“A couple came to see me because the husband had had an affair and their marriage was in shreds. The husband was deeply sorry and wanted to do anything in his power to repair the marriage. The wife was, of course, devastated. She never expected it. Session after session, the wife claimed she couldn’t figure out how she could ever forgive him. Weeks, then months, went by. The husband hung in there. She asked him to move out while she determined what she should do. He did. She asked him to move back in. He did. Then, she asked him to move out again because she needed more time. He did everything she asked him to do but nothing seemed to move her out of her pain.
This merry-go-round continued seemingly endlessly. Finally, I said to her, ‘Look. You can stay in the marriage or you can leave. But you can’t spend the rest of your life — and his — in this cycle. You can’t punish him every day of his life for having an affair. If you think you can forgive, then do so. If you can’t — and that’s OK, too — move on. This isn’t fair to either one of you.’ The last I heard, they were still stuck in this cycle.” — Abby Rodman, psychotherapist, author of Should You Marry Him?
“When couples fight in my office, I tell them ‘You can fight for free at home, but you are here to work on solutions.’ The man will usually shut up because he realizes that he is wasting money!” — Caroline Madden, marriage and family therapist, author of After a Good Man Cheats: How to Rebuild Trust & Intimacy With Your Wife
Curated by Erbe