I often hear from wives who are trying very hard to come to grips with their husband’s cheating or having an affair. One theme that I hear quite often from these women is how much their husband has changed from before the affair or cheating, after it, or both.
I often hear comments like: “My husband has changed so much since I found about his cheating and having an affair. I almost don’t recognize him anymore. He used to be a man of honor. He used to be caring and thoughtful. He used to want nothing more than to spend time with our kids doing simple things. Now, he cares about stupid things like what he looks like, what kind of car he drives, how much fun he’s having, and how successful he is. And I can’t talk to him the way that I used to. He’s distracted and hurried. I want to save my marriage more than anything. But I’m just not sure how to relate to him anymore when he’s not even the same person.”
I hear these types of comments a lot. As if dealing with an affair or cheating isn’t frustrating enough, now you’re having to deal with your ever changing husband – which can feel like dealing with a stranger.
Often times, these changes are not lasting. Your husband is usually trying on different personas while he’s trying to work through something that’s going on with his life. An affair or cheating is just one more symptom of that. Often, he does this as almost a defense mechanism and he typically doesn’t even realize he’s doing it and will deny it when you say anything.
In the following article, I’m going to offer some tips on how to handle the changes you might be seeing in your husband after he cheated or had an affair. By no means am I an expert, but these are the things I see on my blog and in my own experience.
Don’t Focus On Or Worry Too Much About His Changes In Personality. They’ll Likely Go Away Once He Wakes Up: I know there’s a real tendency to be completely disgusted by what you are seeing and to want to call him on how stupid he is being. But it’s very unlikely that you will have to deal with this forever. Him returning to his regular self will usually be part of the recovery process after the affair.
I know that seeing him act this way can be maddening. But if you keep drawing his (and your) attention to what is wrong, it really does only make things worse and it can bring you further away from healing.
Why Husbands Can Appear To Change After They Cheat Or Have An Affair: The mid life crisis is such a cliche. But seeing an older or settled man suddenly try to act young, “embrace life” or “live again” is not an uncommon occurrence. And there’s nothing wrong with wanting to have some fun or feel alive. But what he needs to realize is that all of these things are possible for a married family man.
And men do eventually come to realize this. When they do, many are quite embarrassed by how they acted. Unfortunately, many don’t come to this realization any earlier if you call them on it or bring their attention to the changes you are seeing in them. In fact, doing so will often only make them defensive and only reinforce their behavior.
So it’s hard as it might be, you’ll often be better off if you bide your time and know that this is temporary thing that’s often a defense mechanism or an attempt to deal with their shortcomings, disappointments, or personal issues.
Dealing With The Changes In Your Husband After The Affair Or The Cheating: I know it may sound crazy when I say this, but I think the best thing to do is to ignore this until it passes. If you keep bringing it up, he keeps getting defensive. But if you just deal with him if you normally would, you reinforce his old self – - and you are putting yourself in the best position.
You really should not change who you are, what you stand for, or how you handle your issues because he’s decided to suddenly act in stupid and embarrassing ways. Don’t allow for this to make you change what you know is the right way to behave even if he doesn’t right now.
This was just one issue I had to deal with when my own husband had an affair. Like all of the other issues, we worked through it. Our marriage is actually very solid now and I don’t worry that he will cheat again. If you like, you can read that very personal story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com
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