Cheating Husband: Why Women Stay – GMA With Dr. Karen Ruskin, Relationship Expert And Marriage Therapist

Why would a woman stay with her husband who has cheated on her? As a marriage therapist and relationship expert for 20 years, I share with you today that this question continues to be asked by the public and the media, and I have the answer. In this blog you will find documented the top 10 reasons why women stay after experiencing¬†betrayal. With Anthony Weiner back in the news (who can forget the story of the married congressman who tweeted a crotch shot of himself in 2011), ABC’s Good Morning America called upon this media guest expert to explain.

The #1 reason why a man or a woman stays with a spouse who has cheated is love. The explanation is as follows:

Feeling hurt and angry, experiencing betrayal, and the devastating emotional affect cheating has does not in and of itself take away the feeling of love for another. It does for some, but certainly not for all. Humans can be quite forgiving if we desire to be. Humans can experience various feelings co-existing at the same time (e.g., love and hate, sadness and joy, pain and pride . . . )

Top 10 reasons why women stay with a man who has cheated:

  • Love
  • Forgiveness
  • Children (having a child or children with this other person creates a special bond of wanting to remain a family, not wanting one’s child to be raised as a child of divorce)
  • Vision of what one wants in one’s life does not wish to be disrupted (i.e., marriage, family). Many women do not want their spouse’s actions to ruin their vision, their desire, their future of what they want
  • Compartmentalization (the ability to separate the bad “behavior” from the man as a whole)
  • Understanding that all humans are flawed (the understanding of how the spouse’s behavior makes sense in context, making sense of the behavior even though it hurts)
  • Fear of the unknown and/or not wanting to start over and/or pained by/cannot imagine what life would be like without one’s husband
  • Not wanting to fail (divorce for many feels like a failure)
  • Financial (for some women leaving their husband due to cheating is not an option as they are concerned about what that will mean for them financially)
  • Prestige

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