I Cheated On My Wife. What Do I Do?

by Daphne GarrettMay 8, 2021

You made one of the biggest mistakes you could have made, which is cheating on your wife.

Unfortunately, that number you’re not alone.  A staggering 46% of men reported that they’ve cheated in the past.

You may be wondering if there’s anything you can do to make up for it. Or maybe you’re wondering if you should even tell your wife.

Ultimately, it depends on what you want to do and what you feel.

In this article, I’ll give you some ideas you can take and run with to help you make your decision.

Are You Still Cheating On Your Wife?

If you’re still cheating on your wife, this might be a way for you to say that you’re done.

Yes, some couples use cheating as an excuse to end a marriage. It’s not good to do since you’re obviously hurting people. But some people just don’t care.

Since you’re taking the time to research the actions you need to take, you probably realized you made a mistake and feel terrible about it. (That’s good.)

After it happens, you need to look at the state of things in your relationship. Are you doing this because you’re trying to cope, or is there a deeper reason?

Some men cheat on their wives because they’re in a sexless marriage; some people do it because they feel their wife doesn’t care about them anymore.

While it isn’t right, the best thing for you to do is to look at it if you’re still doing it. Whether it’s you cheating online or in person, they’re nearly one and the same.

Remember, online infidelity can qualify as cheating if you don’t have agreements in place with your wife.

Emotional infidelity also a form of cheating. For many men, they need to stop and figure out, first and foremost, why they’re doing this.

You need to make a decision on what you’d like to do: whether that become clean, talk to the mistress, or work to cut things off.

What was the main idea behind each instance that you cheated? Was it the thrill of being caught? Was it an adventure that you normally don’t experience in your tedious life?

Guys do this in a lot of cases. And you need to look at if: you still want to, why you did it, and from there, how you’d like to handle dealing with this problem.

Additionally, you’ll want to learn about how you can fix things with your wife if you decide to come clean.

What About The Mistress?

At this point, you have to figure out if you want to stay with the mistress or not.

The mistress is either someone you want to have around or someone you should kick to the curb.

A lot of men do end up having mistresses, and sadly, this is more common than you think.

However, at this point, you are left with a choice – do you go with them and start a new life? Is cheating a sign that you’ve fallen in love with her, and things with your wife are no more?

If that’s the case, then perhaps a discussion on what the future means for you is important at this point. Take some time and figure out for yourself what you want, and don’t lead either one on if you don’t want them.

If you decide to go with the mistress, you’ll have a divorce – and that won’t be easy. Expect it to be pretty messy.

But if you choose your wife, you’re going to have to make the decision to stop cheating on her.

Your marriage won’t survive if you’re still cheating on your wife, especially if you’re struggling with balancing both.

You can’t have both. It’s one or the other. Your marriage will fall if you continue to contact the mistress.

You don’t want them in your life, so stop keeping them in there. Remember, this isn’t just for your wife, but for you and your mental well-being as well.

What About Your Wife?

Finally, what do you want to do about your wife?

You’ve hurt her. If you decide to go with her, you’ve got a lot of work to do.

Rebuilding your marriage is the next step, and the first thing you have to do is stop lying.

That isn’t just making excuses for adultery and justifying it.

While there might’ve been other factors that contributed to you making this decision, please understand that lying doesn’t work.

At this point, you must accept responsibility for what you did. That doesn’t mean playing the blame game and putting it all on your spouse.

You could’ve ended things with your wife before cheating on her.

But what can you do at this point?

First, you’re going to want to apologize to your spouse. It isn’t her fault. It’s yours and nobody else’s. 

You need to take responsibility for all of this. Blaming them for your actions basically tells her, “Hey, I’m not taking responsibility for my screwups.”

That communicates that you don’t want to fix the marriage, nor are you worth trusting, and trust can save this.

That means you two won’t survive the affair if you decide to go that route.

And don’t expect your spouse to just accept everything, and then all’s fine. It’s not.

You’re going to need to make a decision on where you two stand.

Your marriage might not be doomed, but guess what? It’s going to take a heck of a lot of work, so do understand that if your wife doesn’t accept your apology right away, that’s normal.

The best thing you can do is to go to therapy and ask yourself whether you want to stay or not. By asking the right questions, therapists can sometimes help you figure things out within you.

You can read more about it here.

Make A Decision Soon

At this point, you’ll want to decide if you want to stay in this marriage.

There are some questions you can ask before leaving your marriage, but remember that even if you want to make it work, it doesn’t mean your spouse wants to do the same thing.

Your spouse may just want a divorce if they feel completely used and not ready to stick around anymore.

If they feel like they’re just a secondary option to you, then they’ll probably leave.

However, if you two are both committed to rebuilding this, it’s going to take a lot of trust and communication.

If you do stay together, remember that you’re building a whole new marriage if you do. 

That’s because you ended the last one when you decided to have an affair. Your marriage will not be the same as the one you had before.

If you’re going to have a new marriage, you want to do this by looking at the future.

While it might take some time, you can walk forward, not dwell on the past. Just remember not to commit the mistake of cheating on your new wife.

Finally, be honest with everything. You must be forward with your wife and with yourself. You must get out of the lies that you’ve put up, and you two will need to practice open communication.

It is something that you’re going to have to work on. Relationships with this at the base of it do have a lot of ground to cover in order to fix them.

However, by talking to your partner, you can get over this hurdle and improve your marriage once again. (If you’re both willing to put the work in.)

It Isn’t The End Of The World

You might be able to change your ways. You also might learn that you didn’t truly love your wife and that it’s time for you to move on.

Whatever the case, what you do here does impact the future that you have with your wife and her attraction to you.

If you’re not sure what to do, you should sit down and talk it out with her, and from there, make the decision on what you feel is right.

For some people, cheating is hard to bounce back from. For others, it could be a sign that you need to rebuild your marriage.

But whatever the case, understand that you will never get better unless you make a decision.

Even if you choose whether to stick with your wife or with the mistress, at the end of the day, that’s ultimately your decision.

You must understand that when cheating on your wife, the ball’s in your court, and you must make the decisions that you feel are right.

Recommended: Can Therapy Help You Stop Cheating?

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