Your spouse has cheated. It’s not your imagination: you have proof. You suspected this for quite a while, but now the evidence is siiting there in front of you. Phone records, credit card receipts for gifts and hotel stays, love letters, emails. The thoughts and emotions swirling through your brain are sometimes so overwhelming you feel weak. Sometimes you don’t know whether to cry or throw up.
You think that no one can understand what you’re going through, but the reality is that most of us have been in exactly the same place you are in right now. According to some studies, 60% of married men and 40% of married women have cheated on their spouses at some time. You want it all to go away, but of course it won’t. So, what do you do?
Get your ducks in a row
If your spouse doesn’t know that you know, keep quiet for now. You’ll want to gather as much physical, irrefutable evidence as you can before any confrontation. You’ll need this evidence if you do not want a divorce. So bide your time. The cheater will continue to create evidence for you. A confrontation at this time will be counterproductive. First, the cheater will usually deny everything. Weak evidence will be laughed off. Worse, once you’ve voiced your suspicions the cheater will try harder to hide his tracks. This will make future evidence gathering extremely difficult.
So keep quiet, even though you feel like screaming inside. Continue to gather evidence. The more evidence you have, the less the cheater can stay in denial. If you should decide to divorce, all the evidence can help you get a more favorable settlement.
It’s almost never forever
Keep in mind that most affairs do not last more than a few months. Eventually, your spouse gets as bored with the partner as he did with you. He might have exchanged bed partnes, but he didn’t change. The research shows that very few people in affairs end up divorcing their spouses and marrying their lovers. Furthermore, the cheaters that do marry their lovers have an even higher rate of divorce than that of the originally married couples. In other words, affair-driven marriages are uncommon and have a worse success rate. The affair won’t last.
Now if you’re the one being cheated on, this information doesn’t seem to do you any good right now. Just know that the affair is temporary, and that you can survive it and still have a happy marriage. So if you want to fightn for your marriage, take these simple steps:
1. Be patient; affairs are generally short lived
2. Gather evidence. When the confrontation comes, you don’t want denials; you want confession and remorse.
3. If your spouse is truly contrite, and if you feel that the marriage is more good than bad, consider this a temporary detour in your marriage. If both of you will make the effort, your marriage can be put back on track.
4. You will never forget, nor will he. But, you will need to forgive. Forgive him for his lapse, and forgive yourself for any part you played in the breakdown of the marriage. For the marriage to survive, you must both close this chapter. Put it behind you and be willing to go forward in a fresh start to the rest of your marriage.
Forgive yourself first
Forgiveness is more for you than it is for him. Carrying this hurt around with you forever is emotionally destructive. It will damage your mental health and limit your relationships from now on. Don’t let it. Whether you stay in the marriage or divorce and move on, you’re life has changed forever. Close this chapter and don’t look back. There is still a lot of your life to live. Make the most of it.