Help! My Spouse Cheated! 10 Steps for Dealing with Infidelity

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The day you discover that your spouse cheated is like the day you watched airplanes fly into the twin towers. It's your own, personal 9/11.

From that day on, nothing is the same.

Yet, as painful as it is, your spouse’s cheating does not necessarily mean your marriage is over.

Your spouse’s behavior may have rocked your marriage to its core, but your relationship CAN recover ... if you want it to. The problem is that figuring out what you really want in the immediate aftermath of discovering your spouse's affair is next to impossible!

For a while, you're just in shock. Your body is flooded with emotion and you feel more pain than you thought any human could ever endure. You may not be able to eat or sleep. Your brain jumps from one thought to the next with lightning speed.

You can't focus on anything ... except the affair. You obsess about the affair.

Making any major life decisions while you're in that kind of crisis state is risky. You're too emotional to be able to think clearly.

At the same time, you feel compelled to do SOMETHING!

Before you rush into anything, take a deep breath and take a look at these 10 tips for dealing with infidelity. They will help you work through your situation, and your emotions, one step at a time.

Shocked woman looking at cell phone discovered her spouse cheated.

10 Steps for Dealing With Infidelity: What To Do After You Find Out Your Spouse Cheated

1. Get the facts.

As tempting as it is to jump to conclusions, if you accuse your spouse of something that turns out to not be true, you may do irreparable harm to an otherwise decent marriage.

At the same time, you also don’t want to be stupid either.

If your spouse has been lying to you for a while, the odds are good that, if you confront him/her with your naked suspicions, your spouse will just deny them. (S/he will also be MUCH more careful to cover his/her tracks in the future, too!)

Get the facts (and the evidence to back them up!) before you open your mouth. That way, when you confront your spouse, the conversation will be about what s/he has done, rather than whether you are jealous or crazy.

(Of course, if you are married to an honest person who will tell you the truth if you ask, you may not need to play private eye and prove your suspicions first. )

Upset man looks at guilty woman using her cell phone. He caught her cheating.

2. Talk to your spouse.

Once you know the facts, it’s time to have a discussion with your spouse.

Actually, it probably won’t be much of a “discussion” at all. It’s more likely to be a verbal vomiting of all of the dirt you just discovered, followed by a lot of tears and maybe some screaming.

No matter how your conversation goes, remember this: The most important part of your discussion is not going to be what YOU say.

It will be what your spouse says, and how s/he reacts.

That reaction (i.e. whether your spouse is apologetic or indifferent) will tell you a lot about whether your marriage stands a chance of recovery, or not.

3. Don’t try to deal with the affair alone.

When you are hit with something as devastating as an affair, your emotions are going to bounce around more than a two-year-old on a sugar high. Trying to deal with those emotions alone can be challenging.

A good therapist can help you deal with your emotions productively so that you can process them and move on.

You are also going to want to find a good friend or two (not ten!) who you can rely on to help you through the next few months.  The weeks and months after you've discovered your spouse's affair are never easy. Having a friend who can listen to you rant, and help you dry your tears, will be invaluable.

If you decide to try to save your marriage, you will also need a good marriage counselor or coach. S/he can help you deal with the damage the affair did to your marriage, and hopefully create a better, more solid relationship.

(Can you and your spouse repair the damage the affair did to your marriage by yourselves? ... maybe. But you will dramatically increase your odds of success if you use a marriage counselor.

4. Do NOT file for divorce immediately.

Yes, it sucks that your spouse had an affair. Yes, you are mad, and maybe you ultimately WILL file for divorce. But making major life decisions in the heat of the moment often leads to regrets.

If you are seriously considering divorce, start learning about what getting a divorce will really entail. Educate yourself. (A good place to start is with the Divorce Road Map Program. It's a reliable, affordable way to start understanding what you may be dealing with if you divorce.)

If your situation is complicated, or if you get to the point where you're seriously leaning toward divorce, go talk to a good divorce lawyer in your area. You don't need to hire him/her today. Just go for a consultation so you can understand what getting a divorce will really involve for you.

While you may feel like talking to a lawyer is betraying your spouse (which is kind of ironic, given the circumstances) there is no harm in understanding your options. In this circumstance, as in most others, knowledge is power.

Just remember not to jump into any decision too quickly. Unless there are other circumstances that would require you to file for divorce immediately (like your spouse is draining all your bank accounts or running up the credit cards like crazy!) then rushing into divorce may not be your best choice.

(Remember, filing for divorce is like letting a genie out of the bottle. Letting the genie out is easy. But putting it back in is nearly impossible.)

Shattered pane of glass - dealing with infidelity that shattered you

5. Give yourself permission to be emotional.

Learning of your spouse’s affair is like getting sucker-punched in the gut by the heavyweight champion of the world. It hurts!

Even if you had been suspicious of your spouse’s behavior for a long time, once you know for sure what's going on, your emotions are going to kick into high gear. (And if you had no clue that your spouse was unfaithful, you're probably going to be an emotional mess for even longer! Sorry!)

You will be mad, sad, stunned, and angry. You will be hurt beyond anything you’ve ever imagined.

For a while, you may find yourself unable to eat, sleep, or focus on anything other than the affair. You may either not want to be near your spouse, or the two of you might start having sex like rabbits.

Let yourself experience whatever comes up for you without judgment. Trying to stuff your emotions down will only make you miserable longer.

You are not a robot.

6. Don’t ask for details you don’t want to hear.

Dealing with infidelity is highly personal. Some people seem to need to know every detail about their spouse’s affair. They want to know when and how their cheating spouse hooked up with the other person, how often they had sex, and a host of other intimate details.

Other people don’t.

Whatever your reaction to your spouse’s disclosure of infidelity is, it's fine.

But, before you pump your spouse for all the particulars of his/her affair, ask yourself if you're sure you really want to know them. Ask yourself if knowing the details will help you heal, or just intensify your pain. (Usually, it's the latter.)

Be careful about asking for too many details. Remember: You can’t “un-know” something once you’ve heard it.

Silhouette of woman kicking man off a boulder into a river at sunset.

7. Don’t stalk your spouse’s affair partner.

It’s normal to hope that the person with whom your spouse cheated contracts some dread disease or accidentally gets hit by a bus. (Of course, you don’t want them to die. You want them to suffer for a long, long time!)

But, there is a huge difference between wishing all sorts of evil on that person and taking steps to make it happen.

Don’t go there!

Don’t look that person up, follow them around from a distance, or harass them at their job. Don't try to "friend" them on Facebook or stalk them on social media.

Nothing good will come from that kind of behavior.

As angry and upset as you may be, it’s not your job to punish your spouse's paramour. The last thing you need to deal with, on top of your emotional pain, are criminal charges for stalking or harassment.

Deal with your own pain, and let karma take care of the rest.

8. Do some soul searching.

When you find out your spouse has been cheating, you go into this weird sort of altered reality. Nothing seems real.

You keep going over your relationship again and again in your head, trying to figure out where you went wrong, and what you should have done differently.

You try to figure out every clue that you missed - every lie your spouse told. You're desperate to know the truth about everything that happened in your marriage because suddenly your version of your history now seems fake.

Getting clear about the past and processing your emotions is vitally important. But so is looking to the future and deciding what matters in your life.

You need to dig down deep and decide who you are and what you want. You also need to decide whether you are open (at least a tiny little bit) to someday maybe forgiving your spouse and rebuilding your relationship.

If not, staying married is pointless.

(NOTE: Remember that deciding whether to give your marriage another try, or pull the plug now, is an intensely personal decision. There are no right or wrong answers. There are just your REAL answers, and the ones you think you SHOULD have.)

9. Don’t rush into fake forgiveness you don’t honestly feel.

While forgiveness is important if you ever want to move past your spouse’s infidelity, true forgiveness takes time. You need to feel the betrayal and experience your emotions before you can ever begin to move past them.

You can’t just wave a magic wand and pretend nothing happened.

Rushing into “fake forgiveness” just to save your marriage is disrespectful to both you and your spouse.

Burying your true emotions for the sake of “keeping the peace” is a sure-fire way to cause those negative emotions to fester and grow under the surface. While you may succeed in keeping your marriage together for a while (or not) the marriage that is born out of such desperation or obligation rarely lasts for long.

10. Give yourself time to heal.

Working through your emotions takes time – especially if your spouse’s infidelity came out of the blue.

If you decide to give your marriage another try, rebuilding your trust in your spouse is going to take time. Getting to the bottom of why your spouse strayed and dealing with the real issues in your marriage will also take time.

Even if you don’t ultimately stay married, you are still going to need time to deal with what just happened to you.

If you allow yourself the time to work through your betrayal, anger, and hurt, before you file for divorce, your divorce will go much more smoothly. If you dive into divorce while you're still spitting mad, you and your spouse will likely be duking out your pain and problems inside a courtroom for a long time. (You'll also spend a lot of money in the process.)

Of course, sometimes your circumstances are such that - ready or not - you need to file for divorce NOW! If that's the case, then do what you have to do. Just make sure you get yourself a good therapist and as much support as you can!

Dark blue picture of rocks on a river with a quote that "... my track record for getting through bad days sso far is 100%..."

Dealing with a cheating spouse is never easy. No matter what you read, or how rational you try to be, chances are, you're still going to lose it from time to time.

That's okay. (As long as you don't do anything too stupid, or criminal!)

The key to getting through this period in your life with some level of sanity is to take things slow. Breathe. Give yourself time to feel, and to heal.

Finally, be kind to yourself.

Beating yourself up because you're not doing things "right" (whatever that means) only makes you feel worse.

Believe it or not, you WILL get through this. No matter what happens with your marriage, you will go on. You can still have a wonderful, happy, and amazing life.

You just need to take things one step at a time. You'll get there.


This post was originally posted on August 29, 2016 and updated on January 29, 2020.

Head shot of Karen Covy in an Orange jacket smiling at the camera with her hand on her chin.

Karen Covy is a Divorce Coach, Lawyer, Mediator, Author, and Speaker. She coaches high net worth professionals and successful business owners to make hard decisions about their marriage with confidence, and to navigate divorce with dignity.  She speaks and writes about decision-making, divorce, and living life on your terms. To connect with Karen and discover how she can help you, CLICK HERE.


adultery, cheating, divorce blog, forgiveness

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  • I am still depressed, it being almost a year I am 60, and I was getting ready to retire in a couple of years. I getting divorced, but I still love her, the worse part is that I am lonely, and haven’t been to work with this depression, that I can’t shake off. Sorry, but I already lost my family daughters, also. They stay with her, she is 51. I am a mess.

    • Ok, if you are a mess, its time to get help!

      I know this is not where you thought you would be at 60, but life doesn’t always give us what we want. At this point, all you can do is deal with what has come your way.

      Step #1: Get a therapist! Dealing with divorce is difficult for everyone. You can’t (and shouldn’t try to) go through this alone.

      Step #2: Do some things to reconnect with yourself. You said you are lonely. Do you have any friends or family you can spend time with? Do you have any activities or hobbies you enjoy? Meet up with old friends. Start doing things that give you joy (even though you don’t think you can feel any joy anymore.) If you don’t have any old hobbies, find a new one. The more you can be around people, and the more you can do things that you enjoy, the more you are going to start to heal from the pain you are in. Wallowing will only bring you more misery. (Mind you, I don’t mean to minimize your pain. I know you are hurting. But focusing on your pain will only make you more miserable. So, even if you can only bring yourself to get out and be with other people for an hour a day, do it! Right now, getting yourself to feel a little bit better, in spite of what you are going through, will help.)

      Step #3: Move your body! Walk, run, bike, join a health club. Do anything to get your blood flowing. That alone will make you feel better and less depressed.

      Step #4: Get a therapist. (Did I say that already?!)

      Finally, know that, while you may be going through a dark time right now, there is light waiting for you in the future. You will get through this! Hang in there!

      All the best.


      • Me and my guy been together for a year was talking about marriage and I might be pregnant now but another women have surface and my guy and her been talking for four months and we live in the same trailer park he claims he came clean because he didn’t won’t anymore lies betweens us what should I do

        • Honestly, I’m not sure what to tell you. It sounds like you’ve got a lot going on. I’d need to know way more about your situation (details I’m sure you wouldn’t want to share on the internet!) in order to even begin to know what to say to you.

          I’m sorry. I can’t help you.


    • My husband has consistently cheated on me, I have so many evidences . Each time I approach him, he denies it. Recently, he told me not to teach him how to live his life. It’s very hurting and there is really no where to go. I’m basically dependent on him financially I don’t have any money of my own. It hurts to see that there is nothing I can do about it than zombie around,

      • Hi, Dolapo
        I am not professional but another woman who just got hurt by cheating husband. married 13 years have two kids. Lucky I start my school five years ago when I feel insecure to depend on someone who are not so reliable. we have to response ourselves. I have a good job now, but doesn’t help to heal that pain. I am stuck here with anger. but he is nothing effected, showing everybody that he is nice person. I lost all the faith.
        Women are built emotional. but we can’t be in life, nobody can protect us except ourselves. Concentrate on ourselves. This is what I learn.

        • My husband cheats several time nad each time he denies it
          The worst part of it is that he calls me his baby mama to all his lovers.
          I gave him concrete evidence and he became silent. He is always like that…he will go mute and will alter no word as long as u want it until when u react.
          I am fed up….funny enough we have not had our church blessings even court wedding is not yet done… it’s been 3yrs now since our Traditional marriage with a boy… so confused and tired of this marriage…..only for the sake of my son I stayed till this period but right now I don’t want to do something so stupid….he is irritating me and can’t cope with him anymore….pls I need hlp

          • I wish I could help you but I’m not sure what to say. I’m confused about whether you are really married to this guy or not. From what you’ve written, I can’t tell.

            I suggest that the two of you get relationship counseling to try to work things out. If you’re already beyond working things out, then you should talk to an attorney about getting a divorce. (If you’re not legally married, you still need to talk to an attorney about your options because you have a child with this man. You need to find out about custody, parenting time, child support etc.)

            I wish you the best.

        • It has been 2 1/2 years since I discovered that my ex wife was cheating – and shortly prior that, she convinced me she wanted to get divorced despite my repeated requests to her to go to marriage counseling. We are still separated and not yet divorced, despite our taking initial steps to engage a mediator and attorneys.

          Despite our not having completed the divorce process, taking time to heal and get the new world of our separated lives as co-parents straightened out has been helpful. But the lack of closure with divorce itself remains a concern.

          The unfortunate reality is that even with her cheating, in my state, this bears no influence on how the fundamentals of our divorce agreement are established. Through state laws, she is still entitled to alimony and an equal share of the marital assets. In other states, infidelity has consequences. Very difficult to swallow.

          • Yes, I know. It seems so unfair that your wife can cheat without suffering any consequents. At least, that’s what it feels like.

            But, is that true?

            Your wife (because she’s NOT your “ex” yet, sorry!) has lost you. She’s lost her marriage. I know you’d like her to lose more than that because of what she’s done. But that’s not the way the divorce laws are set up now. That may suck, but that’s reality. (Again, sorry!)

            The question now is, how long do you want to ignore that reality and stay married to someone you’re not even living with? Is your current situation making you feel good or feel bad? Is this the way you want to live your life? If you stay married to your wife for the next 20 years, what are you going to change? Are you healing your heart by what you’re doing, or just holding on to old hurts?

            I know all this is hard, and I don’t mean to be hard on you. I’m just trying to get you to realize that you hold the keys to your life in your own hands. You have the power to divorce this woman, heal, and move on … or not.

            I wish you the best.


      • I am on the same boat with you ,always catch him in lies and see d messages but he keep denying it and says i should stop monitoring him,i feel d pain everyday because i have 2 kids wiv him and pregnant with the 3rd and heavily dependent on him and have no one and no where to go .am just living like a zombie like you and pushing it on .

      • Don’t try to correct him, always try to make yourself happy by chatting and meeting your friends,even your x boy friends, use his money and give him freedom, just think about the people who loved you and get their company.

  • I found out recently that my wife of almost 15 years has had a 7 yr affair with someone. This is the 2nd affair I have found out about. About 7 yrs ago, I confronted her, and was proven correct, about my intuition. We went to therapy thinking it would help, she went to therapy alone as well. During this time she was seeing this person (the one she has seen for 7 years) and I am not sure the trust will ever get back now. I am, for now, staying for the kids but I know I have 3 years to decide what to do legally. I will have a hard time doing it but I think I’m going to have to divorce her for my own well being. I can not concentrate enough to even work because it is ALL I think about.

    • I’m not surprised that your wife’s affair is all you can think about! A 7 year affair is world-rocking!

      I can’t tell you what to do, but having someone you can talk to about this might really help. You need to process your emotions. It’s gong to take time. I know that a lot of guys scoff at the idea of going to therapy, but it could really help you a lot right now.

      I wish I had something comforting to say, but the truth is that life is just going to suck for awhile. (Sorry!) Know, though, that you WILL get through this!

      Hang in there!


  • I recently found out that my husband has been having an affair for a few months. We’ve talked about it and why. He said he feels I got married too early and we had a lot of issues and instead of talking to me about him being unhappy he went out and had a affair. He is currently in therapy to help him mentally. He feels he’s not in a good head space. We are currently separated and plan to take it slow to rebuild. We still love each other very much and we have a one year old son. I feel bad that I want to have sex with him. We weren’t doing it very often since I had the baby and I’ve reached a point where I really need it. I don’t want to cheat on him and I would prefer to have sex with him, Is it bad to have sex after an affair? I made sure he’s been tested and we both understand this doesn’t mean we are back together. I do want my marriage and we understand it will take time, I just want sex right now. Is that bad?

    • No, it’s not bad. Whether it’s the healthiest thing for you to do at the moment, I can’t really say though.

      Sex complicates things. It also deepens a relationship’s connection. So, would having sex help or hurt your relationship? Without knowing a TON more about you (and you definitely do not want to put those kinds of details on the internet!) I can’t even begin to guess.

      If you want, this could be the kind of thing you talk deeply with an individual therapist about. Or you could just look deeply inside yourself and pay attention to what feels right for you. Just be careful that it’s truly your heart and not your hormones that guide your decision!

      Hope this helps.


      • Am married but I don’t love my husband anymore. Am just falling out of love and I feel like my hubby is cheating on me but am not sure.please help me.

        • I’m not sure what to tell you. The one who could really help you would be a marriage counselor. S/he can help you and your husband figure out where you’re at in your marriage and if you can work things out or not. Dealing with issues of cheating and falling out of love will take time. That’s why I think that your best bet is to work with a counselor.

          Sorry I can’t be of more help.


      • Ive been married to my husband for 20 years and 6 years ago I caught him cheating on me I have forgave him and her but since he has started drinking and doing drugs and been cheatin again for the past 3 years but I still feel stupid because I want my marriage to work how can I deal with this

        • Okay, since you asked for my opinion, I’ll give it to you. But, fair warning, I’m not sure you’re going to like it!

          Here’s the deal. I can totally understand that you want your marriage to work. That’s only human. No one wants to go through a divorce. But, at this point, you may want to ask yourself: What are you trying to save?!!

          Please understand, I’m not being critical or judgmental here. But I’m curious about why staying in this marriage (which clearly has a lot of big problems) is so important to you? THAT is the question you might want to start asking yourself.

          What does staying in this marriage mean to you? What would getting a divorce mean? Those questions seem simple. But they are all BIG questions. To get your answers, it would be super helpful to work with a therapist. S/he can help you find your answers AND deal with the situation you’re in. I STRONGLY suggest you check out a good therapist in your area. It can help a lot.



    • Hi Sydney,

      I completely understand what you’re going through. I recently found out about my husband’s infidelity and it totally sucks. It shattered my whole being. I also had sex with him afterwards. It’s crazy but that is a sign that your “small” or inner child has a great deep fear. It is an emotional fear we all humans have of dying, losing, being abandoned, rejected or feeling lonely. Your mind will justify and create stories for you to act in a way, it is only trying to protect you and keep you from dying, it is its sole purpose. Don’t be hard on yourself and instead understand what’s going on inside you. Having sex may not the best for you or for your relationship right now. Pain is pain. Your mind doesn’t judge wether it is physical or emotional pain. For your mind, pain equals “death”. Having sex makes your body feel alive again. I’ve been having therapy and so is my husband. We have been separated during this process and that has helped a lot to clear our minds, even though it has been a painful process, it has helped me let go of emotional attachments and well, “emotional addictions”. I’m here for you and believe the best you could do for your sake and inner peace is work on your personal growth and healing. Take care. Sending you a big strong heart felt hug. You are stronger than you think and you will get through this.

      All my best,

  • I just confirmed my suspicions about my husband seeing another woman. He still hasn’t admitted to having sex with her but they have been going out for the last year. He says they just talk and they are just friends. But why lie and hide it. He speaks so highly of her and says he would like for her to be my friend and for her to date one of his sons. He is 47 and she is 23. I caught them in her car in a parking lot. I couldn’t see what they were doing. I drove up the the car he got out quickly and she drove off. I don’t know if I should belive him about not having sex but I’m very angry and sad. I cant stop thinking about it and everything that they could of possibly done together. Why did he look for someone else? What dis i do wrong in our relationship? I asked him 20 million questions and he didnt give me any specific answers. He just says he didnt do anything and that he loves me. Im not ok with that answer! I love him so much and i think im stupid for staying with him after this but we have 5 children that would be devastated. I don’t know what to do.

    • Even if your husband didn’t become physically involved with this woman, it still sounds like he is having an emotional affair. Those can be every bit as devastating as physical affairs. That’s why you’re feeling so badly.

      I strongly suggest that you and your husband get to a good marriage counselor as soon as possible. I don’t have answers to the questions you asked, but you definitely need to get to the bottom of whatever is really going on in your marriage. Ignoring it will not make it go away.

      You also might want to get an individual counselor to help you sort through your own feelings about this. You need to understand and deal with your feelings if you want to get past them – which you’re going to need to do regardless of what happens with your marriage.

      I wish I had better things to say to you. But right now, you’re hurting. You need to deal with that hurt, and work on your marriage. Once you do that, you’ll get clearer on what to do after that.

      Hope this helps!


  • Me and my husband just got married last November 2018 and got pregnant right away. We had more than 3 years relationship/engagement before being married. I just caught him last week that he one time hired an escort last February and he confessed when I confronted him about it, claimed he was ‘tempted’. The admission was so impossibly painful and the betrayal shook me til now in my core. I just cry everyday and wakes up early in the wee hours morning crying and the thought of him having sex with another woman is killing me. We just got married and I am currently pregnant first child for both of us. He looks very remorseful and crying and begging for my forgiveness and second chances even until now. I just dont know what to do anymore. I just move here permanently from other country too so I am still adjusting to my life in America and no family support but I was really willing to move miles to be with him before. I got admitted 3 days to a hospital for single episode major depression, and the people in the hospital and therapists there might have helped me everyday but I still cry to my core today. My husband promises and claims to do everything for me to keep me here, not break up with me, regain my trusts, set up this tracking apps etc. We will also start our marriage counseling next month, I am not sure if that will help too. But seeing him everyday is torture for me. The two of us only know this ordeal and it is painful talking to my family and faking a smile telling I am OK when I am not. Since my release to the hospital, me and my husband are having sex for like everyday and then when I remember him cheating I would cry uncontrollably and keep asking him questions how he did it what position, what hotel, like I want to torture my self. I think I am going crazy too. What keeps me mostly sane and trying to eat 3x is the baby I am carrying. He shows remorse and seems very regretful but it is so hard to see him now. Nothing is the same anymore. The years we built of trust and love in this relationship was ruined just like that.

    • Going to marriage counseling is definitely a step in the right direction. I also suggest that you get your own individual counselor. It may seem like overkill, but you can work on different issues with both therapists. Having someone you can talk to who will hold your conversations in confidence can help a lot.

      Second, stop torturing yourself by asking questions about all the different ways your husband had sex with someone else! All that does is make you feel worse. What you need to focus on is what made your husband step outside of the marriage and what you can do to keep it from happening again.

      I also suggest that you read this book: The State of Affairs. It is a book about why people cheat. It may give you some insight too.

      Finally, take care of yourself. I know this hurts – a lot! But, like you said, you have your baby to worry about as well as yourself. You’ve got to stay healthy for both of you.

      • I found my husband have an affair with someone,,, but my husband not to admit it but i feel and i knew the all details in cellphone and his attitude.. Idont know what to do,, how i admit this situation.

        • I’m sorry. I’m not sure that I understand your question.

          If you’re asking what to do if your husband won’t admit he’s having an affair, but you know that he is having an affair, I’d say your first option would be to go to marriage counseling. If he won’t do that, or he won’t be honest in counseling, then it seems you have to decide whether or not you want to be married to someone who openly lies to you or not.

          Good luck.


  • My husband AND i are married for 6 years now and been in love for 10years. After marriage i stopped working.two and half years ago i started working in casual job which has odd that time he felt lonely and did not tell me anything. after a while i found out that he started cheating on me. i read his messages to other girls and did not confront him. i thought he would stop doing that eventually as he has been like this from start of our love. but it went bad he is not even considering me i had to sleep alone every night as he is on calls with this other lady or ladies. i can’t divorce him as family will be devastated. i cant be happy any more. he does not love me, he treats me bad as i gained weight with this depression. i don’t deserve my life to be this bad. i never hurt anyone been kind to every one.. i want to know the mind sets of the people who cheat on the loved ones and want read the mind set of the ladies or gents who flirt the married people.

    • I can’t tell you the mind set of people who cheat. But what’s more important is your own mindset. That’s something that you know and can control.

      You said you can’t divorce him because his family will be devastated. I don’t understand. Why does that matter? What does his family have to do with you? If he’s cheating and you want a divorce, that’s your business not theirs.

      Under the circumstances, you might want to start working with a therapist. S/he can help you dig in to the problems in your marriage and get more confident in yourself. Both of those will help you as you move forward.



  • My boyfriend cheated on me at a bachelors with a stripper it was a one night thing but it’s bothering me, he is a honest man and we have a 3 year old son together, The Lady blocked me and him immediately when I confronted her, I love and want to make it work but it’s hard he first denied everything until I showed him evidence and then he came clean (saying he didn’t want to hurt me by telling me the truth) It’s only been a few weeks but it’s so difficult please any advice would be helpful.

    • Betrayal hurts! Plus, when your boyfriend lies about it, that makes it worse.

      It doesn’t sound like you’re married, but you could still benefit from talking with a relationship/marriage counselor. You need to work through the emotions you’re feeling about his cheating. It is a blow to your relationship and you need to deal with it. Ignoring it and hoping that some day you “get over it,” will hurt you in the long run. The feelings you try to deny eventually come out again in a totally different way. They will ultimately hurt your relationship. Working with a good therapist can help a lot.

      • I found out my husband is cheating on me. I confronted him and he admitted it .am terribly hurt. He promised me that everything will be fine but several month have passed since i foundout yet nothing has he want me to consider the other woman my friend perhaps it will help reduce my pains. Am confuse of what to do.

        • From what you’ve said, your husband has cheated on you and lied to you. (Sorry to be so blunt! But, that seems exactly like what you’ve written!) So the question is: what do you want to do? Is this the kind of marriage you want to be in? I doubt it. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be in so much pain. Yet, you still may want to work on your marriage. If that’s true, you and your husband should consider marriage counseling. But, if he won’t go with you that means HE doesn’t want to work on your marriage.

          As hard as that is to hear, if your husband doesn’t want to be in your marriage – or doesn’t want to be faithful – you need to know it so that you can deal with it. When you do, you may need to prepare for divorce. (Again sorry!)

          I know all of this is hard. I know you’re hurting. Another thing to consider is getting your own therapist, someone you can talk to on a regular basis. That can help a lot.



  • We been married for 13 years. He been cheating on me for past 10 months and he was also having unprotected sex with her and me. I am very devastated. I blindly trusted him . I don’t know what to do now. We have 2 kids.

    • You have two things to deal with right now: your physical health and your emotional health.

      I strongly recommend that you get tested for STDs as soon as possible. Hopefully, the tests will be negative. Knowing that will ease your mind.

      For your emotional health, working with a good therapist can help a lot. You need to figure out what you’re going to do moving forward. You can’t do that while you’re devastated. That’s why you need a bit of time and a good therapist.

      Hope this helps.


  • I have been married 7 years and had known each other for 12. We have 2 kids. I started doubting my husband after I read a few chats of his with a colleague. He was planning a dinner with her and flirting in general. He’s always flirting, even with my friends so I never made an issue about it. But then he went out to dinner with his colleague and lied to me about it. When I confronted him the next day he lied again. Then I told him I had proof and he accepted. But never said she was a friend and insisted it was just work. He didn’t know I had read his chats. I started having anxiety attacks and seeing me upset, he fell ill. He’s still fighting depression. But between this period also he met that girl 2 times and lied to me about it. The last time he met her was her last day at work and she casually hugged and as per him in heat of the moment they kissed but it didn’t mean anything. He confessed this to me himself out of guilt and cried apologizing. We are from a culture where kissing is a big issue. I am heartbroken and have so many questions but cannot discuss with him as he’s already fighting depression and I have been told to be careful about what I say to him. Is it possible it really didn’t mean anything to him? I don’t know how to deal with it.

    • THe best way to deal with this is to talk to a professional and get help. If you can find a good therapist and/or marriage counselor in your area – preferably someone who understands your culture – that would be the best.

      Since your husband already suffers from depression, and you have had anxiety attacks about what has happened, getting professional help will be the key to making real progress at repairing your marriage and getting both of you back on track again. THis is not something that will be easy to handle on your own, or with the help of friends who may mean well, but not have any experience dealing with the kinds of issues you face.



  • Thank you so much for responding to comments. And thank you for the wonderful article.

    I have been married to my second husband for less than 2 years and we have a 1year old son. We also stay with my 2 kids from my first marriage. These kids love him and he loves them. He has another wife (we are Muslim) with whom he has spent 20 years .

    I found out that he has been cheating with about 3 women for so many years and he continued with 2 of them right through our courtship and they are still ongoing. When I asked about it, he seemed indifferent. I decided to keep the peace by acting not hurt. 1- I live in a society where men are expected to cheat and where it is shameful to be divorced/married many times , 2- I lost my first husband to another woman probably because of my bitter and strong reactions to his infidelities and 3- it doesn’t seem like discussing it would make him stop. So I decided to let it be but it hurts inside.

    It is your point about fake forgiveness that has scared me though. You mentioned that marriages built on such desperation rarely last! Is there anything I can do (other than talking to him about it) that can help me heal and ensure our marriage lasts! I don’t want jeorpadise this, especially for my kids (who have already ‘lost’ one father).

    • Let me begin by saying that everything I have written about assumes a marriage between one man and one woman in a culture where that is the norm. You are in a totally different culture.

      That having been said, I still believe that every real relationship is built on honesty and trust. “Fake” anything leads to problems. But you’re facing an entirely different situation.

      For better or worse, your culture says it’s okay for men to cheat. It says it’s okay for men to have multiple wives. And you are in the unfortunate position of having to live with that, whether you like it or not.

      I hate to say it but your husband has no incentive to change. On the other hand, you stand to lose a lot if you get divorced again. So you have to decide what you want and what matters most to you given your options. You also have to decide what you’re willing to do to get what you want.

      Unfortunately, having an open and honest marriage with your husband and getting him to stop cheating may not be realistic possibilities given your culture. (Sorry!)

      I wish I had better news. But, unless you’re willing to get another divorce and live on your own – or leave and go live somewhere with a different culture, I don’t know that you don’t have a lot of great options.



  • Dear Karen, I’m so sad now as I just confirmed my husband emotionally falling for a young receptionist at his work (he’s a Dr.) i daw the texts which started out a few months ago as casual “how are you, patients are here” to you are beautiful and sexy. And when she said “I’m bringing you a snack” he responded “will that be you?” At first I thought he was just caring about her simply because she’s a bad fuel type who’s clubbing and getting drunk with other guys every weekend and he wanted her to be better. His texts told her to go back to school and find a nice guy. But Then the girl keeps sending him hugs and romantic poems. Now he’s buying her lunch and thanking her for the hugs. And their last conversation are so hurtful to me when he asked her a question (perhaps in person because it wasn’t in the text) but her response was “becuase from the bottom of my heart I love hugging you”. And she promised to hug him everyday from now on because he would never know it would be her last hug. He responded her hug was priceless and he wouldn’t trade a double Ds nurse for her hugs.

    I think they have not had sexual yet, but to me this is even more hurtful. My husband is a very shy and reserved. He never said a romantic or sweet word to anyone including me and for him to say all these words to her he must be feeling it a lot. This is out of character for him becuase he’s usually very shy in nature and everyone who knows him says he’s the most faithful man they have known. Also, with the last texts he told her that her hugs were priceless and thanked her with a big lunch that he pick up on the way to work for her, yet on the same day I texted him telling him all the sweet romantic words and told him I loved him and trust him (I wanted to touch his self conscious to see if he would realize what he did and back off.) but He read and ignored my messages. I asked him to response, he texted back “you know I’m not romantic like you”. He can say all these nice words to a girl who is clearly doesn’t love him, has no regard for a married family (she knows he’s married to me and our two kids) but he can’t spare a nice word to me the one who has been with him for 17 years and gave him two kids, who always loves and treats him like a king and has been through so much ups and downs with him. He’s willing to risk it all, out marriage and our two children who’s 2 and 10. I’m so sad because all these years I put up a lot with his temper, coldness, and more just because of one thing: he’s a faithful husband and a good father. But now the trust is gone. I thought I trust in his own judgment and that he will know when to stop. But it doesn’t look like this emotional affair will stop voluntarily. Never in a million year that I thought he would be attracted to a clubbing girl who is 20 yrs younger than him and clearly, she would not be someone he can bring home to his mom (whos very important to him). I’m planning to confront him but I don’t know how to approach it. I don’t know if he will shut me off and walk away or admit and say he won’t do it again but he will go back to do it the next day. I don’t know what to decide about our relationship in the future. I’m just very heart broken. My world is shattered becuase I squared of all the men on earth my husband is the most faithful person. But now I realize it’s no longer true. I just don’t know how to approach him about the issue and what to say to him. I still want to save our marriage but it takes two.

    • Oh my! I can hear how hurt you are! I’m not surprised. I’m also not surprised that you don’t know how to approach your husband. You’ve been together for 17 years and you never thought you would be in this position.

      I strongly suggest that you get yourself a therapist who can guide you through this in a much more personal way than what’s possible online. Having someone you can talk with, and someone who understands the dynamics of personal relationships, can be extremely helpful.

      You also might want to see if your husband will go to marriage counseling with you. In the safety of a therapist’s office you may be able to bring up your husband’s texts in a way that is less confrontational and threatening. THen the therapist can help you and your husband deal with the issues in your relationship and perhaps rebuild it.

      If your husband won’t go to marriage counseling with you, then you may have to confront him with what you know directly. But, again, I strongly suggest that you work with a therapist first so that you can present your husband with what you know in a way that will be productive for both of you. Without knowing you or your husband, I don’t feel I can give you any more specific ideas about what may or may not work for you.

      I hope this helps.


  • i still feel anger and pain after my husband apologized for cheating,i guess i gave him a fake forgiveness,i still feel like talking to him about the affair he had,what should i do?

  • I’m the one who cheated… with another man. It was not what I expected and feel terrible. It will truly never happen again. She does not know. Happened this week and we’ve been married 9 years. My emotions are still so raw…I don’t know what to do.

    • It sounds like you could use some help, especially since you feel so bad. I strongly recommend that you get a therapist. Your conversations will be confidential, and they can really help you sort through what you’re feeling.

  • Me & my husband got married last October 2018 and I just found out last week when I snooped in his phone that he hired an escort. I confronted him right away and ofcourse he denied everything. This happened multiple times and based from what I’ve gathered from his fb messenger he asked for 2 women for him & for a friend. I’m currently 7 months pregnant & I’m so disappointed in him because he wont admit it despite the evidences I showed him. He says he was the one who just booked those escorts for his friends but the messages saya otherwise. He make me think that I’m just accusing him when he’s really innocent. I left him and I’m now living w/ my mom & I’m planning to stay here until I give birth or until he comes clean. He texts me that he misses me and our baby and that he can’t wait for us to move to our new home. I just reply to him when it concerns about my check ups. Can we still fix this marriage if he doesn’t even show remorse? I’m so depressed at the moment.

    • It’s not my place to say whether your marriage can be fixed. That’s for you to decide. But the fact that he shows no remorse and won’t admit the truth is NOT a good sign!

      I know you may think I’m crazy, but I strongly recommend that you start working with an individual therapist now. I also suggest you speak with a divorce lawyer in your area. When the baby comes you’re going to be exhausted. You won’t be sleeping well for months. You won’t be thinking clearly. So, the more information you can get about your options NOW, the better off you will be once you’re ready to make a decision about your marriage.

      What’s more, no matter what happens, you’re going to need emotional support. You’re about to have a baby and you’re separated from the baby’s dad. You’re going to need support! Having a good therapist by your side right now can make a huge difference!

      You also might want to consider marriage counseling, too. But before you do, ask yourself a few questions: Do you want to be married to a man who has hired escorts multiple times in the short 7 months that you’ve been married? What are the chances that his behavior will change? Is he even willing to change? (HINT: If he won’t even admit there’s a problem, he’s not likely to change.) What kind of a life do you want for you and your daughter?

      The bottom line is that, before you go to marriage counseling you have to actually want to save your marriage. You’ve also got to be realistic about your chances for saving it, and what “fixing it” will take. If there is little chance that your marriage can realistically be “fixed” then going to marriage counseling may be a waste of time. But, again, that’s your call.

      Finally, I know I don’t have to tell you this, but think about your child. Most people will tell you to think about the fact that your baby “deserves” a father. Thinking about that is important, but it’s also important to consider what kind of life your child will have if you go back to a man who lies to you and cheats on you. What will you TEACH your child about relationships and about life?

      Your child will always have a father. Your husband will always be in your child’s life, whether you and your husband are still together or not. The only question you have to answer is what kind of family you want to create for your child: one that has two parents living in the same home from the start, or one that does not?

      I know it’s a lot to think about. Take your time. Get a therapist. You’ll work this out.



  • I don’t know what to do still, it’s been a very emotionally abusive relationship but there were some good parts to it , I found out he’s been talking intimately with other women for quite some time now, I caught him the first time 2 years ago and now again he’s back at it. The obvious would be to divorce him but it’s hard I keep thinking that it would be a mistake but a part of me knows it would be better for me to just leave him. We have a daughter and I don’t want her growing up thinking it’s okay to have a relationship like this and think it’s normal. Help please

    • I can understand that you’re confused. The truth is that the reason people stay in abusive relationships is exactly because those relationships have good parts too. It’s the good parts that make you want to stay. You’re not alone in what you’re going through.

      I strongly recommend that you start working with a therapist as soon as possible. Before you do anything you need to talk things through and build yourself up. A therapist can help you do that.



  • I’ve been engaged to my fiancé for just over a year now and we’ve been together for 4. I just found out as of late February that she has been cheating on me with the father of her youngest child. The time I know of for sure they cheated was in January but originally when I told her I knew, she tried telling me it was around October. She told me the truth once I told her how much I knew. After analyzing as much information as possible, I discovered that it has been going on for at least almost a year, maybe even just after I proposed. For the first time,when I finally decide to go through her phone I found a significant amount of footage of the 2 of them and as much as I hated it I had to watch every minute. Had I not, I would have never known of the most recent incident and I would not known the truth about everything she tried to cover up about it since I found out. I feel she does still care about me but so much I still don’t understand. She believes ignorance is bliss and doesn’t want to give me all the details I ask for. But I am careful about what not to ask. Its been tearing me up inside ever since, its gotten better but still hurts everyday. Because of me not being able to get over it our relationship hasn’t been the same. We decided to schedule an appointment for couples counseling the 1st day we talked about it and started a couple weeks ago but only attended one session. I think the hardest part for me is that she brought him into what I used to call our home to engage in these acts and thought it was okay to save the videos in her phone. And its hard to get over because he’s not going anywhere because he will always be the biological father of her youngest child. For her to be able to talk to him.about our relationship issues pisses me off even more. I know I asked questions but for her to tell me that he told her I’ll “just have to get over it” tells me a lot about their relationship. I know it’ll take some time to recover but I don’t know how to deal with it and me not being able to let it go so soon makes her angry and we are working on it but we haven’t really gotten anywhere yet and its a lot of stress for us both.

    • Okay, first of all, letting go takes time. So stop beating yourself up for not being over this when you think you “should” be over it.

      Second, I have to disagree with you on something. For your girlfriend to tell you that her lover told her you’ll “just have to get over it” doesn’t just tell you a lot about their relationship. It tells you a lot about YOUR relationship.

      Your fiance has been cheating on you for over a year with someone that she HAS to continue to be in contact with for years because they are parents. That’s totally not okay. What else is not okay is that she doesn’t sound like she’s all that sorry for what she’s done.

      You wrote a lot about what happened, but what you didn’t say was how sorry your fiance was, or what steps she will take to rebuild your trust or make sure this never happens again.

      I know you probably won’t agree with me, but in a weird way you’re lucky that this happened now. You’re not married to this woman yet. Breaking up sucks, but divorce sucks more.

      What you choose to do is up to you. But I strongly recommend that you see a counselor to work through your emotions sooner rather than later. I also suggest you think long and hard before you even think of marrying this woman. (Sorry!)



  • My story is a little unorthodox and I know I am not the protagonist in this story (the ‘other woman’, in fact) but I am desperate for advice. I met my current boyfriend online a few months ago and we really hit it off and there was an instant connection. He is in the Army so he lives on the east coast and I live in the mid-west. After a few months of talking he came to visit me a few times and we fell in the most beautiful kind of love that there is. I was infatuated with him and we talked everyday nonstop. A few days after Christmas I was texting him at night after work and none my texts sent (as they usually wouldn’t because around this time he would ‘fall asleep’) After a little while a get a text back….from his wife. Turns out he was married with an 11 month old son. I can’t help but feel anger towards both him and her, even though she didn’t do anything. He tells me that he was just ‘going through the motions’ when it came to having sex with her but I can’t get over it. I think about it everyday and it’s always in the back of my mind. I constantly think of all the ways he lied to me and hurt me and it tears me apart. It’s been almost three months. How do I alleviate the constant pain?

    • I’m so sorry!

      Where to start? First of all, I know how much this hurts. But I have to be honest – I don’t know why this guy is still in your life. He’s lied to you. He’s cheated on you. And he’s married! That is so not okay no matter how you look at this. (… and that’s not a comment about YOU at all!)

      I know you’re in love with him. But what I want you to think about is whether he’s in love with you. He may THINK he is. But it’s easy to fall in love when you KNOW you can’t ever commit to someone because you’re already married to someone else. I don’t mean to be harsh, but this guy was totally living a lie. What’s worse, if you continue to see him, you’ll be living that lie too. (Sorry! Again, I don’t mean to be harsh. But, now that you know the truth, if you keep going with him, that’s on you.)

      Of course, even if you break things off, that still doesn’t stop the pain. But, what it will do is that it will keep you from re-opening the same wound over and over again. Doing that is step #1 in healing.

      Unfortunately, step #2 isn’t any easier. It is simply taking the time to heal. Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to heal a broken heart. It takes time, patience and love.

      Meanwhile, here’s a book that might help. It’s called How to Survive the Loss of a Love. It won’t change things for you overnight. But over time, it can help.



  • Heartbroken

    I have been married for 20 years we loved each other’s. My family in law never accepts me as part of the family. And he keeps complaining to his mom about his life with me. We have children I always have take care of everything because my husband refused to carry any responsibility. I feel like I don’t love him anymore. I even hate him and his family. My children love their father more than me because he doesn’t care about our budget and buy everything they want we started to go in debt but he doesn’t care because he isn’t working. I wish to disappear or die but I still trying to do things right. What should I do

    • Sad mom, I wish I could tell you something that would fix everything for you, but unfortunately there are no easy answers. There’s also probably a lot more to your story than what you could write her in a comment. I understand that. But, this isn’t the kind of comment I can answer simply in any way that will make a difference. (Sorry!) There is so much more I would need to know. (And I’m not suggesting that you write your life story on the internet!)

      What you might want to do is get your family into counseling. That way you could dive much more deeply into what is really going on with all of you. That has a much better chance of producing lasting progress for you.



  • I am married for 32 years though we had difference all years along but not on personal relations . It was always good when we two are togther.last week I found he was chating with 3/4 girls and talking about sex . We didnt had sex in last 3/4 years but I didnt bothered about it much as contented in life and had menoupause 5 yrs before. Some how his behaviour in last mont was suspecious to me . Like adding random girls on facebook. Overexercising getting up early for workout even parks are closed he will wait there. When I confronted him he denied then I said I had proof , I have screen shots of chats. But didnot show him but mentioned the content.When he realized I know truth he started making will , he donated his dead body to Red cross.

    • I’m not sure what you are asking, but if your husband is suicidal, you need to get help. Here is the number of the suicide prevention hotline. I’m sure they can get you resources to help. 1-800-273-8255.

  • I’m the second wife of my husband. It’s my first marriage and late marriage. He’s in his 51 and I’m married to him since April, 2017. He was married with his first wife from 2000 to 2014. They have two kids. One is in grade 10 and other is in grade 6. Then she fled to India with her two kids. Finally they got divorced in 2016 and his ex got married to his long time bf with whom she was living in since 2014 and we got married in 2017 and I moved to the US from India and my husband is a US citizen. Before our marriage he used to talk with 5 other women and flirted which I discovered late after my marriage along with his ex and used to give me an impression that I’m his only gf. He used to tell all our private issues to other lady whom he doesn’t know much only through his chat and phone calls. When I came to know about that we had bouts of fights. Anyway my mom and other relatives, friends, repeatedly told me not to get married with this man. I always realized that maximum insult and abuse he used with me whereas he always told me that I’m his gf and he intends to marry me but with other women and his ex he was very polite, flirtatious and decent. After going it for almost two years, out of some soft emotions inside me, we got married. After marriage, it’s true that his link with other women is gone but I found he’s an alcoholic which he lied to me by saying that he only drinks in weekends, and he abuses me like anything after getting drunk, he always compares me with his ex by saying that she was smarter than you, she could drive and get a job within 3 months in the US after their first marriage . He never felt insulted that she kicked on his ass and cheated on him. He always feels obliged whenever she texts him from India. I feel cheated and get hurt coz his body language shows that he misses her on and off. But in the society he will always say that he doesn’t have absolutely any connection with his ex only they’re talking with the issues of kids. If her texts come he gives that the first priority over my texts in WhatsApp. On my birthday I got very angry and deleted all their chats and blocked her number, so far he used to do it in front of me and didn’t lie to me that he’s chatting with his ex but now he started to lie to me. Whenever he’s at home he blocks her but at his work he first unblocks her in WhatsApp, chats with her, then before returning he delete all the chats and blocks her to give me an impression that he didn’t talk with her. I can know everything about his WhatsApp chat at home coz he’s also logged in his laptop and I can see the chat which he doesn’t know. So I’m getting depressed, hurt, my health is becoming weak, reducing weight, can’t concentrate on anything, I can realize that I’m getting maniac and anxious whenever I’m seeing him online. But he always tries to establish that I’m thinking wrong about him and asks me for the proof which I don’t want to say otherwise my source would be gone. I can’t catch him while he will be in office. I love him undoubtedly and I know he also loves me but he couldn’t give me fully. I asked for a baby but he denied. I always look after and take care of him, help and support him in every minute, always take a joint decision for any big project in the house. He’s intelligent, responsible too about me, but I miss the warmth of a marriage which a girl should have, he’s always fond of his mobiles, but everynight he drinks and his nature is very unpredictable, I get tensed and anxious by thinking that he could or maybe start his abuse out of no way, I am gradually losing all my trust and faith on him, On this 18th April we will complete our two years of marriage but I don’t know how long I will be dealing with his alcoholism, his verbal abuse, his insult to me, his lies to me about chatting with his ex, he can’t never praise me open heartedly, the occasion is very rare where he praised me very warmly, he always tries to criticize my works, my body though I try to work flawlessly, his house was a mess when I entered this house after my marriage but I gave a shape to this house and people praised it a lot but he’s indifferent on this, he always talks about his ex and generally with a respect for her which I can’t see while he’s dealing with me, he kind of makes mockery and always insults je by saying that I got married to him at my late age coz I wanted to come to the US and wanted an American life style, etc, when he gets drunk. He married me only for himself but not for myself or ourselves, sometimes I think about leaving him or divorce him, coz I find his list of the behaviors on me is mere a show off than from his heart. So please suggest me how should I deal with this Situation! I’m now deprived of sleep too.

    • How do you deal with this situation? Well, you start by getting some sleep. When you’re not sleeping, everything seems darker and you can’t think clearly. So step number one is to get some sleep.

      Step number two is to figure out what you want. It sounds like you are torn between wanting a divorce because of his behavior and drinking, and wanting to stay married because, well, I’m not sure why you want to stay married, perhaps for the American life style (which, btw, you really don’t have, even though you’re married!) I also suspect that divorce is frowned upon in your culture. So I can understand why you might hesitate to get a divorce. But it also sounds like that’s what you want. The bottom line is that, you need to get clear about what you want. Because as long as you don’t know what you want, you have almost no chance of getting it.

      You also have to decide what you are willing to do to get what you want. For example, if you decide you want to improve your marriage, that’s great, but you need to make a viable plan for what you’re going to do to make that happen. Unless you DO something, unless YOU change, your marriage isn’t likely to change either. So you need to decide what you want, then take action towards making it happen.

      I know that sounds very simple. Or, maybe it sounds impossible, depending upon your perspective. Either way, that’s where you need to start.

      Hope that helps.


  • Karen,
    I found out 3 weeks ago my husband has been “talking” to a girl he works with for months now and the only reason it stopped was because our teenage daughter’s friend seen him at a fast food place with her. Which we confronted him on and he said her car broke down and they were carpooling. I then went into the phone records and found countless hours of talking and texting.
    I had also refilled a prescription for ED. When that happened was around the time he mentioned to me that he wasn’t sure he wanted to be with me anymore. He did admit that there was an attraction to this girl but claims nothing sexual happened.
    I’m really having a hard time believing nothing happened,
    I’m physically sick, I can’t sleep, eat or focus on my job. I beg for the truth but maybe I couldn’t really handle it.
    I want to run and leave him but I’m scared.

    • Oh my! I can understand why you would want to run, but doing that is probably not your smartest option. First you have to get a handle on your emotions. You’ve got to start working through them so that you can not only eat and sleep, but so that you can THINK too!

      Second, while running away may be what you FEEL like doing, if you’re smart, you’ll start learning how divorce works, figure out your options, and make a PLAN before you do anything. Knowing your options and planning ahead will get you much farther in the long run than simply reacting and running.

      The plan you make might start with marriage counseling, if that’s an option for you. But, if your husband won’t go, or isn’t sure he wants to stay married to you, then you might want to try discernment counseling. That is a special kind of counseling aimed solely at helping couples try to figure out if they want to stay married or get divorced.

      Also, you are going through a LOT right now. Getting your own individual counselor can help a lot too.

      Finally, know this much. The time you’re going through right now is going to be really hard. (Sorry!) But, you WILL get through it and you will end up better and stronger after it’s over, no matter what happens.

      Hope this helps.


  • I got to know that my husband is truely in love with his sales girl coz he usually profess it to me that he likes her and that if he has his way he wud marry her,but I tot it was all joke until I saw their conversation on phone on fateful at that time d girl had stopped working coz she gained admission.not to my surprise one day I came to the shop and found out that she has started working again without my consent.I warned she n my husband that I don’t want to see her in d shop again of which she stopped coz school has resumed.but I feel so bad n devastated at this coz they still call each other on phone almost on daily basis.this is d girl I treated right by doing good to her n she is paying back by having an affair with my husband.

    • I’m so sorry. Unfortunately, you can’t force your husband to leave this woman. All you can do is decide what you will do yourself if he keeps cheating.

      I wish you the best.


  • My husband and I have been together for 25 years but we’ve only married for 9 years. Last July he told me he wanted a divorce… I felt very broken after hearing those words and became very depressed. My husband never moved out and we continued our physical relationship. I trusted my husband more than any man I have known but his actions made me feel that there might be something going on and so yesterday I confronted him with some things I was told and he confessed to me that he’d had an affair. He has lied to me repeatedly and I am so hurt I cant even talk to him. I told him he had to move out. I Love him so very, very much and I don’t want my marriage to end but I feel like I cant trust him anymore. I’m hurt, emotional and I feel like I’ve been ripped apart.

    • Oh my! I can totally understand that you’re hurt! Who wouldn’t be hurt when they find out their spouse cheated on them?!

      The good news is that marriages CAN survive infidelity, but it takes time, work and commitment by both partners.

      I strongly suggest that you work with a marriage counselor. If your husband won’t go to a marriage counselor, then at least get yourself an individual counselor. That will help you work through and deal with what you’re going through.

      Hang in there!


  • Dear Karen,
    My boyfriend has been separated from his ex-wife for 9yrs now. We don’t live in the same country but we try to see each other often. Before we started dating, He typically visited my country of residence (our home country) on a “boys trip” where himself and his friends get an apartment, party, get drunk and whatever else. The last time I visited him, He told me he would visit soon: you can only imagine my excitement. A few weeks later, he said one of his friends was coming along and they would get an apartment together. I got a bit worried … was he visiting me or coming on a “boys trip”. He also didn’t tell his friend he was coming to visit his girlfriend. I asked him about it and he said “you worry too much: I’ll have time for you”.
    Needless to say it’s been the weirdest time of my life. I have barely seen him; he’s out with his boys all day or entertaining all sorts of people (except me) at their rented apartment because “it’s boys being boys” and they wouldn’t want me in that space. On his birthday a few days ago, he didn’t introduce me as his girlfriend to any of the female guests so there were a few awkward moments: eventually I was drained from all of it and decided to leave. He walked me to my car and said he would call me and come see me and spend the night at mine. Feeling forlon, I called a few friends, we dressed up and went out. He didn’t call all through. By the time my outing with my friends ended, I decided to go stay with him. Biggest mistake, I got there and his friend told me he had a “girl” with him. I turned and walked away. I was so upset I sent him a message breaking up with him, sent back all the gifts he’d ever given me. But once my anger was dissipated, I was left with a brokenness and a longing for him. He then waited for me to initiate conversations by WhatsApp before he apologized. After 3 days of not eating nor sleeping: I asked to see him and he’s first response was “he’s too drained from the emotional roller coaster and because it seems my mind is made up about us, he’s afraid I’m only asking to see him because I want to get back at him’. I had to convince him that I wasn’t trying to get back at him before he eventually came by…we sort of made up. While he apologized, I also don’t sense any remorse in him. Now once I say anything, his response comes in forms like “I don’t want any issues, tell me what you want and I’ll do it”. It’s been such a difficult couple of weeks.
    Even before the cheating episode, I didn’t sense that he put me first: I almost felt like these friends of his ran out relationship. They all have wives that they go home to by the ways.
    My feelings range from
    1) Anger that he stayed away from me in order to protect himself from my wrath and I had to ask to see him before we made up. Anger that none of his friends present on that day has called me about it which is typical in our community. Where I come from, your man’s friends would typically call you “our wife” and when issues occur, they will try to reassure you that it was a one-time mistake.
    2) uncertainty : his attitude and that of his friends gives me concern about the extent of our relationship. It doesn’t seem like his relationship with me is as important to him as he said it was. When we are apart, he reminds me that he loves me at least once a day. Asks me to please not stop loving him, begs me to not break his heart e.t.c
    3) Doubt: everything he said to me or did right in the past seems like a lie. Every time he said goodnight a few hours earlier than usual makes me wonder if it was to make time for another girl. Every gift item seems “not-so-special” particularly because I found some female items in his luggage and he claimed they belong to his friend who had to hid them in his luggage from his wife.
    4) Brokenness: my heart has been broken a few times before and I hate to be here again. The pain is almost physical. I feel lied to, I feel cheated, I feel like a fool, I feel taken advantage of. I feel taken for granted more so because in my culture I’m an old maid and should be desperate for marriage and so grateful for a any man at all: I’m 37.
    I’m burning with all sorts of emotions. I haven’t been to work in the 4 days since it happened. I haven’t had a decent meal. I’m torn between staying and cutting my losses and moving on. But my culture allows men to cheat, the married ones who aren’t polygamists have an unwritten pass they almost carry on like they are doing the women a favor my coming back home to them every night. If I leave, what are the chances I’ll meet a man who’s not a cheat?
    Help….any advise you can offer.

    • Oh my. Where to start?

      First of all, what you’re experiencing is totally normal. Your boyfriend cheated and your heart’s broken. Your emotions are all over the place. I know how awful that feels and how hard it is to heal from a broken heart. But, healing is exactly what you need to start to do! (Check out THIS ARTICLE for tips!)

      Next, just because your culture allows men to cheat, that doesn’t mean YOU have to do the same! We all get what we tolerate. If you stay with this guy after he cheated and doesn’t care, then you’ll get a boyfriend who cheats. If you marry him you’ll get a husband who cheats. If you want someone who doesn’t cheat, you’re going to need to look for a different man.

      Can you find a man who’s not a cheat? Absolutely! But you have to: A) Believe that it’s possible; and B) Believe that you deserve it! Otherwise, you’re going to get what you’re looking for … which, unfortunately at this point, is a cheater.

      It is not my place to tell you what to do with your boyfriend or your life. What I WILL tell you is that human behavior is consistent. People don’t change unless they want to change. From what you’ve written, it doesn’t seem like he wants to change or is willing to put in the work that real change takes – because nothing is for free! Real change takes real work. (Sorry. Just calling it like I see it!)

      What might help you right now is being able to work through your feelings and emotions with a good therapist. If nothing else, get yourself a few good books. I strongly suggest How to Survive the Loss of a Love. It’s not a new book, but it’s wonderful.

      Finally, know that you are not alone and you WILL get through this! You WILL heal. It will take time. But it will happen. (It will also happen faster if you lose this boyfriend, but, again, that’s not my call!)

      Hope this helps.


      PS You are only an old maid if you think you are. I got married when I was way older than 37 to an absolutely amazing man and we’ve been happily married for over a decade! So, yes, it happens. And, yes, you can!

  • My wife confessed to me 42 years ago (our 8th year of marriage) that she had had an affair with a personal friend of two years (my receptionist husband). At the time, we could have been involved with couples who were willing to explore outside of traditional marriage boundries. I was very confused, devistated, and angry.
    I had been willing to “swap” but not ready to be “cheated”, She never apologized, just said “it happened and she was stupid”. Two years after that, I began a relationship which lasted 40 years, based on closeness at work, familiarity, and lust. That relationship has run its course due to age, separation, and other personal circumstances. Still struggle with the “reasons” it happened and am looking for closure or at least a letting go. Wife will not open up on reasons, just “stupid”. How do I resolve this situation?

    • It sounds like you and your wife have both been through a lot. You have a lot to resolve, and coming to that resolution will require you to dig deep. That’s the kind of work that’s best done with a therapist. S/he can help you resolve your situation.



  • my wife lost weight and started looking really good about 5y ago…she had her first affair then for a month long that I discovered and confronted, she blamed it on me not giving her enough attention which wasnt true….2 years later she cheated again after I discovered and this time she admitted it and went for therapy but also blamed it on her unresolved childhood sex abuse….then again 1y ago she did it again which I also discovered and she is back in therapy now. I am beyond devastated already, I feel I cant be with her but i do still love her , we have 3 young teenagers and i know a divorce would affect them tremendously and i would hate myself doing that to them, and we act reasonably in front of them, thou the older one knows….
    this consumes my daily life, am on antidepressants and they help somewhat but my hardest issue is finding any respect for her at all, or trust, she is like a joke to me now….I will probably divorce her when kids are old enough, unless she really pulls off some kind of miracle

    • I can hear how distraught you are. I’m not surprised. Dealing with a spouse who is a serial cheater isn’t easy.

      You said your hardest issue is finding any respect for your wife. I wonder how you feel about yourself? (Sorry. Just asking.) I know that you want to stay married until the kids are “old enough” but, old enough for what? And, if you know you want a divorce, then what do you think staying married “for the kids” is doing to you?

      My guess is that you feel trapped. You’re devastated and you feel helpless. You want a divorce, but you don’t want to hurt anyone. Meanwhile, your kids ARE being hurt. You’re not the parent you could be. I doubt your wife is either right now. You’re both unhappy. If you don’t think your kids know that and feel that, you’re kidding yourself. (Again, sorry.)

      Perhaps now is the time to get honest with yourself. Is this the marriage you want? Is it fixable? Do you want to fix it? If so, go do that. If not, then admit that and deal with it. Now. Not ten years from now.

      Hope this helps.


      • I just found out that my husband of 13 years has been having an affair with this woman that came to my house and pretended to be my friend. I have never doubted him once and now Iam in a total shock. He admitted to it and I have asked him every single detail and now it hurts. It hurts so bad, I wish I never had a heart to feel anything right now. What hurts most was that this affair started when I was six month pregnant with our second child. I feel like Iam Living a nightmare and I don’t know how to wake up. Everything hurts and I can’t stop thinking about anything than him touching and having sex with this woman. It killing me slowly and I don’t know what to do. He is still living here and we have two beautiful boys five and eight. He is trying so hard to get forgiveness and he has promised to never do anything stupid again. He said he screwed up bad, he’s sorry and will fix this and unbreak my heart. He says he wants me, loves me and regrets it bad. But how can I really trust him again? How can I forget? Iam in so much pain. Sometimes I feel like cheating at him is the answer he deserves, but I will never hurt my kids like that.

        • First of all, let me say I’m so sorry. I know how badly it hurts to be cheated on.

          You’ve asked two questions, and they are very different: “How can I really trust him again?” and “How can I forget?”

          Trust is something that is built over time. It will probably take a LONG time to rebuild trust after an affair, but it CAN be done! Working with a good couples therapist can help a lot. Your husband is going to have to jump through a lot of extra hoops for a while and be very patient while your trust is gradually built back up.

          You are going to have to be willing to forgive your husband at some point and be open to trusting him again. If you’re not – if you hold on to your hurt forever – you’ll never get past it. You’ll never trust him or anyone else again. That would be sad.

          As for your second question, you never forget. The good news is that you don’t need to. You can move past this and be happy again even though you know what happened. The key is to be able to forgive. That takes time and effort. (It won’t happen automatically! You have to work at it.)

          Hope this helps.


        • Hi, Haylee
          I just want to connect with, I found out my husband’s affair same day as you. and I feel the same with you. I also married my husband for exactly 13 years. I have fear to divorce. But I clearly feel I can’t get over at all. I don’t feel help with to talk with friend or councilor. I would like to know how things goes with you. we have almost exactly same case .
          I just can’t trust my husband any more. I can’t pretend to.


  • I am married for 18 almost 19 years and have two kids. 2 years ago found out my husband has been seeing another woman for the past (at least ) 14 years. I have found evidence related to this woman and a call girl and a new girlfriend. I confronted him and naturally he denied it at first and then he said they are ALL just friends! for two years I have been a wreck. I have to stay in this marriage first because of my kids then for financial reasons.I thought it gets easier but it still hurts and is becoming unbearable to live with him without lashing out specially in front of the kids. The trust is gone for good specially I know he doesn’t want to change. he is still in touch with one of the women and recently an ex-girlfriend poped back in his life and I have seen some of their texts. I thought I can deal with it specially when I don’t care for him anymore but I’m SO angry and hurt all the time that I cannot move on.
    What can I do?

    • The first thing you can do is to figure out why you’re staying in a relationship you clearly aren’t happy in. Your husband isn’t going to change. You know that. So, why do you stay?

      You said you’re staying for your kids. But what are you teaching your kids about marriage by staying? What kind of family life do they have? If you’re lashing out all the time at your husband, how great is that for your kids?

      The best way to work through all of these questions is to get a therapist. You can do it alone, but it will be harder and will take longer.

      You’re also probably going to need to start working on your finances so that you can leave. That may be hard, but it sounds like it would be better than staying in a marriage where you’re not respected.

      I wish you the best.

  • Dear Karen It has been almost two years since my wife told me she cheated on me multiple times in the first few years of our marriage. We have been married now 43 years and I am still having an issue getting over this news. 2017 was not a great year for me, work issues (PTSD), being told I had cancer (two operations), and then the news from my wife. I loved some of the advice about fake forgiveness and getting some professional help, I have started the process of healing but it is hard and I am not doing this without help. We are on the older side of life and while it hurts deeply I still love her, My question is how does one use love as the motive to move forward?

    • I’m not 100% sure I understand the question. I don’t know if you are asking how to use love as the motive to move forward in your life, in your marriage, in your work, or just in general?

      It also sounds like the real question may be: how do I forgive someone who I love deeply but who hurt me deeply?

      That’s a huge question.

      You can’t just “will” yourself to forgive someone. You have to feel it. If forgiveness isn’t genuine then it isn’t really forgiveness.

      It seems you are doing all the “right” things: you’re getting help and letting yourself feel your emotions. I also recommend You Can Heal Your Life, by Louise Hay. It’s an excellent book that has helped probably thousands of people heal from past hurts.

      In the end, it all comes down to whether or not you’re willing to let go of your pain. You’ve been through a lot of it. But you’ve been holding on to it for 2 years now. You’ve been holding onto it for so long, you might not know who you would be if you actually felt GOOD. That may be something you want to think about. The truth is, you can hold onto your pain forever if you want. But, isn’t it time to let go?

      I wish you the best,


  • My husband has cheated on me several times and with evidence, recently he even impregnated a women who is somebody’s wife with two kids, I was called by the woman just to let me know she have children with my hubby, I tried to ask him of the same and he told me its true though not two children but one,this aroused due to misunderstanding because he was not communicating with that lady, am so depressed and I really need an urgent counseling, thanks

    • Whether your husband is “daddy” to two other kids or one isn’t the right question to ask. Clearly, he cheated on you. The bigger question is: What do you want to do about it?

      I can understand that you’re upset and depressed. Unfortunately, neither of those emotions are going to help you figure out what you need to do. (Sorry!)

      I strongly suggest that you start working with a therapist. Figure out if you are going to divorce your husband for cheating, or whether you still want to work on your marriage. (That is, assuming there is anything left to work on after your husband’s multiple affairs!)

      I wish you the best,


    • My husband left and shacked up in motel with married co worked and then leased an apartment with her. Left bills and would not help with our leased home and I got evicted. I helped him with bills for 8 year while he paid his ex 305 a week child support and then his 15 year old daughter lived with us and treated me with no respect then she turned 18 and moved and a month later my husband left with his married girlfriend. He even bought her a ring and took her on vacation while I worked after I told my husband we needed to take a vacation and he said no

  • This is the third time my husband has cheated on me, every single time with the same person. Worst part he moves out and then a year or so later comes back home. He blames his affair on me. He says I complain alot and treat him like a child. Act like a man you get treated like one. I don’t know what to do I love him but living like this is difficult the sad thing he tells her we’re divorced and she believes everything he’s saying. I don’t want a divorce nor does he, but then in a fit of rage he tells me to divorce him! I just don’t know what to do anymore.
    To top it off everytime I’m sick is when he leaves. I have a noncancerous brain tumor so right now life is difficult for me 😟

    Miserable in Michigan

    • Dear Miserable,

      I’m so sorry to hear what you’re going through! It seems like your husband has an ongoing pattern of cheating over a long period of time. Given what you’ve written, it’s time for a little “tough love.” (If you’re not up for it, stop reading now!)

      You are definitely not to blame for your husband’s affair(s). At the same time, you are the one who keeps taking him back. I wonder why? Sure, you love him. But he’s treating you like dirt. Don’t you count too? Don’t you deserve to be loved, too? That may be the question you want to ask yourself moving forward. (HINT: Exploring that kind of a question with a good therapist can give you tremendous insight. You might want to try therapy for a while and see if it helps.)



  • I have recently discovered that my wife of 6 years, 12 year partner and the mother of my children has been engaging in online sex acts with ‘strangers’ during the entirety of our relationship. I know to many people this isn’t ‘cheating’ and that is how she feels about it, but to me it undermines our whole relationship. I love her and want to stay with her, she says she won’t do it again but with the evidence I found I feel like this is part of the core of her identity that she had hidden from me. We are going to go to couples counseling but until we get there we have been highly sexual (which hasn’t been the norm for us for a long time) and I have had some regret about having sex with her. I go through bouts of yelling at her as if she can change the past. She has told me a lot of what she did and I don’t think she is lying about it. I don’t know how to get a grip on my emotions. I go from being totally ok to so mad/sad I can’t breath. I’ve been searching online to see if any of the people she encountered posted her and can’t seem to stop obsessing about it.

    • I’m so sorry! It sounds like you’re on a rollercoaster of emotions right now. That’s actually normal. BUT, that having been said, if you want to move past this affair and heal your heart (whether that ends up being with or without your wife) you probably need help.

      Working through all of your emotions will take time. I know you’re going to couples counseling right now. That’s great. But you probably could really use some individual counseling as well.

      If you don’t have an individual therapist I encourage you to check out BetterHelp. They are the world’s largest online counseling service. They can match you with a counselor within 24 hours. All of their therapists work remotely – via text, email, phone, and video conferencing. So the current quarantine won’t affect the availability of their counselors at all.

      Finally, try to understand that a big part of what you’re dealing with right now is grief. As horrible as it is to cycle through all of the emotions you’re experiencing, you need to do that to heal. That’s going to take time and patience.

      Hang in there. Be kind to yourself.



      PS If you want to try to get a better handle on your wife’s cheating, your reactions, and how you can start to heal, you might also want to get a copy of The State of Affairs by Esther Perel. It’s an excellent book.

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