Ditch Her Cheating Husband
Q: My husband has been having an affair and lying about it. His stories didn't add up, he was always late, he wasn't where he said he would be, and so on. I knew when I married him that he was no angel since we started seeing each other while he was still married. I put an end to our relationship back then until he made a decision about his marriage. He divorced and we eventually married.
Now that I know it's true that he's cheating (I have my sources), I don't know what to do. When I was younger, I had more fight in me. I used to figure that if any man did that to me he would be out. How do I reconcile all of this? — Carole, 62
Dr. Susan: What we imagine our reactions to a particular event will be isn't always what actually happens. Sure, we know we'll be devastated if we're betrayed by the man we love. That doesn't change as we get older. But our sense of certainty may change. Should we really toss him out? Is it truly out of the question to stay with a cheater, even if we still love him? Maybe reconciliation is a possibility.
One of the hardest parts of dealing with an affair is that your future depends on some actions that are out of your control. Is your husband ready to admit what he's been up to? Is he able to make a sane decision, leave the other woman, and get some therapy to try to work it out with you? This selfish behavior of his will cast a shadow over many years to come, but sometimes a marriage comes out of it stronger. If he's willing to be honest and to work to rebuild your trust, and he allows you to express your hurt fully, it can be worth the pain to give him a chance.
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Advice for Her
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.