Adultery can damage the mind, body and soul. It can leave you questioning yourself and your faith. If a cheating spouse doesn’t truly make amends, or makes claims of change without really putting in an effort, you may be better off getting out instead of sticking around. Here are five good reasons why it’s actually better to be single than to stay with a cheating spouse:
1. Stay safe
It is unlikely that someone who is careless enough with your feelings to continuously lie and cheat would take the necessary precautions to keep you safe from his exploits. Sexual history, health checks and contraception are often not at the forefront of a cheating mind, and can spell disaster when those dirty deeds are brought home to you.
2. Missed target
Misdirected passion can inspire jealousy and rage. And the little lies whispered into the other woman’s ear could have her trying to get revenge on you and your family one day. Mistresses often mistake lust for love, truly believing another woman’s husband will leave his family for her. When the harsh truth comes to light, she may not be ready to let go, and could try to take what wasn’t hers to begin with.
3. Open wounds
Focusing your energy on keeping an unfaithful spouse means you are not doing the work to heal yourself. Spouses’ troubles often fit together like puzzle pieces, bringing out what needs to be healed in each other. Make sure your energy is going where wounds can be healed, not reopened.
4. Toxic relationship
Think about what staying in a toxic relationship — one where a spouse is unwilling to change his or her ways — is teaching your children. They could be learning things like codependency and unhealthy attachment patterns. You may be modeling behaviors that teach them to expect to cheat or be cheated on, or to not try their best to find a faithful and committed partner. You are role models to your children; the kind of relations you have will be the template for what they seek. Make sure you are showing them what they do want — not what they don’t.
5. New suitors
Good men are hard to find, especially when you refuse to look. So while you are holding on to someone who breaks vows and lacks commitment, you may be passing up on many better and brighter opportunities for the marriage you truly seek. A suitor who would uphold the sanctity of his union will never have that chance if adulterers remain married to dependent partners. Being open to a happy marriage instead of attached to a crumbling one will help you attract the kind of man you thought you’d married. Only this time, you’ll have the experience to help guide you away from what you don’t want.
Remaining in a marriage after an affair can be a difficult choice. There are many things to consider in the aftermath of infidelity. But if your spouse shows no signs of slowing down and you’re left wading in uncertainty, it might just be time to sever ties and walk alone for a time.