Why Even Hold On To Your Marriage When Your Spouse Has An Affair?

By: Katie Lersch: I often hear from people who are unsure if it is even worth it to try to save their marriage after their spouse has an affair. They often reason that if their spouse can betray them in the worst way possible, why should they even try to fix things? They often ask what is the point to put time, effort, and your heart into a marriage that your spouse has so recklessly put at risk?

I heard from a wife who said: “I am so disgusted with my husband after he admitted to lying to me for months because he had an affair. He is begging for me to give him another chance. And some of my friends tell me they hate to see me throw my marriage away without first trying to save it. But my question to them is why even try to hold onto your marriage when your spouse has an affair? Because my spouse negated my wedding vows the second he cheated on me. So I don’t know why I now have to hold onto to something that he left for dead.”

This wife had a valid point that I would never attempt to argue. Some people truly believe that their marriage is never going to be the same again because they can never recover after such a careless betrayal. I actually had these beliefs myself but because of my kids I vowed to at least have an open mind.  Eventually, after a lot of work,  I ended up being pleasantly surprised by the results. People often ask me exactly why I would hold on after this kind of behavior on the part of my husband. And I’ve told you that part of it was my kids. But this wasn’t the whole story. So in the following article I’ll tell you why some people (myself included) attempt to hold onto their marriage after their spouse cheats or has an affair.

Family Is Everything: Many people point to their children as a reason for hanging on after this kind of betrayal. And I agree. The idea of my children not having daily access to their father or having a complete family was something I had a hard time with. But, even when you do not have children, you may still consider yourself a family. Or, you might have pictured yourself having children with your spouse only. No matter how you define your family, many people don’t want to surrender that same family without at least putting up a fight first.

Marriages And Spouses Can Be Rehabilitated: I know that in the days following the affair, you can really loathe your spouse. You can see them as the most deplorable person in the world who is completely lacking in any sort of morals or integrity. And no one could blame you for thinking this. But sometimes, as we are ripping our spouse apart and pointing out all of their obvious flaws and lack in judgment, we are forgetting that they are still the person in whom we found so many things to like that we fell in love with and married them in the first place.

It’s probably fair to say that there have been times when your spouse had your back more than anyone else. Yes, they had bad judgment and they did something absolutely horrible. But this doesn’t necessarily negate the good things that they have done.

I know that you may not believe it right now, but marriages do recover from affairs and so do spouses who suffer from affairs. Some couples will tell you that they feel closer to one another and they consider their marriages better because of all they have been through. And none of this would have been possible if they hadn’t hung on to their marriage with everything that they had.

You Have A Stubbornness To Give Up Until You See This Through: If you ask some people why they chose to hang on after their spouse’s affair, some will not give you the answer that you expect. While a good many will point to their family, their love for their spouse, and their commitment to their marriage, some will tell you that they are just a stubborn person who isn’t willing to give up or give in easily without first putting up one heck of a fight. Sometimes, hey take their wedding vows so seriously that they are going to do everything that they can to see them through.  Other times,  they don’t want to just let their spouse off so easily as to just bow out the second the waters get rough. Of course, there is such a thing as being stubborn to a point that is detrimental. But I don’t think there is anything wrong with refusing to surrender your marriage before you make a gallant or stubborn effort to save it.

So to answer this wife’s question, there are many reasons people want to hang on to their marriage after their spouse’s affair. Many want to at least attempt to live up to their commitment to themselves and to their families. Many still believe in love or in their marriage. And some feel that if they give it their all, they can rehabilitate and even improve their marriage. Still others want to hang on by sheer will because they are determined that nothing, not even a mistake as big as an affair, is going to detail them or their marriage.

I guess if I had to define why I had to hang onto my marriage after my husband’s affair, I would say that my family was the primary reason.  But I also was stubborn and I knew that my husband had always been a good man and husband.  It wasn’t easy, but we did eventually save our marriage after his affair.  If it helps, you can read the whole story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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