Facing the end of a marriage or a relationship triggers a cascade of emotions similar to experiencing the death of a loved one. Staying with a cheating husband or partner is a deeply personal decision.
The following are 10 reasons long-suffering women stay with cheating husbands (the list is not in order of importance).
1. Fear of being alone
Most women stay with cheating husbands because they fear being alone. Fear of being alone can result from a traumatic or frightening childhood experience. Other causes are insecurity, neediness, anxiety or depression.
2. Low self-esteem
Low self-esteem can make women feel vulnerable and insecure if she’s dealing with a cheating man. She may settle for less than she deserves. She can be taken for granted and used for her money and assets. She may believe no other man will find her attractive.
3. Financial reasons
Some women have no choice but to stay with a cheating man for financial reasons. If the man is the main breadwinner, his wife may feel powerless to leave because she can’t afford living expenses on her own. Sometimes cheating husbands use finances to control their wives and keep them totally dependent on them.
4. Religious beliefs
The Bible says, “And as for you, be fruitful and multiply; Populate the earth abundantly and multiply in it.” Some men take this verse literally to justify fathering children outside their marriage. Some women may not agree with outside babies, but their religion prohibits them from filing divorce. Divorce is unacceptable to God in many religions except under certain circumstances such as adultery or cruelty.
5. For the sake of the children
Many women will stay in a relationship with a cheating man if children are involved. Divorce can be a stressful and traumatic experience for children. Children may blame themselves for their parents’ divorce.
Divorce may have longterm psychological effects on children. For these reasons mothers will consider the negative effect a divorce will have on their children. Especially if they have minor children who need a father figure in their lives. Divorce is not ideal for couples with children under age 8.
Some women stay with cheating spouses for convenience. Sometimes it’s easier to stay with a cheating man than to uproot and rebuild her life. She may not have the funds to start over. And she may not have established credit, which makes it difficult to turn on utilities in her name. She may decide to accept his cheating ways for the convenience of a lifestyle that she can’t afford but has grown accustomed to.
7. Fear of change
Some women stay with cheating men because they fear change. Fear of the unknown can be very difficult to overcome. She would rather stay on familiar turf than to wander off into the unknown where she may feel unsafe. She is not interested in meeting someone new.
As the old saying goes, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” A vindictive vengeful woman will stay in a broken marriage to make sure the other woman doesn’t move into her home. A vengeful woman will refuse her husband’s request for a divorce to make the other woman miserable. In seeking revenge on her husband and his mistress, she will forsake her own happiness.
Denial is one of the main reasons women stay with a cheating spouse. Denial is like a blindfold that prevents women from seeing reality. She will be disconnected from her own feelings and she might self-medicate with drugs or alcohol or perform self-harming behaviors. She will ignore advice from friends and family and stay in a cheating marriage for decades.
10. Domestic abuse
Domestic violence can occur in heterosexual and same-sex relationships. Domestic abuse is a controlling behavior usually inflicted on women by men. According to statistics more than 38 million American women have been victims of domestic violence. A battered woman may feel intimidated and manipulated into staying in a marriage with a cheating man. Victims of domestic abusers may experience low self-esteem, low self-worth, anxiety, depression, powerlessness and helplessness.