Is Infidelity a Deal Breaker for You?

Thursday, June 14th, 2012 by from Mom, Myself, & I

couple + one

When gathering information about infidelity, it is difficult to get a realistic grasp on how widespread cheating is. Why? Because obviously most people aren’t honest about infidelity, even when they are caught red handed. 

And although men seem to have to the reputation for cheating – the truth is that both men and women cheat. Even men and women who are in mostly happy, sexually satisfying relationships sometimes choose to cheat on their partners. 

Prior to having a family, most people are pretty adamant, that a cheating spouse will get the boot. Cheating is a deal breaker.  It’s a difficult thing for man or woman to recover from. It changes the relationship in such a profound way that many couples never recover. 

But something happens to folks once they have children together. While the expectations of a partner seem to rise to all time highs – the consequences of bad behavior seem to lessen.

Even more interesting is a statistic reported by the Huffington Post that indicates when a man cheats, 3 out of 5 women stay in the relationship. Yet when a woman cheats, only 1 in 5 men choose to stay. If the couple has children, 4 out of 5 women CHOOSE to stay in the relationship. 

An expert explanation of the reason women choose to stay is as follows: Women tend to feel off balance, crazy etc. when they suspect a partner is cheating. When the cheating is confirmed, women tend to be able to move forward because they first feel validated (that they aren’t crazy) and then feel guilty and often responsible for the man’s behavior. 

The idealisms about being the perfect woman for their mate take over and women tend to believe that they have in some way caused their mates indiscretion. Men on the other hand are territorial and angry and normally cannot get over a wife/girlfriend cheating. 

Plus, women feel responsible for creating the perfect family situation (whether married or not) for their children. When a woman has a child, she is prone to sacrificing her own happiness, needs, desires and wants in order to ‘save the family.’

I find this sad. But I also find this true. And I also have to agree with the thinking. I don’t know if I could walk out on my marriage of 18 years, with four children at home, because of infidelity.  

And let’s be honest….we NEVER know what we are going to do until it happens to us.  So please be kind in your comments.   

Women internalize the affair, and believe that if they stop over-mothering, or pay more attention to their husband they can get the relationship back on track. And, women are often gravely committed to the substance of family over their own wants and needs. 

Infidelity is a very difficult subject. Even so, it is something that – according to statistics from the Durex Sex Survey – 8 out of 10 of us will be faced with in our relationship. 

Now that you have a family, is infidelity still a deal breaker? Do you have any advice for women who are dealing with a cheating spouse

 

What do you think? Is Infidelity a Deal Breaker for You?

Stef DanielAuthor

Stef Daniel is the 40ish year old, experienced (meaning crazy already) mother of count ‘em…4 daughters (yes, she takes prayers) who have taught her nearly E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G she needs to know about raising kids and staying sane. She hails from a small town in Georgia where she lives with her family in a red tin roofed house (w ... More

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96 comments

  1. Avatar of Rebecca Rebecca says:

    I will be perfectly honest and admit that I have been the one who was not faithful in the relationship. With my oldest sons father I lied and chested and he stood by me. However our relationship still did not work out and we ending up splitting. When I met my husband I knew we were both damaged from previous relationships. We both fell victim to fights and the other calling thier ex to talk. However that ended when we got more serious. My husband has never cheated physically. He has called an ex on more than one occasion after we have had severe arguments. We are still together and truthfully I believe we are stronger now knowing we both had the chance to reunite with our exs and chose to stick it out together and raise our 3 beautiful kids. All depends on the situation.

  2. Avatar of maria maria says:

    I’m 39 weeks pregnant and found out that my husband has been talking to another women for months he states that it’s has only stayed in an long distance relationships ( they have never really meet in person) I still feel really betrayed from the phone calls and text messaging going on for months. At this point I still haven’t made my decision whether to stay with him or not since this is not the first time he’s done this online dating thing :/ any suggestions ? He’s been begging me for forgiveness but I have not said anything to him

  3. I would do anything for love…

    But I won’t do that.

    Definitely a deal breaker for me. I can deal with a lot of things but this one is an exception.

  4. Avatar of Jamie Jamie says:

    If my man would cheat on me doesn’t mean I’d leave him. I nelieve anything can be worked out. By no means am I perfect I have had my own moments of fault

  5. Avatar of Alyssa Alyssa says:

    I am a very young mom to be, and I grew up without a dad because they got devoiced for cheating. me being as young as I am makes the chances of me and my boyfriend staying together very slim. I love him to death, but I don’t know where time will take our relationship. I had made the decision early in my pregnancy that I would never leave him, no matter what, and I will stick to that.

  6. Avatar of ray allen ray allen says:

    What is ironic is that my ex-wife used to repeatedly accuse me of having affairs (including the time I laughed in her face when she accused me of having an affair with a guy), but she was the one that introduced me to her boyfriend and showed me the door.

    To be honest I had opportunities to cheat because I had women at trade shows hand me their motel room keys, but I made a choice not to cheat because I believed in my marriage vows.

    Maybe I’m an anachronism, but it takes two people to have an affair, and you can make the choice to say ‘no’ if someone propositions you.

  7. Avatar of Dannielle Dannielle says:

    I am the mother of two and have been with my kids father for 6 years. I was the cheater. And he found out. It’s been almost a year since and we are still together. I’m grateful that he has chosen to stay with me. Sometimes it’s not the kids but true love..and though it’s obvious why someone would question that from the cheater the cheated may just love that person enough to try and get through it. Sometimes cheating comes from deep dark seed,other than not loving your partner and sexual fulfillment ..

  8. Avatar of Live4everqt Live4everqt says:

    I think this is so SAD that women would stay with a man that has cheated on them. Kids or no kids. So what they’re saying is ” it’s ok, I don’t deserve to be happy, loved, respected, or cherished because I have children so therefore I’m staying in this loveless relationship”. Do the kids really deserve to grow up around that? I grew up with a single mom who left her marriage after 13 years because my dad cheated. I grew up without a father and all I can say is good rid dens. I know some women who choose to stay only to be confronted by the other woman and get beaten by the bastard. What are we teaching our kids? Did we also forget life is short? This is exactly why it’s mostly men who cheat. Women need to get themselves together and stop taking the blame. They need to realize they deserve to be happy. I have 2 kids now and I have no problem raising them on my own if it ever comes to that. But staying with a dirty bastard who obviously is selfish and not caring about my happiness is not an option. Not to mention the diseases he can bring me from the adultery. Yeah I don’t think so.

  9. Avatar of Kathryn Kathryn says:

    Right now I am trying to deal with something like this. My boyfriend and the father of my child cheated on me with an 18 year old (I am 26 and he is 32). He says he wants to work things out but he still talks to her and asks her how she feels about him. He doesnt know that I know because I have been going threw his phone. I feel bad for doing this but I feel like I cant trust him if he continues to talk to her. She is still in high school. We are expecting a baby in August and I got pregnant while he was cheating on me. I kind of feel like he still is when I was in the hospital he was talking to her and they were exchanging naughty pictures. I just dont know what to do right now because I love him but I dont know how to deal with this. Does anyone have any advice on what I should do about this?

    • Avatar of Beverly Beverly says:

      Hi Kathryn,
      Can I start by saying – I’m going through the exact same thing. I’m 25 and the father of the child is 25 as well; i hear d his phone vibrate in the middle of the night (he had also locked his phone too – which is something he has never done, so of course my gut told me something was wrong) – I figured out his code and found that he had exchanged naughty photos with some nasty chic he met on craigslist through the personal ads. I was heartbroken,(and it still bothers me) – I mean, who cheats on a woman carrying their child?? What did i do? I called the girl – who had NO IDEA he had a gf and definitely no idea he has a baby on the way. she apologized and sent messages to his phone saying she knew everything and how he was going to lose everything by not being a good father or partner. I woke him up while he was asleep and his face immediately went pale when he saw the phone in my hand. I told him that i’m leaving him – i wont be so horrible as to keep thebaby from him (i want him to be in their life) – but he cried and told me that he’ll do anything to make things right. So where we stand right now: 1) if he wants me to stay at the house, for now he has to sleep in a seperate room or on the couch. I believe that sex for me is more of an act of love, and while i do still love him, i wont touch him with a 10 foot pole until i feel safe again – and it will def take some time. 2) we are getting into counselling together – he at first argued that we dont need it, but I believe he needs to free his mind and talk about feelings he may not feel comfortable sharing with just me and now he has agreed that it would help. 3) I didnt ask him to do this, but he has given up his phone until we start counselling – he stated that he understands it’s easier for him to pull up porn, email girls, texts, etc with the phone on him. But more than anything, I have reminded myself that I deserve the best – my baby does too. This is a choice HE MADE and there is nothing wrong with me – the issues lie with him. I have made it clear that if he really wants this, he better be prepared to fight for it. FIND YOUR STRENGTH & STAND YOUR GROUND – and remember to give yourself plenty of time to heal – this isnt something that goes away overnight just cuz the guy apologizes

    • Avatar of Megan KlayEditor Megan Klay says:

      Hi Kathryn – I’m sorry to hear you’re going through this. You need to do whatever is best for you and the baby and if being with him isn’t it, then I think you need to consider that. Best wishes to you and your baby!

  10. Avatar of Del Del says:

    Last week i caught my husband kissing his office mate right in front of our apartment. I kicked him out right then and there. He refused to leave but I was firm when I asked him to get out. We have no communication now. One thing I am sure of is that i never felt secure with him. Also, my 2 kids are fine without him. It’s just that i miss him. I hope I can be strong enough to move out of this relationship. He also never said sorry and even blamed the girl. It hurts so bad. I can still clearly remember the two of them kissing and that he’s with her everyday.

  11. Avatar of Veronica Veronica says:

    Cheating is definite deal breaker because of my history. My father cheated on my mother multiple times and she stayed with him “for the sake of the kids”. He kept saying that he would change and actually made steps in the right direction each time, but it would only last year at most. It was not a good situation for my siblings and me and it was certainly a horrible situation for my mother. Knowing all of that, if my husband cheated on me, I would not be able to stay with him even though we have two children. However, I know that he is aware of my beliefs and isn’t stupid enough to risk losing everything we have built…he would leave me first if he wanted someone else.

  12. Avatar of gfeld gfeld says:

    I think it would be because 1)I am devoutly religious and It is one of the things that you are never supposed to do, cheat 2)Marriage is built on trust and if I can’t trust my husband in this area, what is to stop him from doing things behind my back in other areas? For me it is a deal breaker. He has to honor the bond we made at our wedding 8 years ago.

  13. Avatar of helen helen says:

    When I was younger cheating was a deal breaker, now I don’t know what I would do if my partner ever cheated on me. Especially now that I am pregnant with his child. I have been cheated on by several men and I have dropped a couple as soon as I found out and one I forgave and gave a second chance and he just continued to cheat and even gave me an sti because of his infidelity so I had to make a decision to permanently kick him out of mine and my sons life. I have a philosophy if you cheat then you cant possibly love someone or seriously want to be in a relationship with that person. I have complete trust in my partner that he’s faithful but then again most of the time we don’t expect our partners to be unfaithful.

  14. Avatar of Adrii Adrii says:

    For me it’s plain and simple as..
    Infidelity would be a cause of a separation.. Yes you can easily talk it out and try solving issues .. But let’s be honest you will never forget .. Trust will eventually fade away just thinking about what your partner did., and things will never be the same no matter how much you try.
    And for the sale of the kids?? Why live in a home with problems and issues. It’s best for the kids to live peacefully than watching their parents confrontations.. I told my partner there are two things ii will never accept:: and that’s to live with a cheater and or abusive partner. The first time he lays hands on me or cheats on me ii will leave no matter how hard or how much it hurts.

    • Avatar of Thomas Thomas says:

      I’m not contesting what you have just said. But some of the people I have counseled who have had affairs in their marriages were the ones you thought (and so did they) that they would never do such a thing. They were the ones saying what you said, and probably would have acted on what they said had it been their spouse who committed the affair. But (and sadly, like my own wife), life enters a new and totally unexpected phase when you have to work through an indiscretion by someone who has now done what they said they would never tolerate.

      On the same day I learned of my spouse’s infidelity, I had to get a haircut. My stylist was a lady who worked in a salon that had a good number of women who had destroyed their marriages by (often repeated) infidelity. She was talking to me that day about how she and her husband even had to take the children of one or two of these women for a time while the individual (or couple) worked out their difficulties. Then, not knowing the pain I was in that day, broke down in tears and said, “I warned my husband not to ever do something like that or it would be a sure and instant divorce. And I’m pretty sure he never will. But even if he did, with what I’ve seen, I just can’t let another good marriage dissolve into another broken home.”

      It is difficult for me to say what I would like to say next – suffice to say I don’t want anyone to have to be put into the situation I was put into – of having to face something my spouse wondered if I would ever do, but I had never even considered that she would ever do. I only know that my wife is now grateful that I have extended the hand of forgiveness she tells me (and I believe) I would never have gotten, had the roles been reversed.

      So before you issue the ultimate ultimatum, put the shoe on the other foot, only long enough to ponder what you would like to see happen if …

  15. Avatar of Thomas Thomas says:

    Make no mistake about one thing – if an affair is seriously “over” and the offending partner is serious about the damage he/she has done and the pain it has caused, they will let nothing – NOTHING – stand between them and serious steps to begin the process of reconciliation. This means they will have absolutely no problem:
    *Allowing all their communications to be monitored – e-mails (including all passwords), text messages, access to their laptops, everything – life is and must be an open book for them now (and the serious ones know it);
    *Distinct and daily words and actions showing forth their sorrow and contrition over the matter. At some point, there will have to be a genuine “broken-ness” (“What have I done???”) in these people, and will act accordingly;
    *Absolute ceasing of ANY and ALL contact with the individual. If this person is a co-worker, it may mean getting a new job. If the person is a neighbor, it may mean moving. Affairs are VERY serious matters – VERY serious steps need to be taken to protect the integrity of the marriage;
    *A willingness to answer all questions honestly – provide whatever details the offended spouse seeks – for as long as it takes;
    *Understand that the hurt caused by an affair, even under the best of circumstances, will take 2-5 years to heal. During that time, the offender needs to man up (or woman up, as the case may be), and start being to the spouse what they probably should have been all along.

    If they absolutely balk at such things, you will then know that either the affair is not over, or just that they wish not to have the maturity to put forth what any spouse has a right to ask for in marriage. Once you know that, you’ll have a pretty good idea what to do next with this sub-human being.

  16. Avatar of Olivia Olivia says:

    This is the reason me and the father of my child arent together.. when i first found out i was willin to look pass it since we had a baby on the way and he said he was gonna stop.. days went by and things wasnt the same with us.. come to find out he never stopped.. even though it wasnt sex him conversing with other female could lead to that

  17. Avatar of Shelley Shelley says:

    I wouldn’t be able to live or sleep next to my husband if he ever cheated on me. I wouldn’t stay in the marriage. Children or not! If you don’t have trust, what do you have?

  18. Avatar of Thomas Thomas says:

    I guess I’m in the minority here. I am a guy whose wife had an affair on me. And I have decided to stay in the relationship, at least for the time being.

    It certainly is not “staying married for the sake of the kids” – they are now out of the house. Yes, they are furious at Mom and would more than understand if I chose to part company with her.

    No, up to now, I do not believe she has shown the proper contrition (it’s been almost a year since it began, and now about six months since it ended) – I’m not even sure she knows how to. And yes, I hurt every single day over what she has done.

    But she did give up the job where he was a co-worker, (finally) ended all communication with him, and decided to try to begin a new life with me hundreds of miles away from where I had lived. She has found gainful employment and it does seem like this “mid-life crisis” stage is behind her and for good.

    Yes, the price I have paid is steep. I lost my job and my home over it. Unlike her, I have not found gainful employment, despite trying everything there is to try. It will take awhile to get over what she did – and far, far longer to get over the awful things she said to me while she was in that phase (very few of which she claims she even vaguely recalls).

    But I just do not see how breaking up the marriage and washing my hands of the matter is going to help matters. If I thought this was just one of many past and/or future trysts, and that feeling this way is just going to enable her, I might feel different.

    But if you knew her, she was always the one, both in her family, and in her workplaces that went to great lengths to make the right decisions – and to take the proper steps that erect the proper barriers to keep things like that from ever happening.

    She knows quite well that if there ever is another chapter – either with this man, or any other, that then WILL be a deal-breaker. But between being a man of forgiveness, and understanding the vows I willingly took on the day of my marriage, I believe her – and the 27+ years I have spent with her – to be worth another chance.

  19. Avatar of Angiem1977 Angiem1977 says:

    This may sound crazy but getting even is the first thing that entered my mind.I know two wrongs dont make a right bit there’s no way I could handle being cheated on.I would not forgive and I most definitely wouldn’t forget.Stuff like that just doesn’t sit well with me. I would constantly be wondering why or what did I do or didn’t do to deserve this. A lot of families stay together just for the kids and the parents are miserable so why put yourself or your kids through it all.

  20. I hate cheating and cheaters period. You can’t trust someone who is deceiving you and your family and living a double life. It shows their non-commitment to you and your children & Puts your health at risk depending on your birth control habits with a man you should be able to trust. I don’t think having children together is any reason for a woman to stay with a cheating man, he obviously wasn’t thinking about your family when he was cheating right? It is the ultimate display of disrespect to think that the comfort of a strange woman exceeds any feelings that his wife and children could give him.

  21. Avatar of Joy Joy says:

    If he were truly repentant and agreed to professional counseling then I would stay. Although it would be a long time before I trusted him again and he would be expected to check in regularly until I was feeling trusting. I would want to make it work but I also wouldn’t want to be a doorstep. However, I would also consider the things I might have done to contribute to the situation that led to his choosing to cheat. I would try to make my own changes to hopefully improve our situation. Not to say I’d let him off his own guilt. He still chose to cheat regardless of what I might have done.

  22. cheating is a definite deal breaker !

  23. Avatar of Kimberly Kimberly says:

    Cheating is a deal breaker for me, I refuse to be treated like trash by someone. You allow people to treat you like you think you deserve to be treated and that is not one I am willing to put up with. If a man can’t keep it in his pants then I am sorry you can go philander else where I am not interested.

  24. Avatar of Kimberly Kimberly says:

    No matter who cheats it’s their decision. It’s not theother ones fault you chose that. You’re grown. People need tomlearn to take responsibility for their actions. I’m a stay t home mom and not wanting a job wouldn’t be my reason to stay. Why do people think we don’t work. Stay at home moms are the cheapest labor you’ll ever find. We are childcare, personal shoppers, cooks, maids, therapist, and most,y we sacrifice all of our happiness for the family. I never eat out, i barley ever get my hair done or nails done. I don’t shop for myself. I might get 2 new items of clothing a year, and i never get a girls night out. We work people.

  25. Avatar of Miriam Miriam says:

    Selfish… Selfish selfish selfish

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