Earlier this year, a woman contacted Susan and laid out the facts:
My husband cheated on me. We have kids together. I don’t know what to do. I hate his guts right now but I need his help in running the household. What do I do?
The knee-jerk reaction when someone cheats on you is to want to kick the “no-good so and so” out. But that’s not always practical or feasible.
Letting him or her stay may feel like you’re letting them get away with something. You feel they should be punished and should have consequences. Yet your world is upside down and your emotions will take you on the ride of your life. This is definitely not the time to make any major decisions (and you may want to avoid even the smaller decisions until you feel better and more calm).
This woman saw an article Susan had written about Parenting Marriages and she decided to put the concept to the test and it was the perfect emergency solution for her. Here’s what she said about it:
“[Shifting] to a parenting marriage allow[ed] time for introspection…I don’t know, maybe it’s not healthy, but I haven’t felt this good since it happened. It removed the shame and the fear of a possible divorce when I’m not even sure that’s what I want. Really, it’s strange, by putting a label on it from romantic marriage to parenting marriage, it removed the pressure I was feeling to just ‘get over it’ and allows me the time I need to heal from this.”
A Parenting Marriage arrangement doesn’t change the fact that your marriage is in limbo, it gives you a sense of structure when all you feel around you is chaos; it gives you a sense of control when everything feels out of your control; it is grounding.