"After the Affair, Can We Be Friends?"
By Dr. Robert Huizenga, The Infidelity Coach
My name is Maria. 4 months ago I found out my
husband cheated. I thought I would die I am still in
a lot of pain. but my question is they have stayed
friends. Has this ever happened and whose to say
that this wont happen again? They both swear it
wont. They both feel remorse for what they have
done? They said they were both caught up in the
passion but never thought for a minute that they
were hurting someone else in the process. I have
been married for eighteen years and have 4 children
with him and am still very much in love with him.
But I have a hard time dealing with him and her
being friends. I'm suffering health ways because of
this. They have destroyed my life. and I cant seem
to get out of this state am in. Please help me.
Maria, if I could get a dime for every time I hear
the, "we're just friends" schlick, I could buy those
Ping golf clubs I've been looking at, PLUS
accessories, PLUS a membership to the most exclusive
country club in town.
Here's what "we're just friends" may mean:
"I don't want to talk about it. Go away. Don't bring
it up again. I don't want to address your concerns.
I don't want to acknowledge your pain and hurt.
Leave me (and her) alone. I can't handle talking to
you about this. I don't know how to talk to you
about this". (It may mean he is naive or lacks
So... don't take that phrase literally.
And, allow me to guess what happened. I would bet my
old golf clubs that the two of them had less than
stellar sex. It most likely was a dud - a big fat
DUD. Great expectations but the follow through left
them cold as ice. And, that relationship will
probably fade like fog in a hot sun.
Remorse? When they never had a clue such an act
would impact anyone else? Doesn't sound like he
suffers from great compassion or emotional
awareness. Remorse sounds like a good word to cover
up the fact that it didn't work.
Actually, Maria, I would guess that you are the one
in the relationship that carries the sensitivity and
compassion. Are you the conscientious one? The one
who has worked so hard to raise your family, keep
things together and is typically aware of the
others' pain and questions?
And now your body is crying out with pain because it
is tired? It has personal needs that are being
ignored? It is weary of carrying HIS (and perhaps
those of your children) anxiety and fears? And all
this, while he plays and tells you it's no big deal!
So, Maria, here are some possibilities for
responding to "we're just friend."
Laugh hysterically and walk away. Or, Say, "Hmmmm,
that sure is weird. You have sex with all your
friends? Tell me what other of your friends have you
done? You think having sex with your friends is no
big deal?" Or, I'm not as stupid or naive as you
seem to be about this!"
Or, confront the underlying message: "You don't want
me to bring this up? You didn't think this would
bother me? You want me to condone and forget about
I also suggest you begin to reflect on your personal
needs and begin experimenting with ways to get them
met. (Be prepared. He will notice and he may not
like you caring for you!) Uncover the "true" Maria a
little more, so she can breath with less stress and
tension. I think you probably know what I mean.
And, Maria, remember, you have not lost your
integrity or self. They have not destroyed you. They
have injured themselves. This is your opportunity to
redesign your life and relationship in ways that
honor you and your family in greater ways.