Can A Man Cheat And Still Love His Wife? Answering A Heartbreaking Question
Discovering that your spouse has cheated is a devastating experience that can leave you feeling overwhelmed and alone. You may feel like you are in the midst of a tornado, with countless questions swirling around you, attacking you from all sides. A man can cheat and still love his wife.
A man can cheat and still love his wife.
You might wonder if your husband chose to cheat, could he truly love you, or why you weren’t enough. The roller coaster of emotions that follows the discovery of his infidelity can be excruciating for both of you.
It is entirely normal to experience intense emotional pain in response to infidelity. You may feel like running away or want to know everything about the other woman. The wave of emotions and questions can be unbearable, and it may feel like no one can understand what you’re going through.
You might feel angry, curious, hurt, insecure, and frustrated, and each of these emotions is deeply intertwined with your love for your husband. However, you may be left wondering whether your husband truly loves you or whether he wants to throw away your life together for someone else.
In fact, a poll showed that 56% of men who have admitted to cheating on their wives have also stated that their marriages were happy or very happy. Even a happily married couple can find themselves addressing infidelity, and it doesn’t mean you’ve done anything wrong or are to blame.
Infidelity can occur for a multitude of reasons, but it often has nothing to do with love. Instead, it can be related to your husband’s emotional health, insecurities, fears, lack of clarity, and deep-rooted feelings, not towards you but towards himself.
Infidelity happens because of an internal struggle, not because of an external one.
It can stem from something small, such as a missed opportunity in grade school, feeling a lack of purpose, or a life spent doing everything right. These internal struggles can create fanciful illusions that infidelity can fill the void; in those moments, your husband believes it. But those illusions don’t negate the fact that he can also love you, and you can also have a healthy, happy marriage.
Forgiveness and reconciliation may not be the best path for you and your husband, which is okay. Every marriage is different, and every reason for infidelity is different. It’s your choice to learn more about his reasons or not. Either way, you are the one who must live with your decision.
Ultimately, you have to do what’s best and right for you and love yourself first. Whether that means working toward reconciliation, divorce, separation, or staying in the unknown for a while, taking some time to figure out where you want to go from here in a way that supports you mentally, physically, and emotionally is a must.
Take a break.When your mind is whirling and your heart is full of emotions, it’s time for you to focus on yourself. Save yourself from saying things you’ll regret and take some time off. Go someplace you feel safe for a few days and invest the time in yourself. Relax, process what has happened, and allow yourself to grieve the loss of your husband’s fidelity.
Remind yourself that this isn’t about you.A man can cheat on his wife and still love her. So yes, he most likely does love you, even if he made a poor choice and cheated. Infidelity is about the cheater and not the person cheated on – this is a crucial distinction. His choice is not your fault. Remind yourself of this fact as often as you need.
Seek professional help.This is a mountain you can’t climb on your own, surviving infidelity requires therapy – for you each individually and as a couple.
Take care of yourself.It’s easy to forget about yourself when you’re going through a tough time, but taking care of yourself is important for your mental and physical well-being. Make sure you eat well, exercise, get enough sleep, and do things that make you happy. Take time to pamper yourself and treat yourself with kindness and compassion.
Practice self-reflection.Make the time to pause and reflect on your feelings, thoughts, and actions. What are your boundaries? What do you want and need from your husband? Are you willing to forgive and work on the relationship? Be honest with yourself and communicate your needs and boundaries clearly.
Communicate with your partner.Communication is key if you decide to work on the relationship. Talk openly and honestly about your feelings, concerns, and needs. Listen to your husband and try to understand his perspective. (NOTE: Understanding is not the same as condoning or agreeing.) Avoid blaming or attacking each other and focus on finding solutions and moving forward.
Be patient.Healing takes time. Rebuilding trust and repairing a relationship after infidelity is a long process. Be patient with yourself and your husband. Don’t expect everything to be resolved overnight. Focus on taking things one step at a time and celebrate small victories along the way.
Becoming aware of your husband’s infidelity is a painful experience, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the end of your relationship. A man can cheat and still wholeheartedly love his wife. Infidelity can happen even in happy marriages, and it’s important to understand that it’s not your fault.
There’s no one right answer to how you move forward from betrayal. You already know the options: You can forgive and work on the relationship or end it. Sometimes, knowing that he may still love you can help you decide what your next best step forward might be.
Mary Ellen Goggin offers relationship coaching for individuals and collaborates with her partner Dr. Jerry Duberstein to offer private couples retreats. To learn more about working with Mary Ellen, contact her here.