How to Get Self Confidence After a Husband Cheats
After you find out that your husband has cheated, it can be devastating and overwhelming. You may feel upset with him and your relationship. You may be wondering, "What's wrong with me?" Take a step back and realize that your husband's choice to cheat are his own. You can only control you. Focus on figuring out what you want and how to feel better about yourself. Identify if you are ready to trust again. Take this time to focus on being a better and stronger you.
Dealing with Your Lack of Confidence
Question and reframe self-blaming thoughts.Your husband did not cheat because you weren't good enough, so try to avoid dwelling on what you could or should have done to prevent it. If these thoughts arise, then take a moment to challenge them by asking questions and then rephrase the thought into something more realistic.
- When you start to have a self-blaming thought, then try taking a moment to question the thought and reframe it. For example, if you notice yourself thinking, “This is all my fault!” then you might ask yourself questions like, “Is that really true? Could I have prevented this or am I just being hard on myself? What is my evidence? What might be a more realistic way of thinking about this?”
- Then you could rephrase the thought into something like, “I wish I could have prevented his actions, but there is no way that I could have. I am not to blame for what happened.”
- Try to remind yourself that your husband's actions are his, not yours. Don't assume that you are the cause of his actions.
Avoid negative thinking.Try to avoid thinking about the betrayal 24/7 and instead focus on re-establishing your positive emotions about yourself. When you find yourself thinking about the negative aspects of your relationship or yourself, take a step back and breath.
- When a negative thought is triggered, it may make you feel sad. For example, you see a picture of you and your husband after knowing he has cheated, and then you think about how you aren't worthy of love. You feel sad and upset.
- Focus on replacing those negative thoughts that are triggered with positive ones, or at least reframing the situation. For example, you see a picture of you and your husband after knowing he has cheated, and then you think, I know that there were some good times, but I deserve better than this. You feel calm and confident.
Regain a sense of control.You don't have to feel powerless in this situation. Regain control of your self-confidence by finding out what you want and who you are. Your husband should not control the nature of your relationship. Both of you determine this.
- Focus on what is going well in your life. Identify areas that are going well, and things you can be proud of.
- Address things that are within your control that you feel you can change for the better. Focus on your needs.
- Prioritize yourself.
Establish boundaries about what you want.Whether you are staying together or considering separation, you may need some space to reflect on the situation. Tell your husband or other family members in your life that this is a time of reflection and evaluation. Tell them clearly and concisely that you need to figure out your needs and what may need to change.
- These boundaries may mean that you want to do something in the evening for yourself. Maybe you find someone to watch the kids, while you go to a place that is quiet and relaxing.
- To set a boundary, try saying something like, “I need some time to think through what has happened, so I am going to spend a few of my evenings alone in my office over the next few weeks. When I have the door shut, please do not disturb me, okay?”
Remember that you are worthy of love.You may feel angry, sad, anxious, or frustrated about what happened, but avoid seeing what you're feeling as permanent. Know that you are worthy and deserve to be loved and respected.
- Make a list of positive attributes. In private, consider writing a list of positive, loveable attributes about you. From that list, focus on three attributes to write more about. Use a few paragraphs to explore who you are, using these three attributes. Use this writing exercise as a statement of self-affirmation.
Set measurable goals to move forward and regain confidence.You are strong and you can overcome this difficult time. While it may be difficult to feel confidence, sometimes it takes motivation to try even when you don't feel it in your heart. Consider trying to act more confident until you begin to believe it more and more within yourself.
- Set goals to feel confident with things that make you feel good about you. Do these things for yourself and no one else. These should be goals based on what matters to you, rather than your husband, family, or friends.
- Identify areas where you think you already have competence, and then build from there. For example, let's say you enjoy running, but only for a mile or two. Think about an achievable goal like running in a 5K race in your community.
Taking Care of Yourself
Connect with family and friends for support.You will feel more confident about yourself when reaching out to friends and family outside of your husband. Get their advice and perspective on the situation. Listen for any advice about things that they've been through.
- While this may seem awkward, ask a friend or family member to name three positive traits about you. Instead of the conversation only dwelling on your cheating partner, use this time to bolster your self-esteem. Get them to open up about the good things you have to offer.
- Explain to your friends and family that their reassurance is invaluable. Consider saying, "This has been a rough time for me. Your words of encouragement and support are very important as I cope with what to do. Your support matters a great deal."
Do things that you enjoy for yourself.Take time to do things just for you, not for your kids, family, friends, or spouse. While it may seem "selfish," in truth making time for yourself to do the things you love will help to heal you--mind, body and spirit. Consider doing these things:
- Take a weekend trip on your own or with a supportive friend. Don't bring the kids or spouse. Let loose and enjoy a little adventure.
- Get active. Go to an exercise or fitness class. Go outdoors. Take a swim. Make being healthy a priority.
- Treat yourself with a massage. Go to a day spa. Take a hot bubble bath. Unwind with activities that make you feel relaxed.
- Do fun and adventurous things. Make your "bucket list" a priority. Find new people to connect with and who make you feel happy.
Discover a "new" you.When you're feeling less desirable, sometimes a change in your look or wardrobe can help to boost your self-confidence. If you've been in a rut, and are doing the same, old routine with your hair, makeup, clothes, and accessories, then consider trying some new things.
- Get a new hairdo. Try a new hair color.
- Change your makeup routine.
- Get new clothes that make you feel young and sexy.
- Find accessories that make you feel special and unique.
Let out your emotions creatively.Learn to let out your emotions in healthy and creative ways. With a cheating husband, you may feel betrayed, abandoned, traumatized, or unlovable. Use creative self-expression as a way to heal. This can help you to gain a better sense of self confidence and understanding of what you need in life and love.
- Write in a journal for about five minutes each day. Let out what you're feeling or thinking. Use this time to evaluate how you feel.
- Create art. Take an art class. Draw. Paint. Sculpt. This will help you to de-stress and find clarity.
- Get crafty or build something. Maybe you're handy around the house? Find a home remodel project that gets your creative juices flowing. Whatever it is, it should feel enjoyable and cathartic.
Find support groups.Sometimes the best way to feel more confident is to know that you're not alone. Other people have faced cheating husbands, and have still lived happily after the fact. Whether or not you plan to stay or leave your husband, you may find emotional validation through support groups.
- Consider finding a counselor in your area that can provide a referral for an infidelity or relationship support group. They may be able to find options in your area.
- You may find support groups also online or through your place of worship.
- You can also look more broadly for support through self-esteem and self-confidence support groups. There are many of these that focus on depression, social anxiety, feelings of loss, and body image issues, depending on what area you wish to work on for yourself.
Rebuilding a Relationship After Your Husband Cheats
Figure out if you want to rebuild trust or end the relationship.After an act of betrayal such as cheating, you may feel torn about whether to continue a relationship with your husband or anyone else. Be confident that you can be stronger, happier, and more fulfilled in your relationships. You will feel more self-confident when you realize that you can have control about the future of your relationships.
- Ask yourself: Do you feel like your distrust of your husband is getting in the way of moving forward?
- Even if your husband may not be motivated to change, do you feel ready to move on, with or without him? Understand what may be hindering you from change.
Repair a lost emotional connection.Cheating isn't simply about sex. It is often about a loss of love and emotional connection. Whether you trying to rebuild your marriage or find someone new, the emotional connection is key to a healthy and lasting relationship. It will make you more confident about yourself and your partner.
- If you have felt distant with your husband, address this feeling with him openly. Learn to air out your emotions in a clear and concise way. Be willing to listen to his perspective without assuming you're to blame for his actions. Talk with him one-on-one in a neutral setting, possibly away from the kids, work, or family.
- Do you feel able to rebuild an emotional connection? While you may not feel ready now, believe that you can be happier when you communicate effectively with your partner.
Feel loved and sexy.Figure out what you need to feel loved and attractive. Your husband may have one view, and you may have another. Identify what things make you feel sexy and appreciated, and communicate that in a clear way. See how your husband responds. See if both sides are willing to work to make each other feel loved.
- If you don't see the beauty within yourself, then now is the time to find that. You don't need a man to find that. It comes from within you.
Evaluate if your needs are being met.As you consider what the future holds for you, your self-confidence, and your love life. Think about how your self-confidence may be tied to feelings of validation, understanding, and satisfaction. When your relationship needs are met, you feel those things. So, ask yourself these questions:
- Do you feel appreciated?
- Do you feel safe?
- Do you feel understood?
Arrange an open policy on emails, phones, and social media.Rebuilding trust can be easier if you have some certainty that your husband is not continuing to communicate with the person or persons he had an affair with. If you have not already agreed to an open policy on emails, text messages, social media accounts, and any other forms of communication that he might use to communicate with people, then bring it up.
Consider individual or couples counseling.If you are having difficulty with trust, love, and respect, find a third-party that can help to provide some perspective. Therapists and counselors provide an empathetic look on what is troubling you, your self-esteem, and your relationship.
- If you are trying to make the marriage work, ask your husband to join you for couples counseling. See if he is willing to participate in the process. Be wary if he rejects this idea, or thinks he "doesn't need counseling."
- Consider going to counseling to focus on your needs and feelings. Counselors can help to provide healthy coping strategies and greater insight into your emotions.
- Find providers that are covered under your health insurance. There may also be low or no-cost options in your community or through your place of worship.
QuestionI am married with children. My husband is having an affair with a woman, and states he doesn't want to leave our marriage but wants to continue seeing this woman. What should I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou are facing a difficult challenge, as your husband wants to "have it all"--a wife, a family, and a mistress. You need to decide what is healthy for you and your family. Believe that you are worthy of love and respect from your husband and others. Identify what you need to be happy, and find out whether your husband is willing to work with you on your needs. If he isn't, consider what options are available so you can move on and believe in yourself.Thanks!
QuestionI was the one that was unfaithful to my husband. I did move out, and my husband wants me to come back. I am too scared to take the risk. What should I do?Top AnswererDon't decide right now, but let your husband know you are taking your time to consider this idea. Feel free to take a month or even more before you make up your mind. Ask yourself what you want. Is it what you want, or what you think society says you should want? Explore halfway options: weekends together, weekdays apart; a few days together at his place, a few days separate, a few days together at your place. After that, you can still move back in permanently.Thanks!
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