This isn't going to be easy, but no one ever said marriage was.
He cheated and now you know the truth. What are you going to do? You wanted to believe him, to trust that he was faithful, to forgive him for neglecting you, letting you down, and disappointing you because you felt his intentions were true.
You thought if you gave him some time and space that your relationship would improve and feel good again. You even rationalized that if he lied, you might get angry but could forgive and forget.
What a shock it must have been for you to discover that he lied to you and your suspicions about his infidelity were real. It hurt to finally understand that all your emotional turmoil was not because you are insecure, inadequate or paranoid; something didn't feel right and your gut was telling you so. Now you are faced with your own real-life dilemma.
Should you continue working toward improving your marriage or should you just let go and move on? How do you get back those loving feelings and a sense of security and trust after finding full evidence that your partner cheated on you?
What can he possibly say or do to gain back your sense of trust and loving adoration of him? What would it take for you to believe his words of praise and love for you? What must happen for you to once again feel like a beautiful, sexy and desirable woman, loved and cherished by her man for the rest of your life?
You are probably asking yourself so many questions that your mind is flooded with thoughts. Was our marriage boring, uninteresting and monotonous? What does this other woman have that I don't? Is she more beautiful, worldy, or sophisticated? Is she a better lover? Does she stand up to him more or act vulnerable and innocent? What has she done to win his heart, lust and desire?
If you didn't immediately thrown your husband out of the house or insist that he pack up and leave, then you will probably experience a living nightmare for the next few weeks, months or even years. Sometimes, the painful war-like connection remains indefinitely with nobody actually filing for divorce. Sometimes, the jealousy and rage from a cheating husband seem to peak and fall, always lurking in the background about to explode.
So what can a reasonable woman do once her beloved spouse has crossed the line of infidelity? She has discovered the truth and both cannot turn back the clock. Here are the steps that are required without any guarantee of positive results.
- Expect him to admit guilt and express sincere sorrow that he betrayed you.
- Express your hurt, anger and rage, preferably only in words and body language.
- Insist he lets you know that he DOES fully comprehend the enormity of what he did.
- Demand that he make a continual effort in words and deeds to prove he will never cross that line again.
- Make him listen to you, over and over again, expressing your intense emotional pain from his betrayal.
- Develop some empathy for his emotional insecurity that led him to seek another woman's approval.
- Tell him how much you need to be loved and feel safe enough to let go.
- Insist that he agrees to do everything possible to restore the emotional wellness of your marriage.
- Encourage him to join you in marriage counseling, sex therapy, or an intensive group experience.
- Help him open his heart to you, and share with you his fears and his emotional fragility.
- Above all, get him to listen to you, listen to you, listen to you until you know he hears you.
- And whether or not he joins you in counseling, seek help for your own unresolved relationship and sexual issues.
After all is said and done — after you've talked about everything and rehashed that you want to try again — in the end you may never be able to fully forgive and forget. You may choose to let it slide and remain connected, always feeling a bit on guard, wondering when he will hurt you again. Or you may decide it is best for you to split up and give yourself the opportunity to meet someone new.
Breaking up is not always the best solution. You may really get your relationship to work out and come to a new understanding.
After following these suggestions and finding some new ways to stay together, you may feel both of you are ready to recreate the love and passion in your marriage, no longer fearing he will cheat. Sometimes, love does prevail.