Infidelity is unfortunately common. But it doesn't always lead to breakups. There are many reasons some spouses stray and others stay. But a few stories seem to emerge from infidelity that feel all too familiar. Here are three common reasons one spouse chooses to stray while the other decides to stay:
1. Security breach
A man with a rock solid home life can actually decide to stray because he believes in his marriage. Contrary to logic, the strength of his union is what pushes him to seek or succumb to an affair. Essentially, he knows he can get away with it because he's certain his spouse won't leave. Doing something so devastating simply because you can adds insult to injury and can be more infuriating than the affair itself.
When a wife knows the meaning behind her man's affair, she can work with her husband to overcome these problems. However, in situations where there isn't meaning, she is deprived of the opportunity to help fix anything. You can't predict or prevent an event without a cause.
A woman with a stable household may decide to stay with a cheating spouse to keep her beloved home together. She wants what is best for her family and is committed to moving forward together. She's willing to rebuild her relationship even if she sacrifices her happiness or pride. She may even face embarrassment, judgment and blame, but she is prepared to endure to maintain her ideal home.
2. Risky business
Some find settling down more numbing than natural. A man who has lost his emotional investment in his marriage and passion for life may be vulnerable to the excitement of an affair. He may know he'll regret it or feel like the risk is worth the reward, even if it all goes horribly wrong in the end. Infidelity helps him feel more alive and in charge of his life. He can escape his responsibilities and do what he pleases in those stolen hours.
Others are built for monogamy and naturally develop a type of tunnel vision in their union. A dedicated woman likely turns down many propositions throughout her marriage, and does so easily. She stays when she has the chance to move on because she only wants her husband. And even when more tempting offers come along after her partner's betrayal, she doesn't see these new prospects as potential mates. The reward of finding someone new is not worth the risk of losing the man she truly loves.
3. Opportunity knocks
Some men can be impulsive. When opportunity knocks he may answer, even if he never considered it before. The chance can be so tempting he may regret missing out on the opportunity. A once in a lifetime experience, for example, with a former sweetheart, high school crush or perfect fantasy could make his dreams reality. And it's meant to be no slight on you or statement about the relationship. He just couldn't say "no."
Many women prefer to think of the long-term effect on their family than their own short-term needs. An affair may be hurtful, but is not worth risking her family's stability. Financial, emotional and physical safety are more important than using infidelity as leverage to leave or revenge cheat. When the opportunity to destabilize her family knocks, she doesn't answer and controls her anger.
Depending on who you ask, infidelity can be the end or beginning of a relationship. It can reset the relationship you have and set it on a new course. Or break it down to its bare parts and crumble everything you've built. There are so many reasons one may choose to step out on their marriage or stay and fight for it. But ultimately the issues this infidelity causes must be dealt with. The harsh feelings and broken trust will inevitably affect the family moving forward. So if you decide to recommit to your marriage, you'll also have to commit to healing and forgiveness.