Is My Wife Cheating on Me? Finding Out, Reconciling, Forgiving
What are the signs your wife is cheating? What can you do to end her affair and reconcile? And, how can you forgive her once you do?
Figuring out if your wife is having an affair is not enough. You can’t simply confront her and fix things in one step. Many men imagine a response like, “Oh yes, you caught me. I am so totally wrong and sorry. Please forgive me. I will dump him right away and do anything you want if we can just make up.” In my experience, this very rarely happens.
So, what do you do when she denies the affair and blames you? How do you save your relationship without being a wimp?
How do you determine if your wife is having an affair?
Many times men and women agree on what constitutes a sexual affair, but not what constitutes an emotional affair. It is important that you be able to determine when your wife is having an emotional affair. Your wife is most likely to insist that her relationship with the other man is not an affair. This is because she has not characterized it to herself as such. She will think of it as just a friendship. Such a rationalization protects her self esteem.
Don’t go according to her definition
Because your wife is not likely to see herself as having an affair, you must be able to determine for yourself.
Signs your wife is cheating on you:
- quick deterioration in your relationship for no apparent reason
- your wife got a new job or went back to school
- she has become more sexually interested in you (infatuation stage)
- she has petty complaints and is upset easily (distancing stage)
- she has lost all interest in sex with you (affair stage)
- she is no longer bothered when you don’t spend time with her
- she is secretive with her cell phone or computer
- taking more trips by herself or extending them
- a renewed interest in getting into shape
- buying more fashionable clothing
The more of these signs there are, the more likely your wife is to be having an affair. Another possibility is that she is preparing to have one. Women tend to be less scheming than men when it comes to affairs, though. When the signs are present, she has already developed a love interest.
Are emotional affairs are less damaging than sexual affairs?
Many men are relieved to find out that their wives are not having sex with the other man. However, the threat is just as great if she is only emotionally attached. Particularly with women, emotional attachment comes before sexual encounters. Just because it’s only emotional now, doesn’t mean it will stay that way. It would be unusual for a woman to have a sexual affair without it being an emotional one first.
How your behavior can drive your wife toward an affair
Secure men have longer, more satisfying relationships. They don’t live in fear of what would happen if their wives cheated on them. Because of that, they don’t interrogate or control. They are actually more loving. Insecure men however, live in fear of losing their wives and so must continually be reassured that their wives are faithful and loving.
A needy man will criticize his wife for spending time out without him. He will interrogate her about who she was with and what she did. Needy men have a punishing attitude toward their wives whenever they feel left out. The result is that they make their wives want to get away from them. Their behavior makes other men more appealing. Their very behavior pushes their wives toward away from them and toward others. If this sounds like you, then the best thing you can do to save your relationship is to learn how to end your neediness right away.
If you have no proof your wife is unfaithful
A sneaking suspicion that your wife is unfaithful is not reason to confront her or question her about it. Although her denial may make you temporarily assured, your suspicion will come back. Also, you may create a lot of conflict with the question. This does nothing to end her relationship with the other man. But it will make her more secretive and rejecting.
There are better things you can do rather than checking up on her, tracking her, or looking for signs of an affair. You can know learn more by seeing how she responds to your attempts to connect, than you can by seeing how she reacts to your suspicions. Whenever you detect a problem in your relationship, the first thing you should do is to get about building it. An affair is only a symptom of losing your spouse’s love. A happily married woman is not likely to have an affair.
If your wife is cheating on you, it eventually will come out and you can deal with it then. The more fearful and insecure you are, the less your wife is going to be attracted to you. And, the the less she will fear cheating on you. She will sense that even if you did find out about an affair, that you would never leave her. She probably expects begging or crying, instead. You can start to become more alpha if you are not. There is a good approach to confronting and reconciling if your wife has cheated on you.
Women know that a secure husband is neither going to beg nor put up with any kind of affair. Every woman is naturally attracted to alpha males. It is a built in part of the human species. Women need to find reasons to stay with a needy man. Most of the time it is become they can’t compete for an alpha. But, if they become able to, they will often leave a beta male to do just that.
Focus on your behavior, not hers
The key to affair prevention and reconciling is being an attractive man. This means being secure, but it also means continuing to make your wife feel about you the way she did before you were married. How do you do that? You continue to treat her the way you did before you were married. Consider for example, how often you date your wife, spend one on one time with her, and how much she enjoys having sex with you.
Now, imagine that you were single and treated a girlfriend the way you treat your wife. Would she stay interested in you or be likely to leave you for someone else? As it is with single relationships, it is with married ones. It is not enough to be married to keep a woman’s attraction. You must learn how to make a happy marriage for you and your wife or it will be lost.
You have proof your wife is having an affair. What do you do next?
If you have proof of an affair, the most important thing to do is to figure out what you want before doing anything else. Here are your basic choices:
End the relationship or reconcile?
If you do not want to stay married to a woman who cheated on you, then do not go through the reconciling process. As the betrayed spouse, many men are not able to reconcile after their wife’s affair. The rejection cuts too deep. They end up cheating on their wives, even if their wives have returned to being faithful. If you can’t get over it emotionally and want to be with other women, then be upfront about that.
Don’t punish your wife and make her suffer a long time with a husband who cannot love her again. That is not Christian, it is not loving, it will make you lose self-respect, and it will lead to repeat affairs. What person can remain faithful to a continually rejecting spouse?
If you can reconcile, then don’t be too quick to forgive and forget. Some men are so quick to forgive that they do so even while their wives affairs are still going on! Go through the process of rebuilding and remember that your wife is not going to be able to quickly get over her feelings for the other man and shift them to you.
Shifting her feelings from the other man to you takes a lot of work on your part. It is not something she can just decide to do. During the early work you do, she is highly likely to be miserable and to again be in contact with her boyfriend/lover. You will need to be loving, but you will need to have good boundaries, too.
The path to reconciling
A multistage process that does not begin with dating or sex
Reconciling a relationship at any time is a multistage process. Most men are so goal focused that they expect their wives to give up their affairs and be in love with them the next day. They also get ahead of their wives emotions by insisting on dating or initiating sex too soon–this can be very harmful. Getting a woman to make love to you who still has feelings for another man will damage your relationship.
Even if she wants to have sex right away, hold off and wait until her feelings for you have returned. Women who do want to have sex right away, do if for assurance, not connection. And, because their emotions are not there yet, they have regrets the next day. Making love to a woman who does not really want to is like feeding broccoli to your kids. They eat it if they have to, but it doesn’t make them look forward to more.
Recognizing that you both contributed to the unfaithfulness
Your wife is responsible for cheating. But you are likely responsible for some of the disconnect that came before that. Many women become emotionally starved in their relationships. A woman who enjoys her relationship with her husband is not likely to cheat on him. Being a good provider is not enough. It won’t connect you with your wife any more than it will with your children. Many men have dropped the ball by not:
- Continuing to take their wives on dates at least once a week,
- Spending quality one on one time together at home each day,
- Making sure that their wives enjoy sex as much as they do.
Because of this lack of interaction, husbands and wives become very different. Whenever a woman has an affair, it is always with a man she feels is more similar to her than her husband. In a loving and connect relationship, people become more similar. People who get too busy, or who don’t make their relationships a priority become more different. People have affairs because they miss the romantic aspect of their relationships. They are not looking for someone to work on problems and tasks with.
By taking some of the responsibility, you meet your wife part way in reconnecting with you. Your being able to admit that to family and friends is going to help, too. It will not help to make your wife look like a villain to your family.
The four requirements for ending your wife’s affair
Confrontation is letting your wife know that you discovered her affair and what your boundaries are. How this will go will depend on her degree of commitment to you and the other man. It is important to handle this in a loving but firm way. Getting overly angry or being too quick to forgive can both make reconciling more difficult.
Boundaries for the confrontation are: 1) separation if your wife continues to have contact with the other man, and 2) ending all contact with the other man before you date her again. You will need to have additional boundaries for separation if she is refusing to end contact with the other man.
Attraction comes before connection and is something that most men forget about when trying to reconcile. Your wife had an affair with another man because she found him more attractive than you. If you are going to help her to reconcile (re-attach and be in love) with you again, then you are going to have to become more attractive than you were before she had her affair.
Many aspects go into attraction. The way you treat her, others, yourself, how successful you are, and how well your life is going for you are all important aspects of attraction. Many times, I will spend a month working with a male client, just helping him to be more attractive. Remember that if you can’t be more attractive than other men available to your wife, she will grow dissatisfied with you, even if she remains faithful.
Connection does not happen by talking about your relationship. It happens by ending needy behaviors, becoming more similar, and spending quality time together. You will need to progress from relaxation to talking to friendship to romance. You can’t start out with romance, friendship or talking. Until she is relaxed with you, she will be guarded and that will impede talking.
Until she can enjoy small talk with you, she won’t enjoy doing things with you, and that will impede friendship. And until she can be friends with you again, that will impede trust, and she won’t be interested in being romantic with you. Men who can’t make progress are usually rushing the next stage of relationship development.
I have spent many years helping men re-attract and reconcile with their wives. A great number of relationships are surviving infidelity. So don’t be overwhelmed with the statistics. Statistics are not useful. For example, If you know that 80% of businesses fail, does that mean you shouldn’t have one? Or does it mean that you need to learn to do what the 20% that succeed do? What would a 80% failure rate for reconciling mean? That you give up, or you learn to do what the 20% who have success do?
To get your wife to end her affair, you must become more attractive and connect better than the other man. It is a competition. If you are living with your spouse and still needing to confront and implement boundaries, then choose my coaching package for ending a spouse’s affair. If you are separated or living with a wife who has already ended her affair, then choose my coaching package for reconnecting. We will work through the stages and skills need to progress through the phases of reconciling, mentioned above. Which package would most benefit you now?