Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Discovering that your spouse has been unfaithful is difficult, to say the least. You are likely feeling deceived and therefore angry, as well as wounded by his actions. You are probably depressed about the future and what his infidelity might mean for your marriage, for your children, and for your possible divorce.

Personal Experience

You probably can’t trust your spouse now. I say this from my own family history. My husband’s father was unfaithful to his mother for years, even having another child during his marriage to my husband’s mom with another woman while my husband’s mom was also pregnant.
My parents-in-law’s marriage ended in divorce after his affair had continued for many years. My father-in-law then married the woman with whom he had had the affair and is still married to her to this day. It’s hard for me to even imagine my husband’s parents together because, from my viewpoint as a newer member of this family, his father and stepmother are so much better suited for one another.

The Root Of The Issue

Ultimately, we all assume that infidelity is a symptom of unhappiness in a marriage. While this is not always true, when it is, it’s rarely the infidelity itself that causes the divorce. The true meaning of why a person chose to be unfaithful is the cause. It may be because he feels unfulfilled in the marital relationship. He may feel bored or neglected, either emotionally or sexually. He may suffer from low self-esteem and need validation. He may be a coward who is looking for a way to end his marriage, but he’s not courageous enough to admit it. He may just have met someone with whom he connects better. Or he may be the type of person who craves variety, and no one person will ever be enough for him.
Whether you should leave an unfaithful spouse depends on whether you can truly trust him or her again. Of course, that will take time. But if you know that you can’t trust your spouse no matter what he or she does for forgiveness, your future relationship will never work.

It Comes Down To Trust

It may not be your choice. Your spouse may realize that he cheated due to his unhappiness in the marriage, and he may want out. He may want to be with his paramour. That is a hard pill to swallow. But you will eventually move on and find someone who is happy with you.
Uncovering the root of the issue, the cause of the infidelity will likely lead you to the answer of whether you should stay, or you should go. Some causes can be “fixed.” Some cannot. If you and your spouse can identify the root cause for the infidelity, and you and he are willing to put in the work, then infidelity doesn’t have to mean divorce.
But if your spouse cheated for a reason that won’t change or can’t soon be changed, you’ll have a hard time ever trusting him again. And without trust in a marriage, you’ll never really be happy.

Learn more about collaborative divorce. Follow Open Palm Law.

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About this week’s author, Lori Skipper.

Lori received her Juris Doctor with honors from the University of Florida Levin College of Law in December 2004, from which she graduated with honors. Proud to be a Florida Gator, Lori had also attended the UF as an undergraduate, graduating with honors with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, as well as a Minor in Education. Choosing her law school focus early, as a student member of the Virgil B. Hawkins Civil Clinic, Lori assisted indigent clients with family law issues.

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