"Dr. K - Last week, I discovered that my husband was having an “online affair” with a coworker and it had been going on for about a year (or so I’m told) and he swears that it never went further than emails, as explicit as they were.
However, I only discovered this had been going on for a year the day after I initially found out about it. He told me at first that their conversations lasted about a month. Not only was I devastated, but he lied to my face while I was literally breaking in front of him.
I already made the mistake of telling several of our friends that he cheated. I didn’t do this immediately, but after I found out that it had been going on for a year. I was just devastated. Certain I was finished. And most of these people I told were just as upset and angry with him.
If we do end up working on this marriage, how do I go about carrying on a normal life with these friends after I put all my laundry out for everyone to see?
Second question. I know a select few that will tell me that I’m making a mistake to try to work on our marriage, that I deserve better and they will remind me “he will just do it again, because he has done it before.”
Are they right at this point? Am I just blindly in love heading back into something I know is doomed?
Thank you so much!" - Carmen
Hi Carmen. Thanks so much for reaching out. I am really sorry for all you're going though and I hope it will continue to improve!
Your questions are great and here are my thoughts...
1. If we do end up working on this marriage, how do I go about carrying on a normal life with these friends after I put all my laundry out for everyone to see?
I would just reach out to them and say, "Thank you for listening to me when I was so upset. I am sorry that I shared so may details with you; that puts us all in a difficult spot. I really do want to try to work things out with Mike, we have a great history and a daughter we both love, so I hope you'll support us..."
Something like that... whatever feels right to you.
You don't have to share any more details or go into a really long explanation about WHY you want to stay, it is your decision. But feel free to share what is appropriate and it would be nice if you could talk to Mike beforehand about what you want to say to people... especially since they might talk to him too.
2. Are they right at this point? Am I just blindly in love heading back into something I know is doomed?
No, I don't think that's the right advice.... I don't think it's doomed.
People have affairs for a lot of complicated reasons, usually because they're in pain. If you haven't read my blog post on this, definitely check it out here: Why People Have Affairs.
So my feeling is that if someone is sorry and commits to understanding why they had the affair and making changes, that they really deserve another chance.
That said, it's totally up to you whether or not you want to give your husband another chance. I hope you will. :)
Hope this helps!
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Dr. K's Blog - Infidelity