"Why should I
take him back?" and Other Questions You Might Be Asking Yourself
After an Affair
By Susie and Otto Collins
"Can I ever trust him again?"
"Does she even love me?"
"How could this have happened to us?"
"Will the love, comfort and passion ever return?"
"Why should I take him back?"
Any of these questions-- and many more-- might be running through
your mind if your partner has had an affair. It doesn't matter if
your partner is a man or a woman, when infidelity has barged its way
into your relationship, things will never be the same again.
It might seem that your questions are only prolonging the pain of
the betrayal that has happened. It's true, you can cause further
torment to yourself by fixating on questions that you don't have the
But the fact remains, these questions will most likely come up for
you again and again...until you have come to some sense of peace
Abby feels disgusted when she thinks about her boyfriend Kevin with
another woman-- which is exactly what happened.
It's been about 2 months since Abby found out that Kevin had a brief
affair and she still asks herself "Why am I still with this
cheater?" just about every day.
At the same time, Abby can tell that Kevin is truly sorry for his
cheating. He is the one who confessed the affair to Abby and he is
the one who has been making his life transparent to her ever since.
But Abby is having a hard time getting over the affair. "Who's to
say this won't happen again?" she wonders.
Listen to & honor your internal questions.
You might find yourself getting all worked up again about something
that happened months or even years ago...all because of those pesky
But your questions are part of your healing process. Acknowledging
them and coming to some sense of resolution about them can help you
to become clear and confident about what's next for you.
Whether your intention is to stay with your partner or to leave,
don't ignore or suppress these questions.
The key here is to notice what you are wondering about without
When a question related to your partner and the affair comes to you,
pause and really listen to what you are asking.
Is there specific information that you still need to know in order
to let go of some of the pain? Is there an action that you feel
compelled to make?
Try to get at to the root of your question. It might be an
indication that you feel conflicted or at odds with the current
course you've set for yourself.
Maybe it's time to obtain the information you need. Or, perhaps
you're overdue to make a change-- one that you've been hesitant to
The next time that Abby asks herself, "Why am I still with this
cheater?" she stops. She considers the question honestly.
Abby takes out a piece of paper and begins to write about why she
has not yet broken up with Kevin because of his cheating.
She is able to make a long list of all of the positive steps that
Kevin has taken to try to make up for his affair.
While Abby appreciates his efforts, as she reads through what she's
written, she notices that she did not write anything like,
"...because I still love him."
This is a shock to Abby, but it helps her to realize that, at some
point through all of this and maybe even before, her love for him
For the first time, Abby starts to ask herself if she wants to stay
in this relationship in terms of what she wants and not so much in
relation to what Kevin did.
It can be a breakthrough moment when you get to the core of your
Stay open to all answers.
If your partner had an affair, your beliefs about what should or
should not happen next might be standing in your way. For example,
if you believe that someone who cheats can never be trusted again,
this will undoubtedly skew your answers.
As true as your belief may seem, it can limit you.
Regardless of how difficult as it might be, keep yourself open to
all answers to the questions you have.
When you ask yourself, "Why should I take him back?" let yourself
consider as many possible responses to that as you can come up with.
An exercise like this can be a way to give yourself permission to
explore an alternative you might not have allowed yourself before.
From a place of having more choices, you can often settle on an
answer that will move you closer to healing and the kind of future
that you want.
Relationship coaches Susie and Otto
of Should You Stay or Should You Go? and No More
Jealousy are experts at helping people get more of the
love they really want.
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