My husband cheated on me and I decided to forgive him.

I’ve been that other woman, the one who got pregnant. That was nearly 30 years ago, and I have a different perspective on the whole situation than I had at the time.

Wife, get the hell out of that marriage. Your husband might, on some level, love you, but he does not respect you. If you stay with him, you’ll be putting up with this kind of behavior until he’s too old to get it up. You will never be able to trust him. As you cling to him, hoping to save your marriage, you are wasting time—time that you could be spending in a good relationship. I’ll bet you’re worried you’ll never find anyone else. That’s BS. Do you want to be a door mat or an independent woman? There’s a full and wonderful life out there—you just have to be brave enough to go for it.

Your husband will be paying for that child for the next 20 or so years. Your budget has just taken a tremendous hit. You think child support will be the only thing? There will be other expenses over the years, from birthday presents to prom dresses to college educations. Your husband now has an indivisible link with this other woman—they have a child together. That’s forever. If he has any kind of conscience, he’s going to have a lot of guilt about that child. And any resentment he has about not being able to do what he wants for his child? He’s going to take that out on you.

If you think that other woman is going to get all that’s good, I’m here to tell you she won’t. She’s as big a fool as you are. If she “gets” him, she’ll be the one putting up with his adulterous behavior—better her than you. She’ll be the one wasting her time when she could be getting out and finding something better. She’ll be the one dealing with any guilt he feels for leaving his first wife.

The first one of you to dump him wins. 26.5 years ago, I just got tired of all the drama and bullshit. I let the wife “win.” She “won” so thoroughly, he refused to see his child again. He tried to get out of paying child support, but I held his feet to the fire on that one. Oh, I had a rough couple of years. I was hurt and I was struggling. But I knew where I stood. Three years after that breakup, I was marrying another man—one who deserved me, one I didn’t have to worry about cheating on me, one who raised my daughter as his own. We’ve created a happy and satisfying relationship. My life is SO much better because I let that woman’s husband go.

What did that wife get? Well, she got her husband. I hope she wasn’t dumb enough to trust him. She watched a big chunk of change leave her bank account every month to go to another woman. She watched her husband get morose over the holidays because he’d given up his child for her. She never got the chance to be in a relationship with a man who respected her. She lost out.

What your husband really deserves is for both of you to dump him.

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