I harp on “willingness” a lot, but it’s because I see so many people entirely forgetting the importance of that element in their relationships.
When we are slammed in the face with the knowledge that the person we loved and trusted more than anyone in the world has actually been living a secret life of cheating and lying it’s pretty normal to insist that they must change or we won’t stay. More often than not, the cheater’s fear instinct prompts him to promise to become a different man right on the spot. Whether he can pull off a satisfactory change is a pretty big accomplishment involving lots of self reflection, honesty, therapy, probably the 12 steps, dealing with childhood trauma, etc. But let’s assume he truly commits to the process and manages to turn himself into an honest, loyal, remorseful man/partner/husband. Are you willing to accept that? I mean, are you REALLY willing to accept that? Are you willing to try to trust again…to control the snide comments…to listen with empathy when he has a bad day….to allow him to touch you….allow him to love you….are you willing to forgive and move forward with him by your side?
It’s not easy. There is so much anger and pain – and rightfully so!! But before you tell him to change, I think you should consider what it will mean to you, and your behavior, if he does, because if you aren’t willing – it’s not going to work.