get outThe other night Linda was discussing a mentoring client that is having a really rough time.  It seems his wife just can’t – or won’t – end the affair.  She is being downright hateful, spiteful and mean to him.  Yet he hangs on.

His wife blatantly carries on with her affair with no remorse or concern for him or her family.  But every now and then she will say that she is sorry or does just enough to give him hope for the future.  It is affecting him mentally and physically and is tearing apart the family. Yet he claims he wants to save the marriage.

I asked Linda why she thought people in his situation just don’t say “the hell with this” and leave – or kick the cheater out.  She replied (at least in this client’s situation) that the cheater is giving him just enough of a ray of hope every now and then that he feels his wife is emerging from her fog and will come to her senses and end her affair.  He is also being gaslighted big time.  He knows that what his wife is doing is horrible but she is doing just enough to keep him hanging on.

This certainly isn’t a unique situation, but it might not be your situation.  Therefore, our topic of discussion will address why the betrayed spouse keeps fighting when treated so badly.

When experiencing all that you did while your spouse was having an affair, why don’t (didn’t) you just say enough is enough and end things?

Why is it so hard to leave or demand the cheater to leave?

What is the driving force behind your inner strength and determination to continue working to save your marriage?

As always, please respond to each other in the comments.

Thanks!

Linda & Doug

LINESPACE

    26 replies to "What Stops You From Leaving (Or Kicking the Cheater Out)?"

    • Lorry

      Whoops, clicked on the wrong thing.
      With my situation, I did offer to leave at the beginning. If my H wanted to stay with the OW, I was going to step aside. My H said no that he loved me. I started thinking about how much I had put into this relationship. We had gone through alot together and bottom line was that I really love him. I am not a quitter by nature and I felt that I was not going to allow the OW to dictate how I should live my life. She already took a good year and half. I was determined to make our relationship work and all I needed was my H wanting the same thing. This has been the hardest thing I have ever done. If I allowed this relationship to end, I am not sure that I could deal with the idea of total failure in our marriage. We had built a life together and even though some of it was a lie over the last two years, that should not negate the other over 35 years we spent together.

    • Recovering

      When experiencing all that you did while your spouse was having an affair, why don’t (didn’t) you just say enough is enough and end things?

      I did, several times… he always would talk me into coming home. He left a couple of times, too, when I would have my hysterical fits. I love him, though. We have a life, a family, a house, 2 dogs, 2 cats, and had plans for our future.. He became someone I didn’t know.. I loved the person who I knew he was… and could be again. Or at least HOPED he could be again. And I guess I was afraid, too. Here I was, though I had suspected he was cheating, part of me never believed he would ever do something so sick and cruel, so I was in shock. I don’t have family that lives close, and I was embarrassed… I felt trapped… so for the first 3-4 months I was just too mentally unstable to make any decision that would affect my children… by the time I was coming back to reality, he was too… and I wasn’t about to let some stupid whore destroy what I had worked so hard for if he was willing to be the man I deserve.

      Why is it so hard to leave or demand the cheater to leave?

      Because we love them… because we don’t really want to believe they are such horrible people… because we have our lives all planned out.. because we don’t want to admit we, or they, have failed. I, in a way, wish I would’ve made him leave and stay gone, just for a little while. I think it would’ve sped up the recovery process a little, at least for me, because then I wouldn’t have had to look at the source of my pain every day. I could’ve had some time out to THINK instead of just feel.

      What is the driving force behind your inner strength and determination to continue working to save your marriage?

      My love for him and our family, and my inability to quit because HE was an idiot. I guess in a way I have this desire to prove to him, and myself, that he was soooo stupid to do what he did… that what we have IS special, and that there is no one better for him out there. That strength wains… not that I think there is someone better out there for HIM, but sometimes I wonder if there is someone better out there for ME that wouldn’t do something like this to someone that they supposedly love. Then I read the statistics and hear all of the stories and pray and hope that my husband really HAS grown from this and become a grown up instead of the selfish child that he obviously was. I am hoping and praying that “Once a cheater always a cheater” isn’t true. That my husband will never be such an idiot again… As a researcher and a math person I am relying heavily on statistics here and am not sure that is wise, but feel like I have to have SOMETHING to back me up… am not sure I will EVER be sure I’ve made the right decision because I am beginning to realize that his cheating has changed me, and us, forever. This isn’t something I will EVER get over, but something I will get through. I married him for better or worse, and it can’t get much worse, so if we can make it through this together and still love each other, then it will be worth it… Just wish he had taken HIS vows seriously….

    • chiffchaff

      What stopped me from leaving for the first 4 months was shock and self-blame really. And because my H had told me that he wanted to stay with me more than he wanted to leave for the OW. Even though he was lying about the extent of their continued involvement at that time.
      What stopped me from leaving after that 4 months was a promise of commitment and actual NC from my H, which also turned out to be a crock of sh*t too in hindsight as he kept fantasising about how perfect his life would be with the OW while living his daily life with me.
      I did kick him out in March this year, 7 months post Dday and the reason for that was that he said things to me that I would not accept to stay with him. He pushed me over the edge and I went willingly over it.
      The driving force to stay (and probably what made me take him back after kicking him out) was that there were more distinct glimmers of love from him, of commitment and a change of attitude more akin to him finally accepting that it had been a fantasy and that we had a marriage worth saving. I saw the man I loved and could still love more frequently than before and this rewarded the efforts required to stay.

      That’s not to say it isn’t still bloody hard work. We’ve had some very good times recently but old resentments come to the surface. One particularly bad one has arisen today, which I’m finding very hard to know how to deal with. Any helpful advice about how to deal with it gratefully received as always.

      The problem is that before and during the PA/EA we were trying to get pregnant. I had many miscarriages. During his PA I had told him I wanted to stop trying as it was too distressing to keep failing as well as coping with the hormonal cliff edge drop each time. I have since discovered that he used my saying this as justification for ramping up his PA into an EA as he used my saying this as evidence that I didn’t love him. He has told me that he fantasised about how lovely it would be to have kids with her. Now he has expressed in a roundabout way that he would like us to try again and I am also onboard with that. The problem is that I am 40 and don’t know if it will happen. In the past I asked him, after we didn’t get lucky for many months of trying, if he’d get a sperm count done as it was a straightforward thing that could be solved if it turned out to be a problem. You’d think I’d asked him to get a whole new ‘appendage’. Given my age I think it’s more important than ever to know if there’s something simple we could solve like low count. I just think he’s too delicate to do it. He’s a head in the sand kinda guy. I can understand that it’s a delicate thing for most men though. This is one massive resentment for me and it’s festering quite quickly. Do I ask him to do it? Do I continue to leave this to magic? He said he didn’t want to know when I’m ovulating, for instance as he thinks it will spoil everything. It all feels too soon and too stressful but I don’t have years to get over the PA/EA and then start considering it again. It’s a mess. added to the usual mess of recovery from affairs for a BS.

      • tryingtoowife

        chiffchaff – I think that you should go ahead and ask him to do it. If he still refuses to do something that it would put both of you in a “knowing the facts’ situation, he would once more be placing you in a situation were it is implied that is your ‘fault’ for what is happening/happened. It is typical of cheaters to find excuses to justify their betrayal, but there are no justification for such an act, and in this specific case, knowing the facts will give you both a better perspective of actions available. This is the time he can prove to you that you are his priority as well your relationship. It is time for actions showing that he cares. If he really is the guy you want him to be, he will support you no matter what. If he doesn’t, he still have some growing up to do. Good luck.

      • rollercoasterrider

        chiffchaff, this really is a huge issue and what you said about a “head in the sand kinda guy” so resonated with me because that’s what I’ve had, too, for all these years. You both want kids, but things are so hard emotionally and having had a H who says he wants to be the man I need and then turns around and wounds me regularly with immaturity and selfishness…it seems like so much potential for more hurt. Is adoption a possibility for you? If your H is so fragile that he gets weirded out by having a sperm count made, is he really cut out to be the dad your child deserves? Then, on the other hand, just because it’s hard, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be considered. It’s in the hard things/places/choices that life is really forged, and going through this together might really provide some great glue for the two of you in the coming years. I wish you all the best!

        • chiffchaff

          thanks for your comments. I have decided to ask, in the most loving yet determined way I can think of.

    • livingonafence

      I’m more curious about what advice Linda is giving this man. Is she advising him to leave, or is she attempting to help him help his wife ‘see the light’?

      • Linda

        There was a little more to the situation than what was written in today’s post, but what I’ve mentioned to this person that I feel it is time for him to put an end to the way his wife was treating him. He deserved better. She will continue to treat him poorly because he was allowing her to do so. He needs to take control of his life and to stop allowing her moods, words and actions to affect how he lives and feels about himself. Basically, if she can’t grow up and stop her behavior then perhaps it is time for him to think about leaving. There comes a point when he needs to accept that his wife needs a strong hand and as long as he continues to go along with the way she is treating him, nothing will change.

        • chiffchaff

          very good advice Linda.
          Why should she change if he’s going along with it?

    • Patsy50

      What is the driving force behind your inner strength and determination to continue working to save your marriage?

      Love for each other, main reason and the willingness of both partners to know that the marriage IS worth saving. Without that love on both sides, my marriage would never make it and I had to accept that right from the beginning.
      I have said before,when I was told by my husband of his EA, he told me he always loved me. I told him, that love, got alittle lost somewhere and he had to find it again in order to work on our relationship. So, I gave him the chance because of my love for him.
      It has been tough at times, but I am glad I did.

    • Broken2

      I know it sounds really weak but I think one of the reasons I stayed and didn’t kick him out is because I wasn’t capable of doing anything. Surviving was all I could do. I couldn’t sleep, eat, concentrate, stop crying. I was a blob of nothing and didn’t really care if I lived or died. It really was up to him and his ability to change…to be there for me. The cheater becomes the healer. I know once I got stronger….this person I didn’t know anymore needed to leave and the man I fell in love with needed to return otherwise the outcome would have been different

    • Gizfield

      Chiff chaff, I dont even really know what to say about this. I kind of doubt your husband’s commitment to having children but I could be wrong. That line about having them with someone else was WAY out of line, at least to me. They are definitely one of the hardest strains you can put on a marriage so if he is immature it will be very difficult, to say the least. On Oprah, they said teenagers and women over 40 are the two biggest groups for unplanned pregnancy :~) so there is hope. My first husband died when I was 40, I had been undecided about children and thought it was over for me. He was an alcoholic so I didnt want to bring a child into it. imagine my surprise at becoming pregnant at age 44. I was worried but my daughter came out perfect. I thank God for that everyday.

    • Gizfield

      I really love it that the Class Act my husband was sneaking around with told me to”think of your daughter” during our Text Fight. I guess thats what they were doing, while they were creeping around. Who would have thought? Called me a “knocked up Skank .” She was insulted when I told her I hope my daughter doesn’t turn out like hers. My girl goes to dance class and church. Hers goes to therapy and “intersession (remedial classes)”. Guess having a tramp as a role model /mother isn’t the best thing for teenage girls.

    • Natalia

      I agree with broken 2. I did the same thing for about 2 months. I’m glad I gave my husband a second chance. The man I fell in love with did come back. It’s been 2 years and 3 months since D-day and our marriage is strong and everything it was when we first got married. However, I will never let my guard down because even though he has promised to never hurt me again I have no control over the other women who are still there.

    • WriterWife

      When experiencing all that you did while your spouse was having an affair, why don’t (didn’t) you just say enough is enough and end things?

      If I walked away, I wanted to do so without any regrets. In order to do that I felt like I really needed to try to work on our marriage and see what happened. I figured that if, after some serious marriage counseling, we still felt like the marriage couldn’t/wouldn’t work, then we’d be done and I’d move on knowing I’d tried as hard as I could.

      I think the issue is drawing that line, though — when you’ve tried enough. For me, I kept trying because my husband was also trying — he’d agreed to NC (well, as much as he could still working with her), he was going to MC with me, he was talking about things. There came a point, though, when he still hadn’t broken things off enough with the OW and I did kick him out. I woke up one morning and just knew — I realized that the pain of living without him would be easier than the pain of living with him.

      Why is it so hard to leave or demand the cheater to leave?

      Fear. And I agree with Linda that often the cheater gives the BS just enough hope to keep stringing them along. However, as Linda also said, I feel that the cheater will treat the BS however the BS allows themselves to be treated. There’s a certain amount of ill treatment that the BS goes through at the start of recovery/reconciliation as the CS emerges from the fog. But I set myself a deadline — that if a certain amount of time passed and I was still being treated poorly, then I’d kick him out. I needed him to know I was serious and I wasn’t going to settle for his behaviour.

      I’m worth more than that, and if he doesn’t see that then he doesn’t deserve me.

      (However, we don’t have kids and I recognize that very much changes how you approach this decision)

    • ChangedForever

      Promising words from Natalia…thank you for that….you’re a little ahead of me. Coming up on 20 months of this hell since ‘my’ 1st DDay, experiencing my ‘2nd time around’ with all the bad dates, triggers, etc. but i’m still clinging to hope. During the ‘1st year,’ i travelled thru the areas and places, been around people who caused me to suffer thru the flashbacks, etc…now? I just avoid these things…so i dont suffer the flashbacks AS I DID.
      Why did i stay? The same reason he didnt leave: because of the children. I, too, believed there was a lifting of the fog but that just proved another lesson…you shouldnt immediately trust someone who could do this to you…’someone’…my husband?! But who knew!?…And to the reader who mentioned never to let your guard down again…very good advice. You really cant…And thats not hypervigilance either. It’s cold hard fact.

      • tsd

        Im withn you changedforever and Natalia….I don’t have flashbacks, triggers are few …however, you two were blessed that CS helped you heal. I did this all on my own. I have made changes in marriage on my own. My h knows he did wrong, has nc, wants to be married, promises mistakes will never happen..do I believe him? hmmm do I trust him? Hmmmm again….I did kick him out for few weeks, and felt he would make positive effort into change (but I asked for nc ltr after a month of waiting, I made appt for counseling, I bought books on tape, etc…as always, wife does it all)….now I’m 14 mos after second day, and I give up on control…I will try the dog training method to see if he STAYS…Marriage is hard…

    • Natalia

      When my husband realized that I’d be the one leaving him after I discovered his emotional affairs, he immediately stopped all the “too personal” contact with these women. Because of his job he can’t avoid them all the time but his behavior with them has changed completely. He doesn’t call or email them unless it’s strictly work related and the language he uses is not at a personal level anymore. He stopped going out to lunch with any of them the day I discovered everything. He has created a new routine at work that does not revolve around these women. These changes he’s made have helped me control the triggers because unfortunately I know all these women and I frequently run into them when I attend events with my husband. I always hear them ask what’s he been up to cause they haven’t heard from him in a long time. Hearing this makes me smile and love my husband more for appreciating me and valuing our marriage. Everything he does now is very transparent and he includes me in everything he does. But I will never let my guard down. Not because I don’t trust my husband (he knows he’s got a lot to lose) but because I don’t trust the other women who don’t respect boundaries.

      • WriterWife

        Natalia – I’ve got a question for you: what did you do/say the first time you ran into these woman? I haven’t run into the OW yet but I know I’m bound to soon (she was former friend of both of us and still works with my husband). I think not knowing how to react when I see her is causing me more stress than anything else right now!

    • Gizfield

      Broken 2, I dont think you’ re weak. You are just human and you were betrayed on an especially vile and vicious way by the person you love and trust most. I seriously doubt I will Ever get over this, you just deal with it as best you can :~)

    • ChangedForever

      True Gizfield…and i echo your comments…you just learn to ‘deal with it.’ some days its to be pulled back into ‘that time,’ other days to feel ‘you can overcome this.’ but those days of ‘overcoming,’ are fleeting. Just too much damage for a lifetime for me. Nothing will ever be the same again …and i say to my H, every once in a while…’i’m glad you’ll never be hurt nor disrespected on this level….because i would never put you thru any of this or allow anyone to hurt you like this…ever.’ and that’s why he will never be able to relate, nor ‘put himself in my place,’ …there is no way to get anyone to understand…unless they’ve been thru this hell.
      20 mths past DDay #1
      12 mths past DDay #2
      …and counting.

    • on the edge

      In the begining I satyed with my husband because he promised me no contact. He also would give me just enough hope to hang all the while gaslighting me and saying the most hurtful things. When I would get too upset he would back down and again give me just enough hope to hang on. We also have young kids and he knew that I did not want to have their lives affected by his stupidity. Then when he continued to tell me that he missed her and wanted to try and and see what would happen with her I finally, 7 months into this drama, took my kids and left. I came back because he said he wanted to work on our marriage only to kick him out 3 weeks later. That finally woke him up! He even admitted that until then the consequences of his actions were not real to him. That was when he finally came clean and admitted that he had been in contact with the OW for 3 months and did not know how to end it but that he wanted to. So we are back together now because he finally seems to be really ready to work on our marriage and commit to it.
      So for us, his knowing how much I wanted this marriage allowed him to stay in the fantasy without any consequenses. When I finally got the courage to say enough he began to see the work that he needs to do.

    • tryingtoowife

      At first I let him stay because I was in complete and utter shock, I had no idea how and what to do, as I had to pretend all was well in front of our teenage children, as they were going through some important exams at school and I had to keep that in mind, not to mess up for them. Apart from shock I stayed because of my children, I did not want to destroy the “family’ were they believed to be safe in, without giving myself time to start to understand better what was going on. I was in a HUGE dark whole. I could see nothing!
      I was embarrassed to let people know that I had failed in my marriage, our so wonderful marriage that people commented about was a farce, how could I tell friends and family that all had been a HUGE lie?
      I was so hurt and angry that I decided not to make a decision in that state of mind, but I surely did not want to have a reason to stay, as cheating has ALWAYS been for me a deal breaker.
      My husband showed terrible sorrow for what he had done and begged me a chance to put things right, but he was not the reason I stayed in the beginning, because I hated the way he broke us and the family, he did not deserve US. I asked him to leave once as we were not working things very well, but after I calmed down, 3 weeks later I allowed him back home. We had counseling as a couple for about 8,9 months, and it helped (he organized it). Later on, as my husband attitudes showed that he could be again the man I first fell in love with and married, and showed to our children that he could be the father that once he was, I stayed because of US. We are doing good progress in this extremely painful situation. My husband is going to counseling by himself. He is a great person, and extremely clever, but I did not know the other side of his character, perhaps not even himself knew.
      For anyone just starting this painful journey I would say that they should never make the decision to separate in anger. Take your time as time heals a lot, if both you works together.

      • tryingtoowife

        Pressed to soon, sorry!
        …If both work together, but we must decide to leave sooner than later if the cheater is not ready or willing to help or work on it. We some times get used to the pain and lose sense of the limit we used to have. But ONLY together and willingly we can get to work over the pain of such a betrayal and hopefully heal one day. Alone is one sided relationship, if alone, better by yourself.

    • Gizfield

      Why do I stay with my husband? Simply because he, our daughter, and myself are all completely miserable when we are apart. We have only been apart because of his cheating for for limited time, once overnight when he announced he wanted a divorce and three days recently when I threw him out for talking to his “friend.” I dont know what has gone on in his mind to cause this, but I have no doubt of his love for me and his family. I would hate to think we wasted any more time than necessary due to his affiliation with that tramp. It is not her ” fault” per se but shes damn sure done what she can to interfere, believe me and keep things going.

    • Veronica

      My husband cheated on me with one night stands when we were engaged. We went through extensive counselling and I decided to give him a change and we got married. This September 22, 2017, he did it again. He promised never to go that same bar where he cheated the first time and he went there again and cheated again. That night he took off his ring. When I confronted him with it, he said he was too drunk to remember. I have decided to end the marriage as after the 2nd time, I wont be able to ever trust him again.

      We have been married for 3.5 years with no children together.

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