He Cheated On Me And Wants To Go To Counseling. Should I Agree And Go? Is It Even Worth It?

By: Katie Lersch: I sometimes hear from women who are struggling to come to a decision about their relationship after their boyfriend, partner or husband has cheated on them. If this isn’t confusing and upsetting enough, he’s often begging her to go to counseling so that she won’t leave him right away.

An example is a comment like: “I have always trusted my fiancé completely. Sometimes, he goes out with his single friends and I know that those guys go to bars and check out girls. But this has never bothered me because I knew that my boyfriend was loyal and a stand up guy. Well, this belief all came crashing down a couple of weeks ago. One of my boyfriend’s best friends was using a dating service to meet someone. The service was hosting an event for singles and he asked my boyfriend to go in order to support him. My boyfriend told me all about it and said that he wouldn’t go if I didn’t want him to. I honestly didn’t have any concerns about this. I suppose that was naive of me. Because while at this event, my boyfriend met a girl and went home with her. He told me about it a couple of weeks later. And it eventually came out that he had cheated with her more than once. He said he was telling me because he still wants to marry me and he doesn’t want to start our marriage with these secrets between us. He has even researched counselors and found one who has agreed to see us. I am torn. I love him. I hate to end our relationship. But at the same time, I don’t want a marriage in which I’m always afraid my husband is going to cheat on me. My parents had this kind of marriage and I would never accept this type of relationship. So part of me feels that I should just cut my losses now and find someone else who I know will always be faithful to me, although I realize that this might take a long time and be a long search. Is it even worth it to agree to go to counseling if I have all of these doubts and if I am pretty sure that it is going to be a waste of time?”

This isn’t something that anyone can decide for you. But, I’m happy to give you the perspective of someone who has been in this situation. I also hear from a lot of people who have experienced similar things. It’s my experience that counseling can be incredibly helpful. Quite frankly, I wouldn’t call it a waste of time even if you ultimately can’t and don’t save your relationship. Why would I say this? Because even if you can’t save your relationship, you will gain perspective and support. You will have a safe place in which to release all of your feelings and to obtain feedback from a professional so that when you resume this relationship or begin a new one, you aren’t dragging the baggage of this incident with you.

Also, many men who cheat are not willing to go to counseling even when their wife or girlfriend is begging him and giving them ultimatums. So, the fact that this man is not only willing to go but took the initiative to find the counselor is a very promising sign. I would consider meeting him halfway, but I do completely understand your hesitation.

After my husband’s affair, I didn’t even want to see him, much less sit in a counselor’s office with him. I won’t lie and tell you that the counseling was a party or fun. It wasn’t, especially at first. But after a very short time, I started to notice that the whole thing no longer felt so heavy. It started to give me a little bit of a relief to be able to unload and say what I needed to say. Also, I found that she was able to bring out things that were really bothering me which I hadn’t yet thought about, much less tries to articulate. Even if I hadn’t have chosen to save my marriage, I would have found it helpful.

Once we were able to get out the resentments of the affair, we were able to rebuild our marriage to a place where it was actually stronger. So yes, I am glad that I was open to this. WIth that said, I used some self help resources that were very effective also. I think what is most important is that you do make it a priority to deal with this, regardless of whether you end up saving your relationship.  There are a number of ways to do this, but counseling is a very effective way.  And if you have a partner willing to walk that route with you, then it makes sense to try.  I know that it can be tempting to just walk away and pretend that this never happened. But people who have tried this have told me that this doesn’t really work well, because it just follows you around and haunts you until you deal with it.

I can’t decide this for you, but I do believe that some sincere men who work very hard can be rehabilitated. Only you can decide if you want to give him that chance. If it helps, you can read more about my own journey on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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