So What Do I Do Now That I Know For Sure My Husband Is Cheating On Me?

By: Katie Lersch:  Many people assume that when you get confirmation that your spouse has been cheating, you spring into action.  They assume that this news is so disturbing and explosive that very dramatic actions are going to immediately follow. These assumptions are understandable, and sometimes, the drama does follow – exactly as expected.  But not every spouse knows exactly what to do when this discovery takes place.

A wife might say: “I have suspected my husband of cheating for about three weeks.  I even confronted him about it.  But he continued to deny it and he made it seem like I was paranoid, which is the thing that drives me the most crazy right now.  I didn’t really believe him, so I have continued to snoop.  Last night, he got a phone call that he said he was going to take in our bedroom.  I knew that something was up so I walked very quietly down the hall and I stood at our bedroom door.  He obviously didn’t know that I was there because he proceeded to talk to the other woman.  And then it was obvious that he was having an affair.  I quietly opened the door, our eyes met, and he told the other woman he had to end the call.  I said to him: “so I guess I’m not so paranoid after all.’  He had no response and he has not said one word to me since.  He’s made no effort to leave.  I slept in the spare bedroom last night but beyond this no one has taken any action.  Now that I have my confirmation, I just don’t know what to do.  I am not going to leave my home.  That much I do know.  Part of me wants to kick my husband out.  But I feel like if I do that, the pain that I am feeling will be intensified because I will be alone.  I don’t even know if he wants to stay.  I have a million questions but I almost feel that I am not ready to hear the answers yet. But I feel like I need to be doing something.  I wanted this confirmation so badly.  But now that I have it, I am stuck.  I know that I should be doing things and making decisions and yet I can’t seem to. What are you supposed to do when you finally find out your spouse has been cheating?”

I don’t think there are any set of rules about this.  People react in different ways.  Some take swift action and ask their spouse to leave or they leave themselves.  Some immediately know that they’d like to seek counseling so they go about researching that option and setting it up.  Still others aren’t ready to take swift action, so they tell their spouse that they are going to need some time before they make decisions.  They give themselves the luxury of being still and just taking their time to process what is happening.  This is very heavy news.  Not every one can just get the big picture and understand their wishes immediately.  It takes time for some.  And that is perfectly fine.

When I found out about my own husband’s affair, I didn’t make any sudden decisions because of my family.  I didn’t want him in my immediate sight, so I did ask him to stay with friends for a while.  But I was very open about the fact that it was going to take me a while to decide what I wanted.  Even through counseling I was not sure.  I was determined not to make a snap decision based on pain and emotion.  And I’ve never regretted taking a slower pace.

If you still need time, there is nothing wrong with saying so.  You get to decide where you want to go from here and if you don’t have any answers yet, that is perfectly OK.  If you want to explain this, but you aren’t yet ready to do anything, you might try something like: “obviously at some point soon, we are going to have to have a difficult and honest conversation.  I have a lot of questions that I want answered.  But right now, I just want and need some time.  I will let you know when I’m ready to talk.  I may not be making any immediate decisions but eventually, these decisions will need to be made.  For right now, I’m asking you to give me some time and some privacy so that I can process this.”

In time, you will be ready to ask questions.  The answers to those questions may give you more information about what you might want moving forward. Honestly, I feel like people tend to rush in making these decisions because the emotions and the pain is so high.  I am not sure there is any advantage to taking so fast a pace.  None of this is easy.  And you are taking in so many things at once.  You don’t have to do anything immediately if you are not ready.  You can ask for time and you can take in information as it comes.  Once this happens, then you will be better equipped to make a decision.  But there is nothing wrong with giving yourself a little time.

I think that part of the reason I took a slow pace was because I knew there might be a chance that we could save our marriage in time.  But in the beginning, I didn’t even want to think about that.  I knew that any healing was going to be gradual.  And I wanted to watch and wait for a little while before I even opened myself up to anything more.  So, I worked on only myself initially and I have not regretted that.  You can read more on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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