should I stay married?

My husband has been having an affair with another women for 1 1/2 years. He’s in love with her but has agreed to stay married “for a while” for the sake of our 2 children ages 11 and 9. I am totally devastated and some days it’s difficult to get out of bed. I’ve started seeing a therapist and it’s helping but I want to ask other Catholics their thoughts on staying married for the kids?

In my opinion, you should have sent him packing when he refused to end the affair. It would be different if he was willing to try to work things out with you, but clearly he is unrepentant. I understand why you two made the decision you did, but I don’t think living a lie for the sake of your children sets a good example for them, and it is clearly not healthy for you.

I am so very sorry about your situation and betrayal in your marriage. I honestly want to say though that strangers over the internet can’t give you such advice on whether you should stay with him or divorce. In staying married to you, is he going to stop seeing this other person even though he feels he is in love with her? Can he commit to that and brake off ties with her in order to rebuild the relationship with you? Even if staying married for the sake of the children who are soon to be teenagers, is he able to commit to you? I would continue to see the therapist for support and then try to do marriage counseling with him. Likewise, I would suggest that both of you go to Retrouveau weekend which is a marriage encounter for marriages that have serious issues like this one (affairs etc.). Staying married mean he needs to try an make this work for the “sake of the children” and that means that he needs to stop the affair and focus on putting this back together. It doesn’t mean both of you are room mates with him going off with her and you constantly hurt and devasted. Again, I am so sorry and will keep you in my prayers.

I try to imagine your pain, it must be very great. I am so sorry.

I am praying for you to be enveloped in an ocean of His love for you.


This website and the forums can offer you support and guidance.

I am so sorry for what you are going through.

By the way, as you will learn if you go to the surviving infidelity website, your husband will not snap out of this if you do not give him an ultimatum. You may not be ready for that yet, and i can understand, but it’s really the only way to be able to save the marriage, if it’s salvageable. Whatever you do, don’t roll over to him, or beg or plead with him to leave her. It may seem like the way to go now, but it won’t help things, and you’ll only regret it later.

To sort of add to what AClaire said, I think you need be careful here. Having to endure this kind of emotional turmoil and keep it from affecting your kids? I’m wondering if one can ever truly separate the two. I really think kids are more perceptive than people realize, and by staying you may end up harming your relationship with them.

Of course, I write this in the entire context of Catholic teaching on divorce.

If he thinks that’s love, I’m not sure he knows what love is. Love certainly isn’t marrying someone and then betraying them for another woman. I wouldn’t stay married if I where you. I know the church says you should stay married, but my mom was married to a sociopath who abused us, and I think when he divorced my mom she was set free.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe the Church allows divorce for serious reasons such as unrepentant and ongoing adultery, but doesn’t permit remarriage unless an annulment is granted. If this is accurate, a divorce or separation would not be sinful at all.

I agree that an ultimatum needs to be made. He is getting all these benefits (children, house, good reputation, etc) even though he has totally betrayed you, while you are suffering and bearing everyone’s burdens. Definitely consult a priest and your therapist, but IMO a separation, if not divorce, is the best thing.

So sorry to hear that. I’m wondering if you and your husband are Catholic? It doesn’t matter I’ll say the same thing anyway. My husband never had an affair but he would lie to me all the time. There was no trust and I would wonder if I should stay married. I went to a weekend retreat and there many women were speaking about how the devil comes between marriages to destroy families. It is easier to destroy and corrupt individuals when the family unit is in chaos and divided.
My mom went through years, around five years, of my dad’s infidelity (he fathered a child). I mean lying cheating the worst. My mom did stay with him. It helped that she wasn’t alone. She is a very religious woman and her relationship with God and Jesus and Mary gave her the strength. I remember my mom just praying the rosary, with tears in her eyes every night, for his conversion. I should mention that my dad has been the greatest father and husband for over 20 years now. Now we jokingly call him Jesus’ right hand.
Witnessing my mom not giving up and believing in the darkest moments have been a great value to me and my siblings. Prayer works, God doesn’'t abandon us. Just don’t let go of his hand.

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