avatarMitzi Bockmann


Can I Help My Wife Heal after I Cheated? Yes, You Can!

First of all, good for you for wondering how you can help your wife heal after you cheated. Many cheaters don’t do this and good for you for seeking to learn how to do so.

Cheating can have a devastating effect on a relationship, on the cheater and on the person who was cheated on. For many people, cheating leads a lifetime of feeling guilty or hurt or distrustful or self-hatred, all things that are detrimental not only to a couple but also to an individual.

Fortunately, there are ways to help your wife heal after you cheated and, at the same time, help you heal as well.

Here are 9 ways to help your wife heal after you cheated.

#1 — By being completely honest.

The number one most important thing to help your wife heal after your infidelity is by being 100% honest about what happened in the affair. Not 99% — 100%. This includes any details that she asks for, rather than hiding something because you don’t want to hurt her (a common occurrence for men, who instinctively don’t want to hurt any woman).

The only way to start to rebuild trust in a relationship is by giving your partner the truth. The truth about how and why and when. The truth about questions she might ask. The truth about how you were feeling as it happened. The truth about the circumstances in which you strayed.

Why is the truth important? First of all, truth is essential to rebuilding trust in a relationship. Without the truth, trust is impossible. It is also important reason to be 100% truthful with your wife is so that she has the information that she needs to figure out how she wants to move forward in the marriage.

For some wives, the fact that you cheated means that the marriage is over, but, for many wives, their feelings are complicated and they aren’t sure how they want to proceed. Knowing what happened will help them do so.

#2 — By showing remorse.

I know that you are probably feeling pretty guilty right now but are you also feeling a little bit self-righteous? After all, you are probably receiving the brunt of a lot of vitriol about what you did and who you are and that probably makes you feel defensive. How is this defensiveness making you behave? Is it making you push back on your wife’s words or are you showing remorse for what you did?

It is essential that you show real remorse for what happened. I know that you might believe that the whole thing is complicated and that there are myriad reasons why you cheated but the reality is that you cheated on someone to whom you made a vow to be faithful and the fact that you violated that vow means that it’s time for you to show real remorse.

So, if you want to help your wife heal after your infidelity, don’t push back on her words, but show her true remorse.

#3 — By cutting off the affair partner.

This is so important! If you have been caught cheating or if you confess to it on your own, of paramount importance with helping your wife heal is cutting off all contact with your affair partner.

And I mean ALL contact. No seeing them, no texting, no liking their Instagram posts. Nothing.

After all, any contact with your affair partner will most likely perpetuate your feelings for them and perhaps keep the affair going. And, if you want your wife to believe that you are truly remorseful, keeping in contact with your AP won’t help with that.

#4 — By being willing to talk about what happened.

Your wife might have lots of questions, questions that you might be very uncomfortable answering. And I am sorry but that is on you. You cheated and your wife wants to know details and answers to her questions are a key part of helping her heal.

I have a client whose husband refused to tell her the details of what happened and so she reached out to his affair partner, with disastrous results. The affair partner overshared what happened and blamed the wife for what they did. You can imagine how this made her feel.

So, be willing to answer your wife’s questions. If you don’t, she might get her answers elsewhere, which would only put another nail in your coffin.

#5 — By accepting that your wife can’t “just let it go.”

I see this all the time. A husband wants his wife to just let it go. After all, the affair is over — can’t they just get on with life and forget it ever happened?

Unfortunately, the answer to that question is “no.” The affair happened, you got caught and your relationship will be forever changed as a result. It’s time to get used to that fact.

I am not saying that your wife won’t be able to ever let what happened go but it will take some time. It will take some time to accept what happened and figure out how to move forward. It will take some time to work to forgive you, or not, for what happened. It will take some time for her to start feeling good about herself again as she is probably not feeling that way right now.

So, no matter how much you want to sweep the whole thing under the rug and forget it ever happened, know that you can’t. This thing happened and it isn’t going to unhappen and you must face it head on.

#6 — By being willing to get help.

Chance are, neither you or your wife have ever dealt with infidelity in marriage and you will need some support navigating its aftereffects. The best way to do that is through marriage counseling or coaching.

Many men who have cheated don’t want to go to marriage counseling. They believe that their wife and a therapist will just pile on blame for what happened and that it won’t feel good. The reality is that, with a good coach or therapist, this won’t happen. A good therapist or life coach will help you explore the reasons that you cheated and teach you both some tools to work through this and rebuild your relationship.

I can promise you that, if you refuse to get counseling about your infidelity, the chances that your wife will heal are infinitesimal.

#7 — By not blaming her.

I do believe that men don’t cheat if they are in a happy, satisfying relationship. I do believe that men are often presented with someone who thinks them smart and wonderful and who wants to have sex with them, things that might have been missing in their marriage, and they can’t resist the temptation to stray.

That being said, you must take responsibility for the fact that you made the decision to cheat. Yes, your marriage might struggling, and your wife bears some responsibility for this, but you chose to, instead of addressing the issues, get what you needed elsewhere.

One of the reasons that it’s important to not blame your wife is because she is already feeling horrible about herself. How could she not if the person who said they would love her forever cheated? If you blame her for what happened, it might make you feel better, but it will only make her feel worse and hinder her healing, in a big way.

#8 — By showing her love.

I know that this might be a hard one but it is essential that you do your best to make your partner feel loved during this recovery period.

Even if you don’t love your wife, I am guessing that you still like her. It is important that you show her this. To help her overcome her feelings of self-loathing that are the result of you cheating on her.

Many men try to give their wives space after the discovery of infidelity, mostly because they feel guilty and don’t want to be yelled at. And giving your wife space if she asks for it is very important. But don’t give her too much space. Make sure that she knows that you are there for her if she needs you. Do little things that will make her feel loved.

Even if your marriage might be over, letting your wife know that no matter what happened, you still care about her, will go a long way towards helping her heal after your cheating.

#9 — By committing to taking a hard look at yourself.

This infidelity didn’t happen in a void. Yes, your marriage might have been troubled but what is it about you that made you step out on your wife? After all, not every man cheats when their marriage is struggling.

For many women, a key part of healing is knowing that their husband is willing to take a good hard look at themselves and why they did what they did. Many men are hesitant to do any self-reflection and showing your wife that you are willing to do so will help her see that you want to do what you can to save your marriage and to make sure that what happened will never happen again.

So, reach out to a therapist or a life coach and start doing some digging now.

Again, good for you for trying to help your wife heal after you cheated.

I know that you have an uphill battle ahead, that recovering after the discovery of an affair is a long road and one that will take some patience and perseverance.

But you can do it. And you can support your wife in her process to move past this. By doing so, you are ensuring that you and your wife can rebuild your relationship, even if you don’t stay married.

That being said, its way more likely that you will stay married if you take the suggestions above and implement them, now.

You can do it!

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