Should I Leave My Husband If He Cheated?

By: Katie Lersch: I often hear from wives who aren’t sure about what they want to happen with their marriage after their husband cheats.  Many are listening to friends who tell them that cheating is a deal breaker.  Many friends will offer up comments like: “if my husband was cheating on me, I’d leave him immediately.  He would get no second chance.  No marriage can survive that sort of betrayal.”

I heard from a wife who had been hearing these type of comments from friends, family, and coworkers for months.  She said, in part: “my husband cheated on me with a mom from my son’s soccer team.  Our kids are actually teammates and friends.  So, we have known this woman for a while, although I’m not sure that this matters.  My husband has broken off the affair and said that he will do whatever I want to regain my trust.  But none of this is doing much to reassure me.  Quite frankly, I always agreed with my friends who said a husband who cheats is a husband who should be kicked to the curb.  But now that it has actually happened, I’m not so sure.  I don’t want to do this to my son.  At the same time, I have my doubts that our marriage will ever truly recover.  I worry that I will always suspect my husband of wrong doing.  And this kind of marriage isn’t great for my son either.  So I have no idea what is best.  Should you automatically leave a man if he cheats on you?”  I’ll give you my answer to this in the following article.

Here’s My Opinion, Even Though It Is Not Very Objective:  I will admit right from the start that I am not very objective.  My husband cheated on me and although I was tempted to leave him, I did not, mostly because of my children.  However, that turned out to be a good decision in my case, although I freely admit that everyone’s situation is different.  With all of this said, I understand that sometimes it turns out to be the best decision to leave your husband.  But I’m not sure that you should make that decision on a whim or immediately.  Because the thing is, in the days and weeks after you find out about the cheating, you are walking around in a fog.  You can’t even begin to think clearly.  You don’t know what you want.  And, you’ve yet to see how all of this is going to play out.

Sure, you might assume that you do not have the ability to forgive or that your husband (or marriage) does not have the ability to be rehabilitated.  But, you can’t possibly know this for a fact unless you see it through and see for yourself.  You can speculate endlessly, but you won’t know for sure.  I realize that not every one is going to be able to let things play out, but having some patience and giving yourself time to make a decision brings about a lot of possibilities.

I hear from many people who do not leave after their spouse cheats.  And some of them are very grateful for this.  Many tell me that if they had left, they never would have rebuilt their marriage and they wouldn’t have the subsequent marriage, partner, children, or life that they now have.

A Happy And Rehabilitated Marriage Is Possible After Cheating:  Many people who leave after their spouse cheats do so because they just don’t believe that their marriage can survive or can return to a healthy and happy place.  And, some marriages can not.  But some can and some do.  With a lot of work as well as patience, honesty, and rehabilitation, it is very possible to have a good marriage after cheating.  In fact, it’s not at all uncommon for people to tell me, as weird or as unbelievable as it might sound, their marriage is actually stronger now than it was before the infidelity.  This doesn’t sound weird or unbelievable to me because I feel that way also.  But I can understand why people who haven’t been through this have their doubts.

Recovering and saving your marriage isn’t automatic or easy. It doesn’t happen for every couple.  But it does happen for many.  And you can’t know if it’s going to be possible for you if you automatically walk away without giving yourself or your marriage a chance. I never would have believed that I could forgive, trust, or give my husband my whole heart once again but I have and I’m very glad for this.  I know that this isn’t the case for every one.  But if I had left, then I would not have the marriage that I have today.

So while I couldn’t directly answer this question for this wife (as this decision had to be hers alone) I could tell her that some marriages do survive infidelity. And that, if she left, she wouldn’t have the time to find out if hers fit into that category.

I’m not saying that my opinion is right for anyone else.  I’m just trying to answer the question honestly.  I was able to rehabilitate my marriage but I know that this isn’t possible for everyone.  If if it helps, you can read the whole story of that rehabilitation on my blog at

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