Why Women Stay After Men Cheat On Them


cheating manIf you really want to get the media buzzing, tell a story about a celebrity or politician that was caught cheating. Remember when Tiger Woods crashed his car into a tree and over a dozen women fell out of it? What about others like Kobe Bryant, The Govenator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and Shaquille O”Neal-remember them? The other news maker is when the wife who was cheated on decides to stay with the cheater.

While it may seem as though a woman who has been cheated on is doing something contrary to what most women would do, it is actually more likely than many people think. In fact, up to 75% of couples who have experienced infidelity end up staying together.

So, the burning question then is why do women stay after they have been cheated on?

1.  They are afraid of being alone

Many women grow up with a fantasy of “happily ever after” and when they get married, it feels like they are on their way to “happily ever after land”. When a man cheats on them, leaving him is like leaving that fantasy of the happily ever after and some women would rather have an imperfect fantasy rather than have it taken away completely. Another fact is that when couples are together, they get comfortable with each other and the thought of leaving that comfort can be scary.

2. Staying for the children

It has been proven over and over that the best way for children to grow up is in a safe and functional two parent home. While a woman may be hurt by her husband or partner’s wandering eye, she can still put her own feelings aside and decide that she will do what is best for her children.

3. Money and financial well-being

Studies show that when a man and a woman divorce, the ex-wife’s standard of living will drop by at least 25%, and for some women, it is much more than that. While we are living in a much different time than 50 years ago, when men worked and women stayed home, there are still women who rely on their husbands for essentials, such as health insurance and their homes. Even if a woman does not entirely rely on her man for her essentials, leaving her husband often means cutting the household income in half.

4. Being realistic and accommodating

Sometimes a woman will be realistic and recognize that the man she is with is a human being and no one is perfect. Looking at the relationship from this perspective, a woman can be more forgiving and accommodating of her man even if it seems to onlookers that he should be tossed to the curb. It may be that the wife looks at her man’s infidelity as an error in judgement and has hope that he will not make that error again.

5. Being tied together professionally

When two people enter a relationship, especially marriage, their lives become more and more intertwined. For some people, their marriage or relationship is not the only partnership that they have; they may also be business partners and the undoing of the marriage is not a sound professional move to make. If both parties have worked hard to get a business to a high level of success, neither of them would want to see it fail.

6.  Friends, Family and Religion

When two people get married, it often involves their friends, family and religion. Sometimes leaving a marriage can feel like a betrayal of that woman’s religious beliefs and a betrayal of her friends and family.

At the end of the day, each woman has to do what is best for herself, her husband and her children and while we may not understand her decision, or may even strongly disagree with it, we must respect her decision to make it.




  1. Pingback: Why Women Stay After Men Cheat On Them | Healthy Black Woman « Habari Gani, America!

    • Because nowadays, if cheating is a fact determinable upon which to base a divorce, then more than 90% of American divorces — white and black — would end BECAUSE of cheating, i.e., women cheat, too.

      Nowadays, cheating is seen as “not good enough of a reason to go through an entire divorce in which BOTH parties to a marriage essentially have to START OVER again, after going through the trouble of enriching courts, lawyers, and non-significant others with money that THEY need for other things.

      Couples nowadays are “open,” “approve cheating under certain circumstances,” or just don’t give a flying unowhat any more because it’s “cheaper to keep her.”

      Barely or rarely do people divorce over cheating any more. It’s been well-known that for whatever reasons, most men don’t leave their wives over “pizzazz,” and what is usually guessed at is why WOMEN won’t leave a cheating man … and all anyone can say is “either finances, future ambitions, or not really caring” (it is what it is) stops them.

    • If it works for them fine…I don’t care about the list…this would never be me.I would hate him and would never be able to trust him…it is like saying this is what I am worth…sorry…worth more than that.

  2. Never been that woman and never will be! I love me more and ain’t afraid to be alone, can takecare of myself! He cheated, I left and ain’t shame about it and would never go back. Once a cheater, always a cheater. A cheater feeds his over the top ego with everything he can get his hands on to make him feel good, look good to others. He has low self esteem and doesnt know what it means to be a real man! Get to steppin!

  3. Don’t profess to know why women stay. Can’t say what I would do in the same situation. However, I would bet that if you talked to someone or a lot of someones who have been married 25 plus years, most would say that they have dealt with this issue and that none of the reasons apply to why they stayed. I think these reasons simplify love and relationships. I also think they make women seem needy and weak. Sometimes cheating is a symptom of a problem in a relationship and giving up the relationship is just not always the answer. Sometimes it means that we need to work harder in our relationships.

    • Very true, very honest comment. Everyone has their own reasons for staying or leaving…who are we to judge?? One thing for sure, unless you have been in the situation, you can’t say what you will or won’t do and each situation may warrant a different response.

  4. I agree with the ladies on this one John.

    This subject is not a joke and something we can just brush to the side like back in the day.

    Anybody noticed how many men & women are killing their mates, kids, whole families, and other violence directly/indirectly related to this issue?????? ALL RACES of people are killing now; not just white folk.

    So yes, I’ve been thru this and I left all the furniture, tv’s, etc. etc. etc. there ONLY because she had kids.I can replace the material stuff but, it wasn’t worth lossing my job, benefits, and possibly my freedom and/or life behind a woman who wants to open her legs for another man. So be it!! CHOICES are individual before they become collective choices.

    The outcome is that I was alone for at least 3 years before I met my Fiancee’and, the healing process was a learning experience for me & my Fiancee’…..STAYING STUCK IN THE PROBLEM NEVER SOLVES IT; even if the man, woman, or both are dead wrong with this cheating drama.

    My advice to any Brutha’s, keep it in your pants or keep it for ONE WOMAN not 2 and 3; anybody see the piece on the following??:

    ***Reality show cancelled; brother has 11 baby mamas***

    ***Sistah’ with 15 kids evicted***

    There are more but, I wanted to focus on these 2 to remind our black men that women are far smarter than we’ll ever be when it comes to cheating and having kids.


    James. . . . .



    • So were you married to the one that cheated on you? I’m only asking as I recently found out my wife was cheating on me, and I dont think I’ve ever felt that level of pain before. I forgave her but I cant forget it, but I stayed with her as I dont see a life without her. And she is more than remorseful (long story)…Just getting other mens perspective on how they handle the situation.

  5. There is no one reason women stay—but you did leave one reason out of your ARTICLE—“When you’ve been with one you’ve been with them ALL!!!—-that’s the woman that’s free and REAL and not wasting her time CHASING DREAMS or NIGHTMARES!…..PEACE!

  6. All man cheat so any woman that left cause her man cheat well get ready to be with a lot of man cause the next is gonna cheat

  7. I can’t speak for other women, I can only speak for myself. My reason for staying is not only because of the the big house on the hill or the many cars we have accumulated, etc., but because I love my husband very much, he moves mountains for me, he supplies all of my needs and the majority of my wants. True enough it is extremely painful to know that your husband would rather be with some big booty escort for his satisfaction, but I refuse to leave my comfort zone because of it. However, I do know that his cheating is like playing a game of “rushing roulette” and although I love him so very much I know I must make preparations in my life just in case he meets that special someone. I have never been one to cheat, but now I find myself willing to alter my standards.

    • I like your answer but I think that they take it for granted when they know you don’t cheat for myself I am open if I meet someone nice I’m not going to step outside my character for no one but I’m not stupid either I’m tired of being lied to I deserve better most woman think they don’t all men don’t cheat.Boys cheat when you become a man you put away childish things…………

    • @Keepingitreal…that was a bombshell! Apparently, this is still happening because none of what you wrote is in past tense. Has he promised to stop? Have you spoken about your feelings with him? or did you “just” accept it? Have you ever heard the song “Walk away from Love” by David Ruffin or Bitty Mclean? I would never judge you but your story is actually quite sad. This man said he would love you for better or worse (even if you got fat, broke, sick, disabled, etc) forsaking all others. He needs to be held accountable for forsaking you; even if it means walking away.

    • I am on sorry to say this, but you are one dumb woman. Enabling a man to cheat and lowering your standards just shows how low your self esteem and self respect actually is.
      Women like you enable men, to think it’s alright to cheat. You encourage their behavior by not letting them face any consequences. This allows men to think it’s ok to do what they are doing and that they can get away with it. He obviously will do this again and along with you hurt others. Love is about respect, and it’s obvious he doesn’t respect you or your relationship or else he wouldn’t have done what he did.

  8. As a reformed man who has cheated on several women in the past, and every last one of them took me back at some point, I’d like to say don’t judge a woman’s reasoning until you have been in that situation. The tough talk sounds great but it means nothing until you’ve been put to the test. Every man is different and relationships/marriages have their ups and downs. If a man has been a good man to you, everything you’ve ever wanted and needed, but had a serious lack of judgement due to his own selfish desires, it might be a little harder to leave for good. You’ll still love the man he was before his indiscretions came to light, and otherwise positive history is difficult to erase. The visibility of the infidelity is also key I’m sure. When the whole world is watching you, it can be a bit difficult due to the judgements of people who really don’t matter. At the end of the day, I can say that I’ve dated and were involved with very strong, beautiful women who, when faced with a cheating man, stayed with him despite it. And they all swore that they would never stay, until it actually happened. Don’t judge until you’ve been there. This article is the truth, and I am speaking from experience, not from “what I would do if….”.

  9. So why is it when men cheat, the are consider dogs, liar, no good!! But when a woman cheats, shes the victim, or the man must have been doing something wrong?

  10. weallknowwhywestay on

    It’s simple, we have already beat them at their on game. Most ladies/woman have cheating, or have someone in mind they want to cheat with. Woman are far smarter then a man could ever be. We play with their mind, like we are so hurt..But in the back of our minds, we are saying that’s why I f**k your best friend last night..LMBO!!

  11. Essence McCall on

    My husband cheated on me and it destroyed me. I was depressed for a long while. I felt like I did something to cause this. He said he was confused and that he was in love with me but he cared deeply for her. He cheated on me with a woman he knew since childhood. This woman was supposed to come to our wedding. I decided that I wasn’t going to give up too easily. I wasn’t going to allow this triflin heffa come and destroy everything that I worked hard for. I fought for my husband. I have to say that It was a lost cause for a while. We separated and I even filed for divorce. I wasn’t going to let him just string me along either. I made the choice for him. 3 months after We stayed in contact throughout the separation but 3 months after I filed for divorce he came by the house, called that woman up in front of me and said “I’m going home to my wife, don’t ever call me again. I am in love with my wife”. He blocked her, gave me all of the codes to his emails, phones…you name it. He told me he was a fool and that he couldn’t lose me. We started counseling and I have to tell you our relationship is not perfect but it is better than ever.

    I have no problem being alone. I have a 15 yr old from a previous relationship that ended because he cheated and wouldn’t stop. I refused to be in that situation again but again I was not ready to give up so easily. The difference between those 2 relationships is that I’m married now. I took those vows for thick and thin…better or worse and I stand by them.

  12. My husband takes care of me, my every want and need. He never denies me anything within his power to give and/or do for me. We both believe that we were always meant to be together and that we truly are soul mates. So imagine my surprise, shock, and pain to discover that he’d been seeing another woman. I was devestated, threatening to put him out and beat both their asses! He said he had ended it when he “woke up” to realize what he was doing would hurt me and that he had hoped I’d never know about his lapse common sense; but she’d told him that if he left her, she’d ruin his life.
    So this woman called my cell (still don’t know how she got it unless she copied it off his phone) to taunt me about the affair (how I found out). He was devastated because he knew he’d hurt me. He begged me to stay with him, swore it was the first and only time he’d ever done anything like this, but could not explain why he’d done it in the first place knowing that it might end us. After much goading him into telling me the reason, I had to decide to let it go. Oh, don’t get it twisted, forgiving is a way off and forgetting will never happen. But I know he loves me and I truly love him. And little by little he tells me details, though he still can’t tell me why.
    We’ve had her number blocked and any subsequent number she uses to call him (she no longer calls me…figure she’s done what she set out to do…hurt him). Now she’s watching the house, soon this heifer will cross the line and will wind up getting her ass whipped or worse, but for now, we’re just trying to get back to us and be stronger and better than before.

    • Think about it on

      You make this other woman sound awful. Have you ever considered your husband most likely lied to her about you and destroyed her. I think you should be thankful, that because of her you at least you know what has been happening behind your back.
      Again, being in denial and blaming the other woman, and putting her down makes you feel better. Still doesn’t change the fact your husband ruined another woman’s life and cheated on you. I think you are just making excuses like any woman does to justify your actions.

  13. P.S. What it actually came down to was a saying I’d read in the old Ann Landers column in the newspaper, “Would life be better with or without him.” I work, I pay my own bills, was independent before I met him and know that I would be again. But I’d rather be with him.
    Again, don’t get it twisted, if it happens again, he won’t be able to pack his clothes up fast enough!

  14. First I forgave him, then I forgot him. You are not in a cloudy daze when you decide to cheat. You make a conscious decision to cross that line. You think not just so little of me and of you but of us you decided to cross that line. No buddy it’s over. Refuse to tolerate such behavior.

  15. All the above post have so many valid responses we either emotionally agree/disagree with one side or the other, but the main thing is the decision ends for all parties involved. Humans only care about what happens to ME(my own Big Cheese) and some have low esteem (can and will live with anything they dish out). Cheating is an act of selfishness not concerning who your hurting but God forbid if your partner does it to you it is intolerable(even though you cheated on them). Revenge cheating, no longer attracted to your mate, or just want to find Mr. or Ms. RIGHT NOW (I’ll will deal with the outcome if I get caught) ‘Oops, Sorry I didn’t know better’ mostly from being caught (what shocks them is the response)

  16. You forgot one… To spite the other woman. Women have this force within them that will FIGHT for their man and not let another woman win him over. That’s why the first thing we ask is “do you love her?” If there is love there, we tend to fight even harder to work through it. But, he’s pretty much a goner if he falls in love with someone else and she has his heart. That doesn’t stop the woman from fighting for her man and the sense of ownership. It kills a woman to think what another woman posesses that she doesn’t.

  17. Alfred Montague on

    It seems to me that many women don’t know how to be or are afraid of being individuals.
    They have been taught all their lives that the goal is to find a man, marry and be a dependent.
    The world has changed but their ideas of a relationship has not.
    I don’t see cheating as something small or even forgivable. This is not basketball or some other sport. If it were, you call it cheating. What we have here is dishonesty, deceit, and risky behavior.
    I would rather walk away from the relationship, start anew and let my living well be my revenge. That will be her lost, not mine.

    • Well said. Women need to work on their self esteem and self worth. They need to have more confidence in themselves.
      I am finding all these women who talk about keeping their men after affairs just lack one or more of these qualities.

  18. Tracey Jackson on

    Ok, I have to say that the above categories are very unflattering to the women who stay and also so bad that those that do stay will try to hide it so they are not judged as weak, stupid or desperate. I am the wife of a previous cheater but I am not worried about being alone, I do not rely on him for income or support, my kids are grown and would never have held it against me if I left him, and we are not linked professionally.

    We have been married for 26 years and although I do not like or approve of his cheating I do believe that realistically people act on their dumbest thoughts and often regret them – unfortunately other's are usually hurt in those circumstances…. the family of the cheater, the drunk driver, the alcoholic, the drug additct, and many other addictive characters. But most importantly I stay because really believe in the religious commitment of a marriage.

    My worst problem of staying with a cheater is the way people look at me when they find out about the cheating and that I am still with him. Example: My husband had a fling with someone from a previous job and a result from that was his son, who we found out about when he was 4 yrs old. My husband has cheated before and I pegged it every time, but not really this one. Anyway long story short — his son is 8 yrs old now and new to many people in our family and friends circle – afterall we have been married for almost 26 yrs. So today we run into a distant family member of his – who is not up to date on the discovery of his new son….and she asks if this is one of our grandkids – when I say no he is his son she looks at him shocked and then at me with a look of pity and surprise. I love his son, who we have only known for a year, but I hate that look. I want to let the person know…I didn't stay because I was desperate, dumb, or unable to support myself…I stayed because I do not really believe in divorce and because I truly love him. Unfortunately my husband does not really get that look and doesn't understand what a woman thinks about other women who stay, and it really hurts me.

    How do we get others to understand that staying and working on a marriage isn't a negative thing.

  19. Once a cheat always a cheat its nasty its aids stds out ther take a cheatn ass man back if you want he will be bering you his unwated sss outside baby back next time he cheat have self respect in hall ass not lookn back

  20. I think some women grow up seeing cheating occur in their household or it can even be predominant in the culture. Therefore, it is normal.

    They may not be content with it forever, but it may be a reason to look the other way.

  21. s*ex without love is so effin common in the world for the last 1,000 years, that you women should be ashamed of yourselves for automatically ending relationships because he effed someone else. Do you really imagine that he can only be aroused by you once you start dating or get married? Do you really think that once he meets you, thats the one area in his HUMAN life that he will be perfect? Im not talking about having another relationship. im taking about he’s with YOU and gave his dick once or twice to HER. the hypocrisy and lack of compassion im reading in this comment section is appalling. 4) is the one where the parties are semi-realistic. I think everyone should be given two strikes. If you do it once…punishment and an opportunity to earn ur spouses trust back. do it again, SEE YA! plus some people ask for it anyway

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