Divorce often occurs because one of the partners has cheated on the other. My friend Eric was confronted with just this situation.
We often assume in relationships that the man will be the unfaithful one. But, in Eric’s case, his wife Sarah was the offending party. He came to me a couple of months ago with tears in his eyes. I thought maybe he had had a death in the family. I quickly learned that he was concerned about the death of his marriage. His wife Sarah had cheated on him.
I knew Sarah and would never have suspected that she would be cheating on Eric. She just did not seem like the kind of person who would do that. Eric was literally a broken man as he fell to his knees at my house.
I am not too educated in the unfaithful partner arena. My divorce was not caused by infidelities but other marital woes. However, infidelity, along with financial problems, is one of the leading causes of divorce.
Since I run this website, authors often send me their books free of charge. One such author, Dr. Reena Sommer, Ph.D., had once sent me a copy of her “The Anatomy of An Affair“. I hadn’t read it because I had not been confronted by infidelity. However, now my friend Eric was experiencing this pain of an infidelity, a pain that is equal to, if not greater than, divorce.
To think of your spouse in the arms of another is devastating. I once had a girlfriend who cheated on me and I simply could not get it out of my mind. And to have a wife do that? I could not even fathom the grief of my good friend Eric.
As Eric spent the night on my couch, and with constant, unanswered apologetic calls from Sarah ringing my phone, I sat down with Dr. Sommer’s book and began reading the Anatomy of an Affair. As I read her book, I remembered the feelings that I had long ago when my girlfriend cheated on me: the shame, the embarrassment, the fact that I could never trust her again, the feeling that our relationship may not be able to continue.
This book interested me not only as a recipe for Eric to get back on his feet but for me. The book teaches you how to avoid the pitfalls of infidelity in your current relationships: How to see the signs of upcoming infidelity, how to prevent it from happening, and how to improve your current relationship.
In the morning, I could tell that Eric hadn’t slept-he’d been crying all night. I offered him the book as a good place to start. He returned to Sarah later that day to begin the long process of reconciliation.
Now, two months later, Eric and Sarah are still together. Will it last? Eric says that he is not sure. He says he returns often to The Anatomy of an Affair on particularly difficult days when he can think of nothing else but his wife in someone else’s arms.
Each day, he says, he learns to forgive just a little bit more and he hopes for the best with Sarah.