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Why do so many internet sites recommend working to save your marriage after an affair rather than leaving?

(29 Posts)
doublechocchip Sat 13-Jun-15 18:42:32

I'm 4 weeks post finding out about dh's affair, I'm googling the crap out of everything I can think of to do with affairs e.g. The why's, the questions to ask, etc etc but the overwhelming advice on most sites seem to be that with lots of hard work you can both move on.

At the moment I just don't feel like that at all I'm so angry. Why aren't there more things geared towards leaving or is it not the done thing?

MrsHathaway Sat 13-Jun-15 18:50:32

Leaving/splitting because of an affair presumably doesn't differ much from splits for other reasons.

Working on a marriage after infidelity is a particular kind of work. It needs its own material.

It's worth remarking that infidelity isn't a deal breaker for everyone, and that doesn't invalidate the right of what you've chosen nor does it mean they're wrong. Similarly, the preponderance of "how to reconnect after an affair" pages doesn't mean that that's what you or anyone else should do if it doesn't feel right.

I'm sorry you are in this position. I hope things look brighter or at least clearer soon.

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Sat 13-Jun-15 18:51:59

American sites run by those who think Christian marriages need to be secured above all else?

Once someone has betrayed their life-partner, in my opinion there's not a lot left to be saved. Still, only one party in a marriage interested in doing the saving won't work anyway.

I don't blame you for feeling angry at all. I'd be looking for a pair of gardening-shears

enderwoman Sat 13-Jun-15 18:52:32

I guess the authors are religious or something.

Having gone through the process my opinion is that the injured party needs at least 2 weeks without seeing the or contacting the other person. Continuing to live together really hinders the point where your mind is clear enough to know what you want.

After I had 2 or 3 weeks without h I was extremely depressed but also relieved that he wasn't coming back each night. He would have come back if I'd asked but not worrying about him was a huge weight off my shoulders.

MrsHathaway Sat 13-Jun-15 18:56:47

Sorry, that is the logistics of a split aren't usually affected by the reasons for it so things like unlinking a joint account or finding a new flat.

dementedma Sat 13-Jun-15 19:00:21

Because leaving is complicated and hard and sometimes the more difficult thing to do. Financial problems and children make it even more complex. Although most people on here yell LTB as a matter of course, it just ain't that easy.

doublechocchip Sat 13-Jun-15 19:09:01

Just to be clear I'm in no way criticising people who do stay, both routes seem like awful processes but literally everything I've been on starts with something along the line of 'it doesn't have to spell the end of your marriage'

But what if it does? How would I know?

Vivacia Sat 13-Jun-15 19:26:23

One reason I love this forum - a voice against the ingrained misogyny of our society.

MrsHathaway Sat 13-Jun-15 20:51:07

If it feels like your marriage is over, it is. A relationship only exists by mutual consent.

sportify Sat 13-Jun-15 20:58:32

It'd be over for me. End of. If you feel you can never get over it, the only reasons to stay would be material. After an affair or any other neglect, infidelity, you build up a tall wall. It would take me years to unpack the bricks and I wouldn't want to waste my short life doing that.

pointythings Sat 13-Jun-15 21:51:52

It's weird, isn't it? It makes you wonder about the people running those sites. Mind you, I had this discussion with my Mum, whom I love dearly. Her take on it was 'If he cheated, I'd try to win him back.' So I said 'Well, if DH cheated, I'd serve him his bollocks on a plate.' and she was shocked. I think the whole idea that it's OK to leave because someone cheats is still quite new, the whole stigma of divorce wasn't that long ago...

sportify Sat 13-Jun-15 21:57:43

My 'Christian' parents stayed together with huge problems and consequences for us kids, So, unless you are stuck materially, I would never advocate staying in any destructive or unhealthy marriage.

Debs75 Sat 13-Jun-15 22:20:47

I always thought I would LTB but when it happened I realised I couldn't be without him. It took a lot of effort on both our parts to repair our relationship but we are stronger as a result.
I was angry and hated him being near me at first. I wanted him out of the house and our children's lives but most of all I wanted him to be hurt like I felt hurt. That is I feel the normal reaction at first, if that feeling stays then LTB is probably your only way forward. My feelings changed and yes there was an element of letting him stay for the children's sakes.
We have worked at it, changed our attitudes and expectations and added to our family and are happy.
An affair is a life changing moment but it doesn't automatically mean the end of the relationship.

Lovingfreedom Sat 13-Jun-15 22:23:01

It's not that difficult to leave a relationship and the kids will be fine as long as you take care of them properly.

Joy69 Sat 13-Jun-15 22:25:09

Well like you I have googled & talked to everyone about my marriage, or rather the end of it. Personally I realised it was over for me when I tried to imagine sleeping with my ex again. I know I just couldn't do it. Yes it would be easier if things could be swept under the carpet & life continued as it was, but that is one area I can't lie to myself about.
My only advice is to go with what you feel is right for you. Lots of friends/relatives will give you well meaning advice, which actually makes you feel 10 times worse.
Good luck with whatever you decide x

mynewpassion Sat 13-Jun-15 22:30:09

Why should everyone leave a marriage if there's a chance it could be saved?

You can't 100% say everyone should leave or work on their marriages because circumstances and the people are different. Some can make it work, some can't.

Those sites are for people who want to work on their marriages. People who have already decided to end it would pay no mind to those sites.

pocketsaviour Sat 13-Jun-15 22:31:06

Totally cynical viewpoint: because most of these sites are trying to sell books based on "What to do now and how to get over the affair" type stuff. If they said "Nah just chuck the towel in and go love" they'd have nothing to try to flog you :-\

BlessedAndGr8fulNoInLaws4Xmas Sat 13-Jun-15 22:35:06

Because people make mistakes and because the dynamics leading to an affair can be really complicatedsad.

Because there CAN be a happy married life after an affair.

Rudawakening Sat 13-Jun-15 22:42:55

It doesn't have to be the end of the relationship, but you do need a few weeks alone to decide what you want to do.

Staying takes a lot of work and a lot of time, expect years not weeks or months, but the end could well be a stronger bond and better relationship.

It totally depends on the person and the couple. Neither route is right or wrong.

FeijoaSundae Sat 13-Jun-15 22:56:16

Mumsnet is one tiny corner of the universe that says, actually, it's OK not to be able to come back from this, and to split up. You don't have to accept this. If you know that your bond with your partner who promised never to do this to you, and the trust has gone, it's OK to split up.

As I say, it's one tiny corner, and yet many people still feel massively threatened by it. Many, many people have a huge problem with the idea that it's OK to LTB.

You see it on here all the time.

Most places, other than Mumsnet, will encourage the partners to stay together. It's Mumsnet that is the anomaly. And thank goodness for it.

If a couple does feel they can successfully work on their marriage together, and get past that betrayal, then more power to them. But if they, or one of them can't, then it absolutely OK to go their separate ways.

I wouldn't be able to come back from an affair.

wednesdayblues Sat 13-Jun-15 23:27:45

My stbxh had an affair, my first instinct was to chuck him out as he told me he loved her... BUT if it had been a one off mistake or he said he was sorry and wanted to work at it, I would have smile
It's so hard being a single mum ( 2 dds) at times I wish I'd fought but I know I could not forgive/ forget .

Me very circumstance and couple are different! Good luck op x

wednesdayblues Sat 13-Jun-15 23:28:19

Oops "every" circumstance.,

ouryve Sat 13-Jun-15 23:29:26

Unfortunately, there really are people who think that an affair is an inevitable consequence of you Not Trying Hard Enough to be alluring an available.

doublechocchip Sat 13-Jun-15 23:50:46

I just think that if say for example your best friend/family member did something on this level of betrayal there would be an out and out cry of get rid or the Internet would have lots of advice about cutting toxic people out of your life but it seems that the only recommended path after an affair -which is the ultimate betrayal from someone who is meant to be your 'everything' and who made vows and promises your best friend/family never did is forgiveness?

Pocketsaviour i think you're right in that t lot of these sites are trying to sell thingscourses/ books definitely

newnamesamegame Sat 13-Jun-15 23:50:50

Things aren't geared towards leaving because for millennia the full power of the church, the establishment, the law and society has persuaded people that the "sanctity of marriage" trumps everything else and this is built into the fabric of life. Its not surprising that people find it hard to go against the grain.

There are also, obviously, good reasons why people should not walk out of marriages lightly.

But in reality, if your marriage no longer gives you what you need, there's no point staying in it, IMHO.

That's not to say that people can't repair marriages after infidelity. They can and do if they are both determined to change the rules of engagement and recommit.

But what you often hear about and read under the heading "working on the marriage" is a shorthand for "the woman tolerating it when the man strays and keeping shtum."

As someone else pointed out, infidelity is not necessarily the worst thing that can happen for a marriage and its not always a dealbreaker. In a way the infidelity is a red herring. If the marriage is broken and not working, its impossible to fix and ultimately "fixing" it will make both miserable.

Bottom line is, if there is something in your marriage worth saving and your DH is prepared to go all out to save it then working on your marriage might be well worthwhile. But if "working on it" means struggling on when that ship has sailed, then its not.

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