If you are a man who cares about your wife and marriage, it can be devastating if your wife has cheated on you. You can question everything from your performance as a husband, your life decisions, and your worth as a man, husband, provider, and father, if children are involved. To help you recover your self esteem and your ability to move on, whether you stay in your marriage or not, here is some advice.
- find support
- remember that it takes two to tango
- recall all of the things you did well in the marriage
- accept all of your feelings about it
- stand your ground
- blame yourself if you didn’t know
- make threats to the man she cheated with
- put your life on hold
- think you are inadequate
Seek support from friends, supportive family members, and a therapist to deal with your hurt and anger. We men pride ourselves on being good providers and good husbands. Consequentially, we tend to blame ourselves if our wife is unhappy, even if it has nothing to do with us. If you did cause her unhappiness, then you need to heal and gain support. You will be feeling alone anyway, like as if your wife has died, so seek all of the emotional support you can get.
If your wife has been unfaithful, you need to realize that it is never more than partially your fault. If she was satisfied in the marriage she would not have cheated, but it also may be her own personal issue. Sometimes if a woman is unhappy with herself, she would not be happy in any marriage causing her to seek happiness in another man. She will not find happiness with you or any man if she is not happy with herself.
If you worked hard, treated her well, were a good father, and did your best to satisfy her sexually and emotionally, then you need to recall those times. Keep a journal of all of the things you did well. This will help you justify to yourself that you are a good person and not point the blame all on yourself.
Men often get angry to mask the pain, vulnerability, and sadness they are feeling. A therapist can help you sort your feelings and work through them. If you do decide to reconcile, accept the fact that it may take you a long time to trust her again. She also needs to accept that it will take you time to trust again.
It is possible to save your marriage. However, don’t let her decide how you will do it without your input. If she wants to talk to you and save the marriage, do it only on terms you can agree with. For example, if you want marriage counseling and she does not, then don’t get back together. Be willing to listen and change if she tells you what she was unhappy about, but you should be able to both agree on the terms for reconciliation.
If your wife has never talked to you about her unhappiness in the marriage you should not blame yourself. Many marriages begin to fail when there is a lack of communication, especially when feelings are not expressed. Your wife would not have cheated if she was satisfied in the marriage. However, you do not have to blame yourself if you never knew what she was unhappy about.
You will be angry at the man she cheated with. You might even think you are angry with him and not your wife so you can deny that she consented to cheating on you. However, making threats will only make everything worse because it could get you in legal trouble.
This is going to be one of the hardest times you have ever had, but you do not need to punish yourself by putting your life on hold. You need to keep going out with friends, going fishing or any of the activities you enjoy doing. This is the most important time to take care of yourself and let yourself enjoy life. Hanging out with friends and family will also help to find support. Doing things you enjoy will allow you to relieve stress as well.
If the man is a friend of the family you should not keep him as a friend. If you can’t avoid him because he is a coworker, you can ignore him and only speak to him if it is necessary for the job. A therapist can also help you handle the stress of working with him. But whatever you do, don’t obsess about him everyday. You need to be able to move on with your life so that you can find happiness again.
If you do learn why she cheated on you, realize that anything you did wrong can be rectified. Even sexual performance can be improved. If you try and she still accuses you of not meeting her standards, accept yourself and find someone who will appreciate you. But don’t think that you are an inadequate husband, sexual partner, provider, father, or anything else that she accuses you of, because you aren’t.
Marital infidelity is one of the most hurtful things that can happen to a man. Hopefully this article has shown you what to do and what not to do to handle the stress and feelings that comes with it. You do have choices. Find support, talk to a therapist, and work your way to finding happiness again.