Affairs in marriage bring out the absolute worst in people, and make for good newspaper copy! Finding out that you are married to a cheating husband, is likely to trigger anger. Nobody would deny the right of a betrayed spouse to feel anger, but it is important that one be careful as to where that anger leads. The newspapers may make headlines out of anger and its consequences, “betrayed wife torches cheating husbands Ferrari” but generally speaking it is not a productive route to take. Slashing one’s husbands’ suits and scratching his vintage LP collection with a pair of scissors may be cathartic at the time, but could result in charges of criminal damage. Friends may encourage thoughts of revenge, arguing that the husband deserves it, but they do not have to live with the consequences. Revenge is a pointless activity, it denigrates you, and you will regret it afterwards.
The green–eyed monster
Another destructive emotion likely to be experienced is jealousy, and that green-eyed monster is an evil one. It can physically hurt, the thought of another woman close to your husband, and may lead to an all consuming desire to confront her, to find out what it is that she has, that you do not. If you have not met her, you imagine what she is like and your damaged emotions conjure up a witch, beautiful and scheming, who turned your husband into a cheating man, and who shared special moments with him. The reality is that she is probably very ordinary, and somewhat like you. Jealousy is a self destructive emotion; and much insecurity within the marriage is as a result of one person’s jealousy of the other. Jealousy is rooted in insecurity, and can only be countered by improvements in self esteem. Affairs in marriage often start as a result of jealousy, one partner envies the others’ approach to life, feels undervalued, looks for someone else to affirm their worth.
Fear and insecurity
Hand in hand with anger and jealousy is the overwhelming feeling of loss of security. The familiar world no longer exists, and there is fear and uncertainty over who to trust. Whilst the betrayed spouse needs someone to confide in, family members are not always the best choice as they can be biased. They may advise simplistic actions such as “leave the cheating toe-rag” but affairs in marriage do not have to end in separation or divorce, and the wife may still love her husband and want to find a way to heal the marriage. It is better to choose a counselor, such as the family minister, a strong neutral friend who allows you to weep, without getting angry and pushing you into action. Feelings of uncertainty are natural, for goodness sake life is uncertain, but the change that turns a husband, a man everyone thought was true, into the man who cheats on his wife is just cause for uncertainty! Insecurity is a natural byproduct of affairs in marriage, for both the wronged party, and the cheater. Recovery will take time, as will processing these extremely destructive emotions. There is, however, hope, and nobody should feel shame about asking for help to get through this. Just remember when you feel that somehow you were to blame, there are many reasons why men cheat on their wives, few of them are because the wife has done anything wrong.