You Cheated, She Found Out — Now What?

Twelve simple steps that just might win her back.

Husband calling wife after he cheated, and she found out Dean Drobot | Canva

You got yourself into a situation that felt great at first but started to eat at you. The other person seemed so appealing, so exciting, so understanding, and so different from your wife or long-term partner. This other person played up to you, flattered your faltering ego, and provided the hot physical intimacy you had been craving but not receiving at home.

You thought you were so cool and could have your cake and eat it too. You thought you had covered your tracks so well and that your wife would never find out. And you even rationalized that if she did know, she loves you so much she would get angry for a while and then just easily forgive and forget.


All those little lies become bigger and bigger and have you tied up in knots. 

How do you get your wife back after you've cheated? 

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What a shock it must have been for you to discover that your wife is smarter than you thought, more sensitive than you imagined, and capable of a rage and distance you never thought possible. Suddenly, your wife has come out of hiding and revealed to you the passionate and emotional woman you didn't know was there. And just when you begin to feel that passion returns toward your wife, she is half out the door or sending you flying with your suitcase in hand.


 What can you possibly say or do to gain back the love trust and puppy-eyed adoration of this woman whose hand you took in marriage? What would it take for her to be able to re-establish a sense that she is okay, that she is a beautiful, sexy, and desirable woman, and that you will love and cherish her for the rest of your life?

If you chose to have an affair with another person because your marriage had become boring, uninteresting, and monotonous, then perhaps you have chosen the right path. Because of this one action, whether your infidelity happened only one night or over a series of months or years, you have created a situation in which your marriage will no longer be monotonous and dull.

He cheated, she found out and is walking away NDAB Creativity via Shutterstock


If your wife does not immediately throw you out of the house or insist that you pack up and leave, then you will probably be experiencing a living nightmare for the next few weeks, months, or even years. Sometimes the painful war-like connection remains indefinitely with nobody filing for divorce. Sometimes the jealousy and rage seem to peak and fall, always lurking in the background about to explode.

So, what can a reasonable man do once he has crossed the line of infidelity, his wife has discovered the truth, and he cannot turn back the clock?

RELATED: How To Know If Your Relationship Can Go Back To Normal After Cheating

12 steps to getting your wife back — without any guarantee of positive results

  1. Admit your guilt and express your sincere sorrow that you have betrayed her trust.
  2. Express your empathy in words and actions and body language
  3. Show her in every way possible that you did not comprehend the enormity of what you did
  4. Make a continual effort in words and deeds to prove to her that you will never cross that line again
  5. Listen to her, over and over again, as she expresses her intense emotional pain at being betrayed
  6. Explain to her how your emotional insecurity led you to seek someone else's flattery and approval
  7. Tell her how much you need her love and you long for her tender affection and forgiveness
  8. Insist that you will do everything you possibly can to make the marriage work
  9. Encourage her to join you in marriage counseling, sex therapy, or an intensive group experience
  10. Open your heart to her, share your fears, your emotional fragility
  11. Above all, listen to her, listen to her, listen to her, and listen some more
  12. And whether or not she joins you in counseling, seek help for your unresolved relationship and sexual issues

RELATED: 12 Tough Things You Must Do When Your Husband Cheats


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 it for granted. And now, your spouse or beloved betrayed partner may not be able to forgive and forget.

She can't decide what to do after she found out he cheated Wayhome Studio via Shutterstock


The 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.

RELATED: How To Bring Butterflies Back To Your Long-Term Relationship

Erica Goodstone, Ph.D., is a psychotherapist, marriage counselor, certified sex therapist, somatic body psychotherapist, and board certified life, health and wellness coach.