Would You Stay if Your Partner Cheated?

Most people start off proclaiming: not me! No way! If my partner was willing to risk our relationship, that would tell me it didn’t mean very much. I could never feel the same.

Its a real hard hit to find out that life just is not black and white. Affairs are one of the most frequent crises that bring people to relationship therapy. The person who had the affair really doesn’t want the marriage or partnership to end, and neither does the person who was cheated on. They usually arrive feeling somewhat dazed, like they can’t believe they’re in my office despite their value systems. Despite their own behavior.

Would you stay? Have you stayed when you never thought you would?


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23 Responses to “Would You Stay if Your Partner Cheated?”

  1. Jennifer Says:

    My first marriage ended due to infidelity. I would have stayed but he wanted to pursue the other relationship. By the time I found out about the cheating he was already mentally out of the marriage. Though I left the union kicking and screaming I am so glad that we did end things. We get along fine now, its been 15 years, and we have raised a son together without the bickering or the lack of trust. It’s very easy to trust someone who can no longer hurt you.
    On the flip side my mother and father stayed together even though my father was involved with another man for years and years. I wish they had divorced. I brought to my marriage the idea that all men will cheat and even managed to find a man who was likely to cheat as he had in all of his past relationships. And surprise surprise he did.

    I have two friends going through the beginnings of seperation/divorce due to infidelity. Repeated infidelity. They have both taken the spouse back and tried to repair the damage but it wasn’t possible. Trust was never re-established and the cheater, having gotten away with it once, seemed more inclined to do it again. I’m thankful my ex husband wasn’t willing to stay and wish I had had the courage to walk out on him. Sadly by the time the cheating starts the other partner is usually so worn down that the cheater justifies his/her actions because the spouse didn’t stay trim, move up in the career, keep their looks. And there tends to be a cyclical effect on the person. They feel like crap because the have been betrayed, their self esteem has been shattered and no longer feel attractive/worthy, the cheater does not find them attractive and looks elswhere. I realize this is over simplified but generally I don’t know how it can work without one partner just deciding to suck it up and lose a part of themselves.

  2. amberfireinus Says:

    Sadly, in my circle of friends, cheating seems to be the norm?? Accepted as long as its not known. Almost expected. The more money one has, the more people think they are entitled to do whatever pleases them.

    I think its a reflection on todays society that its all about instant gratification and Me Me Me that is the problem here.

    People dont want to do the work it takes to really be in a relationship. They need that stimulation and sexual excitement of first meeting in order for them to feel the love. Why have sex with one when you can have a dozen? If no one knows, no one will get hurt is the thinking. But of course they are wrong.

    If the cheater only put the time and effort into their current partner that they did to the new one, they would find that they would receive all they wanted and more. The grass isnt always greener.

    One of the things that cheeters dont take into account is responsibility. That is, the lack of responsibility to the person you are cheating with. You dont have to take out the trash, or remember to pick up the dry cleaning or the million other junk jobs of every day life. Its all about fun in the cheating world. Its not real. The minute you throw reality into the mixture then you realise that the cheating really isnt for the most part any different than what you already have!

    Thank god, I have a very faithful loving husband.

  3. itsallabouthallie Says:

    I LEFT. I would never come back. I know it is hard. But once the trust is broken it is so hard to come back.

  4. Miki Says:

    It is a good question, which I ask myself. In the past i used to think, that I would never forgive and couldn’t come back, because of the trust problem. Now I don’t know anymore, since I have met Kevin. I love him so much that I REALLY don’t want to live without him anymore, and I wonder how much I could be able to forgive, out of love for one part, and to allow me to go on living on the other part! But I hope I will never have to test my bahaviour in front of his infidelity. To be honest, just to imagine it is hell, right now!

  5. Lili Says:

    I have a long distance relationship. We’ve been together for about 3 years. We communicate mostly by phone or through messenger and sms and we see each other once a year. And last month he just came to my place to see me and that time i found out that he cheating on me from his laptop. I was so mad, angry, dissappointed, feel unworthy, feeling fool. But then he convince that he will never do it again. Ok so i give him a chance. But actually once he leave here, I am still in wonder and wonder if he will do it again. yeah i think i will just see whats going on.

  6. psychscribe Says:

    Good luck, Lili! Long distance relationships are tough. Please keep us posted, and thanks for visiting.

  7. justordinary Says:

    I would stay for my children in the beginning and try to forgive him. I would try to work things out but really on the inside I’d be calling him a son of a bitch, a low life selfish bastard, and eventually leave him taking the kids. That is what I see happening if my husband would ever cheat on me and I found out about it.

    I would how many are cheated on and never find out? Hmm…

  8. psychscribe Says:

    I just read a study that said women are more likely to stay and try to work it out if there was no emotional attachment to the cheating – if it was “just sex”. I tend to feel that way myself…I’d like to think I’d try to work it out if he were truly remorseful but I don’t kow…the trust would be so brutally violated…

  9. rabago Says:

    I’ve only ever had four relationships, including the one I’m in now. One guy I was with I know for a fact cheated on me. But we were dating for only 5 weeks, and by only the fourth week, I knew something was up. However, I really didn’t care. Because by that time, I knew he wans’t good enough for me.

    The man I’m with now? If he cheated? I probably wouldn’t be able to handle it. Seeing as I’m already worried about him backing out on this relationship, it would deem far too much of a an overwhelming experience to find out if he had cheated on me. But what’s funny, is that he doesn’t believe in cheating. He said if he were to “fall” for someone else, or kiss another woman, he would tell me; he would make it known if I wasn’t making him happy. which scared me even more (and of course, that night we talked about that particualr subject, made me sick enough not to eat), because now whenever he wants to talk about something not even serious in nature, it causes me to become agitated and threatened. So again, what would I say? Well, I’d probably be speechless, without knowing the reason why he would do such a thing.

  10. cordieb Says:

    I would stay unless I was looking for an excuse to excuse myself from the relationship in the first place. Unless, of course, the cheater was in fact in another relationship – more than just sex – in that case, I would have to lick my wounds and move on. As for the issues of trust; was trust really ever present in the relationship–usually no. Anytime someone cheats, all sorts of signals are given to alert the one who has been cheated of cheaters intended or unintended actions. We, especially woman, ignore these signals, awaiting proof. We will wear rose colored glasses through all sorts of signs and wonders! The first thing we usually say once we “find” out is, ” I had an idea this was going on. ” It’s really sort of funny, looking back, on the emotional rollercoaster I have taken myself through trying to “catch” a cheater – (from deciphering so-called secret numbers, calling *69, calling just to say, I love you. . . and the crazy antics go on and on. So where was the trust before I was able to gather enough evidence – it was non-existent! The only thing I can trust in relationships is that I will be OK if he should decide it’s not for him. I can only trust my own sanity and ability to get over it – and that makes for such a more comfortable relationship.

    Peace, Light and Love,

  11. Dazed Says:

    My partner cheated on me before we lived together and i took him back. At the time i knew it had happened but buried my head in the sand, i didn’t want to confront it, until one night we had a blazing row and i asked him outright. He admitted it but what was worse was that she was a girl he worked with and she was only about 18. We had been having problems and he’d turned to her for comfort. She had apparently made no demands and offered her body in return. I was disgusted. The fact that this was some young tart that he still saw at work on a regular basis was more than i could handle. Things went from bad to worse and we ended up splitting up but only afew weeks later i received a letter from him telling me that he was still in love with me and wanted to try and make another go of it – as much as he knew he didn’t deserve it. I agreed to meet him and buckled under my feelings for him… i still loved him and could not deny that, so we got back together and within a couple of months we were house hunting together, things were better than they ever had been.
    I have had alot of trust issue since then but have really made a conscious effort to not let it affect us but two weeks ago my partner came to me and said that he didn’t think it was working between us, that we both wanted different things from our relationship and that we ought to split up. I was completely devastated, again, but accepted that he had come to this decision for a reason and no matter what i said i could not change his mind. Since then he has changed his mind again and said that he was too hasty in his decision and wants us to give it a go. I love him but i feel like i’m building a wall between us so that he cannot continue to hurt me. I think he has definite issues with commitment but i don’t know what i’m supposed to do. I’m tired of all the drama (all this has happened over the last 6 months) and wish we could have a “normal” relationship – whatever that is! Any advise anyone? Is it a wise idea to listen to your heart and ignore your head or does that just set you up for another fall later down the line? I’m so confused. I love him but i don’t know that this will ever be the relationship i hope it could be. X

  12. Matte Says:

    What’s with this word “cheating”? Let’s call it like it is. It’s “having sex” with someone outside the primary relationship.

    Monogamy doesn’t work!

    Time for a new paradigm and new way of looking at our human nature.

  13. JustMa Says:

    I have been in a relationship for ever four years and have been though a lot together. He was recently in Texas for a few months of training (we live in Ohio). He met a girl in a bar and they had sex. Afterward he talked to her for a few weeks. I found out after he got back, but he didn’t admit it even after I confronted him for about 2 months. I tried to leave him once in the past, but we worked things out then. He tells me it will not happen again, but there is no way for me to be sure.
    He is getting ready to leave deployment in Egypt. I do not trust him and I know it. I have brought up the subject so many times it have gotten to the point of nagging, but I do it because it still hurts me. He is now getting worried that I will never trust him again, but every time I bring it up he is remorseful.
    I recently found out that he has kept in contact with the girl from Texas. There conversation is that of just friends, but it hurts me to know that he still cares about her. I don’t know what to do and don’t know if the relationship is work fixing.

  14. Bex Says:

    I have been with my partner for a year now. About 2 months into the relationship my boyfriend cheated on me twice on the same weekend. I suspected nothing and we weren’t attached at all at this time. 3 months later he asked me to meet him, and not expecting anything bad, i turned up smiling. He was crying and i automatically became worried asking him what was wrong. He told me he had cheated & i couldnt believe it. He said he hadnt thought our relationship would last as none of the two of us had a previously good record of relationships! and when he started falling for me the guilt was eating him alive. i was devestated at the time and couldnt even bring myself to look at him as he cried his eyes out and begged for forgiveness. i eventually walked away, realising i needed time to think. a couple of days later, after numerous missed phonecalls & text messages from him, i decided to meet him to talk & asked all the relevant questions. e.g did you use a condom, are you still in contact with them, how do i know you wont do this again? etc. we got back together & i told him it wouldnt be easy, as he had obviously shattered all my trust for him. however a few months later, and a couple of arguments about it here and there.. i knew in my heart that he was truely sorry and would never hurt me like that again. it was really hard work to come to the conclusion that i did trust him again, but it was worth it.

    although.. now after being together for a year and knowing of him cheating in the early stages of our relationship for 7 months.. our relationship has developed to a new high and we cant keep away from each other. however we do still have the odd argument about it as it is impossible to wipe from your memory. the more i fall in love with him, the more it disgusts me at the thought of those girls touching him, how he could kiss them, touch their bodies, etc. will i ever get over this? as a result, i have became more jealous.. who he talks to (female).. and if he ever mentions anything about other woman.. etc. i am trying to overcome this at the moment as i recently confessed this to him in order to build on our relationship. but i sometimes wonder if it will ever escape from my head and if not, do i want to be landed in this relationship for the rest of my life where the pain will come to me every so often? i do love him though, and believe he is truely sorry and will remain faithful to me from now on after realising what a mistake he made. but it aint easy!

  15. psychscribe Says:

    Hi Bex, and welcome. What you’re going through and trying to conquer is one of the most difficult relationship ruptures you can experience. May I suggest a wonderful couples weekend workshop called Getting the Love You Want? It comes from the Imago Therapy people, and these 2 day workshops are very intense, therapeutic, and healing. The are held worldwide and you can find them listed geographically in the directory on their website http://www.gettingtheloveyouwant.com. Warm blessings, Psychscribe

  16. sean Says:

    I think the question I would like is answered is…

    For all you girls out there who have forgiven a man for cheating, and two years down the line of forgiving him, he cheated again with the same female, would you forgive again??

    Even if he says it was just sex and wants to be with you..

    would you forgive??

  17. lillie Says: Says:

    I have been married for 23 years and my husband strayed. I have given him mulitple chances to come back with no success. I have since divorced him. I do still care and feel love for this man but i am not going to let him do this to me nor my kids. My problem now is that he will not have anything to do with our son if I do not have relations with him. Don’t get me wrong we have good communication going on, but I am ready to move on. I want to see if there is something better for me out there. I blamed myself for his leaving but have since opened my mind and soul and turned to my faith and have learned it was not all my fault. I know it takes two make things work and if I am the only one trying it would not work. He still wants his cake and eat it too and I finally say no.

  18. psychscribe Says:

    Hi lillie,
    The fact that he would blackmail you by refusing to see your son sounds like an emtionally abusive relationship to me. Good for your that you are standing firm. Thanks for visiting my blog. Warmly, Psychscribe

  19. Bex Says:

    In reply to sean.

    Hi sean, no i would definitely call it quits if he cheated again. I firmly told my boyfriend after he cheated the first time .. “if there’s a next time, there won’t be an us!”

    hope you weren’t daft enough to do that to a woman you love!

    love, Bex x

    thankyou for the reply, although i don’t have the money to set off on a weekend trip at the moment. do you have any advice for how to start solving and working on the problem at home?

    For everyone else out there.. i’d love if anyone could contact me that’s been in a similar situation.. thankyou.

    Psychscribe, hope you have a great christmas and New year xx

  20. jackie Says:

    my boyfriend of 9 months has cheated on me. it all started when we got into a huge fight and he wouldnt talk to me. so i called my best friend jess and we went out to get my mind off the whole fight. the next night he called me we were talking and he told me that he kissed this girl i dislike. i was so mad and he came over and we talked he said he thought we were done and he did it outta revenge cuz i went behind his back about talking to a friend that was a guy. he said he realized it was wrong and he wanted me and not her. so i forgave him and he gave me a promise ring on christmas. so everything was fine but then new years eve he tells me that he did more that night with her that they had sex and all. and he feels bad that his mind was so screwed up that night and it still is cuz what he did. i am still with him but i dont know what to do??

  21. psychscribe Says:

    Hi jackie – this is very painful, I know….there are major trust issues here and no easy answer. All I can say is HE is responsible for his OWN feelings about what he did, and you are responsible for yours. Revenge and lying do not speak well of his character, whatever the reason. Ask yourself why you are still with someone you can’t trust, and maybe you will find your answer. I hope this helps.

  22. jackie Says:

    but my heart and head stay with him and i still trust him a little bit. its not fully gone. were on a break right now so he can think of what he wants and what i want…..

  23. Phxmale Says:

    I am at a lost.

    A couple months ago my gf of 6 years cheated on me while i was away on business.
    I confronted her and she admitted it, but was not, and is still not remorsefull that she did it. She has told me so.
    I cheated on her once early in our relationship, and she “said” she forgave me and we both started our lives together.
    After she cheated I was willing to forgive her and we could move past that. In my mind, what goes around, comes around, which is why i was ready to forgive her as well.
    Come to find out she was still being sneaky and talking to the other guy, she claims she has never seem him a second time, but who knows. I gave her 2 more chances, i told her not to talk to him , and she still did, then again, I found she was still talking to him.
    The last time i confronted her about it, she denied it, until she seen the proof i had, showing she has been talking to him, so i moved out and trying to move on.

    Since we have a son it makes it more difficult because we still have to see each other, she has begged me to come back several times but she is still not sorry she did it. She still claims this.

    I have no trust for her but still care about her a lot. I know she feels the same about me, but i have no idea to try to make it work without her feeling true remorse for her actions.

    I think you’re right to trust your gut about her lack of remorse. Were you remorseful, and did she believe it, when you cheated on her?Sometimes counseling is the best solution, especially when there’s a child involved. I wish you well…

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