real life

The real reasons why women say they stayed with a cheating partner.

“Because divorcing him means that little gold digging bitch gets what she wants.”

People cheat on their partners for any number of reasons. Maybe they’re searching for emotional fulfilment elsewhere, they’re curious or bored, or maybe they just want to put their junk in someone else’s trunk.

But we don’t tend to talk about how the person being cheated on responds.

Some leave – but some people choose to look the other way. And the question their friends often wonder is: Why?

A recent thread on Reddit asked partners why they looked away when they knew that their partner was being unfaithful.

As it happens, the reasons for staying with a cheater were as many and varied as those for cheating in the first place.

Here are some of the reasons why they stayed:

1. Revenge.

As one user explains: “Because divorcing him means that little gold digging bitch gets what she wants.”

Though the question stands: Is the Other Woman the right target for your wrath?

2. After a while, you just stop caring.

One user said they turned a blind eye because of emotional detachment.

“Over the years, we just stopped caring for each other in a romantic way,” they wrote. “We just stopped caring for each other in a romantic way.”

This particular couple now sleep in separate rooms, and don’t chat much any more.

“Niether of us minds it too much. At the very least, they’re reliable. Fun to watch TV with.”

3. Low self-esteem.

“Depression and co-dependance,” one user writes. “I never had real proof until late in the marriage, but I suspected many times. I was right and really felt something was wrong but ignored it because I was in a terrible place with myself.”

This was a common theme, with many people agreeing that a high tolerance for infidelity often corresponded with low levels of self esteem.

“I defined my own happiness based on the idea of having a partner,” one man wrote. “If I had a partner I was okay, even if the relationship was toxic because she was abusing my trust.”

4. Because you love them.

One woman describes her experience of having her husband cheat on her with a  co-worker for nearly five years and calling him out for having phone-sex while she was in the other room.

“I stayed because I loved him,” she said. “I had never lived on my own and had been in relationship all my adult life, so didn’t know how not to be in one. Also, he was all I had for a long time.”

“And it seemed that, in some way, he loved me. Obviously he was getting something from her that he wasn’t getting from me, but he was still getting something from me that he couldn’t get from her.

“I’m boring, I’m not attractive. The fact that someone was having sex with me on occasion and telling me he loved me was a miracle.”

She eventually left her husband, and was sorry she didn’t do it sooner.

5. Kids.

One woman was seven months pregnant with her second child when she found out another woman was also pregnant by her husband.

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“I acted like it wasn’t his,” she said of the other woman’s baby — so did her, apparently.

“I really wanted my kids to be with the man I married. Wanted, not needed.”

When a paternity test came back proving he had fathered the both children, she left him and moved eight hours away. Couldn’t be happier about it either.

Another woman ignored her partner cheating for a year because she had a newborn. When she called his hotel to tell him their daughter’s first word had been ‘dada’, she was furious when another female voice answered. She filed for divorce and cut the crotch out of all his pants.

Good on her.

6. They tell you it’s all in your head.

“He had me convinced I was just crazy and paranoid even though I had proof,” writes a woman who had found evidence of cheating including text messages, pictures and underwear.

“He said after we broke up I that I was the love of his life. I laughed in his face.”

7. Necessity.

One woman was diagnosed with cancer, had an eight-year-old child and no medical insurance.

She was working three jobs to cover her medical bills and the household expenses when she discovered her partner was cheating (she mistook his phone for her own one night). She simply couldn’t face leaving him and being on her own at that time.

“I wanted to leave, but with all the medical bills and him refusing to take any financial responsibility for our daughter meant I couldn’t go. I slept on the couch and stayed in a dead relationship for another 18 months before I was able to recover financially and buy a house and leave,” she wrote.

8. Because they cheated only once.

A couple who were both on active military duty were separated for more than two years. While stationed in Korea, the husband slept with a women he met at a bar one night.

He was overcome with guilt and eventually told his wife and she let it go as a one-off.

“The distinction of ‘one night stand’ vs ‘ongoing affair’ was really important to me, and informed my decision,” she said.

“He had sex, but he didn’t get any kind of emotional support from this indiscretion.”

9. Sometimes it’s forgivable.

“Because sometimes you realise that sex isn’t the most important thing and situations in your spouses past might have broken them in specific ways,” explains a man whose wife had suffered a history of molestation and sexual abuse.

Sometimes it’s forgivable.

“For her sex will never be an intimate thing, there are things during sex she doesn’t do and most of those involve intimacy.

“The first few times I was angry and hurt and considered leaving but then I realised this one aspect of an otherwise great relationship and nearly perfect team (there is nothing we don’t make each other better and more effective at) ruin it.”

He says that his wife is discreet and safe and so, while he doesn’t want to do the same, he understands.

Have you or would you ever turn a blind eye to cheating?

Want more stories like this? Try these:

GROUP THERAPY: Is it cheating if your husband gets a happy ending massage?

“I saw my friend’s husband on an online dating site”.

This man threw a surprise party to catch his wife cheating.

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