I often hear from wives who are at a crossroads and can't decide whether to stay or go after their husband cheated or had an affair. Many are so torn that they change their mind from one day to the next. And a good amount of them have children that they must also think about. It's not unusual to change your mind countless times when trying to decide whether to leave or not.
Common comments are things like: "I can't decide whether to stay with him or not after he cheated. Part of me doesn't want to see my marriage come to an end and the other part of me feels like I will always hold a grudge and hold this over his head because I'll never really get over it. And that's no way to have a marriage and is likely to make us both quite miserable. I don't know what the right call is at this point. How do I decide whether I should leave my husband or stay and try to work it out?"
There's no question that this is likely going to be one of the most important decisions that you make in your marriage and possibly in your life. I personally think it's tough to make a sound one until you've had some time to process everything and to really get a handle of how you're going to feel once the shock and anger wears off. So in the following article, I'll offer some considerations that you may want to think about when deciding whether to leave your husband or stay.
Was This The First Time He Cheated? Are You Confident That The Other Woman Is Completely Out Of The Picture?: It's much easier to move on after an affair when you're confident that your husband won't have another affair and won't cheat on you again. It's harder to have this confidence if he's had multiple affairs or you're not sure if he's completely over and done with the other woman.
That's not to say if there's been more than one affair or he doesn't know what he wants that you can't ultimately and eventually save your marriage. You can. But he will have to make some drastic changes and there's some serious work to do to rehabilitate him and the marriage.
My point is that it's easier if this is the first time you're dealing with this and you have a husband who seems willing to do whatever possible to make you believe and assure you that this is the one and only time you will ever deal with this. And many husbands aren't this way at first but eventually realize what needs to be done (sometimes with a little nudging.)
Are You Willing To Do The Work Needed So That You Can Eventually Let The Affair Go And Move On In A Healthy Way?: This is a question that you may not be able to answer right now. And you don't need to put pressure on yourself to do so. In time, the answer will come.
But eventually, you'll need to come to a decision as to whether you're willing to move on. I have so many women tell me that they really do want to save their marriages and be happy again and yet, they just can't seem to stop the doubting, the dwelling, the fears and the worry, and the constant churning of the whole string of events.
Needless to say, it's hard to have a happy and fulfilling marriage under these circumstances. The husband eventually feels as though he'll never be able to get back in your good graces and the wife continues to live in a cloud of negative emotions.
And frankly, at the end of the day, you're both miserable.
Are You Willing To Do The Work To Ensure (And Believe) That You And The Marriage Can Be Happy And Whole Again?: So many people do not believe me when I say that it's quite possible to have an even better marriage than you did before. An affair or cheating can draw your attention to those things in your life that just weren't working. Eventually you realize there's no better time to fix them than right now. What do you have to lose? It's better, I think, to take the negatives and make sure something positive comes out of them.
If you can get past the phase where's you're doing the individual work and rebuilding your marriage, you'll often look around and realize that in many ways, you're better off than when you started. But in order for this to happen, you have to really believe that it can and you have to be willing to at least try to open your heart and give this your best try. If you go into the process with doubts, in a way, you are sabotaging yourself.
Is Your Heart Telling You To Leaving Him? Or Is It Telling You To Stay: Finally, I want to make the point that we so often over analyze situations like this to death. We think with our heads and not our hearts. There likely is not going to be the 100% perfect solution. Unfortunately, we can not go back in time and erase this – which is what deep down we all wish could happen.
So what you're left with is where you go from here. And often, in the beginning, we truly do not know. But as time passes and we take the time to sit, listen and reflect, the answer is often in our hearts rather than in our brains. Can I 100% guarantee you that the marriage will work and you don't have to worry about him cheating again? Unfortunately, no.
But I can tell you with some confidence that I've seen countless marriages overcome an affair (mine included.) It is not impossible. There's work to do and it's not always easy, but it can be done and often is. The question is often how badly you want it.
Surviving The Affair is a blog I put together to share my story. I know that this is a very difficult time, and that forgiveness can be elusive, but working through it can truly be worth the effort. Although I never would've believed this two years ago, I did eventually truly get over the affair. My marriage is stronger than ever. It took a lot of work, and I had to play the game to win, but it was worth it. Our bond and intimacy is much stronger and because of all the work I did on myself, my self esteem is at an all time high. I no longer worry my husband will cheat again. You can check it out at http://surviving-the-affair.com/