When You Decide to Stay With Someone Who Cheated on You
Don’t let people shame you into breaking up if it’s not the right decision
She was heartbroken.
But she couldn’t tell what was hurting her more — the fallout from finding out her husband had cheated on her, or being shunned by her friends and family for choosing to stay with him.
My friend Sarah married Joe about 5 years ago. I remember attending their beautiful wedding. It was a jubilant affair. They were great for each other, and it was really obvious to everyone.
In the years that followed, they had two kids. As they both became busy with their jobs and with the kids, they gradually spent less quality time together.
But in spite of that, Sarah was really happy with her marriage. She figured that she could always rely on him. But that changed about 6 months ago — when she learned that Joe was cheating on her.
The way she found out was brutal.
She was driving home from work after her boss let her go home early. On her way home, she went to pick up takeout at one of her and Joe’s favorite cafes. She expected to see the usual familiar faces of the staff.
But she didn’t expect to see that familiar face — Joe’s. And she definitely didn’t expect to see it pressed into another familiar face — his coworker Jan.
They were lightly kissing in a booth in the corner of the cafe. And it didn’t look like the first time they had kissed. Or even the tenth time. It looked like they’d had a lot of practice. She was so mortified she decided to not even wait for the food she’d ordered.
But she mustered the courage to confront him about it later, when they were both sitting in the living room at home.
At first, she asked him about it in a non-accusatory way.
Sarah: “So what were you up to with Jan at the cafe earlier?”
Joe: “What do you mean? You saw me there? Why weren’t you at work? We just went together during lunch break to do some paperwork for work.”
Sarah: “Paperwork?? You’re seriously gonna lie to my face?”