If you have just come through an affair you are likely feeling completely lost and devastated and may be saying to yourself, “OK, my husband cheated now what?” I would like to offer you hope and encourage you that there is a way to get your marriage back, and a way to experience healing after this most horrible of relationship crimes.
One very important element in surviving an affair and restoring your marriage is to not only repair but also deepen the emotional connection with your partner.
The marriage bond is very fragile, and if both spouses are not completely invested to constantly maintaining it by strengthening and building their connection to one another, it can be easily broken. Throw in some infidelity and this connection quickly deteriorates and ruptures.
As you look back on the cheating of your spouse you are probably wondering if the emotional connection you once had will ever be repaired. Will you every be able to trust him again? Will the hurt ever go away? Is healing even possible and is there any hope of repairing the marriage? These are all very normal thoughts and questions, and right now you probably feel like it is a monumental task, if not completely insurmountable, to ever build a strong and healthy emotional connection again with your spouse.
Don’t expect it to happen overnight. A lot of internal work is needed both in your life and your husbands before you can expect to begin working together to heal the marriage. You are also going to have to invest some serious time, effort and energy and muster up a determined and tenacious attitude that says, “This infidelity will not define me, or my marriage – we will defeat it and successfully move past it.”
So if your husband cheated, now what are you supposed to do? I want to share 3 critical rules that will help you be successful in your post-affair emotional survival:
Rule 1: Truthfulness And Transparency
The first rule to put into action in the, “My husband cheated now what” dilemma is that of honesty… and I mean complete, 100% honesty. Not being open and truthful is what started this mess in the first place. By committing to total truthfulness and transparency, both you and your spouse will be open-books, so to speak, with no secrets stashed away and nothing to hide or cover up. If you do not implement this type of honest communication you will never be able to build trust again in your relationship.
Rule 2: Set Ground Rules for Questions
As we have just established the importance of honesty and transparency in the “My husband cheated now what” crisis, I just want to offer a word of caution. Truth can be devastating and hurtful and nowhere more so than when involving an affair. You must be sure when you ask questions that you are truly ready to accept and deal with the answers… otherwise it is best to leave them unasked until you are better prepared to deal with them.
You also must be cautious not to use honesty as a weapon to heap more guilt on the cheating spouse. This will prove anti-productive and will most likely prolong the healing process of your marriage. Keep your eye on your goal – that of surviving infidelity and moving forward successfully. You do not want to get hung-up in a continual and unrelenting cycle of emotional backlash.
You may find it helpful to come up with a list of allowable questions, with your spouse, that both agree upon. And with this comes diplomacy – you must both be reasonable, using common sense and showing good judgement when answering questions honestly. Tact mixed with sincerity, empathy and pure motives must be involved if you are going to properly work through the affair and reinstate healthy communication.
Rule 3: Organize a “Talk Date”
As we move on to the third rule of the, “My husband cheated now what” predicament, you must realize that it is going to be a challenge on many levels as you try to communicate again after the affair. You may run into a scenario where one spouse wants to bring up the topic but perhaps the other has had a bad day and is in no mood or condition to talk about it. They may react with harsh words or inappropriate tone resulting in the stifling of the communication that is vital for the relationship to move forward – thus, yet another marital setback has been created.
To avoid this negative scenario, a couple in the midst of crisis can arrange an “appointment”, or a “talk-date” where the focus is completely on each other – no outside distractions. Plan a time and place to be together for the express purpose of constructive communication. This mat seem a bit weird at first, but if your dealing with a fragile marriage and your relationship is stressed, structure and a somewhat controlled atmosphere is, perhaps, just what your conversations need right now, at least until they start to feel more natural again. Pre-arranging a time and place, enables both spouses to be prepared, psychologically and emotionally; and when they come together with clear minds they are able to commit their full attention and focus to their spouse for the alloted time.
As you implement these rules in your, “My husband cheated now what,” quandary, be patient and give them time. But be encouraged and maintain a positive attitude because, if you are diligent, they will help advance your marriage and move it away from the period of the affair and toward a healthier, stronger and more vibrant emotional connection.
All the Best!