What to do after an affair

So you just found out your partner cheated on you, what do you do? If you are Carrie Underwood, you trash his car. But that’s not really the best response…. So what DO you do? It a horrible realization… you feel angry, betrayed.. BEWILDERED, upset, bitter, disappointed, and sad all at the same time. And sometimes, if you’ve suspected it for a while, a little relieved that you are not just a jealous person… you are an INTUITIVE person. Being cheated on is a crushing blow to any woman… to the ego… to your self confidence, and to your ability to trust.

This is why country singers have VIOLENT impulses… and you may too- it’s completely normal (just please don’t act on them- no good will come from it). You’ll probably suddenly doubt your very perception of the person… like they have all of a sudden become a stranger. You may very well throw them OUT. OK…. But then what?

It Stings!

Your relationship may or may not recover from an affair. Whether or not it does is up to you as an individual…. and you two as a couple. And it depends on WHY he cheated in the first place. Not that there is any excuse… but it is still an important thing to uncover. You also need to identify why YOU are so upset by it specifically… it is the actual sex act with another woman? Or is it just the being lied to? Or is it because it makes you feel undesirable? Or afraid of being abandoned and replaced?

Figuring out the “why” won’t stop you from feeling hurt… but it can help you work through it and look at the situation objectively. Most cheating is done for selfish reasons and not with the intention to hurt you specifically. And even though someone being too selfish to consider you SUCKS…. it’s not quite the same as someone being intentionally mean to you. There IS a difference between him cheating because there is a breakdown in your connection, and he wants out but is too much of a pussy to address the problem… versus he cheated because he was kinda drunk and just living in the moment… versus he is having a mid-life crises and he was trying to feel young again.

Some men cheat too because they have kinks that they don’t feel comfortable with doing with their wives, so they do dirty things with people they don’t care about. And some men cheat because their libidos are raging and they are not satisfied at home. Some of these problems are fixable. Some are not.


You should allow yourself some TIME to figure all these things out. A bit of distance isn’t a bad thing either. Time heals all wounds… the initial sting *will* wear off eventually… but it may not be quick. Once it does… THEN it’s time to make some big decisions that feel right TO YOU.

Lean on Your Support System

Talk to your friends and family, particularly if they have ever gone through this before. Listen to what they have to say…. but remember every relationship is a weird little world that no one else understands. So you have to make choices that work best for YOU… because only you *know* what you can and cannot live with. Some couples make it through an affair and others don’t- there is no absolute answer.

Communication is key… so as you use your friends to vent to and feel support from… don’t forget to communicate the how and why of you being hurt to HIM. Screaming and throwing things will make him feel how upset you are… but it won’t encourage open communication. So go to the gym and elliptical-out all your feelings. Then spend some time talking.

What doesn’t kill will only make you stronger. So work hard to come out of this a better person than you were before… whether that means staying or leaving. The choice is one that only you and you alone can make. Good luck sista! Stay strong!

Co-written by Jackie English

Have you been cheated on?