Moving on with marriage to a cheating wife

So I have been married for almost 5 years and wife told me that she wasn't happy and wanted to move on. Turns out she had found another guy already and been cheating on me for a few weeks. It ended badly between them and after a few months we have gotten back together. Should I be able to trust her? Is it a good idea? Things are going well but there is still this one issue.

Updates:
Thanks for all the comments, has given me a lot to think about. Really wasn't expecting this much of a response. But thanks heaps!

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Most Helpful Girl

  • I'm so sorry. I was in a very similar situation (10+ years married, he was cheating, but I found out from another source rather than from my ex).

    From what I have gathered (from counselors, etc.), stepping away from him was the best decision I could make because (1) cheaters tend to be repeat offenders; (2) secretive cheaters can't really be trusted, so why put myself through the turmoil twice; and (3) cheaters tend to be dissatisfied with every relationship and may use an earlier relationship as a crutch till a new prospect comes along.

    Personally, I would never take my ex back as I could never rest easy in my own home as a result of what I now know he did. I'm much better off alone (or just dating on occasion) than back in a damaged (and damaging) relationship with him.

    You know better than I would since every situation is a little different, but that's my experience (and the advisement I was given over time as well).

    Good luck. This is not an easy decision for anyone to make about the person they vowed to spend an eternity with...

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    • It is a really hard decision and there are a lot of feelings in the way which doesn't help. Thanks for the advice :)

    • The feelings are what kept me with him for the last two years of our marriage, till I realized it was more my insecurity to let go (kids, etc involved) than actual love. The attachment was emotional, but not based on the right emotions. :(

      Thanks for "BA".

    • "I gave them a chapter of my life I wish I could rewrite.

      All the dark sh*t that was done, finally came to light.

      And to think that I'm to blame

      for thinking you would change."

What Girls Said 12

  • okay this same situation happend to my brother except they were married for ten years and he knew she was cheating but he loved her and never left her. The guy she was with left her because he said he couldn't do it anymore and she cryed and blah blah and came back to my brother and of course he took her back and everything was normal. My brother suffered with TRUSTING for along time. He is never happy and he never smiles anymore. well she was good to him for like two years without cheating and then come to find out that it DID NOT last. :( she was cheating on him again. My brother is torn to pieces and in disbelief. I guess what I'm trying to say is once a cheater always a cheater and you will never get your trust back. I think you should move on to someone whos gonna love you only and be faithful, because now your gonna have it in the back of your head if she's later for dinner or doesn't come home on time your gonna think is she cheating on me again? I don't know maybe I'm wrong but if your smart you will move on be happy and have a fresh new start with someone who will care about your emotions because obviously your wife didn't at the time. how can you love her after that ? ask yourself that:) goodluck!

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    • Wow, I feel for your brother. Its not a nice thing to go through.

  • I think it would be a very bad idea to get back with her. I agree with the majority of the answers here.

    From what it seems like, she found a shiny new toy, the new toy didn't work out, so she came back to the old toy till she gets her hands on a brand new toy.

    To me, cheaters will always be cheaters. I feel like if one truly was in love with the other, they would not just disrespect and betray someone like what she has done.

    To me, liars and cheaters are the worst. But that's just me. You knew yourself and her better than any of the people that are going to answer your question, but contemplate these few questions:

    Say you two were in a relationship, do you think she would cheat on you again?

    -Be honest and think it through carefully.

    -Don't let your emotional attachment get in the way of your better judgment and don't defend her or "fluff up" the truth.

    Now say you two were together, in a year or two, and she cheats on you.

    -How would you feel?

    -Would you blame yourself for her cheating on you?

    Say you two got together, she got pregnant, you now have children. She cheats. Would be feel pressured to stay with her?

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    • Those questions really do put things in perspective...

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    • I know it's awful to be cheated on. I have an incredibly hard time trusting men in a romantic way since then. I refuse to believe anyone has feelings for me. I can't decide on whether or not I'm growing feelings for anyone anymore. I always just try to wave any sort of feelings away. I was cheated on around 2 years ago and the effects still continue. I don't know if I've gotten better or not, but I hope one day I'll be able to firmly trust others romantically and I'm sure one day you will be

    • ...able to move on. It will take a bit of time, I'm sure, but you can definitely do you. You're stronger than you think you are. You can chase after something other than a person that had already abandoned you after making a grandiose commitment to you. I feel like something like going back to a cheating ex would not be healthy for anyone.

  • Most likely, it's that all the other problems pale in comparison because this problem is so huge.

    Look, I don't buy into the "once a cheater, always a cheater" mantra for every situation. I really do believe that sometimes cheaters can truly regret their decisions and commit fully to earning their spouse's trust back. And sometimes a marriage can come out stronger because of it.

    But... I don't think that's the situation here. She didn't choose you over him. She went back to you when he was gone. That doesn't sound like commitment to me.

    There's a website called Surviving Infidelity you should check out. link

    This is from one of their articles ( link ) so change "he" to "she".

    In order for your marriage to successfully survive these are some things that your spouse must do:

    He must be totally honest with you about everything

    He must answer every question that you ask truthfully and fully.

    He must do everything in his power to prove to you that you are the one that he wants to be with.

    He must prove his love to you...he must be patient, gentle, compassionate and understanding.

    He must feel your pain.

    He must fully understand the devastation that he caused you.

    He must accept full responsibility for his actions.

    He must stop all contact with OP and not try to protect them.

    He must reassure you that it is OK to ask questions.

    He must reassure you that you will not drive him away by doing the things that are necessary to heal.

    He must recognize when your struggling or experiencing a trigger and comfort you.

    He must be able to tell you how sorry he is and show you.

    He must re-enforce to you, that you are not responsible.

    He must put his own feelings of guilt and shame aside and help you heal first.

    He must reconnect emotionally, mentally, and physically with you and stay connected.

    He must work on rebuilding trust. No secrets. No privacy.

    He must be willing to seek counseling.

    He must learn what is and is not acceptable when communicating with the opposite sex...he must establish boundaries and not cross them.

    And this is part of another one of their articles called Guilt vs. Remorse ( link )

    Remorse looks sad. Remorse cries without asking, "So, can we just move past this because talking about it makes me feel bad".

    Remorse GIVES.

    Guilt sucks giving out of others.

    Remorse is done selflessly. Guilt is still screaming to be the misunderstood victim.

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    • just look at the 'list!'

      Hardly the best foundations for cementing a life together if a list is needed to tell you how it's gotta be...

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    • Haha. I don't think that the list is like a real-life list. More like in our daily lives, we might think about these kinds of things. I agree though, it isn't always the case that "once a cheater, always a cheater". That is true in a majority of cases, but I think we need to be wise in order to tell whether or not a person actually means to cheat.

    • I'm not sure a person could accidentally cheat...

  • I believe in "once a cheater, always a cheater" for the most part. Cheating involves selfishness and entitlement. I wouldn't have given her a second chance, simply because anyone who cheats on me loses my respect, due to the fact they betray and disrespect me.

    You don't have children with her, right? You can always get out while you can, man. Since things ended badly between her and that guy, she's likely using you IMO. :(

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    • No children yet, but she wants them soon so yeah not sure what to do. Thanks for the answer tho :)

    • I think cheating also involves an attachment to danger and unsatiable desire.

  • They say...

    when a man cheats, the main player would be physical attraction: only the physical need is involved, the man gets lured by the pleasing hot looks of someone from the opposite sex. Then leads to sex.

    when a woman cheats, the main player would be emotional attraction: the looks don't just lure the woman to cheat, but rather, there are feelings involved. Feelings that get nurtured and grow. Emotional attachment occurs, then leads to sex.

    So, the decision will still be up to you, right. I just wanted to share this. :)

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  • No that doesn't sound like a good idea.

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  • I think you are heading for more trouble ahead. I'm a believer that once a cheater always a cheater and I don't know of one case where a spouse took back a cheater that it lasted till death do us part!

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  • hmm well it wasn't the best idea to get back with her in the first place.. but now that you chose to get back with her then you just gotta move on forward with your relationship, don't bring up the past.. if your still wondering about it then there's really no point on being with her..

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  • if you feel good about it then go on and try but be wary of what she does not too muck to pisss here off but if some one did that to me been the person I am I could never trust that person agen with any thing not even a miny secret so I say go fore it but don't get too cozy because when a person hase done somet once they learn some times good some times bad they learn on there mastakes and are wary so its harder fore you to see if she cheets agen altho she might have learnt here lesson and before you have sex I think you should have a check up because she might have a deseas from another man and you don't want any thing bad so practicly go on but not too much not all your trust she has to earn your trust back!

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  • I don't think you should take her back.. She vowed to be faithful and wasn't. She may say she won't do it again, but that's nothing compared to the promise she already broke. She was done with you and now that he's done with her all of a sudden you're what she wants. Doesn't seem right to me.. but you need to do what you feel is right. Just remember it could happen again

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  • First why she said she cheated

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    • The reason I ask is if she cheated because she was attracted to him and 'couldn't stop herself, I would be concerned that it will happen again. But if she fellt unappreciated or insignificant then maybe you should take a look at the way you treat her. Not that it's OK to cheat, but people need to feel a connection with someone and if they don't, the feel empty and unloved. Women are especially prone to these feelings because we are expected to keep ourselves looking nice, which is no easy task.

  • Sorry, for what has happen to you. I also was cheated by my ex-husband of 16 years, for me it was very easy to decide that same day in fact. I told him that I loved him but I love me more, and so that was that. We have a child together and that is what is left of us. Yes, it hurt and yes I cried and yes, I blame my busy life, but you know you are not their babysitter and you are not responsible for their actions. You can only control your actions and your emotions not others. So to your question will she cheat again, well her track record speaks for it self. Can you trust her? Well trust is a very delicate thing and it's up high with loyalty and I can tell you that will never come back. You will always be wondering if today the day she cheats on me again. Good luck.

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What Guys Said 9

  • KEY ELEMENTS:

    1. She had a SECRET AFFAIR

    2. She TOLD you SHE WASN'T HAPPY

    3. She LEFT you for the guy she had the affair with

    Granted she came back, but only because the affair didn't last. What you really need to do is ASK YOURSELF THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:

    1. Is she STILL unhappy?

    2. Will she CHEAT AGAIN? (most likely so)

    3. Am I content with being her 2nd or FALL BACK option?

    4. How long will she stay if I take her back?

    5. Am I willing to endure another round of pain and disappointment when she cheats again?

    If you find yourself answering "I don't know" to questions 1,2 and 4 and "no" to questions 3 and 5, then it's most likely NOT a good idea to take her back.

    Additionally, but equally as important. What is this guy's sexual history and was the sex she had with him protected or unprotected? If you decide to forgo all of the answers as stated above and take her back, you will definitely need to deal with the potential for health issues, which means I would definitely make one of the conditions of her coming back if for her to be tested, refraining from any intimacy until she complies and results are satisfactory. If she refuses, then that is only another RED FLAG that would be screaming that it's best if you just let her go.

    If you do decide to go against common sense and follow your heart then it's highly likely she WILL cheat again, because she is unhappy and now she knows that she will be forgiven for her indiscretions so basically not only will you be the safety net if the next affair fails, but you have just been employed as her doormat as well.

    Finally, this isn't a decision no one can make but yourself and it shouldn't be done until you have carefully considered all the circumstances that caused her infidelity. Sometimes the brain has to step in and take over for the heart, which is painful, but pain once, though heavy and hard is better than a lifetime of pain from her repeat offenses.

    NOTE TO ALWAYS REMEMBER: No matter how bad you may want the relationship, if it isn't mutual, it will not survive.

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  • If she was not happy in the first place, there is no reason that she will suddenly become happy. What made her unhappy in the first place? If she didn't like you any more, she should have broken up with you instead of cheating. That would have hurt your feelings much less. Things may be going well, but there is always the potential that her attention may waver.

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  • Speaking from personal experience, the answer unfortunately should be ‘no.’

    If all your hurt and anger and your confusion could be removed from your 'decision making process' the answer really should be ‘no’ every time.

    The undeniable fact that she's previously shown just how little respect and commitment she has in you and your relationship, will always weigh heavily in your heart.

    Love is a wonderful opportunity for two people to share so much - why deny yourself the opportunity to at least try to find the kind of love that we all dream of. Settling for anything lesser will only breed contempt and limit the chances .of your success.

    There are obviously exceptions to this rule, but for many of us the ‘exception’ becomes the ‘norm.’ We take the wrong options and for all the wrong reasons. Many think they should 'try and patch things up and make things work’ to show just how tolerant and forgiving a human being they are - instead of just moving on.

    Is it better to have ‘loved and lost’ than to have ‘never loved at all.’

    I don’t think so.

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  • Usually I will give the other person the benefit of the doubt, but a cheater is hard to trust. You will always think about it my friend. Its like the movie inception. Putting a thought or idea into a person mind is really difficult. The idea could build you or destroy you. In this case I think it will destroy you. I'm sorry to give you this advice, but sometimes it's best to move on. I know it's easier said than done always.

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  • Nope. Don't give into your feelings of wanting things to be right. They never will be again.

    I'd get rid of her and start getting divorce papers ready.

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  • Wish her the worst and never look back.

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  • no you're in your mid thirties, you can get a girl in her mid twenties. go do it

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  • She broke her vows once.

    All you can trust her to do is break them again.

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  • No, I don't think it's a good idea. She was blatantly disrespectful by cheating. She apparently had been with him for a little while before letting you know, and not that he isn't making her happy anymore, she's going with the safe choice again. I don't think she should have that option. She might see it as a sign of weakness too. You'd fill the void until she found another guy that woos her.

    If you do take her back, you shouldn't trust her for a long time. She should have to work for it.

    But wouldn't you prefer someone that wouldn't do this to you? Someone that puts just as much in as you do?

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