If you've been dealing with a husband who is cheating on you, there's no need to suffer in silence or put up with his infidelity because you don't know what else to do. You don't have to feel like a helpless victim. There are things you can do to empower yourself in the new year and make the best of a bad situation. If your husband is having an extramarital affair, the suggestions below will help you put the odds in your favor and minimize much of the damage infidelity can cause.
Whether you decide to stay with your cheating husband or get a divorce, you can regain control of your life and gain the upper hand.
1. Face reality.
If your husband is cheating on you, face reality. Ignoring his infidelity won't make it go away. Going into denial, or pretending it's not happening could actually make the situation worse. Avoiding the issue does nothing to alleviate the problem. You may not be ready to take action yet, but at least acknowledge what's going on.2. Speak up and take a stand.
If you know he's cheating on you and say nothing about it, you're enabling his infidelity. Let your husband know that you're aware of his affair, and tell him you want it to stop. Since affairs thrive in secrecy, exposing it or bringing it into the open is often enough to make it stop. Refusing to address his infidelity will make him think he has your silent approval, or that you have no idea what's going on.3. Let him know you know.
Affairs thrive in secrecy. If you've identified numerous telltale signs and have solid proof of your husband's infidelity, decide when and how to tell him you know about his affair. Sometimes just knowing his infidelity has been exposed will be enough to make him stop. 4. Realistically evaluate your situation.
Consider your options. Is your marriage worth saving? Will things improve if the two of you see a marriage counselor? Or has your marriage deteriorated to the point where you'd be better off filing for divorce? Set aside time to carefully examine your situation from every possible angle before deciding what's in your (and your children's) best interests to do. Think things through and begin formulating a plan.5. Seek counseling for yourself and for your marriage.
You have a better chance of saving your marriage if you get professional help. You'll also be better equipped to deal with the trauma of your husband's infidelity if you seek individual counseling for yourself, as well. You can benefit from one-on-one counseling from a qualified professional, regardless of whether you stay with your husband or get a divorce. 6. Protect yourself sexually.
Your husband's infidelity can have life-threatening consequences for you, if he's having unprotected sex with someone else. You're at risk, not only for HIV/AIDS, but for other sexually-transmitted diseases, as well. Get tested. And either abstain, or begin practicing safe sex. You may be a victim of infidelity, but you don't have to be a victim of HIV/AIDS, too.7. Find out your legal rights.
Consult an attorney who specializes in matrimonial law. Many of them give free or low-fee initial consultations. You need to get a clear understanding of exactly what you're legally entitled to with regard to alimony, child support, and division of marital assets, in the event of a separation or divorce.8. Put your financial house in order.
Get a realistic view of your current financial situation and make the necessary adjustments. Establish credit in your own name. Set up a separate checking or savings account. Start putting money aside for a rainy day. 9. Make sure you're equipped to earn a living.
Many wives stay with cheating husbands because they're financially dependant on them. If you need to, take some refresher courses, brush up on your skills, or start working towards a college degree or learning a trade. Do what it takes to make yourself employable. Or get a part-time job. Check into starting a home business. Be in a position to pay your own way.10. Prepare yourself mentally and emotionally.
Accept the possibility that your marriage may end. Don't be caught off guard mentally or emotionally if your husband comes home one day and tells you he wants a divorce. There's nothing wrong with hoping for the best, but you need to prepare yourself mentally for the worst. There's a very real chance that your marriage will not survive your husband's affair. Consider that option, so that if it happens it won't come as a total surprise.
Don't spend another year at the mercy of a cheating mate. Use the 10 tips to you empower yourself for 2009. Some of these things can be quietly done behind the scenes without your husband's knowledge. And you'll be much more confident knowing you have a game plan in place. So empower yourself by formulating your strategy now. Infidelity expert Ruth Houston is the founder of www.InfidelityAdvice.com and the author of "Is He Cheating on You? - 829 Telltale Signs," which lists practically every known sign of infidelity. For more information, visit Ruth's Web site or contact her InsideInfidelity@gmail.com.