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Since finding out about my husband’s affair, we know two other married couples in the same situation. Both of those marriages are over. No questions asked. In one case it was a lesbian couple. In the other, my husband’s business partner. The lesbian couple I don’t know much about. All I know is  one cheated and the betrayed spouse immediately threw her out. My husband’s business partner cheated on his first wife and now his second. He had an affair with my husband’s affair partner’s friend. I can say with certainty she wasn’t the only one. He’s a serial cheater. He cheated while his 2nd wife was pregnant. The girl he cheated with, was engaged. My husband and his business partner were in Vegas for work. The girls were there for a bachelorette party for the girl that got involved with the business partner. This is like a Jerry Springer episode. That girl got married and then quickly divorced. The business partner’s marriage is now over. My marriage could be over. The girl my husband cheated with has probably ruined all chances with her boyfriend. I understand there are problems in each relationship that led to the vulnerability of the affairs to begin with (the affair is a symptom of a bigger problem). But when are people going to just stop? Stop cheating. Stop the betrayal. Three marriages are over, one could be and a long term relationship is most likely over. Children are involved and will pay the biggest price. For what? Was it worth destroying another person and families to make yourself feel good? If you are unhappy then leave. Leave before you cheat.

In all the other cases of marriage, the betrayed spouse got angry. Vengeful. I am pretty sure that the Facebook message I got telling me he had an affair was from the ex husband of the girl the business partner cheated with. The business partner’s wife has been bringing the kids into the problems. He has two sons from his first marriage that she has said some nasty things to. She is refusing to let him see their daughter and called the police on him when he refused to let the mom take her on his night. All I know about the lesbian couple is that things are less than amicable. In the case of my husband’s affair partner and her boyfriend, I don’t really know what happened there. They’ve had an on again off again relationship for several years. My husband doesn’t know if she and her boyfriend were dating when they met up in SFO. He didn’t ask.

Now I’m going to toot my own horn. Hearing the stories of how these betrayed spouses reacted has helped me see just how amazing I am doing. I have ZERO judgement for how any betrayed spouse reacts. We each have our own path. For me, its validating to see how I could be reacting. That I could be doing further damage to myself, and potentially my daughter. Allowing anger and revenge to rule me will only prevent me from healing. It will prevent me from the growth I’ve been working towards. It proves to me that I really have come a long way and am quite amazing. Its a source of pride for me. It also helps build my self esteem. It helps to keep me grounded and think more rationally. Now, I’ve definitely had my days where I’ve lost control. Days where I’ve raged. I’ve fantasized about ruining my husband and her.

I hope that wayward spouses realize what a gift they have in a spouse that is willing to work on reconciliation. They have a person that they wounded so badly it can’t even be put into words. They don’t deserve compassion. They don’t deserve a second chance. But we give them one anyways. We look at ourselves and reflect and learn about the things we did to fail them. Ways that we contributed to the decline of the marriage that made it vulnerable to an affair. We are willing to sacrifice our pride. Our sanity. We are willing to suffer through some very dark days to try and make a better life with someone who broke us. I definitely think it would be easier to just give up and move on. But we continue to fight. We fight for someone who gave up on us. I hope that all waywards see, appreciate, accept and nurture that gift.

“The only difference between a good day and a bad day is your attitude. The choice is always yours.”  -Dennis Brown