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What steps to take if husband has an affair?

Asked by Female, 29, Married
What should I do if my husband is having an affair?
Thumb komal
Counseling Psychologist

Finding out that your partner is cheating on you can be extremely devastating.
For starters, take time to process what is happening. It's difficult to be able to keep sane and think with maturity in such times but give yourself the time to ponder upon your relationship and your needs and what you make of it. A huge decision lies ahead of you to decide whether you wish to work on the marriage at all or you are unwilling to give it another chance.

Do you really want to end your marriage or relationship?
Is their cheating strong enough to kill your love for them?
How are your children going to be affected, if you have any?
Are you prepared for a divorce?
Once you have answered these questions and if you still love your partner and want to move forward with them, all is not lost. Decide whether or not you want to re-establish trust. There are ways to overcome such an incident, if you truly want to make it work. It’s certainly not easy, and it may take years for you to get your confidence and trust back, but if you truly want to save your relationship, here are a few things you can do:

If you are unable to talk it out amongst yourself, consult a marriage counsellor or a therapist. It is best to consult an expert in such situations, because they are the best equipped to deal with the situation in the most sensitive manner possible. Couples counselling has done wonders to save marriages. What we don’t realise often enough, is that cheating is just a symptom of a bigger disease infecting your marriage. Only a trained professional can identify what the bigger issue is, so that you can progress to a strain free relationship.

It’s important to also be honest with yourself at such times. We can easily fall into self-blame or victim mode. That is not a solution to anything. So be honest about what you want to do in such a situation. Consider all the people involved. If you have children, think about them.

Discovering that you have been cheated on, or even becoming suspicious of cheating is unbelievably painful. It can erode all your self confidence and throw you into a downward spiral bringing forth feelings of rejection, betrayal, anger, sadness, and doubt. Your impulse might be take revenge, get a divorce or punish your partner. But these feelings are often temporary, and what you mostly feel is hopeless and helpless. Even though you may feel alone, depressed and alienated, know that help is always available. Reach out to friends and family and look to professionals for support.

However, if you believe that you do not want to forgive your partner and that this is the deciding factor, know that you have the choice of opting out of this marriage, whatever the consequences might be.

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