Posted by: Cornered and confused | 2012/05/23

Spouse is a serial cheater

My wife confessed to having a couple of sexual encounters (unprotected) with men she met on the internet, she also met with about 8 potentials. We have been married for 15 years. She has suffered from depression and anxiety for the past 5 years.

I am not violent and I do not abuse her in any way. I try my best to take care of her. we have children. She alternates between telling me to let her go as she is unhappy and how she see''s hope and wants to take it day by day.

We are seeing a marriage councilor. Here is my dilemma, am I a fool to take this abuse of trust and continue? Does it make me a weak man because I do not " throw her out" .

I feel emasculated and betrayed. I don''t know what to do.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

She cheated, and seriously risked your health and life by having unprotected sex with others, with, effectively, strangers. Depression and anxiwety is really no excuse for that.
But work on this with your marriage counsellor. It is essential that she take personal responsibility for her choices and deeds, if she is to have any hope of finding how to behave more responsibly.
You are not being weak for not immediately throwing her out ( I'm guessing these confessions came out in the course of the marriage counselling ? ) but you do need to work through all these issues with the help of the counsellor, before making a considered decision about what is best for you and the children, and secondarily what is best for her

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: deidre | 2013/02/14


Reply to deidre
Posted by: theophillus | 2013/02/13

man respect his wife so much that he can do everything she need and still the wife cheat,cheating is the play of mind driven by unfolded feeling and imaginary. the same thing ones need to feel is left at home ,but exploration and seeking power is the main factor to make woman cheat than man .i prefer that a man mustn''t leave his kids and stay away ,the only thing is that they must separate and help kids adjust until the teenager stage and then divorce cause the only people suffer are kids ,i am talking from experience my kids are growing with no father on they upbringing because my wife cheated and i found it ,its tough out there kids becomes the fighting objects and tools to accumulate money from hubby while the woman knows that she has messed up this time and expect a man to forgive and forget ,never in the history of man that he could forget and forgive his cheating wife ,it like been fed poison and not die to stay with your wife knowing she cheated on better to be homeless and stay away from the cheating wife ,as long you dont know what is going on then you might be the laughing stalk to her friends and the boyfriends but GOD ALWAYS UNVEIL THE TRUTH TO THE FOOLS OF FOOLS ON YOU then you face the music with no more friends and boyfriends you choose against you husband .

Reply to theophillus
Posted by: CHRIS | 2012/06/19


Reply to CHRIS
Posted by: George | 2012/06/14

Get out now ! you NEVER forget that feeling of betrayal.... never. I went through this and I was destroyed. My wife was everthing to me and when she had the affair we were not in a bad place, It was like being smashed with a sledge hammer. That feeling does not subside you just learn to hide it far away ! You will NEVER really trust her again so leave her and do it now and quickly. Good luck in whatever you decide to do.

Reply to George
Posted by: Thabang | 2012/06/14

Well, Im kinda of in the same situation but i dont know how far did she take this cheating, it happens that I find out that she was chatting with different guys on BBM, on numerous occasions when they chat, its all about love this sweety that baby that, and I found that one guy is married and the other stays far away, kind of distance thing, now is this cheating or flirting? I''m lost because she doesnt know I know about her liaising with these guys, i got the proof since I was sending this chats to my email

Reply to Thabang
Posted by: Zama | 2012/06/14

Please run for ur life, there r women out there who will love u and worship the ground u walk on........Run Run Run

Reply to Zama
Posted by: Tau ya Matshekga | 2012/06/14

I think you should end the marriage but maintin a cordial relationship with her for ease of raising the children together even though you would be living separate lives.

This way her sex life would be nothing for you to lose any sleep over

Reply to Tau ya Matshekga
Posted by: MrM | 2012/06/14

Lets analyse this from her point of view..

The process involved to find someone via the internet:
She had to register an account on a website - a dating site? A sex site?
She would have to review potencial candidates.
She would have to contact candidates to see if they are also interested.
She would have to create the LIE to you and your family so she can get out the house to meet candidate.
She would be out with cadidate, for enough to time to .. get the cheating part of it done.
She would then return home to you and the family and again LIE about what she had done that evening.

All these steps, done on numerous occasions, were an extremely conscious decision taken on her part.

Things would be different, if say, she met someone at work or out with friends, where a " friendship"  was created and then developed into something more meaningful. This case, would at least bear more meaning on why she cheated.

But its not, she went out with intention. On NUMEROUS occasions.

If she had spent this time more constructively, to say, talk with you, explain what the problem is, what emotions are being experienced, BEFORE it got to the point of intentional cheating.. then maybe you would have more reason to stay, cos at least you would have had a chance to rectify the situation before all this went on.

My advice, coming from a family where my parents divorced because my dad cheated.. as another user above said, you cant change a leopards spots.. once a cheater, always a cheater. Your kids will understand when they mature. Its not like you''re leaving your kids, you will still maintain a very healthy relationship with them. You might want to fight for custody of the kids though, cos I know I wouldnt like to leave my kids where strangers will be coming and going.. we''ve all read the case of the step father beating the kids.

My relationship with my dad today is better than its ever been. We even spoke recently about the past and his reasons for cheating. The divorce made no difference on my life growing up nor on the relationship I had/have with my dad.

Get out, rather find a partner who will love and respect you with the same passion you have at present. Dont ever lose your passion and dont settle for second best.

Reply to MrM
Posted by: jnrb | 2012/06/13

Marriage is a choice to go exclusive. Your marriage is everything but exclusive. Staying together for the sake of the kids is the worst possible reason. You too deserve to be happy with someone who has chosen to be exclusively your mate for life. Dump her.

Reply to jnrb
Posted by: Masopha | 2012/06/13

Cheating once with one person is a slip up that can be managed by counseling/prayer support from friends and family,but 8 time with 8 different partners, no condom Hai! this is murder in the first degree medically speaking. What is important is she says SHE IS NOT HAPPY so my brother cut you losses and save you life. AIDS is real, go to any hospital and ask for the HIV/AIDS patience ward, have a look in there and see if that is where you want to end up all because of " love" . As for the children, schools have AIDS education in the curriculum so they know what it means. You may need to get psychological counseling for them to ease then into the decision of parting ways with mom for health reasons. Good luck.

Reply to Masopha
Posted by: Tweedle Dee | 2012/06/13

I too had a partner who cheated on me and I thank GOD everyday we had no kids - that was 7 years ago - to this day I have an issue with trust so to " CONCERNED &  CONFUSED" , I say, this is a choice which you have to make and live with for the rest of your life. No matter anyone else''s opinions on this matter - YOU DO WHAT IS BEST FOR YOU. I wish you everything of the best.

Reply to Tweedle Dee
Posted by: Baby | 2012/06/13

Men like you are dangerous because once you get fed up you will kill this woman, I think it is better you leave now whilst you can think straight, I am scared of what you will do the day you get fed up.

Reply to Baby
Posted by: Bradley | 2012/06/13

Yes i dont know you or your wife, I am in no position to Judge because only God can.

I will tel you this much, if your car is suppose to take you to work but every morning you stuck 10 km from work, you have a mechanic looked at it. but still after all this the same happens. what do you do? Buy a new car? get a specialist, or Trade it in ?

now the same goes for a mariage, she messed up we do not know why? but are you willing to stay. like the car the best option would be to trade it in and get a better deal, as you will not be sitting with shit.

Reply to Bradley
Posted by: worth the fight | 2012/06/13

It is not weakness to stay - staying is the hardest choice.

You must love your wife greatly to consider staying and that makes you strong and courageous. I hope and pray that your wife will be able to change her ways. Either way, if it ends or improves you will know that you have acted honourably by doing all you can and I commend you for being a real man.

Reply to worth the fight
Posted by: DarkStone | 2012/06/13

As for the sympathiser''s, I can''t help but note the softer approach to women cheating vs men. It''s easy to accept that a woman cheated because something was lacking in her relationship but hard to understand when men cheat for the same reason.

Truth of the matter is, she cheated, repeatedly. You can rebuild no doubt, as humans we are capable of incredible things like that. The agonisingly slow process however is never worth it, you will be scared at the end of all this whether you rebuild or move on to someone that will give you what you need. My opinion, get out of this now or better yet, she must go. She can phone one of those guys and go stay with them. She has no business in your life beyond the kids.

Reply to DarkStone
Posted by: E | 2012/06/13

I suffer from depression &  anxiety but when I went a rocky patch in my relationship I didn''t go &  sleep around. There is a difference between an affair that happended &  to actively seek strangers. Don''t stay married for the children''s sake because all you are showing them it is acceptable to be a doormat in a relationship.

Reply to E
Posted by: CHRIS | 2012/06/13


Reply to CHRIS
Posted by: Jose | 2012/06/13

Your wife is dirty, to sleep with men one meets on the internet, not knowing who they are and where they have been is disgusting. And having unprotected sex on top of it. I don''t know where you got all the facts and figures from, I assume from her. If it is so then this cow is either purposely humiliating you or for her its a great conquest. Any woman would tell you she slept around but would not give the details. Men are sometimes blaming themselves for their wife''s affairs, that is rubbish. If the man is a dog, and I don''t want to downgrade dogs, leave him and then start messing around, but don''t blame the man for a woman''s wrongdoings. Now back to the story. Have yourself checked, as AIDS cannot be detected immediately. And NO she wont change and you have the choice, leave and watch your children grow up knowing they have a father, And you must support them with everything, or stay and maybe your children will grow up as orphans, your choice.

Reply to Jose
Posted by: RC | 2012/06/13

Dude...throw her out. Nothing sacred between the two of you anymore.

Reply to RC
Posted by: Fifi | 2012/06/13

first thing the two of you should go test for HIV
after that take it day by day

Reply to Fifi
Posted by: anon | 2012/06/13

I was married to a woman for 16 years , three kiddies and what i thought was a happy home , until she started with the social networking . Suddenly she had not been in love with me for years and I got the blame because we apparently fought all the time . Before we were even divorrced she was going away with the younger , better dude for weekends . Trust me buddy , get out and prepare yourself for the yo-yoing of emotions etc . Dont believe for one second you wont be loved by another again , cos I promise you now , you will and she will be 100% better than the cow who betrayed you .

Reply to anon
Posted by: Been there | 2012/06/13

I''ve been there. I was the cheater, I COULD NOT change. I knew my husband wouldnt divorce from his side so I did it from my side, it was better for both of us. No kids involved so it made it simpler but 14 yrs on we''re both remarried to different partners and happy. I have not cheated ONCE in 7 years with my current husband and do not intend to. If I do I will rather walk away.

Reply to Been there
Posted by: Michelle | 2012/06/13

Just reading this makes me relive the years i endured being faithful to a cheat of a husband. Even before we got married there were warning signs, but i chose to ignore them because he was my everything. Infidelity continued in the marriage and when i confronted him, he chose to institute divorce. During the divorce up to now, he shown signs of regrets but now punishing my daughter and i because i don''t want him back. I was also exposed to possible HIV infection but luckily tested negative. The day i sat in the Dr''s room waiting to get my results was when i realized i would never go back to a man who had brought me to that place. Today he still sleeps around, has befriended drug dealers and ignores his responsibility to his kid. Risk staying and you might just get infected. Put yourself at the centre of the universe for your childrens sake. What is she gets infected, passes it onto you. Who will your children have then? Think about it, they never change!!!!

Reply to Michelle
Posted by: Baron | 2012/06/13

Taking her back is a sign of weakness- and showing to her and yourself that you dont deserve any better... sorry to say this... but the men she cheated on you with would have dumped her-|-if she did it to them... and that probably what she found attractive in them.

Reply to Baron
Posted by: Freeda Botha | 2012/06/13

Dump her as it is a terrible example set for you children. Children always come first mate, so be a man and do what needs to be done. Or get her to start charging and enjoy the additional income. She want to act like a whore you might as well profit from it. Goodluck mate. Its not easy

Reply to Freeda Botha
Posted by: Fair and Strong | 2012/06/13

When men cheat and get caught the first thing women do is divorce, etc. Tear the man to shreads, etc... Why should this be any different? You should leave the woman and go check your aids/hiv status. If positive you should press criminal charges against her. 8 times... that''s not depression...

Reply to Fair and Strong
Posted by: Dumisani | 2012/06/13

Get out. your happiness counts too.

Reply to Dumisani
Posted by: a woman | 2012/06/13

I feel for you but honestly think that you are more concerned about creating a good public image. You are obviously not happy in this relationship and your therapy sessions are not doing much otherwise you would not be asking us for advice. Sometimes as people we are scared of ventureing into new territory and the fear of the unknown leads us to stay in impossible situations. You need to take care of yourself and understand that you deserve to be happy and loved. This woman is pulling you down with her and this will inevitably affect your kids aswell, it does not sound like a healthy environment. I know it is not an easy decision to make but if it was I who was in tht situation, I would leave for my own sanity and for the children, they need to have a stable parent who has it together. If she decideds to kill herself, well that is her issue, you cant give meaning to her life if she sees no value in it, this is not your role. Even the bible allows you to end this relationship, so get out so that you can heal and be able to live the rest of your life with meaning and purpose. Life is good but you will not experience it fully with this burden- IT IS NOT UNFAIR TO LEAVE . Good luck.

Reply to a woman
Posted by: mambo | 2012/06/13

go and have a goooood sex with her and then leave... make sure u use a condom.......

Reply to mambo
Posted by: Pieter | 2012/06/13

Just sort out custodial arrangements for the children and run away from this woman. It''s going to get worse. The Trust is in shambles and she will cheat again. It is not worth rebuilding not even for the children because they will see the truth.
Get Out Now.

Reply to Pieter
Posted by: Nomonde | 2012/06/13

Leave before you end up with depression yourself. You are more important to yourself

Reply to Nomonde
Posted by: Mahendra | 2012/06/13

I am a male and have been on the receiving end as well. I tried for over a year to save my marriage for the sake of my son. The longer I stayed in it the more bitter it became. Like you, I did not have any issues with any sort of abuse, my family always came first. In the end I was made out to be the villian. I eventaully lost my marriage and my son. I get to be with my son, to this day he does not know the truth.
The great news is that some time later I met a beautiful women, who is unbeliveably awesome, we have married and have 3 kids of our own. The past few years have been absolute bliss. My advise to you is let her go, she does not know what she has, she will only realise it when its too late and you have moved on. You need to do this for yourself, it might sound selfish, but nobody deserves the torture you presently receive and the hand of your wife.

Reply to Mahendra
Posted by: Nel | 2012/06/13

I commend you on deciding to stay. But she needs to get professional help to get her head sorted first, otherwise you will go through the same problem again and that will be devastating for you.

At some point you''ll have to do joint therapy to sort out your marriage, otherwise you''ll be flogging a dead horse.

Good luck, I wish you and her all the best. In the meantime, use protection.

Reply to Nel
Posted by: CrisisOFaith | 2012/06/13

You are not a weak man just because you''ve decided not to throw her out. You''re not staying out of fear, you''re staying because you have your reasons.
But, you must evaluate if those reasons are appropriate. Are you staying for what you think are good, honourable reasons?
It''s possible your wife has mental health issues. A lot go undiagnosed for a very long time. If you can afford it in addition to the marriage counselling, you should both see your own therapists, to develop a deeper understanding of your own needs, motivations, behaviours, etc.
If you stay, you need to set boundaries. Your wife isn''t a bad person, but her behaviour is, and it''s dangerous, to her, and to you. Your wife needs to understand what behaviour is acceptable to you, and what isn''t. Everyone''s different, so this can vary, but people in a relationship should respect their partner''s definition of what''s acceptable and what isn''t. Respecting your boundaries will give you a good indication of your wife''s willingness to work with you on this.

Reply to CrisisOFaith
Posted by: Tim | 2012/06/13

Any relationship has an " end by date" . I think yours have reached that point a while ago but for various reasons, e.g. kids, you guys kept on with it. Which is why she became depressed and wanted out.

What I would do, break up but maintain friendship (due to the kids) with her. No one said you cannot continue having a cordial instead of I-hate-you relationship with her.

Reply to Tim
Posted by: Zelios | 2012/06/13

That is total nonsense. It is irrelevant if he happened to neglect her emotionally. If this was the case how is cheating the answer?
If this was the problem, then they must either sit down and try and work it out, see a marriage counselor if necessary or if those both do not work then decide to get a divorce. If your husband neglected you, the cheating was not in anyway his fault, it was all you. Don''t attempt to fool yourself in believing that your husband was the cause of you cheating. Your cheating was caused by your lack of integrity and commitment to the institution of marriage. If you were not content in your marriage, no one was forcing you to remain in it. You can mention all the factors that you might use as an excuse as to why you stayed, such as children, financial and other reasons but in the end it is irrelevant, you still had a choice, it might not be a choice you would''ve like to have made but it is was still a choice.

@Cornered and confused. That fact that your wife cheated on you multiple times means that she has no concern for you. You should contemplate about whether you want to spend the rest of your life with someone who has cheated on you multiple times and has also had unprotected sex multiple times therefore putting you at risk of infection with HIV and other STDs. Putting you at risk like she did shows her utter disregard for your health and wellbeing.
In the end it is your choice, but as far as I''m concerned you should leave her.
Whatever the case may be, I hope you find happiness after this terrible incident.

Reply to Zelios
Posted by: LivebyLife | 2012/06/13


Please consider your happiness before you do anything.

You might be staying because of the time and effort you put into the marriage but whatever the reason, if someone wants to do it (cheating)they will whether you had something to do with it or not.

Taking responsibility for her actions is a bold step in the right direction but you cant really ''take responsibilty'' or share some of it thereof because it happened more than once( you''re not sure of how many times she did it - best believe that it is more times than what she said).

You are in denial - hoping that she will change - it''s not your fault none of it is actually well, given the fact that she and you have tried to solve it before. You cannot sacrifice your happiness because of your kids sake, they will never understand why you didnt leave while you had the chance.
staying in the realtionship is a cowards way out of the situatuion because youre asking yourself how life will continue to go on without her in your life.

Your dying inside at your own expense and that expense is your happiness which in return your longevity on this earth decrease.


Reply to LivebyLife
Posted by: Zulu | 2012/06/13

Get out. I have been divorced now for 3 weeks. All the shit started a few years back.... casual sex she was having with anyone who would stand still long enough. Lost our house. She tried to commit suicide, lost her job... Was in Kenilworth Clinic.... and as soon as she came out, got her job back.... she was back at it again.... hammer and tongs.... don''t be a fool... ruuuuuuun baby RUN! Out there is someone who will return the affection that you are showing to someone that humiliated you, deceived you, BETRAYED you.....

Reply to Zulu
Posted by: DP | 2012/06/13

Bottom line is that your are weak and she knows it. Anyone thats willing to take a woman back after that is pretty much telling her that you can do anything to me and i will always forgive you...only works in the movies. But inspite of all the advice you getting, you will stay with her and she will continue to cheat on you...because you weak...and women dont respect weakness and its not attractive in a man

Reply to DP
Posted by: elg | 2012/06/13

You can''t change a leopards spots.

Reply to elg
Posted by: Linda | 2012/06/13

Are you insane? I can''t believe that you would even consider staying with her - run away as fast as you can!

Reply to Linda
Posted by: merfills | 2012/06/13

Cut your losses and let her go, also trust me on this. Just feel sorry for the kids.

Reply to merfills
Posted by: Leigh | 2012/06/13

I have been the victim of serial cheating by my husband, and through doing much reading, research and self education (I know nobody is perfect, but have come to realise no matter what I did, or how perfect I was, he would still have cheated) come to understand that my husband''s problem is deeper than just being a horny jerk - and I hate to use the label - he is a sex addict. Look online at Recovery nation or the 12-steps approach for Sex and love addicts anonymous.

Reply to Leigh
Posted by: Going through the same thing right now | 2012/06/13


I know exactly what you are going through and trust me the part of depression and taking it day by day is a way of them stalling " buying time"  and trying to make you feel like you have done domething wrong. My wife did exactly the same thing we went through hell i forgave her for teh sake of the kids. Then she did it again. Then landed in trouble when she lost her job and i felt obligated to help her. well she was unemployed for a long time and sort of changed her ways this led to me giving her another chance. Could you believe it as soon as she was working again bang within 3 months it happened again. I said to hell with it i''m giving up and she tried to kill herself. I took her for counseling and now i have been her source of support and i''m sitting in a situation where the love has gone due to her serial cheating and i cant get out too scared she does something stupid and i get blamed. PLEASE GET OUT IT IS ENOUGH I AM LIVING THIS NIGHTMARE I DO NOT WHISH TO HEAR EVEN ANOTHER STRANGER IS GOING THROUGH THE SAME THING LEAVE HER DONT DO WHAT I DID FOR THE SAKE OF THE KIDS.

Reply to Going through the same thing right now
Posted by: been thre | 2012/06/13

i am a male with alot of experience and a head on my shoulders,Im sorry,but i cheating is cheating no matter if is from neglecting your wife or she neglecting you,if woman think we are to busy for them have they maybe tried discussing it with us men before running off and sleeping with someone else,i don''t think it what you want but lust takes over and an excuse is all one needs,lets be don''t know what life you might have when you close that door behind you,i am sorry once i wouldn''t be able to deal with but 8 times..gosh.

Reply to been thre
Posted by: It is worth it | 2012/06/13

In the beginning of this year I too learned of an affair my wife had. It was a terrible and emotionally draining experience, but I have to agree with " Female | 24/5/2012" . My wife and I discussed it at length and I realized that I too was to blame. I think we as husbands sometimes miss the bulls eye. Yes, we need to support our family, but not to the point that we neglect them by being too busy. Since then I have made changes to my routine etc. and I can honestly say that things are 100 times better as before. I is worth it to try. God bless

Reply to It is worth it
Posted by: Cornered and confused | 2012/05/25

Thank you for the replies. I have decided that, however tough it may be, that to just give up is not an option. I have to assume my portion of responsibility for what has happened and see if we can save the marriage which to me is a worthwhile thing.

Too many broken things get thrown away too easily. I may be wrong and I may have a lesson to learn. Time will tell.

Reply to Cornered and confused
Posted by: Female | 2012/05/24

Dear Cornered &  Confused, it''s sad when things like this happen in a marriage. Sadly, it happened in my marriage where I was too the guilty party and I can tell you there were a few things among others why I landed up being un-faithful.

In all the 20 odd years of marriage, there were times where I was neglected, my husband was too busy with business and trying to support the family to remember that I needed his affection, love and care, all the times where I went to bed alone, or watched a program alone, or was not given attention when I needed it the most got my heart thinking that there has to be better out there and this is partly and mostly the reason for me doing what I did.

You should maybe step back and assess do you honestly still love your wife and do you inside your heart want to forgive her so that you can remain a family. Then step back and look at things from an outsiders point of view and assess your relationship, if there are things that you know you may not be " giving"  (affection, love) etc. to your wife or things that you know she has mentioned that you may think are " stupid &  irrelevant) to you but not to her, can you try and do these things differently.

Because if there are and you are willing to forgive her for what she has done, then I say go for it!

After so many years of marriage is it really worth throwing all of that away, if there is still hope!

Only you will know that from your situation!

Good Luck, and I honestly pray that you are able to work through it!

Reply to Female
Posted by: James | 2012/05/23

Been there and got the T shirt. I say " run Forest run" . The emotional rollercoaster that you will be forced to live with is a killer. The always wondering, where is she, what is she up to, who is she with etc etc etc will eat you.

Reply to James
Posted by: F | 2012/05/23

Yes just let her go, trust me on this one.

Reply to F
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/05/23

She cheated, and seriously risked your health and life by having unprotected sex with others, with, effectively, strangers. Depression and anxiwety is really no excuse for that.
But work on this with your marriage counsellor. It is essential that she take personal responsibility for her choices and deeds, if she is to have any hope of finding how to behave more responsibly.
You are not being weak for not immediately throwing her out ( I'm guessing these confessions came out in the course of the marriage counselling ? ) but you do need to work through all these issues with the help of the counsellor, before making a considered decision about what is best for you and the children, and secondarily what is best for her

Reply to cybershrink

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