There are few things in life that will make you feel more lost or alone than finding out that your wife cheated on you. The foundations of any relationship are love and trust, and an affair destroys trust and makes you doubt whether she even still loves you. Even worse than that, it makes you wonder if she ever loved you at all. There’s a reason that divorce is considered to be one of the most stressful and devastating things that can happen to a person.
[Note: I've been reading through a program that takes a very similar approach to the one we take here at My Wife Cheated on Me dot net. Please go to Marriage Sherpa's site and take a look at their How to Survive an Affair program. You'll notice that the description is written from the point of view of a woman whose husband cheated on her, but - trust me - the program is designed to help the injured person, man or woman, get through it.]
The good news is that it absolutely is possible to rebuild a marriage after an affair. It’s something that you’re going to have to work towards, because repairing a relationship isn’t something that just happens. It takes a conscious decision and a lot of hard work, but restoring the love and trust is worth the effort it takes.
Let yourself feel the emotionsThe key to making this work is to get started now. The longer you wait to begin the process of putting your marriage back together, the harder it’s going to be. With that in mind, here are the first couple of steps you need to take to make it work:
This sounds a little touchy feely, but most guys will tend to cut themselves off from what they’re feeling. Your first reaction to finding out that your wife has had an affair is probably going to be to get angry. You should be angry. You’re going to feel betrayed and maybe even ashamed, and those are all normal reactions.
What you don’t want to do is let those feelings control you or try to make yourself not feel them. Drinking yourself into a stupor or punching out the guy she’s been cheating on you with won’t make you feel better, and they will make it harder to fix what’s going on. You need to let yourself feel hurt and angry, but you need to make sure that you don’t let them control. This is a fine line to walk, and you’re going to have to work at it.
Find someone to talk to
Most guys, when something bad happens, have a tendency to not talk about it or talk about it with their significant others. Obviously, you can’t do the latter when the person you talk to is the one you need to talk about, but just keeping it to yourself is a bad idea. You need to find someone that you can talk to about what happened.
The person you talk to needs to be someone who will listen to you, but also someone who will tell you when you’re going off the rails. Don’t be afraid to talk to a couple of people; in the initial stages you’re going to want some sounding boards because you won’t know what you’re feeling or what you should do.
Deal with the emotions
This last step can only work if you’ve followed the first two steps; you need acknowledge your feelings and share them with someone before you can decide what to do with them. You’re hurting and you’re going to need to manage that hurt, to deal with the emotions and pain before you can start coming back from it.
The key here is to try and decide what you’re going to do and stick with, regardless of how you feel. It’s good and healthy to acknowledge your feelings, but you can’t let yourself be ruled by them. Once you know that you’re thinking clearly and are able to manage your emotions, you’ll be able to do the real work of fixing your busted relationship after an affair.
As hard as it may be under the circumstances, you need to take action now. Talk to a friend you can trust or find a professional to help you through these early rough spots. The last thing you want to do is wallow in self-pity, and taking action will keep that from happening.
Do yourself a favor and click on the link to take a look at some of the guidance offered by Marriage Sherpa, especially the program on “How to Survive an Affair.” Dr. Gunzburg has created a program that leads you, one step at a time, to getting your life and your marriage–if you choose to do so–back together again. It’s time to move past that bombshell of “my wife cheated on me!” so you can take charge of your life.
You may feel like you’ve been kicked in the gut. Or your head is spinning so much that you can’t make sense of anything. Maybe you’re still thinking that it can’t be true. Could be all those feelings and more swirling around right now. No matter how you describe it, your world has been turned upside down. The one person you should have been able to trust above all others has betrayed you.
Understand that you’ll have good days and bad days. Sometimes you’ll still feel as angry, hurt and confused as when you first found out that your spouse was cheating on you. That’s okay. You don’t need to figure it out, just roll with it. On the good days, make sure you enjoy it. So often, when we’ve gone through a difficult time in our lives, we feel like we have to suffer the whole time until…well, until when? That’s just it. This is a process, and you will have relatively good days. Let them be good days. Don’t try to make yourself mad about the affair just because you think that’s how it “should” be.
|She told you herself… a friend let you know… you caught her in the act… all those small changes finally added up… it really doesn’t matter how you found out about it. Now you know, and you have to deal with it. But how?Too often, we get advice from self-proclaimed relationship gurus who tell you to remain calm and rational. Speak in terms of “I” so you don’t come across as blaming… That’s crap! You know it and they know it. Keep in mind that you can never – NEVER – get physical, even when your blood is boiling. But you can, and you should, let her know exactly what’s on your mind.
We’re all very different, and some men hardly, if ever, let their emotions out. This is one of those times when you can let go and let it out. Not only is it okay to cry as you’re dealing with your wife’s affair, it’s healthy too. You need it emotionally and, some studies have shown, physically, too. Because tears help to rid your body of stress hormones, you’ll be helping your body heal by crying if you need to.
You have every right to let it all out in no uncertain terms. By getting married, you both made a deep, vital commitment to each other, and that commitment relies on mutual trust. Now, by having an affair, your wife has ripped that promise in two. If you’re ever going to get past this, whether you decide to stay together or not, you need to let her know exactly the pain she has caused. Don’t measure your words. Don’t look for the perfect way to say it. Try not to talk about divorce at this point, and there’s no need to call her names, but otherwise you should be as raw as your emotions. Just tell it like it is.
Once you think you’re at a point where you can really weigh all your options and discuss them with your wife, your next step will be to figure out whether you want your relationship with her to continue. I’ll have some information on that stage of the process soon on my wife cheated on me dot Net. In the meantime, just know that you WILL get through it.