DEAR ABBY: To those who wonder, "Can people fall back in love after having an affair?" the answer is yes. Here's what happened to me:
Six years ago, my wife found out that I had been having an affair with a woman at work for more than three years. Her husband called my wife and told her all the details. It happened five days before Christmas, and I had to call both our families to explain why we would not be attending the holiday gatherings. I also had to explain to our teen-age daughter why I was moving out of our home.
We are a very close family, and when I faced the ugliness of what I had done and the hurt I caused, I realized what a fool I'd been.
After convincing my wife that I would do absolutely anything to stay married to her, she allowed me to move back home and seemed willing to give it a try.
We worked with a wonderful counselor who helped us to rediscover each other, and we fell in love all over again -- 25 years after we'd done it the first time. We also became best friends, and truly have a dream marriage now.
Abby, I will always feel guilt and sadness about what I did. However, love and forgiveness gave us a way to begin again. -- BLESSED IN ALABAMA
DEAR BLESSED: That must have been one chilly Christmas. I'm pleased your story has a happy ending.
Many people will be reassured by your testimonial that a marriage can survive after infidelity has been uncovered. The most important ingredient for a successful marriage is two people who really need each other. That understood, with counseling and both parties willing to work at rebuilding their relationship, there's no reason for a reconciliation to fail.