How to deal with a cheating spouse? A topic that clearly needs attention in the MODERN arena.
I am extremely sorry if you’re someone who’s dealing with a cheating spouse. But it’s time to find out how you can handle the situation?
This article is a mini guide on how to deal with a cheating spouse. I urge you to read it till the end as it will seriously help you to overcome this difficult phase of your life and counter your spouse’s infidelity.
The most important thing is to figure out exactly how you feel. Writing down your feelings every morning on a scrap of paper (which you don’t have to show to anyone, just destroy it) can really help you.
If you are insanely, blindingly angry, just write that down over and over and over for ten minutes.
If you hate that S.O.B., write that down, over and over. These emotions belong to you and you’re just expressing them in a way that doesn’t hurt another person.
If you need a physical outlet, you can go to the gym more often. Exercise really helps put things in perspective.
If there’s a heavy punching bag at your gym, get some gloves (and get someone to show you how to hit it if you’ve never punched anything before!) and then pound away.
Fifteen minutes on the heavy bag will help with almost every anger and resentment and frustrating situation. Otherwise, lock yourself in your bedroom and just yell and punch a pillow for a while.
It’s important for you to honor your anger and to express it. But it’s important to express it in a way that isn’t destructive or dangerous.
Throwing dishes may feel good, or punching doors and walls, but that can hurt you or other people.
Some people feel like it’s their fault their spouse cheated, and they want to do crazy things like starve themselves or cut themselves.
Those aren’t healthy ways to express your sadness or anger. If you feel like cutting yourself, call a friend or family member and ask for help.
If you feel worse, like killing yourself, tell someone right away, and call a professional therapist or suicide hotline.
Don’t try to talk yourself out of what you’re feeling. Don’t say, “I shouldn’t feel so angry.”
Let yourself feel as angry as you feel. Or as sad. Those feelings are all normal and legitimate after infidelity.
There may be a time when you want to express those feelings to your spouse. Screaming them during a fight isn’t the best way, though it may feel good to do that sometimes.
Once the screaming is over, though, look for better ways to communicate how you feel to your spouse.
It is psychologically important for you to know that your spouse understands how their cheating hurt you.
But don’t use that as a weapon against them every time you have an argument, especially if it isn’t relevant.
If you’re arguing about who should take the garbage out, don’t bring up the affair as a reason they should do it.
Consider getting help from a therapist. This disinterested person may be able to help you sort out everything you want to do and say to your spouse.
Write down your questions over several days as they come to mind. Remember, you can ask anything you want, but your spouse doesn’t have to answer.
Some questions, like those about safe sex, are vital, and if your spouse refuses to talk about that, you should immediately take steps to protect yourself – get tested and refrain from any sexual contact with them going forward.
But other questions are more of a gray area. You may want to know the identity of the person your spouse cheated with. That’s normal and understandable. But your spouse may not choose to tell you.
They may want to protect the other person, thinking you might try to contact them or even hurt them.
You may not agree with that choice, but you can’t force your spouse to tell you.
An important question to ask your spouse is what they plan to do to prevent this from ever happening again.
They may not know right away, but you can keep asking again over time until you are satisfied.
A good program should include something like therapy or a plan to call friends and get help when a dangerous situation arises.
Your spouse will want to learn to recognize the danger signals that could lead to further infidelity.
But again, you can’t force your spouse to do this. You can suggest it, but then you have to let it go. Don’t try to blackmail or bully or guilt them into doing it.
That doesn’t lead to a healthy, happy marriage in the future. Far better if they do these things for themselves.
You have a reasonable right to check in and ask about how things are going, but that’s it. Your spouse will be a better person if they solve their own problems themselves – it will help them grow up.
NEVER GIVE WARNINGS IT MAY WORK AGAINST YOU.
Warnings are dangerous threats. “If you ever do this again I’m going to …” Fill in the blank. Divorce you, kill you, kill myself. Whatever. Warnings are not a good idea, for many reasons.
You don’t want to end up in a marriage that is held together by threats and fear. That isn’t a happy situation to live in, for you or your spouse.
You want a marriage held together by love and honesty and trust. Those are the things you want to rebuild. So stay away from ultimatums.
And once you’ve made an ultimatum, you may feel obligated to go through with it if your spouse does cheat again.
Or if you don’t go through with the ultimatum, you may feel you have betrayed yourself and that next time your threats won’t be credible.
The healthy form of a warning or ultimatum is a boundary, and you should have some of those.
But when you do share them with your partner, it’s crucial that you stay calm and civil, as you don’t these boundaries or ultimatums to be seen as threats that will cause further conflict.
It may help to speak with a counselor or therapist first, on your own, before you discuss any such boundaries with your partner.
In some cases, it may also help to discuss them when a therapist or counselor present.
Another thing to beware of is promises. During a heated or emotional situation, you may hear your spouse beg you to do something. “If I stop this affair, will you please promise to never divorce me?” is a good example.
Don’t make unrealistic promises. No married person I’ve ever met can truly promise never to divorce someone. That’s not how human nature and marriage work.
Continue to let yourself feel what you feel. It may take years to recover fully from infidelity, or you may never completely recover.
You are likely to have some sort of post-traumatic stress over the situation. Be gentle with yourself and understand that this is normal.
A word about snooping and spying: Don’t.
A marriage doesn’t need a secret police type situation to keep it together.
And it isn’t your responsibility to keep your partner from cheating. It wasn’t your fault they cheated, no matter what you may sometimes feel. They made the choice, not you.
Just as it wasn’t your fault they cheated, it isn’t your job to keep them from cheating again. That’s their job. Of course, you are allowed to be honest with your spouse and to expect honesty in return from them.
But don’t get in the habit of snooping through their stuff, or reading their emails, or checking their phones, or following them.
That will just stress you out and make you into a very unhappy, unpleasant person to be around. It will lead to fighting and distrust.
If you feel scared or suspicious, remind yourself it’s OK to feel that way sometimes. It’s even OK to let your spouse know you feel that way.
But don’t tell them in an accusing way. Make it about you – “I’m feeling a bit scared this week, having bad dreams that you had another affair.”
That’s a lot different than saying, “Are you cheating on me again?” and a whole lot different than, “I think you’re cheating on me again!”
Keep the focus on yourself. You’re just telling your spouse about your emotions. You aren’t asking your spouse to fix your feelings. Say what you feel and then let go of it.
If you and your spouse build a foundation of honest communication as outlined at the start of this document, you have the best chance of moving forward happily.
Regular, honest communication – even a three or four minute daily “check in” – can really work wonders in keeping you connected with each other.
Bringing sex back into your relationship will take time. Don’t put any pressure on yourself to move too quickly. Take small steps towards greater physical intimacy – touching, hugging, cuddling.
Sex will happen when the time is right. Remember that “sex” is a whole spectrum of intimate activities, not just an athletic performance that ends in an orgasm. Be gentle with yourself and with each other.
I will stop here. I hope you’ve found this article on how to deal with a cheating spouse useful… and I hope you’ll never have to deal with infidelity in your marriage again!
Now before I stop I would love to recommend something special that will change your married life DRAMATICALLY for good.