It has been a decade since I married my cheating husband. I was madly in love when the man of my dreams dropped to one knee and asked me to be his wife. That was the happiest day of my life. Everything I had planned for my future was falling seamlessly into place, and the only thing I had to do was say, "Yes!" There wasn't anything in my life I had ever been more sure of.
It was a few months before our wedding was going to take place, and he called and asked me to come over. I knew by the sound of his voice that something was terribly wrong. I jumped in the car and headed straight for his place in a panic, my mind spinning profusely out of control. When I arrived he sat me down on the bed and told me there was something he had to be honest about if I was going to take his hand in marriage.
He continued on to tell me that for the last four years of our relationship he had been unfaithful. Not with only one woman but with many. My entire world fell apart in just a few short breaths, and my hopes and dreams went with it. On top of the thought of losing my happily ever after fairy tale I was overwhelmed by a massive burden of shame at the thought of, what will everyone think?
He promised that he had made a mistake and he loved me too much to ever hurt me like that again. And so I stayed. One year into our marriage, history repeated itself and while he was away for a friend's bachelor party he found himself in another woman's bed—not just once but five times that weekend. When he got home my gut told me something was wrong, so I confronted him, and he told me the truth.
He begged and pleaded for my forgiveness, once again promising that he had made a mistake and he loved me too much to ever hurt me like that again. This time there was even more at stake—he was my husband. Overcome by the oh-so-familiar burden of shame, this time I found it harder to process the thought of leaving. And so I stayed.
If I could go back and talk to that innocent girl, this is what I would tell her: