Affair healing Blog
The following comment was recently posted in our forum:
I always stated I would never stay if my husband cheated on me. I would never be that kind of doormat. My self-respect and self-worth would never survive...
Neither choice -- to stay or to leave a marriage -- is inherently strong or weak. The reason for that choice makes all the difference.
Someone who chooses to stay simply out of fear or need is not acting out of strength. The same can be said for the one who leaves for similar reasons.
On the other hand, either choice can reflect tremendous courage and virtue if it comes from a growing sense of "this is who I am; this is who I am choosing to be."
I frequently hear the betrayed spouse express some version of, "I can't believe I'm still here. I swore that if s/he ever cheated on me I would be done with the marriage. The fact that I haven't left makes me feel weak." But they are usually some of the bravest people I know.
The choice to do the hard work of recovery is not a decision made by weak people. It is a joint agreement by partners who believe the effort is worth it. And that's a key point... eventually, BOTH partners have to be willing to do the work. If the responsibility for change continues to fall back on one or the other, then all that effort won't get you very far. You're 2 people in a boat, and both have to paddle to move you toward the destination. Otherwise, you just keep going around in circles.