I sometimes hear from folks who have their doubts about the sincerity of the spouse who has cheated or had an affair. Many times, they think that their spouse has chosen to stay in the marriage for reasons other than genuine love or commitment. A common theory is that the spouse only remains in the marriage because of money or financial reasons.
I heard from a wife who said: “I caught my husband cheating with one of my friends three months ago. After I dug a little deeper, I found out that they had been having an affair for seven months. From what I was able to gather, the relationship was very serious. He told her that he loved her and he became very close with her young son. They seemed to be acting like they were one big happy family. After learning this, I have started to wonder why my husband is staying with me. Because he isn’t loving to me or even apologetic. The other day, I couldn’t take it anymore and I asked my husband why he was still in our home. His simple response was that he wanted to work it out. I asked him why and his response was that I was his wife and that he didn’t want to walk away from our marriage without a fight. This all sounds good, but in reality there is no fight in him. I think he’s only here because he knows I will want a lot of money from him in the event of a divorce. He knows that I will want the house and many of the assets. And while I am glad that he stayed, I don’t want him here for the wrong reasons. What can I do?”
I understood this wife’s fears. Most faithful wives question why their husband choses to stay. They worry that he is still thinking about (or would rather be) with the other woman. But the thing is, these are only assumptions on your part. You can not read his mind. You can not hear his thoughts or feel what he is feeling. And, all you really have to go on is what he says and how he acts.
I believe that it can be a mistake to blindly make assumptions. Often some of our assumptions have to do with fear or insecurity. And if you really do want to save your marriage, then it’s to your benefit to wait and see what happens rather than acting on assumptions that might well be wrong. Because if you do that, you are often giving up without giving things a fair chance. I will explain this more in the following article.
Give Him A Chance To Prove You Wrong Before You Act On Your Assumptions: Try to look at it this way. If he is only way with you due to finances, this will often become apparent soon enough. He can’t fake his feelings forever. And frankly, very few people are willing to live a lie for money, especially for the long term. If your husband truly isn’t happy with you and if every day is a chore, eventually it’s plausible that he would pay any amount for his freedom.
Thinking otherwise truly doesn’t give you, or him, enough credit. Sure, things may be rough right now. Recovery from infidelity can take time. It may be a while before your marriage recovers enough for you to be able to feel secure. It may be a while before you feel that you no longer need to question his motives.
Give Your Marriage A Set Time Frame Before You Reevaluate: I know that I might be asking a lot, but I think it’s to your benefit to hold off on making judgement calls right now. I know from experience that often, you will see things that aren’t there simply because you are afraid. Or because your emotions are still so raw. Or because you just aren’t thinking objectively. So, I always advocate trying to withhold judgement until you give things enough time to have a fair chance. Even if you don’t have the highest of hopes, vow to give this enough time until you can see the outcome more clearly. How much time you decide on is truly up to you, but I think that sometimes it takes months rather than weeks. I think it can be helpful to define a reasonable time frame and to stick to it.
The truth is, you aren’t going to know if his reasons for staying are genuine until you see this through. If you leave now, will you always wonder if your assumptions are wrong? Will you always wonder whether you might have made it if you had given it a bit more time?
I can’t say for sure that you are wrong. There are men who stay in part for financial reasons in the beginning. But sometimes, these men grow and evolve so that both people are very happy that they stuck it out. It’s safe to say that neither of you are probably completely sure of your feelings right now. But him staying is a positive sign if you want to save your marriage. Yes, you have every right to expect for him to make this right again. You have every right to expect for him to be rehabilitated.
But you can’t really save your marriage if you don’t give him that chance. And not giving him that chance because of assumptions that may turn out to be false is often a mistake when you want to save your marriage, at least in my own opinion. If it turns out that he’s only staying for the money, then this will become apparent and at least you tried and you can then act accordingly because you no longer have any doubt of his true intentions.