I have written about infidelity before, and it was interesting to go back and read what I wrote a few years ago because my attitude hasn’t changed one bit.
I have a pretty unorthodox and unpopular view of infidelity. I think my husband feels similarly, at least based on discussions we have had.
Infidelity in my marriage is not a deal breaker. Meaning, if I find out my husband cheated on me, a divorce doesn’t necessarily ensue. My husband and I decided early on in our marriage that if we cheated, we would keep it to ourselves and not tell the other person. We believe that the confession is really just to relieve the cheater of the guilt of carrying that behavior around and all that happens is the other person gets hurt worse — the cheater feels better for being honest and the victim feels horrible. We agree that the guilt a person feels for having been unfaithful is the punishment you bear for that infidelity. So it’s entirely possible my husband has cheated on me and I have no clue about it because of our pact. But if I did find out — he confessed it to me or I found out because he wasn’t good at covering his tracks — I just feel like I have invested too much in my marriage in the past nearly 30 years to give it up over an affair. (In fact, here’s a likely inflammatory statement that has zero proof to it — I think it’s likely my husband either has cheated or will cheat because I think monogamy is harder for men in general than it is for women. That’s a gross generalization — and probably really unfair, too — but I just think men find faithfulness more challenging than women do based solely on discussions I’ve had with married couples I know.)
Does infidelity hurt? Of course. I also believe that saying, “I trust you,” is a much more powerful statement than saying, “I love you,” so an unfaithful spouse is going to cause lots of pain and damage.
I know marriages that have ended because of infidelity, and for those people, maybe divorce was the correct option for them. I just don;t think it is for me. This isn’t a matter of one of us being right and the other one wrong. Every marriage is different, and every marriage has different thresholds. I just don’t feel like cheating crosses that threshold in my marriage.
Like I said, unorthodox and unpopular, but that’s how I feel.