You've seen celebrity clinical psychologist Dr. Sherry Blake, author of The Single Married Woman: True Stories of Why Women Feel All Alone in Their Marriages, keep the Braxton sisters calm on the hit show Braxton Family Values. Now it's your turn to sit in her chair...
I am writing out of confusion. I was married for 23 years to my high school sweetheart. We have three wonderful children together. Through the years we have had many trials and tribulations; one of which was that I cheated.
I cheated on him twice with two different men. The affairs were years apart but the most recent has caused him to file for divorce and move out. Within a span of a few months he met someone else online and he now lives with her and her children. I however, am alone with our children.
Although he warned me that he would go if I did it again, I still did it. Now I'm hurting and do not understand why. I also miss him and have this fear of embarking on the rest of my life alone. I feel like my life has stopped and I don't know what to do.
Why do I have these feelings when I’m the one who caused this to happen? Will they ever go away? Please help me.
Although women would like to play the same games with the same outcome that some men play in relationships, the rules tend to be different. Women rarely win or get the same outcome as men when it is related to infidelity. In your case, you played the game longer than most women. Are you really confused? I am not sure why you would be. Three strikes and you are out! Your husband made it clear that you had two strikes in the marriage with your first two affairs. It seems that your husband was quite clear what he would do if you cheated for the third time.
Your husband was very patient and tolerate in dealing with being cheated on twice. How individuals deal with infidelity in relationships varies from person to person. He gave you a fair warning, yet you cheated again. You may feel confused because you really didn’t think he would leave you. Maybe you thought he was going to respond to your repeat cheating like many women respond when men cheat. Women tend to get upset and angry, yell, scream, cry, threaten to leave, calm down and then remain in the relationship. This cycle gets repeated each time the person cheats. Men tend to be less willing than women to give multiple chances once infidelity occurs.
Now that your husband has filed for a divorce and moved on with his life, the reality has finally sat in. All choices have consequences. The real question is why you made the choices you did in the first place. It is apparent that some need was not being fulfilled in your marriage. I would suggest that you seek therapy to work through these issues and understand yourself better. If you don't deal with the emotional baggage that you are dragging, you will take it with you to the next relationship. – Dr. Sherry
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