Should I stay or leave?
It’s a common question in situations of infidelity. Those who got hurt by a cheating partner always struggle with that decision.
A patient, Rizza, was cheated by her husband multiple times.
Each time she found out, he expressed remorse and would always make up with her.
Over Zoom, Rizza said, “Doc, I’m beginning to doubt whether I should stay in the marriage. And I’m beginning to believe that ‘once a cheater is always a cheater.’ “
It depends, really. Every person is unique. Every relationship is unique.
Past cheating does not necessarily lead to future cheating.
You can ask or notice some questions about your partner to determine whether you should stay or leave.
1. Is he/she able to feel and empathize with your pain?
2. Is he/she showing sincere evidences of remorse and repentance over the cheating?
3. Is he/she able to be truthful and transparent with you about what was done? (Although you could be better off not knowing all the details?)
4. Can he/she own up to the choices he/she made instead of blaming it on you?
5. Is he/she able to feel and think about what he/she did and talk about them without blowing up or shutting down?
6. Does he/she have a desire to learn, heal, and grow personally from the experience?
7. Is he/she willing to go into therapy for personal and relationship recovery as the need arises?
Very important questions.
Infidelity therapists and authors, Rona Subotnik and Gloria Harris, in their book “Surviving Infidelity,” wrote and advised,
“We believe that you are better off postponing your decision to stay or to go until after you and your partner have done everything possible to improve or at least to understand your relationship. We suggest that you think of your marriage as a plant that has been overgrown by weeds. After pulling out all the weeds and nurturing it, the plant may flourish again.”
Get active, not passive. Whether to stay or leave.