It is every husband's worst nightmare: Your wife is cheating on you. Emotions are bound to be running high, but try to stay calm when you confront your wife about her affair. You then need to consider your options, establish whether you both want to repair the marriage, and identify what lead to your wife's infidelity.
Talk About It
If you haven't yet confronted your wife about her infidelity, it's time to take the plunge. This will be a difficult conversation, but it's a vital first step if she has not admitted to cheating. If you have evidence of her affair, such as emails or text messages from the other man, present these to her, suggests therapist Teresa Maples in the article, "Cheating Signs: What to Do If You Suspect Your Spouse is Cheating," for Huffington Post. On the other hand, if you only have suspicions but no irrefutable proof, prepare yourself for defensiveness and denial. Remain calm and explain exactly why you suspect she is cheating. Ask her to be totally honest with you.
Consider Your Options
How you handle the situation depends on whether your wife plans to end the affair. Be prepared for her to tell you she is leaving you for the other man, or that she doesn't know who she truly wants to be with. If your wife is unable to promise that she will end the affair and commit to repairing your marriage and rebuilding the trust that has been lost, you need to accept that your marriage may be over. Ask yourself whether you can genuinely trust your wife again. If you can't imagine being able to forgive her, you will only be subjecting yourself to a lifetime of pain, warns psychologist Dr. Phil on drphil.com.
Take Time Out
Even if you have known -- or had suspicions -- about your wife's affair for some time, it may still be very difficult to cope with what your wife has told you. If you have children, you may want to maintain the status quo until you have decided what the future holds. Ask your wife to sleep in another room. If you don't have children, or simply cannot cope with being in the same house, politely ask her to go. She is the guilty party and should be the one to move out -- at least until you know whether the marriage can be saved. This is a crucial, life-changing decision, and not one to be made in haste or when you are feeling upset, emotional or desperate. It may take between six months and a year for you to come to a decision about the future of your marriage, says Maples.
Your wife was wrong to cheat, and you shouldn't blame yourself for that, but infidelity is almost always an indication that there were problems within the relationship. Perhaps your wife felt bored or neglected and turned to another man for excitement or attention. You must consider the possibility that you did not meet her emotional or physical needs, and be prepared to change to make your marriage strong again. If you need help identifying or discussing these issues, consider seeing a qualified marriage therapist or couples counselor.
C. Giles is a writer with an MA (Hons) in English literature and a post-graduate diploma in law. Her work has been published in several publications, both online and offline, including "The Herald," "The Big Issue" and "Daily Record."