3 Reasons Not To Divorce A Spouse Who Cheated: A Conversation With Dr. Joe Beam
The person you trusted…the one with whom you have shared life…became involved with someone else.
You’re thinking: “What happened to love? To trust? What happened to knowing right from wrong?”
I don’t blame you for thinking that way.
If your mate lied, the pain drives even deeper into your soul.
You probably think: “Who is this person? The one I married would never hurt me like this. Never violate their own morals, their own beliefs. I don’t know who my mate is anymore.”
You feel hurt and hurt turns to anger…maybe even rage…not only at your spouse but at the other person involved with your spouse…this person who has such little concern for someone else’s family…a person so selfish that they think only of themselves and what they want.
Maybe you even question yourself. “What’s wrong with me? What am I lacking? What did I do wrong? “ And then you swing back to “There’s nothing wrong with me. I don’t deserve this. It’s all my spouse’s fault.”
I get it. I understand. I don’t blame you for anything you feel about your husband or wife, and the other person involved in this mess.
Hi, I’m Dr. Joe Beam. I work with a nonprofit that deals with situations like yours every day. (Subscribe below and you’ll see many topics we discuss that can be of help to you.) For more than 20 years, I, along with an amazing team with whom I work, have been helping marriages in trouble. Yes, even marriages where there has been an affair…sometimes what is known as an emotional affair…more often the kind that has gone all the way.
I care that you hurt. I truly do. If you decide to divorce this person who has failed you, failed your marriage, and violated the trust that you had, I couldn’t blame you one bit. It is your right if that’s what you wish to do.
But…is there something inside you that – even in your hurt or anger – wants to know if there is a way to put your marriage back together…wants to know if it even makes sense to try to do so?
Your friends…maybe your family…likely are telling you to make your mate pay for what they did. “Divorce! Make it a tough one. Punish the person who did this to you.”
Yet, you’re watching this video.
I assume that your watching this video means that the choice is yours about whether this marriage continues. In other words, your spouse hasn’t run off with that other person…they know they’ve done wrong and want to salvage the marriage.
By the way, we can help even if your spouse has gone to be with the other person…or if your spouse doesn’t know whether they want the marriage to continue. Call the number at the end of this video and we can tell you how to deal with those situations. But right now, I speak primarily to a situation where your spouse is willing to work things out and you are the one who is in the driver’s seat about what happens next.
Is it possible that I can give you three good reasons NOT to go through with the divorce?
I will. But before I share them, please hear this.
As terrible as it is that this thing happened…the pain…the anger…the breaking of trust…the realization that what you thought you had together isn’t there now…if you decide to give your spouse a second chance, and do the RIGHT things to put your marriage back together – meaning that you deal with what happened in the RIGHT way and rebuild your marriage on RIGHT basis – your marriage can actually be better than it was before.
That’s because it won’t be the same marriage you had before. It will have the same good things…but with more good things added to that…and it will do away with the parts that weren’t as good as perhaps you thought they were.
It’s a well-known fact among those who work with marriages that if you get past this crisis and make your marriage be what it can be, you will be more in love, have stronger commitment, and share a better future.
Yeah, a terrible price to get there, I know.
But it’s doable IF you choose to do it.
So, why do it? Why rework your marriage into a wonderful one rather than just divorcing?
As I said, let me share three reasons. There are many more, but I chose these three for now. Each of the three reasons that I give are based on one basic principle. It’s called 10-10-10.
What does that mean?
Suzie Welch wrote a book about it a few years ago. The concept is that before you make any major decision in your life you should ask yourself: What are the consequences of my decision in 10 minutes? In 10 months? And in 10 years?
For example, if you were to divorce, what are the likely consequences in 10 minutes, 10 months, and 10 years? Same with deciding to stay together. What are the likely consequences in 10 minutes, 10 months, and 10 years?
With that in mind, think about these three things.
First, the quality of your life. If you split up, you split more than your relationship. You split resources. That means money, possessions, and very often even means splitting friends. If your sister-in-law, for example, is a dear friend, consider the consequence of your divorce on that friendship. It may continue, but what are the odds? Is it more likely that over time she begins to separate from you because of her loyalty to her sibling?
In the same vein, are there things in your life that you shared that probably will change if you’re apart? Things such as church, if that’s important to you. Social groups you’re part of. Even leisure activities or hobbies that won’t continue in the same way.
Of course, money and possessions are big things here. Whatever your net worth, divorce is going to change that. How does that affect your living arrangements? The living arrangements for you kids, if you have kids. How does it affect having money for things beyond the necessities…such as better clothes…the car you drive. You get the idea.
NO, I’m not saying that you stay in a terrible relationship just so you can have some of these things. But remember that I’m assuming that your spouse is sorry and wants to make the marriage work. If you work out this situation, then you don’t split the kinds of things I’ve mentioned.
In your anger, the idea of splitting resources may not make much difference now. But you won’t be angry forever. When you calm down and realize all you’ve given up that you shared, will you find yourself ruminating about how sorry your spouse was and how they tried to save the marriage? And in the midst of that memory, look around and truly miss things that you did care about that you no longer have because you decided not to try to save the marriage.
But let’s go deeper.
Second, the effect on your children, if you have them.
I realize that not everyone watching this will have kids, but quite a few will. May I take just a moment to ask you to think 10-10-10 about them?
One of the greatest fears within a child is losing a parent. If you split up your marriage, you split up your kids’ home. Part time with you. Part time with your spouse. That requires a different way of doing life. It affects their sense of security. It also affects the way that the develop relationships in the future.
I’m not saying your kids are doomed. They can survive and I know that you will do all that you can for them. But no matter how amazing you are with your kids, the splitting of your family affects them. NOT dooms them…but definitely affects them. The research from around the world is overwhelming. Because divorce has become so commonplace, studies are bountiful on the ways that divorce affects kids. The range of affect is larger than most people would ever realize. These studies focus on things ranging from the kids attitudes toward their on marriages later in life, their behaviors at school, their grades…specifically in math and the sciences…those grades tend to drop because they require logic but the kids reeling emotions tend to cause logic to take a back seat. The study other things such as kids questioning their own value and self-worth – that’s right, no matter how much you tell them the divorce isn’t about them, a remarkable number of kids will think it’s their fault even if they tell you they know it’s not. Those are just some of the areas. The research is so broad and covers so many things that I can’t begin to mention them all here.
Think of it this way. What are the likely consequences in the life of each of your children if you divorce OR the consequences if you stay together? Think not only in the short-term, but how it will affect them months from now…and years from now. Think 10-10-10
Third, your own happiness.
If you’re hurt and you get rid of the person who hurt you, that may feel good in ten minutes. Maybe even in 10 months. But what about the years to come?
Think of it this way: In the USA, 45% of the adult population over 18 are single. That may sound as if there are many prospects out there. Lots of fish in the sea. But, while some of those millions of single people like being single and want to stay that way, the vast majority of them want to be in a loving relationship but are not.
Why aren’t they?
Because it is far easier to find someone who will use you than it is to find someone who will love you.
Don’t think that because millions of people are single that if you were to be single again there are thousands of great possibilities and choices for you.
In reality, at least half of those people are actually your competition, not your prospects.
And if you are a little older, a little out of shape, a little less handsome or pretty, a little less financially blessed…you get the idea…then many of those competitors who have the edge on you.
If you think that doesn’t matter because you will NEVER get married again because of what just happened to you…well, after you heal that very likely will change. You’ve been in a relationship. It meant something to you…met certain needs…or you probably wouldn’t be watching this video. That means that while you might enjoy being alone as you heal, it also very likely means that when you do heal you’ll want another relationship.
I’m certainly not saying that isn’t possible for you.
I’m asking you to think that if you were to start into that process of dating, sorting them out, finding someone good for you…do you think that maybe you’d start remembering how sorry your spouse was for hurting you…how much they wanted to put the marriage back together…and that you could have had a relationship – a better one than you had before – if you had figured out a way to heal the hurt and save the marriage?
Besides, any new relationship has potential land mines. Sometimes people who seem like a dream come true in the short-term devolve into your worst nightmare in the longer term.
So could it better for you to restore and renew a relationship with the person you do know rather than going through the hunt to find a potential relationship with a person that you will only know for real after you’ve been married a while?
In the USA right now, the odds of a first marriage ending are roughly one out of two. However, the odds of a second marriage ending are closer to two out of three. Rough odds on the third one ending? Three out of four.
As I said at the beginning, if you wish to divorce you have the right and most people will understand and be on your side.
However, if you at any point loved your spouse, if you believe that they are truly sorry for what they’ve done and can be a better husband or wife than before, then can you see how salvaging this marriage could be the best route for you?
If you want a new marriage, make this one a new marriage. It can be done. BUT please know that for most couples forgiving and starting on the path again is NOT the way to make that happen.
It requires more than that.
I can teach you. The team at our nonprofit organization will gladly work with you to help you…NOT to start the old marriage again…but to have a NEW marriage with the same person you’ve been married to for a while.
To know more about how, please call 866-903-0990.
We’d love to help.
Call: 1 (866) 903 – 0990
Or, fill out this form here to speak with a client representative.
You can save your marriage, EVEN IF your spouse is still in love with the other person. There is hope.
Click here to get the FREE guide that will teach you the 7 things you need to know when saving your marriage from an affair.