The final post in this 3 part series is about Transparency after the affair. When your husband cheats, trust is shattered. In most situations, we are not talking about a little white lie; we are talking about months or even year’s worth of lying and secrets. Not only as the wife are you dealing with the shame of thinking ‘I am such a fool for not knowing’, you have the added dynamic of thinking ‘Is he still lying, how do I know it’s over?’.
If your spouse is serious about repairing the marriage, he has to be transparent. There is a HUGE difference between being transparent and being the detective wife. Being transparent is when the husband is very open and casual about his personal belongings. It has nothing to do with you snooping, and everything to do with his ability to be transparent with his actions. Here are a couple of examples of what I mean by being transparent:
1. You finish cooking dinner, and go downstairs to tell your husband that dinner is ready. As you walk up to him on the computer, he quickly closing the screen he was on. – Not good.
2. The cell phone is attached to his hip or he changed is lock access code after you found out. If your husband’s cell phone is attached to his hip after the affair, that is not being transparent and breeds hiding and secrets, not the best time to do this. A cheating husband that really wants to work things out has to humble himself into being more open. For instance, unlock the phone. If it has to be locked for security reasons, leave the phone on the couch or table to show your wife you had nothing to hide. Tell your wife to get your phone and pull up something. Doing little random acts of transparency goes a LONG way in marriage recovery.
3. Typically your husband gets home at 6pm, and tonight he decides to stop by the grocery store, so he arrives an hour late, doesn’t call and when he gets home, he just says that he was out. You start crying because your husband coming home late is a ‘trigger’ for you (a reminder of the affair). He proceeds to get mad and say that you need to get over it! Not good. A husband that is serious about working on the marriage has to understand that a simple 5 second phone call to say ‘Honey, I am going to the grocery store after work.’ is a small act of transparency that agent goes a LONG way in restoring the marriage.
Little acts of transparency built up over a time is how the foundation of trust is restored within the marriage. That is a critical piece of the puzzle.
Now what I just describe is much different from being the detective wife. The detective wife spends half her day checking up on her husband. She is determined not to get played again and often sacrifices her own happiness in order to investigate her husband. I was the detective wife for a short period of time and I was miserable. And I never found anything. I would have been better off observing his transparency level vs. being a detective wife. A husband’s transparency level after the affair will tell you everything you need to know concerning his commitment to working on the marriage.
To conclude, below are the three main questions to ask to determine if your husband is serious about working on the marriage:
1. Is he taking responsibility for his act of cheating?
2. Is he just talking saying he wants to work on the marriage, or is he leading/taking action on those words?
3. Is my husband displaying transparent behavior?
If I would of know these three steps myself after I found out my ex-husband was cheating, I would of quickly been able to determine that he never broke off the relationship with his mistress. My goal in writing this is that I hope is helps someone else determine quickly if their husband is taking the necessary steps towards recovery, or still playing games.