Your husband chose to stay with you, yet if he’s honest with himself, he’d acknowledge that he hasn’t truly forgiven you. He likely has a lot of unresolved anger and trust issues about your transgression, and he continues to strategically bring the mistake back up at emotionally raw moments to hurt you the most.
It’s an unfair power play, however. On some level, he probably feels he’ll always win an argument as long as he uses your mistake as leverage. You violated his trust and hurt him deeply, but none of us are perfect. Don’t continue to beat yourself up. We all fall short of perfect.
As much as the lingering issue hurts you, however, it is holding him back, even more, not to mention your marriage. You violated your husband’s trust, so it’s incumbent upon you to take the lead in repairing what you broke. He is wounded, and you may never have realized just how deeply because men don’t always talk about their feelings. Continuing to let this tear him up inside will only make him bitter.
As a couple, it may be useful to explore the following concerns:
• What were the underlying reasons that led to your infidelity?
• What, if anything, is different in your marriage now?
• How did your parents’ marriages color your marriage?
• Can your husband forgive you? What will this take?
• Do you still belong together? If so, how can you work at improving the trust in your marriage?
The best way to do this is by working with a marriage counselor (clinical or counseling psychologist or licensed clinical social worker). Talk with your husband while he is calm rather than in the heat of an argument. Present it as an opportunity to grow closer and move forward, finally putting your infidelity behind you both. If he doesn't go to therapy, you can go alone. It will at least give you a sense of clarity regarding what healthy behavior in a marriage should be like. You might be pleasantly surprised that at some point your husband may decide to join you.