Q: I agree with your statement that a marriage can recover from all kinds of past hurts, but I think there is a caveat. I don’t think it is possible to have a solid marriage after abuse, affairs, etc., if the abuser is willing to continue the marriage but will not apologize or speak in any way about the past. If he, in fact, thinks that slaps are funny. What do you think?
A: The statement I make is this, “Any marriage can be saved if two things happen. First, each must stop doing the things destroying the relationship. Second, each must do the things to make love grow.”
I stand by that statement and have seen it work thousands of times in real lives.
However, if a man thinks slapping his wife is funny, he certainly hasn’t stopped doing the things destroying a relationship.
If either person has had an affair and will not allow the other spouse to discuss it so that healing can take place and trust eventually return, that person is not doing the things to make love grow.
The situation you describe does not fit my criteria. Do NOT accept abuse, even slapping. Do insist that adultery not only be stopped but that openness and honesty must take place so that healing can come. If he continues to think that slapping is funny and that he has no obligation to discuss his affair with you, the marriage will only last as long as you can put up with that behavior.
So why do you?