Here are five pieces of advice from women whose husbands betrayed them by cheating – some wives left their husbands, and others stayed to work on their marriage.
“My husband cheated on me quite a few years ago and it still hurts,” says K. “My advice is for men who cheated on their wives: tell everything that happened and act like you mean it. Do really nice things for her. Don’t forget that she will have good and bad days. It will probably take a long time for her to get over the fact that you cheated. Have patience and let her talk about it, get her true feelings out.”
I think the answers to many of life’s problems – even cheating husbands – can be found in books! Surviving Infidelity: Making Decisions, Recovering from the Pain will help you decide what to do when your husband betrayed you in the worst possible way.
And, here are a few insights and words of wisdom from women whose men betrayed them, either physically or emotionally…
Advice From Wives Whose Husbands Cheated
Here’s the rest of K’s advice for husbands who betrayed their wives by having affairs:
“Go to marriage counseling. Don’t forget how much you hurt her. To this day I don’t think my husband knows how much he hurt me when he cheated on me. We were married about 25 years when this happened and are still married, but it’s never been the same. My husband never really said what happened – just that he was sorry.” ~ K.
Recovering from a long-term affair may be more difficult than an online betrayal, or a one-night fling. Different women cope with cheating husbands in different ways, but one thing is the same: the pain of being betrayed.
Don’t expect to bounce back overnight – forgiveness is a process
“It has been a year since I found out the betrayal of my husbands ‘devoted love’ to me and our marriage,” says A. “We have been working on our marriage since then, and it has been rough. I still have trust issues. The pain is still there, but so is the love. I know I do not want to give up on us. My husband has been more then patient with me, how can he not?! I feel that we have both changed for the better since this all happened. We have become closer – and I feel that our marriage is becoming stronger. I feel that as a couple we have to continue to work together to keep that fire and love going.
I don’t have advice for wives whose husbands cheat, but know that forgiveness is complicated.” ~ A.
Get an objective perspective from a marriage counselor
“Go to a marriage counselor and listen to what he/she advises,” says S. “There might be reasons he cheated, he was looking for attention from someone else that he wasn’t getting from you, his wife. You should hear about those reasons. You can vent your issues in marriage counseling, and the therapist can create a compromise for you both to heal after the affair and move past it. But I would never take my ex back because he cheated physically and it’s the grace of God that I didn’t catch an STD from him.”
If you want to take this advice, read 4 Reasons Marriage Counseling Leads to Divorce.
Try to save your relationship – cheating isn’t necessarily the end of marriage
“The man I love slept with another girl,” says P. “Yeah we were on a break, but it still hurts. I’m trying to figure out if I want to be with him again or I should just let him go. I love him with all my heart and I know he loves me.
The advice I have for women whose wives cheated is that all you can do is try and work it out. Try to be the best for your children, and see where things can be fixed. If not, then always know you will have each other for the kids.” ~ P.
Tell your husband how he can help you heal from his betrayal
“I always swore that if my husband ever even thought about cheating on me that I would leave him,” says S. “Then I found out he had a profile on a website for people who wanted to cheat on their spouses. It broke my heart. It was as devastating as if he had physically cheated on me. Emotional affairs are hard to get over because it’s not about sex, it’s about the emotional connection and that’s incredibly hard to fix.
My advice for men who cheated on their wives is to help her understand that it wasn’t about her. Start to try and win her over again, almost as if you were dating for the first time. It took me a long time to get over what my husband did. But I did and I know that we can get through anything together.”
Accept that your marriage will never be the same after your husband cheats
“I just found out my husband cheated online,” says C. “As a woman I feel like I was never enough for him. I will forgive him for that is what God says to do but I don’t think I will ever feel the same way again.”
If you think your husband may be betraying you but aren’t sure, read What to Do When You Think He’s Cheating.
What do you think – what’s your advice for husbands and wives who are coping with betrayal in marriage? Comments welcome below…
I'm glad you're here! My name is Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen; my husband Bruce and I live in Vancouver, BC with our critters. We can't have kids, and are learning to accept whatever life brings - both good and bad. I have an MSW (Master of Social Work) from UBC, and degrees in Education and Psychology. I hope you say hello below - I can't give relationship advice, but writing can bring you clarity and insight.