3 Keys To Apologizing After An Affair

By

3 Keys To Apologizing After An Affair
Can't move on after an affair? Maybe it's because your partner didn't say "I'm sorry" the right way.

 

For two years, Kora had been having an on and off affair with her high-school sweetheart, a separated man who lived over a thousand miles away.  It ended when Sean, her husband, had discovered some letters in her desk drawer.  Because Kora and her lover lived so far apart it was easy for Sean to validate Kora’s claims that the affair ended. Moreover, her lover had reunited with his wife and family


All’s well that ends well? Hardly. Anyone who has ever been the victim of marital infidelity knows that even if an affair ends, there is still a lot of repair work to be done. Kora and Sean knew that they wanted to try to keep the 18-year marriage going, particularly because they felt their children would be ravaged by a divorce. But Sean still held on to his rage.  Before the affair, he saw himself as someone who was generally easy to get along with. Not a perfect husband, but not a bad one either. Now his brain kept circling back to the details of the affair.
Sean told me what kept him from moving on: “She keeps insisting the affair is over, and I believe her. But she wants to just put it past us. I never felt she really understood how hurt I was by this. Is she even sorry for what she did? If she is, I'm not seeing it.” 


Kora doesn’t understand what’s holding Sean back, “I came clean about everything, and am now fully committed to the marriage. What more does he want?”


Kora’s admission that she had an affair is definitely a first step toward repairing their marriage. Ending the extramarital relationship and breaking off contact with her affair mate is a necessary next step. But after the affair has ended, Kora has more work to do. That includes offering Sean a meaningful apology. 


Someone who has had an affair will commonly describe remorse afterwards, but many people don’t understand that the act of apology is a complicated communication process. I discuss this in my book, The Secrets of Surviving Infidelity. If, like Kora, you’ve hurt someone and wish to make amends, you’ve got to know the right step to take.

Here are three steps will help soothe your relationship stress:

Article contributed by

Scott Haltzman

Psychiatrist/MD

Scott Haltzman, MD Psychiatrist and Author: "The Secrets of Surviving Infidelity"  "The Secrets of Happily Married Men,""The Secrets of Happily Married Women," and "The Secrets of Happy Families." www.DrScott.com

Location: Naples, FL
Credentials: MD
Other Articles/News by Scott Haltzman:

Recovering After An Affair: Tips For A Meaningful Apology

By

According to Arnold Schwarzenegger's autobiography, Total Recall, after he committed adultery with his housekeeper, he denied to his wife Maria Shriver that the child was his — because he "didn't know" he was the father. Having both lied and cheated, there's little room for doubt that Arnold had wronged his wife.  When, ... Read more

Friend Or More? The Affair You Don't Realize You're Having

By

In a previous blog post, I explained that the best way to avoid having an affair is to be wary of people who don't care about the happiness of your marriage. Many people worry that the only solution to this problem is to avoid anyone of the opposite sex — but that's simply not true! Think about it: If you were to follow this advice to the ... Read more

5 Unexpected Emotions You Will Feel After Discovering An Affair

By

If you're lucky, you'll never have to know what it's like to be the victim of infidelity. Still, the statistics aren't promising: About 60 percent of men and 40 percent of women will have an affair at some point in their marriages. If you've been the victim of an affair, you know that it hits like a punch to the gut. The many emotions that ... Read more

See More

Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.