After You Cheat, How Many Strikes Before You're Out
May 13, 2014
After You Cheat, How Many Strikes Before You're Out

Dr. Laura, 

Sadly, I have had several family and friends who have gone through an ordeal with a cheating spouse.  I was always a one-strike-and-you're-out person regarding cheating until I matured more in both experience and my marriage. I felt I could never forgive someone who slept with another man after giving her all to me. I now believe there are times when you should not divorce, but forgive and move ahead. 

In one instance, after my longtime friend's wife came to me saying she and my friend were no longer close and wanted me to intervene, I found it was already too late. When each told me their side, I was surprised to find out that for three years they had been basically loveless and avoided each other to the point of waiting until one or the other went to bed before coming home from work. Here it was a matter of time. Though she did start to read your book, "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands" without his knowledge and he did see changes when he came home after work, it was already too late as he had stepped over the line. I strongly felt if they solved the issues which had torn apart their 20 year marriage, especially in light of 3 children, that she could forgive him and they could flourish again. Instead, she stopped reading your book, vehemently rejected it, and used his overstep to do away with her ties to him. It was clear she was angry and had no remorse over the loss of 20 years or the impact on her kids. It was an easy out of a marriage she had abandoned years ago. 

The one strike rule is for the promiscuous wife or philandering husband.  If they cheated while dating, then marry believing thought it would stop with marriage or kids, but cheat again - they should be dumped. In this case, I see no reason for the person to stay with them as they will do it again and are not really sorry for doing it.  I am amazed at how many spouses want to hold on to these marriages.  Yet for those who fell into temptation because their marriages had died, they are ready to give up on! 

My own conclusion is always try to reconcile for the grass is not greener on the other side.
Like we were told on the playground after a fight, where both pointed to the other for
starting it, it takes two! 


Posted by Staff at 10:35 AM