Finding out your wife cheated on you can be shocking. And with that deep betrayal comes sadness, anger—even rage.
If you’re wondering what to do, you’re in the right place. We’re going to deep-dive into the steps you need to take and questions you should ask yourself in order to make the best decision for yourself and your relationship.
If you’re in a hurry, here’s a breakdown of the key steps you’ll need to take:
- Really understand what drove your wife to cheat
- Confront your wife about her affair, but do so calmly and listen to her side of the story
- Acknowledge and release your emotions so they don’t cloud your decision-making process
- Assess trust in your relationship, fulfillment, and commitment in your relationship
- Make a decision to stay together, or leave the marriage
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This guy is specifically designed to give you the power to reverse the damage in your marriage—even if you’re the only one willing to.
Click the link above now, or keep reading for our full guide on what to do after your wife cheats.
Table of Contents
My Wife Cheated—Now What?
When dealing with the aftermath of infidelity, you have two main options: staying in the relationship, or ending it.
Some people manage to rebuild trust and work towards a stronger bond, while others ultimately decide that parting ways is the healthiest option.
If you both want to work things out, it is possible to rebuild trust and mend your marriage.
On the other hand, if the trust has been irrevocably broken, divorce or separation might be the best course of action.
But you will have to make a choice.
Use the tips below to help you make a wise decision.
Read Next: Why Is My Wife So Secretive With Her Phone?
Understand Why Your Wife Cheated on You
There’s often some type of deep-rooted issue behind a cheating spouse.
Not only can figuring out why your wife decided to cheat be eye-opening for your relationship, it can also help you decide what to do going forward.
While it’s no excuse, people sometimes step outside of a committed relationship when they feel their needs aren’t getting met.
If you’re not sure what would make your wife cheat, recent research shows that the 8 biggest reasons for infidelity revolve around:
- anger in the relationship
- lack of love
- poor self-esteem
- low level of commitment
- sexual desire
- ease of opportunity
Rather tellingly, researchers found that most people felt an emotional attachment to the affair partner, with two-thirds showing their affair partners affection—presumably pointing to a lack of emotional intimacy and affection within their marriages.
Should I Stay With My Wife After She Cheated?
The decision to stay with your wife after she cheated largely depends on your personal values, the specific circumstances, and whether both of you are willing to put in the effort to rebuild the relationship.
Take the time to think it through, and consider the reason your wife cheated—in other words, find the underlying problem beneath the cheating—and whether or not you believe you can tackle that reason and heal your relationship.
Considering many women cheat due to lack of love, affection, and fulfillment in their relationships, it’s important to consider whether you have been drifting apart.
Have arguments been increasing and unresolved conflicts festering?
Have you shown each other enough affection or paid enough attention to fulfilling the needs of both you and your wife?
While some feel that the betrayal is too great to overcome, others feel that issues like unintended neglect and disconnection are worth working on in order to save the marriage after infidelity.
If you want to save your marriage, be sure you know how to end toxic relationship patterns and find a healthy way to relate to each other that leads to a longer, happier marriage, like Dr. Lee Baucom teaches in Save The Marriage.
Confront Your Wife
At some point, you will need to really confront and talk to your wife about her cheating.
However, it’s crucial to approach the conversation with your spouse carefully.
Take some time to organize your thoughts and reflect on your experience.
It’s hard, but do your best to remain calm, even though your anger and heartache might overwhelm you.
Remember, the goal is to foster a productive conversation and create an environment conducive to understanding and healing.
As you engage in dialogue with your wife, try to keep an open mind and truly listen to her side of the story.
This will be challenging, given the feeling of betrayal, but it’s crucial because, how else will you discover why your wife cheated?
Ask questions that will help you gain insight into her thoughts and emotions, like what led her to cheat and if she has any regrets.
This can also help you assess whether you want to give your wife another chance if she shows real remorse, or tries to make excuses or deny it.
Read Also: My Wife Doesn’t Love Me
Don’t Get Too Caught Up in Your Emotions
Many blogs and online guides will tell you to ask yourself whether you can forgive your partner after an affair.
While this is certainly important to consider, that can be an overwhelming question to ask yourself right after a cheating incident.
You’re probably still caught up in a disorienting cocktail of sadness, rage, and despair, which will not leave you in the best mind frame to make a decision—
At least not with a logical framework to ask the right questions.
So instead, give yourself time to acknowledge and release your emotions, separately from making any decisions.
Then, assess the state of your relationship to see if it’s worth saving/can be saved.
Assess Your Relationship
To help you determine whether to stay in your marriage, ask yourself about the following areas of your relationship.
Assess the strength and quality of each, both historically throughout your relationship, and in more recent times.
In your marriage, how is…
- Trust between you? Restoring trust after your wife cheating can be challenging, but not impossible. Assess the current level of trust in your relationship and whether there have been continuous breaches in the past that may point to a pattern, or whether you would consider your spouse generally trustworthy.
- Communication? Open communication is essential when dealing with infidelity. Make sure you and your spouse can talk openly and honestly about your feelings and concerns. If communication is lacking, you may need some help in that department.
- Fulfillment of each other’s needs? Evaluate your needs and your partner’s needs. Share yours and ask your wife to share hers. Ensure that both of you are willing to take responsibility for meeting one another’s needs moving forward.
- The level of Commitment? Both partners must be committed to rebuilding the relationship if you decide to stay together. You’ll need to invest time, effort, and patience into making things work. You should get a verbal commitment before making your decision.
Weighing the Pros and Cons
To make an informed decision, list the pros and cons of each option.
For Staying in the Relationship—
- Pros: Opportunity to rebuild trust, strengthen your bond, and maintain an intact family.
- Cons: Lingering feelings of betrayal, risk of infidelity happening again, and a potentially long and difficult recovery process.
Bear in mind, in working on those problems, it’s possible to find healing and build an even stronger relationship than before.
Ending the Marriage—
- Pros: Ability to start fresh, freedom from the emotional turmoil, and a chance to pursue a potentially more fulfilling relationship.
- Cons: Potential for emotional and financial upheaval, impact on family members and kids involved, and feelings of failure or regret.
Take time to reflect on the information gathered while keeping your emotions and your long-term goals in mind.
No matter what you decide, remember to prioritize your wellbeing and make choices that are in line with your values and desires.
Is It OK to Forgive a Cheating Wife?
Forgiving your cheating wife is a personal decision that depends on your values and feelings toward the relationship.
Forgiveness can be a crucial step for emotional healing, but it should not be forced.
Take your time to process your emotions and decide if you are able to genuinely forgive her, without holding it over her head.
You must be willing to forgive in your heart and not just with your words.
Can I Ever Trust My Wife Again After She Cheated?
If you want to know, will your wife cheat again?
The honest answer is, you can’t know for sure.
Regaining trust after infidelity can be difficult, but it is not impossible.
It requires time, patience, and consistent effort from both partners.
Transparency and open communication can help build a foundation for renewed trust.
Be willing to give your wife the opportunity to demonstrate her honesty and commitment to the relationship.
Recommended Reading: How to Regain Trust in Marriage
How to Rebuild Trust After Infidelity
Forgiving and Moving Forward
Forgiving can be a powerful way to heal yourself.
It’s important to recognize the pain and betrayal you feel, as these emotions are completely normal.
However, holding onto resentment can prevent you both from rebuilding your relationship.
While forgiveness isn’t mandatory, staying together is virtually impossible without it.
And, to be clear, forgiving is not the same as forgetting.
Your wife does not get a clean slate just because you are willing to forgive her transgressions—she will still need to prove herself trustworthy again.
But, you will need to give her that chance.
Cutting Ties with the Affair Partner
To regain trust in your partner after they’ve cheated, obviously, they’ll need to end the affair.
That includes cutting all ties with the person they cheated with.
No staying in contact or keeping their number saved in their phone.
All communication and ability to contact the other person must be severed.
If your wife is willing, you might ask her if she’d be OK with showing you her phone when you need a little reassurance, just until you’ve built back confidence in her.
Any healthy relationship requires strong boundaries.
Cheating is a good sign that boundaries have been overstepped, or never really acknowledged in the first place.
Talk openly about your expectations and the steps you both need to take to rebuild trust.
Be forthright about any deal-breakers and non-negotiables.
Remember, it’s your decision to invest in the relationship, and it’s crucial to make your needs known.
Having set boundaries allows for clear communication to avoid ambiguity and confusion while working on restoring your marriage.
Nurturing Your Connection
A key aspect of healing and rebuilding after infidelity is nurturing your connection with your partner.
Strengthening the bond between the two of you may help restore your self-esteem and reinforce the commitment to your marriage.
To nurture your connection, do the following:
- Engage in open and honest communication regularly.
- Share your feelings, thoughts, and emotions with one another.
- Establish clear boundaries and expectations for the relationship moving forward.
- Participate in activities that you both enjoy and that foster closeness.
- Seek professional help, such as therapy, if needed.
With a genuine effort to heal, rebuild, and trust again, your relationship can eventually move past the pain of infidelity and create a stronger, more resilient bond.
The healing process may take time, but by working together as a team, you and your wife can overcome the challenges and grow stronger as a couple.
Dealing with External Factors
When dealing with the aftermath of infidelity in your relationship, external factors can play a significant role in your healing and decision-making processes.
Two key factors that can affect the situation are social media and interactions with the person your spouse cheated with.
Social Media and Online Triggers
Social media and online platforms can have both positive and negative effects on your emotions and thoughts after discovering your partner’s infidelity.
On one hand, they can provide support and resources to help work through your feelings.
On the other hand, they can exacerbate the situation by serving as triggers for anger, hurt, and revenge.
As you navigate social media with care during this time, try:
- Limiting your exposure to content that reminds you of the affair or makes you feel angry.
- Refraining from posting or engaging with content aimed at exacting revenge on your spouse or the other person involved.
- Seeking out helpful resources, support groups, or trusted friends to discuss your feelings and emotions.
Handling the Other Guy
First of all, there’s no need to confront the other person your wife cheated with.
However, in some situations, you may decide that it needs to be acknowledged.
You may be unsure of how to deal with the person your wife cheated with, especially if they are a co-worker or someone you encounter frequently.
Recognize that the manner in which you approach these interactions can impact your overall healing and potentially the future of your relationship.
If you feel the need to face the guy your wife cheated with, here are some tips on handling it:
- Maintain a calm and composed demeanor, avoiding emotional outbursts or aggressive confrontations.
- If possible, limit your contact with the other person to minimize emotional distress and maintain control over the situation.
- Acknowledge that the other person is not solely responsible for the affair—remember that both parties decided to engage in the infidelity.
Navigating these external factors can be challenging, but addressing them with care and thoughtfulness will help you manage your emotions, protect your mental health, and facilitate better decision-making regarding your relationship’s future.
Ultimately, it’s more important to focus on your own healing and prioritize honesty and transparency with your spouse in order to work through the aftermath of the affair.
Does the Pain of Infidelity Ever Go Away?
It may, for the most part.
But chances are, there will be a sore reminder every now and again.
However, it’s what you do with these reminders that matters, whether you choose to dwell or to measure how far you’ve come in your relationship, separating past from present.
While the memory of the pain of your wife’s infidelity may never completely disappear, it can lessen over time with healing and personal growth.
Getting some outside help can be game-changing for your relationship.
Here are some of the benefits of different types of resources for your marriage, should you decide to work on it.
It’s common to feel sad, angry, and even vengeful.
If you seek professional counseling for yourself, it can provide a safe space to process your emotions and come to terms with the betrayal.
A skilled therapist will help you navigate these feelings and work on rebuilding trust within yourself.
During individual counseling sessions, you’ll learn effective coping strategies and gain insights into the root causes of your relationship problems.
This might involve addressing any personal issues that contributed to the infidelity, such as low self-esteem or poor communication skills.
By working on these areas, you can develop a stronger foundation for personal growth and healing.
Marriage counseling can be a huge step in rebuilding your marriage after infidelity.
A family therapist or marriage counselor can guide you and your partner through the healing process, providing an unbiased perspective and expertise in managing relationship problems.
Couples therapy focuses on addressing the issues that led to the infidelity and identifying areas in which your relationship needs improvement.
This may include working on communication, trust, and intimacy.
Your therapist will help you both recognize patterns that contributed to the affair and assist in developing healthier, more constructive behaviors.
During couples therapy, you’ll have the opportunity to express your feelings, concerns, and expectations within a controlled, supportive environment.
The thing about couples counseling is that for it to work, you have to be open and willing to change in order to move forward and rebuild trust in your marriage.
If you’re not sure couples counseling is for you, you can start a therapist-created at-home program like Save The Marriage by Dr. Lee Baucom to learn techniques that will end toxic cycles in your marriage and make it stronger and more resilient.
Look at your local meetup groups for support groups for people going through something similar to you.
You may be able to find in-person or online groups that discuss topics of marriage, infidelity, and betrayal.
Learning from others who have gone through what you’re going through can change your perspective and teach you new coping skills.
Plus, finding camaraderie and support can really help your mental state in getting back on your feet.
The Bottom Line
If your wife cheated, you can overcome even a deep betrayal like this together.
But you must:
- Both be committed to finding the root cause of the cheating, and fixing it
- Ready to set and follow boundaries and rules for the relationship
- Have honesty, transparency, and open (and regular) communication with your spouse
- Work on your emotional connection to foster the type of relationship worth saving
Many couples underestimate the amount of work it takes to maintain even a great relationship without cheating, let alone a marriage that has suffered from infidelity.
So give yourselves grace, time, and patience if you decide to work through it.
Can a marriage work after wife cheats?
Yes, a marriage can work after a wife cheats.
While the journey to rebuilding trust and intimacy can be challenging, it is possible with commitment from both partners, open communication, and possibly professional help.
Counseling can be a great resource for couples dealing with infidelity.
How do I treat my wife after she cheated?
Treat your wife with respect and try to communicate your feelings directly.
Express your hurt, anger, and disappointment, but try not to lash out or blame her.
Instead, focus on finding the root cause of the problem and work together as a team to rebuild your relationship.
My wife cheated on me and I can’t stop thinking about it
It’s only natural to have intrusive thoughts after discovering infidelity.
Consider seeking therapy or joining a support group to help process your feelings and learn coping strategies.
Give yourself permission to feel hurt and betrayed, but also focus on healing and moving forward.
My wife cheated on me but says she still loves me
People can still love their partners even after betraying them.
Your wife cheating may have been a result of unresolved issues or needs that were not met within the relationship.
Try to focus on understanding and addressing those issues, and consider seeking professional help if needed.
My wife cheated on me and I want a divorce
If you feel that you cannot move forward with a cheating wife or the trust is irreparably broken, seeking a divorce could be the best option for you.
You’ll need to prioritize your wellbeing and involve a trustworthy support network in the process.
My wife cheated on me many times
Multiple instances of your wife cheating can indicate deeper issues within the relationship or with your wife’s personal struggles.
Consider seeking professional help to identify the underlying problems and determine the best course of action for your marriage.
How does being cheated on change you?
Being cheated on can result in feelings of betrayal, self-doubt, and anxiety.
However, it can also be an opportunity for personal growth and self-discovery.
Use this experience to reflect on your values, learn from it, and grow stronger in the process.
If you don’t want to wait to rebuild your marriage, you can start right now with marriage coach Dr. Lee Baucom’s Save The Marriage Program.
Marlene Davis is an experienced blogger with a focus on interpersonal relationships. Her dream is to help improve people's lives and relationships through sharing of practical knowledge and evidence-based practices.