Shame and guilt seem to be a big component of infidelity for those who cheat. Surprisingly the wounded spouse also experiences a huge amount of guilt. When a husband cheats on his wife by having an affair then he suffers some guilt and remorse. It is largely seen that the wife, who is the innocent person is also burdened by the guilt of a different magnitude. When infidelity is exposed and brought out in the open by the spouse, usually there is an overt or covert agreement not to tell anyone and to hide the facts from others. There are usually few avenues to discuss such hush-hush matters and often the wounded spouse ends up suffering in silence, handling a lot of guilt.
Why Does The Wife Feel Guilty About Husband’s Infidelity?
It’s as if infidelity is a black mark for the couple. It is embarrassing for both. One would think this is true only for the cheating spouse, which it is, most of the time. But in more situations, it’s the wounded spouse who feels the embarrassment and shame more because she thinks it had happened because of her shortcomings. The wounded spouse wants to shrink, wants to disappear and feels intruded.
The persistent thought that lingers, “There must be something wrong with me. I was not a good wife. I failed”. Life becomes constricted with reviews and reflection of the self. This has a terrible long-term effect on the spouse who could feel upset, guilty and depressed because of the husband’s action.
She keeps carrying an enormous amount of guilt for how her marriage suffered.
Five Women Confess Why They Feel Guilty
An extramarital affair of a husband can change the relationship between the spouses forever despite the reconciliation. The wife could feel guilty all the time because she might feel she is not beautiful enough, not slim enough, not young anymore or no longer attractive to the husband and that led him to have an affair. As a result of this guilt, she might suffer from constant paranoia and end up doing things that are totally unlike her character. She could keep feeling responsible for the husband’s affair because she didn’t do enough at home, in bed or in front of the mirror. Five women tell us what they ended up doing because of their guilt.
1. I hate behaving like a private detective
My husband cheated on me with his secretary and that shattered my life. I have to be vigilant on all sides now. I have to keep track of his texts, his meetings and his outings. I feel like a private detective all the time. I have instructed him to have only male secretaries but there are women all around his office.
Amidst all these, I feel guilty for being paranoid. I live in insecurity. I am in my late forties and I feel I am not attractive anymore only because he had an affair with his secretary who is in her twenties. I never had such a feeling before, I was always confident about myself. I thought I was adequately attractive but this affair has shattered the beauty myth for me. Now I am driven to outdo myself and I feel the weight of the vanity.
Related Reading: 15 Shocking Things Cheaters Say When Confronted
2. I curse myself for being a homemaker
My self-esteem was completely dilapidated the day I saw my husband in a compromising position with my sister. I felt unworthy and ugly. I held on to the secret from my relatives for fear that others knowing it would be the final dagger in the marriage.
I had to choose to be in the marriage or move out. I felt the loss of trust. I had trusted my sister more than my husband and now I began blaming myself for being so gullible. How didn’t I understand an affair blooming right under my roof? I lost trust in relationships and I blamed myself for being blind. My husband always called me a dumb fool who wasn’t smart despite being a post-graduate. My sister is an engineer and is working. So now I feel if I was smart and a working woman then my husband wouldn’t have wandered around. I curse myself for being a homemaker.
3. I feel guilty for not looking after my body
It was very difficult for me to move on after my husband had an affair with his mother’s caretaker.
He told me it was only sex and that hit me hard because it made me conclude that I was not his bed mate any more.
I felt guilty because I have been taught by my mother to keep my husband happy. Now I see that he has gone seeking happiness elsewhere.
I can’t have sex with him anymore as it reminds me that I am not good in bed. I feel remorse towards my own unattractive body. I look at my plump image in the mirror and feel pity for myself. I feel guilty for not looking after my body post my delivery. I wish I had gone to the gym and been on a good diet. I have begun to hate food now. I am a total mess.
Related reading: Dealing with body shaming like a boss!
4. I feel like a loser in the game
My trust was broken so I asked him to leave the house as I needed the space. He left and that confused my emotions even more because he left without winning me over again. I wanted him to plead before me to let him stay back and I wanted to reject him. I wanted him to keep pursuing me to let me know that he loved me and wished to be back with me. He did none of it leaving a huge gaping hole in my life. I ended up making it easy for him to separate and have his freedom. I felt guilty of not playing the game well in the end. Now I feel he still got a better deal than me. I feel like a big failure as he had the affair and he walked away.
5. If only I had not taken my transfer
I was transferred for my job so our marriage became long distance. We met every two-three months but on one such meeting, I saw him constantly messaging a lady. All the time I was there I just couldn’t bring this up with him because I did not want to ruin our few days together. But when I came back I asked him what was cooking and he just waved it off saying they had just met on FB and spoke sometimes. He told me if he needed to hide it he would have not messaged in front of me. I ate that.
Related Reading: Therapist’s Tips On How To Deal With Emotional Infidelity
A year later when he got a transfer to where I was staying he was still messaging that lady constantly and I realised he was having an emotional affair. Not knowing who that woman was and why he needed to stay connected with her despite having such a good mental connection with me, made me feel horrible. That day a chink appeared in our relationship. He is probably not in touch with her anymore nor do I care, for mentally I have moved miles away from him. But I feel guilty that I took the transfer. Maybe if we had been together this would not have happened.
When an extra affair takes place then we think the cheating partner is the one to live in shame. But there is an elephant in the room and no one addresses it. It is a truth that the wounded partner feels equally guilty or even more guilty. Marriage is far from perfect. One study indicated only 1 out of 10 would consider their marriage “good.” Infidelity is common and rampant. It always has been around and it always will be. Marriage is for a couple to develop, to mature, to evolve over the years together. It is a growing process. Marriage is not an end of a journey whereby happiness is the destination.