I have been married for 13 years. Sometime ago I went on a girls' trip and kissed a man. I messaged him a week later, but then stopped the communication. Subsequently my husband came across a video with my friends and this person. He started snooping and confronted me. After weeks of denial I confessed about the kiss, and we agreed to work on our marriage. I told him the truth, not thinking of the message I had sent, as it was not important. He later found it as he gained access to my phone.
We agreed to stay together and work things out. But the repeated setbacks, arguments, frustration and questions haven't stopped. I don't know what to do as I can't take it anymore. The questions haven't stopped: 'Why did you do it? What were you lacking?' I love him so much, but I don't know if I can handle the constant difficulties. It's becoming more painful, as I regret what I've done every day, and I hate seeing him so unhappy. I just don't know what to do next.
A girls' trip by nature is a fun time when the ladies display an uninhibited sense of freedom, knowing that they are not under the watchful eyes of their partners. Some of these escapades can get out of hand, especially if alcohol is consumed, and acts that are carried out in those moments can make your life miserable when you come back from the adventurous girls' ride.
In your situation, did you voluntarily kiss this guy, or was it a moment of weakness influenced by alcohol? Whatever the motive was, the act was done and you have admitted your indiscretions to your husband, albeit after some weeks.
Just exchange places for a moment and place your feet in your husband's shoes. How would you feel if you found incriminating evidence of him kissing another woman? Wouldn't you be angry? Wouldn't you question your ability to keep him romantically happy? Wouldn't you want to know why he did it and what he was lacking?
The point I am making is that, as you have mentioned, your husband is hurting and may have lost the trust and confidence he had developed in you over the 13 years to remain faithful in the relationship.
Although the decision was made to let bygones be bygones, it is obvious that the matter was not fully ventilated and so it continues to linger, causing you much frustration and him great anxiety. In matters of unfaithfulness it is always best to have an impartial third party (like a trained counsellor) intervene. This will help the partners to process what has happened and mutually agree on how they are going to resolve the impasse.
Restoration of trust will take time, so you will have to be patient and appreciate that you must do all you can to reassure your partner that there will not be a repeat of this occurrence. It may even mean taking a break from the girls' group for a while. His self-esteem is shaken, and insecurity has set in. Make sure you are open with him and make a concerted effort to stroke his ego.
A word to your partner is in order. As much as he is emotionally impacted by your act of indiscretion, he will need to appreciate that you regret what has happened and he shouldn't persecute you forever.
All the best to you.
Wayne Powell is a relationship counsellor. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Check out his work on www.seekingshalom.org and his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MFTCounselor/.