Asking for a friend: ‘My husband and I worked hard to save our marriage after I had an affair. Will he leave me now his friends and family have found out?

Q: A few years ago, I had an affair with a work colleague. It was brief, lasting just over a month. I confessed to my husband, and I changed my job so that I did not work with the guy anymore. My husband and I talked a lot, and we went to couples’ counselling for two years. He was very understanding, and every day I thank my lucky stars that he stayed with me and forgave me. We worked really hard to get back on track, and I actually think that we are stronger now because we did all that work together. I felt guilty for so long, but things are good now. However, he recently told his parents what happened, and then they told his siblings, and they told his friends. Most of them now hate me. I have been uninvited to family events and a couple of friends’ birthdays, and his friends tell him he should have divorced me. I worry that he will start to listen to them all, and it’s causing a lot of stress. I don’t want us to split up, but I feel so guilty for causing all this hurt. I’m also really worried that he will start listening to them and start believing them and end our marriage.

Dr West replies: Your husband probably feels under siege as he has so many people in his ear telling him what he should do. But these people don’t know what has gone on between you, and they were not there during the past few years of hard work to get back to a good place. They are most likely reacting out of protection as they love your husband too and want to protect him.

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