His decision to enter rehab may have been the only way to save their marriage, a source tells PEOPLE

By Anya Leon
January 26, 2014 09:30 AM
Charles Sykes/AP

It was Tori Spelling‘s worst nightmare come true: her husband, and father of her four children, Dean McDermott, was suddenly the center of cheating rumors.

And as reports began to surface that their relationship was on the rocks, a source close to the couple tells PEOPLE they scrambled to make a major move in hopes of saving the life they had worked hard to build together.

“What other options did they have? They’d already tried therapy, so it had to be something drastic,” the source says.

That move came on Thursday when McDermott, 47, told PEOPLE in an exclusive statement that he had voluntarily checked into rehab “to address some health and personal issues.”

McDermott’s decision to seek treatment has given Spelling the chance she needed to begin healing.

“He’s now willing to be treated. It’s something that he can’t control,” the source says. “It gives her a chance to understand why he did this and to not take it personally.”

But in this case, despite McDermott’s determination to keep his family intact, time may not heal all wounds. According to the source, Spelling, 40, is facing a long journey toward forgiveness.

“Him going to rehab is like providing aid to a gushing wound,” the source says. “It’s going to stop the bleeding right now, but it’s going to take a long time to heal and there will be scars that will never go away.”

RELATED: Dean McDermott’s Ex-Wife: I Hope He Overcomes His Demons