couple arguing

Why Would He Leave Me for Her?

Cheating is Hollywood’s steady supply for relationship drama. But believe it or not, only 15 percent of marriages end due to infidelity. Instead, “unreasonable behavior” is to blame for about half of all divorce.

That’s not going to make you feel any better if your partner cheated on you. You’re left wondering what you did, what you didn’t do, what you said, or didn’t say. How did it come to this? Why would he leave me for her? Conflict like this can churn inside of us. We play scenes over and over in our heads, wondering if we could have done something differently.

Avoid Self-Blame
First, don’t blame yourself. If your partner has asked for a divorce because he or she has found someone else, it’s not because of you. One 
myth about cheating is that partners will remain faithful if they love each other. In reality, some people cheat because they can or because they are seeking sexual or emotional satisfaction. Spicing up the bedroom doesn’t guarantee someone will stay, either.

couple arguing
Copyright: konradbak / 123RF Stock Photo

Next, remember the reasons for someone to cheat are multilayered. You might think it’s as simple as your partner looking for greener grass, but the chances are that a combination of factors led to him or her cheating. Some of those factors might be problems in your relationship, but many are not. And remember, even if the two of you had problems, he or she chose not to work on them.

Focus Ahead
Your next step is to focus on yourself. Here are some ways that will play out:

  1. Anger. Being angry is OK. Anger can spur you into action. A partner leaving makes you feel inadequate, hence the original question: “Why would he leave me for her?” Anger, when used positively, can help you move forward.
  2. Keep it classy. Anger can also lead to negative behavior, such as trying to hurt your spouse or his/her new partner. You don’t want to be “that crazy person.” You might also consider begging your spouse to stay. In five years, wouldn’t you cringe at that behavior? If he or she is already mentally and emotionally out the door, begging won’t change anything.  
  3. Remember reality. Hope lives inside of us in these situations. Like anger, hope can be useful. You might hope for a better future and then plan for one. But hoping your ex will come crawling back (when he’s hiring a lawyer) is a good way to get stuck.
  4. Build a better life. While it’s not easy to reframe your thinking after getting dumped in a marriage, it can be an opportunity to make changes in life. Before now you were a “we,” which comes with some compromise. Now you have the chance to find a new life, focusing on your goals, what you like to do, and never worrying about whether that fits with someone else’s life plan.

Bring your questions about divorce to our monthly workshop, where a therapist, a lawyer, and a financial adviser can guide you down your new path.

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