Skip to content

Men's Health

Surviving Infidelity Is Hard to Do

What Do You Do When You Find Out Your Wife Has Been Cheating?
Font Size
A
A
A
By Sean Elder
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Sheldon Marks, MD

How can you tell if a guy's wife has cheated on him?

Well, it depends on the guy, of course, but I do recall my wife and I having dinner with a couple she knew better than I, and thinking that the husband was being awfully rude to the mother of his children.

Recommended Related to Men

Ask Dr. Oz: Why Am I Fatter When I'm Stressed?

By Mehmet C. Oz, M.D. Because your body thinks you're about to starve. Thousands of years ago, hunger was a caveman's primary source of anxiety. When food became scarce, his body coped with the resultant stress by releasing steroids, which were absorbed by his omentum — a fat reservoir that hangs like an apron over the stomach — and promoting fat storage. And since your body doesn't know the difference between a demanding boss and a depleted herd of mastodons, your omentum will do the...

Read the Ask Dr. Oz: Why Am I Fatter When I'm Stressed? article > >

"What was that about?" I asked my wife later.

"I think he's mad at his wife for cheating on him," she said.

"Wow. You mean he just found out?"

"No, this all happened five years ago."

For most guys in most matters, five years would be an eternity. It's been four years since the Yankees won a pennant, and even longer since Robin Williams made a funny movie. And yet we seem willing to forgive them both. What makes dealing with infidelity so difficult for men? Why can't we let it go?

Dealing With Infidelity: The Stubborn Images in Your Head

"A lot of people have affairs," says Mark Epstein, MD, a psychiatrist in private practice in New York City and author of Open to Desire: Embracing a Lust for Life. "It doesn't necessarily have any ultimate meaning. The hardest thing for men in that situation is to let it be history."

That's rather ironic, given that women often complain about men compartmentalizing everything else. We just had a fight? Let's have sex. We just had sex? Let's watch a movie. Why can't we compartmentalize the idea of our wives being unfaithful?

"Imagining one's partner with someone else is too profound for some men," says Epstein. "[The faithless wife] is a very common theme in porn, but when it gets turned around [when the porn role is being played by your wife] -- it's too intolerable."

"I just can't get that image out of my head," his patients will say. And what does he tell them?

"Yes you can. Though maybe you don't want to."

Surviving Infidelity: Can This Marriage Be Saved?

"Affairs are common and happen for all kinds of reasons, and our culture promotes it," Epstein advises those interested in surviving infidelity. "A lot of marriages don't break up just because someone has had an affair."

1 | 2 | 3

Today on WebMD

man coughing
Men shouldn’t ignore.
man swinging in hammock
And how to get out it.
 
shaving tools
On your shaving skills.
muscular man flexing
Four facts that matter.
 
Food Men 10 Foods Boost Male Health
Slideshow
Thoughtful man sitting on bed
Quiz
 
Man taking blood pressure
Slideshow
doctor holding syringe
Slideshow
 

Loaded with tips to help you avoid food allergy triggers.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Condom Quiz
Quiz
thumbnail_angry_couple_in_bed
Slideshow
 
man running
Quiz
older couple in bed
Video