My wife and I have been married for 30 years. We are now separated and she is trying to find herself. She claims she doesn’t know what she wants. She’s afraid she may ruin everything.For many of our years, I haven’t been there for her emotionally. She claims to still love me but not as husband or lover. She had an affair about 3 years ago and she doesn’t seam to want to repair the damage.I don’t know what else to do. I don’t trust her and I think she is hiding something. My question is, if I have her open up and tell me everything, will this give me the power to start trusting again, or is it just going to make me never trust her again? Thank you.
You say that your wife had an affair and doesn’t want to repair the damage. Since she can’t undo the affair, what can she do to repair the damage? Apologize profusely? Act penitent? Try to make it up to you?I want to point out that the path you are on is a sure road to divorce. You present yourself as the wronged person who finds it hard to trust again and unless you radically change how you view what has happened, you won’t be able to make it with your wife.Instead of putting her on the hot seat and asking her to tell you all that ‘s she’s been hiding, you should focus on yourself and understand why you weren’t there for her and how you intend to change this pattern. Think of her affair as a symptom of what was going wrong in the marriage. She wasn’t getting what she needed and she cheated on you–certainly not the ideal way of getting your attention but certainly a helluva painful wake up call for you.Now you need to do something that ‘s going to be the hardest thing in the world you’ve ever had to do. You need to take responsibility for her affair. You need to tell yourself, ‘I drove her away. . . . I drove her into another man’s arms. ‘ Once you accept this, you will be well on the way to repairing your relationship.Your next step isn’t to focus on her making up to you, or telling you all her secrets, but rather on asking her to tell you about where you went wrong and how you could be a better husband to her from here forward. That will get her attention and make her want to try again with you.But don’t say what I advise unless you mean it! At the same time, she needs to commit to talk about her negative feelings, not act them out. From here forward, whenever you say or do something that rubs her wrong, she needs to tell you. . . . not store up resentment and then pay you back by cheating.If you are both talking honestly, and being responsive to each other there will be no more cheating in the future. Hence, your fear and your lack of trust will rapidly become a non-issue.