You Find Your Spouse Cheating…
10 Years of Married Bliss Thrown Away
The chances that your spouse will violate a sacred trust on which you marriage is based, increases over time. You could be married for 10 beautiful years, enter a rough time, and then your spouse crosses the line that appears to be the line of no return. Your decision becomes hard. Do you throw away 10 great years because of one incident of cheating or one period in time?
What if This Happens?
I love playing worst case scenario. This gives me and my readers the opportunity to imagine what they think they would do and to come up with plans in case it ever happens.
Imagine one day you decide to surprise your wife and come home early. You buy her flowers at the local shop. In an effort to really surprise her, you sneak quietly into the house. You move stealthily down the hall when suddenly you are stopped in your tracks by sounds that you hear. From the bedroom, the sounds of grunting, groaning, and calling out to God are echoing in your ears. You slide open the door and there in your bed is a man with your wife, both are buck naked and vigorously wrestling.
What do you do?
My initial thoughts are of dishing out some wild butt kicking. If the guy stands up and he is 6’4” with abs on his abs and two cantaloupe sized guns for arm muscles, fighting may not be the best option. If you turn the situation into a violent battle, have you helped rescue your marriage or hindered the relationship?
What you do in this situation will determine the rest of your life. It will determine the lives of your children. It will determine if you are willing to let one or a few bad choices by your spouse destroy what you have worked so hard to build. At this crucial point, you decide what to do at the same time you are angry, sad, disappointed, and crushed. Hmmmm, is that a good time to decide? Heck no!
Reply Like This
Speaking firmly and say something like this: “Honey, go into the bathroom and get dressed. We will talk later. I will see you in the living room.
(Pointing at the guy) “You get dressed and get out of here! Understand that you are to never touch my wife again (best to stop here). I may or may not be able to kick your a…, but I can shoot the eyes out of a fly at 1000 meters or mess up your credit beyond repair or mix the right chemicals to go boom.”
Whatever, fits you. By the way, don’t really do this! This is only an outlet to try to regain some feelings of control in your world that just went spinning in a thousand directions.
The Beginning of Recovery and Forgiveness
If you want to survive the worst case scenarios, it takes a real man to see the value of forgiveness for any infraction before it ever happens. For me, the one line of forgiveness that I struggle with forgiving is if my wife ever physically, mentally, or sexually abused my children. That is a whole different ballgame to me. I may forgive, but I would not allow unsupervised visitation just like I would not invite the guy from my illustration to a sleepover.
Side note: You may not be as innocent as you make yourself out to be. You would be tempted if that beautiful blond from work, the one who makes centerfolds look ugly and smells like heaven, decided to turn her luring eyes on you for an intimate relation! You may even give in, so don’t think you cannot fall.
There are four steps to start the recovery:
1. Mention how the cheating has hurt you to the core of your heart.
Do not condemn her for her actions. If you back her into the corner, she will harden up and even justify her actions. CONTROL YOUR ANGER! It is highly likely that she will blame her discretion on you. To justify her actions, she will make you the problem. After all, it was you who invited the man into the house, ripped off her clothes, and made them do the wamba! Or is it that cheating is an accident – we all know it isn’t.
2. Talk about forgiveness.
Let her know that you forgive her, but forgetting is another problem. You will need her help and patience in salvaging the marriage. Eventually over time, this can become so distant that you rarely if ever think about it. Never bring it up in a fight again!
3. Ask what the two of you can do to improve your relationship and start to trust again.
Ask what the two of you can do to improve your relationship to protect it from the temptations that will come. In other words, the cheating was a symptom and not the actual problem. Temptation affects everyone. It is what you do after you are tempted that leads to the conflict. Don’t be afraid to have scheduled times to discuss your progress. Progress discussions just go back as far as the last discussion. Definitely, don’t go back to the time she romped with the other guy.
4. Start doing little things that mend the relationship.
Notes, gifts, and sweet words go a long way to create a healing environment. Clean off the broken bricks, sweeping away the dust, and building on what was good, pure, and hopeful from the beginning.
5. Seek wise counsel.
Choose someone who does not have a vested interest in your relationship; such as a professional counselor, elder at your church, or marriage retreats. Sometimes you know a trusted mentor that you can speak to that will impart wisdom. Seek a trusted mentor who is willing to tell you when you are thinking and acting wrong. Some people can work out their own problems. More power to you if you can do this.
6. Don’t seek friends and family for counsel
Don’t seek friends and family for counsel because many times they will be bias for either you or your spouse. Your friends will tell you to leave her and her friends will say she is justified in cheating.
Consequently, the path I have laid before you is not easy, but it will help you build a stronger foundation and survive some of the biggest storms in life. No one is perfect. Everyone screws up sometime. What you do after the screw up will set in place the rest of your life.
Also, your spouse isn’t the only person who is in danger of cheating. Don’t forget to check out my article on The Real Reason Why We Men Cheat.
You can also check out this article from FamilyLife.com to get an idea of some great advice for the woman’s side of things too.
Greg Brown is a father to three grown men, black belt in Karate, and has served 12 years as both an enlisted man and officer in the Marine Corps. He is also a businessman, teacher, author, pastor, semiretired, person as well as the Associate Editor of The Manly Blog.