My husband is cheating on me, what should I do? Finding out your partner cheated on you is a painful experience and can leave you feeling overwhelmed and lost. We have compiled a list of steps that can guide you through what to do if your husband is cheating. These steps will help you navigate this particularly troubling time in your life and help you find your footing again.
1. Be kind to yourself
Your partner cheating on you is a breach of your trust. It can leave you feeling betrayed, angry, depressed, in denial, confused, and a whole host of mixed emotions. Give yourself time to process your emotions and gain some clarity so you can plan on what to do next. You do not have to pretend like nothing happened, ask your partner for space, seek support and comfort in your family, and talk it through with a relationship counselor if you need to.
Accept your feelings, you are the one wronged and you are justified in feeling angry. It is reasonable to feel like you cannot trust your partner ever again and that your relationship will never be what it used to. At the same time, there is no point in taking out your anger in arguments, it will just make things messier and lead to even more resentment. You are above that, you do not need to stoop to petty arguments with that untrustworthy cheater.
You are in a position of power now, you decide what happens next. Be cool, calm, and collected when making decisions and speaking to your partner even though it might not be easy and you will keep feeling negative emotions for a long time until you move on.
2. Confront your husband
Confronting your spouse can feel very daunting, it can feel like you are about to destroy your relationship but your relationship was already dead when he decided to cheat. Do not confront your husband in public about it. Ask him to explain his side of things in private where he is more likely to open up.
Resist the urge to interrupt him or take out your frustration on him because you want as much information as you can get in order to get closure and understand what happened. If he does not explain his motivations it will make it harder to heal later on as you will keep wondering why he did it.
You might not get the full truth in one conversation so give him space to get his story out. Although he is in the wrong here, it is hard for him to talk about it. Do not blame yourself; your husband made a choice to act a certain way knowing full well the damage he was causing to your relationship. Forgo blaming your husband for now as you just need to get the truth out of him. You can be angry and feel betrayed and also be calm and understanding, these emotions are not mutually exclusive.
Related Article: 10 Common Signs Your Husband is Cheating on You
3. Come to a decision
After talking it out with your husband, you will have enough information to decide what to do next. There are a lot of things to consider and as it affects both your lives, you will have to work with your husband to carry out what you want to do. If you want to forgive your husband and want to give him another chance, you can start taking baby steps to rebuild your relationship.
Do not forgive him just because it is the easy thing to do, give it serious consideration. If you really think he is worth forgiving then you can decide to do that. There can be many reasons for your husband to cheat and once he communicates his point of view, you might empathize with him even though it does not justify cheating. Couples have overcome troubling times in their relationships before and come to love each other again so it is quite possible to rebuild your relationship.
You can consider couples counseling to reignite your bond. It might also give you a better idea if he is being genuine and willing to work on the relationship or not.
If you and your husband decide to mend things, he will need to be more transparent to gain back your trust. If he has an affair with another woman it must end immediately and he should give you the necessary assurance and proof if possible that it has ended. He needs to communicate his schedule and what he is doing and with whom. You need to push him to understand the importance of transparency and communication to regain your trust.
By being transparent and willing to communicate, you should also talk about your feelings and reignite love for each other, take interest in each other’s hobbies and daily activities.
If you decide not to forgive him and want to get a separation or divorce, you have to figure out the dynamics of this change.
Children complicate matters and need both their parents for their personal growth, they should not suffer because of your husband’s actions. They should also not be at the receiving end of any negativity between the two of you. Do not involve them in the details of what occurred and do not let them feel responsible for it in any way.
They would most likely want both their parents to remain in their lives and any drastic changes to this balance will adversely affect them. You would have to figure out an arrangement where you both get to spend time with the children while going about your separate lives.
You need to maintain an amicable relationship with your former husband in order to communicate your needs and come to an agreement about any potential legal disputes such as alimony and child custody.
5. Move on
If you let your partner explain themselves, you would have a good understanding of why they cheated. Knowing the reason will bring you closure and help you in moving on. Many times those cheated on do not get to have a good explanation which can leave them always wondering why. It is important to remind yourself it is not your fault, neither is it any shortcoming in you, you are not unlovable.
You might need to still keep in touch because of various reasons including spending time with children. Understand that your husband is a flawed human being and though you do not need to forgive him, you can understand that he was not mature enough to handle things in a better way.
It is okay to feel depressed or still harbor some resentment. However, you do not have to suffer alone. Therapy can help process emotions, overcome attachment, and guide you through the process of moving on. You will also need to start trusting people again if you ever want to engage in a relationship again. If you do find yourself with someone new, make sure to relay your need for clear communication and transparency.