It’s one of the most brutal relationship discoveries you can make. Your wife is having an affair. Suddenly, your world is turned upside down, and everything you thought you knew, felt and believed in is no longer to be trusted.
What are some ways that you can move through this deeply painful period and hang on to your sanity?
1. Accept that there is no quick fix to this situation
You’ve just learned that your wife has been unfaithful and that the promises of monogamy that you made to each other have been broken. You feel raw like all your feelings are on your outside. You are filled with sadness and perhaps even hate towards your wife.
You fixate on what you imagine may have been happening when she was with her lover. All of these feelings are completely normal and experienced by men in similar situations all over the world.
Read More: 7 Reasons Why Women Cheat- Be Ready to Get Surprised!
It’s a sad club to be a part of, but tell yourself that what you are feeling is a legitimate reaction to being betrayed. Only time will help these feelings lessen.
For now, they are strong and present, and you may need some counseling to help you get through your day without these emotions overwhelming you.
2. Do not make a major decision about the marriage
Your emotions are far too raw for you to be thinking clearly about where you want this marriage to go. You may need to sleep in separate bedrooms for a time, but don’t make any extreme decisions for at least six months.
Sit with your feelings, talk to each other with the help of a marriage counselor, but don’t rush down to the lawyer’s office to begin divorce proceedings just yet.
3. An affair is a wake-up call
You may have been totally surprised that your wife was having an affair. You thought your relationship was fine. But an extra-marital relationship is an indication that your wife’s needs were not being met.
When you are ready to sit down and discuss the affair in a civil fashion, you will want to focus on the whys of how this happened. That will be vital information for both of you to have and will be essential for taking the next step forward.
4. Be prepared to grieve the marriage as it once was
The feelings brought up by learning that your spouse has had an affair are quite similar to grief. And indeed, you will be grieving the marriage as you knew it pre-affair.
Everything has changed and you will be mourning the death of the vision you had of your marriage. That’s normal, and will allow you to move forward towards a new chapter in your marriage, should you both do the work necessary to stay together and rebuild.
5. Avoid obsessional thoughts
It is very normal for you to obsess over what your wife may have done with her lover. And there is a school of thought that says in order to recover from the affair, your wife must agree to answer all of your questions, no matter how frequent and probing they are.
If you need complete disclosure from her, communicate this. But ask yourself if that would be healthy for you, or if it would cause you to obsess even more about the affair.
It really is a question of your personality and what you can deal with in terms of detail about this other relationship.
6. Take care of yourself
During this time your thoughts are going to be all over the place. Carve out some time each day to just focus on you. Not her, what she did, why she did it. Practice some self-care.
It may be working out at the gym for an hour after work. Or sitting quietly in meditation in the morning. Redesign the way you eat, but include more healthy foods.
Read More: How To Recover from Infidelity in a Marriage?
Eliminate alcohol if you are using that to cope. Turning inward and practising kindness on yourself will help in your recovery and keep your mind balanced.
7. Take it to a professional
If you need help in making that “Should I Stay or Should I go?” decision, it is worth working through this with a family or couples’ therapist. A therapist has the expertise and background to help you and your wife deconstruct how this affair came about, what are the strengths and weaknesses of your relationship, and if you both wish to save it.
A therapist will be a crucial part of your recovery should you wish to remain together.
How’s your forgiveness factor?
If you have decided to work towards saving the marriage, check on your forgiveness factor. It will not do your relationship any good if you are determined to hold a grudge and pull out this affair every time you are your wife have an argument.
Ask yourself if you are truly able to forgive her, and, more importantly, can she forgive herself so that you both can start anew with a clean slate.
Infidelity is one of the more painful challenges a marriage can face. It doesn’t always mean it’s the end.
It’s essential for both you and your wife to carefully consider what changes you are both willing to make in order to get past it and live a new chapter in your married life.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.