Discovering an Affair: welcome to the new reality
There are not many things in life as devastating as discovering that your husband has been cheating.
Considering your difficult feelings about your husband’s infidelity, it can be extremely difficult for both of you not to act emotionally without first weighing the consequences of your actions.
But maybe try to repair your relationship after the affair?
Try to understand that we all face challenges as human beings, challenges that can lead to tremendous growth and deep love.
What do you think?
Are you ready to fight for the future of your family?
So, how to fix a marriage after cheating?
He betrayed you
It strikes your heart deeply and shakes your sense of the reality of your life.
But please don’t start thinking about dangerous things like eating ice cream at night because of his infidelity.
Moreover, in your new status as a deceived spouse, it is easy to think of your husband as a scoundrel, and of yourself as an innocent victim.
Don’t be a victim of obstacles
We can deal with the discovery of infidelity by uncovering a crime in which the criminal needs to be interrogated and punished while the victim deserves reparations.
Without a doubt, you found yourself face to face with a person who deceived and betrayed you.
Maybe you will enjoy reading this: Not attracted to a husband after he cheated? I used to be you
Find out why the infidelity happened
And first of all, you need to figure out what happened and why.
If you are still interested in saving your family, you need to go beyond figuring out who is good and who is bad.
Nobody can tell you what to do after discovering an Affair
Everyone is an individual.
Every relationship is unique in its dynamics.
But my strongest recommendation is:
At least one person’s impulsiveness got you into this mess.
Too much impulsiveness will only make things worse.
Instead, give preference to deep reflection.
Reflection is a life raft that can hold you in these turbulent waters and bring you ashore with a healthy, happy future for your family, you, and your spouse.
Repair a marriage after cheating and be happy
Yes, happiness with a cheating husband is still possible.
But, first of all, MANAGE YOUR ANGER.
What do I want to say?
Keep in mind, that anger will kill you.
When we are angry and frustrated, we lose sight of our intentions, we may doubt ourselves and forget our strategy.
The surest way to lose in life and love is to let anger control us.
From the first minutes after you discover that your husband is promiscuous, you must be determined to survive and thrive by holding back your emotions.
Now you lack understanding of what is happening to you; instead, your abandoned brain rules the show.
Should you try to save the relationship and fight to keep the family together or file for divorce?
Trying to save your marriage, don’t forget this
Just one important point.
People worry that they need to cling to their partners all their whole life.
In my opinion, they should be concerned about the strategy for the success of their lives, their families, and their future.
Interestingly, abandoned spouses who are ready to break off relationships are actually more likely to keep them.
The paradox in restoring relationships after cheating
This is one of the ironies of relationships: if you hold on to a long-term relationship like your life depends on it, chances are you will either hold on to an overly dependent, unhealthy relationship or lose the relationship altogether because of your intense need and anger.
Rule number one for saving your family
Therefore the number one rule to recover from the discovery and exposure of infidelity is:
TO CALM DOWN.
The case was bad enough, but the way you behave after it can ruin your life forever, and if you have it, then the life of your children.
If you rush into reconciliation, you will fail and most likely fall into some kind of attempt at a solution that will be ill-conceived and harmful.
Don’t forgive him quickly
In fact, if you’re expecting emotional issues to be resolved quickly, you’re probably not ready for the work that is required for a mature, long-term relationship.
There may be a period of mourning during which your couple will mourn the loss of their innocence.
You can no longer claim true love between two pure hearts and pure souls.
The promise “I love you and don’t want anyone else” was lost due to infidelity.
Realizing each other’s humanity and seeing each other’s painful human shortcomings can be very frustrating.
You, who placed your hopes on fidelity, are losing your pink sunglasses.
Mindset of a cheating man
In the meantime, your cheating husband may silently mourn the loss of his extramarital adventures.
And now more than ever, he may want to run away from a suffocating marriage.
By the way, FROM YOUR MARRIAGE.
The worst part of this condition can last from a few weeks to months.
The truth can be hard to swallow, but it’s rarely as easy as if you caught your spouse making love, and then the affair ended.
“Don’t ask, don’t tell” strategy
As a cheated spouse, you can go along with the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.
You might prefer not to know that the affair is continuing.
How you choose to live your life is your own business, and no one should dictate how you respond to discovering your spouse’s infidelity.
Regardless, I want you to know that ending a romance adventure requires serious effort on the part of the cheating spouse.
So now I’ve made it clear that you are in a difficult position.
You discovered an affair.
Cheaters rarely tell the whole unvarnished truth about what happened, even when they are caught.
And if your unfaithful spouse isn’t remorseful and doesn’t demonstrate a firm commitment to end the extramarital affairs, the relationship won’t just disappear.
Read more about The mindset of a cheating man
Asking yourself soul-searching questions
So, given all this, what is a betrayed wife to do?
After significant life events, including the disclosure of an affair, people usually ask themselves soul-searching questions, often starting with: What is love?
Unfaithful spouses assume they must not love their spouses if they could so easily cheat on them.
Who and how their partner may have some bearing on infidelity, in some cases, but in all cases, infidelity begins with the cheater—their psychology.
Emotional and sexual reconciliation after Infidelity
But, of course, over the course of the year, if you are constructive about emotional and sexual reconciliation, if you choose to stay together, you will be in a better position.
Sex and love, physical and emotional, are not easy to separate.
Let’s talk about the emotional healing stage first.
The second is sexual healing. Read more about How to increase physical intimacy in a relationship
How to Fix a Marriage After Cheating: Emotional Healing
In the emotional recovery phase of your relationship after the discovery of infidelity, you now face the huge task of figuring out what’s next.
- How will each of you as individuals move forward?
- Will your deepest relationship last?
- What will happen to the case?
- Are we staying or are we leaving?
- One thing that becomes clear after discovering infidelity is that burying your head in the sand doesn’t help, no matter how tempting it may be.
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A devoted spouse often falls into the trap of denial or wishful thinking, hoping that the romance will simply fizzle out or disappear without further discussion.
Let me say this very clearly:
If your cheating partner isn’t 100 percent interested in ending his existing relationship, the cheating is unlikely to stop just because you found out about it.
I know, this is not what you were hoping to hear.
But that, according to the clinical experience of the relationship experts, is the sad truth.
This does not mean that affairs are not going out.
As with any relationship, they are. And often cheating spouses still come to their senses.
But it’s important to recognize that affairs often run their course, ending in their own way or on their own schedule.
How to Fix a Marriage After Cheating: What experts say
Dr. Patrick Carnes says that in the aftermath of discovering an affair, partners should take some time to evaluate their relationship. Questions to ask oneself include:
- Can I be most myself in your presence?
- Can I be creative, funny, vulnerable, productive, strong, weak, flamboyant, shy, or even smart?
- Can I couple any of those words with sex and romance?
- Can I be tough, forgiving, generous, spiritual, intuitive, graceful, clumsy, lazy, self-indulgent, and disciplined?
- Do I feel equal, successful, attractive, encouraged, trusted, and believed?
- Can I be fully as competent as I can be and not have my partner disappear?
- Do I feel challenged?
- Can I be accountable and hold my partner accountable?
- Is it okay to make a mistake?
- Does our time together really seem to matter?
Dr. Carnes’s questions are thought-provoking, all of them helping to provide the perspective and insight necessary to answer the biggest, most complex question that many couples find themselves asking in the aftermath of infidelity: Should I stay or should I go?
He explains the dilemma this way:
“There are two decisions on the table. The first is the choice to be in a relationship.
A committed relationship is a way of life that requires many efforts of the partners.
And it has little to do with whom you are with.
This commitment has more to do with how much you have grown up, learned skills, developed integrity, understood your own limits, and healed your wounds.
The second choice is to whom you are willing to commit.”
Love takes work!
Love is discipline, concentration, patience, faith, and the overcoming of narcissism. It isn’t a feeling, it is a practice.
Love is a decision.
Love is a promise.
The only way to restore trust in a relationship, Dr. Stefanie Carnes says, is “reliable behavior over time.”
She suggests that you use the following questions about your unfaithful partner to assess whether your relationship has a future:
- Is he remorseful?
- Is he holding themselves accountable?
- Are his actions changing?
- Are his actions matching up with his words?
She recommends that betrayed spouses hold off on making any immediate decision and instead sit back, reflect, and collect data.
Ultimately, if your husband is a philanderer who does not respond to disclosure of infidelity with openness, accountability, and transparency, it’s really hard for you to hold out hope for the relationship to continue.
Your cheating husband also needs to seriously answer the most important question of all: Do I love my wife enough to stay?
Keep in mind that if you want to save your long-term relationship and your family, you need to decide to do the personal work. Growth, love, reconciliation—these are not linear processes. They come with many bumps and dips in the road.
- Peter D. Kramer, Should You Leave?: A Psychiatrist Explores Intimacy and Autonomy—and the Nature of Advice (New York: Scribner, 1997).
- Atkins, Baucom, and Jacobson, “Understanding Infidelity”; Glass,
- Not “Just Friends”; Hara Estroff Marano, “From Promise to Promiscuity,” Psychology Today, July 3, 2012, www.psychologytoday.com/articles/201207/promise-promiscuity.
- Victoria Thornton and Alexander Nagurney, “What Is Infidelity? Perceptions Based on Biological Sex and Personality,” Psychology Research and Behavior Management 4 (May 2011)