09 Jun 3 Things That Don’t Work To Change Your Husband After He Cheated
Is it really possible to change your husband’s behavior after he cheated? If you’ve decided to forgive and give your marriage a second shot, you may have a long list of what he needs to do to prove that he’s changed. But before you start going down that path, there are some common traps that you should be aware of. Fall into these traps and it could sabotage your efforts to mend your relationship.
I’m Sariah Bastian, an expert in helping women overcome the emotional trauma from their husband’s infidelity, and today I’m here to guide you through those pitfalls and onto a better path to recovery.
The Reality of “Fixing” Your Husband
When dealing with infidelity, the initial impulse of many women is to ‘fix’ their husbands. But let’s be honest, this approach frequently backfires, leading to increased anger, suspicion, and the overwhelming urge to monitor his every move. While it’s true that your husband has a lot of work to do in salvaging the marriage, the last thing you need as a strong, driven woman is to play the role of his parent.
Here are three common traps to avoid in your pursuit of healing and rebuilding your marriage.
Trap 1: The Waiting Game
The first pitfall lies in telling your husband what he must do to win back your trust and then waiting for him to follow through. This approach inadvertently hands over your power and happiness to him, leading to overthinking, stress, and emotional volatility.
When he fails to check off an item on your list, your confidence in the potential of saving your marriage plummets, and so does your happiness. But here’s the truth: we can’t control the actions of others. This approach only results in a strained and disconnected relationship. The key lies in focusing on your own healing process and the way you choose to show up in your marriage.
Trap 2: The Search for Understanding
The second trap is handing your husband articles, books, or websites hoping he’ll recognize his faults. Understanding what’s “wrong” with him won’t put an end to the anger, resentment and constant triggers because it focuses on him and doesn’t address your own emotional healing. Once again, it’s leaving your happiness in his control.
Effective communication is a huge part of a successful marriage and after infidelity, it can feel like you’re both speaking a different language. You end up having the same exact argument over and over but never feel closer to feeling genuinely heard or understood.
Meanwhile, you’re not listening to him much because your level of anger and resentment won’t allow you to see past the infidelity long enough to hear where he’s feeling unheard in your marriage. So the cycle continues of you searching for articles and podcasts he needs to listen to so that it hopefully clicks for him while he’s left feeling like it doesn’t matter what he does because it’s never enough.
In this scenario, the emotional trauma that infidelity causes is running the show. Once you take a step back to heal this and release the trauma from your body, you’ll start to notice the genuine effort your husband has been making to repair your marriage. You’ll be able to communicate your needs and listen to his needs without getting triggered or defensive which means the bond will start to grow stronger again instead of weakening further with the endless checklists and demands.
When you’re ready, I have a special workshop that guides you through my method for emotional healing and rebuilding a thriving marriage after infidelity. You can access that here.
Trap 3: Policing His Actions
The final common mistake that damages intimacy and trust is consistently monitoring your husband’s actions. Constant surveillance won’t help you trust him again, instead, it only fuels your anxiety, making you feel more insecure.
I used to obsess over monitoring my husband’s phone and was constantly waiting for the minute he was gone long enough for me to snoop. I always thought if I just checked one more time, it would give me the trust I was missing. But it never did. It just gave my mind something else to overanalyze and made it so I never felt like I could let my guard down.
Sure, it would feel good in the moment when I didn’t find anything suspicious, but 5 minutes later, I would be overthinking the whole thing and convince myself that he must just be hiding something somewhere else.
It’s a time-consuming, exhausting battle that only reinforces the feeling that you can’t trust him.
What you need is a healthier way to rebuild trust, and that begins with healing from the emotional trauma caused by his infidelity. This isn’t something he can do for you. It’s something you need to do for yourself.
The Road to a Stronger Marriage
When you heal your emotional trauma, you’re rebuilding your marriage from a place of confidence and inner strength, not from fear and anger. This brings a level of internal happiness that no one can take away, and regardless of your husband’s actions, you’ll know you’ll be okay.
For more advice and insight, check out my post: “Is couples therapy effective after infidelity?”, which outlines other potential pitfalls on your journey to a more resilient, thriving marriage.