I often hear from wives who are doubting their husband's sincerity after they've found out he had an affair. I often hear comments like: "how can I tell that he's sincere when he says he's sorry and will do anything to save the marriage? Because he was lying to me while he had an affair, so why should I believe him now?" Or "is there any way to tell if your husband truly wants to save the marriage marriage after his affair? How do you not know he's not just pretending just to save the family and prevent a divorce?"
It's understandable and natural to have these questions. People who have had affairs can and do say anything to make the situation better after the fall out is quite apparent. And, it makes sense to question some one who has already been untruthful and has betrayed you very recently.
I often tell people you can often look to your spouse's actions as they are often a much better indicator of sincerity than their words ever will be. People can and do say anything. But, over time, their actions will generally tell you the truth. I will discuss this more in the following article.
A Man Who Really Wants To Save The Marriage After The Affair Will Place Most Of His Focus On Exactly That: Many men will tell you that they'll "do anything" if you will just give them a chance to save the marriage. And, in the days and few weeks following your finding out about the affair, they may give this an honest effort. But, as the days turn into weeks, sometimes, men get tired of this as it becomes clear that this isn't going to go away immediately.
And this is where the men who are truly sincere are often separated from those that aren't.
Sometimes, I have men contact me and tell me that although they want to save their marriages, they still have conflicting emotions about the other person, themselves, or the marriage. They often want to do what is right, but it's very difficult for them to see the judgments or disappointments in your eyes and to always feel like the "bad guy" who has made a very big mistake. Even very sincere and decent men can feel this way. I often tell them that they just have to keep asking themselves what they truly want and then to steer their intentions in the exact same direction.
Sure, it may become tiresome to always feel as though you're having to make amends or that you have insurmountable catching up to do. But if something is more important to you than anything else (as your marriage should be right now,) then you shift your priorities and your perspective to make it work, even when it's not easy or comfortable.
He Can Be Sincere In Wanting To Save Your Marriage But Also Unsure On What He Needs To Do To Make You Believe This: I often hear from wives who tell me that their husband swears he's sincere that he's intent on saving the marriage but his actions aren't matching his words. In other words, the wife often wants to see a lot of remorse, affection, reassurance, and accountability, while the husband suddenly clams up and becomes cold and distant.
Understandably, the wife isn't happy with this behavior and takes it to mean that the husband isn't sincere. But, if you were to ask the husband about this, he might tell you that his actions are really a defense mechanism. He'll tell you that he's sincerely sorry and that he wants to save the marriage and make things right, but he's not sure what to do because it's very obvious that his wife is absolutely furious with him. So, he's hesitant to approach her with any affection or reassurance because he's either worried that she'll reject him, continue to question him, or that she'll think he's a creep by putting his hands on her this soon after infidelity.
Misunderstandings and miscommunications such as these are so common after an affair. Quite often, both people really do want the same thing but they show it in different ways and they are both guarded so that the message doesn't come through clearly and can be misinterpreted.
Telling Your Husband What You Need To See To Believe He's Sincere In Wanting To Save The Marriage: Many wives very much resent having to work to save the marriage in this situation. They feel that this should fall on the husband's shoulders and they may be somewhat right. But, sometimes we have to understand that men do not respond in the same way that we would. And, if we are waiting for this, we may be waiting a long time and your disappointment might make the situation worse and get you farther away from what you truly want.
So sometimes, if you want to save your marriage also, you will need to tell him what you want. If you do this, then he can't claim that he didn't know or was flying blind. And, this will make it much more likely that you begin to see the actions that make you believe he's sincere. So, if you need for him to show you some accountability, to check in, to go to counseling, to share some details, to be honest with you, or to give you affection or reassurance, there's nothing wrong with telling him. What you need will be individual, which makes it more necessary to speak up.
Having to tell him doesn't mean that he isn't sincere. It just may mean that he's typical. Men don't think in the same way that we do. This doesn't mean that they are insincere or that they don't love you. It just means that they are different.
I sometimes had to spell out what I needed from my husband after his affair, but it ended up being worth it. Although I never would've believed this two years ago, our marriage is stronger than ever. It took a lot of work, but it was worth it. Because of all the work I did on myself, my self esteem is at an all time high. I no longer worry my husband will cheat again. You can read a very personal story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com.