Has your husband cheated you on? Are you having a difficult time overcoming your husband’s affair? To help better understand the thoughts and feelings you are experiencing and what you can do to overcome your husband’s affair, I have interviewed therapist Glenn Klein LMHC.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
“I have a Masters degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. I received my counseling license in 1999 from the Board of Registration of Allied Mental Health Professions. I have explored a variety of spiritual philosophies. I have studied Hindu mysticism and yoga, which led me to the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Lenox, Massachusetts. It was there that I discovered the intersection between western psychology and Eastern spirituality, which led me to return to graduate school to study western psychology and become a psychotherapist. My interest in Eastern spirituality and psychology has spanned twenty years. I have had a daily meditation practice for at least that long and am currently a student of Tibetan Mahamudra meditation with Daniel P. Brown, PhD.”
What type of thoughts and feelings does a wife who has been cheated on have?
“When the expression “cheated on” is used, it presupposes that the couple had certain agreements or understandings about their sexual relationship boundaries, whether explicit or assumed, and that those boundaries were violated. This can elicit thoughts about how this happened, why this happened, and what’s going to happen now that the infidelity has been exposed. A wife may question her own self worth and even her sanity if she is feeling blindsided by the affair. An infidelity can be profoundly disruptive to a person’s sense of the world. The feelings that are engendered when a boundary is violated can include fear, confusion, hurt, sadness, blame of self and other, betrayal, disappointment, anger, rage; there is no “right” emotional or cognitive response for a person who has been cheated on. Rather, I would counsel this individual to honor whatever arises for them under these circumstances and to bring a lot of awareness and compassion to their own experience.”
In some marriages the cheating husband wants to be faithful and work on the relationship. If that happens how could a wife overcome her spouse’s affair?
“Whether a spouse can overcome the affair depends entirely on her willingness to work with her own thoughts and feelings and to be able to heal the wounds that were caused by the infidelity. Can she move on from the hurt and betrayal? Can she rediscover a sense of confidence in herself and her perceptions of the world? Can she recapture a sense of safety and security in the relationship? Can she regain a sense of trust in her husband? Without this type of internal work, the wife could be prone to lingering feelings of distrust; resentment or aggression and these types of emotions are toxic to a relationship.”
“Another point I’d like to make may appear controversial. When working with couples where there has been an infidelity, I inquire into the relationship environment that the infidelity arose out of. I believe that it takes both partners to create a relationship dynamic, so if there has been an infidelity, I want to explore if there has been any ways that the cheated on partner has contributed to this event. The reason this type of inquiry is potentially controversial is that it could give the appearance of blaming the victim of the affair. But let me be clear on this point; there is a profound difference between an excuse for the cheating behavior and an explanation for it. If two people have an agreement to be sexually exclusive and one partner violates that agreement, there is no excuse for that behavior. It is morally indefensible. It is also important to arrive at correct explanations for why it happened, and those explanations cannot exclude the cheated on spouses contribution to the relationship dynamics from which the infidelity arose.”
What type of professional help is available for a wife who has been cheated on?
“The most obvious type of professional help would be the services of a good psychotherapist who could help a spouse who has been cheated on to heal from the wounds of the affair. There are also good books on the subject, like “After the Affair” by Janis Abrahms Spring, “Getting Past the Affair” by Douglas Snyder, Donald Baucom and Kristina Coop Gordon, and “Surviving Infidelity” by Rona Subotnik and Gloria Harris. Finally, there are on line resources as well, and a quick Google search will bring up a lot of useful information and support.”
What last advice would you like to leave for a wife who wants to overcome Her husband’s affair?
“The cheated on spouse needs to decide if the relationship is worth the continued investment and effort to get past the infidelity. If children are part of the relationship, this can be difficult to determine because the needs of the children are often included in the assessment. But keep in mind that staying together for the sake of the children carries its own risks. As mentioned above, if the couple cannot get past bitterness and resentment, that will produce a toxic and unhealthy environment for the children and you will only end up undermining your good intention of staying together for the children’s sake.”
Thank you Glenn for the interview on how to overcome a husband’s affair. For more information on Glenn Klein check out his website on www.gkleinlmhc.com.
Rebuilding Trust in a Relationship
Healing from a Broken Relationship
Why Some People Have Affairs