How often do women cheat, and what should you do if your wife is cheating? According to Bradford Wilcox, Ph.D., the director of the Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, 14 percent of married women cheat.
In other words, the chances of a wife cheating are slim in spite of what you may read on a lot of internet sites. Wouldn’t it be interesting to know the statistics about how often wives are accused of cheating compared to the actual statistics?
And one has to wonder if husbands were more aware of the low percentage of wives who cheat, would they find it easier to trust and let go of any suspicions?
Sometimes a wife’s behavior can indicate cheating, but just because there are indications and suspicions does not mean there is cheating. My first piece of advice to anyone who doesn’t have definitive proof of cheating is to not let your suspicions get away with you and don’t make accusations of infidelity unless you’re absolutely sure there is an issue to be dealt with.
9 things to do if your wife is cheating.
1. Don’t go all alpha male on the other man. Sure, he has encroached on your territory, has stepped in where he doesn’t belong but, threats or physical violence from you will land you in jail and push your wife further into his arms. And, as the old saying goes, “when you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.” Your wife and the other man have lowered their standard, that doesn’t mean you have to also.
2. Check your emotions before exposing her secret. When you discover the infidelity you will experience many different emotions. You will fear losing your wife, your marriage ending, and of course the shame of knowing that marital trust has been broken. If your desire is to save your marriage, you need to check your emotions and come at this problem with a level head. If your desire is to divorce, you will fare better during the divorce process if you don’t allow your emotions to guide your decisions.
3. If your desire is to save your marriage I urge you to talk to a therapist before confronting your wife. A therapist can help you process the information and emotions and guide you in the steps you need to take to save the marriage.
4. Build a good support system but don’t share your marital problems with anyone who will listen. It is important that you know you are not alone, that you have a confidant to go to when your emotions get the best of you. Choose a good friend or trusted family member to confide in but don’t allow your anger to cause you to spread the word to too many people. If you are able to save your marriage, you don’t want people judging you or your wife. Your marital problems are your business; keep it close to the chest.
5. Don’t compare your situation to that of others. Marriages and affairs are uniquely individual. What happens in someone else’s situation is not a reflection of what will happen in your situation. You need to develop a plan for personal and marital recovery based on your marriage and your relationship with your wife.
6. Take care of your emotional and physical needs. Lean on your support system, talk to a therapist, do what you need to do to keep your emotions from causing you illness. Eat a balanced diet so the stress of your situation does not interfere with optimum physical well-being. Exercise regularly – nothing alleviates stress and staves off depression like a regular work-out routine.
7. Protect your legal rights in case your marriage doesn’t survive. Whether or not you want a divorce, it is in your best interest to consult with a divorce attorney if your wife is cheating. You don’t have to file for a divorce, but a consultation with a divorce attorney will help you understand your legal divorce rights and how to protect yourself and any marital assets should the affair result in the demise of your marriage.
8. Confront your wife about her betrayal. It is important to have proof of the infidelity and all your ducks in a row. If you’ve spoken with a therapist and a divorce attorney and have gotten a good grasp on your emotions, the confrontation with your wife will more than likely go in your favor.
9. If your wife is cheating, make the decision whether to stay in the marriage or file for a divorce. If your wife refuses to give up the affair, you have two choices. You can give it time and see if the affair dies out or you can file for a divorce and move on with your life. Whatever you do, it is your choice. Don’t allow your wife to dictate how you choose to respond to her bad behavior. Only you know what is and isn’t acceptable marital behavior. In the end, it is up to you what you can and can’t live with.