Affair healing Blog
I came across the recent photo of a full-chest tattoo on Jose, a man who seems desperate to prove how sorry he is for cheating on his wife. It's a kind of confession that can't be easily taken back. And why did he do it? "So that I can earn my wife's trust back for the pain and suffering I have caused in our marriage."
He confesses to being a liar, cheater, manipulator, deciever [sic], dishonest, disrespectful, and apparently one other descriptor deemed too inappropriate for public viewing.
At first thought, we might think: Wow! This guy is really serious about accepting responsibility and making things right. Maybe he is. But there are at least a couple problems with this dramatic declaration.
When a partner has been betrayed and carries the wound of an affair, they long for the spouse to feel their pain and accept responsibility for it. To do this, the unfaithful partner must be willing to move toward that hurt rather than away from it. But let's be honest: most of us aren't wired that way.
In the presence of such overwhelming suffering, often expressed in anger, the guilty husband or wife usually reacts in self-protective ways by either avoiding or attacking their spouse. When that fight-or-flight response is mixed with a strong desire to sidestep the shame of an affair, it's easy to understand why so many cheating spouses simply want to voice a confession and then move on to other matters.
During the summer, one of the topics in our online Community considered what questions a betrayed spouse should ask about the affair. In the course of that discussion, a betrayed wife confessed her struggle with comparing herself to the affair partner, losing the comparison most often.
Hackers recently released a massive amount of data they copied from servers belonging to Ashley Madison, an online "dating service" for cheaters. This highly profitable business guaranteed real life affairs to anyone willing to pay a few hundred dollars to be matched with a suitable partner. But business went bad when the stolen information (including names, addresses, and payment methods) from 35 million users was posted and compiled in searchable online databases, allowing anyone to look for evidence of a partner's unfaithfulness.
Unless otherwise noted, articles are written by Tim Tedder, a licensed counselor and creator of this site and its resources. Twitter: @TimTedder