Infidelity is a deal breaker for many, but not for all. While cheating could lead to deep psychological scars and put a person at risk of depression, anxiety and PTSD (post traumatic disorder), many women choose to stay with their cheating husbands for a variety of reasons including the comfort factor, children, financial stability, fear of being alone or feeling neglected. (Also read: 10 things women find attractive in men)
Hillary Clinton continued to stay with Bill Clinton despite knowing about his affair with Monica Lewinsky apparently for herself, her family and for her country. Recently, a married Odisha man got a stamp of acceptance from his wife for secretly dating a transwoman; she later also allowed her husband to marry his trans lover and agreed to stay under the same roof with them.
“The idea of an affair is largely surrounded by stigma and shame by the society. Every couple has their own dynamic and every situation is unique. Considering the background of the relationship, it’s difficult to expand in terms of reasons as to why a wife might be accepting for her husband’s extramarital affair. However, we can say that there are many possible factors for a wife to be more accepting of his infidelity such as financial stability, children, fear of being alone or feeling neglected. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to why some wives accept their husband’s infidelity. Ultimately, each case should be evaluated on its own merits,” says Dr. Chandni Tugnait is M.D. (Alternative Medicines), Psychotherapist, Life Coach, Business Coach, NLP Expert, Healer, Founder & Director – Gateway of Healing.
Real life can at times be stranger than fiction and the unlikely and dramatic events can inspire gripping story plots. In another case, a wife after finding out about her husband’s affair asked her husband’s lover to cough up over ₹1 crore and agreed to walk out of their life.
Dr. Chandni Tugnait shares few possible explanations why some wives would accept their husband’s infidelity.
1. The wife feels unhappy in the marriage too
“In some cases, it’s possible that the wife herself is unhappy in the marriage and is therefore more understanding of her husband’s decision to seek out companionship outside of the relationship. If both parties are unhappy and feel like they’re not being fulfilled by the marriage, it’s likely that one or both will look for that fulfilment elsewhere,” says Dr Tugnait.
2. An effort to spice up marriage
“In other cases, the wife may believe that her husband’s affair could actually help to improve their relationship by adding a bit of excitement and spice. While this reason may seem far-fetched to some, it’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility. After all, if both parties are consenting adults and are honest about their feelings and desires, who’s to say that an affair couldn’t potentially help to improve things? Of course, it’s also worth noting that this approach isn’t without its risks — if things don’t go as planned, an affair could very well end up driving a wedge between the husband and wife instead of bringing them closer together,” says the psychotherapist.
3. For family’s sake
Dr Tugnait says it is also possible that the wife simply does not care about her husband’s infidelity and is more concerned with other aspects of the marriage and she may worry that if this thing goes outside of the family, to the kids or the relatives, what face would they have in the society.
“Moreover, if the husband is doing his chores and providing for the family, she may decide to overlook his affair,” says the expert.
4. She’s having an extra-marital affair herself
“Another possibility is that the wife herself is having an affair and feels that it is hypocritical to judge her husband for doing the same thing. She may rationalise his behaviour by saying that affairs are common and that everyone deserves to be happy,” concludes Dr Tugnait.