WOULD YOU STAY IF YOUR SPOUSE WAS UNFAITHFUL?
Sometimes we’ll do anything to preserve the family or the myth of marriage.
Look at Hillary Clinton. Her husband betrayed her trust and had “sex” with another woman. She stood by him. Why? Probably, and we’ll never really know the answer, but just maybe it was because the myth of the perfect family—once she reconstructed it—would help her career. A messy divorce would have diverted her career and maybe altered it. Who knows, maybe more women would have related since 40% of the population is divorced!
Look at Anthony Weiner’s wife. She stood by her man. She knew the only chance he had of continuing with his political campaign was if she stood by him.
Look at Eleanor Roosevelt. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was known to have affairs. Eleanor did not leave him. She stayed, had her own life, but preserved the dignity of the presidency. She also wanted to continue in her role as First Lady.
Why did these women—or why would any woman stay in a relationship/a marriage once she’s been betrayed? It’s often because the disruption of a divorce is devastating and the consequences on career and children often cause people to stay in marriages that have already died. And sometimes, the known, however horrific, is worse than the unknown. Being a divorced woman is frightening and can be even more demoralizing than going through a divorce.
If the truth be known, I would have stayed. I would have done anything, been anything to have avoided the thirty years of a post-divorce abyss. I worked hard, tried to be a good mother, but life for me after the divorce was “just going through the motions.” I’d look at the “dad-chair” at every meal, dread holidays just in case it “wasn’t my year.” I felt like a failure even though I was a wildly successful chiropractor with a six-figure practice and patients who loved and trusted me.
Sometimes we don’t get to make the choice about the marriage, but when it is over, we do have a choice: We can either reconstruct our lives or lick our wounds. I chose to wallow in self-pity for long, too long. Until one day, I decided to write down my good and bad qualities. It was then that I decided I had enough good qualities to forgive myself. And, I’ve never looked back since that day.
I encourage each and every one of you to forgive yourself for anything and everything. Nothing is worth a life, your life. Do it now. Life doesn’t wait for you to heal—Seize it and enjoy the day because you deserve it.