Advice: After the Affair

Advice Q&A: Five years after her husband’s affair a woman still feels hurt and betrayed.

By Hara Estroff Marano, published on November 1, 2003 - last reviewed on January 23, 2015

I am a 40-year-old woman whose husband had an affair half a
decade ago. I have worked things out with him but still feel hurt and
betrayed when I see or hear something that reminds me of his
infidelity. He doesn’t like to talk about it anymore since he is
trying to move on.

It doesn’t sound as if you’ve worked things out with
your husband at all. It sounds as if he’s struck a one-sided
deal—he doesn’t have to talk about the affair in the name of
“moving on” while you‘re stuck with the untenable task
of forgiving and forgetting his humongous transgression. Your husband
violated the rules you thought you were both living by. It’s not
his place to determine when he has restored your sense of trust in him.
He has to prove his trustworthiness to you. In addition, you and he have
to renegotiate a new relationship from the ground up—one that works
for both of you, not just one of you.