Your wife has had an affair. Now what?
Well, you are likely going to experience raw and intense emotions like jealously, sadness, anger, confusion and despair. Fortunately, there are steps that you can take that will help you hold on to your sanity as you find a way to put one foot in front of the other – and save your marriage.
1) Do not decide that having a revenge affair will make you feel better – that it will level the playing field. It won’t. If you love your wife and want your marriage to continue and flourish, having sex with another woman is not the way to show your wife this.
2) Do not decide, upon learning of your wife’s affair, that this would be a good time to spend more time with your buddies, away from home and your wife. Assuming that your wife loves you, she feels horrible about hurting you. If you are absent while she tries to come to terms with what she has done, you will lose an important opportunity to be there for your wife when she needs you.
3) Drinking alcohol can feel wonderful when we are totally stressed out – for about thirty minutes. Drinking too much when you are feeling down and distressed is a bad idea. Why? Alcohol has properties that make the lonely feel lonelier, the sad sadder and the angry angrier.
4) Be kind to yourself. It is common for a husband to feel like a failure upon learning that his wife had an affair. You should remember that no person is perfect, not you and not your wife. Many married couples see affairs as a kind of learning experience. It may be that your marriage needs work, in fact, it is likely the case. Try to focus on what you can both do to make things better between you.
5) Talk about your feelings. Although men are more likely to speak about how they feel than they once were, there are still many men who keep their emotions to themselves. Try to open up, let your wife know how much you love her, how much you care about your marriage and how committed you are to making things right.
6) Show your wife that you mean what you say. If you want your marriage to be in a much better place in a year from now, the one thing that you cannot do is act exactly the way you did before the affair rocked the foundation of your marriage. You should understand that your wife had an affair – in all likelihood – because your marriage needs some work. The best way for you to ensure that your marriage falls apart after your wife’s affair is to change nothing.
7) Be honest with each other. You are likely being tormented by the idea that your wife might have fallen in love in with her lover. As hurtful and painful as this idea is, speak with her about your concerns. Explain that as much as you love her, you need her to be honest with you. If your wife does not want to be in your marriage any longer, she should tell you this. You cannot go on in your marriage if you lose faith that your wife wants to be in it.
8) Do not visually imagine your wife having relations with her lover. Do not ask your wife to tell you about the sexual things she did with her lover. Focusing on the sexual aspect of your wife’s affair puts you on a destructive path. Not only will you feel increased hurt and pain if you linger on these images, you will jeopardize your marriage. The only way forward is for you to move beyond the affair – in all ways.
9) Consider counseling. If you and your wife are both feeling miserable in the wake of her affair, it will be tough for you to rustle up the energy to help each other through this event. Trained, professional counselors can help you to save your marriage. Be courageous as you move forward in your marriage. Be open to all positive avenues to healing your union.
10) Know that your wife’s affair is not the end of the world. As destructive as affairs are, they are common. Many couples make a new effort to be close to each other after an affair – and are roundly successful. If you and your wife want to save your marriage, you absolutely can. You need to be open, communicate, listen to each other and work hard. A worthy marriage does not exist outside of great efforts.
11) Be forgiving. Know that if you continue to punish your wife for having an affair, by saying hurtful things or pushing her away, that you are chipping away at your marriage. Seriously.
Maintaining your sanity in the aftermath of your wife’s affair may feel like an overwhelming task, but if you have a roadmap to guide you along you can survive the devastation. Survive Her Affair is a book written by a guy for guys just like you whose wives cheated on them. This book will answer a lot of the questions that you have and also give you much needed perspective.