Question: “My husband cheated on me, but I chose to stay in our marriage. But everyday, I still feel the pain. Oftentimes, I catch my myself crying when I remember what he has done to me. Is this marriage worth fighting for? Is it right that I stayed or should I move on alone?”
This is the question that is oftentimes asked by grieving wives I’ve talked with. After the reconciliation, when forgiveness has been asked and given, they hoped that the burden will feel lighter. But to their heartache, it didn’t.
They still couldn’t sleep at night, they are hypervigilant, and they still have bouts of occasional anger towards their husbands. Fearing that this will last indefinitely, they couldn’t imagine living a life filled with paranoia, distrust, depression, and anger. It seems like leaving their husband and moving on will make life easier and lighter. And so they start doubting their decision in accepting their husband, and begin asking themselves: Is this marriage worth fighting for?
While there’s no hard and fast answer to this, and if you are in this situation, it is only you who could answer it for yourself. But here are the pointers you may want to consider:
Consider his relationship with you as a husband.
It is wise to reevaluate the quality of your relationship and his treatment towards you. Before the onset of the infidelity, how was your relationship with your husband? Was he treating you with respect? Is he being good to you? Or he has complete disregard for your feelings and opinions? Did he always lie just to appease you?
These questions can help you look back on your relationship before the infidelity happens. It will remind you how good your marriage was before or how bad and painful it has been already.
Consider the number of times he has cheated on you.
There are husbands who have cheated only once in their lives. After realizing the mess that they have caused, and after seeing how their unfaithfulness destroyed their wives, they made a resolve to never play with fire again. They decided to end their affair and proved to their wives that they don’t want to let go of their marriage. These are the men who have learned their lesson the hard way.
Yet there are also husbands who commit adultery repeatedly, causing their wives pain beyond compare, making them die slowly inside. It seems like flirting and committing an affair are ingrained in their system.
Still others are husbands who cannot leave their wives, but are determined to keep the other woman. It’s like they must always have a spare tire, or that they must have both the mistress and the wife to play two different roles in his life.
If your husband showed genuine remorse and consistent reform, I believe that he deserves a second chance — your marriage deserves a second chance, albeit the journey to healing will be difficult for both of you. However, if your husband falls on the latter two types of philandering husbands, you must consider it carefully. Your will to stay in these types of marriage will depend on the amount of patience, adjustment, and suffering you can take from his chronic philandering.
Consider the Children
Another important consideration is your children (if you have any). It is important to discern whether staying in this marriage will have a good or harmful effects on them. If your husband cheated on you just once, your children someday will wonder what made you decide to leave their father and why did they grow up in a broken family.
As for children of a serial cheater, start to think if your husband is setting a good example to your kids. They will grow up watching their father abusing you emotionally and seeing you receiving this abuse without defending yourself.
Whether you stay or leave your marriage, is really up to you. But what I wanted to tell you is to never make a decision in haste. Never decide when your strong emotions are clouding your judgment, as you are likely to make wrong decisions in this state. It is wise to wait till your mind gets clearer and when the intense emotions have subsided.
And most of all, pray, pray, pray. Pray that God will enlighten you and guide your way.