You might not classify kissing someone who is not your spouse as infidelity -- until it has happened to you. If you wouldn't do something in front of your spouse, consider it to be cheating, warns psychologist "Dr. Phil" McGraw on his website. If you have found out that your husband has kissed another woman, you are likely to be feeling absolutely devastated. It may take a long time before you can get over it, but it is possible if you are both committed to tackling the problems in your marriage.
Take things slowly. Your feelings of shock, hurt, anger and betrayal will not disappear overnight. Give yourself time to calm down. Avoid trying to rationalize your husband's behavior or blaming yourself for it, says McGraw in the article "Moving Forward After Infidelity" on his own website www.drphil.com. Whatever problems are in your relationship, your husband was wrong to kiss another woman. Accept that it is completely normal for you to react in a range of ways. You may have trouble sleeping and feel lethargic. You may struggle to concentrate and find yourself consumed by thoughts of your husband and the other woman. It's common to withdraw from family and friends because you don't want to reveal what has happened. Excessive crying and a lack of appetite are also normal reactions.
Decide whether you want to save the marriage. A marriage doesn't have to end because of infidelity, says Jay Kent-Ferraro, who holds a Ph.D. in clinical and counseling psychology, in the article "Is It Really Possible to Save a Marriage After an Affair?" for "Psychology Today." Dealing with the infidelity in the right way is key to moving on and creating a stronger, healthier relationship. Resolve to forgive your husband if you both want to move past his indiscretion and improve your marriage.
Tell your husband what he needs to do to help you get over the betrayal. He needs to help you achieve emotional closure, says McGraw, and he should be willing to do whatever it takes, from cutting all ties with the woman he kissed to letting you know exactly where he is, 24 hours a day.
Address the possible underlying causes of the betrayal. Don't confuse "causes" with "excuses," but accept that these need to be addressed to help the marriage survive, says couples counselor Elly Prior in "Overcoming Infidelity" on her website www.professional-counselling.com. Possible causes may be transition periods, such as midlife or the birth of a child; feelings of neglect, rejection or boredom; or lack of communication, affection, love or respect. Consider seeking the help of a suitably qualified professional to establish exactly what the causes are and the best way of dealing with them. Work with your husband to rebuild your relationship.
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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."