My husband cheated on me. Now what?

Last week, a new betrayed wife posted a comment on my blog. She discovered her husband’s affair the night before and her Googling brought her to my blog. I remember so clearly lying in my bed typing the words: my husband cheated on me into the Google search bar of my iPad only hours after my discovery. I wanted someone to tell me what to do. I was completely unprepared for an affair. I always assumed if he cheated our marriage would be over. Maybe it’s what I was taught or maybe I just haven’t known any happily married people that have dealt with infidelity. The fact is I didn’t know what to do. I felt broken and defeated. I felt alone and scared. I wanted someone to tell me how to navigate this mess because this wasn’t supposed to happen to me.

What I discovered in the 72 hours after my D-Day was there was no one out there that agreed on what to do. Every betrayed woman had a different path, a different story or a marriage unlike my own. I joined web groups and read countless articles and blogs. And still, no one could tell me succinctly what to do. Honestly, I wanted someone to tell me if my marriage was over. Like I said, before I found out my husband cheated I didn’t think I would ever stay or have the capacity to forgive him. But after I discovered his affair, I realized that our love was not a casualty of his affair. I told myself I would allow myself time to decide if I could remain in the marriage or not. I told myself I could leave at any time but I would allow myself two years to heal. My decision may be not right for anyone else but me—but I could live with it.

I remember reading this article about four or five months ago. The questions asked in the article are:

  1. How do you define love?
  2. Is your definition of love large enough to encompass profound failure?

We each define love independently in our own lives. We place our own limitations and expectations of love on our definition. On my D-Day, I don’t know if I could have known if my definition of love was large enough to include my husband’s failures/infidelity. As much as I have grown in the past ten months, there are still moments when the affair hits me like a ton of bricks and I question whether I can forgive him completely. It’s how I overcome those moments that keeps me going. It’s about being open and honest with my husband about those moments so we can have complete transparency. I am not expected to just get over his affair and move on. We have an agreement that if something bothers me in five, ten or twenty years about this affair that I can bring it up and he can never say: I thought you were over that already. I promise to not hold grudges or throw it in his face but I am not expected keep silent either.

I made mistakes in those first days after discovering his affair too. We spent hours talking but I couldn’t hear much of what he said. I heard the words but I couldn’t understand them because I made assumptions that were completely wrong about his relationship with his AP. I had always thought if a man has an affair the sex must be amazing, the relationship is worth walking away from your marriage for and the man is a liar. While those things could be true—they weren’t the truth for us. Try not to base your healing on anything said in the wake of the discovery of the affair.

Sex is also a strange thing after an affair. Many women report they begin the hysterical bonding immediately. That was not the case for me. My husband was not home for 36 hours after I discovered his affair. I had time to read and read online about infidelity. I read that it took two years minimum to heal and I told myself we might now have sex for two year (boy, was I wrong). I also told my husband this. I told him that I couldn’t be physical with him and was he willing to work on a marriage with no sexual intimacy. He agreed he would stay no matter what happened. We made love the night after we were both tested for STDs. We went out to dinner and we began talking—not about the affair—about us. We were on a date and we didn’t even plan it or know it. We left the restaurant and began kissing in the parking lot. He pushed me up against the car and I never wanted him more in my life. We barely made it inside our home before I began ripping his clothes off. That was September 28, 2012. We made love seven times over the next twenty-four hours. Both of us full of desire and passion. What I realized about hysterical bonding is that it has to be both ways—both spouses have to need that connection to be reestablished with the other person. My husband and I must be still hysterical or bonding because we haven’t missed a day. The sex is the best it’s ever been and we had a passionate and playful sex life before the affair.

The truth is you may not know what to do after you discover your spouse cheated on you, but you will be okay. You will survive. Take care of yourself. Eat. Sleep. Don’t spend every moment thinking about the affair.

I wonder what advice you wish you heard on your D-Day or just after? Write it below and hopefully it can help someone. Finish this thought: My husband cheated on me, now what?

593 thoughts on “My husband cheated on me. Now what?

  1. I have just discovered my husband has been chearing on me. I found out accidentally through his new email address that he created so I won’t know(well that’s what he thinks). I had a strong gut feel that I should log in to that new email and just guessed the password. Oh my god, you won’t believe that I guessed the password right! And there I find his email conversations with the other women. What’s worse is that he is overseas as he is starting our new business. I feel so betrayed, feeling alone and abandoned with our 2 kids. I sent him an email right away when I found out which was 4 days ago. I tried to viber message him a day after to ask him that we should talk but have not heard back from him since. It’s been 4 days and I am lost. I don’t know where to go from here. I don’t know what’s on his mind. What shall I do? I don’t want to bombard him emails and messages or calls but I’m feeling angry because despite of what he’s done to me, he still does not communicate with me. Please help. I don’t know where to go from here.

  2. I have just discovered my husband has been cheating on me. I found out accidentally through his new email address that he created so I won’t know(well that’s what he thinks). I had a strong gut feel that I should log in to that new email and just guessed the password. Oh my god, you won’t believe that I guessed the password right! And there I find his email conversations with the other woman. What’s worse is that he is overseas as he is starting our new business. I feel so betrayed, feeling alone and abandoned with our 2 kids. I sent him an email right away when I found out which was 4 days ago. I tried to viber message him a day after to ask him that we should talk but have not heard back from him since. It’s been 4 days and I am lost. I don’t know where to go from here. I don’t know what’s on his mind. What shall I do? I don’t want to bombard him with emails and messages or calls but I’m feeling angry because despite of what he’s done to me, he still does not communicate with me. Please help. I don’t know where to go from here.

  3. I found out my husband has been cheating on me with a girl from next door, after going through his phone messages. For some time this girl and her mom used to visit a lot and I used to wonder why. My husband would just say they are neighbours and in this neighbourhood everyone does it. I felt soo betrayed to think the affair was happening under my roof and in front of me. I forgive him and thought the affair had ended only to realize 6months later he is still speaking to her and he even has photos of them in a hotel. We have two kids and I don’t know what to do now my self esteem is down, I can’t even go out of the gate without worrying how many people know and what they are saying. Please advice

  4. Just found out my husband was cheating on me for the last year. What hurts I suspected the start of the affair 9 months ago and confronted him about it then and I thought we worked through it and was working on our marriage. Come to find out he was with the same women all along up until last month. When I confronted him today with the pictures and videos I found in his email he finally came clean and said he ended it and choose me and wants a future with me. I don’t know if I should believe him as we were in this same place a year ago, I have no idea if he really ended it or would have ever come clean. I’m so lost right now what do it do!?

  5. I found out my husband had an affair in September. He had been working late every night one night even came home at 3:30 am. When I questioned him he lied and denied where her had been. Boys nights out. Even working on holidays. The woman called me and told me my husband has been dishonest with me and had been seeing/sleeping with her for a few weeks. He had just got home afrer spending the whole day with her. He told me he ended it and she was mad. She told me she didnt even know i exsisted and when she found out thats why she called. Its been 3 months of us trying to work out our marriage. We went to a couples counselor for 2 months before we could not afford it anymore. I also found out last year he had slept with another woman one weekend when we had a fight. I wake up some days and cry for hours on end. I want our relationship to survive but I dont know if im strong enough to trust him. He has a GPS on his phone, calls me eveyday 3 times from work. He does eveything I ask of him. I just dont know if anything will ever be good enough to move past this. Some days I just want to sleep with someone else to get even and than I just feel horrible for thinking thay way. I just want to know why he did it… but he said he doesnt know. Is our marraige over?

    • I’m wondering how everyone is doing now? I find so much comfort in reading these messages but curious as to what happens next. I’m 3 months in from when I found out and my emotions are still running wild. Its been 3 months but with the drips and drabs on how I found out it actually feels like its been a week. That being said I moved back in mostly to not to put an additional strain on my parents and because our 1.5 year old needed his own space. So here I am having a mix of good and bad days and wondering why I’m still here as some days I don’t think I can get past the affair.

      • This is Ange. I am still with my husband although I have good days and bad days. It’s been 2 years since I found out. My husband hasn’t changed much but I don’t think he is cheating on me right now. Or since. I think if I was in a different situation I would have left him. I tried leaving but he really wanted me to stay and I’m still here.
        I don’t think the bad days will ever go away. I see a movie or a show, hear a word or visit a place that brings it all back.
        My husband is pretty understanding of this and doesn’t blame me for having a bad day. How could he blame me anyway right???
        Anyway I just wanted to let you know. I’m still here and my kids are happy. Hope your situation gets better deer! No one should have to go through this ever!

      • It’s been over a year for me.
        It depends on the people in the marriage. It depends on him and his ability to make amends for his wrongs and his mistakes, and his willingness to own his own failings.
        It depends on you, how willing you are to make the daily choice to move past the feelings of anger and hurt and work toward forgiveness and trust. It doesn’t mean you DO forgive him or trust him, it means you want to one day and will choose to work toward that goal.

        After a year, it has been better. I hardly think of it. And when I do, it still hurts, but not as much as it did yesterday, and definitely not as much as it did a year ago.

        It does get better and it can be better. The key to everything is your desire to make it better. If you don’t want a happy, satisfying marriage with THIS man, then you won’t have it until you decide that you do. It starts with when you make the decision to be happy in your marriage that the healing can begin.

        I hope that helps.

        Good-luck. We all know how hard it is.

  6. Hi Ange,

    Thanks for your response. No one should ever have to go thru this….so true. I sometimes think it really didn’t happen and I imagined it and then it hits me that its all true and I fall apart. Having a bad day today. Like you said the littlest or sometimes not so little things set me off. I’m living in the same place in the same town where “she” lived and although she is now many states away I cant shake the feeling that she’s still here at least in spirit. I obviously had no idea what was going on; thought he was stressed, tired and that the pressure of a baby were just too much for him never in my wildest dreams did I ever think affair. So now i walk thru the streets of a semi still new neighborhood (we moved here for his job) knowing that they walked the same streets together while I was away working, eating at the same restaurants or new ones he hadn’t yet brought me to….its just so painful. So now what?
    I put on a dress tomorrow and go out for new years like nothing is wrong? Like we are this happy couple and I’m trying to pretend that we can survive this and prove that I can be fun again? For the record I was only not fun temporarily as I had a baby this past year but guess he couldn’t take the lack of attention at home or that I was a new mom trying to manage life, work and keeping a baby alive. Breaks my heart.

  7. I find so much comfort in reading these post and can barely type through tears because I know how you all feel. I found out 10 days before this Christmas that my husband was having an emotional affair for almost 5 months. He met her while visiting another state. It started by “innocent” texting (he initiated) and became a long distance love affair. When I went on vacation he flew her to our town, put her up in a hotel, wined and dined her, with intentions of moving her here. (She is also married.) He swears they only made out, but never had sex. Neither wanted to sleep together during this 2nd actual face-to-face meeting, however they did tell each other they loved one another about a month after texting. Is that even possible to love someone through text???? (No phone calls even.) I found out about the affair a week after she had flown to see him. He says he never stopped loving me, still loves me, he loves his family, and wants to keep us together. Of course it’s hard to believe his words, as sweet as they are. My life is a roller coaster. Some days I cry all day. I can’t eat or sleep. Some days I’m oddly courageous and think I’ll just wait for the right time and move on myself. But, I love him. Our marriage was admired from everyone we knew. We had it all and I thought and it seemed we were deep in love. Unbreakable. I just don’t get it. Also, our sex life was never bad, but I can relate to the desire and even better, more passionate, constant sex now after this affair. It was nice to hear it’s not just me and I’m not crazy! How long until I join the life of the living again??

  8. I found out I had been cheated on a month ago…he had been having threesomes with his best male friend and his male friends girlfriend, along with, I had found hook up site accounts… he ignored me for the whole week he was away…
    how did you feel afterwards?
    I feel crazy like its going to happen over and over again, like I am so stupid and oblivious.
    was it the first time?
    will it be the last?
    how will i ever trust him again?
    Every time he touches me I can’t help but feel uncomfortable, and a million questions run through my mind… did he touch her the way he touches/touched me?
    did he kiss her with the passion I thought was between us?
    did he not think of me the entire time?

  9. I just found out that my husband cheated on me. Several months ago he told me about a young girl he met at work who had been raped years earlier but never had counseling. He said she didn’t have any good role models, and he wanted to help her find affordable counseling and mentor her. I remember thinking there was going to be trouble, but he was so sure he could help her, I knew there was no point in me “forbidding” it, and I trusted him, so I told him to be very careful, not get too involved. I also told him that he had to guard against the ” damsel in distress” attraction, and that he must be very open with me about all of their contact, to maintain my trust. He promised, and so I knew when he met her at a local beach to sit and talk, and when he met her at a counseling center where he helped her get set up for assistance. I knew that she worked at a local golf course and would come out once a week to the course where he is golf pro to play. Oh, and she is 7 years younger than our youngest child.
    Well, last night his cell phone rang at 12:05 AM. He quickly hung it up as I woke and asked who was calling. He yawned and said “Oh, it’s that girl I’m helping.” He wouldn’t respond when I asked why she would be calling at such an hour, just rolled over. Well, after staying up most of the night, thinking, looking at his phone and his call log online, I was starting to piece it together. He kept lying the next morning, then started to admit emotional unfaithfulness as I caught him in his lies,and finally admitting to a single physical encounter. He says it just happened once, but the calls continued after this supposed event, and I am out of places to look, so he is probably still lying. We have been married 30 years, and I have always known him to be very honest and ethical. How do I reconcile who I thought I was married to with the man who lied repeatedly and so easily? He says he is very sorry that he hurt me, and it will never happen again. I feel like such a cliche and such a fool.

  10. I found out about my husbands affair through a private message on Facebook, from a so called friend.
    Donna, I hope that you accept this message as a means of forgiveness, but I feel you should know that your husband had sex with me in hotel rooms behind your back to satisfy his desire to be something he feels he is not… and what he did was misleading a girl who thought she was in love into thinking that he was something he was not!!!! Your husband is nothing more than a Donnie/Marty!! (2 other guys who’s loves she tried to destroy).
    I got this message as I was getting ready for work, thought I was fine for a few minutes and then fell to the floor in tears. I called off work, sent my husband a text, as he spent the night after a family party with our daughters. I drove for hours crying, racking my brain and stopping at times to text questions about the affair. To add to the pain, confusion and shock, my oldest daughter came to me apologizing that she read the message from *#@!. My heart sank, it hurt more than I could imagine, if that is possible. She went to her room and I told my husband he needed to fix our daughter that I hated him and wanted him out. My younger daughter came home and knew something was going on, we (my daughters and I) talked and cried all night. Neither of them wanted him home for awhile, and I told him I would not bad mouth him at all, just that he made a VERY bad choice that is causing a great deal of pain on all of us.
    The holidays were awful, seen as we found out days before Christmas. I started experiencing high anxiety and panic attacks, not sleeping and lost 13 pounds. I was put on Valium and Zoloft and feel that it is helping. Tried counseling, but she seemed to give more information on healing our marriage, than helping me with my pain. Kept telling me to breath and tell myself to stop with the thoughts. What the hell???? My world just crashed down on me and she just wants me to put it on the back burner. Not seeing her anymore and am currently waiting for an appointment with a psychologist.
    This is the worst, for weeks I felt like I could not breath, eat, smile or work. Things seemed to get better, as I would try to stop myself from focusing on the affair, we have gone out, laughed and have had amazing sex. Now for the last 2 days, I am sad, lost, numb, have no motivation and feels as if I am taking it out on one of my daughters. No actually, I am. I have no patience and she has a very powerful personality. This just SUCKS!!!!! I wish there was a simple answer that could fix this for us all. This rollercoaster of emotions can go away at any point.
    I love him, there is no doubt in my mind, in love – no. I wont trust anything that comes out of his mouth, check to see where he is at all the time, went through all his things (for the first time in my life) and we have been together for 23 years. My faith has gone to the waste side and I need to find my way back. My heart breaks for all of us going through this horrible experience and hope we find the strength, courage and friends to help guide us to the right/best resolution.

  11. thiswillnotdefineus
    Hello beings that I am a man who has been on the recieving end of infidelity, with more than one woman, its not an easy thing to let go of. It has been been for me over 8 years, and I thought the other day that I was over the intense anger , and hurting I felt . But i have one major problem. The last woman involved my immediate family members fed them lie after lie after lie after lie. To the point that my family members have , some of them disowned me, been absolutely horrible, they even attended the divorce hearrings and stood up for this witch.
    They have judged me wrongly, and passed this information on to others of my family members, and even today one of my relatives said to me this statement” man if your talking about this , it makes you look like you did exactly what your ex says you did”.
    But I didnt bring it up because I wanted to keep the anger going, I brought it up because those other relatives had sought me out and rekindled a relationship with me , with the understanding that they were not having anythiong to do with my ex. In other words they lied to me.
    So I put it out there that I would end any way that the ex could get information out of them, because thats her MO. She did it with her ex and now I was the recipient of her BS.
    And frankly I am tired of the whole mess. I will disown them all , and stop all communication with them, I will go quiet immediately, and to a certain degree I have. There is nothing worse than a family member (S) indignant looks and judgmental behavior, and or false accusations about me when they have no clue as to what transpired between me and that witch.
    Infidelity is the most horrible punishment, pain, that another human could ever force onto another human being. weather man or woman. Its extremely traumatic, and borders on PTSD. I know that since then i treat potential mates with an extreme amount of mistrust, I question everything , and everyone they speak to, or say something about.
    I would be willing to say that I have no desire as of today to invest myself into any kind of relationship, and its been well over 8 years. Ive tried , but it appears that I attract the same kind of women, or maybe I see all women as potential cheaters. Facts always speak louder if we see them for what they are.
    1. You didnt cheat on him.
    2. Of course he is going to say “he didnt know what he was doing” My ex said that everything she was telling her new found lover she wanted to say to me, everything she was doing with this man she wanted to do with me, but there is a big problem to her statement, I was home everyday, I was available to gratify her everyday in everyway she wanted. She had me , I was her spouse and that was supposed to mean something to her. But it didnt regardless of all that i had done for her, the times she needed me , her family needed me, I was available. But more importantly I was her HUSBAND, her man. there was absolutely no exscuse for her betrayal that I could except as rational, none.
    there weree reasons as to why in the ancient days that infidelity was remedied with the death of those involved in the affair. And to a certain extent I wish that still applied today. I’d be willing to bet that there would be less divorces and more faithfulness to the spouses, to the vows you give each other.
    But i cant and in reality dont want to help the way I feel.
    And today I would rather spend the rest of what little life i have left alone, I can do things to ease my desires , but I will not venture down that road ever again, with anyone. Out of fear yep , but not the kind of fear that is minute in its dimensions, its the kind of fear that is all encompassing , overwhelming, and complicated to the point that I would rather die than be attached to anyone ever again. If only to not experience the pain of infidelity ever again, It is worth it.

    I am truly sorry for your pain and suffering , and unfortunately everything we experience “changes and defines us”, we can say to ourselves 24/7 that it won’t , but it does that inevitably.
    The best I can offer is empathy and sympathy, and understanding as to what you are and have been going through. Its not easy, and it never will or shiould be for that matter. Hopefully with the passage of time you will find peace in your soul , comfort in your heart, and move on into your life much wiser and stronger. the saying that “whatever problems we encounter in our lives if it doesnt kill us it will definately make us stronger in the end” is factual and unfortunately I am evidence of that end.
    Take care and a speedy and healthy recovery from your pain.

  12. It has been 1 month since my D-Day and like many of you I searched the Internet for what to do. I ran across every bit of advice possible. I realized that each situation is completely unique. For some it was out of the blue and the first time and only time. My situation offered nothing similar to situations I had read of. My husband cheated on my before we were married and I was 5 mos pregnant. I went 1.5 years not speaking to him. When we reconnected again he was full of promises that it would never happen again. As our relationship progressed I saw so many signs of selfishness meanwhile I was being told I was selfish. I was being told to change. I was being told I wasn’t good enough. He told me that I was making him unhappy and that I didn’t care about his needs, even though I was bending over backwards to meet his needs. Finally one day I decided I needed to stop bending and start living my life honestly. I Stopped having sex just to please him, but when we both wanted it. That didn’t fly with him and when I found out he’d been hiring escorts for “massages.” He said he had done it because he wasn’t getting the connection he needed at home. I have since learned that saying that is a narcissists way of saying they are entitled to do what they want. When D-Day came I had just learned of 1 escort and he swore that was all there was. Come to find out he had been cheating on me for 2.5 years with at least 15 different escorts/prostitutes. All the while telling me I had broken my wedding vows because he didn’t feel loved by me as I had promised to do in my vows. I am still with my husband because I refuse to make a decision based on what society says I should do, or based on assumptions about the affairs, or an emotional decision. I am taking it one day at a time to see where his feelings are. Currently he sees little wrong with what he did other than it hurt me. He is already pushing to have sex with me to which I have expressed I am not ready for. I am learning slowly that he is a manipulator and a narcissist. He, however, is the father of my children so I have to take my time to make sure leaving is the right thing to do. I am fearful of both paths but a decision weighted this heavily is worth contemplation of all factors.

  13. I just found out my husband cheated on me .. He left his phone at home when he went to work and he got a message from this woman who asked him why he wasnt speaking to her anymore so i called and ask who she was and immidiatly she called me by my name and admitted everything her and my husband has an affair from july to october 2015 . and they havent seen eachother since then .. I didnt sleep all night waoting for my husband to get home at 7 am.the moment he walked through that door i confronted him and he admitted everything it’s been 72 hours since i found out and everytime i see his face i cry .. He ended it i keep reminding myself but also feel so betrawed 5 years of marriage and a child involve i dont want to throw it all away but i dont know how i can live knowing he had sex with another woman .. This article is amazing and ive been reading it everyday since i found out gives me hope that maybe one day i will be able to forgive him for it but i know i will never be able to forget how can i he complietly destroyed my trust our marriage was great on my part anyways. And all i can think at night is this woman knew he had a wife , knew he had a child what kid of woman would want to destroy a family this way ..
    (ps i know it was wrong to go and read the messaged but never in a million years did i think he had an affair)

    • I have a question…
      It’s been about 4 months since I found out about my husband’s affair. He was cheating with a married woman. Should I inform her husband?
      I do not know him or any of his family, and he lives in another state. I could however email his sister on Instagram and let her decide if she thinks he’d want to know.
      I feel like it would make me feel better in a way. Plus, unlike all of these cheaters, I live by the golden rule and believe I’d want and deserve to know.
      What are your thoughts?

      • Jessica

        Are you looking her husband’s help is keeping distance between her and your husband? If so you are wasting your time.

        Revenge can backfire and usually does in some way. Picking up a newspaper tells you that everyday that some kills a spouse for cheating and takes with them the lover, family and innocent bystanders. Truly there is nothing to be gained by informing him other than putting a lot of grief on him that he doesn’t deserve.

        You have nothing to gain by telling him.

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