People stay for a variety of reasons. Wives may wish to maintain the family unit for the benefit of the kids. Others continue to do so for financial or loneliness-related reasons. Wives who have been married for a long time frequently think it would be foolish to leave without at least making an effort to patch things up.
So here are my six pieces of advice for ladies who discover their husbands are having extramarital affairs and want to see if they can mend their marriages and stay together.
1.Get support, support, and more support!
Recovery from infidelity is a challenging process. Your pride has been wounded. Both as a wife and as a woman, you feel unworthy. You no longer feel trustworthy. Your lover seems like a total stranger who has been telling you lies for a very long time. You are uncertain about what to think about the past and, most likely, the present. Are there additional lies coming out? How will you know if they are?
This betrayal may also cause you to become overly watchful and dubious. Things that weren't before concerning become so. You snoop around a lot. It seems as though you can no longer rely on your inner voice. It once misled you by telling you that everything was fine when it wasn't. No longer does the globe feel secure.
Given the description above, it is not hard to imagine why it is necessary to get support for yourself during this process. It is a time of emotional upheaval and the more friends, family, support groups, books, articles, and objective professionals that you have in your life, the better it will be for you.
2. Set up a time for disclosure with your husband.
Arrange for time(s) for you and your husband to sit down so you can ask any questions that you need to have answered about the history and scope of his behavior.
You probably have so many questions. It is important to take time and think them all through. Some questions are about the details of the incident(s). When did this occur? What exactly happened? When and how did you meet? Where did you take the person?
Others are about checking out whether the times when you felt in your gut that something was off were in fact due to infidelity. You may want to know if something was going on when your husband left your family dinner early one night and went downtown to meet a colleague. Was he really on a business trip that weekend when the whole thing seemed strange to you and he denied that there was anything out of the ordinary?
The only way that you can fully recover from this betrayal is for your husband to be committed to stopping this behavior going forward and be willing to come clean and tell you everything you want to know. But it is important that you be in charge of determining what you need to know. For some, a lot of information is helpful. For others, it leads to rumination and intrusive memories. You must decide what is best for you. If you don't know what is right, take it slow. Remember, you can't unring a bell.
Asking about details and history should not be a one-time occasion. Your husband should be willing to answer questions whenever you have them and over and over again.
3. Following the disclosure, set a rule with your husband that you are entitled to ask about his whereabouts and proof of them at any time.
Although it is not healthy for you to make a full-time job of monitoring your husband (and won't do any good as of way of controlling his behavior), there will be times when life presents a circumstance where you will be uncertain of his truthfulness. Maybe it is the tone of his voice or the strangeness of the plan. On the one hand, you can say nothing and just "see what happens." Will your suspicions prove to be true? This strategy of waiting often makes wives feel powerless and results in them being preoccupied with their husbands' behavior. On the other hand, you can approach your husband and share your concerns and express your need for verification. You have probably had the history of pushing away suspicious thoughts and labeling them as ridiculous or of just having no clue that something was going on. Often, to not share your suspicions doesn't feel like you are sticking your head in the sand.
Your husband has to understand that your trust has been shattered and the only way to rebuild it is to have incidents where red flags are raised, even if they're nothing more than false alarms. This goes a long way in recalibrating your nervous system so that you realize you can feel uncomfortable but your husband can still be telling the truth. Trust will strengthen after a long string of these affirming incidents occur.
4. Require that your husband clean up his mess.
Your husband needs to terminate contact with all people, sites, services and apps that are connected to his cheating behavior. Don't hesitate to have him show you that he has completed his tasks or terminations. You can even ask him to end things in front of you.
5. You and your husband should both get tested for STDs.
No matter what he says, your health has been placed at risk. Don't only rely on just him getting tested. Get yourself tested for everything as well. It is often embarrassing to reveal your husband's infidelity to your doctor. But you need to put yourself first and make taking care of yourself a priority.
6. Return to sexual intimacy slowly and gradually.
Some women desire to reconnect with their husband and create security for themselves by being sexually intimate. Others feel so hurt and repulsed by what has gone on that they cannot fathom being sexual and are haunted by intrusive images of their husbands with other women. My best advice is for you to take time to see what is right for you. The most important thing is for you and your husband to rebuild your trust and connection and, sometimes, being physically intimate can interfere with the communication that needs to happen to slowly heal the wounds.
7. Seek out couples counseling if this feels like too much.
You may find that, as a couple, you need help. Infidelity tears the fabric of the relationship and, sometimes, you need a mental health professional to guide you through the healing process. This is especially true when wives have experienced more than once occasion of discovering their husband's infidelity. It is exponentially difficult in these situations for wives to believe that their husbands are remorseful, allow themselves to trust once more, and, later, find they've been duped again.
This is by no means a comprehensive list of all that needs to be done to heal from infidelity. It is just a start to get wives on the best track toward healing, should they want to stay in the relationship. That is the key. To stay means to find out if you are able to overcome the betrayal, to rediscover who your husband is and to reassess whether the relationship is right for you.