DR. CELESTE CATANIA-OPRIS, PH.D., LMFT
Being cheated on has been described as one of the most heart-wrenching experiences one can face. Some have shared feeling numb, constantly anxious, and extremely betrayed after finding out about the infidelity. Still, every woman undoubtedly has the right to choose to forgive her partner or to move on from the relationship, depending on what she personally feels is right.
Here are 5 main reasons why women stay in relationships after their partners have strayed.
After years of being with someone, many women can’t fathom having to “let go” of a relationship. The mere thought causes extreme anxiety and panic. Even though these women are aware that their partners have been unfaithful, the idea of “throwing it all away” doesn’t make sense. Some consider the years of memories they created together. There is a sense of comfort felt within a relationship that is formed throughout the years. For some women, that comfort is irreplaceable and worth fighting for.
There is an enormous fear to “start over” after finding out that a partner has cheated. After years of being with the same person, some women feel afraid to start over with someone new. They imagine sleeping next to a new partner at night, picture themselves being intimate with this new person, and can feel insecure about showing their bodies to someone different. The thought of dating again and the fear of rejection appear to intimidate some women causing them to think twice and to stay with their current partners.
Guilt has an enormous impact when deciding to stay or to leave a partner who has cheated, especially if children are involved. Many women feel guilt and think about the potential effects of separation on their children. They worry how their kids will adjust or how their children will grow up without both parents living under one roof.
Belief in Change:
Some women live with the mentality that everyone deserves a second chance. Many women also believe that people can change, including their partners. When love is involved, you want to see the goodness in people, even when they have hurt you tremendously. With this in mind, numerous women have stayed in relationships after discovering that their partners have strayed. Some shared that attending therapy helped their partners to change. Others mentioned that thoroughly discussing their issues helped strengthen their weaknesses and made them stronger.
One of the most common reasons women stay with their unfaithful partners is the fear of being financially independent. Even in our modern world, many women rely on their partners to financially support them. It can be frightening to be on your own, especially after being with someone for so many years. Sometimes the fear of the unknown and feeling financially tied to a partner can result in forgiveness and moving forward with the relationship.
The power of love can make us do things in life we can’t explain. In the end, staying together or separating after infidelity is a personal choice. The choice is yours and no one else’s. You are the expert of your own life. Sometimes you may feel lost. During those times, your heart will always guide you!
Celeste Catania-Opris, Ph.D., LMFT, offers therapeutic services to individuals, couples, and families. Visit www.TherapyForModernHousewives.com.