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Marriage After an Affair - Leave or Stay?


Wife Discovers Husband's AffairHere's some valuable advice for the many of you struggling after an affair. Trying to decide if you should leave the marriage or stay? 

Read this wisdom from a wife who's marriage went through the affects of an affair. This is from Carolyn Hax's column, After an Affair, Forgiveness is Possible -- and Liberating, in The Washington Post:

On choosing not to divorce a spouse who cheated:

It was a rough road for us for a couple of years, but when my husband finally died after 35 years of marriage, I was so thankful we worked it out. I guess the biggest help to me was when I realized that his cheating wasn't about sex (our sex life was great); it was about filling a need where he was lacking, and sex was the solution he chose. I, too, still loved my husband, although never the same way as before the affair, but I know I would have never been happy with anyone else.

One of the things I would change if I could is this: I deliberately held a part of myself back from him for the rest of our married life. He knew it and accepted it; however, the year before he died (he had cancer), I knew there was nothing he could do that would hurt me more than his dying, and so I let myself love him 100 percent. It was the happiest, most wonderful feeling I have ever had. All those years when I was subconsciously punishing him, I was also punishing myself.

It will be the hardest work you will ever do, but if you hang in there and you both work at it, it will be worth it.

She's right -- repairing a marriage after an affair is really, really hard work, but it's also really worth it. Many couples I've worked with in marriage counseling after an affair would confirm this truth and agree that the right choice is not to divorce a spouse who's cheated, but to stay and work it out.

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My husband has an affair 7 years ago. We had been married for 3 years and I was pregnant at the time, and it was with a friend of mine. Needless to say, I was shattered. I chose to stay because he seemed deeply remorseful and willing to do whatever it took to stay together. We have worked very hard at getting over the affair and moving on with our lives. Now, we have a seemingly nice relationship, we date and take care of each other and our family.However, my advice to any victim of infidelity is this: if you can leave, do it, and don't look back. You will never be able to forget. It will haunt you the rest of your life. It is like having a big black cloud hanging over you. In the midst of incredibly happy moments, the realization that the love of your life defiled your marriage and disrespected you in the worst way will overshadow you, even subconsciously. Leave if you can, even with kids. The bible also states that divorcing after infidelity is OK. I think people that say their marriages are better after infidelity are lying to themselves. Think of it this way, if you had a loyal dog for years that one day mauled you out of the blue, would you trust it or feel safe with it again?
Posted @ Sunday, November 03, 2013 9:59 PM by blue
Blue is completely right. Leave the marriage if you can. I tried for months to save my marriage after he cheated. We we went to counseling and tried really hard. But I found myself in panic attacks daily wondering if he really was where he says he was. The trust was gone. I knew our love would never be the same again... 
I'm much happier now that we divorced & I started fresh with someone truthful in my life.
Posted @ Monday, August 11, 2014 2:13 AM by Whittney
Whittney, Glad to hear you're in a better place now. Racing thoughts can be stopped and trust can be rebuilt, so leaving the marriage isn't the only option. -Kurt
Posted @ Monday, August 11, 2014 9:42 AM by Kurt Smith, LMFT, LPCC, AFC
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