I think definitely being cheated on is worse of the two.
First I would like to say this. I am 100 percent PRO marriage (kinda obvious though) and 100 percent PRO family and some days I still can’t believe I ever divorced my xh because it’s just not like me to divorce. I believe in marriage and all but one of my friends who are married are doing fantastic (long term marriages btw). I just turned 40 so I have had about 15 years of seeing all of this. I believe lifelong love and committment exists and have seen it , so what I am going to write in the following paragraph is only what happened to me. My opinions only.
My xh didn’t have a tendency that I or anybody else could notice. Nope. Never noticed him flirting or anything like that at all. We were very happy and when I found out he’d cheated, it was years after we married, after we had our son, built our dream home, and were trying for another child so it rocked my world because none of it made any sense. To me and imho, it’s a very selfish act, cheating. Truly selfish.
I found out, was devastated, and looked in the eyes of my child and decided to stay and give it a go for I am one who doesn’t tolerate cheating. I gave him six months to show me he was capable of rebuilding our committment, our marriage. We went to counselors and even to counselors at our church. After his last individual session the counselor had his session with me. He told me something horrible. He said my x was lying the whole time in there and that there’s no changing him. I was crushed at this point even further and the counselor said to hire a pi to find out the truth. sure enough, he had just cheated but done it with the stealth of a super spy or something and still was. He just didn’t want to get caught or have me divorce him. Wierd I know.
Fast forward, I divorced him and rebuilt my life slowly. It was heartbreaking for both my little boy and I but we did it. I still let him see his dad and am ok with all that for my son needs two parents. We are just not in the same house. I also went to a divorce recovery class at church (huge church) btw. There were almost a hundred in my class. On the first day the instructor said he wanted to know something and that he’d been doing this on the first day of class for quite a while to figure out in his head why many marriages fail. He asked us to raise our hands. He said "How many are here because their spouse cheated?" About 70 hands flew up. How many are here because of money issues? About ten flew up. How many are here because they either just don’t get along or aren’t in love? Another twenty or so hands. So cheating was the main reason.
A little over 3 years post divorce I met T. We both love and respect each other and know the boundaries of our relationship well. We both know that cheating is a deal breaker. We both feel the same about cheating and I can tell you that this is a subject both parties need to talk about BEFORE ever getting engaged or married. There has to be boundaries FIRMLY set in place. I think we’re going to be okay. I know nobody is immune, but I think knowing where we stand and how firmly we stand against that makes us respect our committment even more.
To answer your question I think being cheated on is horrid and the worst of the two. The fact is if I had stayed I would have ended up like my xh’s w. She has been constantly for the last five years watching her back. Wondering when and if he’s going to do it again to her. And she actually is a nice person and I’ve made peace with her and like her now. And I also pray for them. They have a child together btw. I hate it for their child and can tell you that THIS IS NO WAY TO LIVE. There has to be love, respect and healthy boundaries.
So take it from me, cheating is definitely the worst. But if you wish to affairproof your marriage as best as you can, talk about it BEFORE you get married. have a very serious talk and lay down some boundaries.
And remember this also. Most of my friends ARE happy and doing great. So don’t let this discussion of doom and gloom worry you too much.