What’s Wrong With Me For Staying After My Husband’s Affair?

By: Katie Lersch:  I sometimes hear from wives who don’t feel very good about themselves when they are still with a man who cheated on them.  Before the infidelity happened or was discovered, many wives were sure that they would be out of the marriage immediately should any infidelity ever occur.  However, sometimes the reality is much different than you may have originally assumed.  And this leaves you wondering if something is wrong with you or if you are making the wrong choice.

I heard from a wife who said: “my first husband cheated on me and this caused an immediate divorce. So my current husband was fully aware that if he so much as even acted inappropriately around another woman, this was going to be cause for the end of our marriage without any questions asked.  I was always very clear on the fact that I would not tolerate infidelity even for a minute.  Well, sure enough I just found out last week that my husband had a short affair with one of his childrens’ teachers shortly after we were married.  I just found out about it and we have been married for five years without my knowing that anything was wrong. He swears that it’s long been over and he has already made an appointment for counseling.  He is falling over himself to apologize and to ask me to consider how good of a husband he has been for the past five years.  I packed my bags that first night.  He cried and begged me not to leave.  By the time we had finished hashing it out, I was so tired that I stayed.  The next day, he came home with an appointment for a counselor.  On that same day, one of my kids asked me not to leave because he didn’t want to move. So I agreed to stay another week. Now here I am two months later and I am still here.  My husband has made good on his counseling promises.  He seems sincere.  If I’m being honest, I have to admit that he has been a good husband except for that one awful indiscretion.  Still, I feel like something must be wrong with me.  What type of woman stays with a man who cheats? And what kind of woman attracts two men who cheat?”

I could certainly identify with what this wife was experiencing.  And I could sympathize.  I too use to wonder what was wrong with me, since I didn’t just immediately leave my husband.  Although I did send him to stay with friends for a couple of days so that I could process my feelings, we never truly separated over the infidelity.  And yet, I had always been very outspoken about the fact that any infidelity would mean an immediate divorce. Yet, when the reality challenged my claims, I didn’t make good on them.

And I had serious internal conflicts about that.  I wondered if I suffered from low self esteem or if I was too scared to be on my own.  I dodged questions from friends and family who challenged my decision to stay and insinuated that they would have made another choice. I struggled with this for quite awhile until I finally decided that every one has to right to reevaluate their decisions at the appropriate time. It was, after all, my life and I was the only one who needed to be happy with my decisions.  It was up to me to determine what was the right choice for myself and my family at the time of the decision.  And it was otherwise no one else’s business.  I came to understand that there wasn’t anything wrong with me.  I was just doing the best that I could and, frankly, I’ve never regretted my decisions because we were able to make it work to everyone’s benefit.

I don’t believe there is anything wrong with not wanting to start over when your spouse  has already proven himself to be a wonderful partner despite that one mistake.  I don’t think there’s anything wrong with taking the health and happiness of your family into account.  After all, you are often not making a decision that is going to affect just yourself.  I don’t think there’s anything wrong with choosing to give someone you love the benefit of the doubt until they give you a reason not to.  And I don’t see a problem with trusting that the human spirit has the ability to heal with the right resources and support.

So to answer the question posed, I didn’t think there was a thing in the world wrong with this wife.  She was giving the man she loved the benefit of the doubt because he had always shown himself to be a superior husband in the past until very recently. And, he promised rehabilitation and had delivered so far.  She could always change her mind if she needed to.  But for now, she just wanted to stay put and see if the marriage could be saved.  And I truly don’t see anything wrong with that.

As I alluded to, my husband and I survived his affair. Our family is still very much intact and I’m glad I stuck it out because we have moved past it.  If it helps you can read the whole story on my blog http://surviving-the-affair.com

Comments are closed.

  • RSS Infidelity Articles By Katie Lersch

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Posts