You found your husband on dating sites. You might feel like your world shattered for a split second.
You’re not the only one going through this.
Despite seeing him through a lens of anger, disgust, and sadness, your decision starts trembling the moment you think of leaving him.
You’re torn between two pathways that could shift the way you move on with life from the moment you make a decision.
This is a marriage after all. It’s a commitment you promised each other.
What’s the right thing to do?
Here are 10 things to do when you find your husband on dating sites:
1. Avoid making a decision in the heat of the moment.
Finding out your husband is on dating sites can be tremendously hurtful information to process.
You’re likely to be overwhelmed by impulses, emotions, and feelings, which in turn, makes you more likely to make an irrational decision.
Studies have shown that emotions can heavily affect logical reasoning, especially during a tough time regarding emotional experience.
This is why you need to take some time to process what you found out, emotions to settle, and for you to establish rational reasoning.
Take your time away from him or anything that could cause you to fall prey to your emotional impulses.
- Give yourself and him the space you need to think and calm down
- Avoid talking to your husband while experiencing overwhelming emotions;
- Let him know you need space to process the information;
2. When you feel ready, have a conversation with your husband.
To have a clearer viewpoint, you can ask for his explanation as well. However, you want to take his words with a grain of salt.
Ask him the questions that are bothering you, and have a closer look at his body language, tone of voice, and approach to you.
He’s likely to be genuinely sorry if he takes accountability for his actions and sincerely apologizes to you.
On the other hand, if he gets defensive and accuses you of his wrongful behavior then he’s likely to neglect the weight of his wrongdoings on you.
That’s when you have to make things clear to him, state your boundaries, and let him know that what he did is unacceptable to you.
- You’ll need this conversation to help you make a decision regarding your relationship and marriage with him;
- If he’s apologetic and regretful about it it can signal a sense of guilt in him which can make him not do what he did again;
- Aggressiveness, defensiveness, and gaslighting are extremely toxic ways to deal with one’s wrongdoing, so consider these when making a decision.
3. Rethink, reshape, and clear up your boundaries.
It’s normal for the excitement to wear off a little in a marriage, however, having your boundaries crossed over and over again, isn’t.
Because two partners get very comfortable as time goes by while they’re together, it can make them slack when it comes to the expression of affection.
Clearly, it’s not going to be like the fiery beginning from when you first met.
However, this doesn’t mean that it’s okay to let abuse, toxicity, infidelity, or other toxic traits settle.
One of the toxic traits that can lead to a relationship’s downfall is crossing one another’s boundaries.
Take his behavior as a reminder for you to rethink, reshape, and clear up your boundaries.
- If this is a behavior you don’t tolerate, and if this is a deal-breaker for you, you can leave the marriage;
- Think of what you’d tolerate, what makes you feel valued, and what makes you feel undervalued;
- Set your boundaries according to how you expect to be treated and what behaviors mark disrespect according to your views.
For example, you’re not okay with lies. To you a lie is unacceptable, and catching your husband lying would cross a boundary to you.
Set an example of how you want to be treated by respecting your boundaries and making them clear to your husband.
4. Ask yourself the important questions about the connection with your husband.
It’s easier to say “I’m leaving.” when in a relationship than in a marriage. Just the thought of paperwork can get exhausting.
However, this is the life we are talking about. This is a person you’re willing to spend your life with.
Finding him on dating sites can take a toll on your emotional and mental state.
It marks a part of the marriage where you have to ask yourself some important questions to make it easier for you to make a decision.
- Is it worth swallowing this pill, moving on, and continuing a life with this man?
- Would my 80-year-old self be glad I made the decision I’m thinking of?
- Would I do this to him?
- Would I advise a friend or a little sister to stay in a marriage with a husband who acts and behaves like mine?
- Am I going to be able to trust him again?
- Would our kid(s) get a healthy example of what love is if we stayed together?
Your feelings are valid and valuable. Of course, your strength is undeniable. As you go through these questions, you might face harshness and sadness.
However, despite their harshness, these questions are very likely to clear your viewpoint on this matter.
Take your time, be honest with yourself, and eventually, you’ll have a clearer idea of where you should stand to benefit your happiness and others around you.
5. Vent about it on paper.
Research data have shown the benefits of writing thoughts down when it comes to traumatic events in our lives.
Writing your feelings, thoughts, and opinions on the matter on paper can help you gain a clearer experience of what you’re experiencing.
Ultimately, helping you make a decision that can be beneficial to you and your well-being.
If you find yourself taken over by anger, sadness, or other negative emotions, then take a moment for yourself, and write everything ready.
You can keep the paper, or you can throw it away as a way of solemnly throwing the negative emotions away through that paper.
- Venting on paper can help you concretize your ideas, opinions, thoughts, and feelings, making you see them from a different perspective.
- This can be tremendously helpful to clear your logical reasoning if you’re feeling an overwhelming sense of emotions and feelings.
6. Protect your kid(s) from the drama.
Children learn love from their surroundings, caregivers, parents, and social environment.
Them seeing their parents fight can cause a lifelong trauma that’ll affect the way they form relationships in the future.
Studies have shown how negative the effects of a fight between parents are when witnessed by their children.
This is why you have to protect your kid(s) from the drama.
Speak to your husband privately where your kid(s) can’t hear you, and most importantly, don’t vent about it to your kid(s).
If they heard you arguing, try explaining to them that this is a disagreement between you two on a topic and that this doesn’t have anything to do with them.
- Reassure your kids that everything is going to be okay and that you made a mistake to raise your voice to one another;
- An example,
“This doesn’t have to do anything with you. You and your dad are having a disagreement, but we made a mistake because we raised our voices. We are working things out, and everything is going to be okay. I’m sorry.”
This way you teach your child a healthy way to see arguments and disagreements. It is crucial that you prevent and protect them from drama, shouting, or resentment.
7. Consider making a decision.
There will come a point where you have to make a decision about this marriage.
Whether you want to move on on your own, or stay in the marriage and work things out.
Having a kid(s) doesn’t mean you’re obligated to stay in the marriage.
If you stay in the marriage and set a toxic example of ‘love’ for them, that can be way more harmful than a divorce on amicable terms.
This is a difficult position to be in, and you’re not alone in this. You’re not the only one to be faced with such a dilemma.
- If this is something that will cause resentment and disgust when you look at him, then consider how you’d feel leaving him.
- Try thinking of how your decision is going to affect you long term. Are you going to be happier?
- Consider whether this is a marriage you see yourself happy in.
It can be puzzling, and yes, you might find yourself torn apart between two decisions.
Understand that you’re worthy of affection, respect, love, and admiration.
If you’re getting the opposite of those in your marriage, it might be the time for a tough talk with your husband.
Take your time, calmly. And when you’re ready, make a decision.
8. Understand that it’s okay to walk away from this marriage.
If he’s shown signs of disrespect before, yet even if he didn’t, you have every right to walk away from this marriage.
You both agreed to exclusivity, and he broke that foundation by going online to seek or simply look at other people through dating sites.
It is infidelity. It’s emotional infidelity. It’s online infidelity.
On the other hand, it’s also the sense of secrecy. He kept something hidden from you. Something he knew would make you sad and upset.
This is a marriage, a life-long commitment you promised to one another.
What he did was a decision he made despite being married to you. It’s not something that happened in an instant and he was choiceless.
It’s something he chose to do willingly.
Sure, you can forgive him. But forgiving him doesn’t necessarily mean continuing your relationship with him.
He didn’t quit his behavior because of the guilt, he quit his behavior because he got caught.
- You have every right to walk away and seek a person that’ll be loyal, loving, and respectful to you and your boundaries.
- Walking away from this marriage does not mean you’re asking for too much.
- It’s okay to not want to put up with such behavior and to see yourself being happier outside this marriage.
9. Calmly communicate your decision to your husband.
No matter what your decision is—staying or leaving—communicate it to him lightly and calmly.
Keep your tone peaceful by using “I” statements, making yourself clear about the reasoning behind your decision.
If you choose to stay, make sure you make it clear that he has to work to regain your trust.
If you choose to leave, make sure you’re straightforward yet gentle with your words.
- You shared an emotional, sexual, and physical connection before you found him on dating sites.
Try respecting that when communicating your decision.
- A calm discussion about your decision is likely to lead to an amicable continuation of events.
Ultimately, benefiting the relationship with your kid(s) if you have any.
10. Talk about it to your therapist.
If you find yourself struggling to find peace with your decision, or even coming up with a decision, then talk about it with your therapist.
A therapist will not tell you what to do. Instead, they’ll guide you to find the right thing to do for yourself through yourself.
This is not an easy thing to deal with. Finding your husband on dating sites can signal a lot of red flags, and it can shatter the trust in your marriage.
Whether you’re ready to continue the marriage and give it one more try or ready to leave and work on yourself, a therapist can help you on both spectrums.
No matter what your situation is at the moment. Talk to your therapist. Take another step to your healing journey.
What’s the best decision to make when you find your husband on dating sites?
The best decision to make when you find your husband on dating sites depends on the reasons behind his usage of dating sites.
If he was just curious to see what’s out there, then it can be something to be marked as ‘forgivable’ by the majority.
Nevertheless, if he was interacting with the people from the dating sites and if he’d been disrespectful to you, then consider a decision that benefits you.
In that case, it would be deciding to leave.
Just because it’s a marriage, it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your needs and boundaries to make it work. Especially if he’s not reciprocating.
The best decision to make when finding your husband on dating sites lies in your heart and mind. It’s there.
Think about this
- What would you advise your dearest friend or little sister about an identical situation to yours?
- Would your 80-year-old self be happy about the decision you’re thinking of making?
Your worth and value does not depend on the way he treats you or on what you have to offer him.
Your worth and value lie far beneath the superficial, the physical, and the external.
It lies within you, your strength, soul, and personality.
Things to consider if you choose to stay in the marriage!
A friend of mine chose to stay in the marriage saying “Let’s see where this leads us…”
She was unprepared for what was about to come.
Her nor her partner made a plan on saving their marriage. They thought it was best to let it flow and leave it up to fate.
It didn’t end well.
Deciding to stay in a marriage where your partner betrayed you is just the first step to mending your marriage.
The next steps you take will determine whether you two save this marriage or not.
Here’s what you must consider if you choose to say in the marriage after finding your husband on dating sites:
- Make your boundaries clear to him. And expect him to respect them as much as you do.
- It takes both of you to rebuild the trust.
- Make a plan on how you see the connection continuing, growing, and prospering after this.
- Avoid letting his behavior cause you to neglect self-care or to have devaluing thoughts about yourself.
- Work on yourself, and take care of yourself. Practice activities you love, exercise, dedicate your time to a healthy lifestyle, and rely on your support system.
- Practice open communication. Build a sense of partnership by asking one another for help instead of accusing one another when you need reassurance.
- See a marriage counselor.
You’ve got this!