Because of His Cheating, I Feel Like My Husband Has Let Me Down

On the day you got married, I’d be willing to bet that, like me, you envisioned that the person who put a ring on your finger was always going to have your back. And certainly, you felt the same way, because you were fully committed to showing this kind of support yourself. That’s one very attractive thing about committing your life to someone when you get married – knowing that this person will always be there for you and vice verse. But what happens if they aren’t because they have made the grave mistake of being unfaithful?

You might hear a wife say: “I have had a lot of stress on my plate over the last year. My health started to spiral downward and, for a long time, the doctors told me that there was nothing wrong with me. I was having lot of pain, weakness, and fatigue, but they could not find any real reason for it. They started to insinuate that this was all in my head. I knew that it wasn’t. I knew that I was having real symptoms that weren’t there before. And I knew that my mind was functioning just fine. This was a very difficult period in my life. And I noticed that my husband began pulling away from me. He started being home much less. He started acting weird. One day, I noticed an email login that was different from what he had used before. It was obvious that he’d opened a new email account without telling me. I asked him about this and his denial was way overblown. I mentioned this to my mom and she said this is a classic indicator of cheating. When I asked my husband about this, he insinuated, just like my doctors, that I was crazy. Well, fast forward six months. I’m not so crazy after all. I have an awful autoimmune condition that I now have to learn to manage. And I have a husband who started cheating on me as I was struggling with my health. I feel so let down. The people that I needed help from – my doctors and my husband – have seriously not been there for me. And not only did they not support me, but they made things worse for me. Now that my medical condition is confirmed, my husband is all apologetic and is wanting to be my rock. I am thinking that it is too late for this. Can a man who let you down with his infidelity turn around and be there for you when times get tough?”

My answer may sound evasive and I don’t mean for it to be. But quite frankly, it depends on the man involved. I firmly believe, from my own experience and from the people who tell me their own stories, that there are a good number of men out there who make the mistake of cheating once but who then get very serious about discovering what lead to this and fixing it. And they fix it permanently and become the husband that you deserve. Because they are determined to be the kind of husbands that they know themselves to be. In fact, many of them use the cheating as a motivator to be that much better and they become the kind of husbands that most wives want – meaning that they are loyal, affectionate and supportive.

Having said this, I have to admit that there are also some husbands who continue to let their wives down once again over the course of their marriage. This is either because they are not willing to change, they are not willing to admit that they are the problem, or they have not learned how to diminish their vulnerability or how to place safeguards in place.

So how do you know which category your own husband fits into? Well, you can look at past behavior. Has he had a long history of having your back and supporting you? Can you be relatively sure that this is a one-time mistake that he is more than willing to remedy now? Speaking of remedy, men who are willing to become the kind of husband who makes amends for letting you down will often be willing to go to counseling – or at least to get some kind of help.

Even if you aren’t seeing attempts of rehabilitation from your husband, that doesn’t mean that you can’t tell him what you need and then give him the option to rise to the occasion. But, it really helps if he shows some willingness to make this right. And you may need to define for him what you need in order to make this happen.

I can’t tell you that a man cheating on you when you need him the most isn’t a let down. It is. And I know from experience that it is very painful. But I can also tell you that some men do use this as a type of horrible wake up call in order for them to make a promise to themselves – and to you – that they will never let you down again.