It isn’t strange to receive those random messages from individuals torn apart by the fact that their partner was cheating. They just caught their partner right at this very moment cheating. WHAT DO I DO NEXT? As a case study, we will use one that was really touching because it was enough to lose hope in humanity.
Question: Good evening to anyone reading. My first name is _ and i am a Fashion designer. I am married with 3 kids. My husband and i dated for 4 years and had our first son together before finally getting married. My siblings and parents told me they did not trust his intentions towards me but i went ahead and married him anyways. My best friend encouraged me all the way throughout the rocky periods. She had my back and went with me to my parents the day i finally had to inform them my mind was made up. My husband and i finally got married and we are 6 years strong in the marriage.
My husband is a great father and became my greatest confidant after marriage. Today while at my kids inter-house sports day with him, he went to participate in some games with our son and left his phone on the seat face down. It kept on vibrating consistently and i had to pick it up. It was his alarm. I clicked on the dismissed and got curious when i noticed he didnt have any network bars on his device. I checked my phones and they all had bars especially since we both used the same network. Though his phone was locked, i could swipe to the function keys and noticed it was on airplane mode. On turning off the mode, messages began pouring in and one in particular caught my attention. The number wasn’t saved but a “call me when you’re done with daddy duty” message caught my attention because it was followed up by another message that read “because theres big daddzy duty to be attended to. I took a picture of the message and turned on the airplane mode. When my husband came back he kissed me and my son hugged me as they had taken second place. My husband sensing that something was off, picked up his phone and the moment he saw it was still on airplane mode, he relaxed. I then asked if i could use his phone to call my mum. He said sure and casually picked it up. On opening it up he took some time before handing it over. On handing over the phone to me, it dawned on me he had deleted the message and a couple of others.
I waited until i got home. I hid my number and called the number that sent the message. The voice on the other end was my best friend. I then decided to quickly put other things in action after which I confronted my husband 4 days after and he denied it. I then showed him the messages i had taken a screenshot of and proceeded to inform him that i knew it was my best friend. This was when he broke down and told me their affair began the same year he met me. He then told me that they had been having an affair for as long as our marriage had lasted. My friend was a single mum and after i heard her voice i went to her house and spent time with her and her son at a time i took some strands of hair from her son and then took my husbands hair for a DNA test. it was a 98.9% match. He was the father. I then asked him who the father of the boy was. He lied about this as well and i showed him the proof. Afterwards, i confronted my friend who said she was sorry and then quickly moved out of her house a week afterwards. I am broken, i feel lost and with these children i have for him, i suddenly feel locked down. Please im losing my mind. Ending it all may just be better for me. I am so ashamed of my own existence.
The thoughts, confusion and emotions going through her mind was obviously something i witnessed on a daily basis with clients. That was a broken woman who had lost hope in humanity. Her entire world just fell apart. Regardless, there is still positive news in all of this. Firstly, you have amazing children who are yours to train and make exemplary individuals who will not become a source of pain for some other persons child down the line. Secondly, as insensitive as this may sound to you, you will not be the last person to say “i caught my partner cheating” so you will be okay.
This will not kill you
If you are not upset then it signals the existence of more worrisome issues or it could also mean you have already lost interest in the marriage. Which could be one of the reasons there was an affair in the first place. Your anger is normal and you are wondering, what do i do now?
Most people explode and attack their partners raining fire and brimstone on them. For the one who had the affair, they begin to say things they may not be able to live up to.
As strange as this may sound to you, my first advice is;
Do Nothing :
Sorry Temple what did you say. “Do nothing” I said. I need you to understand that this is the period to allow the healing power of time carry you through. What you did after an affair discovery is not what makes you feel better. Its the passage of time that makes you feel better. Some minor activities might help but a bulk of the activities that help you is the patience you exercise. Time has two primary functions, it heals and it reveals. allow it do its work. Anything you do at this very first 3 days or a week after the affair may just be the wrong move. A move that you may need to fix if you later decided to save the marriage.
Hold yourself back from talking to everyone who cares to listen about it. You will be “Pissing in the well” and this could also cause another type of damage. “Did you say damage? damage to me or to the person who cheated ? They cheated because they couldn’t control themselves and now i have to put their feelings into consideration? You know what I’m done reading this!
We both know you aren’t done reading it because it gets more interesting from here onwards. Listen if you do not want to just fix a broken marriage or relationship but rather want to turn it to something else thats brand new, it would be amazing for you to carry out this first step. Sometimes doing nothing makes you look really wise and bellies confusion. When people get confused, they make more mistakes and volunteer more information. Never forget, time is your friend.
Call Up That one Solid, Dependable, Mature, Honest and Objective Son/daughter of a Gun You Know:
“Now you want me to call somebody, after im done stewing in pain, dying and coming back to life”?. Yes, its time to call someone. Its 3 days or a whole 1 week later and you have really composed yourself, You have not lashed out, you have not told everyone that your partner had an affair. Your partner is unsure of where your mind is currently at. This is the time to speak to someone who will listen. You may get emotional talking about it, that is totally fine. Speak to them and let them know that the primary reason you are speaking to them is because you need them to be there for you.
If amidst the pain you were able to decide that the marriage needs to be saved, you do not want to go speak to a person who will give you advice on how much of a loser your partner is and how you need to leave the pitiful SOB. Choose really wisely who you decide to speak with.
Seek out a Professional Help closest to you:
This is a great time to look for a Licensed Marriage and Family therapist closest to you or online. The professional will help you assess the situation, what led to it, who it affected and assist you with objective guidance at the time. This is not a time to be shy or feel strange about talking to a total stranger about your love life. Infact marital problems that aren’t resolved still end up becoming public discussions that unfortunately do not give you an opportunity to steer the direction or even be there while the narrative is being tendered.
Lastly, Never Contact an Affair Partner
No matter what happens, never contact the affair partner. Most times you see individuals contact the person their partner had an affair with because they needed to tell them what they thought about them. How cheap they are, how much of a terrible person they are and how they need to stay off their partner. Thing is Everyone having an affair with someone’s spouse knows its a cheap act (i do not care about the quality of emotions involved), again anyone having an affair knows its terrible and lastly you shouldn’t be the one telling them to keep off your partner because your partner ought to be revalidating you and informing you of all the measures (Primary and Secondary Boundaries) they have put in place to ensure that this never occurs again.
Chasing after your spouses affair partner isn’t cool (please, its not a Nollywood flick). There is no good to be gotten from it especially if it happens to be one of them ones who have sold their shame and bought a sharp tongue with the proceeds. You can read this article here to understand the mindset of a side-chick/side-guy. Any information you set out to or actually get from the affair partner must be taken with a pinch because if they are complying with you, it doesn’t make them your buddy. Infact if you need them close, it speaks of possibly deeper esteem issues than you might have cared to admit to yourself.
A good place to begin the journey towards ending infidelity is getting a healthy understanding of boundaries. Here is something free from us.
If you and your partner are currently battling this issues, it would be a great time to begin our affair recovery therapy or come in for an exploratory session with any of our professional therapists.
Written by Obike Temple.
Temple Obike is a licensed marriage and family therapist, speaker, author and psychotherapist who has counseled over one thousand, two hundred clients comprising of couples, individuals, abuse victims (substance, physical, emotional and sexual) and grief-stricken clients. With over 70,000 in-counseling minutes (1,000+ hours) accrued in practice. He runs his private psychotherapy & counseling practice out of Lagos, Nigeria and has counseling centers in Abuja and Port-Harcourt. His practice also provides options for both online and on-site services.
His private practice has positively empowered lives through his online counseling, podcasts, free advisory services and free online materials. Readership of his articles also receive a growing number of visitors alongside subscriptions to his email newsletter at templeobike.com. His passion for empowering and uncovering the secrets to lifelong marriages and personal development led to his new book titled “Soul Bodega” available on amazon and across other online and traditional stores.
Never give up on yourself! You are a journey happening through various destinations.