My Spouse Cheated And Had An Affair And I Just Want To Run Away

By: Katie Lersch: I sometimes hear from people who are overwhelmed to learn that their spouse has been unfaithful.  Sometimes, they just can not picture any scenario in which things could ever be right again.  They can’t imagine what life will be like now.  And many see just taking flight as an attractive option.

I heard from a woman who said: “I feel so humiliated right now.  I found out two days ago that my husband has been cheating on me with his assistant.  And now I’ve just talked to one of my husband’s coworkers who admitted to me that everyone at the office knew about the affair and that it had been going on for months.  I feel like an idiot because I had no idea.  I didn’t have any suspicions whatsoever.  I thought we were happy.  Although I don’t work in my husband’s office, I do go by there all of the time.  I’m very involved with what is going on there.  Many of my friends work with my husband.  I’m embarrassed that all of my friends know about this.  And, if I’m being honest, I feel like just packing my bags and leaving it all  behind.  Before my husband and I were married, I lived in a different part of the country where I was very happy.  I had a job that I loved and I had lots of friends.  When we got married, I left to live with my husband in our current city.  Now that I see that my marriage has been a farce, I’m tempted to buy a plane ticket and go back to where I belong.  I know I could get my old job and my old apartment back.  I told a couple of my friends about this and they say that I am making a snap decision that I might later regret.  Am I wrong to just want to run away?”

Believe me when I say that I understand the inclination to want to get away.  Especially when the infidelity is fresh, it can feel as if your whole life is ruined and that you will need to start completely over in order to begin to rebuild.  And, sometimes, getting some distance does help.  With that said though, I don’t think that running away is always the best decision.  I will tell you why in the following article.

If You Run Away, You Can’t Get Closure And You Close Off The Possibility Of Rehabilitation:  I understand believing that your marriage can’t ever recover.  Many people feel very strongly that infidelity is a deal breaker.  I initially felt the same way.  I did end up saving my marriage, but in the beginning I didn’t want anything to do with my husband.

The point that I’m trying to make is that sometimes in the early stages, it’s very hard to envision a future where things are better.  But, even if you chose to leave your husband and to rebuild your life, you will need healing and you will need closure.  If you just run away and you don’t have the opportunity to discuss this any further or to get the answers that you need, then you can’t possibly get this needed closure and peace of mind.  And you may well take this pain and this injury into your future relationships.

Temporarily Getting Away Can Be A Good Idea:  I didn’t want to discourage this woman from going to where she would feel supported and loved.  I felt it might be healthy to go back to where she had friends and supportive people who loved her.  There is nothing wrong with taking refuge to where you feel best.  Buying a plane ticket and spending time with friends and loved ones wasn’t a bad idea.  This might have given her some distance and perspective and she could certainly use the support.

But making a huge life decision like moving your entire life and cutting off all ties with your current friends and your support group is very drastic.  It’s not a decision that should be made lightly or in only one day.  So while I advocate taking some time away. I’m not sure I would advocate uprooting your whole life so suddenly.

Sure, you may eventually decide to move away and to start over, after you’ve had enough time to evaluate all factors. But how can you know that this is the right decision until you have the time to process this?  I believe that knee jerk responses carry some risk.  And that appeared to be the case here.

So to answer the concern posed, I understand just wanting to run away.  But I don’t think it’s always the best idea, at least initially.  While getting away for a little while can offer some relief and some perspective, I think that running away is a rushed decision that could prevent you from getting the closure that you might eventually need so that the pain of this doesn’t end up following you to where you think you’re running to.

Believe me when I say that I wanted to flee after my husband’s affair.  I guess what was different in my case was the community in which my children were members.  I didn’t want to uproot my kids.  I did stay with family for a while but eventually, it became clear that I belonged in the place where my children lived their lives.  We did eventually save our marriage but this is a very personal decision and it’s not he right decision for every one.  If it helps, you can read the whole story on my blog

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