Has your husband cheated on you? Are you having a difficult time recovering? If so, you’re not alone. According to Oprah Winfrey’s online infidelity quiz, “Over 50 million married men in the United States are currently cheating on their wives. About 50% percent of cheating husbands have multiple affairs.” To help understand why some husband’s cheat and what a wife can do to deal with a cheating husband, I have interviewed Psychotherapist Dr. Heather M. Browne.
What are some reasons a husband would cheat?
“The most common reasons for affairs as reported by couples are: Attractiveness, opportunity, enjoys risk taking, sexually desires differences, and has different views about love and romance, relational problems in marriage, and a sense of entitlement.”
“Women tend to have an affair desiring intimacy and connection. Men tend to desire adventure, excitement and conquest.”
“On the surface, these seem like perfectly intuitive reasons. However, for an affair to take place, there are typically deeper issues pertaining to self-esteem, commitment, and even the basic ability to love and be loved. The affair attempts to bring temporary relief and fill the empty space inside of them. It ultimately fails because the unfaithful spouse is self-medicating the symptom, not the problem.”
“Common situations that can result in affairs: Close interdependent relationship with someone other than spouse (work partner, close friend). Being around someone who lets you know they are sexually interested and available. Not feeling close or connected with spouse. Situations that create a sense of opportunity (traveling for work)
Drug and alcohol usage.”
What type of impact can a cheating husband have on a marriage relationship?
“No matter how it’s sliced, an affair has a devastating impact on a marriage. Trust is obliterated. It is a very painful and lengthy process to try and work through all the hurt, anger, and devastation that an affair creates. Major depression is a common result for both spouses. The relationship will never be the same as before the affair. For many couples, they are not able to overcome the annihilation of trust and the marriage is dissolved.”
What can a wife do once she knows her husband is cheating?
Firstly, she is going to need help to get her through this ordeal. Seeking counseling, meeting with her pastor or close friend, and/or reading books about dealing with infidelity can all help. But in the end, she needs to sit down with her husband and deal with it. After the initial shock and pain has passed, she needs to explore with her husband what their hopes are for their marriage. This will determine whether they can work through this.”
How can the wife and cheating husband benefit from professional help?
“A professional has the skills necessary to help the couple determine their ability to heal. Having someone who is an advocate for the marriage relationship and not necessarily either spouse can help both people feel heard, understood, and valued. It is very easy for couples going through this to lose the ability to be open, compassionate, and forgiving. However, all of these things need to happen to heal the relationship. Having someone who is skilled in knowing what needs to be resolved and changed allows the couple to focus on themselves – not be responsible for figuring out how to go through this. It is imperative that the couple work through the challenges of their relationship. Otherwise, they will not be able to re-establish trust, true intimacy, and love. A therapist helps them accomplish this.”
“An affair highlights all that is wrong with the relationship. Though this can be incredibly painful, it also gives the couple the opportunity to develop and create a relationship that is healthier, closer, kinder, and more passionate than what they have settled for in the past. Focusing on what they can do within their relationship – being responsible for making their relationship what they desire – is the key.”
Thank you Dr. Browne for the interview on how to deal with a cheating husband. If you would like more information on Dr. Browne you can check out her website on www.TheHealingHeart.net.
About Dr. Browne:
“Dr. Browne has been healing hearts and minds since 1997. She specializes in helping individuals, couples, and families break through old, sometimes hidden emotional barriers that prevent permanent change. She is a published author, radio guest, New Life Ministries national touring group counselor, and can be seen weekly as the relationship expert on the television program Daybreak OC (on hiatus).”
How to Heal from a Cheating Relationship
Catch Your Cheating Husband
Cheating Husbands: Why They Cheat and Steps to Prevent Cheating