If your spouse or significant other is cheating on you, you’re not alone. An estimated 38 to 53 million women are victims of infidelity. Sadly, most wives with cheating husbands simply suffer in silence or tolerate their husband’s infidelity because they feel they have no choice, or because they don’t know what else to do.

This year, you don’t have to continue being a helpless victim if your husband is having an extramarital affair. There are practical steps you can take to make the best of a bad situation. Whether you decide to stay with your cheating spouse or leave him, the New Year’s resolutions below will help you put the odds in your favor, so you can gain the upper hand.

1. Make sure infidelity is actually the problem you’re dealing with.

Problems like drug or alcohol addiction or gambling often masquerade as infidelity because of similar telltale signs. Don’t speculate, investigate. If you need to get solid proof of infidelity without spending a lot of time or money, a book like Is He Cheating on You? – 829 Telltale Signs (Lifestyle Publications, $29.95) with detailed information on the signs of infidelity will help you find out for sure.

2. Face reality.

Ignoring your husband’s infidelity will not make it go away. It will only make things worse. He could become so attached to his mistress that it will be impossible to get your marriage back on track.

3. Speak up and take a stand.

If you know he’s cheating and say nothing about it, you're enabling his infidelity. Make it clear that you disapprove of what's going on and tell him you want it to stop. Not addressing his infidelity makes him think he has your silent approval or that you don’t know what’s going on.

4. Let him know you know.

Affairs thrive in secrecy. If you’ve identified numerous telltale signs and have solid proof of your husband’s infidelity, decide when and how to tell him you know about his affair. Sometimes just knowing his infidelity has been exposed will be enough to make him stop.

5. Build a support team.

You need someone to confide in about your husband’s infidelity. Don’t try to get through this alone. Surround yourself with people who care about you and have your best interests at heart.

6. Realistically evaluate your situation.

Consider your options. Is your marriage worth saving? Should you get a temporary separation? File for divorce? What is it in your (and your children’s) best interest to do?

7. Seek counseling for yourself and for your marriage.

You have a better chance of saving your marriage if you get professional help. You’ll be better equipped to deal with the trauma of infidelity if you seek individual counseling, as well.

8. Identify the underlying issues.

Try to pinpoint the contributing factors to his infidelity - A life crisis? Major character flaws? Sexual addiction? Dissatisfaction with you or with the marriage? Or something else? Get to the root of the problem, if you can.

9. Protect yourself sexually.

Your husband’s infidelity can have life-threatening consequences for you. If he’s cheating, your health is at risk. You’re already a victim of infidelity. Don’t become a victim of HIV/AIDS too.

10. Find out your legal rights.

Consult an attorney who specializes in matrimonial law. Get a clear understanding of what you're legally entitled to (alimony, child support, division of marital assets) in the event of a divorce or separation.

11. Put your financial house in order.

Get a realistic view of your current financial situation and make the necessary adjustments. Establish credit in your own name. Set up a separate checking or savings account. Start putting money aside for a rainy day.

12. Make sure you’re equipped to earn a living.

Many women remain in adulterous relationships because they’re financially dependant on their husbands. If you need to, take college courses or start learning a trade to make yourself employable.

13. Prepare yourself mentally and emotionally.

Accept the possibility that your marriage may end. Don’t be caught off guard. Have an “Infidelity Game Plan” in place in case your husband decides to move out or ask for a divorce. Begin formulating your strategy now.

For 2008, empower yourself by focusing your energy and efforts on the practical steps you can take to make the best of a bad situation. If you act on these New Year’s resolutions, you can gain the upper hand.

More Advice on Dealing with Cheating Husbands

For more tips on how to deal with a cheating husband,request a FREE copy of the special infidelity report entitled “5 Things You Shouldn’t Do If He’s Cheating on You” E-mail InfidelityAdvice@gmail.com with "5 Things-sg" in the subject line.

For more information about signs of infidelity, cheating spouses or extramarital affairs, visit www.InfidelityAdvice.com or http://infidelitynewsandviews.blogspot.com

Author's Bio: 

Infidelity expert, Ruth Houston is the founder of InfidelityAdvice.com and the author of Is He Cheating on You? - 829 Telltale Signs which documents practically every known sign of infidelity, including the subtle signs people usually overlook.

Frequently called on by the media to comment on infidelity issues in the news, Ruth has been quoted in USA Today, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, Cosmopolitan, Chatelaine, Newsday, msnbc.com. FoxNews.com, ABCNews.com, iVillage, MSN Lifestyle and numerous other print and online media worldwide.

Ruth has also been a guest on The Today Show, CNN, Fox News, ABC News, NBC News, 1010WINS, Court TV Radio, BBC, CBC and over 360 other radio and TV shows in the United States, Canada, Europe, the Caribbean, South America, Australia and New Zealand.

To interview infidelity expert Ruth Houston call 718 592-6039 or e-mail InfidelityExpert@gmail.com

For more information about signs of infidelity, cheating spouses or extramarital affairs, visit www.InfidelityAdvice.com or http://infidelitynewsandviews.blogspot.com