We fixed our marriage, but I’m still angry about the cheating: Ask Ellie
Q: Last year, I discovered that my wife of 25 years had a relationship with a former co-worker. She ended it when I became suspicious. She’s unaware that I’ve since learned that the relationship actually lasted several years, not months.
We’ve both worked hard these past six months to improve ourselves and our marriage. It’s now stronger than ever, and we can have a wonderful life.
But I’m still consumed by the lying and deception, worried it’ll never pass.
My wife has never apologized to me. If I try to discuss the affair’s actual duration, she shuts down by saying it’s in the past.
My marriage is perfect today. So why do I keep thinking about leaving this woman whom I love? How can I save my marriage and get over this pain?
A: Take her off guard. Since you’ve both worked hard to improve the marriage, say that you now recognize that you both could’ve behaved better. Then ask her to apologize in return.
It’s crucial to your getting past the affair. Say that the marriage is only “perfect” today if she can acknowledge that she hurt you deeply and is sorry that she did so.
Otherwise, she keeps the matter in your consciousness by not acknowledging its length and impact on you.
That said, sometimes the best advice comes from within yourself.
You love her. You say that your marriage is stronger, and you can have a wonderful life. If that’s what you want most, do the work, get more counselling — try whatever it takes to forget the past and enjoy the present and future.
Reader’s Commentary Regarding the question: Does anyone else have the same problem I have with my mother? (Sept. 4):
“I had a mother who needed to be centre stage.
Even at my university graduation, the only one from the family, she was talking about how smart she was.
“With my children, when there was no way she could upstage them, she’d explain to everybody that had it not been for her they’d never achieve what they did.
“How did we deal with that? We didn’t. You don’t change a personality. This is what she was. I soon understood that what I do is for myself, not for the praise I might or might not get.
“My kids dealt with it even better. They just thought Grandma was hilarious. Other Grandmas were careful, somewhat conservative, while theirs was so funny and unique.
“They never received praise from her and never expected it, but they knew there’d be some funny story about how smart she used to be.
“Wherever we went, people loved her. Nobody knew how much she was making up about her experiences.