Expert Dating and Relationships
Advice for Men and Women

What Do You Do If He Cheats?

WhatDoYouDoIfHeCheats

Cheating is a topic that keeps coming up again and again for the women who write to me.

Despite finding out that their boyfriend or husband has cheated on them, they can’t end the relationship. They still love him, and they want to know if they can get him back from the woman who stole him away.

Being cheated on is one of the most painful, humiliating, and heartrending experiences we can have in a relationship. What should we do when it happens to us?

Greg Behrendt lays down the law in his popular book, “He’s Just Not That Into You.” He tells us that a man who cheats is NOT worth your love. Or, as he puts it:

“He’s just not that into you if he’s having sex with someone else.”

Even if your cheating man says that it was an accident, or that he was drunk, or that it was your fault because you weren’t filling his needs, take it from Greg: those are excuses. Dump him and move on. You deserve better. You deserve someone who’s into you.

It’s hard to fault Greg’s logic. Among his other pearls of wisdom are:

“100% of guys polled said they have never accidentally slept with anyone.”

“If something is wrong in a relationship, here’s a bright, mature idea: talk about it. Don’t let any man blame you for their infidelity. Ever.”

Yet, for many women, Greg’s response doesn’t seem like a good enough answer.

When it comes to relationships, it is hard to see the situation in black and white. We women excel in seeing shades of gray. We are good at understanding someone else’s point of view and overlooking behaviors that should be unacceptable for the sake of love.

Because guys AREN’T always perfect. Sometimes they make stupid mistakes. If we truly love them, we should be able to forgive their transgressions.

Then there’s the other little problem of the fact that Greg’s guide is designed for people who are dating, not married. When children and assets are involved, the cheating situation becomes much more complicated.

According to many marriage counselors, most marriages can actually survive an affair and come out stronger for it. The affair can function as a wake-up call to see what was going wrong in the marriage and provide the kick-in-the-behind needed to address it.

And here’s yet another viewpoint. According to well-respected evolutionary anthropologist Helen Fisher, human beings are designed to be serially monogamous, with human “pair-bonds” lasting only four years before they naturally end.

Why just four years?

Because that’s the amount of time she thinks was necessary (back in the early days of human evolution) for a man and a woman to raise a child together to the stage where it could survive without the mother being in constant attendance.

At that point, Fisher’s theory goes, the craving for sexual variety would overcome the need to stay together, and the couple would split.

Yet ANOTHER theory states that keeping a marriage together for 10, 25, even 50 years may be a fight against nature, but that doesn’t mean that we’re biologically driven to stray. Culture, environment, and upbringing are equally powerful forces. A young person raised to value being faithful will find that he or she can easily overcome impulses to cheat because of his or her strong moral stance.

It’s no wonder, amid all the confusion, that most of us end up relying on the folk wisdom passed down from generations of women.

For example, one timeworn tactic tells us that to keep our man from straying, all we have to do is give him unlimited:

* Food
* Sex, and
* Praise.

Feed him, keep your sex life active and interesting, and stroke his ego with compliments, and your man will be so over the moon that he’ll never look elsewhere for companionship.

On one level, this tried-and-true folk wisdom is good – food, sex, and praise are balms for the male spirit – but on another level it feels unfair. It places the entire burden for a man’s fidelity on the shoulders of his partner. Are we as women to be responsible for keeping our men from straying? Aren’t some men more likely to stray anyway, no matter how perfect their partner?

Ultimately, you will have to make up your own mind about what cheating means to you and what you will do about it. All of us have the power to interpret infidelity in a different way. For one person, it may be a betrayal of the relationship. For another person it may be an all-too-human mistake. For another person it may be the ultimate form of rejection.

But be aware that you have a choice. What will
you accept?

All the best in life and love!

15 Comment/s

8 Comments to 'What Do You Do If He Cheats?'

Eve

Three friends took their cheating husbands back only to find themselves in the same situation years later.

I did not forgive my ex’s infidelity 18 tears ago while
I was pregnant, as painful as the situation was, I think it was the right thing to do. He got married again years later and cheated on his wife until she decided to get a divorce.

I totally agree with Greg Behrendt.

Brenda Parker

I have allowed that “gray” area to misguide me in the past more times than I’d like to admit. I have taken the time to lose the insecurities associated with men by staying single and finally learning to love myself first. I no longer ignore the signs that a guy probably isnt the right man for me. The sooner you allow yourself to cut your losses, the better. I now have the mentality that everything is gonna be alright as long as you dont compromise yourself. This makes walking away from a cheater easy as pie!

B Bryan

I have tried for 3 years to lure my man back into our once long very happy marriage but the other woman has been drawing out his money (she is Asian) and has NO western ethics of what she is doing. I have offered a new beginning, full forgiveness, a loving future but yet he gives into her every week so I have had to make a new life for myself after so little response to all my patience and effort. Some other woman just want permanent residency and a meal ticket in a good western country so will do anything to get there. Older men have midlife crisis and late life crises SO there are no easy solutions ! I was devastated.

Cathay

I was the other woman for many years, finally wife gave up, threw him out.the couple Went through a nasty asset settlement.. I thought we we were on the path of togetherness .. A close relative of his passed away and I was left isolated..with him reuniting with the family.. Months later he told me he was confused. He is still seperated, living on his own however he doesn’t know how to integrate me into his life properly without losing the ties to the children if they found out again I was in the back ground… Now I’m in limbo land..

Stands with a Fist

I have misbehaved myself in during the end of my first marriage to a person who had a prescription drug habit – my dumb excuse. I woke up to how wrong and hurtful cheating is in marriage and didn’t want to repeat the behavior and have been monogamous for 19 years. My new husband cheated early in the marriage and we had just had a baby and I had 3 kids from my previous marriage. Needing forgiveness myself and the fact that I hate divorce and breaking up families so I chose to forgive him. I had so much trust because he claimed he could never cheat like his wife did to him that the shock threw me in to PTSD and it was hard to get over. Looking back there were red flags all over that I hoped would work themselves out which ended up with me making the mistake of forgiving repeated offenses not wanting to lose him (stupid). He’d always come back to me, so thinking that once he became spiritually awakened, he’d see the light. He went on a Christian crusade, came back and asked for a divorce having had already been corresponding with another woman so he could have a clean slate and not be reminded of what an ass he was to me. He is already having problems on that front – ha ha. I’m sorry to myself for being so stupid and wasting time with a man who took me for granted and refused to correct himself even in church. I see his problem as an addiction and I did my best to use my spiritual faith to keep me on some solid ground while all this was going on. I needed someone to just talk some sense into me so this article was good. I love embedding intolerant people’s beliefs of no cheating policies into my brain so I don’t talk myself into taking him back again thinking it would be different… I became sick myself in an ugly twist. Healing now and unraveling the beliefs within myself that allowed this type of behavior in my life. Looking for the silver lining now!

Felicity

I believe that men like variety, one woman is never enough no matter what, but for every cheating man there is a willing woman to engage in the affair, so i feel that if you get involved with a married man knowingly, face the consequences, if you are in a cheating relationship, get out or forgive and stay, we all have choices!!!

karen

I do not believe my man has cheated yet. but there are signs that I think he is thinking bout it. how do I stop it before it happens?

Sydny Greene

My husband has cheated on me since we’ve been married (19 years), but the worst thing to ever happen to a dysfunctional “marriage” is when I had a recording of my husband sexually assaulting a woman. I no longer want to even be in his presence as I feel he is “dirty”. No reconciliation with this ?marriage!

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