A few days ago, a friend of mine discovered that her husband has been cheating on her. Actually, she discovered this a few months ago and confronted him and told him to stop. What she discovered the other day is that he did not keep his promise to end it. She shared her situation with a few friends, all of whom are telling her to leave him. They say he had his chance and didn’t change overnight so she should take their son and go. She still loves him and wants to stay in the marriage but her ‘friends’ tell her that she is being a pushover and she is starting to believe it.
In my opinion, NO ONE else can say what they would do in her situation until they have been there. It’s easy as a bystander to judge and condemn her decision to stay and try to work it out. Her friends who say ‘leave’ have a different relationship experience, have fear surrounding the subject of infidelity, and have no place offering their unsolicited advice.
My friend should not feel badly that she wants to stay with the man she loves. This does not make her weak. On the contrary. This proves that she is strong and resilient and forgiving and willing to work hard. Those who run away from this situation without trying are the ones who don’t understand the meaning of commitment.
Yes, he had a chance to fix it. But at the time of her initial discovery, neither of them understood what that entails. He didn’t know how hard it would be to get his feelings under control and she was staying in a place of denial. Now she understands better that he is fucked up and lost and filled with fear. That is the only thing that could have led him down this path. He is going to need her comfort and understanding. That doesn’t mean that she should condone what he has done – he still needs to be responsible to that. But it’s going to get them to the good part faster if they can embrace each other during this time rather than turn on one another.
For better or for worse. These words are really being put to the test. But if they make it through this then their love will be stronger and her trust will have been earned.
Obviously every situation is different. If her husband was abusive or unwilling to ‘try’ then I would have a different opinion. But he is a good man and they love each other…and love can endure even the unimaginable.