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Is it soo wrong to give a cheat another chance

(53 Posts)
Humblebee1 Wed 05-Oct-16 13:28:55

Why is it that when the cheated partner feels they need to give their relationships a chance rather than the alternative: to permanently break up a family forever, the general impression seems to be that the forgiveness route will be nothing but bad for you and your kids. Not saying turn the other cheek or anything, but surley its the cheat who should feel shame and weakness. Is it not a demonstration of strength to forgive and overcome, so long as the cheat reforms their ways and takes responsibility.
So much is said about setting children an example, but running away from something immediately is surely not always the answer or the best example. Discuss please.

Myusernameismyusername Wed 05-Oct-16 13:33:26

The gamble is your children's emotional wellbeing on the promises of someone who has already proven they can't be trusted. I think it's perfectly acceptable for someone to say 'I don't trust you and now don't believe you won't do this again so it's over. If someone really does want to give things a chance it's just a massive massive gamble and you don't know the outcome

Lottapianos Wed 05-Oct-16 13:34:35

'surley its the cheat who should feel shame and weakness'

Yes, it 'should' be the case but it rarely is it seems. The partner who has been cheated on often seems to turn themselves inside out trying to find out what they could have done to be 'better' and prevent the affair happening.

Some families need to break up for the health and sanity of all concerned. I grew up in a family like this and it was no fun at all being expected to play happy families while we knew that things were rotten deep down. I think my parents would have been much happier apart from each other.

I'm not scorched earth on this - I do think that it could be possible to move on together from infidelity but its by no means the 'right' thing to do in every situation

Mybeardeddragonjustdied2016 Wed 05-Oct-16 13:36:54

It would be wrong for me personally
But each to their own.
It's not for anyone to judge tho.

adora1 Wed 05-Oct-16 13:37:43

I don't think anyone on here is saying that at all. What I find is women who have discovered their man has cheated or at least it looks extremely likely, for some, they just pretend it didn't happen and the man stays and everything looks the same but of course it's anything but.

If any person behaves really badly and treats another with hurt and disrespect then I think a consequence should always follow - I'd kick anyone out that did this to me, doesn't mean to say I wouldn't then take them back but if you sit back and do nothing I think you are really selling yourself short and chipping away at your own self esteem because the only person that benefits from pretending it never happened is the cheat.

Also, deep down a person knows when another person is remorseful and is doing their best to make it up, unfortunately due to having kids with said cheat a lot of women pretend that his half hearted attempt is good enough - to keep the family together but then find themselves living with a person that they cannot trust.

Trust is earned, if you cheat you should not get that person's trust again until you can prove you are worthy.

KondosSecretJunkRoom Wed 05-Oct-16 13:41:18

I don't think there is a moral imperative to leaving a relationship as a betrayed spouse, which is what your title suggests.

The lies and deceit that go into the making of an affair demonstrate a lack of care and reapect for the injured party. I don't think that person is doing themselves any favours by ignoring that.

I don't think forgiveness is a demonstration of strength but of desperation in these circumstances.

Children learn all sorts of things from their parents behaviour. I always wonder about the motives of people when they use children to square the circles in their lives. Either leave or don't leave. They are as likely to learn a lesson in martyrdom and poor boundaries as forgiveness. As with anyging, just do your best whilst allowing yourself to be make adult decisions on your own terms.

Splishing Wed 05-Oct-16 13:44:40

Having been in this situation I think it is only natural to want to try and save the marriage especially if there are children involved. Whether it is worth saving depends on both parties and if they both actually want to save it. This was the situation I thought I was in that we were both trying to work on it. But in the end the allure of the OW was more important to my H. I have heard of times where marriages are saved following an affair and if the reason for the affair is sorted then the relationship can be much stronger after.
I know what you mean about setting examples to children and I think the advice can be confusing. On one side you are told it's not good to have kids in a bad environment if parents aren't getting on. But at the same time I now know how weak my STBXH is and am worried that when my DCs are older all they'll see is a father who had a bad patch in a marriage and took the easy way out. I don't think it sets a particularly great example. It's also not like we weren't getting on for a long time. It literally was 6 weeks of a rough patch (and our first major one in 16 years, obviously arguments before but not on this scale) then he had decided it was over and on to OW.
I guess at the end of the day no one knows what is round the corner and everything we do is a gamble.

Lottapianos Wed 05-Oct-16 13:47:10

'They are as likely to learn a lesson in martyrdom and poor boundaries as forgiveness'

Most definitely. I like your reference to 'squaring the circle' of their lives using the children, it can be a very dangerous thing to do

Blueskyrain Wed 05-Oct-16 13:59:22

I'd probably give my husband a second chance if he cheated. Not if he was unreprentant, or if it kept happening, but if it was a one off, if he wanted to work on the marriage, and if it was a sympton of wider issues in the marriage, which we could potentially fix.

Whilst there's never an excuse for cheating, sometimes there are circumstnaces which contribute to it - taking eachother for granted, not spending enough time together, sex slipping too far down the priority list. All things which SHOULD be resolved by talking, but sometimes people cheat instead. The cheating is 100% wrong, but the marriage is more salvagable IMO than an affair in a seemingly blisfully happy couple, out of the blue. I'd find that far harder to forgive.

TheBurningBridge Wed 05-Oct-16 14:03:58

I'm not sure I'm in a position to offer any advice, good or bad. DP cheated on me and it's torn our family apart. I want to forgive her simply because I still love her but she's uninterested in trying to rebuild our relationship. I had never thought I would feel like this but I do. I'm not sure that it's a sign of strength or desperation or even something in between. Of course I know in my heart that the betrayal has made trust a real issue and that our relationship as it existed is over and can only think that if we were to try and rebuild then it would have to be a fresh much more honest and open start. As to the comment about tearing oneself apart looking for when and what went wrong; been there done that and still trying to understand but don't blame yourself, you're not the one that cheated.

adora1 Wed 05-Oct-16 14:05:34

Even if you forgive a cheat and you both go on to be happy, the infidelity does not disappear, it's always there and the fact someone who puportes to love you can hurt you so badly.

I may stay with that person but my love will have been eroded by his actions and that cannot be undone.

hellsbellsmelons Wed 05-Oct-16 14:54:58

I very very rarely say LTB when it's infidelity.
Unless it's prostitutes or something similar.
Many couples can work their way through this.
Many can't.
It's up to the 'injured' party if they want to forgive or not.
I couldn't, but I have the utmost respect for people who do.
I think it's the much harder, longer, more heart-wrenching path to take.
It also depends on the cheater. Are they accepting full responsibility?
Are they doing all they can to earn back the trust?
Do they genuinely love the 'wife' and want to make it work?
Or are they just paying lip service because it's what they think they 'should' do?

Happybunny19 Wed 05-Oct-16 15:58:06

I think ltb is used far too often on here and people are sometimes attacked for expressing a desire to continue the relationship. I think if the person cheated on can move on and wants to continue to give the guilty party another chance that's entirely their business and no one else's opinion counts.

Having said that it does depend on circumstances. IMO a one off drunken ONS is very different from a full on affair.

I have no idea what I would do and am grateful never to have been in that situation.

MaMaof04 Wed 05-Oct-16 16:42:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

adora1 Wed 05-Oct-16 16:57:57

I disagree that affairs are often symptoms of mental issues/depression/stress - we all suffer these issues at some point in our lives, cheating is cheating, people who cheat do it because they see an opportunity and give themselves permission to do it, it's basically selfishness.

Splishing Wed 05-Oct-16 17:06:59

Agree with a lot that has been said so far.
Adora - I was told by my counsellor that cheating is a symptom. I always struggled to get my head round it. It feels like they are saying it's ok. I totally agree that cheating is cheating. So many people in relationships experience stress & difficult times but not all instantly jump into bed with someone else. I have also been told so that it's what some men do - like that makes it ok!
Theburningbridge - I am sorry to hear you are in the same boat as me. I would have given anything to save my relationship but my H just wasn't there anymore. Had completely detached by that point.
Mamaof - glad to hear of a happier ending from an awful situation.

adora1 Wed 05-Oct-16 17:14:28

Yeah a symptom of being selfish - I am not even married and I would never and have never cheated in the 14 years we have been together, you either value the trust and commitment and fidelity or you don't.

Imo, a cheater doesn't value the spouse or the sanctity of marriage, in fact they make a joke of marriage.

passmethewineplease Wed 05-Oct-16 17:17:10

Wrong for me.

I could never forgive infidelity and I'm not sure I could even if I wanted to.

MaMaof04 Wed 05-Oct-16 17:22:15

Splishing Sorry about what happened to you. I hope you are able to build your life without him. And you must be proud of yourself that you were willing to give him a second chance. He lost a lot. IMO a cheater is always a loser. Even when he is not caught.

aLeopardanditsSpots Wed 05-Oct-16 17:26:14

I split with my cheating ex. I don't think that's showing my son to run away and be unforgiving. I didn't run anywhere for a start because he lived in my house.
I hope if it teaches him anything it's that I will not tolerate being lied to disrespected humiliated and made a fool out of.
Splitting was the easy route, even though it's been he'll, the alternative of staying with a cheating prick and being paranoid and hating myself would be worse.

aLeopardanditsSpots Wed 05-Oct-16 17:28:18

Cheating can often be a symptom, not of stress but of personality disorders including narcissism.

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Wed 05-Oct-16 17:34:52

IMHO, marriages can be rebuilt after an affair. But only if the cheater is completely & utterly repentant and both partners can recognise and work on any underlying problems that may have led to the affair in the first place.

It doesn't always work though. I discovered H's affair at the end of January this year. We have really honestly tried to sort things out but, ultimately, he is not prepared to look to leave his job. Which is an unsurmountable problem for me, as the OW still sits two desks away from him and also shows no signs of wishing to leave.

For various reasons, I do believe that the relationship between them is over. However, the two of them being there together all day everyday prevents me from being able to get over this.

He could find another job - he is an accountant. Not a rare job. But he chooses not to. Therefore, to me he chooses to leave me in a position where I cannot move forward.

This is what has actually ended our marriage in the end. When it came to the crunch, I just wasn't that important to him I guess.

TheBurningBridge Wed 05-Oct-16 17:34:52

Thanks MaMa I wish it wasn't happening either. In our case DPs (XDP) cheating was symptomatic of much wider issues and for that I'm not blameless and don't want to give that impression. I was merely saying that while many might have a view, it's not until it happens that your choices become real. In my case I'd always thought that sort of betrayal would be unforgivable but when the reality hit I was surprised by how much I wanted to forgive and still do. Forgiveness and a desire to try aren't of course a solution in themselves.

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Wed 05-Oct-16 17:40:39

Even if you forgive a cheat and you both go on to be happy, the infidelity does not disappear, it's always there and the fact someone who purports to love you can hurt you so badly.

I may stay with that person but my love will have been eroded by his actions and that cannot be undone.

I also agree with this entirely. It is exactly how I have come to feel. The refusing to leave the OW's constant company at work was the final nail in the coffin however.

MagicChanges Wed 05-Oct-16 17:48:34

This is an interesting thread. There's another one and the OP asked for support as she is staying in the r/ship after her H had an affair. I found out my DP had been having an emotional affair for the best part of 3 years in June this year and it's been hell - I too went ballistic, especially as I had suspected for the last year and been lied to etc. That is why I was on the other thread.

I too am staying for a variety of reasons and yes he is truly remorseful ad cut off all contact. But the number of people on the other thread telling the OP that she's not facing up to the reality (which she clearly is) and that he'll do it again, and she should leave etc. She's also not telling the OW's husband and they are coming on in droves to tell her that she should. I've been staggered at how people can be so directive - I know we come on here for support/advice with all sorts of things but people jump to conclusions and think they know what's happening in someone's relationships. Having said that there are some very wise woman who post too, so I guess it takes all sorts.

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