Self worth and infidelity

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Posted by Theresa on August 26, 1998 at 14:34:40:

Dear Doug:

Five months ago, my husband confessed an affair that took place almost
7 years ago. It lasted about 1 1/2 months and took place while he was
on business. He has taken full responsibility for the decision. He has
not blamed me. We have been going to counseling, ever since he confessed.
My counselor believes that the affair was more about him. Yes, I contributed
certain behaviors that caused him to believe that an affair was what he needed.

However, my self worth/self esteem has been truly devastated. In my heart I
believe that there must be something "wrong" with me (ie, I must not be pretty
enough, loving enough, caring enough, etc.). Else, why would he have done that?
I guess in a sense, I feel like I did something to deserve him leaving and going
to another woman like that.

I also continue to try to "figure out" what I did wrong so that I can "correct"
whatever I did and maybe I could help prevent another affair from happening.

If I agree with my husband and my counselor that he was messed up and made the wrong
decision (to have an affair), then I admit to myself that I had no control. And then
I must also "just" trust in my husband that he has "figured out" what was wrong and
then corrected his behavior.

How do I convince myself that I am still lovable? That I am still worth something to
someone? I can objectively look at my life and see the good things that I am and that
I have done, but in my heart I feel so unlovable because of his rejecting me. Is it because
I am placing way too much emphasis on whether or not my husband loves me? I think I must
also believe that if a person really loves you they will not reject you for a romp in the hay
with another woman. I try to tell myself that we are all sinners. And that he made a huge
mistake. I remind myself that he repented.....but it is so hard to take that risk and believe that
he will not do that again. How do I convince myself to take that risk and become vulnerable again
in a relationship with my husband? How does one do that
AND how do I convince myself that I am not so awful?

I would appreciate any advice you can give.


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