10 Things You Need to Know If Your Husband Cheats on You
I'm not going to give you a solution to your problems. There is no right or wrong solution to this kind of betrayal and pain.
What I want to do is empower you because right now you're probably feeling emotionally destroyed and helpless. But you are strong, you are amazing, and you are beautiful, and there are some things you need to know to get through this painful event in your life.
1. It Is Not Your Fault
Everyone is going to try to blame you for your husband cheating on you. Your husband will blame you for not meeting his needs. Friends might blame you because the marriage "must have not been happy" for him to step out on you like that or you "should have seen the signs." Terrible marriage counselors might try to force you to take some or all of the blame and whenever you try to go to marriage counseling, you are always going to run into some bad marriage counselors.
You are not to blame for somebody else's actions. This is not your fault.
Do not listen to anyone who would tell you this lie. It doesn't matter what you did and didn't do. How people cope with certain situations is up to them, even if you were treating them horribly and being the worst wife alive, they could have left you, they didn't have to cheat on you. They chose to make this immoral mistake because of who they are as a person. They likely would have done this even if you were perfect to them.
People will blame you because we live in a culture of victim blaming. People think they have everything figured out, including your situation. It gives them comfort because if they have everything figured out then bad things won't ever happen to them. They don't know what they are talking about and you don't need those people in your life.
2. You Are Valuable
Your self-esteem has been destroyed. Your husband chose to satisfy himself with someone other than you. It's impossible not to take that personally, even if you know it's his own immorality that made him do this.
You wonder,"What did I do? Why was I not good enough?"
You probably cry and rage in a variety of humiliating ways, especially the worse the infidelity was and the less remorseful your spouse is for cheating.
But you are the valuable one in the relationship because you were the faithful one. As you now know, that kind of loyalty and trustworthiness is rare. You were more than good enough for your husband, he just wasn't good enough for you.
Don't let him or anyone else try to twist it, whether you guys work it out or not. You're a good person. You are valuable to a lot of people and will be valuable to more people in the future. The fact that he couldn't appreciate you doesn't take away from your value in the world.
3. You Will Be Loved in the Future
Whether it's by this husband or other people, you will be loved in the future in a variety of different ways. Romantically and not romantically.
When you're married you tend to feel settled down. That this is it. You chose this person and you don't want to be with anyone else, so when all that gets thrown up in the air, there's a world of hurt and the fear of the unknown.
You had your future all figured out, now you know nothing. Whether you stay or go (whether they leave you or not), you can't be sure what is going to happen and that is terrifying.
But you're never too old to find love. People in nursing homes fall in love and get into romantic relationships all the time. Your self-esteem has been damaged and you feel all alone, that's why you might be doubting whether you'll ever be loved again, but it will happen. It just takes time to find your new path in life and to experience new, beautiful things.
4. You Will Be Happy Again Someday
It might not feel like it now. It might feel like this is the worst thing that ever happened to you and in a lot of ways it is. You're at rock bottom. The person that you thought loved you most, the person you felt most safe with, has betrayed you in the worst way possible.
But life has a way of rewarding us that get through it. It has a way of taking something unfair that happened to us and making something beautiful out of it. The more someone hurts us, the more we are made perfect through pain.
You will be happy someday because you were innocent in all of this. People who mess up have to forever live in the consequences of their actions.
5. You Can't Make Someone Love You...
It takes two people to make a marriage work, but only one to end it.
You can't make your husband love you. You couldn't make him not cheat on you. You can't fix it now. Either your husband will fix it or you will move on.
It's the scariest thing about love. One must give it to you of their own free will and sometimes that means they'll abandon you, but it's better to accept this sooner rather than later and not try to hold onto someone who refuses to hold onto you.
6. ...But You Are in a Better Place Than Anyone Who Rejects You
Whatever reason your husband has for cheating on you, the truth is he did it because he has a defect in some way. He has something wrong with him that prevents him from truly loving someone and truly committing to them long term.
The good news is that you don't.
So even if you two move on, even if he finds love elsewhere, you are in a better place than he is. Because he used a bandaid, having an affair, to try to deal with his emotional problems, while you, if you're reading this article, are facing everything you are going through head on.
This means that you are healthy enough to someday be able to move on and fall in love again, but he's going to have a lifetime of failed relationships if he keeps using these kinds of bandaids and never learns how to change. If he leaves you, it's likely he hasn't learned from his mistakes.
7. Revenge Won't Make It Better...
You want to hurt someone the way they hurt you, so they can feel your pain. You want to make them suffer, to right the wrongs of the world.
But nothing can take away what happened to you. It still happened and it still hurts. Sometimes hurting the other person drives them away further instead of making them take everything back. It makes them feel more justified with what they've done.
In the end, revenge hurts you as much as the other person. It gives you regrets, makes you seem less innocent. It's a temporary reaction to a long lasting pain. It fixes nothing.
8. ...But Respecting Your Feelings Will
This situation makes you feel helpless, but you are not helpless.
You have a lot of strong feelings, a lot of pain to work through. This is a time when you need to take care of yourself and respect yourself. You deserve love and care. Show yourself the love and care your husband failed to give you. Allow yourself to splurge on something special and explore your interests and passions in life.
The pain won't go away immediately, but over time you'll feel like a more complete person.
9. It's Okay and Necessary to Seek Help
Painful times like these can't be suffered alone. It may be humiliating telling people you love what happened out of fear of judgement, it may be scary to visit a counselor, but those feelings are going to come out some way. It's through relationships with other people that we are able to heal and gain perspective. There are more relationships out there and more people who are willing to be there for you than just romantic relationships and love interests.
Even if you don't have friends or people you can turn to right now, go out and make some. Use websites like meetup.com to go to social groups and make friends. Going out will distract you and give meaning to your days.
10. You Don't Have to Put Up With or Forgive Anything
No matter what your husband makes you think or feel, you don't have to put up with or forgive anything. People will try to pressure you to do this, but you need to take the time to grieve. This means your feelings will be all around the place, you'll be feeling anger, depression, denial, desperation, and more.
It's okay to feel those things. It's natural to be in this much pain and it's also natural to establish boundaries at this point.
Your husband broke all your boundaries, the boundaries established in your wedding vows when he cheated on you. So if he's begging for you back, you set the rules. Don't allow him to set the rules. He forced this situation on you and if he's going to get back in your good graces, then it's on your terms. And if he's not begging for you back, you don't have to be cooperative. You don't have to love the new woman. You don't have to be okay with any of this. You didn't ask for it.
Respect yourself, respect your boundaries, respect your pain, and don't put up with anyone who tells you otherwise.