Originally Posted by dutchcourage
I don't want our marriage to fall apart over one mistake but can I trust her again? I don't want our kids just to become the next victims of a broken home. My confidence is completely shattered right now. I can't concentrate at work and burst into tears when at home. I want to believe her but the trust is gone.

The worst thing of all is that she is still on the other side of the world from me right now. I am considering speeding up my move to join her and the kids before the new year; how can I trust her when I am so far away? But is this a wise move so soon? It is less than a week since all these events took place.

Dutch, I am sorry this has happened to you. frown Welcome to Marriage Builders.

The answer to your question is that you shouldn't trust again. It was too much trust that led to this sad state of affairs. Instead of worrying about gaining trust, you should be focused on moving to be with her ASAP. And that means going there to be with her so this doesn't happen again. You should not trust her until you are living with her again and spending every night with her again. Living apart like this is an INVITATION to an affair. It is not a lack of trust that ruins marriages, but a lack of protective boundaries.

Originally Posted by Dr Harley
When a couple spend their leisure-time away from each other, it is not only a breeding ground for an affair, but it can also be another clue to an affair. That's especially true when a spouse doesn't want the other to be present at their favorite activity. I counseled a man who went fishing every summer for a week with his friends, wives not invited. But they did invite a secretary from work who cooked their meals (and had sex with them all) during the trip.

Anything that takes one spouse away from the other overnight is an invitation for an affair. But when an opposite-sex co-worker tends to join a spouse on business trips, red flags should be flying in all directions. Any evidence that this relationship is anything more than pure business is, from my perspective, a gigantic clue that an affair might be in progress. That's also the case if a spouse and opposite-sex co-worker spend a great deal of time working together.

We are all wired to have an affair. We can all fall in love with someone of the opposite sex if that person meets one of our emotional needs. If you don't think it can happen to you because of your conviction or will-power, you are particularly vulnerable to an affair. And if you think your spouse would never have an affair, you are also vulnerable.

Look what happened to poor Kathy Lee Gifford. She stated publicly and wrote in one of her books that she trusted her husband completely, that he would never cheat on her. But she should not have trusted her husband. If she would have taken the steps she is now taking to help him avoid another affair, the first would never have taken place, and she would have avoided all its pain and embarrassment. I don't trust my wife completely and she doesn't trust me, and that's why neither of us have ever had an affair. Lack of trust does not make spouses paranoid and miserable, it makes their marriages safe.
Coping With Infidelity

You CAN recover your marriage, if you diligently follow these guidelines:

Originally Posted by Dr Harley
The plan I recommend for recovery after an affair is very specific. That's because I've found that even small deviations from that plan are usually disastrous. But when it's followed, it always works. The plan has two parts that must be implemented sequentially. The first part of the plan is for the unfaithful spouse to completely separate from the lover and eliminate the conditions that made the affair possible. The second part is for the couple to create a romantic relationship, using my Basic Concepts as a guide. here

I'll describe these two parts to you in a little more detail.

The first step, complete separation from the lover and eliminating the conditions that made the affair possible, requires a complete understanding of the affair. All information regarding the affair must be revealed to the betrayed spouse, including the name of the lover, the conditions that made the affair possible (travel, internet, etc.), the details of what took place during the affair, all correspondence, and anything else that would shed light on the tragedy.

This information is important for two reasons: (1) it creates accountability and transparency, making it essentially impossible for the unfaithful spouse to continue the affair or begin a new one unnoticed, and (2) it creates trust for the betrayed spouse, providing evidence that the affair is over and a new one is unlikely to take its place. The nightmares you experience are likely to continue until you have the facts that
will lead to your assurance that your husband can be trusted.

An analysis of the wayward spouse's childhood or emotional state of mind in an effort to discover why he or she would have an affair is distracting and unnecessary. It takes precious time away from finding the real solutions. I know why people have affairs: We are all wired for it. Given certain conditions, we would all do it. Given other conditions, however, none of us would do it. So the goal of the first step is to discover the conditions that made the affair possible and eliminate them.

After the first step is completed, the second step is to create a romantic relationship between you and your husband using my 10 Basic Concepts here
as your guide. While your relationship may be improving, it won't lead to a romantic relationship because you are not being transparent toward each other. Unspoken issues in a marital relationship lead to a superficiality that ruins romance.

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101