I’m Afraid People Will Think I’m A Cockold, Weak, Or Whipped If I Stay With The Spouse Who Cheated

By: Katie Lersch:  When we find out that our spouse has been cheating, we know that we should momentarily close out the world and focus on what is inside of our own home.  We know that we should close ranks and worry only about what WE think and what WE want.

But this is easier said than done.  It is just human nature to worry about what others think of us – especially if those other people are friends or family members who we love.  And so this worry can sometimes influence our decisions when it comes to the aftermath of the affair.

Someone might explain a situation like this one: “my family is very close.  And by ‘family,’ I mean the immediate family of my wife and myself.  We don’t keep secrets and it seems that every one knows every one else’s business.  I recently found out my wife had a brief affair.  She is very apologetic and I still love her.  I worry about what would happen to my children in the event of a divorce.  I have only confided to one person about this – my childhood best friend.  But his response has me very troubled.  He said there is an unfortunate name for men who take back cheating wives – cuckold.  He also had some other choice words like whipped, pushover, etc.  Essentially, he was telling me that a man who allows his wife to cheat on him and then take her back is a man who has no self respect, backbone, or common sense.  This makes me pause.  Because I don’t want everyone to think this of me.  Right now, I have not shared this with our families and I really did not plan to.  But I figure that things like this have a way of getting out – especially in my family.  So I’m worried that this is what everyone else is going to think of me.  It’s bad enough to struggle with my marriage, but I’m not sure if I can deal with that plus the idea that no one is going to respect me because I chose to stay.”

I understand.  The thoughts and feelings of others did cross my mind when I was trying to make a decision about my own husband’s affair.  It weighs on you.  I don’t see how it can’t.  We all like to pretend that we do not care about what others think of us. But it’s just a natural and normal part of human nature to want other people to respect us and to think highly of us.

And this thought process wouldn’t really matter if we were talking about a small matter – like hobbies or interests.  But we are talking about something very serious like our marriage and our children’s family life.  This decision will have extremely far – reaching implications.

The thing is, your marriage (and your decision regarding it) are not really going to affect your friends and your family.  Sure, if you divorce, it may be awkward at holidays for a while. But it is not going to affect their day to day life and their future in the way that it is going to affect yours and that of your children.

So, what is most important is what YOU think and what your spouse thinks.  You may choose not to tell everyone.  You may want to keep this private and between the two of you.  What really matters is whether or not YOU think that you are a cockhold, wimp, or spineless – or all of those other phrases that people use when they are being insensitive and only thinking about themselves.

I can’t tell you what to think or how to feel.  But I can tell you that in my own case, one way that I tried to get around feeling like a pushover was to require things of my husband.  I do not think I could have slept very well at night if I would have just blindly taken my husband back without requiring lots of remorse, rehabilitation, and healing.  He had ALOT of work to do before I would even talk about staying put.  He had ALOT to prove to me before I made any commitments to him at all.

I did not always make it easy for him.  But I wanted some proof that he thought our marriage was worth the hard work and the requirements.  This gave me the confidence that I was making the right decision and it let me know that I didn’t just blindly take him back.  The rest of the story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

Nothing says you have to share everything right now.   There’s enough to process without adding the opinions to others into the equation.

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