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Recently, my wife and I discussed another couple whose marriage went kaput because of an affair. I told her that if she strayed, I would forgive her. Granted, it would be difficult, but we're "only human, born to make mistakes," as the song told us. We are married 27 years, after all, and still love each other ... She paused, and said she didn't know if she could forgive me if I strayed. I was surprised. Just wondered what the TAM community thought of our conversation: Me willing to forgive and move on, she being not so sure.

guess this could also be in the infidelity section
 

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For some, there is no greater sin. For others, it's part and parcel of human fallibility. Most of us wouldn't forgive a serial cheater, but some of us can forgive under certain circumstances.

I assume forgiveness would be contingent on a bunch of conditions, though, correct? The nature of the affair, what the spouse does to make amends and to not repeat it, etc. Your willingness to forgive is not carte blanche, I suspect.
 

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Hopefully this all stays a theory. There should be consequences for actions though, I think her response was the normal reaction. Boundaries are healthy.
 

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I think neither of us would easily forgive a clandestine affair, but it would depend on the circumstances. Neither of us wants to know if the other has an affair and it eventually ends without discovery. Both of us have (and would) give each other permission/approval to have sex or a polyamorous relationship with someone else, so there is no reason to have a clandestine affair. I suppose if one of us strongly disapproved of their proposed person, there could be motivation to hide it, but it would take huge effort to actually do so. And neither of are willing to risk what we have for some temporary fun.
 

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Just wondered what the TAM community thought of our conversation: Me willing to forgive and move on, she being not so sure.
Not uncommon. For some cheating is an absolute dealbreaker. For others it isn't.

I've been with DH for 22 years come December. If he had a one time thing under some kind of rare circumstance I think I'd try to reconcile. If it was more than a one time extraordinary circumstance I'd make it my mission to ruin his existence.
 

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Recently, my wife and I discussed another couple whose marriage went kaput because of an affair. I told her that if she strayed, I would forgive her. Granted, it would be difficult, but we're "only human, born to make mistakes," as the song told us. We are married 27 years, after all, and still love each other ... She paused, and said she didn't know if she could forgive me if I strayed. I was surprised. Just wondered what the TAM community thought of our conversation: Me willing to forgive and move on, she being not so sure.

guess this could also be in the infidelity section
For me, If my wife had a one night stand and never talked to the guy again, I would definitely forgive. Maybe not even be all that upset, but i'll sure act upset. On the other hand, if she knew the guy beforehand, or was in touch with him after, that would be a deal killer and I'd walk ASAP.
 

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Recently, my wife and I discussed another couple whose marriage went kaput because of an affair. I told her that if she strayed, I would forgive her. Granted, it would be difficult, but we're "only human, born to make mistakes," as the song told us. We are married 27 years, after all, and still love each other ... She paused, and said she didn't know if she could forgive me if I strayed. I was surprised. Just wondered what the TAM community thought of our conversation: Me willing to forgive and move on, she being not so sure.

guess this could also be in the infidelity section
I would hope to forgive but that isn't the same as reconciliation.
You can do one without having to do the other.

I know that after adultery the marriage would not be the same. It can work and I know of several good marriages where it has, but the trust would take many years to be restored and the marriage would have to be rebuilt from the start.
Not sure if telling a spouse that you would stay if they cheated is a good idea though.

It may also depend on what other family you have. Divorce shatters far more people than just the couple.
 

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I think it depends on the type of affair it is. For men, a wife's physical affair is often a deal breaker, while a betrayed wife is more devastated when her WH has had a deep emotional attachment to another woman.

Back when I was married to my XWW, I was willing to work through her affair until I found out she had no intention of being honest with me or actually stopping contact with the OM. Now, 25 years later? In my mid fifties I have moved to a place of non-tolerance. I am already halfway through my life and I cannot waste any more of my life on disrespectful and untrustworthy people. If I were to marry again, and she were to have a one night stand, it would be over. No mulligans for her.
 

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Recently, my wife and I discussed another couple whose marriage went kaput because of an affair. I told her that if she strayed, I would forgive her. Granted, it would be difficult, but we're "only human, born to make mistakes," as the song told us. We are married 27 years, after all, and still love each other ... She paused, and said she didn't know if she could forgive me if I strayed. I was surprised. Just wondered what the TAM community thought of our conversation: Me willing to forgive and move on, she being not so sure.

guess this could also be in the infidelity section
She’s now wondering if you’ve cheated.

Congrats! 🎊🎉🥳
 

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If it was just a short affair I might try to get over it. But for me, trust is the real issue. I would never really be able to trust to the same level that I currently trust. Then I would have to figure out how much trust do I need? How can she prove that she deserves that trust? etc. I really don't know if I could ever trust her again.

In the end, I think any cheating is just a deal breaker. I just don't know how she would ever be able to earn my trust again.
 

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She’s now wondering if you’ve cheated.

Congrats! 🎊🎉🥳
Or feeling her out and laying the groundwork.

but we're "only human, born to make mistakes," as the song told us.
You're old enough to realize that is a really sad attempt at minimization. Your wife isn't having any of it. Take heed. She values her marriage too much to pay homage to a cheap lyric.
 

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Just wondered what the TAM community thought of our conversation: Me willing to forgive and move on, she being not so sure.
I think you were trying to blow smoke at your old lady trying to show her what an outstanding and understanding guy you are. What you didn't count on is she's been married to you for decades and knows your full of shyt. She let you know in a hurry that her thoughts and what she'll put up with don't jive with your attempt to lead her to a response you wanted to hear. She's smarter than you Dawg. Get over it.
 

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Recently, my wife and I discussed another couple whose marriage went kaput because of an affair. I told her that if she strayed, I would forgive her. Granted, it would be difficult, but we're "only human, born to make mistakes," as the song told us. We are married 27 years, after all, and still love each other ... She paused, and said she didn't know if she could forgive me if I strayed. I was surprised. Just wondered what the TAM community thought of our conversation: Me willing to forgive and move on, she being not so sure.

guess this could also be in the infidelity section
I would never make a blanket statement like that. There may be some circumstances that you would be willing to forgive her for, but I bet there are some that you wouldn't. A drunk ONS, maybe. What about a 6 month affair that you find out about because you got an STD from her? Would you forgive that? What about an affair with your best friend and they've been doing it in your bed? Worse yet, you catch them in the act? Or like the @VintageRetro situation where the WW had sex multiple times with AP, broke it off, but caught an STD, took care of it while hiding it from her H and he found out about the affair from a 3rd party months after it had ended. Are you really willing to forgive and stay with her under all circumstances? Even if you can get over the sex, can you get over all the lies told straight to your face from the one person in your life that you gifted with your unwavering trust? The putting her pleasure over her love and caring for you and the sanctity of your marriage? For me, those are all unforgivable.

I've told my wife that an affair is the end of our marriage, period. She is the only woman I've been with sexually and the only one I ever want to be with and I expect her to be exclusive to me. Her having sex or even an EA with another person when we've made the most sacred commitment to each other is really unforgivable. That said, I will admit that their could be a scenario that results in me forgiving her, but for the life of me I can't think of any. Every time I come up with a scenario where I think, "well maybe...", it quickly turns to "nope." I believe my wife feels the same way, but I'm not so sure. She had one LTR before we met. Although she never had a smoking gun, she had plenty of circumstantial evidence that he cheated on her more than once. Yet, she still did some pretty stupid things to try to stay with him. That was 34 years ago and she was only 19. Obviously she has grown a lot since then. Even so, I believe there is a chance she would try to forgive me. It is just who she is and how she loves. We don't ever have to worry about that though. I am fully committed to her being my one and only.
 

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I think more men forgive women than vice versa? Just my hunch of course.
Statistically it is the other way around. I found a stat that said 61% of cheating husbands are still married, while only 44% of cheating women are still married.

I think there are a couple reasons for this.

For men I think sex is the main driver for the affair, so they are more likely to just break off the affair and go back home to the wife if they are willing. While women tend to get more emotionally attached and I suspect they are more likely to leave the BH and try to stay with the AP.

Then there is the physical act of sex. Now this is coming from a man's point of view and women may see it differently, but the idea of my wife allowing another man to penetrate her or take him in her mouth and ejaculate inside her are just gut wrenching visions. Same with thinking about another man moving my wife into various positions and bringing her to orgasm. I almost feel sick just writing this. I'm sure a wife may have similar thoughts about her husband with another woman, but it just isn't the same. I think it is harder for a man to get past these thoughts than a woman. Although I could be totally wrong.
 

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You often get what you tolerate, and you just basically gave your wife tacit approval to betray you, knowing that your first instinct is to give a blanket forgiveness.

Not saying she’s going to cheat on you (she probably won’t) - but you probably reduced her respect for you to some degree by showing her that the standards and expectations you have as a man, and what you would and wouldn’t be willing tolerate, aren’t as strong as she thought.
 

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Not saying she’s going to cheat on you (she probably won’t) - but you probably reduced her respect for you to some degree by showing her that the standards and expectations you have as a man, and what you would and wouldn’t be willing tolerate, aren’t as strong as she thought.
You equate not tolerating an affair with strength.

I can equate forgiveness of an affair with strength. Or, more precisely, I equate doing what you personally feel is necessary as strong, whichever way you choose. Reconciling with a spouse is in many ways more work than leaving them.
 
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