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QUESTIONS & ANSWERS:
Relationships Department

Please remember, this column is designed to help the consumer seeking behavioral-health information, and not intended to be any form of psychotherapy or a replacement for professional, individualized services. Opinions expressed in the column are those of the columnist and do not represent the position of other SelfhelpMagazine.com staff.

Question

My husband had an affair for the past 3 months. We have 3 children and have been married for 8 years. He admits to the affair and said that he has stopped it and wants to rebuild our relationship. I feel so disappointed and shaken that I am afraid to put any trust in his actions. What do I do?

Answer

I can understand that you feel disappointed and possibly angry for your husband's behavior. Affairs are usually a sign of a relationship that has been in trouble for a while. Usually, at least one member of the couple feels non related to, not appreciated and possibly physically and emotionally abandoned. Once you have had time to vent your anger and dismay, it is important for you and your husband to take an inventory of your relationship and determine your mutual needs and how you as individuals and a couple can take responsibility to nurture yourselves and each other, so the relationship can sustain differences and work thru problems rather than one or both of you running to another.

3/5/98

Dr. Patricia Pitta is a clinical psychologist practicing in Manhasset, New York, for more than 20 years. She is a Diplomat in Family Psychology of the American Psychological Association and an Approved Supervisor of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. Dr. Pitta is also the President of the Long Island Association of Marriage and Family Therapy.

She has created a treatment modality that enables the partners to accept responsibility for their parts in relationship problems leading to resolution of issues without getting stuck in blame. She encourages self growth which enhances couple growth and family development.

 

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