Why would you want to stay with a cheating spouse?

Shrink Wrap With Dr. Jane Greer

What you lose if you leave

After some consideration, Model Kendra Wilkinson has decided to stay married to her husband of five years, former football star Hank Baskett, despite the fact that she knows he was cheating on her with transsexual model Ava Sabrina London. Kendra told Access Hollywood Live, “He loves me and we’re gonna be together for the rest of our lives.” She also said she believes he “got trapped” in the scandal, being forced to say what the “home wrecker” (Ava) wanted him to say.

Hugh Hefner's 83rd Birthday Party

When there is an infidelity, people often ask how someone could remain with a partner who betrayed them. From the outside looking in it is sometimes difficult to come up with a good reason, thinking that after such an indiscretion the relationship should clearly be over, period. However, there are many reasons not to end it, from personal gain to revenge and everything in between. In Kendra’s case, her decision to stay with Hank after his now public cheating episode has raised some questions about whether she’s doing it for the fame, or because she has truly forgiven him.

It is impossible to know what goes on between two people, and what intricacies and intimacies might sustain them in the face of hurtful, dishonest, deceptive behavior. There are some clear-cut motivations, though, that keep people from calling it quits. One of those is the possibility that you depend on your partner to maintain the things you need to live well, such as a nice home, food, or the ability to buy clothes. What if you are completely unprepared, you’ve been raising your family and haven’t worked in a long time. The idea of finding a job along with caring for your children can be daunting. Weighed against what you would gain from leaving, staying might win out. Along the same lines, sometimes the life you share together can be bigger than the relationship itself. That might be the case when family or a business is considered. In that case, it might be worth it to stick around because by breaking up the marriage you might actually lose so much more.

Or say your partner has been having an affair for a long time and wants to settle down with his new love. For some, the idea of stepping aside and clearing the way for that to happen is completely unappealing. Instead, a spouse might choose to stay and stand in the way thinking, if I can’t have him then you can’t either. In that case, holding on can become a personal vendetta.

There is always the possibility that the one who wronged you apologized, giving you the courage to believe him or her and work together to rebuild the relationship and the trust. With this comes the possibility that someone might truly still be deeply in love with their partner and, despite everything, still really wants to share a life with that person despite everything that has happened.

It is easy to judge and speak to what you think other people should do, or to what you imagine you would do if faced with this decision, but there are always extenuating circumstances that might make it impossible to walk away. Only time will tell if Kendra and Hank make it through this tough time. Most important, his behavior going forward will help determine whether her decision to stay with him stands, as he will need to prove to her not only that he’s sorry for being unfaithful, but that it will never happen again.

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Dr. Jane Greer is a nationally renowned relationship expert, marriage and family therapist, author, blogger, and radio host. She is creator of “Shrink Wrap with Dr. Jane Greer,” a media commentary on what we can learn from the trials and triumphs of celebrity relationships as seen on on Huffington Post, Psychology Today, Metro, Galtime, and Cupid’s Pulse. Dr. Greer has appeared on many popular television shows offering relationship advice, including Oprah, The Today Show, The Early Show, CNN News, Anderson Cooper 360, Dateline NBC, 20/20, Good Day New York, and The View. Dr. Greer’s live weekly radio hour Doctor on Call features conversations on health, life and love with actors, authors, bloggers, scientists, doctors, relationship experts and more and airs every Tuesday from 2-3 p.m. ET (11 a.m.-12 p.m. PT) at HealthyLife.net. The second Tuesday of each month is devoted to HuffPost on Call, a new monthly show including fascinating conversations with Huffington Post lifestyle editors and bloggers. The last Tuesday of the month, Dr. Greer invites other sex experts to Doctor on Call for Let’s Talk Sex, a popular call-in show focused on cutting-edge conversations about sex and intimacy. Dr. Greer’s newest book, What About Me? Stop Selfishness From Ruining Your Relationship, is available nationwide. Connect with Dr. Jane Greer on Facebook, and follow @DrJaneGreer on Twitter for her latest insights on love, relationships, sex, and intimacy.