I sometimes hear from wives who are feeling horrible in several areas of their life and in their marriage after their husband cheats or has an affair. Often, one of the biggest issues that they face is that they do not feel truly loved. This can be true even if their husband is repeatedly expressing his love and his remorse. I heard from a wife who said, in part: “my husband had an affair two months ago. We are trying to heal, but no matter what he says or does, I doubt his love for me. I don’t really feel loved. He tells me that he never stopped loving me and he mostly acts sweet and affectionate. But sometimes, the way he looks at me if filled with pity instead of affection. Frankly, every time he tells me that he loves me, there is this little voice in the back of my head that is asking if he loves me so much, why would he cheat on me? I mean, if he was sincere in his love for me, then he wouldn’t need to turn to every one else. At the end of the day, I am just not sure if I believe him. My ears hear what he is saying. But my heart does not believe it. What can I do?”
I could certainly feel for this wife. I don’t think there are many wives who don’t go through this very same thing when dealing with infidelity. This isn’t an easy process. But I firmly believe that there are some things that you can do in order to begin to work past it. I will discuss them below.
Until You See Yourself As Completely Lovable, You Are Likely To Continue To Doubt What He Says: Believe me when I say that I am not trying to put any of the blame onto you. None of this is in any way your fault. You are the innocent party here. But when it comes to feeling loved after infidelity, sometimes you have to do some things to help yourself. I know first hand that if you do not see yourself as worthy and lovable, then you will tend to continue to have doubts no matter what your husband is saying or doing. Believe me, I know what a toll infidelity can take on your self esteem. You begin to wonder if he cheated because you let yourself go. Or you wonder if the other woman was just so alluring that he will never stop thinking about her. But, here is something you should know. You are the exact same special and lovable person that you were before the infidelity. His mistake does not make you less attractive, less lovable, or less of anything for that matter.
If you have self esteem issues right now (and almost every one does,) then please help yourself and do whatever is necessary to rebuild your self esteem. Giving yourself the gift of time and improvement is not selfish. It is downright necessary. You don’t deserve to continue to suffer because of this. But until you believe that your are attractive, you are lovable, and you are enough, then this issue will likely come up over and over again. And, it can be very hard to save your marriage when this old insecurities are hanging around. I remember very vividly that no matter what my husband said or did, I always doubted his love for me.
But after I spent a lot of time with myself and working on myself, I finally realized that I was absolutely lovable and that if he didn’t genuinely love me, then this was him lacking and not me lacking. And this was a huge turning point for me.
Try To Look At His Actions And His Behaviors As Much As You Listen To His Words: It’s very easy to get into the habit of doubting anything that he says. That is why it is important to look at the entire picture. What are his actions telling you? Frankly, when it dawned on me that I could begin to believe what my husband was telling me was when I finally thought to myself that if he didn’t love me, why was he still present? Because I had done everything in my power to push him away and yet he was still hanging in there and still offering reassurance. One day, I realized that if he didn’t really want to be there, he was an adult man who could walk away. So if you are having trouble believing his words, then look at his actions (and the fact that he is still around) and see if that doesn’t help.
So, to answer the question posed, you can begin to feel loved again by first loving yourself and then looking at the totality of your husband’s words and behaviors to see if it’s possible for you to give him the benefit of the doubt until he gives you a reason not to.