It's one of the things we men hope never happens to us -- our wife caught cheating. Yet it's becoming more and more common to hear husbands say they've caught their wife cheating.
Here's the story of one of those men, Fernando, who caught his wife cheating. He wants to know how to deal with a wife caught cheating. Maybe you do too (or maybe a husband). Keep reading and I'll tell you.
I feel betrayed since I caught my wife flirting through repeated glances with a security personnel standing on the casino hotel passage. She thought I was asleep in the hotel room. Another time not knowing that I walked around her back while she was playing a slot machine not concentrating on the play but attracting another guy. I saw all those acts of slutty behavior as a form of deceit. As if nothing happened, she even asked if I was there long. It is so painful and caused a very deep wound in my feelings for her. I wish I had not seen those situations. She keeps the same pattern of behavior with men from her younger days even as a married couple. I am now suffering with shock and negative thoughts and it is taking a toll on my health. I think this would be the end of our relationship and worth a divorce. I totally lost my trust and respect to her if there is anything left. I am really disturbed. How do you deal with wife caught cheating? - Fernando P.
What's interesting here is that if we take the above story and change Fernando from a husband to a wife, the feelings of "betrayed," "deceit," "shock," "negative thoughts," "divorce," and "disturbed" would all be the same. When a partner is caught cheating, the sex of the cheated on partner makes no difference. Men or women, husbands or wives, boyfriends or girlfriends, we all experience the same feelings.
So how do you deal with a wife caught cheating? The same way you would a husband or boyfriend who cheated. You get some professional counseling help. Cheating is one of the most overwhelming situations you can go through and navigating it alone is a big mistake. Okay, so it may sound like I'm just pushing counseling. Yes, I am, but not because I do it. Rather because counseling guidance is what's needed and it works.
I would also say Fernando that your feelings can change. Your wife can also change. And your lost trust and respect can change. A wife caught cheating doesn't have to automatically mean a divorce. Is it hard to change? Yes - very hard. And it's possible you or she may not be willing to. But I believe every relationship is worth at least trying to change before choosing divorce and all the pain and problems that come with it.
As we can see from Fernando's feelings, being cheated on is very painful and overwhelming. And it's easy to let those feelings drive you to taking actions that aren't the best for you in the long run -- like these guys Man Destroys Home With Boat After Wife Caught Cheating or Husband Drives SUV Into House After Catching Wife Cheating. So if you've caught your wife cheating, the first thing to do is to get some objective help. The same advice goes if you're a wife caught cheating.
None of us wants to think about our partner cheating. Certainly not before it happens. But taking the time to learn how to stop cheating is one of the best ways to prevent cheating from ever happening in our relationship.
Like everything else, prevention is so much easier than reacting after cheating's happened and trying to recover. Affairs are one of the most difficult events for couples to recover from. It's not impossible, and I've helped many do it, but it's a really tough road and it's so much better to never let cheating occur in the first place.
How we stop cheating is by never giving it a chance to start. The couple I'm counseling in the marriage I describe below planted the seeds for her to cheat years before the cheating ever started. When these partners stopped making the effort to love each other, and they both did this, the opportunity for cheating began.
This is a post I wrote on Google+ about how cheating starts, but it also shows how to stop cheating too (read the whole post by clicking "Read more" after the first line). This post got a lot of comments, which you can read by clicking the down arrow button next to "Comments" at the end of it. If you want, you can leave a comment on the Google+ post as well or at the end of this page.
This couple didn't know it, but they stopped doing the most important factor in how to stop cheating -- loving each other. This is never a one-time event (like forgetting your anniversary) and most often not even a conscious decision. Rather, slowly over time partners make less and less of an effort to love each other.
We can stop cheating before it even has a chance to start just by focusing on loving our partner. Not once in a while, not just on holidays and special occasions, nor only when they deserve it, but daily. When we're feeding our relationship with love, cheating never has a chance to start.
This may seem like a, "no duh," answer to how to stop cheating. Yet the most common reason people have affairs is because they're not getting their needs met by their partner. There can be a lot more to why people cheat than just this, but after you shift through it all it still comes back to the basic ingredient that all relationships need -- partners loving each other.
Please share your thoughts on how to stop cheating by leaving a comment on this post below. I'd like to hear what you think, and if you have more ideas about how we can stop cheating, please share them.
I post relationship and self-improvement tips like this one above daily on Google+. Circle and follow me (Kurt Smith on Google+) to check them out.
Part 2 of 2
I get asked, why do men cheat, a lot by women. Some questions are both simple and hard to answer - why do men cheat is one of them.
The wife of a cheating man recently asked me to help her understand why do men cheat in more depth. I've answered her 'how' questions in the previous post, How Do Men Cheat. Now, here are my answers to her 'why' questions. Here's part of her original request:
“There are many variations in peoples situations, I know, but a general look at 'common' behaviours & attitudes affair partners may go through would be helpful to those left behind.”
Why do cheating men re-write history & blame everything on their partners?
In one of my answers in the previous post (How Do Men Cheat) I wrote, “How men cheat is by dealing with the reality that they’ve hurt another by denying it. You don’t have to deal with something that is not a reality to you.” Since denial is one of the coping mechanisms that cheating men use to mentally make it okay to cheat, rewriting history and blaming their partners shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.
When cheaters rewrite history and blame everything on their partners there’s even less that they have to deny. Men who are cheating will try anything to avoid taking responsibility for their wrong behavior, and re-writing history and blaming others is one of the best ways to do that.
How do cheaters deal with the fact that they've hurt another?
They don’t deal with it since it’s not something that they think about (see the denial technique described above). Cheating is selfish. It says my needs are more important than anyone else’s. When you’re cheating, you’re in “it’s all about me” mode. The obsession on meeting your needs doesn’t allow for thinking about your partner’s feelings. Meeting their needs is at the core of why do men cheat.
Why do the partners who have been left become the bad guy?
First, see the answer to the first question above. Second, see the answer to the second question above. Okay, now you have some idea of the cheater's mindset. When you're denying reality, seeking to blame others and avoid responsibility, then making your ex-partner the bad guy is really pretty easy and makes sense. Making your partner out to be the bad one, and the one who has done wrong, can make your wrong behavior seem right.
Why do cheating men continue to lie, even when the affair is out in the open?
One of the core components of cheating is dishonesty. Dishonesty is what allows cheating to occur. Lying is like rolling a snowball down hill. Like a snowball, lies just keep getting bigger and bigger, and they're hard to stop once started.
I've worked with cheating men (and cheating women too) who've been lying for so long, and in so many ways, that they've created such a web of lies that even they sometimes don't remember the truth. For some people lying can become a way thinking that's hard to stop.
Why do they become so selfish often at the expense of their own children?
Cheaters never mean to hurt their children. Some don't mind hurting their partner, but not their children. Sadly, hurting our kids' other parent hurts our kids too.
So if cheaters don't mean to, or want to, hurt their kids, why do they? As I described above, it's because cheaters are in “it’s all about me” mode. Cheaters put their needs above everyone else's, even their kids. Many cheaters are cheating to make themselves feel better (another reason why men cheat), and it's hard to give up something that makes you hurt less, even if it hurts your kids.
What are cheating men thinking, feeling, dealing with?
This may come as a surprise given how men who are cheating can look so happy and carefree on the outside, but many cheaters are really struggling with the mess they've created. Often cheating men come to me for counseling help because they're very torn-up over the dual lives they're living.
Why do cheaters not show any sorrow or remorse?
Having worked with a lot of cheaters I can tell you that many, even most, have remorse. They just hide it really, really well. And since they're cheating at least partly arises out of displeasure with their partner (why do men cheat answer), showing their partner any remorse is highly unlikely. When I help them tear down the lies, the denial, the blame they've built up, hidden beneath is often regret and remorse.
For women who've been cheated on these explanations may not make you sympathetic towards your man, and they shouldn't, but if they can help you understand more why do men cheat, and more specifically, why did your man cheat, then maybe you can heal.
Important Note: I've used 'men' throughout this post because I was asked about men who cheat and why, not because I'm saying only men cheat. I've worked with a number of men who've been cheated on by the women in their lives. All of these answers apply to women who cheat too. Substitute 'women' for 'men' anywhere in this post and you'll have the answers for women who cheat.
Part 1 of 2
I recently received the following request from a woman asking me to explain how do men cheat. As the wife of a cheating man, she wanted help understanding how do men cheat. Here's what she wrote, followed by the first six questions she asked and my answers.
“Kurt can you write an article to help shed some light on the common questions/issues faced by the women who are left disillusioned by an affair. There is little written about what the affair partner goes through that can help betrayed partners understand what they are faced with on a daily basis - their partner's changes in personality, attitude & behavior.”
How can someone change seemingly overnight?
Partners don’t change overnight – no one does. Your partner was changing - you just didn’t see it. The same answers go for how do men cheat - the change that happens to allow someone to cheat typically happens over time too.
Most likely the reasons you didn’t see the changes earlier on is a combination of his (or her) hiding it, your not paying enough attention, some denial or ignoring of the clues on your part, and being distracted by the busyness of life.
The biggest take away of these for a betrayed spouse like your self is, why you didn’t see or ignored the clues. This can be a tough one to hear, but it’s true in every situation, if you’ll look close enough. This doesn’t mean you’re responsible for his bad choices, but it does mean that you played a part in the cheating happening.
How can someone who loved & respected you have no care, compassion, empathy for you or your situation?
First, just like above, there is no switch that flips and a person goes from loving and respecting to not caring and hurting by cheating. There was change going on that you just didn’t recognize. When change is gradual many of us don’t see it, especially if we’re close to the situation.
Second, part of the way our mind deals with behavior that goes against our belief system, is to disconnect from rational thought and normal feelings. A phrase that is often used is that we compartmentalize, in other words we separate ourselves from those thoughts and feelings. How do men cheat? One of the ways is that they compartmentalize their thoughts and feelings about cheating.
How can they be so cold towards you?
They’re cold towards you because of the compartmentalization technique (described above) that their brain is using to manage the cheating behavior - behavior that they know deep down is wrong. If they disconnect themselves from you, physically, mentally and emotionally, then it’s easier for them not to have the normal feelings connected with wrongdoing, such as guilt or remorse; it also helps prevent second thoughts.
How do they deal with the fact that they've hurt another?
How men cheat is by dealing with the reality that they’ve hurt another by denying it. You don’t have to deal with something that is not a reality to you. A technique that many cheating men use is to shift blame – they’re not the one doing the hurting, they're the one who was hurt. They then use this rational - that they’ve been wronged - to justify their wrong behavior, which from this point of view can now be defined as right.
How can they turn their backs without an explanation knowing how much it pains another?
Turning their back is easy when, as I said above, they deny the pain they're causing and believe they’re cheating is justified. Remember that they've also disconnected mentally and emotionally from you, and thus they probably don't recognize or care about your pain.
How can they leave without trying to fix a marriage or end respectfully?
Fixing a marriage first requires acknowledging that there are problems. If cheating men are using some of the above coping mechanisms (and all of them are), then they'll either be denying the problems or blaming them on their partner - especially the problem that they've cheated.
Fixing a relationship also requires change. Most of us don't like change. Cheating men typically don't want things to change. They like the joys that the cheating relationship brings.
Answering the question, how do men cheat, is at the same time easy and complicated; psychologically it makes sense, but logically it's very confusing. If you're the partner of a cheating man, hopefully these answers will begin to help you make sense of how men cheat.
Hey there, it's Kurt Smith. You know a few days ago on my Google Plus profile I made a post about flirting, and I said that flirting is cheating.
Here's a little bit of what I wrote. Flirting is fine if you're not in any kind of relationship, the same goes for the person you're flirting with, but if you're married, or in a serious relationship, flirting with someone else is wrong.
Well that got a lot of response. Some people agreed with me and quite a few people disagreed with me, some strongly both ways. So is flirting cheating? What do you think?
Before we talk about it any further, let's get on a level playing field and establish a couple of definitions. First, flirting. Webster's Dictionary defines flirting as to behave amorously, which means with a sexual love, without serious intent. So flirting according to Webster's is to behave amorously without serious intent. I would add that having a relationship with another person that has sexual chemistry is flirting.
Let's look at a couple of comments to get an idea of what other people would define flirting as. Walther M.M. says, "Flirting is generally seen as behaving in "suggestively sexy" ways with other people, and is generally the first step towards developing romance, as this is what singles usually do to signal interest in others." I would agree.
MaLou Santos wrote, "Flirting is done to arouse sexual interest in another person. If it is a simple admiration without sexual connotation, then it is not flirting." I would agree with that as well.
We all know what flirting is. I don't think we need to debate that. We could argue about whether it's intentional or not, but that's not the point. The point is that we know when there is sexual chemistry -- we know when we are flirting.
Let's add another definition before we explore this a little bit more. So cheating. How would we define cheating? I would say that cheating is going out of the relationship to meet any needs that are supposed to be met in the relationship by your partner.
Nearly all of us would agree that having sex with somebody else when you're in a relationship is cheating. But cheating doesn't just happen around sex. It can take many other forms.
Here's another comment. This comes from Greta Piperkoska. "I'm gonna imagine myself as married. Me and my husband go into a restaurant. Some man closer to the door than my husband opens it for me. I throw him a sexy smile, because I'm a woman. Cheating? Haha."
Well, Greta, I would say yes, that may have not been your intent, but you did cross a line with the 'sexy' smile. A smile, perfectly fine, a 'sexy' smile and you've crossed into the cheating waters. It wasn't your intent, but that's what's happened.
So, here's what I meant, and here's how I would explain why I believe flirting is cheating. Flirting is cheating because it's breaking a boundary within a committed relationship. In a committed relationship we agree to give certain parts of ourselves to our partner. When we're flirting, we're giving sexual interest and attention that only our partner should get -- we're giving it to somebody else.
Flirting with someone when we're in a relationship is unloving and it's disrespectful to our partner. That may not be our intention, but it's a result of flirting.
So how are we supposed to act? Here's a question from Samantha H. "So because I'm married, I can't smile and say thank you to a man who holds the door open for me?" No, you exactly can and you should. This does not mean you can't be friendly, that we can't be nice, or engage with the opposite sex. It's just that there's no flirting with anyone but our significant other.
So that sexy smile that Greta threw that man, not okay. Samantha, just smiling, you're fine.
So flirting is cheating. What evidence is there to support this statement? All you got to do is look at our culture, and how many failed and broken relationships. I work with people everyday as a counselor, men and women, and I hear from hundreds and thousands everyday online. Who are struggling in broken and failed relationships because they didn't respect boundaries in the relationship.
So, that's my belief, flirting is cheating. Is flirting cheating? Agree or disagree??
Although there’s not one answer to the question, why do women cheat, there are some frequently repeated reasons. Surprising or not, the reasons why women cheat aren’t that much different from the reasons men do.
Do you think it's odd that I'm exploring the question why do women cheat on a blog for counseling men? After all, aren't men the ones who cheat? Actually, some studies have shown that women cheat more frequently than men. I regularly counsel men who've been cheated on. As we explore this question, I’ll share excerpts from the article, Confession: Why I Cheated On My Husband, by Marina Pearson.
"How could you have done this to me, to us? Who are you and who did I marry?”
So who does this sound like, a wife or husband? I’ve heard these words and others similar from both women and men dealing with a cheating spouse. These were actually said by Marina's husband.
With tears in his eyes, my ex-husband shouted and screamed these questions at me on the day he found out that I'd had an affair. All the while, I stood there shaking, in shock, not knowing what to say that would make what I had done right. I was a cheater.
According to the UK Adultery Survey 2012 by undercoverlovers.com, cheating women are more likely to stray as they are seeking emotional fulfillment, an improvement to their self-esteem and romance. When women cheat will depend on how fulfilled they feel in their marriages. But according to the survey, wives who cheat will do so five years into their marriages whereas men will do so seven years in.
The top reason for why do women cheat is happiness. Women who cheat are unhappy, for one reason or another, and are seeking happiness outside their relationship.
1. My Mindset. I was still living in the illusive notion that happiness was something that I could acquire from an external source, so I bought into a fantasy. It's a fantasy that I see a lot of my clients buy into, which is that there is a fairy tale, one-sided man that exists to bring happiness to them. This is just not true.
Back then, I bought into the notion that because I wasn't happy that someone else could dish happiness up on a silver platter. As my ex husband was not able to, someone else could surely, right? This of course wasn't true and to this day, still isn't. In fact, the whole ordeal stressed me out and exposed me to more confusion and unhappiness.
Another reason why women cheat that Marina's cites is guilt. She didn't find her husband sexually attractive anymore. I hear this a lot in counseling. A common mistake is to believe that this feeling means the relationship is dead.
2. The Guilt Factor. I honestly believed I was a bad person for thinking that I no longer fancied my ex husband, so as not to hurt him I kept quiet. I couldn't find the words to tell him that I no longer found him sexually attractive. I was scared that he would finally find out that I was that "bad person" I judged myself to be. Instead of being able to confront him with my feelings and thoughts that "only bad people" would have, I proved my own beliefs of being that "bad person" anyway hoping he wouldn't find out.
Not having the tools to fix the problems in the relationship is another reason why women cheat, and men too. Rather than learn how to fix the problems people just look for an easier solution like finding someone else where the problems don't exist (yet).
3. Lack of Maturity and Knowledge. Looking back, I realize now that I didn't have the maturity or the tools of how to live with the problems that my ex-husband and I were encountering at the time. We would argue, get upset and as a result, our communication broke down and so did our intimacy. I didn't know how to manage the dynamic nor manage my thoughts around them either. Any time we argued, I honestly believed that he didn't love me. So, I acted out to get my own back.
Why do women cheat? A passionless relationship is last reason Marina says contributed to her cheating. Add this to the unhappiness that results, and was already described, and you have the stage set for an affair.
4. The Passion Died. At the time, I remember feeling that the passion had died in our relationship. I wanted to feel that my ex husband longed for me, that he wanted me and that he would woo me. Our relationship fell into a day to day routine, taking all the excitement out of it and the passion died. I wanted to break free from this and thought that the best way was to do it through a selfish act. (from Confession: Why I Cheated On My Husband)
So why do women cheat? Unhappiness, wrong mindset, lack of sexual attraction, guilt, lack of honesty in relationship, immaturity, lack of knowledge and relationship tools, and being in a passionless relationship. How many of these do you have? And even more importantly, how many could your partner have?
As you can see, the reasons why do women cheat could describe men as well as women. The solutions, as well as the prevention of an affair, are the same too. Start by dealing with problems, and if you don't know how, ask a professional for help.
Wondering why do married men cheat? Let’s examine the latest high profile cheater, General David Petraeus, to find some answers. Below are excerpts from a USA Today article on Why Do the Powerful Cheat. It gives us a few starting points in understanding why do married men cheat.
David Petraeus is not your run-of-the-mill husband with a wandering eye. He's not just another philandering politician or celebrity cheater, like so many others whose indiscretions have come to light in recent years.
He's a retired Army general who designed and led the military surge in Iraq and was top commander in Afghanistan. He had been deployed much of his career until he was named CIA director last year. His abrupt resignation amid news of his extramarital affair with a married Army Reserve officer brings a new wrinkle into an old story of why yet another powerful man risks so much for a woman.
Yes, Petraeus joins the list of wayward sons: Arnold Schwarzenegger, John Edwards, Mark Sanford and Eliot Spitzer — just to name a few.
All of these men were married, so are nearly all the men I counsel after having an affair. But if you already have a relationship, why would you be looking for another one? If it's not the need for a relationship, then why do married men cheat? Here are some of the article's suggested reasons why powerful married men cheat:
Risk takers "tend to believe they control their destiny or fate," Farley says. "The risk-taking personality has a bold quality. It's at the heart of great leadership, and sometimes it overrides what many Americans would call common sense."
Risk taking? Married men cheat because they're risk takers? Well, maybe. Certainly no one will argue that cheating isn't risky. But is this really why married men cheat? I don't believe so. Although I would agree that for risk takers it's easier to cross the line and cheat.
Add in a dose of entitlement, suggests Mira Kirshenbaum, clinical director of the Chestnut Hill Institute in Boston who has written books about infidelity.
"Power and success give people a sense of invulnerability," she says. "A lot of guys like Petraeus have worked awfully hard, and yes, they have a lot to show for it, but day-to-day mostly what they face is more hard work. Where's the big reward? An affair can seem like a long-deserved perk."
Entitlement? Now we're getting closer to one of the real reasons for an affair. Nearly all cheating married men I've counseled have been unhappy in their marriage. This unhappiness, whether about the sex life, not feeling respected respect, conflict with their wife, or a number of other factors, does contribute to them feeling entitled to finding pleasure elsewhere and thus to cheat.
Petraeus' resignation letter, which cites "very poor judgment," is particularly troubling to Dan Crum, a former CIA polygraph examiner and now consultant in Fairfax, Va.
"When he said he showed poor judgment, it minimizes the affair and characterizes it more as a one time poor decision than an extended period of decisions to maintain and continue the affair," he says. "It's almost like a 'How dare you?' response. It's part of that almost arrogance — 'Who are you to question me? I'm the one giving the orders here.' "
Crum says the fact that there was an e-mail trail "demonstrates a level of arrogance and a feeling that you're above the law."
Arrogance? Yes and no. Certainly arrogance and entitlement go hand in hand. I think arrogance explains more why men continue the affair even after the first indiscretion. Whereas entitlement can be more of the reason why do married men cheat in the first place.
New research by sociologist Andrew London, a senior fellow at the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University in New York, has found increased risk for extramarital sex among veterans. One study online now in the Journal of Family Issues used 1992 data from 2,308 ever-married people to find that more than 32% of veterans reported extramarital sex -- about twice the rate among ever-married non-veterans.
A follow-up that includes data from 2010 finds "elevated odds for extramarital sex were higher among both male and female veterans," he says. London, the lead author, also finds that those who served in the military four years or longer had a particularly high risk.
Cregg Chandler of Sumter, S.C., has seen it firsthand. He retired in 2007 after 29 years in the Air Force, including the last nine as a chaplain at bases in the USA as well as overseas in Korea and Spain. He says infidelity appears to have escalated in recent years. That's why he wrote A Separation Survival Guide for Military Couples, out earlier this year. He says military life often brings stress, isolation and frustration, which can lead to infidelity.
Military separations, which are recurring and often long-term, create loneliness without the family support system.
"They have a saying in the military: 'What happens TDY (temporary duty assignment) stays TDY.' I'm not saying it's an overall mentality, but they have that saying." (from Why Do The Powerful Cheat)
Opportunity? Yes, now were getting to the real answers to the question why do married men cheat. How married men cheating happens is very much like how fire starts. To start a fire you need to combine 3 ingredients: Oxygen, heat and fuel. In another words, when you put a combustible material (unhappy husband) together with oxygen (marriage not addressing the problems) and provide spark (opportunity for relationship with an appealing woman) you get fire (cheating). Unlike fire, this combination does not always result in cheating, but it does frequently.
Why do married men cheat? First, because they're unhappy, lonely, stressed...(fill in any combination of unpleasant feelings). Second, because they're in a marriage that is not meeting nor addressing those needs not being met (which is both partners' fault). Third, opportunity presents itself in the form of another woman not to feel those unpleasant feelings. Spark. Fire. Cheating. And that's why married men cheat.
Got a married man other woman problem? Or maybe you just want to prevent one. Let's see what we can learn from the latest celebrity cheating married man that could help you.
You're probably aware of the recent married man other woman situation actress Kristen Stewart, from the “Twilight” movies, and "Snow White and the Huntsman" director, Rupert Sanders, have gotten themselves into. Here's an interesting take on how married man other woman affairs are viewed from Jeffrey Scott Shapiro:
There’s a very specific reason Stewart is taking all of the heat, however, and it’s because tabloid journalism has a formula of almost always blaming 'the other woman' whenever a major male celebrity has an affair or commits an act of cheating.
The tabloids have done their own studies based on week-to-week sales, which reveal that since most tabloid gossip readers are middle aged, married women, who prefer to read stories that blame the other woman instead of the cheating married man. That’s because these same readers are addicted to stories that target their own fears—and the idea of a younger woman coming along and stealing their own husband one day is a big one. And after reading about how awful someone else’s life is, they can breathe a sigh of relief and say to themselves, “Well, at least MY marriage isn’t THAT bad!”
Could the last two lines above describe you? Could you be fearful, consciously or subconsciously, that another woman could steal your husband? Do you feel better about your marriage when you read how bad someone else's marriage is?
One of the lessons I have to teach couples in marriage counseling after an affair is how they let their relationship become vulnerable to cheating in the first place. This is a very difficult concept for people to grasp, after all almost no one intends for an affair to happen (usually even the cheating married man says this).
However, the marketing by the media of married men other woman problems shows some of our susceptibility. We are much more comfortable and able to see the faults in others' marriages than in our own. Until we're willing and able to take an honest look at our own marriage and address the ways we're vulnerable to an affair, we're setting ourselves up to have it happen to us too.
If you've got a married man other woman problem right now, you're probably feeling overwhelmed by the anger, hurt, and betrayal. And that's totally normal and okay. As those feelings begin to subside, take a real hard look at your marriage, getting the expert opinion of a marriage counselor really helps, and find the ways your marriage was not protected well enough so you can prevent it from happening again. If you haven't had a married man other woman situation arise yet, do this above to prevent it.
Above quote from: In Defense Of 'Twilight' Star Kristin Stewart
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Learn how your husband rates compared to other husbands and how to protect your marriage from an affair. Take our Free Husband Rater Quiz (quizzes for both wives and husbands).
Women regularly contact Guy Stuff with a message that just says -- "husband cheated on me."
Last week one of those women sat across from me in my office. "My husband cheated on me," Kiki said as she put her face in her hands and sobbed . . . "[Bleep] husband cheated on me."
To be fair, either partner, man or woman, can and does cheat. I'm working right now with both men and women whose partners cheated on them.
Back to Kiki's story. She thought Ray sounded weird when he called her at 12:30 a.m. and said he'd be home in a little while. He told her he was dropping off a buddy, but she didn't believe him. Several months later after several other strange episodes, she had him take a lie detector test and she found out the truth -- he had "strippers" in the car with him that night (Side note -- I do not support using a lie detector test to get honesty in a relationship).
Ray also confessed that he had slept with one of them too. He blamed it on being drunk, and on Kiki's anger, and on being unhappy. It wasn't until he faced me that he fully owned his behavior and that he really had cheated.
So if you're like Kiki, and many of the other women who contact Guy Stuff saying, "husband cheated on me, what should I do?" Here are a couple of suggestions to start:
- Be Angry and Hurt. It's normal. It's going to make him very uncomfortable, mostly because it adds to the guilt, but it's healthy and okay.
- Manage the Millions of Questions. You're going to have a lot of questions that you want answered. As you try to make sense of having a husband who cheated, you'll seek to have your questions answered as a way to help you understand why. However, it's very important to control your racing thoughts and not let the unanswered questions overwhelm you (you'll need a professional counselor to help you with this).
- Remember the Big Picture. "My husband cheated on me" doesn't have to mean the end of your marriage. I've worked with many women who thought so when they first found out, but through lots of work and counseling they discovered that it's possible to have a better relationship after being cheated on.
These are just a couple of things to keep in mind at the beginning of finding out husband cheated on me. There's so much more to recovering from cheating than this. You really need marriage counseling from a professional counselor to guide and support you. Kiki can testify to that, so can Christine, Melissa, Natalie . . . and all the other women who've gotten help from Guy Stuff.
"Husband cheated on me" doesn't have to be the death of your relationship. It can be, but it also can lead to a better relationship than you've ever had before. The choice is yours.
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Q: I’m a wife surviving infidelity -- again! I have been married for 3 years now to my second husband. There was infidelity with my first marriage and I have now found out that my current husband has been surfing internet porn and chatting online and has even chatted about secretly meeting people. He states he has not followed through with it but not much more communication with each other beyond that. When I ask about going to a marriage counselor he never answers me and always ignores the question. I am going to schedule an appt for myself but what else can I do to survive infidelity? -- Katie B.
A: Surviving infidelity can seem impossible, but it’s not. You don’t say what you did when it happened in your first marriage, but I’m glad to hear that you’re ready to take action this time around.
Don’t let his ignoring your requests to talk about it and go to counseling stop you from addressing the infidelity. And, yes this is infidelity. We all want to ignore or minimize things we’re embarrassed about or don’t want to be honest about, so his non-response is not surprising. However, his lack of respect for you is a much bigger concern.
I’m working with several women right now whose husband’s are doing the same thing – denying there’s any problem in their relationships and refusing to go to counseling to discuss their wife’s concerns. One wife is still surviving infidelity from 3 years ago. In my work with these women we’re developing ways for them to be heard and responded to by their husbands. This is where you need to focus your energy.
-- Kurt Smith, Marriage Counselor