A friend e-mailed me this article last week, 10 Reasons Not to Take Back a Cheating Husband. She’s a long recovered betrayed spouse and we’ve talked quite a bit about our reasons for reconciling.
I think this is such a personal and individual decision. I would never tell someone who is facing infidelity in their lives to stay and reconcile or to divorce. I can only say what I did for me. I mean I went against even my own initial thoughts on infidelity when I found out. I always said I would never stay married to a cheater. No questions asked, he would be gone. But then, it happened to me. Suddenly, all the “I never’s” changed in an instant. Somehow things were different.
I know many people do not understand why I chose to stay with my husband and try to reconcile once, let alone after multiple DDay’s and AP’s. Here’s the thing though, all that matters in the end is that *I* chose to stay and I have to be accountable for that decision, just as he is being held accountable for his decision to have multiple affairs. His infidelity almost broke us, however we’re choosing a different path. It’s the hardest work of my life, but hopefully worth it in the end.
So I’d like to counter the article and give 10 reasons to take back a cheating husband:
- The Relationship will never be the same, but it can be better. I’d like to challenge the article saying that “usually” the relationship can not be better after infidelity. It CAN. But it takes a lot of work and a remorseful spouse. Yes, trust is lost, but that trust can be rebuilt over time. Transparency and honestly always are a must, on BOTH spouses. By work, I mean counseling both marriage and individual. Deep introspection into the why’s of how the affair began. Open and honest discussions. And most importantly? The wayward spouse has to take on the role of healer and help the betrayed spouse heal.
- Cheating can happen in any relationship at any time, by fixing your current relationship, there is less risk in the future. Throwing in the towel does not guarantee infidelity will not hit your life again. In fact, the risk goes up in second marriages. By working on your current relationship, trying to dig deep to fix what is broken, you have a chance at not only repairing your relationship, but stopping infidelity in its tracks.
- You teach your children that cheating is not acceptable but you can recover. By staying with my husband, I am NOT teaching my children that cheating is acceptable. They are seeing the hard work that both of us are doing to repair our marriage. They know that by choosing to stay it was a difficult decision. They also know that I am not a door mat and that if, heaven forbid, my husband does cheat again, there will NOT be another chance. But they also see that we are FIGHTING for our marriage and each other. Some times, marriages are so disposable, we are showing them that we are choosing a different path.
- Therapy is worth the money. I began seeing a therapist long before I found out about my husband’s infidelity. Therapy has made me a better person. Therapy has changed my life. Therapy has changed OUR lives. Therapy has helped my husband in more ways than I can count. I’m sure I would have found numerous ways to waste that money, like on shoes or take out. Instead I see it as an investment.
- I never lost my self-respect. I never lost it. Yes, my self-esteem took a hit, but even that is back now. But my self-respect? I never lost it. I did not cheat, therefore, I had nothing to lose my self-respect for. My husband? He did. By staying in my marriage, I find that is something TO BE respected for. It is not easy to either end a marriage or fight for a marriage. However, to say one loses their self-respect because they choose to work at repairing their marriage? Hog-wash. In my husbands eyes, my children’s eyes and more importantly in my eyes, I have earned that respect.
- Things CAN get better. If you have a unremorseful spouse, of course things can get worse, but if you have a remorseful spouse, who wants to help repair the marriage, make amends for the pain they caused, your marriage can come out stronger and better than ever. Will you forget? No. There will always be memories and some pain attached, like any trauma suffered. However, you can heal, you can grow, and you can have a chance to make your marriage into something you’d always wanted.
- There is no easy way. Regardless if you choose to reconcile or divorce, there is no easy way. Neither is harder than the other. Both are f******* hard, both cause pain and heartache. Both cause growth, both can have happy endings or not. Hopefully it’s the former.
- I *DO* need a partner. I don’t have a child. He was never a child, he made very adult decisions. Drastic, devastating ones. He was a crap partner for a while, I admit that. However, now, he’s become an amazing partner. Frankly, as long as he was willing, I’d rather be with him, who I’ve spent the last 13 years with and have him work on becoming an amazing partner, than to divorce, start over and have a crap shoot guessing game if I’d get a good partner or not. Even if I divorced my husband, there is no guarantee that I’d end up with a good partner. I could end up with another cheater! (High probability in second marriages). It is correct that it isn’t my job to fix him, but you see, I’m not fixing him, he’s fixing himself, and we are BOTH fixing the marriage.
- I *DO* deserve better, and he’s becoming better. He’s becoming the man I always wished for, the one I always knew he could be and our marriage is becoming better. In turn *I* am becoming better. Again, there is no guarantee that I will find better if I divorce. Instead we are making better together.
- I do NOT need a reason. I don’t *need* to justify my reasons to anyone as to why I’ve chosen to reconcile with a cheater. However, I have opened up to you all as to why I have made the decision I have. I believe in us, I believe in our marriage, I believe we have something worth fighting for.
These are just are a few of my reasons as to why I took back a cheater.