It's common to feel insecure after a betrayal. When you discover your husband's affair, you may wonder if you're not good enough and wonder if he's going to cheat again. These feelings are natural, but insecurity takes its toll, and it can interfere with your happiness and the future of your relationship. If you want to stay with your husband (or even if you don't), you need to know how to deal with insecurity. The first step is to work on emotional self-reliance. When you are well resolved in this regard, you will be able to work on the relationship and rebuild trust.
Method 1 of 3: Gaining Security in Itself
Step 1. Work on your self-esteem
Your partner's infidelity does not mean that you are deserving of betrayal or disrespect. You deserve dignity and honesty in any relationship, and it's not your fault your husband went behind your back.
Turn around by remembering your strengths and achievements. Try to make a list of all your positive traits. It can be anything, like being a loyal friend, knowing how to play the guitar, or having completed higher education. Write all these attributes down on paper and always look at the list. If you have trouble remembering positive things about yourself, ask a trusted friend or family member for help
Step 2. Know how to deal with unwanted thoughts.
You will often find yourself wondering if your spouse is going to cheat again. These thoughts are extremely harmful, so it's important to learn to recognize them and redirect your attention when they come to mind.
Try to replace an unwanted thought about betrayal with something positive. For example, if you happen to start thinking “I know my husband is going to cheat on me again, and there's nothing I can do to stop this situation!”, replace that thought with something like “I'm doing what I can to recover from my husband's infidelity and I'm proud of my effort and the progress I've made so far”
Step 3. Take care of your health
Focus on maintaining good nutrition, sleeping well, and exercising. Dealing with a difficult circumstance such as infidelity is easier when physical needs are in order.
- Self-directed activities such as meditating and journaling can be beneficial to your emotional health.
- Avoid the consumption of alcohol, drugs or other substances harmful to health in search of comfort. You may feel better for a while, but these substances will make your problems worse in the long run.
Step 4. Cultivate hobbies that are not related to your relationship
Set aside a few hours a week to devote yourself to some pleasurable activity or to start something you've always been interested in. Developing a new competency or exercising creativity can help you feel more self-reliant.
Start reading more, learn some art or take an interesting course
Step 5. Don't condition your happiness on others
When you share your life with someone, it's easy to let that person dictate your emotions. Remember that you are self-reliant and that you can find happiness outside of any relationship.
Try to imagine the situation from another perspective. For example, when your husband gets angry or depressed, imagine he's just got on a roller coaster and you're standing outside watching. The roller coaster represents the emotions he's feeling, but you don't need to get into it with him
Step 6. Seek individual therapy
Self-esteem and confidence issues can arise after discovering the betrayal. Just as it can be helpful to seek help as a couple, you can also benefit from individual consultations.
- You can seek this individual help as a tool to regain confidence and to heal the wound after the betrayal if you don't want to restore your marriage. The therapist can also serve as a support to guide you through the divorce decision, should you make that decision.
- Joining a support group for people who have faced a situation of infidelity is also supportive. Sharing your story and listening to others help to heal the wound.
Step 7. Go ahead
It is up to you to decide how to move forward after suffering an episode of infidelity in your marriage. If you find that your husband's betrayal is recurrent, or if you are unable to forgive him, you have the option of getting divorced. Divorce is never an easy decision. Before making a complete decision, you should talk to your husband and a few people close to you.
- A therapist can also help you decide what the best alternative is for the future (and your children's too, if you have one). The professional will guide you in the best way so that you can talk to your husband, your children and other family members about the matter.
- Think hard about each of the alternatives before making a decision. Even if you get advice to act quickly, take your time to make up your mind.
Method 2 of 3: Repairing the Relationship
Step 1. Commit to Forgiveness
If you want to stay with him, you must forgive him. Holding on to resentment and bitterness will only poison the future of the relationship. Make a conscious decision to forgive your husband and move on.
- Forgiving at once is difficult, especially if the betrayal has happened recently. Set forgiveness goals to rebuild your relationship.
- Try saying “I forgive you” or “I'm working on your forgiveness” out loud to yourself, your husband, and others. Even if you don't feel ready to forgive definitively, expressing your intentions out loud can help you along the path to forgiveness.
Step 2. Seek couples therapy
Career guidance is a valuable tool to help rebuild your relationship with your husband. The professional will help them discover the reason for the infidelity, in addition to helping both of them work on their emotions and improve communication.
Therapy will also help them decide whether continuing the relationship is the best choice
Step 3. Take ownership of your relationship issues
Many people who cheat do this because they don't have their needs met at home. If that reason contributed to your husband's infidelity, take your share of the blame and try to make amends for your own mistakes.
- Lack of emotional intimacy and sexual dissatisfaction are some of the most common causes that lead people to cheat.
- Taking your share of the blame for relationship problems does not redeem your husband from infidelity.
Step 4. Communicate openly and often
Take a regular time to talk with your husband. Don't just talk about the betrayal – talk about your feelings, what you expect from each other, and your goals for the future. Talk about things that aren't related to marriage, like your passions, goals, and dreams. This can help to restore enthusiasm to the relationship.
- Reopen channels of communication with your husband to help re-establish the relationship after the period of secrets and lies of infidelity.
- If you find yourself spending a lot of time talking about betrayal, set aside 15 minutes for that and leave the rest of the time for other matters.
Step 5. Regain physical intimacy
After a break in trust, it can be difficult to reconnect with your husband on a physical level. However, when choosing to rebuild your marriage, this is a step you need to take to move forward.
- You can regain intimacy in marriage by confiding your deepest desires to your husband – your secret thoughts and feelings. Besides, starting dating again can be a big help. Take a romantic trip with your spouse. Try going back to the time when you were exchanging romantic messages, cuddling on the couch, and talking about the day over dinner instead of eating in silence.
- Couple therapy can also help them regain sexual intimacy. This may take a while, as you may have raised a barrier after the betrayal and you may not want to work on this issue right now. Try to focus on getting your relationship back together, and intimacy will come with time. It's important that the two of you be honest and get through the episode completely in order to re-establish a physical connection.
- Affection is another form of physical display of affection, and you can start that way until you feel ready for intimacy. Simple things like holding hands, kissing goodbye, and hugging can help improve physical intimacy.
Step 6. Avoid getting too dependent on him
Don't call all the time to find out where your husband is or insist that he spend all his free time with you. While this type of behavior is understandable on your part, he will feel smothered and this may end up creating a barrier between you.
You can ask your husband for an explanation after a betrayal, just be careful not to cross the line into the zone of sick jealousy or controlling behavior
Step 7. Create new experiences
Doing new things can help a couple put the problem of infidelity behind them. Find something that can bring them closer and create new memories.
Take a weekend trip together, choose a new hobby, or strive to do more with each other
Method 3 of 3: Rebuilding Trust
Step 1. Accept the fact that you cannot control your husband
Fidelity in the future depends exclusively on him. No matter how careful you are, if he wants to cheat again, he'll figure it out. Likewise, if it is committed to fixing the error, you don't need to try to control it.
Remember that you've proven through this whole process that you can take care of yourself and that you can survive no matter what happens
Step 2. Set goals for the relationship
Sit with your husband and talk about how you would like the relationship to go forward. Make plans to turn goals into reality. Working towards the same interest puts both on the same team, helping the couple to rebuild camaraderie and trust.
Step 3. Discuss privacy issues
It's fair to ask for access to your husband's phone and online activities after a betrayal. However, he has a right to privacy. Talk to him about how to balance the privacy he wants with the satisfaction he needs to give.
If he keeps hiding the game over the phone or the computer, consider whether he's really interested in regaining your trust
Step 4. Don't make assumptions about what he's thinking
Nobody can read anybody's mind, and it's all too easy to imagine problems that don't exist. Focus on the facts. Don't give in to the fear of being betrayed again unless there is a concrete reason.
- Do a reality check on yourself when your imagination wanders. Stop and ask yourself, “Why am I thinking this? Are there reasons?”.
- Keep in mind that if he's cheating on you, you'll find out again. You don't need to be alert all the time, allow yourself to take the weight of that responsibility off of you.