I recently received an email from a woman who just wasn’t sure what to do in her marriage and in her life. She had recently caught her husband cheating. It took a while for everything to come out in the open and for her to get a handle on what the true situation really was.
But, as the truth began to come out, so too, did her husband’s apologies, pleas for forgiveness, and promises that he was going to make it up to her. After weeks of soul searching, she decided that she did not want to abandon the life that she had worked so hard to build. So, she decided to take him back into the home and into her life.
But, once this decision was made and he had moved back in, they both sort of stared at each other in confusion. The awkwardness was very evident and the anger kept bubbling right underneath the surface. She kept asking me “where do we go from here? I have no idea where to start.” I’ll share with you some of the advice I gave her in the following article.
How To Start Healing After The Cheating: First off, you will have a much easier time with this if you accept that it is a process that is going to take time. There will be some days where you feel some improvement and there will be some days when you seem to regress and to struggle with the anger that has returned clear out of the blue. I know that this will feel frustrating, but it’s just how it is. It’s absolutely normal and it will eventually start to abate and to get better.
Because of this swinging back and forth, there may be a tendency to try to gloss over things or to stop talking. Some people will attempt to pretend that things are fine when they really aren’t. And some people either turn their anger and frustration inward or they will let it spew, full force, toward their spouse. These extremes, while hurtful and frustrating, are also quite normal. But, they do nothing to propel you forward, so it’s important to allow yourself to fully experience everything, but to also try to keep an eye toward where you ultimately want to go.
In order to not remain in a sort of negative holding pattern that never gets better, you will have to open up the communication even if this is unpleasant and awkward sometimes. It’s absolutely vital that you both understand exactly why this happened. If you don’t, you’ll always misplace the blame, live in fear that it will happen again, and not be able to shed the baggage that means you go move on in a healthy and meaningful way. This is sometimes easier said than done because your husband may truly not know why he did this. It may take a little while before this is released and comes out. But it’s important to ensure that it does. You will need to know so that the both of you can put some safeguards in place to ensure that you don’t have to live in fear of it happening again in the future.
With that said, you should not allow for him to fling the blame onto you. Sure, every marriage can use improvement and most spouses leave themselves vulnerable in some way.
This is just human nature. But, that’s no excuse to be unfaithful. There are many other alternatives to cheating. He could’ve talked to you, sought out counseling, or removed himself from the situation. So, his telling you why this happened should not be a green light for him to put the blame on you. Yes, you both need to understand why this happened, but that doesn’t mean that, no matter why he did it, that he’s not fully responsible. And, in truth, even if he can not see this, men often cheat because they feel bad about themselves in some way. It often has much more to do with what is wrong with them than with what is wrong with you.
Building Yourself, And Your Marriage, Back Up So That Some Good Comes Out Of This: Let’s face it. Life is probably not all that much fun right now. You probably can not yet see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s very important that you are conscious of making something good out of this unfortunate situation. Use this as a springboard to cut out the things that just aren’t working for you. Only accept things that strengthen rather than weakening you. Work on restoring your self esteem and self worth. Take the liberty to do the things that you’ve always wanted to do. This is your life. You deserve to be happy and to enjoy it. Take those trips you’ve been putting off. Take up that hobby that you’ve always meant to get started. You deserve this. Taking these chances will often bring the two of you closer together and will bring back a sense of anticipation and lightheartedness into your life.
Because here’s the secret of the whole thing. Once you rebuild your life to a place where it was better than it ever was before, what you are going through now will almost seem to have been worth it. Because you may not have ever gotten what you really wanted, deep down, if this didn’t propel you toward it.
I understand that you might feel that things will never get better. But, keep moving forward, and they really can. Although I never would’ve believed this two years ago, my marriage is stronger than ever after my husband’s affair. It took a lot of work, and I had to play the game to win, but it was worth it. Because of all the work I did on myself, my self esteem is at an all time high. I know longer worry my husband will cheat again. You can read a very personal story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com/
Katie Lersch writes articles about moving past an affair. Her corresponding blog is at http://surviving-the-affair.com/