You can move past infidelity and you deserve to put it behind you. There will always be judgment and hate from others. You can’t stop it but you don’t have to focus on it or feel responsible for it.
I only know how to write from personal experience. I am divorced with children. I was married 15 years and together with my ex for 17 years. It was a rocky road from the start. We canceled 2 wedding dates, had a 2-year-old and I was pregnant with a second child before we finally made it down the district court aisle. I had made a lot of bad and impulsive decisions in my life.
With that said, I can also say this: I tried my hardest to be a good wife. I loved my children and I tried to love my ex-husband. I keep a household together, kept a job, and tried to be happy and create happiness in my ex. I was not perfect nor was he.
I have written about infidelity before. I recently read a new article written by another brave soul admitting her own infidelity. I was a little floored by the positive responses she received versus the negative responses I received in the past. This writer “owned her affair”, she “made no excuses” for her behavior. I have written before that any effort to explain a past affair is only ever seen as “making excuses.” But, in reality, it is an effort to explain the feelings, the circumstances, the poor self-image, that lead to such a terrible choice.
How do you move on from infidelity you’ve committed?
The topic of this article was almost certainly for the spouse who did not cheat–not from the one who did cheat. However with such a high divorce rate in this country cheating spouses are cheating with someone–they can’t be all cheating with single people. So, my guess is that there are a lot more people who have cheated, emotionally or sexually, then he/she cares to fess up to.
So, like I have written in past articles, I write this one with the assumption that there are many people who are simply not being very honest with themselves. When I separated from my husband I looked for other on-line resources to help me cope with where I was in my life and I found absolutely none. This lead to writing my first article for divorcedmoms.com and this is why I continue to write for them.
If you cheated on your spouse and you find yourself reading this article I can tell you 4 things I have learned.
1. One terrible decision does not define you nor should it define you. There are a ton of people out there who will gladly call you a whore, a homewrecker, a slut, and deem you totally evil. They are approaching you with their own hurt and sense of betrayal. You can’t fix them nor should you tolerate their rudeness. You did not have sex with their spouse nor are you responsible for their unhappiness. You do not represent the face of infidelity.
2. The repercussions are long lasting especially for children. I made a terrible decision in a time of my life when I was extremely depressed and felt very helpless and hopeless. Looking back I wish I had made a different decision. I can’t change the past but I do realize how much this has affected my children and I actively reach out to them all the time trying to heal their hurt.
3. You can stop apologizing for yourself. You made a mistake. You know you made a mistake. You strive never to make the same mistake. That is all you can do. That is really all anyone can do.
4. You can have love again and you deserve love again. I hate the phrase “once a cheater always a cheater” I guess I could say of my ex-husband, “once a loser who checked out of his family and did nothing for years–always a loser.” but I don’t. I was so far from anyone’s image of a cheater that when people did find out they did not believe it. It is not something I ever thought I would do. That is why they are called “mistakes”. We all make them. I am in a relationship now where there is mutual love and mutual effort and mutual affection. I feel valued and I put a lot of effort into making sure he knows how much I adore him and admire him. I am older and wiser now. I realize now how quickly a relationship can run off into the gutter if you don’t put effort into it.
You can move past infidelity and you deserve to put it behind you. There will always be judgment and hate from others. You can’t stop it but you don’t have to focus on it or feel responsible for it. I don’t think I will ever get accolades from anyone nor am I looking for them when I write these articles. However, they are written honestly and are straight from my heart and from my personal experiences. If someone reads this and feel more hopeful than that is a good thing. One bad decision does not have to doom your life even if there are some people out there who will wish that upon you.
“There are a ton of people out there who will gladly call you a whore, a homewrecker, a slut, and deem you totally evil.”
Yep, you are. I hope you are totoally in love some day; happy with your life, the person who called you the love of of his life, your home, your babies and you find out he’s an emotionally manipulating cheat and some homewrecker skank does it to you. Let’s see how high that road is for you then.
Once a bitter shrew, always a bitter shrew, huh Maria-Theresa? The author is right in her comments, but people like you will never see it because you’re lost in a world of bitterness and hatred… I am always amused by people on their high horses… sure hope you’re perfect in your little glass house, but judging from your comments, I’m convinced you’re not. Only bitter. Bless your heart.
I am not a bitter shrew. I am a woman who made a bad decision in her marriage and decided to share my experience. I have no hatred either.. I am not sure you even read the article .
I think that they’re replying to a rude poster who was cheated on and dissed you,, author!
Oh come on! A bad decision? As in ONE bad decision? Not multiple decisions/choices to seek out attention, cultivate an attraction, set aside any hesitation/guilt, build the rationalization, act on the impulse, concoct multiple lies for your husband and kids, and then repeat? Really, your writing is nonsense and this site is garbage for posting it. “I made a bad decision.” Hmm… like when I ordered shrimp in a greasy diner and got food poisoning.
How did YOU make amends for this bad decision? Did you let your husband out of the marriage with the bulk of the assets? Did you refrain from bad-mouthing him? Did you actually apologize to him? Your line “I wasn’t perfect and neither was he” gives you aware as a blame-shifting whore who pretends like she had no agency in her life. The inevitable choice was to go out and get some strange dick. You don’t mention any efforts to talk with your husband before screwing around, no mention that you attempted therapy with him or by yourself, no mention that you decided to divorce him first. No, he was a pathetic loser and you had no choice. Your lack of concern for him jumps off the page! Me, me, me, I, I, I. It’s doubtful your ex-husband laughed once a day while married to you like you now claim you want the rest of us to because suddenly you’re so insightful and know what’s best for us. Is your ex-laughing at you now?
You whine about being called out for your bad behavior on one site while another home wrecking whore gets kudos for her Ester Perelesque act of exuberant defiance. You’re being held accountable. Must be horrible for you. But you’ve found love. Affectionate, mutual love. But you don’t mention that you’re committed to KEEPING YOUR PROMISES/VOWS this time. How telling…
Once a cheater, always a cheater. I think we can all see where that saying comes form.
Straight from the heart? Whatever!
harry brown says
How would you feel if someone cheated on one of your children? (like my ex daughter in law did to my son)
He was left with her debts. he has spent years paying off her debts. and 10 years later still not married.
Do you have any idea of the pain you cause by having an Affair? Divorce first. Do not do this to another human being.
She ruined his life. Think about someone ruining one of your kid’s life. Hope you do something nice for the “loser” that is the father of your some of your children.
Manchini Ch says
To cheat is a choice. You wake up and think about it. You live your life thinking- I an a cheat. It is not a mistake, it is a choice you made. Straight and simple. You want to be happy, fine, but first dont make innocent people unhappy-DICORECE HIM/HER….before laying the lathway of your happiness.
In the qorld of biology there is a term of an organism who lives and for sure is happy, on expanse on other live organism- it is known as parasitism. A spoce cheater is no better animal than a parazite.
David Ryerson says
question what if the “cheeter” moves in directly with the affair partner. and after 10 months they are “soulmates” think that is mostly just lust moving that along?
I was cheated on for months but I decided to forgive him. It took me over a year to get over it, I still get triggered from time to time. It wasn’t an easy journey and we both had to work hard on our relationship. I listened to his reasons/excuses/whatever you want to call it of why he did what he did. It doesn’t justify it, it is still by far the dumbest thing he’s ever done. But I understand and I could see that he was genuinely guilty, ashamed and deeply apologetic about it. He cheated but I still love him and I believe he deserves love and happiness but not without suffering the consequences of this actions first.
If his attitude was like you, if he came to me demanding that he’s ‘human, not perfect, made a mistake’ and that it ‘shouldn’t define him and haters will hate’, we wouldn’t be together today.
The only people your article will help are the narcissist cheaters in my opinion, those who would rather throw other people under the bus than to admit their own mistakes. Either that or your writing style sucks and you can’t convey the right message across.
I have had an affair for more than one year. I was married for twenty-eight years and we were both faithful. However, we have had a very turbulent marriage all along. During the marriage, we had been to counseling several times for several years and it didn’t seem to help. My husband did not want to really work on any issues that I had with our marriage and he just had a lot of resentment. He was disrespectful to me and verbally abusive. I told him that I didn’t feel loved and I wanted to be loved by a man. I told him that I had been wanting to have an affair. He encouraged it and suggested an open marriage. That bothered me. After not having sex for six months, I went on-line and found someone else. He was divorced and he said all the things I needed to hear. He told me I am beautiful and smart and that he loved me.I did not leave my husband at the time because I was waiting for our youngest son to turn eighteen and go off to college. I also wanted to wait til our finances were improved so we could afford to separate. We are four months away from our 30th wedding anniversary and I am moving out in one week. I am still hoping that my husband will fight for me and I would probably prioritize the marriage for the sake of our kids. I have been hoping for a long time that he will wake up. But I am focused now on developing my own life AND seeing where this love affair will lead. The relationship is young but it has brought me so much joy and happiness that I am hopeful for the future. I was very traditional and thought cheating was horrible. However, I now believe that we don’t live in a perfect world. When you wake up and realize that you don’t feel loved and valued, you realize that you are still young (at 53) and that you will either die or become widowed before you can experience falling in love again. I didn’t think I should wait til I was 70 or 80 years old, like my mom was when my dad died. I wanted to be a role model for my kids but I would not want to see them be unhappy for decades. And they have been stressed by our unhappy marriage. My husband spent the last 15 years complaining to the kids about his unhappiness. It really takes two to have a happy marriage and I couldn’t do it by myself. Getting divorced first can be very difficult when you don’t believe that you will ever find love anywhere else because your spouse makes you feel undesirable. Fear of making it public and the fear of ending up alone can be paralyzing and it took a lot of counseling and a new love to give me the courage to leave.
DivorcedMoms Staff says
You would have never left if not for the new man in your life. I’m just wondering how your children are going to respond when they know you left for another man. You see, they don’t care how unhappy you are, all they’re going to care about is that their mother cheated on their father and then divorced him. You’ve done your children a horrible disservice. If you wanted to set an example for them, you should have shown them that you have the strength to leave on your own.