A person I see in therapy says; “I had an affair two years ago and my wife won’t get off of it. She constantly brings up the affair. She says I don’t understand how hurt she is. I say, ‘Hey I gave up the affair. I apologized. I’m here. Get over it.’ What can I do to get her to stop thinking about the past?”
Man, you don’t get it. It takes about five years to get over an affair, and then rarely does trust come back 100%.
Each time your wife brings up the affair, something has triggered her bad feelings. And I bet there are plenty of times when your wife doesn’t bring up your affair even though she’s had thought of it and felt the hurt.
Instead of telling your wife to get over it, which is incredibly insensitive, apologize again and again for the hurt you have caused her.
For example, “I’m so sorry I hurt you. I love you. I care about you. You’re the best. And again, I am really sorry.”
After several thousand sincere apologies, yes, several thousand, such as the one above, your wife will be more able to move on in her life without being reminded on a daily basis.
Check out Doris’ latest books, “The Boy Whose Idea Could Feed the World,” “The Parent Teacher Discussion Guide,” and “Thin Becomes You” Doris’ web page: www.doriswildhelmering.com.
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