Ask Audrey: 'I cheated on my husband one month after our wedding'

Audrey Griffen
Contributor

Audrey is a mother to a 15-year-old and a newborn baby. She probably should have taken into account who she was marrying (Osher Günsberg) much earlier, as she’s far more comfortable behind the camera as a freelance hair and makeup artist, than a TV host’s wife who doesn’t know how to work her angles for any on-camera duties.

Audrey loves to cook, decorate cakes, gardening, DIY and is very handy with a flat-pack, few of which you would pay her to do for you, but she’d happily give it a shot for free.

Audrey Griffen. Photo: Supplied

Hi Audrey,

I cheated on my husband one month after our wedding and it’s been haunting me ever since.

When I was 16 I started dating a guy called Jack from my hometown. We were young and in love but we were too immature for a long-term relationship so we broke up two years later.

Throughout the years we’ve always kept in touch and often email each other about everything from new romances to our mundane day to day lives.

I met my now husband when I was 24 and while we both were unfaithful on each other and broke up numerous times at the beginning, when he proposed two years ago I was ecstatic and couldn’t wait to call him my husband.

Just six months later we were married after a whirlwind engagement and a hectic amount of planning. The day was beautiful. We were surrounded by everyone we love and I couldn’t have felt happier.

Jack wasn’t invited as my now husband knows nothing about him but one month after our fairytale wedding I bumped into him on a work night out. I hadn’t seen him in years and we spent hours in the bar chatting about my wedding, his new girlfriend and reminiscing about the old days. One thing led to another and we ended up spending the night together, which I now completely regret.

The next day Jack emailed me asking to meet up again but I told him I’m a married woman and it’s inappropriate for him to be emailing me, which I know is hypocritical.

I can’t tell my husband about what happened because it’ll ruin our marriage but it's eating me up inside.

What should I do?

One woman has asked for advice after cheating on her husband one month after their wedding. Photo: Getty Images

Dear Mrs What-to-Do,

What a predicament you are in! Infidelity in a relationship is difficult to recover from, but not impossible. There are things you need to do first before you can start on the road to healing with your husband.

It is extremely hurtful for the other party to hear the confession, yet keeping it a secret is not necessarily the only solution. There are some things for you to consider before taking any action, and to me, the most important thing for you to do is to get to the bottom of why cheating on your husband seemed like a good idea. 

Indiscretions don’t happen in a happy, stable and satisfying relationship. If you have a brutally honest look at your relationship, and how you feel within it, do you feel like you are getting your needs met? Or is there something missing? Women tend to be looking for an emotional connection when they cheat, whereas men are usually after a physical one.

Now the woman doesn't know if she should tell her husband or not. Photo: Getty Images

 To have cheated with your high school boyfriend doesn’t bear a lot of significance as to why you cheated. You have, however, maintained regular contact with him for nearly a decade, and yet your husband was none the wiser to his existence. If you thought of him purely as a platonic friend, you would have mentioned him previously, and possibly even introduced them to each other. There is a reason why you’ve kept him separate from your married life, surely that’s another piece of the puzzle as to why you were unfaithful?

Could you possibly be trying to sabotage your marriage? Have you found yourself in this position in past relationships? Sometimes we subconsciously do things to protect ourselves from our fears, whether we fear being hurt by a partner, being abandoned or not being truly seen or truly loved. While I don’t condone infidelity, it’s important to get to the bottom of why you allowed it to happen. Chatting to an unbiased person, a counsellor or psychologist could reveal things that you may have been unaware of, and by becoming aware, you can address them and hopefully heal and move on.

Another thing to bear in mind is that your relationship with your husband began with both of you being unfaithful to each other. This is not a great foundation for a relationship to start. While you seem to have moved past that enough to get married, have you both put the time into getting to the bottom of why it started like that? I suggest you seek out a relationships counsellor. It’s worth it to go and explore whether perhaps there is a hangover of fear from the cheating and instability at the beginning of your relationship. 

Keeping the secret of cheating from your husband may be what you decide to do in the end, but bear in mind that to prevent it from happening again, time and effort will need to be put into unearthing the reasons behind why the infidelity happened in the first place.

If you do decide to tell your husband, prepare to work to regain his trust and for his forgiveness. If he does choose to forgive you, allow the full range of his emotions to be dealt out over a long period of time.  It takes a lot to truly trust someone again after a betrayal, but with both of you on the same page and working towards the same goal, I truly believe the marriage can be recovered. (In saying that, if he says that he forgives you but continues to bring it up and make you “pay” for your infidelity, he’s not actually ready to move towards repairing the relationship.) 

Any marriage requires constant maintenance and work, and as cliche as it may be, honest communication is the key to happy relationships. Be brave and brutally honest with yourself. You can get to the bottom of this betrayal, and lead the rest of your life without ever having to feel this sort of turmoil again. I wish you, and your husband, the very best of luck.

Audrey x

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