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Expert Advice: “Once a cheater, always a repeater.” Should I give My Cheating Spouse Another Chance?

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Expert advisor- Aruna Dontabhaktuni

Wife’s perception: I have been married to my husband for four years, and we have been going through a rough patch for the past year. We were always fighting, and things got so out of hand that we stopped sleeping together. Last month we decided to see a marriage counselor and realized that counseling is proving beneficial for our relationship. That was until he confessed he slept with one of his colleagues three months ago. Now I am confused if I should even give him another chance.

Husband’s perception: Because of all the fighting and bickering at home, I wasn’t feeling very well emotionally. I was in a vulnerable state, and there was a moment of weakness one night during an office party. I kept it from my wife because I knew she’d be hurt, but during the counseling, I realized I didn’t want to start a new chapter of our life based on a lie, so I confessed.

Expert’s advice for Wife: The answer is never as simple as black and white during such situations. You must consider all the facts before making a decision. Such as how long the affair was? Did your partner admit it, or did they hide it from you and lied to get out of it? And most importantly, if you can trust them again or not. In this case, your husband confessed that it was a moment of weakness. All the fights at home made him vulnerable and he was looking for some intimacy and companionship. We all are humans and can make mistakes; his intention was good when he disclosed this secret to you. He clearly wants your marriage to work and is putting in efforts to do so; he deserves a second chance. You can keep seeing the marriage counselor to guide you through the aftermath of an affair and how to rebuild the trust. This is my suggestion, but at the end of the day, it is all about your gut feeling. 

Expert’s advice for Husband: Relationships are very fragile and what is more delicate than them is trust. Trust takes years to build and seconds to break. Own your mistake and give your wife time to process this incident. Don’t be clingy or manipulate her into giving you a second chance because if she gives your marriage another try under pressure, it is doomed to fail. Be by her side and let her know that you are there for her no matter what. And whatever decision she takes, respect it because she is in this situation because of your moment of weakness.

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