There's good news and there's bad news.
I don't know which is more depressing: Extra-marital affairs, or just deciding that you'd rather be alone than have to look at your spouse's face every night for the rest of your life. They both sound kind of awful, but I'd rather have my husband cheat on me than fall out of love with me.
Cheating is something you can work through. An affair, depending on its circumstances, seems like an obstacle between two people that can be overcome. I wouldn't forgive my husband if he had a second family in Arizona or something, but I would be open to forgiveness if his affair was a one-night sort of deal.
Of course, I'd be devastated (as I hope he would be, too), but there's therapy and counseling and crying and friends that can mend the tear in the relationship. And who knows, you could emerge stronger and more in love from the harrowing process.
And if you decide to get a divorce after the affair, it would be an easier pill to swallow than getting a divorce because you've fallen out of love.
If he were to come up to me and say that he's fallen out of love with me — that he's willing to re-enter the dating pool, that he's gotten an apartment downtown, and that I can keep the house because he just doesn't want to be around me anymore — that seems way more harsh. It's more personal that way; while cheating would kill me, it wouldn't deflate me as much as someone admitting they're so over me that they'd like to legally separate from my life.
By the way, I've knocked on wood after each sentence, because it's not like either scenario is at all desirable.
This article was originally published at The Stir. Reprinted with permission from the author.