Are you looking for divorce advice for men? What? You don’t want a divorce? Then it’s good I got your attention before you did anything stupid, like taking the leap into infidelity. If you’re reading this, you’re likely tempted to cheat on your spouse.
Maybe just an anonymous hook-up in some motel somewhere, maybe more. Maybe there’s that new girl at work with the pretty smile, who seems interested in who you really are as a person, that you fantasize about running away and starting a new life with. Hell, maybe you’re just bored.
Take My Word For It – There Is a Dark Side
Well, I have been in your position, friend, and I’m going to tell you: you’re making a mistake. One way or another. So you’re tempted to cheat on your spouse. You might technically get away with it, you might not; that’s not the point. The point is: you’re doing harm.
By cheating on your spouse, you’re breaking a promise you made to her to be faithful and forswear all others. You are treating her with contempt; you’re saying, in effect, that you don’t respect her enough to be honest with her. And even if they never find out afterwards, you’ll know. You’ll know you’re the sort of man who breaks promises, simply because you feel like it. That’s a terrible thing to learn about yourself.
You Will Get Caught – And It Will Cost You
And, well, look: your spouse will probably find out. One way or another. Maintaining a lie is pretty difficult in any situation…and let’s face it, you’re not exactly Jason Bourne, are you?
You’re going to slip up. And when you do, the life you have now will end, and a different life will begin. In the process, you will cause an incredible amount of pain to your wife, by lying to and betraying her trust.
You will end up spending a lot of money in divorce court and probably a hell of a lot more in alimony.
You will end up spending a lot of money in divorce court and probably a hell of a lot more in alimony. Judges don’t tend to look too kindly upon philanderers. And if you have kids, well…just think about spending the rest of your life being Weekend Dad, because that’s almost certainly what’s going to happen if you give in to being tempted to cheat on your spouse.
Even if you somehow convince your spouse to forgive you and to move on, you’re looking at months or years of strife and heartache, and you may find yourself in a marriage in which trust is no longer possible.
What Is Your Motivation for Cheating?
Only you can decide if that’s worth getting your freak on with somebody else.
Every guy has his own reasons for cheating, like this anonymous author in Esquire. The question you need to ask yourself when you’re tempted to cheat on your spouse is: why do you want to cheat on your spouse? Are you dissatisfied with your sex life? Are you resentful of her? Is she resentful of you? Do you just feel like you need that thrill again, the thrill of seduction? Do you just really want to feel naughty? Luckily, all of these problems can be resolved without actually committing infidelity.
Man Up and Have the Discussion
The first thing you need to do is summon the courage to be honest with your wife. Don’t start by telling her you’re thinking about cheating. That’s obviously not a constructive way of opening things and, frankly, it’s a dick move.
Instead, tell her you’re not happy and you need something to change. After all, she’s the person you signed up to share your life with — she deserves your honesty. Let her help you figure out what that “something” is you are looking for.
Is it really sex with a stranger? If so, the two of you should broach the topic of temptation. You might be surprised — and maybe a little dismayed – to hear your wife has had similar fantasies, but put your ego back in your pants, Casanova. If you’re unhappy, the likelihood is that she’s unhappy too. At least you’re being honest with each other. It might be uncomfortable, but could lead to ideas to reintroduce spice into your sex life together, which is a whole other topic. But finding out if and how that would work is a pretty fun project in and of itself.
Sex May Not Be the Real Issue
Maybe your problem isn’t sex at all. Maybe it’s the big picture. Maybe you’re tempted to cheat because you’re just not where you want to be in your life, or where you thought you’d be. Maybe you’re not in the career you want to be in, and you feel trapped. And you feel like you just need something else; almost like a glimpse or a gateway to that life you feel like you ought to have. Something you can find with another women, if only for a minute.
Don’t Kid Yourself
Look: unless you happen to be an artist with a trust fund, we all go through that. (Even artists with trust funds, but they deal with it by flying off to Paris and shacking up with some skinny nineteen year old Czech model and drinking champagne. Let’s face it, that’s probably not an option for you.) There’s nothing wrong with feeling that way. The important thing is how you deal with it…and hanging out at singles bars trying to hide the pale line of untanned skin around your ring finger is a counterproductive and massively lame strategy.
You Spouse Has An Obligation, Too
Remember: you’re responsible for your spouse and her happiness, but the converse is also true: she’s responsible for yours as well, and if you’re truly miserable, she has a responsibility to help you figure out what that happiness entails. Maybe you really should quit your job at the bank and go rebuild old muscle cars or follow the Renaissance Faire circuit as a professional juggler or whatever it is you feel like you ought to be doing with your life.
It won’t be easy and it will require a lot of hard work and probably a fair amount of sacrifice — mostly financial. Job burnout is a serious stressor that can ruin your health, happiness and marriage. If it’s that important to you to walk away from your career or your house or your town, then do it, and accept the consequences.
Maintaining Your Self Respect – Even If the Marriage Fails
You might find that, simply by talking about it with your spouse, you feel better — even if it’s hard to start the conversation, and even if it gets rough. Your spouse may not want to even entertain the possibility of redefining the boundaries of your relationship or your life together, but you know what? I guarantee you she’ll like it a lot more than watching you coming home late with lipstick on your collar and a line of bad excuses.
Of course, there’s one more hard possibility: that you want to cheat because you really just want out of your marriage. If that’s the case — if you’ve tried everything else and it’s the only honest conclusion you can come to — do your spouse the courtesy of being honest, and ending things before you start screwing around. You owe her that much. You’ll find it’s a lot easier to go through divorce without the specter of infidelity hanging around. And you’ll be able to hold your head up high, because you’ll have made the right choice.
It won’t be the easy choice…but when is the easy choice ever the right one?
Has your relationship been touched by cheating? Have you been tempted to cheat on your spouse? Share your insights in the comments below. Remember to share this article on your fave social media!
G.D. Wessel talks about what else cheating can get you in Better The Devil You Know.
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