Hey you. Yes, you. You, looking at yourself in the mirror. Squeezing your love handles. Turning around and trying to look at the reflection of your butt. Analyzing and overanalyzing every square inch of your body trying to figure out where it all went wrong. Asking yourself over and over again the same questions: What’s wrong with me? Am I not enough? Am I not attractive anymore? How could he do this to me?

I’d like to give you a hug and whatever comfort food you feel like eating and then I’d like to firmly say to you,

“YOUR HUSBAND’S INFIDELITY HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU.”

You have a lovely body. You’re a great mom. You made good dinners, you work hard, you are a sweet friend and you’ve been a faithful and devoted wife.

If someone jokingly implies that if a woman gains ten pounds, that’s grounds for a husband to have an affair, ignore them. Or punch them. I’m good with either.

If some well-meaning lady at a bridal shower says some nonsense about how it’s a woman’s job to keep her husband sexually fulfilled or else he’ll have grounds to have an affair, ignore her. Or walk out. I’m good with either.

If some speaker at a women’s retreat tries to tell you how often men “need” sex and warns you about dire consequences if you don’t give him what he needs, ask for your money back. Or stand up and let her know how damaging that kind of language is. I’m good with either. 

If you are tempted to feel you somehow caused your husband to be unfaithful, you go ahead and shout back at that lying, insensitive, manipulative voice in your head that there is NOTHING you did that caused this and there’s nothing you could have done to prevent this because NOTHING about this was your choice. Your husband had every ability to walk away, to say no, to not return that text, to seek counseling, to double-down on his commitment to you. But that’s not what he did. It takes two people to make a marriage work. It only takes one to damage that marriage with an affair. 

It doesn’t matter how pretty that other woman was, how strongly she came on to him, how frequently you two had sex, how quickly you got back into your pre pregnancy shape, how interesting your dinner conversations have been, how many nights you fell asleep putting the kids to bed, or when your last romantic getaway was. You did not choose this. You did not want this. There is nothing you have done or could do that gives your husband license to be unfaithful. Anybody who doesn’t understand that is living in a world where life must always be fair and make sense and bad things never happen to good people. That’s not the world you get to live in any longer once you find out your spouse has been unfaithful.

Could you be thinner, more interesting, less busy with your kids, have perkier boobs (you bought), and be more sexually available? Sure. But those aren’t the conditions you put in your vows. You said better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health. There was no escape clause in case you accidentally got older or your priorities (and body) shifted with parenthood. There were plenty of options for working through those issues or addressing concerns without resorting to infidelity. With every celebrity scandal that breaks it becomes easier to see that it doesn’t matter how rich you are, how beautiful you are, how much you devote to maintaining perfection, there are those who will try to fill a void within themselves with the next person to show them attention. Even the most beautiful and “perfect” among us aren’t spared that pain.

Because YOUR HUSBAND’S INFIDELITY HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU. It’s about him.

But you know what? It’s easier to be mad at yourself. It’s easier to blame yourself. It’s easier to scrutinize your body, your sex life, your priorities and look for a flaw. Because if you can find a flaw, you can fix it and maybe that will protect you from ever experiencing this pain again. Maybe if you lose ten pounds he won’t cheat any more. Maybe if you make sure you have weekly date nights you’ll be able to keep his interest. Maybe if you read more books and become more knowledgeable about world events and his hobbies, then he’ll be faithful to you. Maybe if you had sex more regularly and more passionately, then he’ll have no reason to stray. That’s a lovely idea. But that’s not how this works. You will never be able to control your husband. He makes his decisions. He may see the pain he’s caused and decide to get the help he needs to be the best husband possible for you. But you can’t decide that. You only get to decide if you want to rebuild trust with him or walk away.

If you walk away, you’ll take with you the pain this has caused you, but you should never walk away with guilt. Because this was not about you.

You didn’t choose this pain, but you get to have a choice about what happens next. Is there something worth saving here? Is he truly ready to accept responsibility and make the needed changes? Do you have the support you need to face this together? These are the questions you need to be ready to answer. But those questions about what you could have done differently? You don’t own those anymore. Because you didn’t choose this and it wasn’t your fault. 

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Her View From Home

Millions of mothers connected by love, friendship, family and faith. Join our growing community. 1,000+ writers strong. We pay too!   Find more information on how you can become a writer on Her View From Home at https://herviewfromhome.com/contact-us/write-for-her//

To The Mother Who Is Overwhelmed

In: Inspiration, Motherhood
Tired woman with coffee sitting at table

I have this one head. It is a normal sized head. It didn’t get bigger because I had children. Just like I didn’t grow an extra arm with the birth of each child. I mean, while that would be nice, it’s just not the case. We keep our one self. And the children we add on each add on to our weight in this life. And the head didn’t grow more heads because we become a wife to someone. Or a boss to someone. We carry the weight of motherhood. The decisions we must make each day—fight the shorts battle...

Keep Reading

To the Mother of My Son’s Future Wife

In: Grown Children, Inspiration, Kids, Marriage, Motherhood, Relationships
marriage, wife, husband, grown children, www.herviewfromhome.com

To the mother of my son’s future wife, I’m in the midst of dirty diapers and temper tantrums, but I do have days where I think about the future and what it will look like for my son. I wonder who he will be, what he will do and probably most of all, who he will love. I wonder about the type of woman he will bring home to meet us one day. I have my own thoughts on the type of person I wish my son would fall in love with, but we all know that the heart wants...

Keep Reading

Trading Fleeting Moments of Fame for Unshakeable Faith

In: Faith, Inspiration, Relationships
Trading Fleeting Moments of Fame for Unshakeable Faith www.herviewfromhome.com

The string quartet began playing Pachelbel, as my dad and I took our first steps down the aisle. I began to lose my composure as we proceeded to the altar. Hundreds of guests had their eyes on me as tears streamed down my face. Struggling to look my future in the eyes, I looked to the ground for reprieve. God, everything around me looks perfect, so why doesn’t this feel right? I’m not sure how I got here. The flame once dancing inside of me, has extinguished. Lord, I need you. Dad squeezed my hand gently, “Are you OK sweetie?”...

Keep Reading

Children Don’t Get Easier, We Just Get Stronger

In: Inspiration, Mental Health, Motherhood
Children Don't Get Easier, We Just Get Stronger www.herviewfromhome.com

“This too shall pass.” As mothers, we cling to these words as we desperately hope to make it past whichever parenting stage currently holds us in its clutches. In the thick of newborn motherhood, through night wakings, constant nursing and finding our place in an unfamiliar world, we long for a future filled with more sleep and less crying. We can’t imagine any child or time being more difficult than right now. Then, a toddler bursts forth, a tornado of energy destroying everything in his wake. We hold our breath as he tests every possible limit and every inch of...

Keep Reading

This North Dakota Homecoming Queen is Capturing Hearts Everywhere

In: Inspiration, Kids, School, Teen
This North Dakota Homecoming Queen is Capturing Hearts Everywhere www.herviewfromhome.com

When Paula and Kevin Burckard’s third child was born, she arrived with a little something extra the North Dakota couple never saw coming.  Newborn Grace had Down syndrome, and the diagnosis initially left the young parents devastated. “When Grace was born, I thought all my dreams for my daughter had basically been dashed,” Paula said.  But it didn’t take long for those fears to subside.  As Grace grew, not only did she meet and surpass milestones, her infectious joy, inspirational grit, and deep love of all things Michael Jackson transformed the family—and countless hearts. The Burckhards went on to adopt...

Keep Reading

Dear Kids, When I Forget What It’s Like To Be Little

In: Child, Inspiration, Kids, Motherhood
Hey Mom, Don't Forget—You Were a Kid Once, Too www.herviewfromhome.com

The kids were squealing in the backseat. For the five minutes prior they were begging me to spill the beans on where we were going as I had only told them to get their shoes, get in the car and buckle up. It’s one of the ways I’ve learned to make a simple trip out of the house one that is a mysterious adventure to them. As we took left and right turns away from our house, they were trying to guess where we were going . . . and when we finally pulled up to a brand new playground...

Keep Reading

My Children Deserve To See the Whole Me, Not Just the Mom Me

In: Inspiration, Journal, Motherhood
My Children Deserve To See the Whole Me, Not Just the Mom Me www.herviewfromhome.com

Before I was a mother, I was a human being. A human being with life experiences, passions, fears, talents, hobbies, goals, friends and aspirations that I cherished and tried to honor. Even though I went through a variety of seasons of life . . . from school-age days, to working adult, to wife . . . those things always stayed with me. I stayed open to evolving, but never let go of who I inherently was. Then came motherhood. And suddenly I found myself abandoning my commitment to remain true to me, and leaving any semblance of myself in the...

Keep Reading

My Mother-in-Law’s Legacy: Simplicity

In: Inspiration, Journal
My Mother-in-Law's Legacy: Simplicity www.herviewfromhome.com

The memories of my mother-in-law spilled to the forefront of my mind, just as the contents of his jacket pocket fell onto our dresser. It was Proverbs 31, written on hotel stationery, in my neatest block print. Holding the small papers in my hand brought me right back to her graveside, on a hot summer morning, seven years ago. “Her children arise and call her blessed.” (verse 28) As my second daughter gave a mighty kick from the womb, visible to every mourner present that day, I couldn’t help but to allow my mind to wander. Were my values apparent...

Keep Reading

A Car Accident Left My Teenager Paralyzed—and Incredibly Fierce

In: Inspiration, Journal
A Car Accident Left My Teenager Paralyzed—and Incredibly Fierce www.herviewfromhome.com

I drove back from my son’s college concert near midnight. Exhausted, I glanced at my 14-year-old daughter, Beth, asleep in the passenger seat. We were only 10 minutes from home. I thought I could make it until I heard a road sign flatten on concrete. As the car flipped three times across a bare Ohio field, we left behind an ordinary life. I escaped with cuts, bruises, and blood-matted hair. Beth was another story. The car was cut open and a helicopter rushed her to Toledo. A doctor told my husband John that she was paralyzed. When John broke the news...

Keep Reading

Dear Mama, You’re Allowed To Not Be There

In: Inspiration, Motherhood
Dear Mama, You're Allowed To Not Be There www.herviewfromhome.com

Friday afternoon was not much crazier than most afternoons. My husband was mowing the lawn, my daughter was hangry and my youngest son was due to be in a talent show in twenty minutes. I stood in the kitchen—where it seemed like I’d been for an hour—trying to motivate my family to eat dinner and get ready to go. “Get dressed, Jude. Make sure you eat something.” “Dean, do you want a slice of pizza before we leave?” I screamed over the lawn mower. “Maeve, are you going to the optional soccer practice or the talent show? You need to...

Keep Reading