So how do you choose? By actually taking the time to get real with yourself and then your husband. It’s time to tell the truth, the raw truth, and nothing but the plain truth about this marriage. Only by telling the truth will you be able get the support you need to make a choice with courage and conviction.
What would this relationship need to look like, be like for me to stay? If you don’t love him but you feel there’s enough respectability for you to try and rebuild or you’d like to remain for the children, or financial or other reasons, what needs to happen so that you can remain without unhealthy behaviors is possible? If you do love him, and want a more traditional marriage, what would that look like for you? How do you want to be treated? How do you want to feel? What actions or behaviors would he need to adopt? And here’s a big one—what actions or behaviors do YOU need to adopt if you were to stay?
Are you willing to do the work have the relationship you want? Are you willing to step up and do your part? Are you willing to get counseling or coaching or group therapy to support you or to support your husband? Are you willing to stop punishing your husband/partner/lover for this mistake? Are you willing to stand up and not take on the role of a victim? Are you willing to take a hard look at what you did or didn’t do that might have contributed to the infidelity? This is not to say that the affair was your fault, but we all play a part in this equation. Are you willing to look at the role you played and take steps to do things differently to save your marriage?
Are you willing to ask for what you want? Are you willing to say the cheating has to stop? Are you willing to require that you be the number one woman in his life, followed by his daughters and his mother? Are you willing to ask for romance and respect? Are you willing to make a stand for the kind of man you want in your life, to be in relationship with, to parent your children? And what are you willing to do if the answer is, "no?" This probably the hardest step. You have to be willing to move forward with consequences. Not a punishment or a threat but following through and walking away if he refuses to stop cheating. You ultimately only hurt yourself and your children if you remain in an unhealthy relationship with someone who does not value the relationship, or his role in the household as husband and father.
Consider the impact of staying and leaving. Really take a long look at staying and working it out, both the risks and rewards. And really take a look at walking away if he says "no" to any or all of your requests. What is the impact on you, him, and the children? What are the emotional and spiritual impacts? What are the financial and social impacts? Know what is at stake for you and everyone involved. Then, no matter what you choose, you can take steps to deal with the realities that you will face either way. There will be things you can’t anticipate. But if you’ve thought much of this through, you’ll be in a much better place than you would just making a choice from raw emotions.
Get Support. This is a very important. You are very vulnerable right now. Chances are everyone around you who knows what is going on with you is vulnerable too—filled with compassion or outrage on your behalf. You need an impartial individual or group to support you. One is not personally impacted by your choice who can serve as a guide and/or give you wise counsel. Get into a support group, get a coach, a counselor, or a therapist. You do not have to do this alone. So don’t.
Choosing whether to stay or go can be one of the hardest challenges you face in your relationship history. And the truth is it’s a choice only you can make. Friends and family are full of loving, helpful advice, but when it comes down to it, it’s your husband, your marriage, your family. Take the time you need to make your choice with clarity and commitment. What’s good for your well-being, what is healthy and will it be healing for you and healthy for your family.
Need more support on this topic, join Coach Ivy on June 29, in Columbia, MD for her two hour seminar on How to Get Over Him for Good and Date Like a Supermodel! For more information click here http://www.lifecoachivy.com/Meet-Me---Live-Events.html.