Have you ever been cheated on? If you have, then you know the effects it has on you mentally, emotionally and physically. The moment you find out he cheated, your mind and body goes through a tornado of changes.
Your thoughts may say “I can’t believe he did this to me”, “with who?, when?, for how long?” or you just go blank. You may feel nauseated, sweaty, trembling, or completely numb.
Your blood pressure begins to elevate, your stomach starts to churn, and you try to gain control over your body’s emotional and physical response. This terribly uncomfortable state is known as the fight or flight response. This is how you respond to a “perceived threat”, where your body prepares itself for the options of fighting or fleeing the scene. What motivates women to stay with a man that has her experience this horrible reaction by cheating on her?
The following are 7 common reasons women stay with men (they love) who cheated:
1. Love will conquer all:
Love can make you do crazy things, even stay with a man who’s cheated on you. Some women simply say, “I believe in forgiveness and I love him”. It’s always been difficult to define love but we know that it feels so powerful when we are in it. Love is the umbrella for many things such as relationship status, stability, familiarity, regular sex, and companionship. Make sure the things under your umbrella of love are meaningful enough for you to stay in the relationship.
2. Women don’t like to fail at love:
Women will try to work at the relationship and save it no matter how high the stakes are. You feel you have invested time, money and energy in your relationship, and do not want to feel like a failure. Counseling is very important in this specific issue. You want to make sure that you can heal from the deception and regain trust back. Try to understand failing as an opportunity to grow and change. If you do not fail at anything in life, then you cannot learn, or possibly thrive from difficult experiences.
3. Fear of the unknown:
You have been with him for some time now and have invested time in getting to know him, and fallen into a comfort zone both emotionally and financially. You already know his idiosyncrasies and habits. Some women stay in relationships because it’s familiar and that familiarity may be a comfortable discomfort. Some women stay because they fear not having the income to survive if they divorce.
When you know what you have, or are dealing with, it feels better than the fear of not knowing what you may get. Facing the unknown is scary. Worrying about how your life will be without him can be frightening. Working on strengthening your sense-of-self whether through self-help books or in therapy is pertinent in helping you make the best decision for yourself.
After finding out that your boyfriend or husband cheated on you, many reasons and excuses for the infidelity run around in your mind. “He may have been stressed out by work, or our kids get him crazy.” “Maybe I don’t dress up the way I used to.” “I don’t give him enough attention or sex.” “I may have become boring.” I need to do my makeup everyday.” “I need to the gym more often.” “Once he sees how hot I am, he will not cheat again”. “I just don’t believe in divorce”. Please be honest and introspective with yourself to make sure you don’t fall into the excuse trap. Excuses are one of the easiest way to avoid looking at the truth.
5. Low self-esteem:
Women, who have low self-confidence and worth, devalue themselves. These women don’t love themselves enough to make better decisions in their lives. If you believe you are not worthy of more, or afraid you won’t find another, better, hotter man, then you will excuse his cheating. Work on your self-confidence and self-worth before settling for a man that cheats.
6. Possessive women:
You can’t imagine your man with any other woman. He may be a cheater and liar but he is all yours. Some women need to have the possession of their man, good, bad, or indifferent. Love yourself first, and you will not need to have a man as your possession.
7. He’s my “baby daddy”:
He is the father of my child(ren). Women don’t want to be the bad one who breaks up their family. He may have cheated on you but he had a baby with you. “She’s just a slut”. “He only wanted her for sex, but he loves and wants our baby and me”. Be cautious of “baby daddys” for they already have you and the baby without the marriage license to encourage them to commit.
The combination of love and cheating can be toxic. Make sure you develop healthy boundaries and set limits in your relationship. Have faith in yourself. Loving and respecting yourself will help you decide whether to stay or go.