It is quite devastating to find out that your spouse is cheating on you. But this is the type of reality that you are in right now, and you just need to accept this fact. The next steps that you will take can dictate the condition that your life will be in for the months and years to come, so you had better make the right decision to effectively cope with your spouse’s infidelity.
Take note of this list of the practical tips on how to handle this cheating situation in your marriage.
Revenge is Not An Option.
When people are duped, cheated on, or fooled, the first thing that comes to mind is always to take revenge or get even.
An article published on IFLScience talked about why revenge is so satisfying for any individual. A research paper was done on revenge and it showed that people want to get even to balance out the negative mood that they feel.
But the problem with getting revenge is that the satisfaction does not last that long. Yes, you can have vindication of some sort when you cheat on your cheating spouse. You may say to him, “Have a taste of your own medicine” or “See what it feels like to get cheated on.”
Yes, you will feel happy for a short time. But the fact of the matter is that revenge will not solve your problem. You still have your cheating spouse on one hand. And now you have your own conscience to deal with because you opted to have extramarital affairs yourself.
Don’t Tell Yourself That Nothing is Wrong.
Some husbands and wives worry too much about the effects of a cheating spouse on their social image, their kids, their employment, and their overall status. Because they do not want to feel the ridicule and the unwanted judgment due to the infidelity of their spouse, they just want to keep things secret and show everyone that nothing is wrong.
Fooling yourself and fooling everyone is not a good idea at all. First of all, you cannot keep this secret all your life. The anger and the hate will eventually slip in through your public treatment of each other. You will become suspicious of his every action and you will be more stressed and anxious.
You may look happy on the outside, but you are definitely hurting inside. Not facing your problems can even lead to depression. According to Healthline, some of the effects of depression are insomnia, lack of energy, loss of appetite, drug issues, and alcoholism.
Don’t Forget About Your Health.
Your mind may be full of complicated concerns right now – what should you do now, how should you treat him, where do we go from here. Thinking about your cheating spouse can take up much of your time and energy.
You have to keep in mind that it was your spouse who chose infidelity, not you. If someone needs to worry, it should be him and not you. Of course, you still need to think about your future, but you also must not forget about your physical health and emotional disposition.
Look at yourself in the mirror and see what has changed since you found out about the extramarital affair. Have you not taken a bath in days? Did you let yourself loose and eat everything to cope with your sadness? Have you forgotten that there are more people who think about you and worry about your condition?
After doing your self-evaluation, you must make a list of what to do to improve your physical and emotional health. You can stop eating junk food and go back to healthy snacks, fruits, and vegetables. An article in EverydayHealth.com said that having an unhealthy diet can actually affect your mood. Be wise and treat yourself better by eating nutritious and nourishing food.
Do Not Involve The Kids.
The future of the kids depends on your decision as a couple. But in your situation right now where you are just starting to accept and cope with a cheating spouse, you should not let your kids be affected by it.
They may ask questions about your relationship with your spouse. And they will eventually know about the infidelity. But it is your job to protect them from your personal problems. They do not have to feel the full force of the anxiety that the affair may cause your family. As much as you can, you must shield them from any worries that may be impressed on them.
Talk to Your Spouse.
A cheating spouse may be one of these things. One, he may be someone who stays and says sorry for what he did. Second, he can be the kind of cheating spouse who leaves you for a moment, lives with his new partner, gets hurt, realizes that he was wrong, and asks for your forgiveness. Third, he can be someone who does not return to you at all.
Whichever type of cheating spouse he is, you must talk to him. For the first type, you must make sure that he does not repeat the same mistake ever again. For the second type, you should ask him whether all the love and the emotions that he had in his affair are gone.
In the event that he does not return to you, a phone call or text should be done in order to have some closure in your relationship. You will also need to contact him if you want to file for divorce. Settling your assets and making decisions for kids still need to be discussed.
Ask for Help from Experts.
You must understand that counselors and marriage therapists exist for a reason. And that is to help you with relationship and marriage problems like infidelity. If you do not know what to do about your concern, the next best thing to do is ask these experts.
Marriage counselors have gone through their degree and attended a lot of trainings to give you appropriate advice on your relationship with your spouse. They also have been into numerous sessions with other couples who have been in the same situation that you are in. You can listen to what they have to say and see which ones to apply in your circumstance.
Move Forward Slowly.
You cannot just make impulsive decisions about your marriage because it was the trust and loyalty that was broken because of the infidelity. You should not immediately choose to leave and divorce your spouse. But you must also not instantly come into a conclusion to accept your spouse back.
Take things one step at a time. You do not have to rush into the next season of your life. Once you have calmed yourself and returned to a rational state of mind, you can then step back, assess yourself, observe your spouse, ask your most trusted family and friends, and then you can decide on what to do afterward.
Have an Outlet of Your Emotions.
Your deep emotions should not be kept inside. You must talk about the infidelity, release your emotions, and let them all out. How can you do this?
You can choose to have just one friend or family member whom you trust the most to share your thoughts and feelings about the extramarital affair. Do not hesitate in telling him or her about how you feel and what you think you need to do. A listening ear will go a long way. You can also deal with your situation better when someone is intently giving you their full attention.
If you are an introverted person, you can opt to have a diary or journal. You can write about what you are currently thinking and your next steps after the infidelity. Having a notebook for your thoughts can really help you recover from a lot of rollercoaster emotions.
Some people choose other outlets for their feelings. They may paint, write a song about it, or even create crafts. It is all up to you. As long as you can release the hatred and the anger that you have inside your heart, it will be a great way to cope.
Focus on The People Who Love You.
Because of the infidelity that happened, you may feel unloved. Your self-worth may well be hitting rock-bottom. But it should not stay this way. You still have your mom, your dad, your siblings, and your friends who love you and care for you.
You are surrounded by people who do not want to see you hurting and in pain. Instead of keeping your heart closed, open yourself to them and feel the love that they have for you.
Acceptance, communication, healing, and moving on – this is your path that leads to the complete 360- degree turnaround of your situation. Your marriage may not have been the way you expected it to be, but the events that happened should not make you regret the decisions that you made for yourself.
You still have your life ahead of you, and you can still choose to be happy. Look at the bright side, adapt to your environment, and continue adjusting to your circumstances.