responds,

I am so sorry that this has happened to you and I can only imagine how betrayed and hurt you are feeling.

You don't need to blame yourself and carry the burden of your husband having an affair.

Sometimes, married couples get so caught up in day-to-day life, working and bringing up children that they forget to connect with each other.

Marriage is hard work and it does not just fall into place.

This is no excuse, however, for him having an affair.

If he felt there were problems in your marriage, he should have discussed it with you.

Although you might not be able to see it now, it is possible to recover and both of you will hopefully learn valuable lessons.

One of the problems in marriages is that couples start taking each other for granted and this leads to neglect of the marriage. This is when the marriage becomes vulnerable.

You need to sit down with your husband and tell him exactly how you feel and what you need in order to save your marriage.

Speak honestly and openly to him, even if it might hurt him deeply.

If you don't tell him about your feelings it could cause problems in your relationship later on.

He must assure you that he no longer has contact with the woman whom he had the affair with.

There is no time limit on how long it will take you to get over this but he must be patient with you and take your feelings seriously.

He has already turned your lives upside down so if you feel that you want to return home and then try and sort out your marriage, he will have to respect that.

If you decide that you want to confide in a family member or friend then he will also have to respect your decision.

If you feel that the only way forward is to go for counselling then insist that this is the only way that you will consider staying with him.

For the sake of your child and the fact that you still care about each other, you need to try everything to save your marriage.