Dallas, TX

"I'm sorry for going on a date; she doesn't care about me, and my apology," man on wife

Amy Christie

*This article is a work of nonfiction based on actual events recounted to me by a friend who witnessed them firsthand; used with permission

Having an affair can affect your relationship permanently, and whether you can still have a happy marriage after your spouse finds out will depend a lot on your behavior and the way you show them they can still trust you even after everything that happened.

Could you stay married after finding out about an affair and accept the apology you get from your spouse? Is that enough to make your relationship be what it used to be, or would you still need to check on them and figure out what it means to forgive such behavior?

My friend Gina, who lives in Dallas, Texas, has been married to George, her husband, for nine years. They have one daughter and a son together, and Gina is a stay-at-home mom.

"I thought I'd get bored or have no purpose when I was home, but I'm actually a lot more busy than if I had a job. And since George earns enough so we can cover our bills and the house payments in Dallas, it made sense for me to look after the kids without worrying about choosing a responsible babysitter," Gina said.

Even though she adjusted well to being home, her husband's behavior gradually changed once she gave up on her job. George didn't include his wife in the decisions related to buying things, and he usually complained about the bills because he felt she should be saving money on groceries, cooking, and cleaning.

"It was like he suddenly forgot I used to have a good job in Dallas. I can earn quite well for myself; I just choose to put our relationship and our kids first. But George kept forgetting anniversaries, birthdays, and even weekend trips. I reminded him, but when that didn't work, I stopped doing it. I wasn't his mom, and he could remember it if he wanted to," Gina said.

The mom focused on her kids, seeing that her husband wasn't that interested in making time for dates. In the meantime, their relationship got more distant, and George usually behaved like her roommate. He rarely helped her with the kids when he was home in Dallas, and he began taking more trips for his work projects.

"I didn't get why he was the one who had to go every time. I'm sure another colleague could have covered for him, at least on some weekends. But every time I said something about it, he reminded me he was the only one bringing in money and that we needed to be able to afford the things we liked. I don't think we spend that much, and our relationship deserves some attention, too," Gina said.

Things went on this way for several years, but Gina gradually got more cautious about George's reactions. She noticed he wasn't earning more at all despite all the overtime he said he was doing, and his trips ended up being very costly.

"There were months when I had to make do with a lot fewer groceries for the kids and me because he'd been spending a lot while he was traveling. And the cost of those meals didn't seem to be for just one person. That got me thinking something else was going on," Gina said.

Instead of doubting and worrying, she decided to ask her husband. George didn't deny he was having an affair, but he said he'd already told the other woman he was leaving her.

"He told me he felt bad about it and that he still wanted to stay with me and the kids. But that affair has been going on for three years. He spent so much time being with me and pretending he was working and feeling tired. Can being sorry be enough?" Gina said.

Her husband began buying her presents more often, and he even took her out for dinner in Dallas, but Gina didn't feel the same way about him. And they argue almost every day.

Each time she dislikes something about what he's doing, Gina will bring up his affair. And George is getting annoyed and wondering if his marriage can be fixed at all or if it's time to let go and call the other woman again.

And their relationship hasn't gotten better since Gina let him know his apology made no difference and that she's still upset with him for what he did.

"I'm sorry for going on a date; she doesn't care about me, and my apology. That was all it was. A date that turned into more dates and some trips. But I wouldn't leave her. I want our relationship and our kids need to grow with both of us close. But each time she reproaches me, I just feel like calling the other woman because she was always positive and didn't stress me out. I don't know how long I can do this," George said.

Gina's parents found out about the affair, and they advised Gina to get a divorce and promised to support her in raising her kids. They don't think their marriage can still work since the other relationship lasted so long. Gina doubts whether it's time to let her marriage go, but she still cares about George and the commitment they made to each other.

What do you think about this situation? Should Gina make an effort to move past the affair for her relationship and for her kids? Should George be more understanding and expect a difficult time ahead but keep trying to be close to his wife instead of thinking about contacting the other woman because he's annoyed?

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Amy Christie is a passionate writer and journalist, always striving to bring out the positive and create meaningful connections.

Dallas, TX

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