For a Second Chance at Love
As Susan says, “I love my husband. I love the way my husband smells and the way he smiles. There are so many good things we share that I was reluctant to let go without very careful consideration.”
Leslie, 45, had been married for 10 years and had three children (ages 3, 5, and 8) when she discovered her husband hadn’t just been working all those late nights with his assistant (sound familiar?). In the end she decided to stay, because she, too, still loved him and believed he deserved a second chance: She concludes, “People screw up (literally!) True love can be messy….”
So what’s the bottom line? Maybe there’s no one simple answer to why women stay with men who cheat – and there’s no black and white conclusion as to whether it’s “good” or “bad” to do so.
Dr. Tessina says, “It’s often a very good decision for a woman to stay with a man after he cheats, and at other times, a bad decision. There are a lot of contributing factors. If the relationship is pretty good, or can be repaired, and the cheating was a stress-related or a mid-life thing, the odds are good that the marriage will last, and the good will outweigh the bad.”
It’s easy to point fingers, to shake our heads, and to say that would never be me. But no one ever really knows what goes on between two people; how much a woman may be struggling with fear, shame, pain, and anger – or, for that matter, how hard she and her husband are working to rebuild what they once had and want to have again.
*Not her real name.