I sometimes hear from women who don’t know how to respond to or act toward their husband after his affair. This topic may seem as if it should be straightforward, but it really isn’t. You’re generally feeling so many emotions all at once that it’s difficult to sort them out. You’re likely feeling angry, resentful, sad, and unsure all at once. And, the target of these feelings can vary depending on the day. You’re likely angry at your husband, the other person, and yourself. Many women admit to me that, although they don’t know why, they still love their husband and deep down still want his affection and reassurances but they are so conflicted about this.
I often hear comments like: “I’m just not sure how to act or how to treat him since he cheated. I’m furious with him and I find myself lashing out. But then later, when I calm down, I regret this. Deep down, I know that I really want to save my marriage and part of me wants to reach out to him. But I’m so angry and filled with resentment that only negativity comes pouring out of me these days. This isn’t the person I want to portray or who I want him to see, but I can’t seem to stop myself.”
Before I discuss this further, I want to tell you that these feelings are 100% normal. Your emotions will likely be all over the place from one point in time to the next. This isn’t your fault or indicative or your ability to cope or heal. It’s normal and there are things that can help you deal with and control this which I’ll discuss more in the following article.
You May Be Tempted To Allow Your Treatment Of Your Husband To Stem From Anger Or Negative Emotions, But Try To Allow Your Treatment To Be A Reflection Or What You Truly Want: Here’s what I’ve come to believe from having gone through this myself and speaking with many others who have gone through this. I believe that many of your reactions and treatment of others during this time stems from negative emotions like fear. You’re so scared that your life won’t be the same because of something that you did not set into motion,
And you’re unsure if you’re going to find your way back to a healthy place. Yes, you are generally angry and you certainly have a right to be. But underneath the anger is often fear and doubt. In this way, you can get stuck being reactive rather than proactive. When this happens, you almost come to feel or believe that you have no control over your feelings and that these feelings are driving your actions without your being able to navigate this.
This can feel awful and can bring about even more negative feelings into the mix. One way to counter this is to take some time to determine what it is that you really want right now. You may or may not be ready to decide what you want to do about your marriage. If this question seems too big, then break it down into smaller pieces. For example, you might decide that for right now, your small goal will be just to feel better and not be so angry at yourself or to feel so much like a victim.
The next time you’re tempted to feel reactive and to lash out, remind yourself what you have decided you really want. Since you’ve decided that you don’t want to feel victimized and miserable, then make sure that your actions are in line with that. Many of us don’t realize how draining it is to feel angry and spiteful all of the time. If you can pause that even for a bit and allow some relief of that constant drain, you’ll often find that things look a little better.
I Don’t Want To Treat My Husband So Badly, But I Just Can’t Help It. I’m So Furious With Him Because He Cheated And Betrayed Me: Many women tell me that they find themselves swinging wildly in the treatment of their husbands. One day they’ll try to be receptive to him because they really do want to make things better. And the next day, they’ll wake up angry and resentful and their treatment of him will reflect this. This too is normal. But I know that it can be frustrating and it can make things feel even worse.
When you feel yourself losing control or lashing out, you may want to take a break or to remove yourself from the situation until you calm down. I used to tell my husband “I’m just feeling incredibly angry right now so I’m going to go for a walk.” Sometimes, he would ask to go with me but this didn’t turn out well when I was in a low mood, so I’d just insist on being by myself. This let him know that I was trying my best but that I was still struggling needed time.
And frankly, I believe you have a right to some of your anger, especially in the beginning. You can’t be expected to always be nice and without anger when this has happened to you. Sometimes, you will be angry and suspicious and this may color how you treat your husband. But, most will understand that this is situation that they created. Eventually though, there usually comes a time when you feel deep in your heart that it’s time to begin moving on and you aren’t sure what to do with all the anger that you feel. This is normal.
Try to be aware of it and to be proactive rather than reactive. Pause, reflect, and redirect if you need to. And ask yourself if your actions are getting you closer to or further away than what your really want. If you regret something that you’ve said or done, there’s nothing that says you can’t just be honest and say so. And if you feel yourself losing control, remove yourself from the situation or take a break until you feel a bit better. I find that if you share these struggles, most people will understand. You didn’t create this and are doing the best you can.