When we get married and are connected to an individual more than we ever thought possible, the depth of those emotions are indescribable. So imagine the whiplash a woman or anyone for that matter might feel when they discover or strongly suspect that their husband….the love of their life…is cheating on them.
In a women’s mind’s eye, a cheating husband is one of the worst living nightmares that an individual can experience. When a husband cheats such as in an emotional affair or an outright betrayal both emotionally and physically, the devastating feeling of rejection, loss of trust, coupled with a flood of other emotions such as bewilderment, anger, confusion, and depression can send the marriage spiraling.
Before I forget, I recently wrote about how to save you marriage if your spouse cheated on you. So make a note to come back to this article as it is full of gems if you are of the mind to salvage the marriage.
This is what happened with Celia when she reached out to me to tell the story of her’s husband’s betrayal. Here is an excerpt that Celia agreed I could share, though I have changed the names and some other details due to privacy concerns.
Celia’s Story of Being Cheated on by her Husband
“I still can’t believe that Don did this. We have been married for 5 years and I thought everything was going pretty well. He was caring and and attentive and I always felt that our sex life was good. Later as I discovered, he thought that our sex was very average and that revelation from him crushed me as much as the knowledge that he outright cheated on me. I didn’t think learning such a thing could hurt so much and I remember feeling like I had been suckered punch. That is how much it hurts when the guy you live with day in and day out finally reveals he has been seeing another woman. I don’t think he has been completely truthful because I quizzed him about when this thing got started. He claimed that is has only been going on a few months but as I look back at his behavior I think he got mixed up with this work “friend”, so he says, much earlier. I feel utterly betrayed. I can’t believe it still. I don’t want to even know anything about this other woman and don’t even know how to process what to think or what to do. With every minute I move from being angry to sad, then back and forth.”
So let’s say this has happened to you. What should you do about it? How do you escape the agony of a cheating husband.
Or what if you husband is having an emotional affair? Well, I covered this in this article….
Or let’s say the cheating happened in the distant past.
Or let’s say you are suspicious that your husband may be cheating on you.
What should one expect and how does one handle a betraying spouse?
Well, I have to admit this is an incredibly difficult situation. The aftermath period…..that time that follows the revelation from your husband that he has been unfaithful….can last several days to several weeks. And unfortunately, the pain of such a revelation is not something you will ever completely forget. In a way, the pain of your husband’s decision to stray will be so seared into your mind, that telling you that “let time run its course” or “put it behind you” or “leave your lying, good for nothing husband” hardly works in the long run. Perhaps in the short run it satisfied the need to lash out and escape. But what we seek here are longer term solutions in dealing with the pain of betrayal.
So soaking in such advice may give you some relief for a few minutes or hours, but it does not necessarily change the fact that your husband’s deceit and unfaithful ways may very well be an uncharted, emotional territory that you have not faced before. That makes it more difficult in some ways because you may think that “all has ended” and that every bit of hate you can muster up and point your husband’s way is very much deserving. But when you are trying to recover from the actions of a cheater, it is best not to live in the world of hateful thoughts.
So let’s get that cleared up before we proceed further. After all, that is the title of this post. It is the question you may be bouncing around in your mind. You may be pressed to think that the more you can direct your hate at your spouse, then the better you will feel. But actually, it will make you feel worse because hate is a “consuming emotion” .
Hateful feelings and bad and ugly thoughts toward your cheating husband….possibly the father of your children…the guy who was suppose to be the love of your life….thinking this way will serve to consume you with self destructive feelings that can eventually turn on yourself.
It takes a tremendous amount of negative energy to direct hate at another. And when you commit yourself to that endeavor, then you are allowing yourself to sink to an emotional level that will eventually lay waste to what is left of the marriage.
Oh yes, let’s get back to that. While I am not advocating that your husband, who has been cheating on you, deserves a free pass or even deserving of enjoying your company. After all, your man has used terrible judgement in betraying his vows and clearly is exhibiting selfish, self centered behaviors. What I am saying is that when all the dust settles….and yes that will likely take weeks…you may have a somewhat different frame of mind about what you want.
You may want him back or you may not. But during the aftermath period, following the revelation that your husband is a cheater, hate and deep resentment will rule the roost if you are not careful. And again….those kinds of feelings, if left completely unbridled, will just make things worse.
So try and keep that in mind if possible during this pivotal aftermath period. Somebody needs to lead. Your husband was obviously not the grownup in this situation. After all he did not have even enough control and respect for you to avoid the temptations of breaking his vows.
He cheated on you. You did nothing wrong to deserve that. Sure, no marriage is perfect and perhaps there are things both husband and wife need to work on. But my tolerance for cheaters is very, very low.
And while your husband may fall in the pitiful group of guys who may state that the “sex was not good enough” or that “we have been growing apart” or “I don’t know how it happened”, or “it really doesn’t mean anything” or “I still love you and have ended the other relationship”…..the fact remains such statements do not reverse the fact that they cheated and you did absolutely nothing wrong to be in the position you are in now.
So if you have even a flicker of a thought that you may be somewhat responsible…..that maybe “you did not please him enough” or that “you are not a good enough lover” or that “you are unattractive” or any of these bull crap thoughts….please toss them out because the truth is that your husband is far from perfect. After all, you kept your vows….you did not betray your husband. He is the one that let you down.
There is clearly much to talk about when it comes to this topic and unfortunately I can’t cover it all here in the article. But I will write other posts that will explore some of the actions you can take to recover and what the future might hold for you after you discover your husband has betrayed and cheated on you.
The big takeaway I want you to leave with is that let go of any hateful feelings that will most certainly arise during the aftermath of you learning of your husband’s affair. Trying going physical to rid these inner demons. Exercise these demons with a robust workout to rid yourself of the heavy, negative energy. Go on run or a long walk or bike ride. Join an exercise class. Take up yoga to balance both exercise and some peace of mind.
If you are not careful, hate will consume you and make you feel even worse about the situation and yourself. And whatever thoughts that might be running around in your mind, delete those that might suggest you did anything wrong or that you are at fault in any way. In my book, you are the person that kept the trust.