Affairs Destroy Relationships
You Can Never Take It Back
That's the most haunting thing about a partners infidelity- you can never take it back! It can never be undone, erased or forgotten. It is forever sealed in the relationship history! Cheating on your loved one is a mistake that will haunt you for the rest of your life. I tried so hard to forgive my spouse for cheating and I think I managed to find forgiveness, unfortunately I couldn't forget. Every time I reached a good place, something would trigger a memory of the affair and the rage would build inside me all over again. I knew I wasn't going to be able to stick it out for the long term, the betrayal was to much. By cheating on me, he managed to make every wonderful memory of our years spent together become a huge lie, I was not prepared to live with a liar for the rest of my life.
I did stay for 4 years, because I wanted to be able to look at my son one day and honestly be able to say that "mommy tried everything to keep our family together". Dr. Phil's words haunted me daily, he said you had to earn your way out of a relationship when children were involved, that no stone was to be left unturned. I felt I owed my son and marriage an honest effort. The first year was wonderful, probably the best year of our relationship. We learned to communicate better, there were no secrets, everything was left open- no passwords or secret calls. He was determined to win back my trust. I was all hyped up on the notion of "hysterical bonding" and had myself convinced that if we could get through something this big, that surely we were meant to be together forever and our love was stronger then most. As badly as he betrayed me and hurt me, I wanted to prove what a good wife I was and that when things went to hell, he still had me.
You can never take it back! Every little thing he did wrong was magnified. I didn't think that a man who had cheated on his wife and was fortunate enough to get a second chance deserved any room to act inappropriately. So as the comfort level went up, and he became a little more secure that I was in it for the long haul; he started doing just that: little flirtations, borderline inappropriate messages on facebook, going out with buddies again. Old behaviours crept back in and although I believed he wasn't "cheating" he certainly wasn't behaving like a man who appreciated the gift of forgiveness he recently received. I had to go! My son deserved a happy home, a happy parent and a life with a man who wanted to be a dad and a part of a family. It was the best decision I ever made. We have an amazing life now. I am happy, my son is happy and no one is walking on eggshells anticipating the next big crisis.
Some people are able to stay, some cheating spouses really work hard to make amends and do better. I support that. I don't think you have to leave just because someone was unfaithful. I do believe that it's best to leave if behaviours don't change or if cheating partners get forgiveness and then become lazy again. We need to make decisions for ourselves and only we know what we can and can not tolerate. For me, it was always there, the nagging, the emptiness, the thought that "this shouldn't be so difficult". Things only changed for a little while and I knew deep down that had to give my son and I a chance at a normal, peaceful life. The light bulb came on for me when I heard another line from Dr. Phil " Children would rather be from a broken home than live in one". Our home was broken and we both deserved more. Comparing my life right now to my ex-husbands I am sure he would do anything to change the past. I believe he knows how much he messed up. He is sad and broken and my son and I are so happy now. I feel sorry for him actually, but it was his choice to do the things he did. I imagine he wishes that he could take it all back but once the damage is done it is forever etched in stone.
Hysterical bonding: (quote)
There is very little information on this phenomenon, but it appears to be a primal, instinctual way for the partners to reconnect and reclaim each other. While it may feel counter-intuitive to the betrayed spouse; as if they are "rewarding" the wayward spouse for the affair, hysterical bonding can be a stepping stone to reconciliation. The intimacy encourages communication and a closeness that may otherwise take some time to re-build.