My Wife Cheated on Me, Now What?


I am very sorry to hear this. It is much more common nowadays than before. Many, if not most, women are now in the workforce. There are a lot of temptations out there.
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Also many people have a different view of marriage today than people did years ago. Today we have been shown on television, movies, and in music, and we have even been taught and counseled that marriage is about having our needs met.

Actually, marriage is a framework for raising a family and in which to learn how not to be selfish.

I've written some articles and posts about the issue of unfaithful husbands. So I guess it's time to talk to men about the issue of unfaithful wives.
.So here's my response. First the short answer.

If you just found out, stay calm. Do not do anything rash. Go about your business, do your duty, go to work, be there for your kids. You've heard the old expression "stand back and count to ten." Well, stand back and maybe let a few weeks go by. As time passes the initial anger will diminish. Watch out for resentment. Let reason rule.
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It takes a real man to stay the course and respond with calm reason instead of anger.
There is value in being able to talk it out. Most communities have government, nonprofit, church, or volunteer organizations focusing on men's issues, marriage or anger management. Avail yourself of any that are helpful. There are also resources available on the internet.
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Long term you don't want to become dependent on external support, but right now reading, talking it out, and getting good feedback from someone knowledgeable with understanding are very helpful.

If it happened a few months or years ago, and it is still sticking in your craw, it means that you are still resentful. Watch out for resentment. Stand back and when you see it rising, observe it from the neutral zone and let it pass.

Now the longer answer.

The advice I have given to women in this circumstance (where a spouse has been unfaithful) is just as fitting for men. Basically, the woman has to deal with resentment and judgment. If she can let go of these, then she will be spiritually and emotionally safe. It is resentment that hurts us more than what the other person did to us.

Resentment ruins everything. But if you can let go of the resentment, you will be okay. Moreover, when the mind is clear and not clouded with resentment and bitterness, you will be able to see what is reasonable and wise to do. Remember, resentment robs us of joy and many other things.

I cannot overemphasize the importance of letting go of resentment.

In circumstances of an unfaithful spouse, the woman's main spiritual issues are letting go of resentment and judgment
The man faces a much bigger challenge because of what husband and father represent.

You see, husband and father has a very special role. He holds a station in life. He holds the office of husband and if there are kids, the office of father.

In the eyes of children, father stands in for God. Can you see why it is so devastating when a father fails?

Husband and father is supposed to be like the George Washington or Moses of the family. He stands for what is right. He cannot have any vices. He must be principled, honorable, wise, patient, long suffering, and kind.
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He has to be as steady as the ticking of a grandfather clock in a thunderstorm. If others fail him, he does not fail them. If others become upset, he remains calm and reasonable.

Most dads are a little weak. They say the right things, but say them too weakly. He must not be there to win a popularity contest. He has to stand for what is right and persist even in the face of rebellion. But he must not be angry. He must always have a twinkle in his eye.
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Many men clam up, but are angry and resentful underneath. When they do finally speak up, their message is tainted and ruined by the pent up anger. Feeling guilty, he may clam up again or sit on the sidelines while the family goes to ruin.
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A man simply can't avoid his duty without harming the family. That is why he must learn to stand for what is right with patience and firmness and kindness.

He has to be there for his wife and children. They need a very special love from him: emotionless agape love. A man cannot have this love if he is selfish or unprincipled. Nor can he have this love for them if he is a womanizer or tries to make his wife into his mother. He must not look for ego support from the world. He must look within and find a bond with what he knows in his heart.

He will then not need love. He will give love. He must love principle more than anything, even his wife.
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But if you think about it for a moment, you will see that this is the man she can trust. She knows he will always be there for her and she knows he will never be unfaithful (because he does not need the love of a woman, a drug, or some worldly support). This is the man she can respect and perhaps even love.

Now, gentlemen, most wives are aware of their husband's weaknesses before they get married, but she hopes that he will become the noble knight she needs. And once within the confines of marriage, the nobly inclined man will become aware of his failing her in some mysterious way.
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He will search his heart and out of true love for her and the children, he will see what they need from him. He will learn to be less selfish, and eventually one day, unselfish. He will begin to fail less, and one day not fail at all.

She will see his nobility, his heart felt efforts, and his love of principle. With this man, there is hope.

Of course, there are some women who will not take kindly to his new inner authority, and she will most likely resent him even when he is right. If she is a permanent hater, then she will make his life as miserable as possible. If he remains noble, she will probably go off to find someone else. If this happens, so be it.

But you cannot know what is in your wife's heart until you straighten up and fly right. Only then might your noble love draw forth the good in her.
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Many women have been so used and unloved that they cannot imagine or believe that a man can be noble. She may test him and give him a hard time for years (or decades). If he is tested and not found wanting, he will win her heart. They will become very good friends and live happily ever after.

As I said, most men are weak (or weak and violent). Their weakness literally tempts the wife and kids to rebel. So if you have been weak or selfish, before looking at other's wrong, first look at your own. See your part in what has gone wrong and repent of it.

Many wives had a father who was not there for her. She resented him and went out in the world looking for love. What she got was use and abuse at the hands of boyfriends. Since all men failed her, she expects that her husband will too (though a good woman will hope her husband won't fail her).

Perhaps you can see why the man needs to have the wisdom of Solomon and perfect self control. All men have failed, but that is not an excuse for more failing. You must find the way to fail less.
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I cannot say what to do in any particular circumstance. There are just too many particular situations. But I can speak in general terms.
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Generally divorce is not a good thing. Sometimes a separation may be of some help, so that both sides can find themselves and get their bearings, but maybe not.
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Please note that my comments are directed to the typical situation where both are good people, not perfect of course, but decent. If your spouse is extremely disturbed, violent or criminal, you will need to protect the children and get professional help and assistance from the authorities.
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If there is a divorce, it is best not to begin the process yourself. If your wife divorces you, you will then not be guilty for having begun it.

If you have only been married for a short time, things might be worked out, but if there is not true marriage, then going your separate ways may be best.

But when there are children, everything changes. Now the man is both husband and father.

I recently heard a man tell about his father who he loved deeply. His mom was not a nice lady and she made a lot of trouble. He stayed there for the children and was a good father to them. He suffered for decades, but never hated his wife and never complained. The children loved him dearly.

You see, the children were aware of his suffering. They saw his sacrifice and nobility. And they loved him all the more. It didn't matter what mom did. Father was there for them.

But if he had walked out on her and them, what would be foremost in their minds would not be what mom did, but what he did. He quit on them.
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Dear Sir,
I know that infidelity is a severe test. But just as there can be no courage without danger, so likewise there can be no character without a test of that character. A final word. Sometimes we do the right thing by simply not doing the wrong thing. Someone can tempt you to do something wrong or foolish. Just don't do it and you are safe. Always do what you know is right in your heart.

I heard the true story of a noble lady named Sister Hortense who lives in Chicago. Her husband was unfaithful and walked out. She waited 8 years (remaining chaste and pure) and never gave up hope. One day, 8 years later, there was a knock on the door. Repentant and chastened, her husband asked if they could perhaps reconcile. And they did. Sister Hortense sets a good example for us all.