One recent morning, I woke up and found this question in my email in box. The wife who had wrote the email was under the impression that her husband was no longer in love with her and therefore acted on this by having an affair. When I suggested that perhaps her husband still loved her (deep down) but had some other issues that needed to be worked out, the wife told me that she knew that her husband no longer loved her because he had told her as much.
Essentially, her husband was telling her that in fact, he was in love with his mistress. But, because he loved his children and didn’t want to lose his family, he was going to “work with” the wife to save the marriage. He promised to try his best to fall back in love with her as soon as possible. The wife was actually asking for my advice as to what she could do to make her husband love her again.
My heart went out to this wife but her story troubled me on many levels. It was almost as if she thought the affair was her fault rather than her husband’s. It was as if she was willing to accept the fact that the mistress had something that she didn’t or was superior to her in some way. The wife was willing to change herself, her desires, and her life all to lure the husband back as if she, the wife, had done something wrong.
From my experience and research, I honestly believe that putting yourself in a position of inferiority actually makes you appear less attractive rather than more so. I understand that the wife wanted to save her marriage and to feel loved by her husband again. But, in my experience, she was going about it in entirely the wrong way. I will discuss this more in the following article.
Why It’s Best Not To Let The Pain And Hurt Of His Cheating Leak Onto The Way That You Feel About Yourself: I actually was not that surprised by the wife’s stance and attitude. I actually see this reaction a lot of the time. The woman can become so hurt and wounded by his betrayal and the fact that things have gone so devastatingly off course that she lets these negative feelings about the affair drift onto the way that she feels about herself.
Sometimes, she will even take the blame onto her shoulders and tell herself that she was not attentive or attractive enough and that if she can just turn this around, her husband will return back to her and all will be well. The problem is that very often, she wants to gloss over why and how he betrayed her. As hard as these things are to address, if you do not bring them into the light, then you are always going to be afraid of the dark. You are always going to wonder if he’s going to cheat again and whether you are good enough.
Falling In Love With Yourself (And Restoring Your Self Esteem) Will Often Mean That He Will Follow Along: Believe it or not, I hear from a lot of men who have cheated on their wives. Somehow they find me and they either feel the need to defend themselves, question my own situation, or ask for advice. They often (whether they mean to or not) let me in on their feelings and perceptions. I believe without question that they are more attracted to a woman that they perceive to be as strong and confident than to one that they perceive to be insecure and unsure of herself.
If you are struggling with your own self worth (which is certainly understandable,) I would gently suggest working on this as soon as you can. Because I know first hand that you can not receive or give what you yourself do not have. If you do not love yourself and see your own value, then you likely deep down do not expect this from your husband, nor or you likely to feel that you in fact deserve it.
So many times, I have seen a wife get angry, indignant and active (rather than reactive) about her husband’s affair and suddenly this is when the husband begins to become interested again. This same self confidence that makes you angry that he has betrayed and hurt you in this way communicates to him that you know full well that you deserve better.
People will often treat you how you teach them to. By either verbally or silently communicating that you are passively waiting for him to fall back in love with you, the approach that you are taking is sending the unspoken message that you yourself feel that you are unworthy and unlovable. This is absolutely untrue.
The Quickest Way To Ensure That Both Of You Fall Back In Love: If we are all honest here, it’s probably likely that deep down you’re angry with your husband and don’t blindly believe in him as much as you used to. He is not the only one who needs to get the feelings back. And frankly, the positive and loving feelings aren’t as likely to return until you’ve had some honest and frank conversations about what went wrong, how you are fixing things and learning from them, and how you are going to create a much healthier relationship from this point forward.
You both deserve to feel loved and valued. This is as true for you as it is for him. I completely understand wanting to feel loved and valued by your husband – especially after an affair. But, he has some work to do also. And returning the love can really only come after all of the issues and negative emotions are successfully worked out.
Restoring my self esteem and self worth after my husband’s affair took work, but it was so worth it. I now understand myself, my husband, our marriage, and our intimacy on a much deeper level and I no longer worry that he will cheat again. You can read a very personal story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com
Katie Lersch writes articles about moving past an affair. Her corresponding blog is at http://surviving-the-affair.com/