Another of our therapists, Gail Shaver, is new to the blog today. Gail works a lot with couples.  And a lot of couples come to us in crisis situations because of infidelity.  Gail witnesses the anguish and anxiety results from an affair…and helps couples deal with the resultant carnage.  Believe me, when you have seen a couple on the raw edges of infidelity discovery, it’s ugly. The pain is palpable.  And so often, the one who has cheated has a wake up call where s/he wonders, “What the h*ll have I done? What was I thinking?” And it’s too late…you can’t unring the bell. Gail writes today, asking a spouse for a sober second thought on the threshold of being unfaithful.  This won’t be an easy read  if you find yourself in the position of contemplation…

To be or not to be…faithful

that is the question.

Let’s explore…

Do I stay faithful in a marriage where I’m not happy?

A man with lipstick on his color--infidelity. Chooing not to be faithful

The easy answer can seem to be ‘not to’ when someone else is interested in me and it’s kind of tempting…..Really, what would it hurt?

Just once.

Hmmm…maybe twice.

The mind contemplates or it just jumps to not to be.

No one would know.

I could get away with it.

What would it hurt?

Are any of these thoughts running through your mind?  It happens with many folks and it’s both kind of scary and kind of exciting at the same time.  A person contemplates infidelity with the question, “What have I got to lose?”

What have you got to lose?????

What have you got to lose???!!!

Well…..there’s LOTS to lose!!

There is a HUGE cost that inevitably comes with the decision ‘not to be’ faithful.

I have heard clients who have chosen to cheat says things like:

  • You lose a little piece of yourself when you cheat
  • You can’t fully live in either world
  • I’ll never forgive myself for this


Are you willing to risk not only those three things but also losing some valued friendships?  (because that’s bound to happen)  Infidelity affects more than the couple, it affects the people and the relationships around the couple.

Another question:

Are you willing to cause distress to your beautiful children, the ones that look to you, yes you, to see what a relationship should look like? The ones who, more than anything, benefit from a secure base and safe haven?Are you willing to risk this? Around a beautiful silouhette of a family together.

A third question:

Are you willing to risk the damage to yourself, your self-esteem, your integrity, your honesty, your values (those values that seem to be getting lost right now)?

Please take my word for it:  CHEATING HURTS and the cost is more widespread than you could imagine!

Admit nothing deny everything on poster depicting a couple facing away from each other.
It’s so tempting to think keeping a secret will work…but it rarely does

If you think you can cheat and get away with it, know that is highly unlikely.

I have heard many people say they read on the internet to lie if confronted…deny, deny, deny.I have seen this in action.

Not only do I hear from clients that this has happened over and over at home but I see it right in front of me in therapy sessions.  Sad.  So sad.

Denying rarely, if ever, actually works.

Usually, some how, some way, the truth eventually comes out. (And even if it doesn’t ever come out, the cheating lurks, unspoken in the background, haunting the relationship)

Every time I have an email in my inbox that a new couple is coming to see me and I see the words infidelity or cheating or affair my heart sinks”

Again.  (heavy sigh)

Again… another couple faces this hardship.

Again… hearts are broken.

Again… there is a wake of destruction.

infidelity destroys lives. Be responsible
Photo credit: Maria C Dawson|Stupefied via / CC BY-ND

For some, when this happens, it is simply OVER.  No question, no therapy, nothing…It’s just OVER.  These people, us therapists don’t see.  Could their marriage have recovered?  Possibly.  But no one knows if they haven’t tried to get help.

The brave ones, the ones that are at least asking the question, “Can our marriage be saved?” come for help to find that very answer.  There was probably at one time a good relationship, good sex, happiness, honesty, committment.

Can a marriage be saved after infidelity?

The answer is yes, sometimes.  Sometimes, no.  There is at least a chance if you seek some help.

Before you turn away from your relationship,

P l e a s e ,


take the time to consider the possible consequences (which, granted, is hard the way the brain is bathed in “feel good chemical” that make straight thinking almost impossible).  If you’re standing on the edge of a cliff, wondering what to do, come in and talk with us.  We can help you figure this stuff out!

We can help…………let’s talk.


  • Deb Nielsen

    I have come to the conclusion myself through the years that people who have affairs somehow think there is a magical relationship that they are owed and can’t get within the life they are currently leading. It seems to me that turning away from your partner is exactly why it can’t be gotten. The answers lies right where you are with lots of work and help.

    • Gail Shaver

      Beautifully said!! I believe others will read your thoughtful comment and take it to heart! Thank you.

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