What Are The Chances That My Husband Will Stay With Me After An Affair?

By: Katie Lersch:  I think that most of us assume that if our spouse ever cheats on us, we will be out of the marriage before the door can close behind us.  Most of also assume that we would never cheat on our spouse. And yet, statistics prove to us that both of the above assumptions are, for many couples, proven to be false.  For many people, before they even have time to really think about or to ponder the consequences, they cheat.  The affair is discovered and then the fate of their marriage is up in the air.

Speaking of assumptions, people sometimes assume that the person who cheated had checked out of the marriage and wants a divorce anyway.  This is often not the case at all.  In fact, the cheating spouse is often looking for any way at all to beg or plead with their spouse not to leave the marriage.  They often realize that they’ve made a very big mistake and would do nearly anything to save their marriage, but they know that this is completely up to their spouse.  Many will go to counseling, seek out self help, and research statistics in an attempt to tempt fate in their favor.  They might say: “I know that this is all on me.  I am the one who cheated in my marriage and it isn’t like me at all.  I would give anything to take it back.  I had everything.  It was perfect.  And I had to go and ruin it.  My husband is a good man.  I was simply bored, I guess.  And I didn’t take the time to think.  I never planned for it to get out of control.  But my husband found out.  And now he’s not even living with me.  He’s staying with a coworker because he’s so angry with me.  He hasn’t asked for a divorce yet.  But I wouldn’t blame him if he did.  If he had been the one who had cheated on me, I know that I would be furious, so I can’t be a hypocrite and act as if I deserve him.  But I would do anything if he would give me a chance.  I’m considering going to counseling, even if he won’t go with me.  But some of my friends say that I’m wasting my time because my marriage is over, since I ruined it.  What are the chances that my husband will stay after the affair?”

Statistics And Real World Numbers: I can tell you what statistics show.  And I can also tell you that after an affair, I stayed.  (But I required that many things happened first.  More on that later, though.)  Statistics indicate that anywhere from 50 – 60% of couples actually stay together after an affair.  Most people are surprised by that number.  (Because most people think the same way as I did – and as you did – that if their spouse cheats, they will be out the door.) The thing is, you don’t just stop loving your spouse or wanting your marriage in that one instant.  There are other things to consider sometimes.

What the statistics don’t tell us is why the couples chose to stay together, whether they separated first, and whether or not they are happy now. I suspect that some stayed together because of kids or out of habit and others are just sort of existing in their marriage.  But I can tell you that it’s possible to get a healthy marriage back after an affair, but you after to really want to do so.  And you have to be willing to put in the effort that is going to be required.  It sounds as if you are willing to do that.  The question is whether or not your husband is going to be willing to allow you to do that.

Proving To Your Spouse That Giving You A Second Chance Is A Good Risk: It sounds as if you are giving him time to evaluate what he wants and are respecting his space.  My husband did that as well and I did appreciate it.  But in our case, there were children involved, which did factor into my decision to at least be open to staying in my marriage.  However, I would not have stayed if my husband did not rise to the occasion and prove that he was willing to rehabilitate the trust and the marriage.  He took that responsibility and he stepped up to the plate.  I can’t possibly know how your husband feels, but I’d think that doing these things would be a good start toward increasing the odds that he will stay.  You mentioned counseling. I agree that it’s a great option.  There’s also great self help.  I don’t think that an affair needs to automatically be the end of your marriage. But that doesn’t mean that the marriage won’t need serious attention and fixing.  An affair is very damaging and hurtful.  However, with work, it doesn’t have to destroy.  Some spouses do stay.  And many, like myself, are glad that they did.  Because they have sincere and remorseful spouses who made it worth their while to do so.  It would be helpful if you could show your spouse that you are in this category by demonstrating patience, kindness, and your own willingness to do whatever is necessary to regain his trust and affection.  Because spouses who stay ultimately do so because they hope that staying is a good risk.  What I mean by that is they hope that their taking a chance on their spouse is going to be worth it in the end.  This is within your control because you can make certain that it is worth it to him by becoming the wife that you know that you can be.

I’ve never regretted staying, but that is because my husband did make good on his promises and we both worked very hard to rebuild.  I would have been very disappointed otherwise and it may not have been worth the risk.  You can read more about this process on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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