Coping With the Aftermath of Her Affair
If you’ve recently found out that your wife has had an extramarital affair, it’s understandable if you feel lost and don’t know exactly what to do. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of the four things to do next when you’re reeling from your wife’s betrayal.
Infidelity is a torturous experience no matter what your gender is, but men often have a fairly specific way of suffering when their wife cheats on them. They tend to interpret a cheating wife as an assault on their masculinity, their ego, and the identity they’ve worked so hard to maintain.
It’s usually a bad idea to make generalizations, but most men are also notorious for not being able to let go and move on from their wife’s infidelity. They often have painful and recurring images of the affair, which can keep them in a constant state of anger and make them lash out at their cheating wife repeatedly.
This can only end badly, whether you decide to stay with your wife or end the marriage. Here are the four things to do next if you want to emerge from this in the healthiest way possible.
1. Make “Just in Case” Contingency Plans
One of the worst things about infidelity is dealing with the practical stuff, especially all the uncertainty and insecurity that the future might hold. That’s why it’s important for you to make some contingency plans, just in case the worst happens and you’re suddenly fending for yourself.
You don’t have to pull the trigger on any of this just yet, but start planning right away. Figure out how you’ll extricate just enough of your finances to get by for a few weeks. You should also locate somewhere you can stay for a little while, just in case things get too contentious or you need a “safe place” to process your emotions.
This might seem cold, but there’s no way to predict what’s going to happen when you’re dealing with infidelity. You’ll feel a lot better if you have some idea how to handle a worst case scenario.
2. Find Out What Your Legal Options Are
Unfortunately, a big part of making these contingency plans is exploring your legal options. Again, there’s no way to know what’s going to happen, so it’s a good idea to talk to a trusted source and find out what legal stuff you might have to do.
What this entails depends on your situation, but the legalities typically revolve around things like child custody and visitation, deciding what to do about the living space, and dividing up possessions and other assets. Hopefully, this will be unnecessary, but having even a vague plan in place will put you on a more even keel.
3. What To Do if You Decide to Stay in the Marriage
If you decide that you still love your wife and want to remain in the marriage, you’ll need to understand the challenges ahead and the best ways to handle them. Every marriage is different, but there are a few basics that are universal to all of them.
Probably the most important thing is to be very patient. Reconciliation is always a possibility, but both you and your wife will need to move slowly back into things if the marriage is going to last. Resist the impulse to find a quick fix and let things unfold as they will.
You’ll also need to communicate your needs and emotions in a calm but consistent matter. Similarly, you’ll need to listen closely when your wife expresses her needs as well. Openness, mutual respect, and sensitivity are the non-negotiable requirements of any attempt you and your wife make to reconcile.
A healthy marriage requires a lot of hard work under the best of circumstances, and the challenges you face after infidelity will likely be even more difficult to overcome. This definitely doesn’t mean that the situation is hopeless. On the contrary, many couples have succeeded in rebuilding (or improving) their marriage after infidelity.
4. Seek Outside Help From an Experienced Professional
If you’re like a lot of men, you’re usually very stubborn about asking for help. This is especially true when a man tries to cope with his wife’s infidelity. Their first instinct is to go it alone, to toughen up and endure the intense pain “like a man.”
Not to mention how common it is for men to assume that there’s just nothing anyone can do to help them anyway. They think all they can do is trudge through and wait until the pain subsides.
But these are both flawed ways of thinking. It’s almost impossible for anyone to overcome infidelity alone, especially if they don’t want to end up callous or jaded. And there’s actually quite a bit that a professional can to do aid the healing process if they’re given the chance. Reach out immediately if your wife has cheated on you.