Why doesn’t my husband want forgiveness?

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

On February 7th, my husband revealed to me that he cheated back in December. We have been having issues lately; he always goes out with friends, doesn’t spend much time at home anymore, and I feel like I am last on his list of priorities. We are currently in therapy, which began in November for issues that I was having(anxiety & worry), but turned into therapy for both us together and separately. He still loves me, but doesn’t think I deserve him, and doesn’t want the chance to work it out. He’s told me before that if I cheated on him, it would be over, and if he cheated on me, he would make it over even if I didn’t want to. On Feb 7th, I left for 1 week to clear my head and be with family. I returned last night(Feb 13th), and we talked for a while, then he left. He says he needs more time. He says logically it just won’t work and will never be the same between us, but at the same time, his heart says he’s making a mistake. We have been together for 8 years, married for almost 2 years. I just don’t understand how a husband who had an affair wouldn’t want forgiveness (if I decide to forgive him), and tells me it won’t work. I at least want the option to try to forgive him. What now?
Thanks

A: You and your husband are already in therapy so the best thing you can do is to call your therapist and ask for a session. Your therapist knows far more about you than I can even begin to guess based on a letter.

The one idea I can add to the mix is this: Sometimes one partner decides to be the “bad guy” as a kind of gift to someone he or she cares about but doesn’t want to stay married to. He’s willing to sacrifice his reputation to give both of you a way out of a troubled marriage. By having an affair, he gives you reason to leave. Friends and family will support you in doing so. Is it possible that this is the reason your husband doesn’t want forgiveness?

If your husband doesn’t want to go to therapy anymore, I still suggest that you do so. You deserve the support and understanding your therapist can offer during this difficult time.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Photo

 

 

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 15 Feb 2009

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2009). Why doesn’t my husband want forgiveness?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/02/15/why-doesnt-my-husband-want-forgiveness/