I am staying with my unfaithful husband…what does that say about me?

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.




4 comments on “I am staying with my unfaithful husband…what does that say about me?

  1. Nicetomeetu says:

    I agree. Everyone is different and what one would do….another might not. It’s up to the individual ….and….there’s a child involved. However, in hindsight off my own situation I would advise counseling. Wish them the best! 🙂

  2. Being Hahn says:

    Good luck. My other shoe dropped 6 years later. I’m a completely broken person and I feel drained. I know that I will get through this, but I’m angry and emotionally exhausted. I don’t have a supportive family, so I feel alone. That said, I am going to get better. Even though I know my husband is in a dark place himself, I am not the person to help him.

  3. crazykat1963 says:

    Yes, figuring out who to tell seems to be a very difficult task indeed when you live with a sex addict. There are so many ramifications involved with where we are as a society and this addiction. Shortly after discovery, I was in a support group for wives of sex addicts and the women who seemed the most confused, distraught, and ironically lonely, were the ones who had told their moms, sisters, friends, basically everyone. They just spilled everything out and there was, actually, no understanding or sympathy for the addict and the overwhelming response by nearly everyone was for the wives to leave the lying, cheating bastard. It is too bad people are so willing to give advice on something they do not understand. On the other spectrum, not being able to share this pain with anyone is also a very lonely place. I am working on trying to be less isolated. I am shocked by the number of betrayed spouses in the blogosphere. It makes me sad, but it does make me feel less lonely. Thanks!

    • Apophenias says:

      The few family I’ve shared with, I do not share full truth, simply he is working on some boundary issues and I am practicing tough love. If it were cancer, we could get some sympathy, but not this. Why not? Heavy sigh.

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