After They Cheat...
September 4, 2014
After They Cheat...

Dr. Laura, 

Sadly, I have had several family and friends who have gone through an ordeal with a cheating spouse. I have found there is no black and white answer to the question if there should be one strike or not. I was always a one strike person until I matured more in both experience and my marriage. I felt I could never forgive someone who slept with another man after giving her all to me. I now believe there are times when you should not divorce, but forgive and move ahead. 

In one instance, after my longtime friend's wife came to me saying she and my friend were no longer close and wanted me to intervene, I found it was already too late. When each told me their side, I was surprised to find out for 3 years they had been basically loveless and avoided each other to the point of waiting until one or the other went to bed before coming home from work. Here it was a matter of time. Although she did start to read your book "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands" without his knowledge, and he did see changes when he came home after work, it was already too late as he had stepped over the line. I strongly felt if they solved the issues which had torn apart their 20 year marriage, and she could forgive him, they could flourish again. Instead she stopped reading your book, vehemently rejected it, and used this overstep to do away with her ties to him. It was clear she was angry and had no remorse over the loss of 20 years or cared for the impact on her kids. It was an easy out of a marriage she had abandoned years ago. 

The one I say is one strike is the promiscuous wife or philandering husband. Most likely, they had a similar personality when they dated and in fact you usually find they cheated then too, but they thought it would stop with marriage or kids. In this case I see no reason for the person to stay with them as they will do it again and are not really sorry for doing it no matter how good an actor they are. I am amazed at how many spouses want to hold on to these marriages which seem to have no hope while those who fell into temptation because their marriages had died and just needed to breathe new life are ready to give up on their marriages! 

For me personally, I believe in my religious convictions that Jesus says God hates divorce, unequivocal. He also asks us to pray that we forgive others as we have been forgiven. He also gave us the one reason being adultery in which we may seek divorce but he implies we should seek union rather than separation. So if they are truly repentant my hope is that they will always seek to reunite, but if that person cannot forgive the adulterer then it is better to part. So my own conclusion is always try to reconcile. For the grass is not greener on the other side and like we were told on the playground after a fight, where both pointed to the other for starting it, it takes two! 


Posted by Staff at 10:57 AM