Contributed by Wanda G.

Stand by your cheating partner or send them packing?  According to some studies, up to 75% of marriages don’t end after an affair. While a couple may stay together, this does not always mean the feelings are resolved.  So, why do couples stay together after an affair?

Fear of being alone. Often after an affair, your self-image takes a big hit and you start to wonder who would want you.  After all, since your partner knows everything about you and strayed, how will anyone else love you? If being in a relationship is important to you, staying with your cheating partner might feel like the best alternative.

Fear of lifestyle changes. Going from two incomes and sharing expenses to one income and paying for everything is a drastic lifestyle change. So, many people would rather stay with their partner than change the lifestyle they have become accustomed to.

Loss of social network. There are lots of jokes about who gets the friends in a break-up, but this joke is based in reality.  Couples tend to be friends with other couples, and now that you are single, you might feel like a third wheel. In addition, your friends might feel pressure to choose who they remain friends with which is uncomfortable for all concerned.

Personal beliefs. While there are those who consider divorce to be a stigma, there are others whose religious, cultural and family beliefs “forbid” divorce. So, they stay in their marriage no matter what.

Investment of time.  After spending so many years with someone, leaving a relationship can be one of the hardest things to do. For many staying with the person you know rather than dealing with the unknown is a more comfortable situation.

Strengthened relationship. There are couples who use the affair as an opportunity to work on their relationship. Most affairs do not start just because of sex, even for men.  There is usually something missing emotionally in the relationship. After communicating honestly with each other (or seeking therapy), many couples find they are able to talk about issues that they have been avoiding.

How do you feel about affairs?  We invite you to participate in the conversation by commenting in the box below.