It’s one of those things you don’t really think is ever going to happen. In fact, statistically speaking, it isn’t likely to happen. Of course statistics don’t mean much to someone who has experienced it. So what do you do when you find out that your wife has cheated (or is cheating) on you?
Infidelity is possibly one of the most painful things to go through in a relationship. The betrayal of trust, the hurt, the anger, the feeling that you have somehow failed or driven her to it – these are all torturous to experience and not something you can really prepare for. But if you find yourself having to figure out how to handle things after your wife cheats on you and needing to figure out what to do next, there are a number of things to consider.
What Should You Do First If Your Wife Cheats On You?
First, take a deep breath. Whether you suspected, or it is coming as a surprise, this is emotionally jarring news. And it hurts.
If you have found out your wife has cheated your initial reactions will be driven purely by emotion. The order and expression of these emotions can vary from man to man, but everyone will experience some version of anger and sadness. Some men will feel sad and hopeless initially, others will feel angry and vengeful. Regardless of the order, those feelings will all surface and need to be dealt with. So what things should you do if your wife has cheated?
- Don’t let your anger get the best of you. Your wife has become physically or emotionally intimate with another man. A common (and understandable) reaction from most men is anger. Anger is a dangerous emotion and can push even the most rational men into making bad decisions. Don’t let it. Becoming verbally abusive or physically violent with your wife, or possibly the man with whom she had the affair, will not gain you anything and can potentially sink any hope for fixing things, or make a bad situation worse.
- Do channel your emotions. Men especially often feel the need to relieve emotions in a physical way. You feel like punching something, or screaming at someone? Try finding a way to achieve this that is safe and effective. Take things out on a punching bag at the gym, go for a long run, hit balls at the batting cage, or whatever physical activity that allows you to burn off some of the adrenaline, anger and hurt that are coursing through you.
- Now stop and think. What’s next? What do you want? Do you want to keep the marriage or was divorce just one step away before you found out about the affair? This might be a good time to consider talking with a counselor. Figuring these things out is not as simple as quiet reflection over a cup of coffee. Or even a conversation with a good friend. Often the assistance of a qualified marriage counselor can help a great deal in gaining the clarity you need to determine the best next steps. Dr. Kurt has counseled many men and couples that have been affected by infidelity and it can be difficult (but not impossible) to get past. According to him,
How you respond to your wife cheating is crucial as it sets the tone for all that will follow. Most men's anger and pain leads them to an impulsive response that just drives their partner further away and makes her more resolved to continue the affair or leave. Questioning whether or not you want to stay married to someone who cheats on you is understandable and normal. Answering that question, however, should take some time so that it's made intelligently and not emotionally. Recovering from an affair is really, really hard and is best done with a professional counselor who's been through it before."
Should I Confront Her And Ask Why She Cheated – Does It Matter?
Yes, the why does matter and understanding that will help you figure out what to do now that you know your wife has cheated on you. The reason she cheated will vary wildly from woman to woman. There is no single reason why a woman cheats, or anyone for that matter.
Cheating is clearly a sign of trouble in the relationship. You will need to understand it in order to fix things. Ultimately, however, cheating has less to do with you as a partner and more to do with her personal failings. Figuring out the actual reasons why it happened is a process though. And it is an important piece when you are determining what to do when your wife has been caught cheating. It won’t make things okay - there is no real justification for infidelity. It will, however, help you as a couple figure out why you have ended up in this situation. Cheating does not have to be the end of a marriage, although people often assume that it does.
If She Cheated On Me It’s Over, Right?
Not necessarily. As mentioned, cheating does not have to be the end of your marriage. Surviving infidelity is possible. It could actually be the beginning of a healing and growing process. And while it is not the ideal way to figure out that your marriage is in trouble, it certainly leaves no doubt.
If you are in the unfortunate circumstance of having to figure out what to do when your wife has cheated on you, take heart in the fact that many relationships have been able to get past an affair. It is not an easy task though. You will both need to be committed to the work it will take to bring things back to a healthy place. Getting to that place and reconnecting can take time.
To say that dealing with an affair in a relationship is difficult and painful is an understatement. It is one of the hardest things any couple can face. Remember that you were married for a reason though. Those reasons are likely to still be there, even if they are buried under mountains of life and marital problems. Figuring out what to do when your wife cheats on you will likely take the help of a counselor and reliance on the foundation that you built early on. But, if you are committed to the relationship and recovering what you once had, anything is possible.
Looking for More? Check Out These Articles
- If You Love Someone Why Would You Cheat?
- What are the Reasons that Make Men Cheat?
- Can Women Be Abusive? What Does That Look Like?
- Get More Help with a Cheating Spouse