It takes great courage for you to acknowledge this and take responsibility. I am very glad you are asking this question.
What concerns me more than what you did is how you did it. It is one thing to fall out of love with someone and into love with someone else. But what I hear you saying is that you chose to have sex with someone who didn’t respect you in the first place. This is more troubling because it means that you were engaged in a self- defeating behavior that not only was hurtful to your husband, it was hurtful to you.
The fact that this was your boss is also something for concern at several levels. Even though you were a willing party your boss should not be allowed to take advantage of his employees, and it runs the risk of you sabotaging your employment as well.
Sabotaging relationships happens when we are in a role we either don’t want or are ambivalent about. We harm ourselves to get out of it. Even though your husband is wonderful, you may have some unrealized resentment toward him.
The early loss of your father and the relationship with your husband at that time may have put him more in a father role than a lover and husband. Your father separating, then returning, may not have allowed you the normal adolescent acting out and rebellion. It is possible that this was a delayed onset of that rebellion and an unexpressed resentment.
It will be a lot to recover from, but couples can and do make it through. I would encourage you both to read the book After the Affair as you and you husband each need to figure out what your partner is going through.
I recommend you both enter individual therapy and couples therapy. This will be rough going, but understanding what activated your decision to have the affair is important in preventing it from happening again, and for your own growth. You may find someone by clicking the “find help” tab on top.
You husband is very hurt and confused and likely traumatized to some degree by this and will need both time to recover and assurances from you that you want to be with him. It is also important to know that affairs typically do not happen in a vacuum and to learn what disappointments and frustrations you have with your husband. More times than not there is an unspoken or unhealed issue that was not adequately dealt with in the marriage. An affair is typically a symptom, not a cause, of marital problems.
Finally, do not be too hard on yourself. This is a very human issue and your desire to understand what is at the root of it is courageous.
Wishing you patience and peace,
This article has been updated from the original version, which was originally published here on June 18, 2010.