When You Just Can’t Seem to Shake The Feelings of Anger And Sadness
Having your wife cheat on you can bring out all types of feelings that make it hard to let go.
On one hand you’re sad, on another you’re angry.
Deep down you wonder if you did not fail your wife somehow as a man.
The angry feelings switch back and forth between anger at yourself, your wife and the man in question.
The sadness grips your heart, feeling like a vice that restricts your breathing.
It’s Not Your Fault
While women have different reasons for cheating than men do, it’s not likely that her choice to cheat is directly your fault. It’s also not the man’s with whom she cheated fault either. She ultimately made the choice to do this and it may or may not have mattered what was going on in the marriage.
You two will have to figure out together issues with the marriage. But even when the marriage has issues it was still ultimately up to your wife to cheat on you. That may not relieve your anger with her, but it gets rid of 2/3’s of the anger and sadness you may have been feeling putting the focus where it needs to be.
Your Wife Likely Still Loves You
Most people don’t cheat due to lack of love for their spouse. Women are more likely to cheat due to unrealistic expectations about marriage than how they feel about you in general. Other reasons why women cheat has to do with:
- low self-esteem
- craving closeness and intimacy
- feelings of boredom and loneliness
- not feeling loved or appreciated
- or a significant traumatic experience in childhood (such as child abuse)
That keeps her from being able to experience love and intimacy in a healthy way.
More than likely though, your wife still loves you. If she has expressed sorrow and demonstrated true disappointment in her own actions and wants your forgiveness, if you want to keep your marriage together you have to find a way past the anger and sorrow and get to forgiveness.
It won’t happen overnight and you’ll both need to understand that, but it can happen. Over half of marriages that experience infidelity go on to have long, loving marriages, those that don’t work out, usually dissolve for other reasons than the affair.
Instead of placing all the focus on what your spouse did, work on improving your self-esteem. Start working out, running, or doing something you always wanted to do.
If by small chance, you were a workaholic, or did not spend enough time with your spouse prior to her affair you might want instead to try some couples activities or therapy and work on your marriage fitness.
This requires work on yourself to become the kind of spouse that you want to become and that your wife needs.
The thing about women is that they often do not talk about their needs, you may need to go out of your way to ask her to be honest and direct about her needs, and then you need to listen.
Focus on Other Aspects of Your Life
Your entire life cannot revolve around this one issue.
You and your wife made many vows in your marriage. This one vow is just one thing that makes or breaks a marriage and should not be more important than any other vow that you both made. You likely have many things you do together that you both still enjoy. Place focus on those activities, whether it’s enjoying sci-fi movies, or building Legos – whatever it is, keep doing it. These fun activities will only add to your life.
Taking them away will only add to your anger and sadness.
Aside from things that you do with your spouse, there are things that you do alone and with friends. Don’t miss out on these activities just because you’re sad and angry. If you cannot get out of your funk while with your friends consider doing some volunteer work at the local soup kitchen or habitat for humanity. You’ll soon discover that some people have far worse problems than you do.
You Can Only Control Yourself
One of the hardest aspects of human nature to accept is that we have no control over anyone but ourselves. While you cannot control what someone else does, you can control your reaction to it. It’s fine to have a reaction, but you don’t want the reaction to cross over to retaliation, or worse, abusive behavior. If you really want your marriage to work, you’ll need to find healthy ways to express your sadness and anger, all of which are normal.
Find ways to focus your anger and sadness in constructive ways over destructive ways. Yelling at your spouse, making threats, and acting in inappropriate ways will never take away the fact that the affair happened. Neither will beating up the man, or causing problems in his life. These actions can only serve to end your marriage rather than rebuild it.
Control your actions, and let your wife control hers.
Your wife probably did not mean to hurt you, and may have believed that either you would not find out, or that she would not feel the need to tell you. Many women underestimate the problems this deceit will cause in their life and the profound hurt that their husband will experience.
Learn coping mechanisms to help you avoid going down a rabbit hole of despair. Learning to survive her affair might be difficult but it is not impossible. Over half of married couples that experience infidelities not only make it work, but thrive with the right help and focus on improving their marriage.