Men and women view infidelity differently. The female sexual desire is often tied to her emotions. The male sex drive, on the other hand, is based more on physiological factors than it is on psychological elements.
It’s for this very reason that your self-image takes a nose dive when you find out that your wife had an affair. Relationship betrayal makes you question your self-worth.
Doesn’t she find you attractive anymore? Maybe you’ve become boring. What does the other guy have that you don’t?
All these feelings of inadequacy take over and you end up becoming a shell of your former self. The best way to regain self-esteem after an affair is to make it all about you.
Use this guide to help you get back your self-love. Read on.
Taking Charge of Your Own Happiness After a Relationship Betrayal
Affairs are deeply personal. It’s amazing how much power you give to your spouse to determine whether or not you’re happy in your life.
You paint this picture of what your ideal marriage should be and expect that your wife will toe the line. Once you discover that they were unfaithful, the fantasy world you live in comes crumbling down.
You’ll get sad and angry and eventually begin to resent your partner for ruining your happiness. But is that really fair? Sure, they messed up, but how long will you crucify them for it?
This is often a manifestation of the way you view yourself. Painful as it may be, it’s a wakeup call for you take back control of your happiness.
So, stop the pity party and realize that your partner is human and they will inevitably disappoint you again. Their transgressions have nothing to do with you.
Develop healthy affirmations that you can repeat to yourself over and over again when those pesky feelings of self-loathing begin to set in. Some of the mantras you can adopt include:
- “I am strong enough to handle anything that comes my way”
- “I can do anything I set my mind to”
- “I am strong. I can handle it”
- “I’m a hot commodity. Any woman would be lucky to have me in their life”
Keep repeating those words of affirmation to yourself even if you don’t believe them at first. If you say it often enough, your brain will catch up. When you’re secure in yourself, betrayal won’t break you.
Remind Yourself That You Are Enough
Your wife’s betrayal has no bearing on who you are as a person. It’s easy to blame yourself for their mistake but you have to keep reminding yourself that you are enough.
Stop focussing on the things you can’t control and put your time and energy into the things you can. More often than not, your spouse will point out certain things that led to their affair.
Most women might point to the fact that you were emotionally absent, had neglected the home or were feeling unfulfilled sexually. Infuriating as it may be to hear this, you need to stop wasting your time ruminating over those issues.
Acknowledge that your thoughts aren’t productive and find a way to change what’s in your power. If there’s something about yourself that you can and want to change, then, by all means, go right ahead.
But, if your wife is attempting to deflect by projecting her own inadequacies on you to justify her actions, you need to spot this right away as something you can’t change. Go find something productive to do to manage your stress and remember you are enough.
Create a Plan to Manage Your Stress
Betrayal in your marriage is in no doubt one of the most stressful things you’ll go through in your life. It’ll shake you to the core and you might be tempted to give up on your marriage and yourself.
That’s why it’s important to create an effective stress management plan to help you cope and expedite the healing process. Find healthy stress relievers outside of the home.
This would be a great time to take up a new team sport at your local recreational center. Being accountable to people outside yourself and your family will make you commit even on the days you’re not feeling up to it.
You’ll be amazed at what a team victory will do for your self-esteem. Some of the unhealthy coping mechanisms you should avoid like the plague include drinking too much or seeking comfort in female companions you’re attracted to.
This will actually leave you feeling worse about yourself and your situation. When in doubt, take the high-road.
Success Is the Best Revenge
Speaking of taking the high-road, the last thing you want to do after an affair is to go tit for tat with your wife. It’s normal to want to seek solace in the arms of another woman to regain your self-esteem.
But in reality, this has the opposite effect, more so if you and your partner are working towards reconciliation. You might feel better at that moment but doesn’t resolve the underlying issues.
The best form of revenge you can get is to be a successful individual. If there was ever a time to put yourself first it’s now.
You need to really introspect and figure out what you really want out of life. It’s easy to lose yourself in marriage and simply go through the motions.
But, how about shaking things up a bit? Write down your goals and start working towards them.
Here’s an example. Say you’re passionate about cars and have always wanted to start an auto garage. Why not do that now?
Create a highly-detailed plan with actionable steps you need to take to bring it to fruition. What size premises would you need? How much capital do you require?
Explore your financing options and take out a business loan if you need to. If that sounds like a huge leap you can create smaller more achievable goals, to begin with. For instance, you can set a goal to get in shape by the time summer rolls around.
So, a great starting point would be to go out shopping and get yourself a pair of beach shorts that you intend to fit into by the time you’re through with your fitness regimen. The sense of accomplishment you’ll get when you finally wear them to the beach will send your self-confidence levels through the roof.
Face Your Fears
When you’ve been in a relationship with someone for so long, you become one – emotionally. It becomes impossible to picture what your life would be without them.
When your wife betrays your marriage, it feels like your worst fears have become a reality. If only that was the end of it. You’ll go through a roller-coaster of emotions that you don’t fully understand.
One of the most common emotions you’ll face is fear. You’ll need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Write down all your fears. Here are some common ones most men who’ve been cheated on won’t admit to.
- My wife will leave me for the other man.
- If we get a divorce, another man will end up raising my kids.
- I’ll have to start making alimony and child-support payments.
- How will I ever meet someone new?
- Once a cheater, always a cheater.
- I might not be able to make her happy
Next, write down the sequence of events that will follow if each of your fears was to become a reality. Then visualize yourself facing those fears with confidence.
Remember the mantras? This would be a great time to recite them.
Realize that you still have a lot of life left to live. What might look like the end of the world today may be insignificant in a couple of years to come.
Relationships end and new ones begin all the time. Who knows, this could be a stepping stone towards a better life for you.
Self-Love Means It’s Okay to Move On
Coming to terms with the fact that your marriage is a sham is a difficult thing to admit. As a man, you’re programmed to fix things. However, when you’ve done all you can to fix your marriage but it leaves you feeling worse about yourself in every instance, then it might be time to let go.
Only you understand what you’ve been through and it’s okay to want to put yourself first. If you’ve made this decision and decided to move on to save your self-esteem, you’ll need to put some distance between you and your ex.
“Distance” here means both physical and emotional. Get rid of mementos that remind you of them. Delete all photos of the two of you together that may be on your phone, social networks or anything that might trigger a memory.
This is the first step towards cleansing your life of them to forget about how they made you feel when you were with them. That way you can begin rebuilding your self-respect piece by piece until you feel whole again. Take time for yourself and don’t jump into another relationship before you’ve fully recovered.
Some Final Thoughts
Being in love is an amazing feeling but when the one you love betrays you, it sends your world spinning out of control. Your self-concept becomes skewed.
Men deal with relationship betrayal differently than women do. More often than not, you view it as an attack on your character and feelings of inadequacy will begin to set in.
Whether you decide to make a clean break or work it out with your partner, one thing is certain. You need to work on yourself first. Use the tips discussed in this guide to regain your self-esteem and begin your journey towards a better and more fulfilling life.
Are you having a hard time trying to recover from her affair? Perhaps you’re going through a bad breakup.
The Infidelity Recovery Center can help you heal those wounds. Click here to learn more.