My Husband Is Cheating on Me--What Should I Do?

by Maggie McCormick
Make the right decision for you when your spouse is cheating.

Make the right decision for you when your spouse is cheating.

When your husband cheats, it may be one of the most devastating blows to both your heart and your marriage. It is difficult to overcome the hurt and betrayal that you feel from learning that he is cheating. Once you know the truth, you need to decide what to do about it. The answer is different for every woman.

Significance

The problems with cheating don't come solely from the fact that he had sex with another woman. It also comes from the fact that he lied to you, deceived you and broke your trust. These things can ruin a marriage more than cheating. Additionally, you have to determine why he cheated--cheating typically stems from a bigger problem in the relationship.

Leaving the Marriage

If you do not feel you can repair the relationship, the natural choice is to leave. To do this officially, you'll need to contact a divorce lawyer and file a petition for the dissolution of a marriage. In the meantime, though, you can stay with a good friend or ask your husband to leave the home. Even though you leave him, it may still be smart to talk to a therapist about what you are feeling, because it can be difficult to learn to trust anyone again.

Staying Together

You may feel that your marriage is more important than his betrayal and that you really do want to stay with him "for better or for worse." If he is truly apologetic for his actions and willing to work on your marriage together, this could be an option. Consider hiring a marriage therapist to help you resolve the feelings that you have as a result of the cheating and the underlying problems that may have caused it.

Considerations

When you have children together, things are a great deal more difficult. The most important thing is to consider what's best for the children. This isn't always staying together. If you are going to be constantly bickering and fighting with each other, it's probably best to leave the marriage. Even though it will be difficult for the children initially, they will eventually see that it was the best decision.

What Should You Do?

Deciding what to do when your husband cheats is a personal decision. There is no right or wrong answer. You have to consider your individual situation to determine what is right for you. If your husband had a one-night stand and truly regrets his action, you may feel that it was just a mistake and that you can get over it. However, if he has had ongoing relationships with several different women, it is a great deal more difficult to get past it--and he may not be willing to change his ways. Ultimately, the decision is yours, but you have to make the choice that feels right to you, not the choice that others are pressuring you into.

About the Author

Maggie McCormick is a freelance writer. She lived in Japan for three years teaching preschool to young children and currently lives in Honolulu with her family. She received a B.A. in women's studies from Wellesley College.

Photo Credits

  • sad woman near window image by Piter Pkruger from Fotolia.com