“I’ll be back” – Arnold Schwarzenegger in the ‘Terminator’ series
“You complete me” – Tom Cruise in ‘Jerry Maguire’
“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn” – Clark Cable in ‘Gone With the Wind’
“Maybe next time he’ll think before he cheats” – Carrie Underwood in ‘Before He Cheats’
These are all classic lines from various pop culture references. They’ve been cited, quoted, and repeated time and time again. Unfortunately, so has the line, “I’ll give you one more chance” as said to a cheating husband from a wounded wife. But why? More on this later.
In case you have the slightest bit of interest, I don’t mind sharing with you that this is the 700th article I have written as a relationship coach. I would be remiss in noting that it’s also been one of the easiest. The words cheating and leaving go easy like warm butter on toast. This is my view and I do not pretend that others see it the same. I wish they did. I also wish that I could make $1,000,000 an article so I could rub shoulders with the right side of the sand on my own private beach. Now where was I? Oh yeah, cheating and leaving.
Let’s walk through the 6 reasons that a wife should ALWAYS leave a cheating husband.
Reason 1: You teach people how to treat you. When I hear Carrie Underwood sing “maybe next time he’ll think before he cheats”, it strikes me as true only if she leaves him after the cheating. If you know the song, there are lines like “carved my name into his leather seats” and “I slashed a hole in all four tires”, implying of course, that she did a number on his car. It is for these reasons that he’ll think next time before he cheats? Uh, a bit of flawed logic I’ll say. First of all, if there is a next time with her, she taught him nothing except that he should conceal the cheating a little better going forward. Second, if the next time is with someone else, he will not draw the conclusion that all women would have the same reaction. Want proof? How many men are repeat cheaters regardless of the vengeful response from the scorned? Exactly!
Reason 2: Your confidence will dwindle or remain stagnant. Being cheated on is devastating, there are no ifs, ands, or buts, about it. The impact on ones confidence, however, can have the longest, most harmful, effects. When you are cheated on, it is natural, though not warranted, to feel inadequate. Staying with a cheater continues this feeling since they already decided to fill a void that you, purportedly could not fill and you will continually wonder if and when it will happen again. What’s more, you will find yourself wanting to be the person that could fill their void and that will drive you crazy. The truth is, there may not have been a rational void and, even if there was one, simple communication could have prevented the infidelity. Lastly, a statistic and a comment:
Statistic: 91% of women who have been cheated on by their husband, noted a void that he had.
Comment: In other words, these 91% of infidelity victims saw a void in their husband but decided to remain faithful and try to work things out.
Staying in a situation that has you questioning your confidence with a husband that questioned your legitimacy as a physical, intellectual and/or emotional partner will do nothing to improve it.
Reason 3: You have needs and they are not being met. And no, I will not bother to ask you what your needs are since I already know that they include honesty, faithfulness, and integrity. Normally when I talk to a client and they cite these very basic needs, I tell them to go deeper. This is because clients, especially women, often struggle with identifying the ‘not so obvious’ needs such as ambition or mindfulness of personal well-being. In the cheating and leaving space, however, let’s keep it simple. When someone cheats on you, they are not even meeting the basic needs of honesty and faithfulness. You don’t stay with someone that does not meet your basic needs. Remember, needs are different than wants. Needs are non-negotiable whereas wants are negotiable. Capeesh?
Reason 4: The sex will never be the same. This becomes fairly obvious to wives who stay with cheating spouses and yet they stay anyways. Why? You need look no further than Reason 2 above. If you are cheated on, you will feel inadequate and you may stay with the person who cheated because you figure that this is as good as it gets for you. Then you continue to have sex with the person that killed your confidence and while it is not enjoyable because, shit, they cheated on you, you keep doing it. Why? Because this is as good as it gets from your perspective. This was a mouthful to write, hopefully it comes across clear to you. If not, let me add a stripped down sentence. You deserve good sex and you will never get the full PIE when you’re with someone that went somewhere else for a piece of it.
(Note: PIE refers to the physical, intellectual, and emotional intimacy that we all deserve! And that you need. See Reason 3.)
Reason 5: There are 96 million single people in America and the number of singles now outweigh the number of married people. And yes, I am talking about singles over 18, silly!
Reason 6: You rock, paper, and scissors! People who rock are doing themselves a disservice when they stay married to people who roll in the sack with someone else.
To put a bow around this, let’s re-write some quotes:
1) Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn if you want another chance
2) I WON’T Be Back!
3) You complete-ly blew it
4) Maybe next time you’ll think before you cheat on someone else