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I Feel Like I Keep Punishing My Husband For His Affair
Author: Katie Lersch
I often get emails or correspondence from wives who tell me that they although they hate feeling this way, they are so angry with their husbands for cheating that they want to figure out some way to "get back at him" or to "punish him." In short, they want to make him hurt and feel pain in the same way that they are right now. They want to make him very sorry for his actions and for his betrayal. And, they often feel quite guilty for and bad about this.
The truth is, this feeling is very normal. I would say that not feeling this way is the exception rather than the rule. But, although these feelings are normal, it's very important not to let him take over your life. Honestly, they will only make you feel worse about your situation and about yourself. Part of the reason that you're feeling this way is that you're looking for some action to take that can provide you with some relief and sense of closure. There are actions that are going to provide this much more than punishing him are going to. I will discuss this more in the following article.
Why You Likely Want To Punish Your Husband's Affair Or Cheating: Although I am not in your shoes right this second, I do know how you feel. I have been in this situation. And I know that you likely want to lash out at your husband for hurting you this way. He has dealt you a devastating blow and you're well within your rights to want for him to pay for this. We very often suspect that cheating husbands don't really know how awful we are feeling and aren't nearly sorry enough for this betrayal.
So, we figure if we can withhold our affection, do something to get back at him, or to rub salt into the wounds, it will in turn make us feel better and will make him feel worse. But, what we don't realize at the time is that following this path will often only make both of us feel worse and will only prolong the negative and devastating feelings.
Why Getting Back At Your Husband For Cheating Will Likely Hurt You As Much As It Hurts Him: I'm telling you this from experience. I know that for me, lashing out and acting in a way that was beneath me only made me feel worse when my intention all along was for it to make me feel better.
Because once you begin to play the game to one up him in nasty behavior, this will bring you right down to a level that you probably never intended to go. One of the reasons for this is that you are continuing to focus on negative emotions. And getting into the habit of always dwelling in negative places will usually only makes you continue to feel bad. Your intentions are usually based on lessening the tension and getting a sense of closure and relief, but usually, the exact opposite happens.
You get into the habit of feeling and acting badly and then you have a situation where your husband is reacting to your actions. You're both angry. You're both reeling. You're both accusatory. Now, you have more problems and issues to deal with and things become quite confused and muddled when you try to work through this because now every one is to blame and you have much more much to wade through.
I often have women tell me that they are considering having their own affair to "get back" at their cheating husband. But, I have to tell you that this almost always backfires and only makes bigger problems for yourself and your marriage. Typically, you might well feel better momentarily, but once the dust settles you will realize that you might have made things worse rather than better.
More Positive Ways To Attempt When You Feel Like You Want To Make Your Husband Pay For The Affair: Please don't misunderstand me. I certainly do not advocate there being no consequences of your husbands cheating. He certainly must make amends on the level that reaches your satisfaction if he has any chance of saving your marriage. He must show his true remorse and he must do whatever he has to do to make this up to you (if you both want to move forward together.)
And, there is nothing wrong with your waiting until you have these things to your full satisfaction. You are within your rights to withhold your commitment and forgiveness until the deserves to receive it. But, at the end of the day, I think that what we all want is to get our lives back. We want to be confident, trusting and to feel love again. This process takes time and a lot of work. Getting back at or punishing your husband with your own bad behavior will often only delay this and just make things worse.
I too wanted to get back at and punish my cheating husband. So, I know exactly how the "cheated on" spouse feels. But, I also know that healing and moving on is possible. Although I never would've believed this two years ago, my marriage is stronger than ever after my husband's affair. It took a lot of work, and I had to play the game to win, but it was worth it. Because of all the work I did on myself, my self esteem is at an all time high. I no longer worry my husband will cheat again. You can read a very personal story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com/