Your spouse has had a sexual relationship with another human being – has been intimate with someone other than you.
Since learning about this cheating, you’ve been seething, stewing in what feels a lot like hate for the spouse you thought you loved.
You can barely keep your contempt to yourself; if you had a magic wand you would wave it and make your cheating spouse disappear. If this sounds at all like you, you need to change course pronto. Resentment will eat you alive.
Resenting Your Spouse Will Hurt You
Your spouse had an affair. If you actively and intensely resent your spouse for cheating, you will, according to The Mayo Clinic, put yourself at risk for depression, alcohol abuse, anxiety, hostility, unhealthy relationships and high blood pressure. We live one life on this planet and we should actively seek to make it a fulsome one filled with joy. Not only is holding a strong grudge bad for your health, it makes it unlikely that you will rebuild your marriage.
Be Open to Getting Help
If you hate your spouse for cheating, you will benefit from seeking help from a counselor or from signing up with a creative program like the Marriage Fitness Tele-Boot Camp. You do not have to begin counseling as a couple, in fact it is wise that you deal with your anger before taking any steps toward couple’s counseling or working on your marriage.
This Will be Hard
You probably feel that your anger is absolutely legitimate. That it is your cheating spouse that needs to change their ways and not you. A counselor can help you to accept that trying to punish a cheating spouse will likely not result in you and your spouse reuniting emotionally and sexually but in you becoming entrenched in your existing views of each other. Again, you do not have to go through this alone: Dr. Robert Huizenga has built a career from helping people getting over an affair, save their marriages and bring joy back into their lives.
You Are Not a Victim
Finding our that your spouse has been having an extramarital affair can be absolutely heartbreaking. You might have accidentally come across an email from your spouse’s lover; an email that immediately reveals that your spouse knows another in a sexual and emotionally intimate way. Of course this hurts. But you do need to continue to live though; you need to get up out of bed in the morning and exercise and do the things that usually bring you joy. Then you need to think about where you want to be in 12 months or so.
You Are Stronger Than You Think You Are
Try not to let yourself be blinded by anger and thoughts of revenge. If you think about where you hope to be in about a year, you can take positive steps that will get you there. You probably do not want to be alone in a year, still acutely resentful of your once spouse and exhausting your friends and family with your inability to move on.
Let go of your resentment. Do it for you
Remember the resources offered in this article; you do not have to do it all by yourself: find some professional infidelity support that will work for you. If you’d like to save your marriage, you cannot do it by punishing your spouse for having an affair, though you can do it by forgiving and committing to working for change and a future.