Husband is Cheating? Your Cheat Sheet on How to Handle Infidelity
“My husband is cheating on me,” my girlfriend, Sally, laments in a plaintive, wailing voice that seems to reverberate in the back of my mind. Her tears are cascading down her cheeks like a waterfall with no end in sight. Her emotions are frayed.
There’s anger one moment, forgiveness the next. Self-righteous indignation follows, giving way to a lenient bent.
Adding to the mix of wavering feelings, there exists a sense of disbelief, heartache, uncertainty in the now and future, and critical self-blame.
Sadly, my girlfriend is not even certain that her husband is an adulterer.
Signs of Marital Treachery
Before writing a prescription for significant others who have been burnt, it’s crucial to know whether infidelity has even taken place.
In Sally’s situation, she is relying on three observations:
a) Sex is at an all-time low. He does not seem interested in sharing intimacy with her. He is giving more and more excuses to get out of the bedroom. For example, according to Sally, he claims that her snoring is getting worse, prompting him to seek a quieter setting.
b) Fighting is at an all-time high. Sally and her husband have been the quintessential love birds for over a decade. But in the last year, mutual trust and respect seems to have gone wayward, replaced by constant harping and disagreement.
According to Sally, their fights run the full gamut — from parenting to in-laws, from money to chores. Add pet peeves (like snoring) to the equation, and something does not add up.
c) His texting is out of control. Sally is flabbergasted by her husband’s preoccupation with his cell phone. It took her over a year to convince him to even get one.
Now he is texting like a highschooler with an uncontrollable crush. She constantly sees him texting, and he becomes very reticent and angry when questioned about the party who is receiving the texts.
To add to Sally’s suspicions, her husband has locked his phone with a password that he refuses to provide her. His assertion: She should have complete trust in him, and to question what he’s doing is tantamount to maligning his integrity.
Is Sally’s Husband Cheating? Circumstantial Evidence Only Presented
Thus far, Sally has not provided any definitive proof that her husband has betrayed her. But there’s the nagging intuition — that incessant voice within Sally that is serving as her husband’s jury and executioner.
When I mention about the inconclusiveness regarding her husband’s cheating ways, Sally asserts, “I just know!”
She adds that he is taking more interest in his appearance.
Besides a fondness for his cell phone, he is also online … a lot. “Why did he take the time to delete the history?” asks his understandably snooping wife.
He is also spending more and more time at work.
I ask: Could this be a midlife crisis, a longing for more freedom and independence, a cry for finding himself, or any other personal development quest?
Only Sally’s husband knows for sure, and he won’t be opening up to me, either.
Is it Worth the Time and Effort to Catch a Cheating Spouse?
Sally and similar-minded wives can answer this question for themselves. While I’m no detective, there are several common sense actions to potentially catch a duplicitous husband:
- Hire a real detective although that seems extreme.
- Install surveillance equipment — cameras can shine a light on the affair.
- Take more interest in his credit card expenditures and (ATM) receipts, and monitor the bank account more thoroughly than any accountant or money manager would.
- Check his gas mileage each day, and see if anything looks awry.
- Place a long-recording digital tape recorder under his car seat, and be privy to his personal conversations.
All these methods can detect infidelity, but it seems equally dishonest to resort to them.
Even if you catch your unfaithful fish, what is your long-term plan? Do you cast him aside or do you want to wait for calmer waters (i.e., when you’re in a better state of mind), and then try to improve, or at least salvage, the marriage?
You Have 3 Real Choices: Run for Cover, Stay and Ignore a Disintegrating Marriage, or Stay and Save Your Marriage
The second choice (i.e., maintain the miserable status quo) does not seem like a viable option. An unfulfilling marriage will undermine your personal happiness.
Yes, I realize millions of marriages stay intact for the wellbeing of the kids, but I always wonder whether this is best … even for the kids! The climate of the house is typically devoid of joy and bliss, and this has to have an adverse effect on children that see the bleak relationship all too clearly.
The first choice (i.e., dissolve the marriage) makes sense if the relationship is truly beyond repair. Here, both parties can’t envision any possible reconciliation even with the support of a marriage counselor.
The infidelity (real or imagined) may be too great of a strain for a relationship that is already in tatters. Bitterness, disappointment, disillusionment, rancor, and a host of other negative feelings undermine any possible rapprochement.
Those who are prone to holding grudges may also be better off calling it quits. Living in the past and holding on to anger is no recipe for a bright future.
Cutting losses may be more advantageous than incurring ongoing marital strife.
But if you’re like Sally, you’re not willing to wave the proverbial white flag. You want to mend the marriage, and put any infidelity (if it transpired in the first place) behind you.
Your First Act: Speak Honestly About Your Feelings
You’re certain your husband is cheating. This does not mean that you approach him in a hostile, take-no-prisoners manner.
Spouses will often deny infidelity — even in the face of concrete evidence! Moreover, if feeling cornered or emotionally threatened, a husband may recoil from his wife, right back in the arms of another.
It’s better to approach any heart-to-heart discussion with complete caution, treading as lightly as possible.
“But what do I say to my cheating husband?” you wonder.
Here, a wife who feels that her husband has been disloyal and dismissive can speak about her feelings as though she is looking for a mutually beneficial, joint resolution.
For example, Sally can mention that she is concerned about their present lack of closeness. She can ask her husband if he has noticed a wider emotional separation between them.
Once they have common ground, Sally can offer ideas on how to reignite the flames of passion, and recoup the mutual trust and respect that they once shared.
During the discussion, Sally can use a lot of “I feel” statements, including the bombshell that she feels he is having an affair. She need not even ask him if this is true.
If she confides her feelings to him in a sensitive, caring, and non-threatening manner, he is apt to give her a lot of information, sharing his perspective.
Once again, the goal is not to castrate the purported cheating husband; it’s not even getting him to admit to infidelity. The purpose is to renew their relationship, start from fresh footing, and end the deception and/or promiscuity.
The Lines of Communication are now Open — Ensure They Remain That Way
If open communication did not get compromised along the way, it’s possible that the infidelity would not have taken place. But we can’t go back; we can only move forward and learn from the mistakes of the past.
Open communication means telling the truth — expressing your feelings in a genuine manner. When asked about your feelings, relay what they really are. If your husband picks up on the fact that you’re upset, for example, and asks you about your mood, don’t answer with a curt, “I’m fine.” Respond authentically and tactfully and explain why you’re upset.
Conversely, if you sense that he is rattled, take interest and ask questions to figure out what is going on. Your goal is to be a sensitive, compassionate listener while you attempt to support him in his time of need.
Spend ample time with each other as well. I realize schedules are so frenetic, but it’s so important for a couple to unwind … and just get lost in conversation.
Dinner time is the ideal time to convey the important details of our days. Shut off the TV, put the cell phones away, take the receiver off the phone, and dedicate this time to your significant other.
If your on different schedules, carve out some time in the day or night. Perhaps the last half hour before bed can be allocated towards (re)connecting with a loved one.
Manifest all the good manners you had during courtship. Smile, don’t interrupt, use a hefty dose of amenities, such as “Please” and “Thank You,” and ask your husband when it will be a convenient time for him to do X, Y, and Z.
And while you’re minding your “P’s and Q’s” and other beneficial modes of verbal communication, you’re also minding your non-verbal communication. How do you look at him, what is your body stance like (e.g., open or closed communication), and do you reflect acceptance or disapproval in your gestures?
Please don’t read too deeply into my suggestions. I don’t mean to say that you have the sole responsibility in making the marriage work. It takes 2, but it can begin with you!
7 Quick Tips to Curb his Cheating Heart
You must know that there is no foolproof way to guarantee that the tips presented here, or anywhere, will make your husband’s cheating subside. But the following recommendations will give your marriage a fighting chance, and perhaps that is the best we can hope for now.
- Add even more romance to your life. It does not even have to be all about the sex act. It can be a simple love note, a sensual massage, a warm embrace, holding hands, dressing in a provocative manner, snuggling up together, … anything that can stir feelings of pleasure, contentment, and excitement.
- Praise your partner as much as possible. Look for those times where he provides support to you, helps you around the house, or plays the role of super dad. Commend him for his positive traits and attributes.
- Tell your partner, as imperfect as he is, that you love him. Then be congruent with your actions and show him that you love him. Cover him with a blanket when he is cold. Serve him breakfast on a Sunday morning. Buy a special “thinking of you” gift.
- Laugh with your partner. Share a funny anecdote, watch a comedy together, find the humor in this crazy life and banter with your husband. Sharing joy is a bonding experience.
- Go on special dates at least intermittently. Family outings are terrific, but the time can even be more invaluable if it’s just you and your hubby. All it takes is dinner and a movie, once in a while, to keep your personal connection strong.
- Make your relationship a priority. You have many important relationships in your life, but this one is too significant for you to go through the motions. You’re showing appreciation for him, spending time with him, ensuring his needs are met, and doing your best to make him feel better about your relationship dynamic.
- It may be counterintuitive, but you’re going to be less controlling. Your husband may have cheated in the past, but holding the reins too tight may cause him to buckle and go towards a relationship where he feels there are no strings attached.
Bonus Tip: You’re going to strive towards your personal best. I’m not just referring to your appearance. You’re going to be more adventurous, fun-loving, curious, and provocative.
These tips should make your relationship stronger and more satisfying, but I want you to keep the following in mind:
You are not Responsible for his Cheating — Ultimately, he makes his own decisions. You can only do your best to try to be the kind of partner you want him to be for you.
Even though I’ve given suggestions on how to improve a marriage, I don’t mean to imply that you possess intrinsic faults that must be corrected to keep him from roving.
Women often take the blame for their philandering husbands. But self-reproach is unnecessary and unwarranted.
It’s not that you’re not good enough; it’s just that your husband doesn’t realize the remarkable woman he has at home.
Men Should Implement the Same Tips I’ve Outlined-You deserve the same type of loyal, loving treatment.
A strong woman, imbued with confidence and high self-regard, is attractive to most men. There is always give and take in a relationship, and the wife and husband should experience both roles.
Now you have some ideas on how to deal with a cheating husband. You don’t have to lose the “marriage game” even if he cheats first.
Cheating, fighting, and anger can soon transform into a permanent, authentic, and loving connection. More than your wish or dream, cheating can give way to monogamy!
Here are three resources that may prove instrumental in helping you to build common fences and mend your marriage.
Please note that I may make a modest commission if you purchase any.
I candidly and ethically provide this disclosure, confident that the affordable, yet effective materials I endorse can make a radical, positive change in your relationship if you implement the strategies and methods provided.
Please review by clicking on the titles of the programs:
a) Mend the Marriage — Marriage guru, Brad Browning, reveals his secrets to saving a marriage, even if your husband has cheated before.
b) Monogamy Method — Prominent relationship coaches, Jason Rogers and Samantha Sanderson, offer their prescription on how to get a man to fully commit to you.
c) Secrets Men Don’t Want Women to Know — Michael Fiore, internationally known relationship expert, helps women to better communicate and bond with husbands.
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