8 Women Who Stayed Married After Infidelity: Could You Do What They Did?

Wendy Robinson | Feb 7, 2015 Love & Sex
8 Women Who Stayed Married After Infidelity: Could You Do What They Did?

Infidelity is an all too common reason for divorce, but not all couples will split up after someone cheats. For those that stay together, what does marriage look like after the affair? Can a marriage not only survive but also thrive after infidelity?

Click on to read about marriage after the affair from eight real women (names changed to protect their privacy) who share the complicated, messy and even sometimes inspiring truth about their marriage now. You won't believe what really goes on behind some of these closed doors!

Would you stay married if your husband cheated?

  • My Emotional Affair

    1

    “I have been emotionally wrapped up in two old crushes. My husband knows about both, not like spelled out details, but the gist of both. There are huge parts of 'what I need' that my husband doesn't fill, and I fully believe that one person can't be EVERYTHING to another, but for me it's a tricky balance finding fully appropriate ways to fill that. Like, my husband isn't a talker. Just isn't. And both other guys and I could talk for hours. Which is fine, but add a couple drinks and move the talking to a dimly lit living room couch and half my brain time travels to when we used to hang out and I start thinking, How horrible would it be to just kiss him?

    "I haven’t because my husband is so hugely trusting and I love that about him and I don't want to mess that up. It's made me really think about who/what I want. And again, he's not everything, but I keep choosing him ultimately which says something. I think right now is just a tricky time. We've got two small boys who still don't regularly sleep through the night. We are stressed and low on sleep and I just keep reminding myself that this here is the trenches. This is the tricky part and it's gotta get back to good at some point ... right? (Some days I believe that more strongly than others.)” -- Kara M.

  • Together, Until the Second Time

    2

    "We have three kids and were together for 10 years. After my husband cheated the first time, I stayed because everyone told me I had to forgive him. Even the marriage counselor. And, for the most part, everyone has to forgive at some point. But I did not need to forgive him while we were together.

    "I truly believe there are unforgivables in a marriage. And infidelity is an unforgivable. You need to tear it all down and build it back up. Not just forgive. The first time he cheated, I stayed another five years. The second time? One month." -- Diane L.

  • Eight Years & Still Surviving

    3

    "We can say our marriage has survived infidelity for 8 years. As to why, mostly it involves willingness to balance the teeter-totter. My husband is just a person, with a complex set of traits all his own. We admire a lot about each other and work to accept shortcomings. We both have helpful strengths and grating weaknesses that we own up to in our partnership.

    "The hardest time was when the babies were little. I got stir crazy and wanted to go out with friends constantly. I spent more time talking to friends than my husband. He hadn't developed the male friendships he has now, and was just in provider mode. We were mostly connected by the needs of young kids. I'm not sure how, but we came to see we had to come back to each other. I stopped confiding in friends as much and really talked to him. I encouraged him to get out, go bowling, hang with buddies, and create space for himself.

    "Timing was crucial because we had to embark on the next phase of child-rearing as a unit. The kids know we are on the same page, and when we aren't, we don't talk about it in front of them.

    "We still bicker over stupid things and get in 'moods' but try to move on as fast as we can. Legs on the ground, eye-contact, balance the teeter-totter." -- Grace R.

     

  • Making it Work

    4

    "When I found out that my husband was cheating on me when I was pregnant with our second child, I was devastated. I went checked into a hotel and left my wedding ring for him to find at home, along with a stack of torn up photos.

    "For the sake of our son and our baby on the way, I agreed to go to couples counseling and eventually decided to stay and make it work. If I am being honest, I don't know if I would have made the same choice if I hadn't been pregnant at the time. I just couldn't imagine being a single mom with a toddler and an infant. It has been several years now and we are basically back in a good grove but I don't know if I will ever 100 percent trust him again. I still check his phone and email looking for suspicious messages." - - Laura N.

  • Faking It

    5

    “My husband cheated on me in late 2003, and we separated for several years. For some of those years of separation, however, we lived together (long story). We eventually got back together and worked on our marriage for about a year. After that, we tried to have a baby but five months into my pregnancy, I found out he was cheating again. We separated again, and as it got close to my due date, he asked if he could stay at the house for "at least a week" after the baby was born. The week has turned into two years -- he is still sleeping on my sofa with no plans to leave.

    "We are not romantically involved, although outwardly we appear to be a family and only people who are in my everyday life know about the situation. I had a very, very, very traumatic upbringing, so it's important to me that our son truly knows he has two parents who love him and support him.

    "My approach to my situation is this: My husband is not a bad person, he just makes bad choices, which means he's not the right partner for me. But, he can still be a good father and it's not my place to keep my child's father from him. The living situation has been emotionally difficult for me at times, but our son has a wonderful relationship with his father, and that would not have happened if I had forced my husband to live somewhere else. Who knows -- I might die tomorrow. If so, our son needs someone else in his life he can count on."

     

  • Sex Makes it Work

    6

    "My husband has always had some issues around sex thanks to his super conservative parents who basically taught him sex was only for having kids. We never had a great sex life but things got horrible after I got pregnant and he refused to have sex with me. And then wouldn't while I was nursing. We eventually went two years without sex and the rest of our marriage started to fall apart too because I was so mad and hurt.

    "I eventually cheated on him with an ex and didn't really try to hide it. He found out and it shocked him into finally agreeing to counseling. We were in couples counseling and he went to individual counseling for years but made it through. Now we are happy and have a pretty great sex life.

    "I don't really regret the cheating -- it saved our marriage." -- Tamara W.

  • My Gay Husband

    7

    "Finding out your husband is cheating is awful. Finding out he is cheating with another man is surreal. When I found out that my husband, and best friend, of five years was hooking up with guys he met online I felt like I was in a bad soap opera.

    "I was furious at first: that he cheated, that I had to get tested for STDs, that he lied to me about who he is. But I was also sad that he didn't feel like he could be out and open about who he is.

    "It has been three years now and we are still together. For a lot of reasons, he isn't ready to live as an out gay man and I still love him as my best friend, so we keep living together. We have a 'don't ask, don't tell' policy about dating other people and are still sometimes intimate with each other too. It doesn't really make sense, I know, but it works for now." -- Autumn P.

  • The Open Marriage

    8

    "I know my husband has cheated on me at least twice, but he doesn't realize that I know. I don't love knowing, but I've decided for the sake of my kids and for financial reasons (he is a professional athlete so he makes far more money than I do) to stay with him. I know he loves me and our marriage is about more than sex, so I've decided to accept that we basically have an unspoken open marriage. I know people would judge me if they knew, but I like my lifestyle and I love my husband." -- Darcie S.

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