It’s never an easy situation to deal with if you find out that your husband or partner is having an affair, whether it be locally or with someone else on the other side of the world through an online dating website. Here are some pointers which can help you get yourself back on your feet again.
Educate Yourself About The Affair
What is his connection with this woman or women? Are the conversations hot & steamy and packed thick with flattery? Or are they more intimate in nature?
If your man is sending hot and steamy messages, he’s probably using women to boost his ego and validate him as a virile man.
If your man is sending more intimate messages, more than likely he’s craving emotional intimacy and feels unloved inside.
Now that does not mean that you’re not appreciating him enough or aren’t showing him love. His feelings and reasons for going online have nothing to do with your worth as a woman and they never excuse his actions. A cheater’s reasons usually have to do with their self-image and/or inability to communicate emotional needs. Please don’t beat yourself up if your man cheats – he’s the cheater!
Put Up Your Personal Boundaries
Regardless of the type of affair your man is having, the first thing you have to do when your man cheats is put up your boundaries. You have to know what you will and won’t tolerate. You should be prepared to stop being emotionally and physically intimate with him until he stops the affair. If you aren’t prepared to kick him out, separtate or breakup, at least speak up and tell him that you are no longer going to be intimate with him until he stops the affair.
Tell him what you don’t want in a relationship; “I don’t want to be with a someone who has inappropriate conversations online with women”; “I don’t want to feel this pain because of a man who goes outside the relationship for validation and intimacy.”…
Be calm, direct, soft and honest when you speak with him. Take deep breaths and try as hard as you can to not to get hysterical, be an ice pick or act condescending. Talk to him like he’s a friend or a mature child who needs to understand how he has upset you and what you won’t accept from him.
This one is tough, but refrain from arguing, blaming, yelling, begging, pleading, making passive aggressive comments and li’l jabs (even if he gets defensive, acts clueless or becomes argumentative). In fact, express your boundaries and try to have no more contact than that. Hold back from engaging him. If he engages you in dialogues or even in loving physical touches, simply tell him again what you don’t want in your relationship and if he isn’t willing to talk about it or open up, leave the room.
If you have children in the house, remember that being a good parental team is still a must, but you don’t have to allow him to use the kids to make you show affection and intimacy to him in their presence. Be kind and polite and keep your children out of it but still stick with your boundaries.
Handling him in this manner allows both of you to cool down and process things. It will show him that you are very upset and are strong enough inside to do something about this problem and not let it continue behind your back. It also shows him that you are mature and know how to handle yourself without getting overly emotional.
If he does open up, listen to him and try to be proactive about the health of your relationship. Tell him you want to seek counseling. If he admits that he’s wrong and he apologizes, ask him why he does it. Welcome his honesty and try not to guilt-trip him; he may not even know why. If he has been having an emotional affair, ask him what he isn’t getting from you that he needs. Refrain from prying or defending yourself. If you feel too emotional, tell him politely that you have to end the conversation for now.
Wait a few days letting things process, and then ask him if he’d like to resume talking about things or would like to go to therapy together. If he says no, remain calm and accept his decline. Refrain from getting angry, pushing him to speak or crying to pull him close to you. Leave him be.
Take Your Life Back
It’s time you put the focus back on your life and your happiness. Afterall, you have to focus on what you can control– as much as you’d like to, you utlimately can’t control him. At a slow and easy pace, I want you to be kind with yourself and allow time for extra sleep and room for all your feelings to be felt. Be calm and still in your heart throughout your days. Remaining calm and still allows you to slow down enough to stop bottling your feelings and putting your anxiety into nonstop working and doing at the job and in the house. It’s important that you feel all your feelings right now and let them surface inside you. Whatever you feel: anger, sadness, loneliness… invite it all to emerge by not busying yourself too much.
Take time to do little things for yourself and pamper yourself when you can. His wrongdoing is a chance for you to get to know yourself better and spend more time having a love affair with yourself. Refrain from purchasing expensive jewelry, etc. on his credit card or vengeful acts like that, because as delicious as that sounds to your ego, it’s an act that’s more about him than you. And you are what counts right now– the you that’s separate from him.
When your man cheats, it can shatter your self-esteem in ways you may not even be aware of. Suddenly, you may be doubting your sex appeal or questioning your ability to be tender and loving. Because all these insecurities bubble-up, it’s best that you ‘unplug’ from him as much as you can (that also means no games, silent treatment, punishing him, ignoring him for results– just mental and physical disengagement) and take care of yourself best you can. The rest will work itself out over some time. You may feel confident enough to leave after a few weeks or months of taking your life back or he may respond well to this new dignified, heartfelt, ladylike you who doesn’t take any crap from a cheating man.
This article is for straight women involved with men who cheat, but I know that all different types of partners cheat– men and women, straight and gay. I’m not implying otherwise.
As Featured On: