When He Cheats, Will You Stand By Him?

by Clutch

Shortly after the news broke that U.S. Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. was cheating on his wife with a White blonde hostess, reports confirm that Sandi Jackson knew two years ago and will be sticking by her man. The Chicago Alderman tells the Chicago Sun-Times, “When it happens to you its amazing how what you once thought was black and white becomes variations of a color called gray.”

The couple has been married for nearly two decades and has two children. Mrs. Jackson said she never could anticipate how she would feel when her husband told her about the affair.

“He said it was over. I was mortified and in agony, but he knew if I found out any other way it would be over.”

Jackson told the son of civil rights icon the only way to save their marriage was to come clean and consider spiritual counseling and therapy.

But as Sandi Jackson revisits the old wound she dealt with before during the now publicized scandal, she says there are people in far worst circumstances. “Mine is a matter of heart, for many it’s a matter of survival.” Jackson says, “My heart will heal.”

Whether older, married, Black women in the public eye know or not, young Black women are taking cues from their choices. As we progress into our thirties, many of us who want to be married someday are asking ourselves, “What would I do if my husband cheated?”

Some of us witnessed the effects of broken homes firsthand. Due to infidelity, many of our parents divorced, and often left us fatherless. Now that we’re grown women with semi-seasoned perspectives on love and men, how will we navigate situations like Sandi Jackson’s?

It isn’t so easy to pack up your things and leave, especially after 20 years and two children.

The beauty of being an unmarried young adult is that we can learn from our elders and make wiser decisions if and when we find ourselves in this predicament.

Hindsight is 20/20. And many of us 20 and early 30-somethings are just getting our specs. For what’s its worth, what would you do?

Photo Source: Ebony/Jet

  • Linda

    I wonder if he would’ve done the same if she was the one that cheated on him? I doubt he would stay with her.

  • http://www.brownsugardaily.com Autumn

    This article definitely calls into question what it means to love someone forever and forgive. I can’t even imagine what I’d do if I was married and this happened. I would certainly be devastated, but I would have to consider all of the factors playing into it.

    Great piece!

  • Ash

    You’re right, maybe he wouldn’t have. But I have a father, a very macho, strong man who went to work every single day of his life, who forgave my mother for cheating on him. She didn’t just sleep with someone, she had a prolonged affair, and it nearly ripped apart ALL of our lives.

    But my parents have really showed me what it means to have a ‘lifetime’ together. Im not saying everyone’s circumstances are the same, but when I look at these celeb marriages and how the media just goes for the jugular, and when its found out that someone is cheating..the obvious conclusion is to leave. In fact, the general message seems to be if a woman stays (bec. lets face it–we never hunt female adulterers the way we do male) she is weak.
    Elin is now regarded as some paragon of strength and virtue…if she had stayed with Tiger I think mainstream media would have turned on her.

    All of this is a moot point however, because I think God is truly the only way people can change. I saw it with my own eyes, in my own home.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Niecy-Cerise/100000013795662 Niecy Cerise

    Does it matter that the mistress was white and blonde? It doesn’t really add to the question being asked and certainly would not have any impact on my decision if I were the spouse.

  • binks

    Well, cheating isn’t as black and white, and it certainly depends on what type of cheating it was, like if it was the wam bam thank you ma’am type or the type where the two of them had a connection not only physically and emotionally. Secondly, it is a matter for is he a habitual cheater or just that one instance. Personally, I’ am on the no side, I would not stand by you I wouldn’t even want to look at them because so much trust has gone out of the window once he stepped out. Beside, if you do take the person back the relationship is never what it once was and you have to go through the motions and process of building a new one.

  • http://antiintellect.wordpress.com Anti-Intellect

    Maintaining patriarchy > Self respect.

    “Men folk gone do what men folk gone do.”

  • EmpressDivine

    I may not burn isht up like Bernadine or bust the windows out ur car, but I’m definitely going to leave. It takes more than love and familiarity to keep a relationship going. TRUST is especially important. I don’t know if I could trust again after all that.

  • Alexandra

    Ditto ;-)

  • shalonndramrie

    Well I have to come clean and say I went through that about 3 yrs ago with my husband,I had just started a new job and I worked at night. My husband never wanted me to work anyways and for it to be at night was even worse in his eye’s. Anyway’s he found him someone else and while I was working he was creeping. One morning when I came home he was walking in like he had been out there working with me, He smelledof cheap perfume and alcohol,I asked him what was up and he didn’t deny it and my heart fell like ton of bricks. I cried and cried but I also turned to God, and said hey I am not bad looking and I can take care of myself and I am still young. Well when he seen that what he did was not going to stop my grand huslte he found a way to crawl back and say some sideways crap, I didn’t trip on. Then came the Ultimate Apology I mean a real show.After about 2 month’s and a small vacation I came back and forgave him and we are still going strong.

  • King Jason

    This might sound shallow but I’m sure it didn’t mean anything to him. Therein lies the difference between affairs by men as opposed to women.

  • sweet pinky

    very well said

  • http://BigDivaHq.com Ms. Pillowz

    It probably didn’t. Seems to me that he kicked her to the curb a while ago.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jared-C-Wood/1483120929 Jared C. Wood

    I am a major believer in fidelity. If you cheat on me, that means you don’t respect me; if you don’t respect me, we can’t be together. End of story. Whether it happens once or twenty times, the trust is broken, and the “situation(s)” that lead to the infidelity are bound to happen again. Relationships are hard work, but staying true to each other is so important. I mean, is a silly jump-off worth destroying a partnership? And, frankly, if I stay with the cheater, what is that saying about ME? That you can do wrong by me in such a flagrant way, but “I’z still here, baby”? Hell to the no.

  • http://brklynbabylon.wordpress.com MW

    Hopefully (though frankly it still shouldn’t have any bearing) it’s added sensationalism because it’s Civil Rights Leader Jesse Jackson’s son.

  • bohobap

    It seems that women are always the ones who choose ‘to forgive and move forward.’

    I would love to see a woman leave her cheating husband and move on with her life.

    Jenny Sanford was one of the few who walked away from her marriage–but not many women do that.

    I think if men KNEW that women would up and leave them–the same way they leave women–there would be a lot less cheating and abuse going around.

  • http://www.twitter.com/ebonylolita Ebonylolita

    I can honestly say I BAIL on cheaters. I’ve done it in the past. Now….. I expect that I would do it in the future *GodForbidThisHappens* and ESPECIALLY if there’s children involved. The only difference is HOW I’d leave. With children involved I’d probably plot & plan my finances a little differently but he’d definitely have to GTFO or I’d just plan & move. I see what happens to women how constantly take back a cheater. It escalates & either the man becomes blatant w/it or he tries to hide. Either way the women feel low & unloved.
    Marriages are a commitment to Love/Honor/Obey. Cheating shows a lack of character & a disrespect to the vows.
    It’s funny MEN will leave a woman quicker then a women will leave a man. I’m sure there are rare instances like the writer above. But…. most men don’t take kindly to being embarrassed in public by their wife’s cheating.
    Love God 1st, yourself next and family. I live by that & I’ve never been unhappy !PopStyle!

  • Jesmoi

    Forgiveness is all good, and yes, you must think of the children but these days, when a man is cheating, he is playing with your help. AIDS is still a serious issue in our community and most black women contract it from black men. I’m sorry but if a man has a prolonged affair after we are in a committed state, I am done. I understand that in the beginning when things are new that there is this trial period. But after marriage and kids? Hell naw! I don’t play with my health like that.

  • Glamarazzi

    It depends on many factors. Fidelity is not a crucial matter for every married couples. I think when two people get married, they have to decide the type of marriage the want to have. I’m certain that this isn’t his first affair and for all we know she could step outside of the marriage as well. Only they know the dynamics of their relationship.

    For me, I could not stay in that marriage because to me the covenant has already been broken. I couldn’t lay next to a man who I couldn’t trust with my life and body. If you can’t trust a man, how can you call him husband?

  • King Jason

    I think it needs be said that staying is not a shameful thing. That too takes courage. Women (or men) who stay shouldn’t be judged harshly.


    Lets keep it real for a min… At some point in time EVERYONE cheats male & female. Ive personally lost belief in the traditional ways of marriage. Now a days its a buisness deal between two poeple assuring that they live comfortable in todays society. So lets face it, for men we like the different variety of woman that are out there & we just like to sample them… Women more or less give it up because of the emotional lonleyness they feel. After being with & always around they’re husband for so long some flames just die out. So i say this….. As long as the mortage & the bills are paid, food is there to be cooked, the savings account is growing & were driving the cars that we like…. i could care less what my wife does when she steps out of the house. I refuse to lay around wondering if my woman is cheating on me therefore she has my permisson to do so & i have hers. When i get tierd of seeing other women i’ll stop. But that will be a decision that i make for myself, therfore making it an honest decision & the same goes for her. Im not saying what we do works for everybody but at least we have something that mabey 99.999% other marragies dont have…. TRUST, TRUTH & HONESTY! Just something for yall to think about.

  • Felicia

    Wow, that is a very sad, greedy and insecure way to go through life Keep It Real Pls. Why not just be single your whole life, why even get married? People definitely have the option to not get married, I’m sure God is frowning on what we’ve taken into our own hands and twisted around just so that it can “work” for us and our lustful ways, and what is trust in your eyes? “I trust that this relationship is a sham and that I will probably catch a disease or bring people into my home that have no business there”


  • SunnyDay

    This is hard…especially after 20 YEARS lawd! For me to stay he would have to be the best damn husband in the world! I mean cook, do laundry, straight Tony from ‘Who’s the Boss?’ like lol. I really don’t know though. But he did tell her first and that counts for something I think…still messed up but at least he was honest…well later on smh…

  • Emelyne

    I completely, whole-heartedly agree with you. Cheating is just not acceptable. There may be many different kinds, but definitely no such thing as “accidental cheating”. it all takes thought and premeditation and there is no real marriage or relationship without respect and trust.

  • Emelyne

    @ KeepItReal: WTF are you talking about? Have you met everyone on this planet? Because I am a married woman and before and during this marriage, I have NEVER cheated on a significant other. Those where the only kind too, significant, because I do not do casual relationships. I love my husband but more importantly love and respect myself so cheating is a no. If we’re gonna “keep it real”, please let me do so but saying that cheaters have no self-respect and and those who take them back lack a sense of self-worth. Period. If you still want to be with the person, stay and don’t f*ck up. If you don’t, then leave. If they are abusing you and you can leave long enough cheat, then your as$ can leave long enough to LEAVE. Cheating on someone who truly loves you is stupid since love is rare and cheating on an abuser is just a deathwish. The real truth is that all cheating is sensationalized to the point where we think “everyone” is doing it, but this is a matter of character and a person of true integrity would not degrade themselves in that way. I can’t speak for you, but I know who I am. i never have, never will. I just love myself too much and I respect marriage vows.

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