Sometimes I hear from spouses who want to offer some kind of gift to indicate how sorry they are for cheating or having an affair. And yet, everything they consider seems wrong to them. They want to get the perfect item that will show their sincerity moving forward. But they are not sure what is appropriate.
I’ve heard of a husband who said, “I cheated on my wife and she found out. Honestly, I was considering leaving my wife and being with the other woman. But once my wife found out and I saw the pain my actions caused her, I changed my mind. Seeing her so vulnerable made me remember the woman I first fell in love with and decided I owed it to both of us to try and save our marriage. To my surprise, she agreed to give me that chance. her being willing to take a chance on me again humbles me I want to get her something to show her how grateful I am I asked one of her best friends what she would like and the friend told me I’m treading on thin ground because my wife is going to reading too much into anything I can choose. Are you right? I don’t know what to do right now.”
What your spouse really wants: While I think it’s touching when one spouse wants to show their love for the other, I agreed with the friend that the wrong choice could make the situation worse. I need to be honest right now. As a spouse who has been cheated on, I can tell you that what your spouse wants is not jewelry or another trinket. What your spouse really wants is to get his marriage back. They want to feel like they can trust you again. They want reassurance that you still want them and that you won’t cheat on them again. They want to feel your genuine affection. They want you to do whatever it takes to help them heal or recover from this. Frankly, these things would be more significant than any trinket could be.
Make sure any gift shows your spouse how much you understand and appreciate them: I understand and respect that you want to make a gesture to show your spouse how important they are to you and how committed you are to moving forward. In that case, you should seriously consider it. You don’t want to send the wrong idea. You don’t want to just give them a “guilt gift” that you didn’t think too deeply about. Many men will think that they will be covered if they only buy expensive jewelry for their wife. I guess this works for some women, but a lot of wives will assume that you think you can buy your way out of this and that’s not the message you want to send.
In my experience and my opinion, you’ll be better off if you can find something that shows your spouse that you know her intimately and want to reconnect with her that way. Maybe you can find something that is symbolic of your early relationship. Perhaps you can find something that reminds your spouse of your shared honeymoon, trip, or hobby that is meaningful to you. Frankly, this is going to be very individual for each woman. Her gift should show her that you know what is important and meaningful to her because she listens and understands.
I will share with you one of the most significant gifts that my husband has given me. Shortly after her infidelity, my mother fell seriously ill. I had to spend a lot of time in hospitals and this was emotionally draining, although there is nowhere I would have preferred to be because I wanted to support my mom. My husband called my stepfather and asked him to relieve me for just one or two days. When I got home, my husband had set up a hammock in our backyard and bought a book that had been meaningful to us early in our marriage. He wanted me to take some time to enjoy the book in the hammock. This gift was not expensive at all. But it showed that my husband really understood what would be restorative for me. And he cleared his calendar so we could share some time together in that place. This meant more to me than any piece of jewelry.
Obviously, what’s meaningful to your wife is going to be different than what’s meaningful to me. But if you listen to your heart and find out what could mean something to your spouse, then that’s a gesture that would probably be greatly appreciated.