He Cheated During Our Engagement And Then Married Me. Why?

It can be very difficult to sort out your feelings about a spouse’s affair during your marriage. However, when you find out that your spouse had an affair during your engagement and you don’t learn the details until after you are married, well, things are doubly tricky.  Because if your spouse had been honest and told you about the cheating when it had happened, you would then be in a position to call off the wedding.  As it stands now, you’re already married because you didn’t know that he cheated.  So now you have to decide if you want to honor that marriage or not.

Someone might explain: “my husband and I have been married about nine months.   Last week, he started crying and told me that he had something that he wanted to tell me.  I could tell that something was horribly wrong.  I honestly thought he was going to tell me that a family member had died.  Instead, he told me that about three months before our wedding, he heard from a girl he knew in college.  They went out to lunch and one thing lead to another and they had a two week affair.  He said that he considered telling me right then, but he was afraid of losing me and he still wanted to be my husband.  He says that he now realizes that not telling me was wrong because he did not give me the information that I needed to make an informed decision about getting married.  He said that he realizes that he is too late to do the right thing, but he doesn’t want to live with the guilt anymore and that I have a right to know. My immediate thought was that he was telling me this because he wants a divorce.  Otherwise, why spill the beans?  He says that he absolutely does not want a divorce and wants to stay together more than anything.  He just felt that I deserved the truth. I find myself questioning why would he go forth with the wedding.  I mean, he denies it.  But men who cheat are obviously not happy with what they have.  So why marry the girl that you cheated on?  Why not make your escape right then, before you ruin two lives?”

Your husband would be the one to answer that question, but I have to tell you that many men take the stance of your husband.  They swear that they never wanted to end the relationship when they cheated.  Many will tell you that if anything, the cheating only solidified that you are the one for them, and then of course they panic even more because they realize that the relationship is now in jeopardy.

I honestly can’t guess at your husband’s motivation for telling the truth now.  But if he doesn’t want to end or harm the relationship (which seems to be the case) then the only other two options are that he was motivated by guilt, that he wanted to at least try to do the right thing, or both.  He certainly didn’t have to tell you, since it appears that you didn’t suspect anything.  In fact, telling you may have caused more pain and trouble than keeping quiet would have.  So one would have to suspect that he thought that telling you the truth was going to give your marriage the best chance of long term success, since he denies wanting a divorce.

Assuming this is true, that might help to explain why he married you anyway.  Because as I’ve said before many men who make the mistake of cheating do not want to end their marriage.  They end up wanting to salvage it.  So if he wasn’t unhappy and if he didn’t want to escape the marriage, then why?  Well, I’m only guessing, but many people cheat at times of high stress, change, and vulnerability.  A wedding would most certainly fit that bill.  Again, this is only my guess.  You should certainly ask him for clarification or go over this with a counselor.  However, if this was a wedding that he didn’t want, then he had an easy out.  If this was a marriage that he wanted to walk away from right now, well, once again, an affair is a valid reason which would give him an easy exit.  And yet, he went ahead and got married.  And he told you about the affair even when he certainly didn’t have to.  Plus he swears that he doesn’t want a divorce.  These three things indicate that he not only wanted to marry you, he appears to want to remain married to you.

Of course, his wishes are not all that matters.  Your wishes are just as important.  You may not know what you want right now and that is perfectly normal.  There is plenty of time to sort out your feelings, seek counseling, or just take a break.  All of these are reasonable options.  But I think that it’s potentially a mistake to assume that every man who cheats wants out of their relationship or marriage.  Because as you’ve seen, many of these same men will fight very hard to save that same marriage or relationship.

I may be biased, but I do feel that a marriage can withstand an affair and in some cases come out stronger in the end.  But that process isn’t for everyone.  It is not easy.  However, I thought that this path was the best option in my case.  There’s more on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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