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I’ve made mistakes in our relationship and tried to make up for them

Community Member

A few years into our relationship I made mistakes that relate to an online chat room. I never thought it was a problem before we were together and when we started dating I stopped doing it but when things got hard and I didn’t know what to do I fell back into it on multiple occasions hurting her really bad. I almost destroyed out relationship.

since then I’ve tried to improve, I feel like I’ve beaten that addiction I had. I never want to be like that again. And I’ve changed I’ve tried to become a better person. We’re now married and have a beautiful daughter. But since my mistakes she’s had trouble trusting me which I understand but it’s been years and I’ve done some much to make up for my mistakes and earn her trust back but I can’t seem to do it.

and Since we’ve been married there have been occasions she’s wanted us to go on breaks. She tells me I don’t make her feel appreciated. Every time these breaks happen she’s talking to other guys cause they make her feel better.

I want to do better to make her feel appreciated but I find it hard to emote myself to her when I’m feeling like I’m not enough.

why can’t I be enough for her when she’s more than enough for me. I’ve made mistakes and I understand this. I don’t express my feelings the way she wants me to but it doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate her it doesn’t mean I don’t love her.

my wife isn’t a bad person please don’t think that. We’ve both made mistakes but I don’t know to fix things when neither of us feels enough when that’s all we want from each other.

4 Replies 4

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Bryce,

Good on you for taking the step and reaching out. It sounds as though you’ve done a lot of work on yourself and for that you should be commended. I imagine that it is the nature of your betrayal that has hurt your wife deeply and caused her to have trouble trusting you again. A sex based betrayal is the hardest to overcome because the mind plays tricks on you afterwards, you can be going along normally then see a flash of an image or see a lack of proof as “he’s just gotten better at hiding it” etc. She may even be trying not to snoop, to not let it get to her like that, but then think that you’re doing it and she hasn’t found it because she’s not snooping. It sounds crazy and it probably is but that’s the problem with trust, it takes years to build and only seconds to destroy. What will get her to trust you again? Time. The longer that she goes on and finds nothing, the more she will slowly allow herself to hope. Hope that you’ve really changed for good. She is still guarding her heart, and she should. Your heart knows what it needs to do, and what it can cope with and will only trust again when it feels safe. So I would say to stop focusing on how quickly your wife can forgive you and focus on yourself and making sure that you have truly beaten your addiction and won’t betray her again.

I must admit the breaks and the other men do sound a bit concerning, as though she may have already partially checked out of your marriage. You mention that you aren’t able to communicate to her fully but you did a pretty good job of communicating yourself here. Have you thought of putting your thoughts down in a letter to her? It might be a way to reach her.

Thank you for your advice I really appreciate it. I’ll think about writing my feelings down for her.

I just find it hard to speak how I feeling to her. Even if it’s explaining why I’m upset or just trying to tell her I think she’s beautiful. it’s not like I don’t think she is I just don’t think to say something.

I’m just not an expressive type of guy, I’m normally quite and relaxed. I tend to keep thoughts in my head and not express them like she wants me to which I feel bad about and wish I could change.

we have talked about the breaks and we have decided we do both love each other and don’t want to hurt our daughter but since then, the lack of trust has gone both ways but as you said with time has improved.

I’m just finding it hard to focus on making her happy so we can fix us when I just feel so unwanted as well. I know it isn’t one sided and she it’s trying as well but I just don’t feel it

I don’t really have friends or family to talk about this with so I normally just keep this bottled up for me to go over.

I love my wife and daughter more than anything and I would do anything to make us last. I just feel like I need my wife to be more supportive and connected than we have been but I can’t communicate that because I feel guilty

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Bryce, none of us are immune from making mistakes, sometimes it just happens unexpectedly, or we lose judgement from a situation that can suddenly confront us, and do what we know shouldn't happen, but our eagerness over powers us, but regret doing it as we try and establish our relationship.

Trust can be formed but it still needs to be built on to remain this way and with this comes love and affection, which may be displayed in a variety of different ways, depending on your personality, so you don't need to keep saying to her 'I love you', you show it in other ways, such as cooking a meal, taking her out to her favourite show/film etc, that's how you indicate your appreciation of her.

Going on breaks can be good, whereas other times it's for a specific reason and can cause some disharmony, simply because when she returns the atmosphere is totally different than what she was receiving and can make your marriage feel awkward, so you once again have to climb those steps to gain the trust again.

Each time this happens can only make it harder and could be discussed by using a mediator who can talk to both of you about these issues.

Take care.


Dear Bryce 10234,

Thank you so very much for bringing your deeply personal confusion here to our forum. As you are already starting to experience, we are a very supportive community.

We know that the very basis of healthy long-term relationships is mutual trust, and the basis of trust is open, honest, and caring communication. And, the communication is even more important when the trust has been strained.

All that said, our guilt can all to easily cause us to blame our partner when we try to talk about the things that we feel guilty about with them.

We would like to encourage you to consider a few things.

1) Since you find it extremely difficult to talk, you might, when you are alone, call Life Line ate 13 1114, or Beyound Blue at 1300 22 4636, where you can practice talking to the mental health professional. The professional will not get upset by anything you say, and, with your request, can help you learn how to say what you are struggling with trying to say to your partner.

2) After you have practiced talking, Relationships Australia http://relationships.org.au has couples counsellors who can guide both you and your partner through talking to each other, in a safe and healthy way.

Please remember that we are always here to support you.

Warm regards,

Sophie M.