Dear Dave: Dealing with my husbands betrayal is the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life. I can’t eat or sleep or even concentrate at work. I have done everything that I know to do to try and move forward but I just can’t. I take two steps forward and two steps back. Sometimes I don’t know if I love him or hate him for betraying our sacred vows. My husband sometimes makes me feel like I pushed him into having an affair by my actions and I sometimes wonder if I played a role in my husband’s betrayal. What do you think I should do?
Hurting From Husband’s Betrayal, Concord NC
Dear Hurting From Husband’s Betrayal: There are many who believe that you can never really forgive a spouse who cheats on you or if you do it will be short lived. There are others who believe it’s best to end the marriage once infidelity is discovered. The good news is that it doesn’t matter what others think. What matters is that you take all of the steps important to you to heal your broken heart and marriage.
The following tips should help with dealing with husbands betrayal.
- Take it one day at a time until you can look ahead. Don’t try to resolve your broken marriage all at once. It most likely took years to build the good marriage you once had. It only took one incident to tear it apart. Don’t think that you have to get it all back at once. Take the necessary time to restore your marriage. If you try to rush to get back your dream marriage you may be disappointed, frustrated and give up.
- Don’t compare your situation to others. You may find yourself trying to compare your husband’s betrayal and your marital situation to someone else you know or a marriage you have read about on the internet. Keep in mind that every couple dealing with infidelity has a unique situation. Sure the actions are very similar and even the reasons for cheating might be comparable. However, because you two are unique individuals, your incident of betrayal is unique. It’s ok to understand other couples journey towards healing, don’t get caught up expecting your path to be exactly the same as others.
- Move forward and not backwards. It’s important to make positive choices when it comes to trying to heal your broken heart. You need to determine what’s helpful and what’s hurtful to you marriage at this point. For example, if you have the desire to try and work things out with your husband does it make sense to put him out of the house or just out of the bedroom for now? Putting him in another room gives you a sense of separation to let you sort things out. Putting him out of the house may just push him back into his lover’s arms.
- Be open about the future. It’s important that you be open about the possibility of trusting again, loving again and being happily married again. If you don’t entertain those thoughts your actions will limit your ability to restore and heal your broken marriage.
I realize that dealing with your husband’s betrayal is extremely painful and not something your life experiences have prepared you for. It’s easy to say or think you know how you will handle infidelity until it really happens to you. I’m sorry you have to deal with your husband’s infidelity. You deserve better.
I’m rooting for you and your husband and hope that your next letter is one that announces your victorious overcoming of your husband’s betrayal.