Q: I just found out my wife has been having an emotional affair over the internet. I’m devastated. She’s having a hard time letting this other man go. I want to place some boundaries on her external relationships and gain trust again. How can we rebuild our marriage?
A: We’re sorry to hear about this painful situation. Certainly, your wife needs to decide whether she’ll commit to you or continue contact with this other man. But until she makes that decision, you need to take care of yourself. Your real fight is to keep your heart open to her. And to do this, you need the support of close friends or a counsellor. You need to talk about your pain and emotions. These are not “gripe” sessions. Talking with trusted confidants will help you keep your heart open and think through your decisions.
Once your own support network is in place, you’ll be prepared to ask your wife a direct question: “Are you or are you not willing to work with me to save this marriage?” If she’s willing, she has only one choice: to cut off all contact with the other man.
As you grapple with the fallout, make every effort not to give in to the extremes of “all my fault” or “all your fault” thinking. Don’t insist on knowing why your wife has been having an affair. Instead, ensure that she’s willing to start over.
Most importantly, you and your wife need to seek out a counsellor. Please do not hesitate to call our Family Support Services at 03-7954 7920 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
© 2018 Focus on the Family. All rights reserved. Used by permission.