Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Why Elizabeth Edwards and Other Wives Stay with Husbands Who Cheat

Elizabeth Edward’s new book , Resilience, has once again raised the question of why women stay with men who cheat.

Understanding Why Women Stay with Cheating Men

It’s hard for some people to understand why Elizabeth Edwards and other wives with cheating husbands chose to stay with the man who cheated on them, rather than file for a divorce. But most people who criticize betrayed wives like Elizabeth Edwards for the choice they have made, have never been on the receiving end of an affair.

You Never Know Til it Happens to You

Some wives are quick to say that if their husband ever cheated on them, the marriage would be over – they’d leave the cheater or put him out. However, after 15 years of researching infidelity, and interviewing women with cheating mates, I have found that most women who make statements like this have never personally experienced infidelity.

I have also known many women who initially felt this way until they found out their husbands were having an extramarital affair. You never really know how you’ll react in this situation until it happens to you.

12 Reasons Women Stay

There are many reasons a betrayed wife would stay with a cheating husband rather than leaving him or filing for divorce. 12 of those reasons are listed below:

· For the sake of the children

· Desire to keep the family intact

· Poor Health· Loyalty

· Financial reasons

· Convenience

· Bad timing

· Fear of being alone

· Belief that it won’t happen again

· Unwillingness to give up current lifestyle

· Religious beliefs

· Love

Any, or all of these reasons could apply to Elizabeth Edwards -- or to you – if your husband has had an affair. These are by no means the only reasons. There are other reasons, as well -- reasons which may make sense only to the woman involved.

In Elizabeth Edwards’ situation, her health is deteriorating - she has terminal cancer, and she also has two young school-aged children. Do people really expect a woman in her position to let anger, bitterness, or the desire for revenge overrule her common sense?

Not an Easy Decision to Make

I happen to know from my personal experience as a victim of infidelity, as well as from the thousands of female infidelity victims I’ve interviewed in my research over the past 15 years, that the decision to end a marriage does not come that easily or that fast.

In deciding whether to dissolve your marriage or stay with a cheating husband and give him a second chance, many factors must be taken into consideration.

Most women spend weeks, months, or even years, agonizing over what to do. Most of the women who make the life-altering decision to leave a cheating spouse on the spur of the moment without taking everything into consideration, usually regret the choice they’ve made.

No One-Size-Fits-All Solution

When it comes to dealing with infidelity, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for handling the situation. No one should presume to tell another woman how she should handle her husband’s infidelity. You have to make the choice that’s right for you. Whether you should file for divorce or stay with your husband and your marriage a second chance is a decision that only you can make. What’s right for one woman in the same situation may be totally wrong for you.

In the long run, you have to decide what is in your best interests to do, especially if there are children involved. It’s your decision – and yours alone -- to make. And people should respect your choice.

So regardless of whether people agree with Elizabeth Edwards’ decision to remain with John or not, the bottom line is that it was her decision – and hers alone -- to make. She is the one who has to live – or die – with her choice.

FREE Tip Sheet to Help You Make the Right Choice

For a free copy of the tip sheet entitled Go or Stay? which covers many of the factors you should consider in deciding whether or not to give your cheating husband a second chance, e-mail with “go or stay” in the subject line.

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