Affair healing Blog
Jacob sits at one end of the counseling couch, downcast, head in his hands, elbows on his knees. His gaze finally lifts from the space between his feet to settle on his wife, Cara, curled up in a tight ball at the other end of the couch. "How am I supposed to believe you?" he asks.
She hesitates, obviously frustrated with her inability to convince her husband. "Whether you believe me or not, I'm telling you the truth."
"You told me that before and I found out you were still lying. This whole affair was about making me believe one thing while you were doing something else. So how how can I believe you're being honest now?"
Cara remains silent. Jacob shakes his head, then turns to me as I sit in witness of their struggle. "Do you think I should trust her?" he asks, somehow hoping my counselor's insight will provide him with assurance one way or the other.
I've written openly about my affair story. My past provides me with a particular insight into the experience of an unfaithful partner and how a person can make life-changing choices that spin the heads of confused observers.
Because they prefer certainty over confusion, the onlookers (including the betrayed partner) often seek black-and-white explanations. They do this to understand WHY this happened, or to present a convincing argument that will compel the wayward spouse toward sensibility.
One common explanation of an affair is that it is a fantasy—the experience of something that seems real, but isn't. This condition is also referred to as wandering in an "affair fog." While I agree that understanding the fantasy and fog nature of an affair may be helpful to the unsettled witnesses and victims of infidelity, it will not persuade the cheater to think differently about their experience.
Every week, I sit with couples trying to find their way through the devastation of infidelity in search of safety and stability in their marriage. The wounded partner, caught in the confusion of the trauma, desperately wants clarity. And so the questions begin.
Here's how one of our Community Forum members described the experience: