Why do I feel sorry for my cheating spouse?

Many wives who deal with a cheating husband do not feel any sympathy for him, no matter how much he apologizes, even though he seems completely broken and miserable while doing so. Compassionate wives seem to be in the minority. They may also wonder why they do so and what is wrong with them.

A wife might say, “I’m not telling you that I’m angry and resentful towards my cheating husband. He cheated because he was stressed. His brother, who is very close to him, fell ill, he lost his job and he hates his new job, he is too qualified for it. By mistake our floors were deformed and flooded and we had to pay the money we could not fix it. So I believe my husband has been wandering around for the past few months and felt completely incompetent. Cried. His worst fear was that I would lose him because he continued to be me. Maybe I’m stupid, but I trust him. And I’m really sorry because he’s clearly broken. My mom says I’m too naive to fall into this. Says he’s just trying. He can cheat again to get my sympathy and I don’t suspect him. Is this true? Long after we were married, this was the first time he cheated.

Why I think this may be normal: I can not predict the future, but I fully understand why you feel pity. Once my anger at my own husband had subsided, it seemed to me that he was a broken person from the stress of trying various things to get some relief. It is true that there is never an excuse to cheat when trying to get some relief. I will never protect someone who cheats on their spouse. But I firmly believe that many people who cheat only once and have never shown any sign of it before act in a time of great personal crisis. And this is a time in their lives when they are struggling. This is unforgivable but I believe it to be true. Because you love them, you really feel empathy. Because you can still feel empathy, this can probably tell you important things about how you really feel (or don’t feel) about your marriage. So no, I don’t think you’re crazy, too kind, or give your husband a pass to fool you.

Dangers to avoid: Here is something very important. While feeling sensitive is normal, it is important not to allow this sensation to prevent you from doing what needs to be done. Of course, your husband is going through a difficult time and this can contribute to a very bad decision for him. But he must learn new combat tactics and / or deal with whatever problem he has. Because you have to take care of yourself. And part of it is to make sure he never cheats on you again.

I say you must be very careful that your empathy does not prevent you from forcing him to do the work he needs to do to fully recover and to protect himself from such things that will happen in the future. Because I think if he cheats again you won’t feel so much sympathy a second time.

So while I understand that I feel sorry for him, you should not allow this to divert your attention because he must act for your good. The good news is that healing your marriage after an affair can help him with his problems so it will force him to identify and deal with them. Please resist the urge to let him skip this step, as it will bring him painful things. Yes, it hurts and can be embarrassing. But if you do not address it, it will hurt again and again, because it is never resolved.

But to answer the original concern, there is nothing wrong with you. And I do not think it is foolish or wrong to feel sorry for someone who made a serious mistake in a time of crisis. It’s extremely sad that his mistake can be detrimental to you and your marriage, but this is not normal. The key is not to let sympathy get you both through the healing process. Because there is never an excuse to cheat. And not dealing with existing problems puts you at risk in the future.

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