Marriage is a major commitment. Studies have shown that in 40-50% of marriages, either the husband or wife has cheated. It happens even as early as 1-2 years into the marriage. WHAT?!? That sure is early, but, these are facts. Couples are experiencing the betrayal that engulfs cheating at an alarming rate. But, many couples are not just packing their bags and walking away from their marriage. 60-75% of couples who have experienced infidelity stay together. It isn’t easy though. When you agree to stay, you are signing up for hard work. So if your husband cheated on you, there are a couple questions I want you to ask yourself before you walk out that door……or stay.
Before you make your decision, I want you to stop and think about the relationship. Are the good times you’ve had worth fighting for? Outside of the affair, how has the relationship been? Are you married? Do you have children? Was the relationship extremely rocky? Were you able to sit down with a trained professional and receive strategies to overcome your issues? All of this must be considered when you determine to walk away.
One of the worse things a husband can do after he has cheated is blame his wife for the affair. UGH!! Talk about stabbing someone in the heart and then pouring alcohol on the wound. A sign of true sincerity and commitment is a man that owns what he has done wrong. He accepts responsibility for his actions and faces the consequences. Little boys play the blame game and point the finger at his wife, whining about what she didn’t do for him. Be clear, we are all responsible for our own actions. So if he readily owns up to his indiscretion, this is something you should consider.
3. Is he willing to do what is necessary to rebuild trust?
You have to get to a point where you feel safe again. This takes time and must be intentional. Is he willing to give up those passwords? If he has nothing to hide, he will freely give them to you. Pride and arrogance would also keep him from giving the passwords to you. Be very reflective and prayerful during this process. This is not your opportunity to torture him and play private eye hourly. Be kind and respectful during this process and don’t make it painful. No dangling this over his head or boasting. This is just an opportunity to confirm your love is no longer engaged in activity that will harm your marriage.
Do you believe him? Trust your gut. You know when your husband is lying. Ask God to show you if your husband is truly committed to this marriage and his vows.
4. Are you willing to forgive him?
It’s ok to take a little time to get the healing process started. Is he willing to allow you to process your thoughts and get to a place of clarity where you can think clearly? That might mean you take some time away. THIS DOES NOT MEAN YOU TWO ARE SEPARATED AND DATING OTHERS!! No, this is a time where you are focused on allowing God to start the healing process so you can begin rebuilding your marriage.
Forgiveness is mostly for you. It keeps bitterness from growing. It free’s you to love. Forgiveness does not release him from having to rebuild trust. Forgiveness does not mean you are accepting that behavior. Many women get caught here and refuse to forgive. We feel in the back of our minds that if we forgive him, he will take you for granted and do it again. If he thinks forgiveness gives him permission to cheat again, you have a deeper problem in your relationship. That is a mindset issue that needs to be addressed.
Cheating does not necessarily have to be the end of your relationship. Don’t let anyone tell you what to do. This is your life and love. At the end of the day, it is just you two. If two people are willing to do the work to rebuild their marriage, it can be done. But, it takes hard work and time. Studies have shown it normally takes 1-2 years before the marriage gets completely back on course. After intentional focus and dedication, you and your husband can fall back in love with each other and create a marriage you love.
**I believe in marriage! My husband and I have experienced many ups and downs. But after 16 years of marriage and 4 children, we know without a shadow of a doubt, that marriages can be restored. If you are currently struggling in your marriage because of infidelity, I would like to introduce you to an amazing course that can help you through this season.
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