If your wife cheated on you and now wants you back, it's understandable that you're feeling a range of emotions right now, including betrayal, hurt, anger, and confusion.
You’re torn over whether you should forgive her and take her back, or if you should end your marriage and move on. What’s important, however, is to take the time to consider several factors before arriving at a decision.
Before you do anything, here’s what you should know.
Things to know
- Taking back a cheating wife requires considering forgiveness, trust, and genuine remorse from her side.
- Getting over cheating involves processing emotions, seeking support, and prioritizing self-care.
- Fixing the relationship requires open communication, sincere apologies, therapy, boundaries, and rebuilding trust.
It's okay to not have all the answers right now; this is a journey that requires courage, self-reflection, and a clear understanding of what you want. To ensure your next steps are coming from the right place, here’s what we’ll be looking at:
- Should You Stay With Your Wife If She Cheated On You?
- How To Get Over Being Cheated On
- Can A Marriage Go Back To Normal After Cheating?
- Proceed With Caution
Should You Stay With Your Wife If She Cheated On You?
The question is, can you get past it and work with your wife to create a more fulfilling relationship? If you consider cheating a major boundary violation that you can't get past, your wife could do everything right, and you'll still struggle with anger and jealousy. Staying will only result in a toxic relationship.
If you can't get past it, you don't have to give her a second chance. You can accept that it happened, and move on. But it's also okay to want her back. You built a life together, and that kind of connection doesn't disappear overnight.
If you're keen to fix things, your marriage can thrive. It will, however, require forgiveness, commitment, and effort from both of you. With this in mind, there are certain things you need to consider. Let's run through the most important ones:
Is she truly sorry?
How do you know if your wife is remorseful after cheating? Well, watch out for excuses, justification, or shifting blame. Refusing to take responsibility for her actions is a clear sign that she's not truly remorseful.
If she can't accept the gravity of her actions and minimizes your pain, reconciliation won't be possible. Without empathy, it's unlikely that she'll put in the work to gain your trust and fix your marriage.
What was the nature of the cheating?
A one-time mistake is a lot different from a pattern of cheating or an affair that went on for years. Similarly, cheating on you with a close friend or family member makes the betrayal personal and more difficult to get past.
Has she cut ties with the other person?
If your wife isn't willing to cut off all contact with her affair partner, she may not be fully committed to moving forward and making things work with you.
Is she willing to answer your questions truthfully?
To make the right decision about what to do next, your wife must be willing to answer your questions truthfully. If she can't or won't, it'll be hard for you to trust her, or get the closure you need.
Check for personal growth
It's one thing to be sorry, but true change comes from taking responsibility. Ask your wife the following questions to see if she has grown from the experience.
- Is she getting or willing to get help for the issues that led her to cheat?
- Is she willing to work with you to create a stronger relationship?
- What has the experience taught her and what does she hope to do differently this time?
Watch out for toxic behaviors
Underhanded tactics such as trying to use your children against you or threatening to make the divorce process a nightmare, should not be tolerated.
In fact, consider them deal breakers and limit your interactions. Then, seek legal advice to understand your rights and obligations under the law.
Similarly, if she has done all of this before and tries to manipulate you into taking her back a third, maybe fourth time, protect your mental health and walk away.
How To Get Over Being Cheated On
Whether you decide to take your wife back or move on, you must first process the betrayal. Here's how to get over being cheated on:
Process your feelings
It's important to work through your emotions so you can start the next chapter of your life in the right mental and emotional state.
Left unaddressed, being cheated on can lead to long-term effects, such as lower self-esteem, anxiety, and chronic stress. You may also struggle with trust issues and find it hard to form healthy relationships.
Find healthy outlets for your emotions
Be patient with yourself and find a healthy outlet for these emotions. Certain self-care routines have been found to help with processing the trauma of infidelity. These vary from person to person but may include physical activity, practicing mindfulness, meditation, or journaling.
Practice self-compassion, especially during difficult moments. Acknowledge that her actions hurt you deeply and accept that it wasn't your fault. Embrace the fact that you can grow from this experience and find happiness in the future. This will give you the closure you need to let go and move on.
Give yourself time
Remember, healing isn't linear, it's a messy process full of twists and turns, so be patient with yourself. If you're struggling, consider working with a mental professional or joining a support group to help you work through your thoughts, feelings, and concerns.
Lean on friends and family
Lastly, don't isolate yourself. It's important to surround yourself with supportive friends and family members. Their positive energy can do wonders for your well-being during this difficult time.
Can A Marriage Go Back To Normal After Cheating?
You may have doubts: can a marriage really go back to normal after cheating? Well, often, infidelity is a sign of an ailing relationship, and having things go back to 'normal' isn't ideal.
That said, healing, growth, and a better relationship dynamic are possible if you and your wife are willing to take responsibility and work on your relationship.
In a nutshell, here’s what you’ll need to do to fix things:
- Your wife must take full responsibility for her actions and sincerely apologize to you.
- You must be willing to forgive and move forward.
- You should be willing to communicate and seek couple's or individual therapy to address any underlying issues that may have contributed to the infidelity.
- Establish clear boundaries and expectations for your relationship to prevent future infidelity.
- Your wife must earn back your trust through consistent and reliable behavior.
Let's delve into the last three points:
Identify and address the problem
Cheating often stems from deeper issues like emotional distance or insecurity, so it's important to identify and address these problems for a healthier and more fulfilling relationship.
Keep in mind that the goal isn't to excuse the cheating, but to create a better relationship dynamic moving forward.
It's tempting to keep asking about the affair and what brought it on. Be warned, however, that graphic details tend to do more harm than good. Rather, ask general questions and gauge how honest and consistent your wife’s responses are.
Better still, use them as a starting point to get to the root of your relationship woes. You may want to do this in the presence of a therapist to help keep the conversation productive.
A crucial part of the healing process is being able to create a safe space to open up to each other. You should be able to communicate intense feelings without assigning blame, judging, criticizing, or showing contempt towards each other.
If your interactions frequently lead to name-calling and other contemptuous behaviors, you may need to do the necessary groundwork with a couples therapist. The road to recovery can be challenging, so it’s still a good idea to commit to marriage counseling.
Establish new rules of engagement
It's important to establish boundaries and consequences for not honoring them. Without boundaries or a healthy balance between privacy and transparency, it'll be hard to trust your wife or protect your marriage against future infidelity.
Certain behaviors should be deal breakers, specifically, suspicious behaviors such as deleting texts and not being honest about where she is or who she's with. These are all red flags that she might not be ready to put you or your relationship first.
Proceed With Caution
Ultimately, what you choose to do shouldn't be fueled by the desire to get revenge or inflict emotional pain. It certainly shouldn't be a result of pressure or misplaced guilt. Instead, it should be based on a realistic evaluation of several factors. More importantly, it should reflect what you want and what you can live with in the long term. Take your time, don't rush into anything, and proceed with caution.