ready for divorce, but my spouse keeps lying and
By Susie and Otto Collins
Selena's friends wonder why she stays with Jimmy
and they politely
ask her this question all of the time. Jimmy has
had at least 3
affairs, that Selena knows about...and she keeps
taking him back.
As much as it hurts Selena to be cheated on and
lied to, she does
not feel ready to handle a divorce. She is
worried about managing on
She fears that she'll never find
another partner again.
Even though Selena is devastated about Jimmy's
affairs, there are
times when he's kind and loving toward her and
they have some fun
Unfortunately, these times have been
few and far between
Let's face it.
Probably nobody is really ready to get a
divorce. When you are used
to the companionship, love and intimacy that is
generally present in
a marriage, it can be a huge change to leave
that and adjust to life
on your own.
When your partner has had an affair (or multiple
affairs) and/or has
lied to you, you might begin to wonder why you
Making the decision to end your marriage is not
often an easy one.
After all, it's not just about putting a stop to
the betrayals that
come with infidelity. This is about you choosing
to walk away from
the relationship that you've known for a period
of time and create a
new life for yourself.
This is one reason why some people are hesitant
to take steps toward
divorce and so they don't.
The changes that come
with divorce may
seem too big and too overwhelming to even
consider, let alone live
Another reason for resistance to the idea of
getting a divorce is
the hope that your partner will stop cheating
and lying and that you
two will be able to rebuild trust and your
You've probably heard about couples who were
able to overcome the
damage that infidelity causes and who ended up
in a more loving and
close relationship than they had before.
These are both valid responses to the question
of whether or not to
get a divorce.
It is true that when you end your marriage, you
face a whole range of decisions and new
responsibilities in your
It is also true that there is a chance that
things could change for
you and your spouse. He or she might make a big
turn-around and you
two could repair your marriage.
This is why probably nobody but you can know
what is best for your
To help with some of the confusion you might be
having about your
decision to stay in or leave your marriage, here
is some advice to
Look at the facts.
It's beneficial to sort out the facts from the assumptions and
guesses. You might take out a piece of paper and
write down the facts
of your situation-- make sure that these are
things that you can
verify with certainty.
For example, Selena writes down this:
had affairs with 3
women during the past 5 years. At least once a
week, he comes home
very late from work with no explanation of where
he has been. Jimmy and I had dinner out together
last week and I enjoyed myself. He keeps saying
'no' to going on a vacation away with me next
These are facts that Selena can verify because
she has had Jimmy's
(or her own) words and actual actions to back up
Making a list like this allows you to set aside
suspicions and worries-- for at least a little
while-- and begin to
base your decision on things that you can
We do not recommend that you merely throw out
your suspicions and
fears. These are very real thoughts and feelings
that you are
having. Some of them may be accurate and some of
them may not be
Again, the goal here is to base your final
decision on information
you can really rely upon. This will increase the
likelihood that you
won't later regret your choice.
Line yourself up with the future that you DO
Many people who are trying to decide whether or
not to get a
divorce, find themselves focused in on what
happened in the past,
what is happening now and what they don't want.
You might be re-hashing the affairs that your
spouse had and the
promises to change that your mate might have
made to you. You may be
concerned about being alone and what that will
Instead, get into the habit of shifting your
thinking to the kind of
future (and relationship) that you DO want for
For just a moment, think only about your "dream"
don't even have to specify in your mind whether
this is with your
current spouse or with someone else.
another piece of paper
and write down all of the characteristics of the
Be specific and really get into how it would
feel to actually have
this kind of relationship.
Now, ask yourself this question: "Do I deserve
to have this kind of
Hopefully, your answer to this question is a
It might be that this kind of relationship could
happen with your
current partner, or it might not. As you make
each decision along
the way, keep this vision at the forefront of
You may find yourself more ready to make
whatever step it is when
you are being driven by this vision.
Don't try to figure it all out.
So, now it may be clearer to you whether you
want to stay in this
marriage or leave it. Even with this new
clarity, you might still
feel unready to actually do it.
After all, there could be so many unanswered
questions in your mind.
If you stay, how will you two get from where you
are to where you
want to be? If you leave, how will you handle
the many issues that
need to be handled?
Bring yourself back to this present moment and
breathe slowly and
Train yourself to take these questions one at a
time. Make a list
of the most pressing issues that need to be
taken care of and go
through those one at a time.
Don't try to figure out how this will all work
out-- just know that
If you would like more help
making the decision about whether or not to
leave your marriage,
you'll find many more questions, insights and
personal stories in our book
Should You Go?
To find out more about this
book visit our web site at