Ask Dr. Sherry: 'I Cheated and Now My Husband Has Emotionally Checked Out On Our Marriage'
You’ve seen celebrity clinical psychologist Dr. Sherry Blake, author of The Single Married Woman: True Stories of Why Women Feel Alone in Their Marriages keep the Braxton sisters calm on the hit show, Braxton Family Values. Now it’s your turn to sit in her chair
Hi Dr. Sherry,
My husband and I have been together since we were 16 years old, now we are 37 now, and have a beautiful 18-year-old. A few years ago, we were at an ugly place in our marriage and I ended up cheating with someone at work because I felt like my husband and I lost our connection. There is definitely no excuse for what I did but I told my husband and since then I have changed jobs.
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He and I decided to stay together but obviously, our relationship has major strain. We both have been working on the marriage and the insecurities that I have caused. We have good moments but there are also bad ones.
Triggers are a hard one for my husband and I can’t help but feel responsible. I’m at the point that I don’t know if letting him go is easier then dealing with the damage I’ve caused. Will our marriage ever be ok or is the relationship a done deal because I cheated? I really need direction.
Cheating creates a deep emotional wound that is very hard to heal. It is really not about you letting your husband go because that is not your choice to make. You relinquished your choice when you decided to go outside of the marriage. That is true for anyone who decides to cheat because you have to accept the other person’s decision. It appears to be that your husband may have already let you go, at least emotionally. While you have remained together physically, emotionally you have been and remain separated. When someone cheats in a marriage, it is hard work rebuilding trust and moving forward. It is often harder for men who have been cheated on than women to forgive and move forward in a relationship. It is not impossible to rebuild the relationship if both want to. But, it takes both people wanting and willing to work through issues. I highly recommend that you and your husband seek marital therapy to process issues and try to heal the wounds. The fact that you have been with your husband since you were 16 years old may give some insight into the depth of some of your marital problems.
Cheating is not the cause of your marital problems, it is only the symptom. If you choose to focus and treat the symptoms, nothing changes because the problem remains. Anything worth having is worth fighting for. Your marriage is no different. However, you also must know and accept when the fight is over. —Dr. Sherry
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