Your Husband Cheated? Revenge Is Not Your Job.

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Revenge for cheating, we all secretly want payback at one point in our recovery journey.

When you’re dealing with a partner who has cheated, you may feel justified in hurting him and getting him back for what he did. It’s human nature to have that little voice in your ear urging you to make him pay. But I am here to tell you to quiet that voice. Revenge is not the way to handle an affair.

Why do I say this? Well, revenge actually takes a good amount of effort and time. You already have to deal with the grief of finding out about your cheating husband, the stress of deciding what to do next, the pain of a broken heart, and everything else that happens in day-to-day life.

Hear is something that I learned the hard way, your husband will never express or show the amount of pain and misery his affair has caused him in the same manner that you would. Sometimes if you seek to take revenge, you are setting yourself up for a disappointing reaction.

Revenge focuses too much energy, time, and attention on your husband and his actions and not on you. I wish all women dealing with an unfaithful husband would focus inward as much as they focus on the marriage, it is important to deal with YOUR feeling. Revenge is only a temporary fix, will not make you feel better or get to the root of the problem.

If you need something else to think about other than revenge, visit the Affair Recovery Tips section of the website.

  • Tito October 13, 2010, 9:08 AM

    Thanks Jewels for your post, it is certqianly a mature and level headed way of thinking. I myself am dealing with a serial cheater and I have been through unbearable hurt many times. At this point, I am seriously considering divorce but scared of being left to take care of three young children alone. I too considered revenge but could not see any satisfaction coming from it, only more embarrasement for me and my children.
    The worst part is that I am suffering alone as my husband is overly confident that there will never be repercusions for his actions.

    • Jewels October 13, 2010, 11:59 AM

      Sorry to hear about your situation. I ironically just wrote about cheating leaving you with the most difficult decision you will ever face in your marriage, and having kids involved makes it twice as complicated. Here are a couple of things that you can consider. 3 young kids are a lot of work, but that doesn’t mean you deserve to live in an environment of disrespect and lack of trust, just because he knows you won’t leave. My husband thought the same thing, and I did a couple of things that opened his eyes that I am not afraid of leaving (even though I was scarred to death!!). For instance, I told his family. Now I am not recommending you do this at all – but for me it was my way of showing him that I am not going to be the one hiding his infidelity just because he thinks I won’t leave. So I put it out there. It also made me make a decision sooner as to leave or stay. Again, I am not recommending that for you, but I do recommend that you look at your situation and see if there is something that you can do to show him that you’re not just going to take this. Maybe go away for a weekend and stay with a friend. Maybe stop cleaning for a week because you need a break. Or tell him you need him to help with the kids more so that you can deal with this situation. Anything to show him that there are repercussions of his actions. As far as the kids, this is the worse part about cheating, breaking up the family. You will have to make that choice on your own, but start to think about the support structure and what that would look like. Would your husband help to raise the kids after the divorce? Do you have family that would be able to help with the kids? Focus on what it would look like, once you focus on it for a little bit, you will start to see the possibilities. Take care and best of luck to you!!

  • April January 22, 2017, 6:35 AM

    Firstly i would like to say a massive thank you for this site. Its intelligent thinking and support at crisis time is invaluable in helping others to gain insight and process this painful journey.
    I have found trouble finding any website that deals with my personal situation but any advice or information would be very grateful at this point on my journey.
    i have been married for 14 years but we have been together for 30, since we were 14 years old. we have 3 children and 4 years ago my husband disclosed he was having an affair with a work colleague. As the week progressed, other affairs were admitted to and basically what began as phone chat, online porn sites then cheating with various females ended up with a full blown affairs after we got married. i was devastated, my world fell apart and i found myself completely lost with trying to understand why he had done this to our seemingly loving marriage. we talked constantly about the reasons and both tried to understand it. at first he blamed me for not ‘seeing him’ and taking him for granted. we have always been intimate and loving with intense conversations about his work (he is a therapist). I thought i was enough and supported him throughout his various trainings, ok sometimes resenting his growth as it took away from raising 3 children codependantly. i didn’t complain but just continued parenting, quite often single handedly. I was a traditional stay at home mum after giving up on a career as we couldn’t fund the child care. my self esteem was quite low for this reason but i carried on regardless and thought what we had together was happy and comfortable enough and eventually i would have my time back once the kids were older. He obviously thought otherwise.
    We both went to therapy after his disclosure but separately. It was helpful but i still couldn’t move forward. i still felt after all the pain and suffering he had subjected me to, he didn’t really put maximum effort in. he stayed faithful but i didnt feel understood.
    After 3 years i begun an online affair which eventually lead to a full blown affair. It was supposed to remain just a friendship but desire and frustration took hold and i decided to meet him. I broke it off after each meet, wrecked with guilt but by this point i had fallen in love. He was everything that was missing in my own relationship, my mirror image, similar values and tastes and love for music. He adored me, and it flattered my ego and set my soul on fire. Each time i would return to him and we were both now addicted to the high of being in love. I was becoming ill with anxiety as the further entrenched it became. i still loved my husband and the family set up but was also in love with another man. i knew i was hurting from what my husband had done but now i was as being as cold and calculating as him. i felt utterly torn and confused. The lover was divorced and also in need of some loving and thought he had finally met his match and fought hard to maintain the relationship. i knew i couldn’t carry on and finally disclosed to my husband and told the lover i had finished it for good. in the madness of it all i drove 2 hours back to my lover, still confused and undecided. i thought i was doing the right thing for everyone, and that in time i would grow back into my husband. He is utterly devoted and desperate to make things work but i just don’t trust that this is really what he wants as why would he have cheated on me so many times in the past. i can’t move on in any direction. I’m completely lost and depressed. i am still in love with the OM but want to reconcile with my husband but feel so detached. This is so utterly painful all round. I feel I’m in limbo land but just want inner peace.

    • Jewels January 22, 2017, 11:55 PM

      Hi April,

      Thanks for your kind words about the site. I just read your story and you are in a interesting predicament, however one that I have heard before. Good thing is that the man you started seeing is divorced. Your husband wants to work it out – and now you have to decide if it is sincere. I will share what I would do but please let this serve as more input and/or perspective. A husband cheats and justifies it in his mind, but when his wife cheats as well – they often can not handle it. What you have to decide is if he wants to stay together because his manhood is hurt that another man slipped in while he himself was playing games – or if he truly wants to work things out. Is he being an open book – is he willing to share his phone with you and or emails? Not saying he has to do that but is he willing? Is he willing to set up couples therapy (not you set up, he set it up).

      If I were you, I would tell him as the husband, he has had had affairs that have been hurtful. And during therapy and recovery, you did not feel like he was putting forth maximum effort. And you are not going to take that anymore. If you want the marriage to work, you are going to have to fight for it, as the pain has caused you to grow out of the relationship.

      Then you watch, and observe over the next month or two. There are so many options, you can say ‘no sex’ for this period to see if you can even just like each other again. Tell him that you will not make a decision at this time, but you are going to see if you can feel that effort that you so desperately desired. And after that time, it still may not be enough, but are you willing to try and show me?

      Then you watch, and observe. Life will tell you exactly what to do, trust me.

      Now on to the new person you fell in love with – we often subconsciously seek that in which we do not see in our partners in a strange ironic way, almost like that saying you want what you can not have. So although it appears so blissful at this time, he comes with his own set of ‘issues’ as well. He did fall for a woman who he knew was married, and what I would of loved him to do is to express himself to you but respect the marriage. Now is his chance.

      A man that is truly in love will wait for you to do the right thing. If you need a month or two in order to pause with him in order to get YOU in order – if he respects that and waits for you, that is a good sign. You can disclose to him this is not about getting back with the husband and you will not have sex with him, this is about feeling very distraught that you are in this predicament and you need space to think.

      If he is really down for you he will understand, and wait. If he has other intentions or gets defensive then something is off.

      And after saying all of that, at the end of the day April, you have to be ok with losing both men in order to get grounded as you are in such an emotional firestorm and sometimes in that situation, being still is the best solution. If you are willing to lose both, then you are in a good place. If you want either or, and will not accept neither, then you might have some more internal work to do.

      So I wrote this just to give you something to think about as you go about your next steps. Nobody is rushing you – and if they do something is off. Listen to life – it will guide you if you are still enough to hear it’s whisper.

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