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What to Do When Your Husband is a Cheater

Well, it happened. He cheated. You found out. Before you throw something, stage an elaborate plan for a hit team, or do something equally drastic, we've got some tips. We sat down with dating expert Lisa Daily to find out just how to deal with a cheater.

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It’s a known fact, girls. No matter how much we figure it’s not going to happen to us, over half of the couples living in the U.S. today cheat on their spouses. Whether it seems perfectly innocent to the guilty parties, it doesn’t help to erase the doubts and trust that their partners once had in them. No one wants to catch their spouse cheating, of course, but what do you do when it does happen?

A new book by dating expert Lisa Daily, titled Fifteen Minutes of Shame, confronts the husband-cheating issue in such a fun way that you can’t help but to laugh at Darby Vaughn, a small-town girl turned dating guru, who has finally landed the life she’s always dreamed up with the handsome husband, fabulous home and a best-selling dating book when her life is turned upside down after she finds out her husband is cheating which sends her publicity-perfect world spins out of control.

Ouch!

Even though this book is fiction, it exemplifies a lot of marriages today. What makes husbands cheat and what can we do to avoid it? We asked author Lisa Daily if she could shed some light on this—there are precautions you can take.

Thank you for this interview, Lisa. Tell me, why do you think husbands cheat?

Thank you! I think most husbands who cheat do so for two reasons: 1) either they’re predisposed to cheat (and have probably been cheating on you—and every other person they’ve ever been with—all along) or they’re faced with a situation in which the opportunity to cheat presents itself. One type of husband is looking for any opportunity to fool around, the other sort of backs into it.

Women blame themselves in a lot of these situations. What can you tell them to make them understand that no matter how perfect you are, it can happen through no fault of theirs? What can they do about it when it does happen?

Generally when a man cheats, it’s about his fear, his insecurity, his lack of control or his unwillingness to check his libido. It’s very rare that a woman’s direct actions cause a man to cheat (even if the guy blames you for it later), unless it’s some sort of retaliation for infidelity on your part. Many women have the feeling that they’re not good enough, if they’d been better wives, or sexier, or more attentive that their husbands wouldn’t have looked elsewhere, but the truth is, men generally cheat because they don’t feel good about themselves, or because they believe they won’t get caught and their wives will never know. 

What is the worst cheating story you have ever heard?

I know of a man who was unemployed for several years while his wife’s business was supporting their family. Instead of looking for work, he started an affair with the nanny. the wife kept trying to work things out, the husband strung her along for two years while socking away money so he could move out with the nanny. The wife was angry for a long time—she’d essentially supported her cheating husband and his girlfriend for two years, while she worked AND took care of the kids. The good news is, once he moved out, both she and the children were a lot happier.

If a woman catches her man cheating, what’s the first thing you recommend they do?

Collect all the evidence you can before you confront a cheating spouse. If you confront him without any solid proof, he’ll deny it, and work a lot harder to conceal the evidence. Once you have proof, confront him and move on from there.

Before the main character in your book found out her husband was cheating, her advice to others was to get rid of them once they were found out. Is that good advice overall? I mean, once a cheater, always a cheater?

This is a tough question, and I think the answer is different for everyone. I tend to be a hard-liner on cheaters. I think if you keep a cheater, you’ve essentially taught them that they can fool around with basically no repercussions, and you’ll stay. If you have children, the situation becomes much more complicated. Statistically, cheaters tend to be repeat offenders. If you do take him back, I’d make sure he feels the consequences before you let him back into your house or your bed.

What words of wisdom can you give women everywhere who never want to be caught in that position?

First, make sure your spouse is aware of the penalties for cheating (loss of income, loss of children, public embarrassment, etc.) and that cheating is a deal-breaker for you. If your husband is a chronic cheating type, there’s not much you can do, other than live with it, or move on. If your husband is basically a decent guy, and you want to keep him from temptation, make yourself a friendly fixture around his office, which is where 70 percent of affairs happen. (It’s a lot harder to sleep with man if you like his wife.)

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