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Married women need to understand that whether or not their husband cheats is out of their control. The most that they can do is to cultivate the relationship with their husband, be the best person that they can be and know how to handle themselves if an affair does happen.
Discovering your spouse’s infidelity can bring on a range of powerful emotions. Few people are equipped to deal with the heartache and devastation on their own. Seek out family and friends who can be supportive and nonjudgmental during this period. If you do not have a built-in support network, turn to your priest, minister or licensed therapist to help.
Talking about your feelings often helps to clarify the situation and put the affair into perspective. Before you can move on in whatever direction you choose to take, you must first fully understand that what happened is not your fault. In fact, it is possible that the affair had everything to do with your spouse and nothing at all to do with you.
Take Your Time
Acting in the heat of the moment often results in knee-jerk reactions that may not be in your best interests. On his website, celebrity therapist Dr. Phil advises, “Time heals nothing. It is what you do with the time that matters.” Although you may want to know every intimate detail of the affair, you need time to absorb what occurred in your marriage first. Postpone discussions with your husband about it until you feel that both of you can do it in a calm and constructive manner.
Give yourself the time to come to grips with the situation by taking a short trip or staying with friends or family for a few days. Whether you choose to stay with your husband or seek a divorce, approaching things as if preparing for battle is not healthy for you or your family.
In “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Perfect Marriage,” authors Hilary Rich and Helaina Kravatz advise, “Your marriage is now divided into the time before and the time after the affair.” After marital infidelity, many women start to idealize the time before the affair, and consider the time after the affair as tainted. Since you can never go back to the way it was and do not want it to be the way it is now, the only viable alternative is to start over.
You can leave the marriage and start over alone, or forge ahead in the relationship with your husband by redefining your marriage. Whatever path you choose, make sure to break with the past and ensure a completely fresh start in your new life.
Although it is in your best interest to take the time to decompress from the emotions after discovering infidelity in your marriage, you need to be smart and protect yourself financially. Seek the advice of a licensed attorney to advise you in your financial affairs with an eye towards possible separation or divorce. At this point, you do not want to find yourself with a wandering mate and empty bank account.