Unfaithfulness in marriage can be a catalyst for positive communication

Michael Loren

I knew it the minute I looked at the phone bill. There it was. The same number over and over. I flashed back to her distant gazes, the lack of communication, and the new clothes that magically appeared. She was cheating on me.

When I confronted her the next day, she didn't deny it. She looked terrified, but she looked me dead in the eyes and said, "Yes, Michael, I've been sleeping with Brian for a few months now. I'm so sorry." I was angry and I was immediately insecure. What did he have that I didn't? But I asked the most important question I could at the moment.

"Do you want to try to make this work?" She said yes. Let me tell you why this is the best thing that ever happened to my relationship. See, my wife is a quiet person. She has said before that she doesn't feel comfortable bringing up her issues to me - both because I pay all our bills and because I have a bit of a short fuse. But, at that time, I knew this admission of guilt was her way of letting me know that things weren't working.

Not every relationship is perfectly communicative. Not every couple shares their deepest darkest fears with each other, connects on a deep way, and then snuggles together the whole night long. Most couples (and I think this is true) go through times where they don't talk about anything of consequence. Conversation is relegated to talking about who will pick up the kids from soccer practice and who took out the trash last.

My relationship was at that point. My wife wanted to tell me she was unhappy. She wanted to tell me she needed more from me in so many ways. But, she couldn't and she wouldn't. That just isn't her. So instead, she found what she needed from someone else. Sure, at first I was ticked off. I wanted to tell the kids how terrible their mom is to get back at her. I wanted to cut off all her credit cards and I wanted to make her feel as bad as I did.

But I realized that she probably felt worse. My wife's cheating was the best thing that happened to our relationship because it was a wake up call for me to step up and treat her better. It was a warning sign that things weren't going well. And, luckily, my wife was in a place where she was willing to give me one last chance.

Seven years later, I'm a much better dad and husband because of what she did. We went to many hours of couples' therapy and have still had some rough patches along the way. But, we're still together. If my wife hadn't cheated on me, things wouldn't have changed. And I think she would have eventually left.

So, while it is a tough pill to swallow, one of the best things that could happen to your relationship is a cheating spouse. It's a warning that things aren't going right. And if you get that warning soon enough, you can get a second chance to make things better.

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Professional writer and journalist with concentration in data analysis. I specialize in interpreting data to give you unbiased, understandable information related to the state of California.

Los Angeles, CA
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