Last Updated on September 11, 2022 by Angela Vaz
You discovered that your wife was cheating.
Either you’ve known it for a while or just found out.
You’re still reeling in shock, and you’re unsure how you feel.
You have mixed emotions like anger, sadness, and confusion, and are upset.
You’re unable to fathom why she did but she wants another chance.
What do you do?
In this post, I will cover all the steps you should take after you discover your wife cheating on you.
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I am a woman and was in a relationship with a man for 4.5 years before tying the knot.
We were married for another 4.5 years before I discovered that he was cheating on me with a married neighbor who was also married and had 2 kids.
I found out much later that he had cheated on me with several prostitutes and other women living in the area after we divorced via neighbors.
Needless to say, I’ve had my fair share of understanding of how cheaters work.
I also have friends who have been cheated on by their spouses either via physical or emotional affairs.
So, this post is based on all my own experiences and the experiences of others.
This post is very personal because I will discuss how I dealt with my cheating ex.
Here’s what you need to know before moving forward with any decision regarding reconciliation:
It is not your fault.
Please don’t condone what she did by blaming yourself.
Do not entertain thoughts like:
- Maybe I wasn’t attractive enough
- Maybe I wasn’t paying much attention to her
- Maybe we weren’t as physical as she wanted to be
Please understand that if a person isn’t getting their needs met in a relationship, there are several other ways to solve this like:
- Communicating with your partner and telling them how you feel
- Making efforts to save the relationship via counseling and therapy
And if all else fails, the person should graciously end the relationship and move on so that both partners can get what they want.
Cheating is not a solution mainly because it breaks trust.
If there is no trust, there is no relationship.
It is as simple as that.
I’m not saying that she is entirely to blame because a relationship sometimes breaks down way before the cheating has happened.
But of course, there are caveats to that.
Let’s dive in.
Should I reconcile with my cheating wife? 9 things you need to do right now
1. Find a way to let off some steam
If you’re working, please take some time off.
You’ve been emotionally shocked to your core, and it is not easy to put on a brave face and go off to work.
Work may take your mind off the situation for a bit, but it will not help you. You may find it difficult to focus.
Instead, find a way to let out those emotions healthily.
Talk to people whom you trust. Write in a journal or type it on some notes app.
Take a long walk to cool down.
Please don’t drown yourself in alcohol, drugs, or binge eating.
These methods will help you find temporary relief before plunging you down a hole of even further depression again.
2. Know that this is not your fault
I am repeating myself, but I have found that most people who find their partners cheating try to blame themselves and go into an overthinking rut.
No, it wasn’t your fault.
Please understand that it is not your duty to make your wife happy.
If your wife is unhappy about the relationship or was going through depression, she should have tried communicating those feelings with you.
Suppose she was trying to do that, and you weren’t listening or continuously admonishing her concerns. In that case, she should have ended the relationship with you before moving on to someone else.
It is the right thing to do.
People cheat mainly because they are insecure or bored. They cheat because they don’t want to lose that comfort of being in a relationship while having a fling.
It almost has nothing to do with their partners.
It is an internal situation that they need to fix.
It is not on you.
It is clear that the relationship was no longer serving both of you in the same way.
So, the right thing to do was to end the relationship so that both of you could find more suitable partners.
3. Do not take revenge on the person she cheated on you with
Revenge will not solve anything.
Please know that people will hit on you and your partner occasionally, whether you are in a relationship or married.
It happens more frequently than you realize.
It doesn’t matter if the other person is single or married. It’s not on them if your wife cheated on you.
If it were not this person, it would have been another.
Your wife decided to stray. The person she cheated on you with, doesn’t matter.
Anger, hatred, and fury will not solve this situation.
It may help you blow off some steam, but it won’t bring back your love and trust for your wife.
4. Understand that just because you love someone doesn’t mean the relationship will work
The media has corrupted our ideas about love.
Just because you love someone strongly doesn’t mean it’s enough to sustain a relationship.
You need more than love to make a relationship work – like trust, honesty, and communication.
Please know that you may still have a deep love for your wife.
But the relationship you’ve had with her has changed. And it’s changed permanently.
No matter how much you try to reconcile this marriage, you need to ask yourself if you can trust her again.
This is a question you need to ask yourself. Here are some more to consider:
- If you have work, can you leave the country for a bit and be sure she won’t cheat?
- If she goes through the same pattern of depression or loneliness again, are you sure she won’t stray?
- Can you ever close your eyes and relax without a doubt that she will cheat again?
- Will you be able to put this behind you and move forward if you decide to work on the relationship?
Once you know that your wife has cheated, it is going to take a lot of work to rebuild that trust.
There is no doubt that if you truly love her, you can work together to rebuild the relationship.
You may even forgive her and move on.
But can you ever rest easy knowing that you can fully trust her to not cheat on you again?
This is something you have to take time to think about.
5. Time does not matter
It does not matter if you have been in a relationship for 1 year or you’ve been married for 30.
Time is irrelevant when you’re trying to build a relationship with someone who’s broken that trust.
Please know that no matter how beautiful your relationship was, it was obviously not perfect because she cheated.
It means that either she was a poor communicator and couldn’t communicate how she felt with you, or she just didn’t have the courage to leave a relationship that wasn’t serving her.
Maybe both of you were not happy in the relationship but were not talking about it.
Please know that even if you love her, building a relationship with someone with deep issues like these may be very hard.
It’s not about trying to save the relationship- it now depends on whether you value your peace of mind and yourself.
6. Think about your children (if you have them)
Even if you have children, you must consider what’s best for them.
- Can you be in the best state of mind to raise your kids when you don’t trust your wife?
- If you’re ready to put it in the past and work on the relationship, will you be able to sort your issues peacefully without bringing the kids between?
- Is it worth staying together just because you believe the kids will be happier with two parents living together even though both parents are unhappy and resent each other deep down?
Please understand that it’s possible to co-parent your kids and bring them up with love and care even though you are not living with your wife.
Children can sense when their parents are unhappy and upset.
It takes a toll on them.
2 parents should live apart and be happy than have so much anxiety and tension under the same roof as the kids.
7. Know that there is a good chance it might happen again
If you decide to reconcile with your wife because you truly believed that it was a mistake and she is indeed apologetic and takes full responsibility, please understand that it might happen again.
She may cheat again.
You may have to consider this if you’re reconciling with your wife again.
8. Do not stay because you’re afraid
When I speak to people about how unhappy they are in their relationships, the main reason why they continue to stay in the relationship is that they are afraid of being alone.
Either that or they fear they will never find anyone else.
So, they settle.
This leads to more problems in the relationship in the future.
If either one of you is not happy in the relationship and it isn’t serving even one of you, the relationship will not be successful.
Please know that it takes 2 people to make a relationship successful.
There is a give and take, there is love and respect, and most importantly, there should be trust.
Trust and honesty are the backbones of every single successful relationship.
Please understand it’s okay to love and miss your wife.
But if the relationship is broken and you feel deep down that you cannot give her the same love as you did before (because of what the cheating did to you), it’s alright to move away.
At this moment, it is important to protect yourself.
It is important to put yourself first.
Just because you love and miss someone doesn’t mean they need to stay in your life.
It’s alright to acknowledge that they are not the right person for you and move away.
This is healthy for you and her.
If you have the desire to be in a loving and committed relationship, please know that you will find it.
I’m so glad I left my cheating ex (even though I felt I had given 9 years to that relationship) because I could find someone who truly loves and respects me.
We’ve been going strong for 11 months now, and I am so happy that I left that toxic relationship.
If at all you are reconciling only because you feel you will find no one better, then you aren’t staying for love – you are staying because you don’t want to be alone.
This is not a good reason to be in a relationship.
9. You will get through this
I remember my chest hurting with the pain I felt after finding out that my ex was cheating on me.
I barely ate anything and dropped over 20 pounds in less than 2 weeks.
I didn’t deal with that heartbreak healthily.
And if I could go back and just tell my younger self one thing, it would be, “You will get through this. Yes, the pain is bad, but that cheating was a blessing. It allowed you to discover that your partner was not the right one for you. You’ve just saved yourself from years of heartbreak. I know you desire to be in a loving and committed relationship and don’t worry – you’ll find that someday. Just be patient, and work on yourself. Give yourself that love you need right now. You’re going to be okay.”
Please know that if you want to be in a loving relationship, you deserve to be loved and respected for what you are.
You were faithful.
You didn’t deserve to be cheated on.
It’s alright to be alone for a while after the breakup or divorce and return to who you are.
It will take some time to get back on your feet, but it is possible.
Take it from someone who’s gone through this tunnel and seen the light – you will make it.
You just have to love yourself.
At the end of the day, the main question isn’t whether you should reconcile with your wife.
The main question is, “Do I love myself enough to realize that I need more than this? Do I love myself enough to walk away from someone that has just broken my trust and disrespected our relationship? Am I able to stand up for my beliefs that honesty and loyalty really matter?”
No matter what you choose, I wish you nothing but the best.
What to do if you decide to stay with your wife?
1. Get counseling
Both you and your wife require to heal, and you need to draw boundaries.
You both must get counseling and therapy together to move forward healthily while having someone guide you.
2. Talk to your children
Children pick up on everything. You will not protect your children by lying to them and pretending that everything is okay.
There is a good chance that they’ve already picked up on the situation and know that both of you are going through emotional tension.
If you have children, explain to them that you both are having problems and you’re working on them.
Make sure that you tell them that you love them and that what is happening between you both doesn’t have anything to do with them.
3. Realize that the past is the past
If you decide to put this in the past, then that’s where it should be.
You cannot keep bringing it up every time she makes a mistake and throw this incident in her face.
This will only lead to the relationship deteriorating even more.
And it will break you both.
You have to be mature about it if you decide to rebuild what you both have.
It is important to go through counselling so both of you can heal.
What to do if you decide to leave your wife:
1. Get everything in order
Take your time to decide if you want to separate from your wife for now and then go for a divorce. Talk to a lawyer and, simultaneously, find out what the procedures are that you have to go about.
In my case, I just called a divorce lawyer and had her deal with everything. I cut off all communication with my ex (he was violent and abusive so my lawyer suggested she handle all communication) and had the lawyer do everything.
2. Talk to your children
Please know that just because you part ways doesn’t mean your children will be unhappy.
They can still live very normal and happy lives if both of you decide to co-parent peacefully and draw up schedules that work for both of you.
Your children may be disappointed that you are not living together, but in time they will understand that you did what you did for the benefit of everyone.
So, talk to them – explain that both you and your wife have decided to part ways but that will not affect the love and devotion you have for your children.
I am sorry you’re going through this.
Please know that this pain will ease slowly, and you will eventually come out of this.
It is not a situation I wish on anyone, and my heart is with you during this tough time.
It is hard to cover this topic in-depth because cheating isn’t a one-dimensional problem.
So, please read these other articles, and you may find them helpful:
- What I did to get over my cheating ex
- How to stop overthinking after being cheated on
- My girlfriend left me for someone else, what do I do?
- How to recover from the aftermath of a toxic relationship
- I’m missing my ex so badly, it hurts. What do I do?
- How to recover from a painful breakup
- What do I do when I can’t handle this emotional pain?
- How to love yourself as a single person
- The single girl’s bucket list: 35 exciting things you should do
- 7 breakup books that helped me get over my heartbreak
- 13 signs you’re healing from a painful breakup
- Is it time to end the relationship? 17 signs enough is enough
- Struggling with singleness? Read this