You cheated on your wife, and although you kind of expected it, you're still shocked to discover that now your wife cheated on you in retaliation. Now, of course, what she did wasn't right; sexual affairs with someone external from your marriage are never the answer to fixing the internal issues within your troubled relationship. But the truth is, it happened and all you can do now Is figure out what's next.
Maybe you two have discussed why you've cheated, and perhaps there was no real agreed reason on how to deal with it - except to not deal with it. And while you know she cheated on you to get you back, are you sure there aren't other reasons to trigger her cheating?
I say this because women and men alike don't always cheat for purely sexual reasons. Commonly, most people feel that men want to get laid, and women want to enjoy emotional connections. Truthfully, both sexes have admitted to cheating for emotionally-driven reasons, including lack of intimacy, with one another. M. Gary Neuman has appeared on Oprah several times to discuss this.
Other reasons your wife may have cheated - in addition to retaliation - include:
- She wanted to explore her options. Your wife perceived your cheating as a way of you exploring your options. Thus, she decided that after years of faithfulness, she too wanted to do the same.
- She doesn't feel an emotional connection anymore. Emotional connections are the lifeblood of intimate relationships - especially marriages. Once you cheated on her, you displayed deceptive actions which destroyed the emotional bridge between you too. Chances are, she's looking to feel connected and the next man provided the right illusion for her to act out sexually and emotionally on.
- Stress pushes her to act out wildly. Stress is a weird thing. It makes us crazy and allows us to act out in ways we'd never imagine. In an effort to release pent up tension, some women might resort to sexual affairs for a physical release. Remember, sex releases powerful endorphins and can aid in stress relief, which can be addictive, even if she knows better and feels guilty about retaliating against your affair.
Admittedly, these are only 3 reasons why she cheated in addition to an affair. The other reasons exist, but it's up to you to man up and step to her in an effort to ask her what's really good. Yes, you messed up by cheating; you'll both have to accept it, but the fact of the matter is if she's cheating now, you're both on an even playing field.
It will be hard - yes, very hard - to get her to calm her hot butt down and talk to you about what she's done and why she's doing it. However, if you can manage to extend emotional acceptance, you will find that you're going to be able to slowly read between the lines of her angry, emotionally driven words and actions, and see what she's really trying to tell you about your marriage.
A last note: Remember that just because two wrongs don't make a right, doesn't mean that you cannot and should not be able to look at the truth of your own actions as well. Why did you cheat? Yes your wife cheated on you in retaliation, and you'll deal with that. But you also need to know why you cheated on your wife as much as you need to know why she did. Knowing the motivations within each other, and being honest about them will allow you both to get real about the state of your marriage, and its future - whether it's salvageable or not.