Is his apology enough to save your marriage?

Picture of rose with the word sorry above it.jpg

Words are cheap; we all know that. Of course his apology has to be more than mere words, and that means you need to have a game-plan for your next steps.

Admittedly, a genuine, repentant apology is a good start when it comes to hope for your marriage, but you both have to go far beyond those words. Even if the words were hard to say, the actions now needed to regain your trust, like breaking off the affair (for good) and doing what it takes to rebuild your lives, are going to be daunting.

Is he willing to seek help with you? Speaking to a Pastor, Rabbi or counselor will require brutal honesty, reflection and effort from both of you. It won’t be a quick fix, either. You’ve all suffered trauma (and that includes the poor ‘other woman’ who was most likely an innocent victim of your cheating husband’s deception and false statements.) Some liken the effects of an affair to post-traumatic stress syndrome. There will be recurring doubts, anger, guilt, worry and suspicion.

In fact, you may find you can never again feel that totally innocent, open trust for the man you married. After all, he’s already betrayed you in the worse, deepest fashion imaginable. Remember, too, that he made confessions, promises, and probably apologies to the ‘other woman’ as well. So you need to decide how much his word means to you.

If, in fact, he’s willing to get in there and do the tough work, going to your sessions or your support group, giving you accountability and proving to you that he is capable of change, then proceed with baby-steps. Allow him to prove (or hang) himself every step of the way.

That’s not meant to sound petty or mean. Reconciliation is serious business, as is marriage, and if you’re going to keep investing in him emotionally, it’s his responsibility to redeem himself.

Bear in mind, though, that it’s never just one person making a marriage go bad. You need to do the work too, consider his side and cut him some slack if he’s really trying. Only by working together can you create a new relationship that can endure and bring back the spark that first united you two.