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Pam Gilling­ham, di­rec­tor of Fam­i­lies South Africa, says it’s never a bad idea to leave a cheat­ing hus­band. Hav­ing an exit plan is im­por­tant, though, and it should in­clude a place to stay and a mea­sure of fi­nan­cial se­cu­rity.

If a wife de­cides to stay with her cheat­ing hus­band, there is no guar­an­tee that he won’t be caught with his pants down again, she warns.

“In many sit­u­a­tions, it’s a pat­tern of be­hav­iour rather than a once-off sce­nario. As a cheated wife, it’s im­per­a­tive you make it clear you won’t tol­er­ate his hu­mil­i­at­ing be­hav­iour. It’s also im­por­tant to speak to some­one and seek coun­selling.” If you do de­cide to stay, trust will have to be earned again, Pam says. “The way in which it can be re-earned is through time and ev­i­dence of real change. There needs to be a sense that the cheater has recog­nised his be­hav­iour is wrong and is work­ing on chang­ing that.

“If this is not the case, the ac­tions are likely to resur­face in fu­ture and trust will be bro­ken once again.”

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