• Admit your guilt and express your sincere sorrow that you have betrayed her trust.
• Express your empathy in words and actions and body language
• Show her in every way possible that you did not comprehend the enormity of what you did
• Make a continual effort in words and deeds to prove to her that you will never cross that line again
• Listen to her, over and over again, as she expresses her intense emotional pain at being betrayed
• Explain to her how your emotional insecurity led you to seek someone else's flattery and approval
• Tell her how much you need her love and you long for her tender affection and forgiveness
• Insist that you will do everything you possibly can to make the marriage work
• Encourage her to join you in marriage counseling, sex therapy or an intensive group experience
• Open your heart to her, share your fears, your emotional fragility
• Above all, listen to her, listen to her, listen to her, and listen some more
• And whether or not she joins you in counseling, seek help for your own unresolved relationship and sexual issues
Cheating happens for many reasons. When we feel misunderstood, lonely, neglected or just bored, the affections of a new person can be most appealing. But there is a reason you chose to marry your wife. If you ever loved her, and you probably still do, the cheating may have just been a pastime and you may have believed that nobody would ever know about it.
Once your secret has been revealed, you may with all your heart just want to get your marriage back to the way it was. You may miss the trust and love you had received from your wife but perhaps had taken for granted. And now, your wife or beloved betrayed partner may not be able to forgive and forget. The end result may be that you have to split up. But once you have given it your all and followed these suggestions, you may not be able to repair the damage that has been done. However, you may be wiser now and maybe finally ready to commit to a new relationship without the desire and need for infidelity.
More from YourTango: Mirror, Mirror - Who is the Person I See?