My husband cheated on me with a man

My Questions and Answers | | Expert Author , Psychologistℹ️
Updated On: March 29, 2024
My husband cheated on me with a man
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My husband cheated on me with a man and I just don’t know how to even react. You hear about married men cheating with women, but catching my husband cheating with another man? It feels like a double blow. I found the text messages on his phone. He swears it was a one-night thing, a stupid mistake fueled by work stress and him feeling disconnected from me. Part of me wants to believe him, for our daughter’s sake. But the other part feels so betrayed, like everything I thought I knew about him and our marriage is a lie.

Does this mean he is gay? Or is he just bisexual? I can’t believe I never knew he was attracted to men. If he hid this huge thing from me, it makes me wonder what else I don’t know about him. How can I even consider staying with him after this? It feels like a worse kind of cheating somehow. My daughter is my biggest concern. How do I handle this situation with the least damage to her?

Answer:

Cheating by itself is devastating and painful. The question of your husband’s sexuality complicates things further, as it may feel as though you never really knew him. The mere act of seeing those texts on his phone can be traumatising in and of itself.
It would be best if you could seek marriage counselling for both of you, since there can be several nuances to uncover which can only be done for an individual case basis. Marriage counselling can also help you figure out what you need to or want to do next.
Outside of seeking professional help, a few things you could stay mindful of would be:

  • Indulge in self care. This news must have shocked you to your core, and of course, would be very hurtful. In such instances, it becomes important to prioritise your mental and emotional wellbeing. You can do so by: making sure you’re taking good care of your food and sleep (as much as possible), seeking support from someone you trust to not judge and allowing yourself to feel your emotions.
  • Remind yourself that there is no right or wrong way to feel. Your feelings are valid.
  • It would be best to establish some boundaries so you can process this enough to think further. Whether that be space and time away from your husband, or reassurance from him.
  • Consider personal therapy as well, if marriage counselling is not an option, as therapy could help you process and sort through these complex emotions. It can also help you tackle the new uncertainty surrounding your and your daughter’s future.
  • Make sure you don’t blame yourself for this. There may have been some problems in your marriage prior to cheating, but those in no way excuse such behaviour.

There are many couples who choose to stay together and work things out after infidelity, and come out stronger on the other side. The couples who make through have strong reasons for doing so: they love each other, they love their family and they’re good friends. Reasons stemming from guilt and shame usually don’t hold the marriage together and eventually give rise to resentment. Keeping the marriage together also takes a fair deal of effort from both partners in order to rebuild trust and friendship in the relationship.

So, instead of questioning what you should do, ask yourself if you have it in you to rebuild your marriage and if your husband can provide what you need to make this marriage work. Inversely, it is also important to address if you can provide what he needs.

Your concern for your daughter is well-placed and completely understandable. While it is not right or possible to hide it completely from her that there are problems between her parents, you can take care of a few things to ensure her well-being through this challenging behavior.

  • Encourage open communication by letting your daughter know that you want to create a safe space for her, and that she could ask you any questions she may have. Children are often more intelligent and perceptive than we give them credit for. Your daughter may be harboring her own questions and worries and needs a safe space to express with her parents.
  • Keep in mind to share an age-appropriate explanation with her and avoid giving her too many details which may cloud her understanding. Open communication does not mean you need to share every detail with her. Just what she needs to know.
  • Make sure to reassure her that regardless of what happens between the parents, you and your husband both love her very much. In front of your daughter, it is important to present as a united front. One thing you would share in common with your husband would be concern for your daughter’s well-being. Children often blame themselves for their parents’ problems.
  • Try to provide as much stability in routine for her as possible. If her routine gets uprooted for any reason, ensure that she is receiving adequate attention and support from you, other family and even her school.
  • Take care of yourself so you can be emotionally available– to take care of your daughter. If you are not well emotionally, it will get displaced onto your child, and she has done nothing to deserve that. So, if it is hard to look after for your own sake, do it for your daughter.
  • If you are still concerned, consider arranging a meeting with a child psychologist to cater to your daughter’s emotional and psychological needs.

FAQs

1.⁠ ⁠If my husband cheated with a man, does that mean he’s gay?

Not necessarily. Sexual orientation is complex and can’t be determined solely based on a single incident or behavior.
If your husband engaged in a sexual encounter with another man, it may indicate that he has some level of attraction to men, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that he identifies as gay. People can have experiences or behaviors that don’t align with their sexual orientation or identity, and there can be various reasons for engaging in such behavior, including curiosity, experimentation, or other personal factors.

2. How to know if my husband is bisexual?

It’s crucial to have open and honest communication with your husband about your feelings, concerns, and questions regarding the situation. Seeking support from a therapist or counsellor who is knowledgeable about issues related to sexual orientation and infidelity can also be helpful in navigating this complex and sensitive topic. Ultimately, only your husband can determine and disclose his sexual orientation and identity, and it’s essential to approach the situation with empathy, understanding, and respect for both yourself and your husband.

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