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An office affair is haunting my recovering marriage

Hi Achokis, we’ve been married for the last nine years. Last year my wife and I went through a very dry patch in our marriage. She was so busy at her place of work and I was stressed about my job. During that time I started spending more time with a female colleague who seemed to be understanding and supportive.

One thing led to another and we ended up sleeping together. I felt bad about it and though my relationship with my wife has now greatly improved, I’m afraid if I tell her it will eat into the gains we have made in our relationship. Please help.

What should I do? It is difficult to be in such a situation. Not confessing to your spouse would make it hard for your relationship as you will always be afraid of the “what if she finds out…” and this can rob you of a deeper level of intimacy with your spouse.

Guilt has a way of eating us up and making us fearful and not confident. It puts you in a prison robbing you of the freedom that you would otherwise be enjoying. Many guys we have worked with have confessed that they were so relieved, however painful it was when their spouse finally got to find out they had cheated on them.

Dangers

Confessing your sin on the other hand has the danger of taking you back several steps in your new-found love. But if both of you handle it well, you can successfully work on what went wrong in your relationship. Contrary to your fears, it might just be an opportunity to rework your marriage to the point that this never happens again.

The kind of affair one has can be a determining factor here. For example, if it was a one-night stand and with someone not close to you where the chances of it ever happening again are negligible, then you might just want to keep it to yourself and not confess.

But if on the other hand it is something that happened for some time and you got attached to this person, then it would be prudent to confess because that is the only way you can completely kill off the other relationship.

The right time

Timing is another thing to consider. Wrong timing can jeopardise your good intention. So, it is always wise to take your time until when you feel you have gained enough relational capital to spill the beans. If you sense your wife is starting to be suspicious, then that should also be the right time to disclose.

You can meanwhile confide in someone else, a close trusted mutual friend. This will give you two advantages, one it will help deal with your guilt, and two there will be someone else who can be your witness when the time comes.

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