Cheating Spouses

Greetings Janet…Quite the subject. I have not cheated on my spouse, but I know she has on me. Condonation is a ridiculous “loop hole” in my opinion, but thats another subject.

I would be willing to bet that 80% of your responses are this. She cheated on me because she felt like I was not paying enough attention to her.

Changes between the spouses, for sure. I grew up and she didn’t.

Good luck with your survey.

I’m sure you have heard it all. Marriage is not something to be taken likely, especially with children involved. It really takes a selfish, immature person to walk away and run like a coward.
I agree, that people can grow apart, their ideas and reality of life can be influenced. These people that do let unreal dreams and expectations impair their once normal and rational thinking, have underlying issues that have nothing to do with the spouse. The one that has stood by them and has been faithful. They have the problem!
If there is a problem, the spouse that feels the need to make a change should be honest with the other and not cheat.I think that most unfaithful spouses are just too scared to admit their own faults: rather,weakness in the relationship. It’s a whole lot easier to start over with someone new, someone who doesn’t know how you are.
Funny thing about lies and cheating, the people that do these things are never happy, they will not be happy! What happens when they stop all the drinking and drugs? What happens when they realize what they have done to everyone? Sometimes, nothing! But, sometimes reality kicks in and they realize what a BIG mistake they made. What do they do then, after they have hurt so many people?

Originally posted by JanetFritts
Many, many of my clients have cheated on their spouse. Sometimes it has everything to do with their own husband and/or wife, but most often it does not. Sometimes my clients find themselves in marriages where they have changed over the years in different ways from their spouse. Any comments?

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Divorce
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.

Most folks who have a stable job with good benefits will put up with “working late”, or problems with management. They do this because putting up with the problems are better than the alternative, looking for another job, or being unemployed. But in a marriage, many folks would rather look for something different than look inside themselves for answers. If the job force was as insecure as today’s relationships, everything would go overseas, and we all would be left on the street.
He doesn’t pay any attention, or she doesn’t make me happy. I’d like to see this on an evaluation in the workplace.
Marriage is HARD WORK.
This is the job description: There’s a lot of late hours, worry, grief.There are good times,but just as many bad. But a job well done will bring many years of happiness. And it should be a life-time position. Now how many folks would actually apply if these requirements were on a marriage application ?
No, I didn’t cheat on my wife.I tried untill I couldn’t do anymore. I just found a better company to work for. It’s called “Life’s too Short not to be Happy” Inc.


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I didn’t cheat physically, but mentally. I made every excuse not to spend time with my ex…I had to take care of our infant daughter, do laundry, clean house, workout, etc. He didn’t seem to mind, but it was the only way I could escape how unhappy I was. Unfortunately, he took the other route and had girlfriends, which, of course, he’s denied. I would say he hurt me worse, but it’s all relative, isn’t it? In my opinion, we just changed…me more than him. We dated for 15 years (started when we were 17) and were married for 9. I think that starting to date so young, we changed a lot over the years, but didn’t stay on the same wavelengths.

Marriage is a contract, you promised to be faithful. It’s that clear, no shaded areas. There are no excuses for people to be unfaithful to their partners. You cannot blame others for your actions. If your spouse does not pay attention to you, that does not give you the right to go find someone else. If you and your partner changed over the years, talk about it, leave the marriage, and then go find someone that you can be compatible with.

Getting involved with another person while you are married is just VERY WRONG! Putting your spouse through the ordeal is cruel;if you have children, that just makes it 10 times worse. Kids are the innocent ones and they become the victims, especially when they have to live through their parents’ divorce.

People who have affairs are just cowards. This is just my opinion.

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I married my soon-to-be ex almost 30 years ago. I have been faithful since we officially started dating, and will remain so until the divorce is final. He, on the other hand, has never been. He is also a sex addict, and like all addicts, has become increasingly more deceptive in his actions and placed the blame on me, even though the problems began long before we even met. I knew something was wrong but did not understand what until he finally confessed to his many many infidelities. His addiction led to having sex with men and women he met on the internet and in adult bookstores, movie theaters, etc. I admit to mistakes, but nothing could have kept our marriage together any longer. I finally told him what I expected and when he wouldn’t or couldn’t make the changes, I told him to leave. Yet, I have read emails from him to his now live-in sex partner where he says that he was the one who was the one who lost precious years from his life. He is a true addict - and always will be unless he accepts his illness. But I could not and would not accept his blaming me anymore.


Wow…what great responses. Thank you all. I will endeavor to help all my clients deal with the effects of adultery and extra-marital affairs. There are consequences on both the “cheater” and the “cheated.” I know that each has heartache and sorrow, and some suffer these worse than others.

Believe it or not (and I really did not realize this at first), some couples come out on the positive end after the affair, but most do not. Many of my clients can look on the bright side after it is all over…and I hope most of you who have dealt with this can too![:)]

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Divorce
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.

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After 39 years of marriage my husband cheated on me. Well 2 years later he said he had made the biggest mistake of his life.and just wants out of his current marriage and is there any hope for us. I just don’t know. He has to get a divorce first and I fear for him she is not stable


I said this in a previous posting and I’ll say it again…the basis of a marriage is fidelity, trust and love. Without those three things, you have nothing. Yes, over a period of time it is natural for people to go through a series of changes during their marriage. During mine, my cheating wasn’t the fact that it was a sexual thing. I was a faithful as the next guy. However, I over-cheated on the side of protection. Yes, that is possible. I didn’t know where to draw the line of protection and allowing her to learn from her mistakes. I was so concerned about keeping her that I was losing her and driving her away and perhaps into another man’s life at the same time. Now, I know she is out dating someone right now. I asked her before we separated and she denied it because she began withholding sex. She said no, but now I found out that she has a well-established relationship with a guy and was in a hotel with him this weekend. Our divorce won’t be final until November 1, 2007. So, there had to be something going on. Love and fidelity wasn’t the issue on my end. My issue was trust. I should have been more trusting and that is where my over-cheating on the side of obsession was my downfall. I’m not perfect, but I know where I went wrong. The only way I can rationalize it is through the fact that she would tell me how much she adored being hit on when she would got out with her girlfriends. That wasn’t something that I needed to hear. So, maybe I was a little justified.

I like the idea that you finally got to post us a question.
I think in most cases when a spouse cheats, it’s a matter of they don’t care and they’re hoping to get caught, they think they can’t get caught, or they’ve changed from the person they were when they got married.
I spent years trying to convince my ex that we needed to seek counciling, and trying to talk to her about our marriage falling apart, but she refused. She wanted to stay being the “PARTY GIRL”, instead of staying home and playing mom. I knew what was going on behind my back, but I ignored it “because of the kids”. When the marriage was finally over I could take comfort in knowing that I tried to save it, and I had been willing to forgive, and take the higher road.
I think it’s possible for a marriage to be saved after an affair, but it takes a lot of effort and changes from both the husband and wife, but there is a point of no return, when the damage is too deep.

I believe there are a lot of reasons people convince themselves for cheating, but none of them are good reasons. If you are unhappy in your marriage, in my opinion, you either do something about it or you leave. There’s no reason to start a relationship before the present one is finished. 99% of the time that relationship will not make you happy either and only confuses the bigger life issues.

People fall out of love, people change or grow in different directions, people get so wrapped up in work or children or other aspects of life that they don’t notice their PARTNER drifting away from them or dealing with their own issues. After many years of this, another person comes along who seems to be in the same place in life that you are…somehow you got to this point while your spouse is somewhere else…and they seem to understand more and can empathize with your life and feelings. You realize is that this person is listening to you, which is something your spouse USED to do…at this point, some start feeling guilty and try to work on saving their marriage. Others, well, they feel justified that finally someone is paying attention to them and after all they have been through, don’t they deserve something that they can be happy about. After all, “spouse” doesn’t care anymore either, otherwise they would notice that things aren’t going to work anymore and hey, they may be already having an affair also.
I do believe that some marriages can be saved but only up to a certain point and both have to want it. Most people can not forgive or forget and therefore can not live with the worry of what may happen if they become comfortable in their marriage again. Then the daily, sometimes hourly task of trusting their spouse is too much. You never get over someone being unfaithful to you but most people do not want to admit that. Even if you stay together, things are forever changed.

People can come up with all the dang excuses they want to. “Oh I wasnt getting enough sex”, that’s probably the main reason people come up with to cheat. Th bottom line is, if you are that unhappy, you need to get out of your marriage before making such a huge mistake that you can never take back. My spouse made it out to be my fault that he got another woman pregnant during our marriage. He actually convinced himself that it was all my fault and I deserved it. I know in my heart that didnt deserve that, it’s all his fault,and I gave 110% in my marriage. People need to think about the decisions and actions they make before they do things because my ex ruined his life. We are now divorced, and he has a house full of children they he cant afford. And none of them are with his wife.

Does anyone think that it is possible to repair a marriage if the husband got another woman pregnant?

[i]Originally posted by lilcutie[/i] [br]Does anyone think that it is possible to repair a marriage if the husband got another woman pregnant?
I believe that at the point that one spouse has sex with someone else is the point that the marriage has gone beyond being salvaged. There may be a few out there who will tell you they could live with it and continue to build a life with their spouse, but I believe that those individuals aren't being completely honest with themselves or are too afraid to face the prospect of life without their spouse. I've learned that at times it's easier to forgive the physical affair but most have a difficult time getting over the emotional betrayal. An affair is not strictly limited to sex and sometimes the emotional affair is much more damaging. In my opinion, the only time a marriage could be saved is very early on before too much emotional "sharing" goes on, before anything physical and if both spouses want to save the marriage.

There is no justification for adultery. Anyone who commits adultery is acting selfishly—for his or her own pleasure. It does not have anything to do with the faithful spouse because the only behavior a person can control is his or her own. It is not about happiness. It is not about someone else making you miserable. I was not happy in my marriage either, but I did not go out there seeking solace from someone else. He did, and the pain of what he did will never go away. It never goes away for anyone whether the marriage is salvaged or whether divorce results. Sometimes the adulterer is using his/her extramarital partner which is in some ways even worse than being unfaithful to the marriage partner. Janet, perhaps you need a survey asking those who have been unfaithful and divorced because of it whether or not they married the person with whom they were having an affair. I bet the number will be surprisingly low and there is one given in this equation. Once a cheater, always a cheater. It never fails.

My husband cheated on me and I am not sure of the reason why. We had been married for nearly 10 years before he did and our friends envied our relationship. Tried working it out now he’s just a different person.

My husband cheated on his first wife, and I feel from my own experience with my ex that there are two players in this game, in MOST cases.
The circumstances for him cheating:

  1. Married too young - military man, came back to marry her after his first deployment to Iraq (the we-may-not-have-much-time syndrome).
  2. Deployed constantly… when he had to go away for 3-8 months at a time, she would get depressed and spend spend spend the extra money he was making (you get bonuses for being away from family…). That meant when he came home, money was tight, so it was more financially convenient for him to be gone.
  3. Tried to have a baby to “fix things.” Not only does this just cause more stress (and further instill the need for him to be gone because of even higher bills related to the new baby) on a relationship instead of making it better…
  4. The wife gained over 85 pounds (stress? depression? who knows) and then only lost 25 over the next two years. The weight became a weapon - he wanted her to be the thin, sexy attractive girl he married three years earlier, and she wanted him to “grow up” and “love me for the way I am.”
    The heavier she stayed, the more he found ways to deploy. The more he deployed, the easier it was for her to stay heavy, and get used to having the extra $600-$800/month in pay.
    The longer she stayed so overweight, the more insecure she was about him turning to other women. And since she was overweight, he was in constant Marine mode telling her “you’re not healthy… you used to be so beautiful… why don’t you go to the gym…” which being a man he didn’t realize just hurt her even more.
    Thus, she got more depressed, and less motivated to actually lose the weight. The more she accused him of cheating or wanting to cheat (because they stopped having sex from the stress and his loss of physical attraction to her), the more he felt pushed away and eventually, went for the totally immature and illogical reasoning “if she’s going to accuse me anyway, regardless of how accountable I try to be for my time, I might as well do it…”
    And, he cheated. And she felt justified in staying heavy all that time because he cheated and therefore was a scumbag who couldn’t stay faithful, just as she had begun to suspect when he lost interest in her because of the massive weight gain.

So, there’s a million sides to every story. They both contributed equally, in my opinion. My husband alternately avoiding her all-together and then hounding her to lose the weight, was the most un-loving, un-husbandly approach to “saving” their marriage. Alternately, part of taking care of your spouse and living up to your vows, is taking care of yourself, and not going for the martyr “love me for who I am”… it’s one thing to be blind-sided by an illness or condition that couldn’t be predicted or helped, but it’s another to lose sight of your health, and withhold sex/use weight gain as a weapon to show who the better, more moral person is. If who you are now, is not the person you promised to stay as, or become, when you got married, then what can one do? They both should have done things differently and they both have come to the very rare point in their lives where they can openly admit that.
(Note, this was the first wife, not the second wife I am currently posting about issues with…)

My first husband and I went through some of that. We got married way too young. All our friends were getting married and it seemed as if we were the last ones left, so we did it. Not smart at all. We did the whole thing of having a baby to “fix” things. We both put on weight, but in his eyes it was OK for men to be heavy, not women. He was extremely jealous. Accused me of cheating all the time. Would follow me places to make sure I was going where I said I was (turns out he was so suspicious because he was the one cheating). Neither one of us really knew who we were when we married, much less knew who the other person really was (it was a long distance relationship) Getting to really know one another was a shock, but we stuck it out for 12 years before we both turned elsewhere.


Adultry is only one form of betrayal. Some other things are nearly as bad.

My ex-wife, for example, told me on our honeymoon that she was nervous about sex because she had been raped while in college. She told all sorts of stories about how depression from the rape had cause her to withdraw from school, gain weight, feel dirty all the time, have flashbacks, etc. She would recoil when I touched her. In truth, she was never raped. The whole story was just a way for her get sympathy from me while limiting our sexual intamacy. As I’ve mentioned on these boards before, she was determined to suffer from Narcissistic, Borderline, and Histrionic Personality Disorders during our parental evaluation (although the evaluator refused to call these disorders by name in court – “It’s not my job to offer a diagnosis,” he said.)

This is the situation I was in. Until you walk in the shoes of someone who cheated then you really can’t judge a person. Sure there was neglect, weaknesses perhaps, but also sometimes the first marriages weren’t meant to be and you find your true soulmate with the second one.

My boyfriend and I got married to our spouses for all the wrong reasons and then stayed for the kids…now we are truly happy with each other.

IMHO, if he cheats on me then we wern’t meant to be and I already know what I am getting into.