How many times do you forgive a cheating husband?

Donna - posted on 03/24/2015 ( 66 moms have responded )

12

0

1

I know most people say, once a cheat always a cheat. My husband and I have been married 21 1/2 years. We have two kids, age 16 and 13. Over the last 8 - 10 years, he has cheated on me numerous times. We have had counseling, which he cheated while we were in counseling. He says my harshness towards him made him reach out, but I have told him 'maybe so, but it was HIS choice to sleep with them. He has lied to me so much that I know I will never trust him again. I will always have doubts. Two years ago, I had him served with a divorce. After 6 months, I just felt in my heart to ask him if he wanted to fight for our marriage. He said yes. Well, you guessed it, he cheated while he was supposed to be fighting. Why am I still here? I truly love him and I have forgiven him. I don't want to start over with someone else. I want the man I married. No, I am not financially dependent on him. I actually bring home the bacon. I struggle with should I walk away or stay. Our 13 year old son really looks to his dad for bonding. I'd like our kids to have both mom & dad around. I told him today, if I'm not enough for him, then let me go. I also said we can start a countdown...4 more years, then our kids will be in college. I don't want to hear 'how stupid I am for staying', I really want some heartfelt advice. No I have never cheated on him and never will. I will not stand before God to justify 'getting revenge'. Thoughts?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Robi - posted on 06/02/2015

1

0

0

23 years of marriage and blessed with 3 children. he started cheating 3 years after our marriage and i did forgive him. he will stop for a while and then cheats again and the stupid me will forgive him again. it true that a cheater will always be a cheater but of course there is always an exception to the rule. unfortunately my husband doesn't belong to the exception to the rule group. i know he can't be consider a good person because he is a cheater but if i don't look at the bad side of him, he really is a good person. my children doesn't know that their dad is a cheater because i don't tell them and i maintain his good image in their eyes. i do get mad and express my frustrations, hurt and whatever every time he cheats on me. he accepts all the hurtful things i will say or he allows me to do things that maybe he thinks that could make me feel better or could ease the pain away. the thing about my husband, every single time i found out that he's his having affair he will always end it with her. he will promise that would be his last extra marital affair. not once did i ask him why does he cheat on me over and over again like some kind of a pattern. last month, he cheated on me again and of course i have the same reaction but this time, i told him i will tell the children what kind of a cheating husband he is and i will file a divorce, that i've been giving him all the chances and he used it all up already. i was really surprised with his reaction because he beg not to tell the children and knelt down on his knees to give him one last chance. it was also the very first time that i wanted to know what really is the reason why he wants to have this extra affairs. i asked him if i wasn't enough for him or if he doesn't love me anymore. i may not like the answers but i needed to know why he does it to me over and over again. i don't know if he is telling me the truth or not because i don't believe a single word that comes of his mouth anymore. he said, he loves me very much and he is a selfish person. i know all of you reading this would smack me in the head cos im the most stupid person in the entire planet. but here's what i did, gave him 6 months to prove to me that he will NEVER CHEAT AGAIN, be a better husband, he has to respect me, earn my 100% love and earn a little trust cos he can never regain my 100% trust. hopefully this would be the last cheating episode in our marriage life. even though he told me he will never sign the divorce papers but i told him ONE MISTAKE i will file a divorce cos i showed him that the lawyer did my divorce documents, signed, ready to be filed in the court and it will be dated upon filing.

Raye - posted on 03/26/2015

3,761

0

21

Donna, the most successful marriages that overcome a cheating spouse are the ones where they divorced and the cheater had to stop the behavior and regain the other's trust. Then they get remarried with a renewed dedication to the relationship. I'm not advocating you should ever go back to a cheater. My husband knows that cheating means instant divorce and I don't look back. No explanation or justification would ever make me change my mind. Instant divorce, no looking back. If you put up with that behavior, then that's the same as giving him permission. If you want to be roommates with this man another 4 years for the sake of the kids, then that's your choice. But, as the others have said, you're sending a message to them that it's okay for a man to cheat on his wife and they could end up in unhappy relationships themselves because they don't know it can/should be any better.

You don't have to start over with someone else, but just know that he is not now and will not be in the future the man you married. That man has changed and is gone. Also know that cheating is often not just about sex, and is not that you were not enough for him. It's that he was unhappy with something in your marriage, and he chose to not talk to you about it. He chose to disrespect you and look elsewhere instead of trusting you to work through the issues. It's his failing, not yours. If you burned dinner, bleached all his clothes, wrecked the car, wore a purple hippo costume every time you had sex, whatever else you might have ever done, it is still not your fault he cheated. It was his choice to do that instead of talking to you about getting cooking lessons, or reading the instructions on the washing machine, or taking a driving class, or getting into some other kind of role-play besides the purple hippo. So do not believe for one second that it's your fault. Your harshness made him reach out? What was he doing to deserve harshness? Maybe you both made mistakes, but it was still his choice to step out versus putting forth an honest effort to work it out.

MaryAnn - posted on 06/02/2015

347

0

17

Im going to post my thoughts before reading the comments... so bear with me if its been said. I dont think that old saying is true. I think cheating is a coping mechanism. I think it is a way that some people deal with their marital issues because they feel unsafe discussing them. I think... when things get tough, a cheater will always cheat until they have a better way to deal. I would never excuse the behaviour... unfaithfulness is always wrong... but perhaps it might be best to think of your own part in the relationship problems- remember... cheating isnt the problem, its the coping mechanism. It is helpful to be introspective in learning your own coping mechanisms... noticing how you personally handle the issues you have with him. When you do those things, do you think he might reasonably feel unsafe opening himself up to more immediate pain? When you feel that you no love wish to work on your own problems... and you find his unacceptable... once you've hit the point that you no longer wish to accept him... thats when it is time to leave. If your inability to cope with his cheating is greater than his effort to find new ways to define your relationship... its time to love yourself more.

Lucitta - posted on 03/27/2015

100

0

9

Hello, Donna.
Alright, I've read it now.
I'm sorry to hear what happened. Is it the same girl over and over, or a different one each time? This is just me being curious, and doesn't really matter at this point.
I would say you are still around because you enjoy the good times, and you are still around because of your children.
My advice is that 4 years is a very long time to live with someone you love, but can not trust.
When you served him with divorce papers, did you move out? If not, I think moving out might be the best thing for you to do at this point. Not forever, and not far away, Just move out, spend some time apart, and let him do what he will do. I know it will hurt, but hopefully he'll either be able to get it out of his system once and for all, or realize how much you and the kids mean to him, and stop him from risking it again.
Does your 13 year old son know his role model has cheated on his wife several times? If so, what kind of message are YOU sending to him by staying around? Hopefully he doesn't think/learn this means it is alright for a man to cheat, and keep his wife.
As they say, distance makes the heart grow fonder, that is my honest only advice if you want to stay around. I wouldn't try just pushing through the next 4 years, because that is not fair to you, and any fights the children will witness due to it is not fair to them.
Best of luck, and hugs, to you.
~Lucitta

Donna - posted on 03/28/2015

12

0

1

It's different women. No our 13 year old does not know about his Dads cheating on me. But I'm sure he knows something is not the same between me & his dad

This conversation has been closed to further comments

66 Comments

View replies by

Grace - posted on 09/12/2016

1

0

0

You just came so very close to telling my story. I am new to all of this I suppose, in part anyways. Thank you for sharing your story. I feel so alone and so very empty that it's almost relieving to know that I don't truly stand alone in being lied to and cheated on, over and over again... The newness of just finding out is still very hard to deal with and attempting to make a a huge life change decision for the kids and I just feels almost unbearable and impossible to imagine at this point.
I don't know. Thank you though

Shari - posted on 08/21/2016

7

0

0

Sometimes it is hard to see an issue when you are in the middle of it. Here is a really good exercise to help bring you clarity, which in a sense the last poster is more or less pointing to.

Instead of asking yourself is this the right thing (and putting yourself in the middle), ask yourself how you would answer this question if it were your daughter (or if you don't have a daughter, a close female relative or friend).

Sometimes it can bring clarity if you take yourself out of the equation.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 07/20/2016

21,273

9

3058

Unknown. You are teaching your children what marriage is like. You are teaching your girls to stay with a man even when he cheats. You are teaching them to accept this kind of abuse. It is often less damaging to leave a marriage, rather than "stay for the kids".

Dawn - posted on 03/09/2016

10

0

0

Let HIM explain his behaviors to everyone he owes them to. Staying for children is no good. If you want them to see what love, trust, faithfulness and honesty are, you are never gonna get it by staying in this marriage.

Dawn - posted on 03/09/2016

10

0

0

He may be a good Dad, but he's not a good husband and sounds like a shitty person. Sorry. Just being honest. I don't understand how people can do this over and over again! If you don't learn the first time, and get a second chance and blow it, I say get lost!!

Dawn - posted on 03/09/2016

10

0

0

I don't believe in once a cheat, always a cheat, but in your situation, it's true. This man can't stop no matter what promises or dedication he pretends to have. You're worthy of a life with someone who loves you and treats you well. My husband has never cheated on me during our marriage. I believe in second chances because i was given one, and i will NEVER make then same mistake again and hurt the ones i love. If you give someone a second chance and they screw it up in the EXACT same way, it's time to say goodbye. I know that sounds harsh, but it's clear he doesn't care that you've forgiven numerous times and is just taking advantage of your kind heart. Move on; alone or with someone new. You deserve it! Hugs, good luck and Godspeed!

Crystal - posted on 02/27/2016

18

0

5

I have been with my husband for 15 years now married 5 years. From the beginning I found out he was cheating with his ex. While I was pregnant with our 1st son. Than I fount a video tape of him having sex with some one while I was away at college with my video camera I let him use back in 2003. Year's later I would find out he's cheating again. When things are good with us is great we are like glue always stuck to each other. For months things are perfect than out of the blue I started noticing changes, like now he has something to do with out me are he wants to start going out again just to hang out with the guys . once we got married things were good for a while until we decided to have a nother child and after 7 years I got pregnant again 2012,2013 and 2014 yes I was pregnant for the past 3 years after going from having just one child now we have 4 an each time pregnancy was horrible he cheated the hold time. Things have gotten better but just the other day he went out didn't come home till 310 am I called him over 32 times at 11 am but no answer. He came home drunk . the next day he tried talking to me to make up for what he done. However I didn't want to talk so at 8 pm he left didn't tell me where he was going came home at 410 am I feel like how much do i have to take we should be passed all of this we are now in our 30 .I have been really reading the bible lately I started in January an i am already almost in the new testament. We pray together an do everything together but right now I can't even look at him I hate him so much at this point but also love him alot I just dont know what to do anymore. I went from when I met him in college studying computer science 3.5 average and working alsoTraveling all over the world. To now going to work an back home my car is broken no matter how hard I try I can't get back in school without having to come up with 4 thousands a semester working a dead end security job! An he leaves when ever he gets ready to. He don't want me too go out however he does my life revolves around him I am trying to be strong i been thinking about divorce an leaving but now I have 4 child all really little and it's not just me anymore. Smh I am so sad and lonely and I don't want any one else an he knows this event through all of what I went through I have never cheated just last week someone asked me out an i declined. I just really don't know what to do anymore. I don't want to get older living like this i don't want our 3 sons to think this behavior is acceptable and I don't want our daughter to think this is how a man teats you. But they love there dad an he is a excellent dad.i know it would be stupid to stay an just know that the affair he is having won't last long an wait it out. There are always so many it's not ever just one women when he starts is alot he talks to at once. He even told he about a threesome he had right before he decided to stop doing whey he was doing in my 3 pregnancy. I know I must seam really dum but no one knows what they would do until your actually in the situation, I never thought I would take all that I have.i guess my question is do i Stay an wait for it to get better are struggle with 4 children on my own? Because when it's good again it's great?

Default - posted on 03/31/2015

43

0

14

Eh... this isn't healthy though. I'm sure your children know something is off between the two of you. If he can't seem to keep it in his pants I don't see the point of being married. Why must you commit to a man who shows you no loyalties?!?! At what point do your feelings, or you even matter. I can't tell you much about marriage at my 3 yr marital mark , but I do know that I have seen this road in at least 5 other family members marriages including my own mothers. All of which sound like yours and FAILED even after the wife like you did all she could. When are you deserving of happiness??

Thea - posted on 03/31/2015

8

0

2

Hi Donna. I totally understand where you're coming from. My husband cheated on me when I was 8 months pregnant with our first child. We talked and talked and he seemed really sorry. I had always sworn to myself I wouldn't forgive a chest but I wanted to make it work for our daughters' sake (now 5) and since then we've had 3 more to add to the brood 😝

Donna - posted on 03/30/2015

12

0

1

CC, thank you so much for your reply. I know I wonder where my husband is at times and if he is with someone else. Not the way I want to live the next 4 years.

Cc - posted on 03/30/2015

163

0

18

Hi Donna. I'm glad you posted this. I haven't been on here in about a year and it's kind of ironic that I opened up and saw this post first. I have three children with my partner. We live together and I found out last year that he cheated on me with someone for about a year. I had clues dangling in my face. The girl even told me she was with him but I kept covering my eyes and believing his stories and excuses. I eventually found out that she was pregnant. (And so was I!) we both gave birth in January to his children and I chose to stay with him. He swore up and down that it was nothing meaningful and just a way to waste time during the day between jobs. Not a good enough excuse but we have three kids and I dont want to do this alone. I forgave him, but now Im realizing I can't trust him. If he doesn't answer the phone, I'm stressing over why. Today I drove to her house and sat outside trying to catch him there. I realized how much this is affecting me emotionally even though he has been trying hard to be a great partner. I kicked him out tonight and I don't know if it's the right decision. I love him so much but I don't want to live this nightmare until my kids are in college. They're all five and under so I'm thinking maybe I should cut it off now while they're still young. Thanks for sharing and I'm so sorry you are going through this. It's never too late to enjoy life, though, so focus on yourself and making yourself happy.

Jodi - posted on 03/29/2015

3,562

36

3907

Just so you know, I wasn't disagreeing with you Dawn :) I was just confused as to who your response was directed at, given the OP had been cheated on multiple times. I'm glad your experience worked out for the better in the long run. Your husband must love you very much.

Dawn - posted on 03/29/2015

10

0

0

I am speaking from the cheaters perspective. I did it once to get my husband's attention. Although it was a path I never believed I could go down, it changed my marriage in many good ways. There are consequences but being given a second chance is a gift. This Douche bag who continues to cheat over and over doesn't deserve squat. Sorry, I may seem hypocritical but I used my second chance to make my marriage better than ever and feel such incredible remorse and am so thankful that it did not ruin our lives. This man clearly doesn't give a shit about anything but his own satisfaction and apparently has little or no family values and the effect this will have in the end; not to mention the complete disrespect for the woman who has put up with this shit numerous times. People who cheat cheat for different reasons but when it comes right down to it if you're given a second chance you obviously found a great person who understands forgiveness but you just don't give a shit and keep doing it. First time shame on you. Second time shame on the forgiver. After that shame on the cheater for not learning your lesson!

Jodi - posted on 03/29/2015

3,562

36

3907

Dawn, noone was suggesting your opinion was wrong. I was just wondering if you had read the OP given your first comment was "Some cheaters do it to get their spouses attention then never do it again. I don't believe once a cheater always a cheater theory." That wasn't relevant to the original post. That's the only reason I questioned it.

Also, you appear to have deleted the post where you said you hadn't read it.

Dawn - posted on 03/29/2015

10

0

0

I did read it. I said SECOND chances. I think this cheater is selfish and has no balls. If you're married and seek others outside of that marriage get a divorce! One and over again, same person. Different people; it doesn't matter. The FIRST time she forgave shouldve been enough chances. I will repeat what I originally said; if you're given a second chance and blow it, there is no respect. Better off moving on with your life without having to wonder who or when the next one is going to be. Sorry. That's my opinion.

Michelle - posted on 03/28/2015

3,914

8

3246

You may think that your 13yo doesn't know what is going on but he probably does. Kids know more than we are willing to accept they do.

Donna - posted on 03/28/2015

12

0

1

I do want to say thank you to everyone who is responding. I truly appreciate your encouragement and advice.

Donna - posted on 03/28/2015

12

0

1

Liz thank you. I truly have forgiven him but it just hurts that he keeps seeking other women. He says he's looking for unconditional love but that only comes from God. I have done my best to be a good wife. I am not perfect but I have given 110% of trying to make it work. I have no doubts now that I didn't try hard enough. He has no excuses to blame me now. It doesn't make it any easier. I know I have to stand up and believe in my own value. I am a beautiful woman inside and out. I just need to stand for that. Why is that so hard to do?

Dawn - posted on 03/27/2015

10

0

0

Some cheaters do it to get their spouses attention then never do it again. I don't believe once a cheater always a cheater theory.

Julie - posted on 03/27/2015

3

0

1

Once only. No trust no love. Its is over. It has been since the 2nd time he cheated. You need to m8ve on. From this point he is only using you. I am so sorry

Lucitta - posted on 03/27/2015

100

0

9

I'm sorry but at this point I can only read the title.
My answer to that question is once.
If he does it again, throw him to the curb.
I made the mistake of taking him back, and it nearl cost me much more then a piece of paper and a ring.

Liz - posted on 03/26/2015

7

0

1

Look... I'm not going to say you are wrong by staying or even that you should or shouldn't leave. What I will say is by your post, you want to forgive him but it looks to me like you haven't.
The ups and the downs of cheating and abuse can be addicting. From personal experience, all I can say is you will know when it's time to leave. I stuck with a cheater who was also abusive for 6 years before I left. Everyone told me that I was stupid, that he'd never change, etc. etc. but at the end of the day I went home to him. Finally, one day it clicked and I realized it was time for me to go. There's always a plan, just listen to your heart, and lean on good friends. Those that stick with you, despite decisions that they may not be what they say are good.

Good luck darling. I hope things work out for you

Chana - posted on 03/26/2015

472

0

26

How many time do you forgive a cheater? NONE! Once a cheater always a cheater and there will always be a different reason and it will always be someone else's fault. If you love yourself let him go he isn't worth your heartaches.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 03/26/2015

21,273

9

3058

You don't forgive someone who cannot and will not be faithful to you.

Sounds like your husband wants to keep you around, but doesn't want to be a husband.

The other ladies have said it all. I am actually concerned for your children being in a home where the biggest influence of a father, is a cheating father. They will learn this behavior, and repeat it for themselves. You staying is actually enabling all of this behavior. Please leave. This man has no respect for you or your home. Also, make sure you get tested for every STD possible. I would certainly never be sleeping in the same bed as him, let alone having sex with this man.

Michelle - posted on 03/25/2015

3,914

8

3246

My ex husband cheated on me, that's why he is an ex!
I could never forgive someone who cheated let alone kept cheating.
I would like you to think about 1 thing though. Do you want your son to grow up thinking that it's OK for him to cheat on his wife? Is this the example of marriage you want to show your children?

Even though you think the children don't know what has been going on I can assure you they do.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 03/25/2015

13,264

21

2015

Personally? First time = LAST TIME ALLOWED IN MY HOME, IN MY BED, IN MY LIFE.

In other words? Never. Especially if my husband were a multiple time cheater, and lied about it, and blamed me for his reason.

One can have a successful co parenting relationship after divorce. Your kids are seeing that he's continually unfaithful, and that you don't seem to mind. That is giving them the impression that his behaviour is OK, and they may decide to mimic that in their relationships.

Jodi - posted on 03/24/2015

3,562

36

3907

Classic case of a man who refuses to take responsibility for his actions. He blames you for his cheating. Sorry, but that is not a man who is sorry.Not to mention he keeps doing it. You need to stop believing he will change. He won't. I think the question you need to ask yourself is if you are okay with him continuing to treat you this way. And if this is how you want to teach your children a relationship should be. By staying, you are teaching them that it is okay (even if they don't know that this is going on at the moment, they may well find out later, but don't be surprised if they've figured it out).

You don't need to wait for him to let you go. You CAN just make that decision for yourself and make it clear to him that through his actions, he has made his choice.

Gena - posted on 03/24/2015

303

1

655

I am not going to say you are stupid for staying with him. But personaly i think its time you should move on. You already tried counseling and it didn't work. What makes you believe he will ever change? Honestly you deserve better. And your husband doesn't deserve you. He clearly does not respect you and respect is the most important thing in a marriage. Ask yourself if you are truly happy in this marriage. Do you want to deal with a cheating man for years. If I were you I would close this capital in life and move on. You might find a man that really loves you and respects you. It will be hard to leave after so many years but I honestly think its time you move on. That's my personal opinion.
And your question how many times would you forgive a man who cheats. My answer is never. If my husband would ever cheat me its over. I could never forgive him and I would never trust him again. Our marriage is based on trust and respect. If that gets broken it's over. Good luck to you and I hope you find the strength to move on.

Ps. When it comes to your children,it's normal that we all want mom and dad together,buts its not good if the parents have problems. They can still bond with their dad on weekends/visitations.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms