BEING cheated on is awful and only a few lucky women have husbands who have always been honest. Reality of being cheated on has struck so hard that now most people have subscribed to the idea that “all men cheat, but real men play it safe all the time.” Discovering that your husband is cheating is no longer a juicy story, but how you handle the issue is the important part.
Thanks to technology the world has been turned into a small community. This other day when I was following comments in a certain social group whose members are scattered all over the world, I realised that if there is one thing common for all women, its living with cheating husbands. Though on public forums, some will want to give the impression that the minute you discover that your partner is cheating, it means the end. In reality, that’s not true. Just check around you, how many women do you know that have discovered their husbands’ cheating escapades and are still together?
So truth be told, not every woman will rush to leave her relationship in the face of infidelity. This is especially true when the husband is remorseful and appear motivated not to be unfaithful again in the future. Some will say once a cheater always a cheater, but its not true. It is always wise to give your relationship a second chance and there are many reasons why some women choose to stay. It is not easy to give up on your family just like that, sometimes, wives want to keep the family together for the children. Others stay for financial reasons or due to the fear of being alone. It is not uncommon for wives who have been married for many years to believe it is short-sighted to leave without at least trying to repair things.
A relationship will never be the same after infidelity because cheating changes the way you relate intimately. It always crosses one’s mind what he was doing with the other woman while you become intimate and this spoils the mood and ultimately your relationship. Recovering from infidelity is a difficult thing. Your ego has been bruised, you feel inadequate as a wife and as a woman. Your sense of trust has been broken. Your partner feels like a stranger who has lied to you for many, many years. You don’t know what to believe about the past and, almost certainly, what to believe about present. As a result of this betrayal, you may also become hyper-vigilant and suspicious. Things become worrisome that once weren’t. You do a lot of snooping. You feel like you can no longer trust your inner voice. It once told you that everything was okay when, in fact, it wasn’t. The world no longer feels safe and secure.
Every woman is eager to know why her man cheated on her. But honestly, there are many reasons to this and never waste your time trying to get an answer because it gets more complicated. All we know is that they cheat for different reasons. Some its for sexual variety. If his current partner is not adventurous in bed, he may “shop” around. For others its due to a mid-life crisis, they stray to boost their ego. Then others claim they feel emotionally alienated from their partners resulting in them falling for someone who “understands” them better. Some men just enjoy the chase. But they always try and get reasons to justify their behaviour.
The important thing is managing yourself and taking the right steps to put your relationship back on the road to recovery. Never make the mistake of blaming yourself for your man’s cheating. It’s about him and what he has done. If he had serious problems, he could have used the same energy to solve your problems, not chasing after another woman. The minute you decide to give your relationship another chance, try to rebuild the trust. The saying goes, “it takes years to build trust, but a second to break it”. Trust is earned and he’s got to show you that he can be trusted.
He will have to work hard on it, but you must also pull your weight and recognise his efforts. Work together to rebuild your relationship.
Don’t get personal and attack your partner’s character. This is about his behaviour. Don’t try to change him, he needs to change his behaviour.
Come to a decision or an agreement on how to proceed from now on and what should be done if it happens again. Don’t say, “if it happens again I’m leaving”, rather discuss the options with your partner and have a mutual understanding of what the consequences will be if it happens again.
Set up a time for disclosure with your husband
Arrange time for you and your husband to sit down so you can ask any questions that you need to have answered about the history and scope of his behaviour. You probably have so many questions. It is important to take time and think them all through. It is important to get answers from him, but never ask their sexual escapades which might get to disturb you and become difficult to erase in your mind. The only way that you can fully recover from this betrayal is for your husband to be committed to stopping this behaviour going forward and be willing to come clean and tell you everything you want to know. But it is important that you be in charge of determining what you need to know. For some, a lot of information is helpful. For others, it leads to rumination and intrusive memories. You must decide what is best for you. If you don’t know what is right, take it slow. Remember, you can’t un-ring a bell.
Following the disclosure, set a rule with your husband that you are entitled to ask about his whereabouts and proof of them at any time.
Although it is not healthy for you to make a full-time job of monitoring your husband (and won’t do any good as of way of controlling his behaviour), there will be times when life presents a circumstance where you will be uncertain of his truthfulness.
Your husband has to understand that your trust has been shattered and the only way to rebuild it is to have incidents where red flags are raised, even if they are nothing more than false alarms. This goes a long way in recalibrating your nervous system so that you realise you can feel uncomfortable but your husband can still be telling the truth. Trust will strengthen after a long string of these affirming incidents occur.
Require that your husband clean up his mess
Your husband needs to terminate contact with all people, sites, services and apps that are connected to his cheating behaviour. Don’t hesitate to have him show you that he has completed his tasks or terminations. You can even ask him to end things in front of you.
You and your husband should both get tested for STDs. No matter what he says, your health has been placed at risk and you will get peace when you both go for tests. Don’t only rely on just him getting tested. Get yourself tested for everything as well.