So you found out your husband has been cheating. Thoughts of cutting up his designer suits and smashing his beloved car with a baseball bat go racing through your head. Images of Lorena Bobbitt suddenly cross your mind. She’s your soul sista now. You would love nothing more than to wring his neck with your bare hands. The adrenaline rush is palpable. Yet you restrain yourself, knowing in the end you would be the one belittled, the hysterical woman pulling out the crazy once again. Yes, you know you must take a stand. But how, while still keeping your sanity and dignity intact?
1. Stop washing his dirty underwear. That's right. Put the boxers DOWN. If he’s going to screw some hot young thang at the office, or diddle the maid at home (unless you’re the veritable maid in residence, in which case, consider that lingerie you found to be your pink slip), his mistress should now be bestowed the honor of washing his own dirty underwear. You’re a wife, not a martyr. Save that role for Jesus.
2. Step away from the penis. Sure, he’s gettin’ it from somewhere else now. But men also like to know they still got it. So, as you reel from learning your husband has been, or is continuing to be, unfaithful, don’t think that you having sex with him will magically transform him into Dr. Huxtable. It won’t. Guys can have sex and remain utterly and completely detached. Not necessarily so for women, especially a woman with conflicted emotions. Besides, you wouldn’t reward a bad dog with a treat, would you?
3. Tell your story to anyone who will listen. I know, I know, it seems counterintuitive but it’s a quick way to stop the rumor mills from churning. It’s true, people love to gossip. So, get your story out there first. By the time he figures out that he has a story to spin, and he will (he’s a great guy, remember him telling you so?), it will be too late. The best defense is a good offense. And, you’ll feel better talking about what you’re going through. Think of it as free therapy. I’ve even shared my story with cops after being pulled over and, I’m happy to report, still have never received a speeding ticket.
4. Rally your troops. Become the sergeant for your own army. Gather support. You have friends for a reason. Lean on them. All those times you were there for them? Well, now it’s their turn. And, believe me, they will come through for you, and then some. Nobody, not even your soon-to-be ex, will ever think of going AWOL again. You’re not weak, isolated, and alone, and your husband should know that. There’s something to be said about strength in numbers.
5. Keep your mutual friends (and steal some of his). This is essentially like plastering a scarlet letter square across his chest. Now the world knows that even his friends think he’s a scoundrel. Good people don’t support bad behavior, and if they do, good riddance.
6. Look Fabulous. All those days you spent dry heaving over the toilet? All those evenings you couldn’t force down your dinner? The divorce diet is your silver lining, girls. It’s your gift from the gods, and the porcelain god is as good a god as any. Now is your golden opportunity to drop that unwanted baby weight you’ve been carrying around, even if your baby is a sophomore in high school. Do your hair, go for a makeover, and add some sexy new pieces to your wardrobe. You’ve just been through a trauma, and survived. Reward yourself. You deserve it.
7. Feel Fabulous. Even more important than looking the part is living the part. There is no greater power than feeling good. It’s contagious, and people, the right people, healthy people, will be drawn to you and you to them. Discovering infidelity leaves you vulnerable. Use the time constructively to rediscover the smart, independent, and beautiful woman you are.
8. Laugh your f**cking ass off. It’s true, there’s no better medicine than laughter and who better to laugh at than the once respectable guy who has, seemingly overnight, transformed himself into a walking cliché. If it looks like a duck…
9. Kick his ass the hell out of the house. Do it as soon as possible. You live in a home, not a brothel, and your husband isn't a sailor and it ain't fleet week. Either he shapes up, or he ships out. If you're both interested in saving your marriage, then go for it. But, not while he lives there. He shouldn’t have all of the comforts of home after he’s disgraced yours.
10. Move on. And don’t ever look back. You’re not a woman scorned. You're a woman respected. Remember, no one will ever respect you until you respect yourself, least of all your cheating husband.