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Could Your Marriage Survive an Affair?

Do you think you could forgive (if not forget) an infidelity?

Every so often, I'll read an SOS post, like this one on boards, from a woman trying to pick up the pieces after discovering that her husband has been unfaithful. I always try to put myself in her shoes and ask what I would do if I were her. This case in particular is brutal because it sounds like her husband hasn't fully come clean about his behavior. Her post reminds me of the quote: "Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer, but wish we didn't." (By the way, if anyone knows who said that, let me know, because I have no clue.) My point is, homegirl probably already knows deep down that her marriage is over, but she's just not ready to accept it. I'm not saying that infidelity has to equal divorce, but I think that this particular husband's record indicates that he doesn't have what it takes to rebuild (in short, honesty and accountability). In fact, for some guys, infidelity is just their passive way of getting out of the marriage. They can't ask for divorce, so they just force the woman's hand. It's douchey, but I see it all the time.

As for my marriage -- would I be able to stay married if Jack cheated? Honestly, I'm a bit doubtful. I say this because one of my favorite things about our marriage is the intense level of trust and acceptance that we share. In our current marriage, the idea of infidelity is simply unimaginable (though I'm sure many women who have been cheated on felt exactly the same way). So if it happened, it would completely shatter the world we have, and I don't know if we could ever put Humpty back together again. I know that sounds bleak. But it's just my first gut response to the question. I know that real-life things (like kids and finances) make this decision murkier for people. And I’m a big believer in forgiveness and in people's ability to change and grow. But still, I'm going to have to, I wouldn't stay. I think I would have to push the eject button.

-- Holly