I Found Out My Wife Is Having An Affair: What Should I Do?

By ReGain Editorial Team|Updated June 23, 2022

Love has many faces and, usually, several phases. The love between two people who have confessed and vowed to love each other for a lifetime sometimes endures the toughest of those phases. Friends and family offer well wishes, advice, and blessings when a couple marries, but there is sometimes the need for more. The one thing you might least expect is that the person you love will never betray the relationship. You look forward to years of love and trust, but sometimes the unthinkable happens, and you have no idea what to do. The ultimate question after finding out your mate is having an affair is what to do. You may look to the strangest places to find an answer, but the ultimate answer exists in your heart.

Thankfully, no two marriages are the same, and sometimes, it seems that some couples encounter more stressful situations than others. It’s important to realize that it’s difficult to tell what goes on between two people in marriage because a union between two people should be just that, between two people. However, some instances in a marriage may cause parties to seek advice or help outside the relationship. A perfect example would be infidelity. When one or both parties are having an affair, it likely brings stress and uncertainty to the marriage.

Why Do People Cheat?

Discovering Infidelity Can Be Painful and Overwhelming

This is a question that almost every adult has asked in their lifetime. To be clear, many marriages exist and are never faced with the tainted chaos of infidelity. It’s possible to have a marriage filled with open communication, love, honesty, and trust. A cheating mate is not always easy to identify, allowing the acts of infidelity to go on without ever being acknowledged. This is not a positive, but it does prevent the other partner from enduring the hurt and embarrassment associated with cheating.

Once a person cheats or is cheated on, the trust is broken, and it can be difficult, if not impossible, to re-establish in the marriage. One of the first questions that the other partner wants to be answered is why their mate cheated. The average person would want to know the answer to this question because they attempt to fill a void. They’re aiming to determine what they did wrong or could’ve done differently. A great number of Americans view cheating as a deal-breaker.

Consider the following scenario.

Jim and Julie have been married for six years and have two beautiful children. They are both doing well in their careers, travel with the family throughout the year, and all are in good health. Julie has been working a few long nights after receiving a promotion, which leads Jim to take care of the kids in the evening. Once Julie is home, she’s tired and usually wants to shower and fall asleep, leaving very little time for her and her husband to connect. Eventually, Jim may wonder if “my wife is having an affair” because her behavior and routine have changed.

The above scenario occurs in many relationships and can be extremely trying for one or both people in the marriage. In many cases, there is no affair but thoughts, and sometimes accusations can cause extreme strain on the relationship. After being accused of having thoughts that your mate is cheating, it may lead you to seek attention outside the relationship. In this case, the act of infidelity occurred due to a misunderstanding, false accusations, or lack of communication. This often happens in relationships.

Here are a few other reasons that people may cheat on their partners:

  1. Loss Of Connection

A marriage or relationship built on love requires consistency in affection and communication to sustain that foundation. It is common for relationships to experience breakdowns that weaken the relationship. Couples can fall out of love just as easily as they fall in love. It sounds odd, but it’s possible. If the level of effort isn’t equal and effective, one or both parties may be motivated to cheat. Once the spouse feels that they’re no longer connected to their husband or wife, cheating may become an attractive option.

  1. Neglect

Similar to the scenario above, if a partner begins to feel neglected, they may explore attention outside the relationship. Life changes, and so do responsibilities, but the person you love deserves to have their needs heard and met. Feelings of neglect can equate to feelings of unworthiness or inadequacy.

  1. Influence

There may be certain situations or factors that influence some people to cheat. The setting or environment they’re in may be different or stressful in some ways, leading to a temporary loss of judgment or ability to make reasonable decisions. Drinking or spending time with people you’re vulnerable to could make you susceptible to their advances, leading to cheating.

  1. Low Self-Esteem

You may think that a person with low self-esteem isn’t open to subjecting themselves to others, but in this case, it works differently. A person may feel that being sexually desired by others increases their self-worth. It can boost self-esteem to feel wanted, needed, and valued by someone other than their partner.

  1. Revenge

A person that thinks that their mate is having an affair might think of doing the same. Some people cheat to bring the same hurt, pain, and humiliation to their mate that they have experienced. This reason can make any level of recommitment or make amends almost impossible. In many instances, once both parties have been unfaithful, it isn’t easy to save the marriage or relationship.

How To Trust Again?

Loving a person doesn’t simply stop because you find out they cheated on you. The hurt, anger, and bitterness coexist, and hidden deep beneath those emotions are the love you thought was reciprocated by your cheating mate. Yes, they may have cheated, and maybe you despise them at the moment, but it doesn’t extinguish the love you hold for this person.

Discovering that you’ve been cheated on may force you to think that you must make an immediate decision. Should you pack up and move out? Should you change your number and never call them again? Should you file for divorce? All these questions are common but not easily answered.

If you’ve discovered that you’ve been cheated on, you may go through a few phases and eventually want to learn to trust again. Trust usually exists from the start and is lost due to acts of unfaithfulness or betrayal. Being cheated on by one person could make it difficult for you to trust them or anyone else again. It can be difficult to rebuild trust, but it’s not impossible. It’s a process but at the end of that process is a possibility. The possibility to love and trust again can be yours.

The Reestablishment Of Trust

Discovering Infidelity Can Be Painful and Overwhelming

  1. Remove The Blame

A person can be in a relationship that gives them everything they need and want but still seek more from someone else. It’s never the other person’s fault that their mate cheated. Most people will spend days or weeks trying to pinpoint what they did wrong or feel as though something must be wrong with them. It is important to remove the blame and accept that it’s not you; it’s them! It was them that decided to be unfaithful. You are not to blame.

  1. Reiterate Your Self-Worth

After going through the barrel of emotions brought on by being cheated on, it’s necessary to reiterate your self-worth. Take an honest evaluation of yourself and identify all the things you love as well as those things you’d like to change. Be sure that the changes are for you and only you. Don’t try to make changes to appease someone else but execute them to ensure your happiness. Once you realize your true value, it shows you that you’re worthy of love and should not allow anyone to make you feel that you’re not worthy of their love or faithfulness.

  1. Consider Your Options

Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the relationship, you have options. Some people may feel that they don’t have many options and must remain in an unfulfilled relationship. Some may think that leaving the person would only start a new relationship that may end the same way. Ultimately, remember that you deserve happiness and commitment from someone who values and appreciates you as a person and partner.

  1. Forgive The Cheater

Research has found forgiveness to be an essential aspect of moving forward after infidelity in a marriage. Even if you decide to ultimately end the relationship, forgiving your partner can be an important step in your healing process. It is important to remember that forgiveness does not signal that you are condoning another person’s hurtful actions but releasing yourself from anger and bitterness that is negatively impacting you.

After The Affair

After an affair, what happens? As the person cheated on, what happens after the affair is completely up to you. You are in control of your feelings and your response as long as you follow the necessary steps in the process of healing. You may opt to take some time for yourself, which is commendable. This could be positive for you and your mate. It’s also important to realize that you don’t necessarily have to do anything after an affair. You have the right to choose to do absolutely nothing. Decide to follow your heart and do whatever makes you feel happy.

If you’re in a relationship and infidelity is an issue, consider relationship therapy to help you cope. Therapy can help partners navigate the experience of infidelity or assist an individual in healing after betrayal. A licensed professional can offer a new perspective into your situation and help you establish new techniques for managing difficult emotions and communicating with a partner.

Counselor Reviews

Austa has been wonderful thus far. She has helped my partner and I during an unimaginably difficult time… She has also guided us in communicating effectively and setting appropriate boundaries in our relationship. I was hesitant to pursue counseling initially, but I truly believe that it makes a difference in our relationship. Austa is easy to talk to, and she is a great listener. I would wholeheartedly recommend her as a counselor.”

“Stephen Witte is a fantastic listener! Stephen’s guidance and experience with couples helped my partner and me through a time of infidelity and deception. Our sessions with Stephen helped guide us to healthier communication and the road to forgiveness. We used video chats. But I chatted with Stephen with messages a few times throughout the week, and his responses helped me through tough/anxious moments with his perspective and encouragement. He was truthful about the tragedy in our relationship yet offered supportive strategies and guidance to help us get through. I felt like I could speak at him for minutes and throw a bunch out there, but he had a great way of picking out the most important part of what I was trying to say. He did a great job facilitating the discussion that helped clarify my thoughts and communicate with my partner. My partner and I had multiple sessions with Stephen, and both felt very comfortable speaking to him. Thank you very much, Stephen, for being here for us.”

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