Should Men Be Forgiven For Cheating?

by Kirsten West Savali

CheatingLast night, I was chatting with old friends about infidelity and forgiveness. And as we exchanged war stories from our single days in Atlanta, a pattern began to emerge.

When the women cheated, it was always for a “reason.” She was neglected, ignored, misunderstood.  Or the crowd favorite — it was for revenge. Her infidelity was never considered to be a reflection of her character or something to be taken at face value, because there was a “reason.” But when the discussion turned to men found guilty of cheating, the old axiom, “Women need a reason to cheat; men just need an opportunity,” ruled the debate.

He was automatically considered to be a dog, a liar, a “slut puppy,” someone so unworthy of forgiveness, that his behavior could be considered just cause for an addendum to President Obama’s controversial NDAA:

Any man even suspected of cheating can be apprehended by the United States military and detained indefinitely for subverting the peace of the nation and crimes against humanity.

Some argue that warm-blooded animals — including humans — are not meant to be monogamous, thus an inability to stay faithful in a monogamous relationship should not be considered a moral failure. I can dig that, but let’s tuck that discussion away for rainy day and ask the question:

Can a man ever be forgiven for cheating?

I’m not talking about that one eye on you and the other on any woman you so much as bat an eyelash at type of forgiveness. I’m talking about whole-hearted you made a mistake and I understand forgiveness.

I say yes, possibly.

Of course this doesn’t pertain to habitual cheaters who are so in love with the sight of their own penis they want everyone to have the pleasure. But for those men who cheat one time and are sincerely contrite,  a woman (from a heteronormative perspective)  should not be made to feel like the village idiot for staying in the relationship. Yes, there may be a need for couple’s therapy. Yes, the magnitude of his actions should be made clear to him. Yes, he must take full responsibility for being selfish, dishonest and immature. Yes, he should understand that the probability he will eeeeeever, eva, eva, eva be forgiven again falls somewhere between Tiger Woods dating a black woman and a Fugees reunion. But does he deserve at least a chance at redemption?

Absolutely — but only if the person that he’s hurt wants to give it to him.

In this patriarchal society, the mistakes that young men make primarily center around them stumbling towards manhood — what it is and how to get there. They are taught that women are trophies to be won. Often times they aren’t taught anything, instead figuring it out by watching BET and this mutated, commercialized Hip-Hop that will have some women thinking that being a stripper with an ass full of silicon is something that we all should strive towards in the quest for superficial male approval.

And those are our mistakes. As women, sometimes we change ourselves, deny our truths, dumb down and turn up in a bid to be that trophy. That’s what society does to many of us as we try to define womanhood, and does that make us unworthy and incapable of being smarter, better people as we grow and evolve?

All this to say, that people make mistakes, especially in relationships — romantic and otherwise — with other people. Simple as that. And some men make their mistakes while un-learning how to treat women.

In some cases, that doesn’t make them evil. It just makes them human.

 

What do you think, ladies:  Have you ever forgiven a man for cheating? Why did you do it? And did he do it again?

Let’s talk about it.

  • Orange Starr Happy Hunting

    Sure you should always forgive folk, as hard as it can be sometimes, it is truly for one’s own benefit to forgive. However continuing to deal with someone is something else all together but I guess it depends on the circumstance, one time instance, the folks involved are very young etc.

  • EST. 1986

    A woman should do whatever she thinks is best for herself.

  • http://gravatar.com/missinformation7 Ms. Information

    Basically.

  • Adiya

    Forgive doesn’t mean STAY. I have forgiven and left. My health and heart are too important to put into jeopardy over a boyfriend who demonstrates through his actions that he doesn’t value them as I do.

    For a husband, I would try my hardest to do the work to recover. Never for a boyfriend. If he’s already cheating BEFORE we’re married, I feel like I would be signing up for more of the same. That’s not the life I want for myself.

  • bornliberian

    i believe everyone should be forgiven. as forgiven is not for the cheater it’s for ones self. when/if cheating becomes an issue in a relationship it’s still ok to forgive, but it’s definatly time for he/she to more on with life.

  • Sasha

    I really wish people would stop referring to cheating as a “mistake”. There is no mistake about cheating. Much like other actions, it is a three step process: thought, action, aftermath/ consequence/ result. Walking into a wall is a mistake, cheating is a deliberate action regardless of the “reasons” behind it.

    I wonder though if forgiveness means accepting the person’s apology and then moving on from it as if it never happened (forgiving and forgetting) because if that’s the case, I find that it would be hard to “forgive” someone for cheating. It’s less about the physical act of cheating and more so the emotional response and break of trust. I can forgive someone for doing something but it never leaves my mind so if I my siginificant other cheated on me, I’d forgive but have to let go because I know myself and thats not something I could ever get over.

  • Smilez_920

    + 1000. Infidelity in a marriage vs a gf/ bf are two different things. If your already cheating before we say I do, who knows what you will do once were locked down for life.

    It’s all up to the women. If she feels disrespected beyond belief , then leave if she feels there’s away she can honestly work through this issue then do it. But the husband has to be willing to be an active participant in fixing the situation.

  • http://defendingmoney.wordpress.com Marketing Gimmicks

    Forgiveness will always be a gift you give to yourself.

    If someone repeatedly hurts, disrespects and violates your heart space then that’s your cue to move forward in life without that person because this person cannot be trusted. But can you forgive them? Absolutely! Forgiveness is always a sticky subject because people tend to forgive based on how it was modeled to them growing up.

    I dated a male narcissist and they are the worst in terms of violating trust. He cheated, lied, stole money, felt entitled and in ten months I was out. He hurt me so bad that I actually wished death upon him! It took me years to accept that he was mentally ill and that his behavior came from being abandoned, sexually abused and rejected by his mother. Men who are sexually abused often hide that pain and act the fool!!!!

    Forgive if you want to be forgiven. But forgiveness does not give someone a free pass to treat you like chit.

  • MimiLuvs

    I wish could “say” that I could forgive a cheating s/o, but then I would be lying. I don’t know about any of the other commentators’ families, but in my family, there was a piece of advice that was shared with us younger women (and teenaged girls) by the older women: Don’t be like Aunt Connie. My relative is serving a life sentence for killing her husband and one of girlfriends-baby’s mother-mistress. So, since then, I have always been told to never take back a philandeering spouse. It’s a hard bit of advice to disregard, after all, it was given in hopes of helping. But now, as an adult, I know that life is more gray than black and white.

  • Orange Starr Happy Hunting

    WOW, well given what transpired that’s sage advice, “don’t be like aunt Connie”. I think today’s post was asking about a one time situation though where the man was remorseful etc not a pattern of behavior.

  • tish

    i tend to have a very liberal view about sexuality, so infidelity is not a deal-breaker for me.

    in addition, i often find it interesting that when we talk about the behaviors that can break up a marriage/relationship, cheating seems to rank highest on the list. for me it’s:

    1- abuse–physical, emotional, sexual (towards me or my children)
    2- criminal activity
    3- substance use, which severely impairs judgement or causes undo harm to me or my children
    4- chronic mental illness (primarily personality disorders–antisocial, narcissistic, borderline, et al.)

    cheating for me, would only be an issue if:

    - the person is underage (see #2)
    - the affair resulted in a pregnancy
    - the affair resulted in a sexually transmitted infection
    - the sexual act was cohered (by my partner) (once more, see #2)

    i do not negate the emotional turmoil on women (or men) for whom infidelity crept into their bedroom. yet, i find it interesting that we tend to forgive most other ill-behavior, yet somehow, when our partner creeps, the earth swallow us whole.

    infidelity in long-term relationships is extremely complex, and it can be due to reason or opportunity, or non-of-the-above.

  • apple

    sure, you just won’t get it from me

  • http://www.facebook.com/kirsten.savali Kirsten West Savali

    I love this! Will never refer to cheating as a “mistake” again. Great insight.

    K

  • Cocochanel31

    I find that overwhelmingly women do forgive cheaters and take them back, married or not. The woman’s first response if she is love with the man is to “work it out.” Sad to say, I know very few women who have left the first time their man cheats, it’s almost expected..smh.

  • Adiya

    I respect where you draw the line and the hierarchy you create. I do think many women who would draw a line at cheating would draw lines with your list of abuse, substance abuse, chronic mental disorder (I would add, that he refuses to acknowledge or treat).

    Criminal activity is an interesting one. For midemeanors and White collar crimes, for me it depends. However, if there’s violent activity (and and not for self-protection) or anything involving drugs or demeaning women? That’s where my line is drawn.

  • MimiLuvs

    Even if my s/o does commit a “one shot deal”, I would still have a hard time forgiving and trying to start anew. An ex of mine did cheat on me and I called the relationship off because of it. He claimed that it happened once, but I always doubted his claims.

  • http://gravatar.com/cocovabarbie KemaVA

    “The woman’s first response if she is love with the man is to “work it out.” ”

    I think men in love are the same way.

  • http://gravatar.com/missinformation7 Ms. Information

    Forgiveness is necessary for personal wellness..not about to spend my life whining about what somebody did to me..fidelity is hard for some but most times well worth the sacrifice, people seldom find in those that they cheat with what they had in the person that they cheated on….but forgiveness doesn’t mean staying as others have pointed out.

  • Penny

    I think cheaters should be forgiven, but I think the person who was cheated on should move on…without the cheater. It should be a deal breaker. I don’t care if the person who cheated was not getting enough sex or attention or whatever; they are still in a relationship. Get out if it’s not up to your standards, but don’t make an unsatisfying situation worse. What’s the point? If you are bold enough to step out on the sly, be bold enough to step all the way out by ending the relationship. Cheaters tend to be cowards. They don’t have the courage to get out of a bad situation and deal with all the consequences. It’s so much easier and more convenient to avoid the consequences.

  • Sasha

    Thanks Ms. West :)

  • Melyssa

    I don’t subscribe to that ole saying.. “Once a Cheater ALWAYS a Cheater” !! I do believe cheaters can be reformed, HOWEVER I will not be the one who sticks it out and wait for him to reform, my dealbreaker is CHEATING.. Point.Blank.Period.. I don’t knock any woman who has taken back someone who has cheated on her – to each her own, that is your life to live.. But me personally I know I ain’t built for that –it’s something that will always stay with me – although I will forgive you — I know I just can’t be with you…

    We can be friends!!!

  • GirlSixx

    Amen @ entire 2nd paragraph… Both parties have to be willing to put in work to make amends, moreso the guilty party because they will have to regain that trust and that comes with hard work and accountability… and the victim has to learn to let it go eventually and not bring up the past and throw it in their face, it’s a hard tough journey but if both are wiling to do the work so be it.. I’ve seen some couples go through this and come out with their relationship being even better and stronger than it was before. It made them appreciate each other so much more.

    It Ain’t for Everybody though… Including myself.. I couldn’t do it. *shrug*

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    of course men should be forgiven for cheating. women, on the other hand, should be burned at the stake.

  • http://gravatar.com/chloerayne516 GirlSixx

    “I think men in love are the same way”

    o__O Really!! WTDTA?!!!?

    Who and where are these men who are willing to “work it out” if his GF/Wife was to slide off with some other dude?? *lol*

  • omfg

    @kemava

    except statistically you are wrong. men leave women who cheat on them. a woman is far more likely to stay.

  • http://gravatar.com/eynapanirb B.Payne

    His value diminishes to me just like his respect for me diminished when he stepped out.

    I believe in forgiveness…not reconciliation…

  • AnnT

    Sarcasm can no longer be subtle…

  • Fit_MissC

    In Canada the CBC recently played a documentary about this very topic and some very interesting facts and reasons for men cheating were presented. Unfortunately for those of you the U.S. you might not be able to view the video.

    http://www.cbc.ca/doczone/episode/why-men-cheat.html?subpage=interactive

  • Sunnyjade

    I was one of those ladies who thought cheating was a deal breaker as well, but of course I never really experience such hurt of betrayal. When it happened for the first time I was beyond shock and we broke up, but came back together months later when he crawled back asking for forgiveness and making promises to do better. Long story short a year and half later I caught him cheating again, and that was the final nail in the coffin. That was the best lesson learned, never will I full heartily commit myself to someone that I have doubts about, thinking that there will be a better future. Ladies it all boils down to morals that a man was grown into as a child. If He was raised to love women,and to respect them then he would think twice before he does anything that could potentially break you. Keep it moving, its the hardest thing to do when you’re in love but you’ll save yourself the grief.

  • Penny

    Melyssa, I agree with you; cheating is a deal breaker for me. I totally respect women who choose to forgive the person AND work it out, but I’m just not built that way, either. I would break up over something smaller (like if he called me the wrong name), so I KNOW I could not stay and work it out if he cheated. LOL.

  • Cassia

    This is ironic.
    I took my man back yesterday knowing that he is a cheater. The reason, I’m madly in love with him regrettably for me. Every inch of me yearns for this man. His smile, evens his silence. I love him so much I actually hate him. It’s a sad case but yes I’m that insecure that I will actually tack back a man who hurt me resulting in a pain that can only be described as my heart having a headache.
    On paper I have a lot going for me well educated, a lot of men want to date me, but I don’t give a shit I just want to be in the same room as him, and I couldn’t be the only women out there. I used to look at shows like Ricki Lake and what not thinking wow you took back a cheater, but when you fall in love with someone that if you don’t speak for one day you can’t breathe let me know.
    Yes, my sister says I am crazy but I honestly feel like I would rather tolerate his dishonesties’ than not have him in my life. My only hope is that one day I will just fall out of love with this person.

  • Treece

    This is similar to what I was going to post. The issue is whether or not you can trust him again afterwards. Once that bond of trust is broken it is hard to mend it back together. If you feel like you can’t trust him anymore, then there is no point in continuing the relationship because you will always be suspicious, suspecting, and curious about his behavior, whereabouts, etc. That is why I would have to let it go. Like you said Sasha, it wasn’t a “mistake”. You didn’t trip and your penis accidentally fell into her vagina (mouth, etc…..). It is hard to forgive AND trust that person again. I may forgive you…..but that doesn’t mean I can live a happy life with you again afterwards. I would have to do some serious soul searchin for that.

  • Blue

    You can forgive the person & move on with your life without them. Or you can forgive them & stick around. But it will take a lot to still trust that person.

  • Fantastico

    I hope you fall out of love quick.

  • Cocochanel31

    Most men cannot fathom another man having access to what he thinks is his. Some can forgive and move on, but MOST cannot and will NOT!

  • Cocochanel31

    @cASSIA – Girl we have all been there! The stuff I put up with from my ex in the name of love honey!! That L word will have you doing some crazy crazy things and tolerating some BS!

    What I learned from my “crazy in love” relationship was that you eventually wind up with LESS than what you settled for!

    Eventually the fool you are dating will do something that pisses you off to the point where you see the light and decide enough is enough! Obviously you are not at that point yet, lol. But trust me, IT WILL COME:)

  • http://gravatar.com/rastaman1967 rastaman

    +Getting over infidelity in a relationship is one of those things I believe more people should leave in the private sphere of their lives. Oftentimes people make public announcements of what they will and will not do in their relationships and the difficulty then becomes not whether you can be forgiving but rather whether you can stand to being seen as forgiving. Minus the public announcements, people could make these private decisions about their best interest and not be concerned about appearing resolute or saving face.

    Infidelity, like illness, death, unemployment are oftentimes a life changing event that people think they will know how to deal with until it occurs. Then the true test comes. I don’t know how I would deal with infidelity in my relationship, I can proclaim all kinds of responses but the truth is that my circumstances my force me to be a lot more reflective and a lot less reactionary.

  • Chillyroad

    Lol James.

  • http://gravatar.com/chloerayne516 GirlSixx

    Yup!!

    I had a male friend break it down to me as to why… He said due to the simple fact that our sex.ual organs are internal and the male is external — so therefore we are physically letting another man inside of us makes it harder for another man to accept that and be cool about it because that mental image will ALWAYS be there.

    #Menlogic *smh*

    But I kinda understand though. *shrug*

  • Dave

    “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” (Isaac Hayes)…it happens.

  • victoria

    Yessssss. 100% agree. My health is more important than our relationship. If I wasnt there to see him place the condom on then I use caution in assuming he didnt use one.
    I also agree the bf is not the husband. I dont think there is anything wrong with working hard to repair your marriage after infidelity (this includes AIDS and std tests). Marriages will span over 20, 30 , or 40+ years – there will be ups and downs and this may include infidelity

  • E.M.S.

    Not in my book. Cheating is unforgivable for both genders. To me demonstrates lack of care for the relationship and the other person. I think cheating is just an easy way to avoid the real problem, which is being unhappy in a relationship but too cowardly to end it.

    As someone who HAS been cheated on (thankfully only once, but that’s still one time too many), I don’t see how anyone could defend or justify infidelity. It’s not about the potential of whether or not they’ll do it again, it’s the fact they did it at all in the first place. My zero tolerance policy saved me from a lot more heartache if I had stayed with that guy.

  • Okay

    Hope your love protects you from STDs

  • Penny

    Cassia, I’ve been there. Just don’t forget about your own self worth. Often, when women step away from the situation (meaning, being alone for a while), we realize that what we thought we were feeling really wasn’t love; it was more like obsession. We’re obsessed with what we thought we had and it’s hard to let that go. When we are in it going through it, it’s so difficult to look at the situation logically. (I don’t mean that as an insult because like I said, I’ve been there.). Don’t be surprised if you come to the realization that you’re not really in love with him, but you are merely emotionally attached to the idea of being with him.

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    she been dickmatized…..ha ha

  • Nyce737

    The truth is: You don’t know what you would do until you are faced with putting those shoes on to walk the pain of infidelity. We all say what we won’t do or tolerate…until the day comes.
    What age has afforded me is the ability to understand our shortcomings as women and from the perspective of our male counterparts. Here is what I know:
    Men DO NOT cheat because they do not love us. Men cheat for the pure excitement and the conquest. It’s the game of the lonely and the misplaced ego. Now don’t get it twisted just because I understand it does not mean I’m team cheater. Men who cheat rarely leave the comforts of their homes with their wives and children. If they can get a little action on the side and not get caught that is the agenda. What happens is they get caught up in the excitement of something new and the escape of the daily humdrum, bills, familiarity and the feeling of being a disappointment. They need an ego boost and a temporary reprieve. This is what gets tricky… they like it! The difficulty…they love their families.
    The Catch-22:
    Should we forgive our husband? The answer is YES, by all means. This choice does not mean we are weak and lack self-esteem. This choice is the belief in your man and in your family. This does not mean that he gets a pass or void of any responsibility or consequence. This is the first step of building a strong foundation in a healthy relationship moving forward and the ability to discover the root cause of the break down and ways to fix the broken links. Now why did I say “catch-22?” Women we have some soul searching of our own. We want to blame the infidelity only on ‘him’ when we need to ask ourselves the question, what was our role in the betrayal? Men seek our attention and we forget about nurturing the relationship. We stop listening. We stop caring. We get caught up in work and in kids and in our girlfriends’ drama. We think we said I do and that should be enough. We let ourselves go and we think our love and sex should be enough. Baby girl, the same way you got your man is the same way you need to foster your relationship to keep it healthy and happy. Now this does not mean that the road is easy or that disagreements will not arise but if the line of communication is open you can work on the relationship together. He won’t look for satisfaction from outside if his needs are being met at home.
    ~Love, Been There

  • Nyce737

    @MrJamesfromphilly… That double standard is not acceptable. Because who is the man cheating with…but another woman…

  • Whiteprivilegeterminated

    jamesfrmphilly

    LMAO!

  • Nic

    Yeah, I think a lot of women think it’s better than having no man at all and are afraid to be alone.
    I think that’s a sad reason to stay with a cheater.
    A lot of people want to get all “religious” about it to and somehow act like they don’t have the right to walk away b/c of the “vow” they made (interesting when the other person broke it).
    I think that if you decide to stay, think about why you are staying and also what precedent you might be setting if you have kids. Not a great thing for them to see.

  • Nic

    Great point…forgiveness is healthy. Staying in that mess may not be good for your physical or emotional health. So you can leave AND forgive which a lot of people forget.

  • chinaza

    Forgiveness allows you to free yourself, not only from the hurt and anger, but sometimes from that relationship as well.
    However it requires truth to do that and you have to be honest about who you are and what you can live with.
    You have to be honest about the facts and fiction of your relationship and that person who betrayed you. And it is betrayal- don’t justify or ‘ glossify ‘ it.
    Because unless you love and value yourself first, no-one else is required to do it.

  • Mademoiselle

    Abuse, addiction, and adultery: the 3 deal breakers. I agree with B.Payne, forgiveness does not mean reconciliation. So I’ll forgive (when I’m ready) AND wish you the best in your next relationship.

  • http://gravatar.com/imaginativeperson Imaginativeperson

    Funny, on the other side of the coin, *nobody* [here] has mentioned “withdrawal of affection(s)”. Having a patient, kind demeanor and not letting 5 days pass between sessions of gettin’ busy…if you’re doing those two things – infidelity is probably not not your issue.

    Very, very often – MONTHS go by before a lady even acknowledges her partner, much less bathes him in luxurious affection. If you demote your partner to #5+ on your priority-list. Your relationship is already over. Queue the cheating, or emotionally-difficult breakup, or whatever – but it’s over.

  • http://gravatar.com/imaginativeperson Imaginativeperson

    “I don’t care if the person who cheated was not getting enough sex or attention or whatever; they are still in a relationship.” That attitude, right there, is the beginning of the end. Why would a woman who thinks that, bother to build a relationship?

    When a man signs on to be monogamous with you, the deal [for him] as that he won’t ever have to deal with not getting enough attention/sex/whatever. He believes you won’t even think about you not doing your part, but surely, if you fall and become relationship-challenged that you will care about him [ideally, the both of you] getting human-being needs met.

  • Michelle

    Your comment summed up my feelings 100%! We can all say what we will or won’t do, but until that situation lands at our front door, we really don’t know.
    Many times I hear people make all kinds of declarations about cheating (i.e. “I would never stay if he cheated), only to sneak, hide or feel ashamed when it happens. If we all learn to keep our private matters private, we would avoid a lot of uneccesary issues.
    Would I forgive and work things out with someone who cheats on me? I really can’t say until it happens to me.

  • Orange Starr Happy Hunting

    Cassia, I have to agree with Penny, Coco and a few others who really shared advice and wisdom, having been there myself.
    Honey you will never have peace with this man or relationship because you do not belong with this guy, in other words he is not the right man for you.
    You “love” him more than he cares for you and most importantly more than you are loving yourself. When you get tired of being mistreated and disrespected that is when you will walk away and usually it takes something even more tragic and hurtful for you to finally see the light. In my case it was him having a child with someone else among other very painful truths. When I look back now I see how I was not loving myself by continuing to deal with someone that honestly didn’t give a half of ish about me. I was always filled with anxiety and dread = I had no peace dealing with him because there was no love, or respect, or care or real concern for me, there was no regard for my well being at all, there was nothing but lies, lust, selfishness to the ump degree, callous and cruel behaviors = pain.
    I thank God I finally got the strength to walk away and learn to really start loving and valuing myself, I think it took that experience as painful and devastating as it was to finally turn my focus upward and inward to self love, worth, respect, value etc. I would not even entertain the thought of someone like him today but that is how far loving God and one’s self will raise the bar. God bless.

  • http://gravatar.com/ravsmith78 ravsmith78

    exactly. Forgive them and move on.

  • Orange Starr Happy Hunting

    @Cassia, I have to agree with Penny, Coco and a few others who really shared advice and wisdom, having been there myself.
    Honey you will never have peace with this man or relationship because you do not belong with this guy, in other words he is not the right man for you.
    You “love” him more than he cares for you and most importantly more than you are loving yourself. When you get tired of being mistreated and disrespected that is when you will walk away and usually it takes something even more tragic and hurtful for you to finally see the light. In my case it was him having a child with someone else among other very painful truths. When I look back now I see how I was not loving myself by continuing to deal with someone that honestly didn’t give a half of ish about me. I was always filled with anxiety and dread = I had no peace dealing with him because there was no love, or respect, or care or real concern for me, there was no regard for my well being at all, there was nothing but lies, lust, selfishness to the ump degree, callous and cruel behaviors = pain.
    I thank God I finally got the strength to walk away and learn to really start loving and valuing myself, I think it took that experience as painful and devastating as it was to finally turn my focus upward and inward to self love, worth, respect, value etc. I would not even entertain the thought of someone like him today but that is how far loving God and one’s self will raise the bar. God bless.

  • http://gravatar.com/ravsmith78 ravsmith78

    Yeah, if she cheats, I’m out the door. Not for any of the reasons mentioned above. I feel cheating is an indicator that the person really doesn’t love you and it makes them completely untrustworthy. Infidelity is like abuse, you just wouldn’t do it to someone you love. I can forgive, but I won’t stay in a relationship with someone I can’t trust or doesn’t love me.

  • http://www.clutchmagonline.com SL

    @mimi

    maybe you doubted his claims because you’d always doubted HIM.

  • http://www.clutch.com SL

    @tish

    “infidelity in long-term relationships is extremely complex…”

    yes!

    and I like your post. very true. infidelity is often not the end of a marriage. lot’s of things at stake in a marriage and lots of sh!t can happen in a marriage which would result in either spouse finding understanding and comfort in the love of someone else. And sometimes, people happen to meet someone they do fall in love with eventhough they are married. life is complicated and you can’t always so easily distill it into easy explanations.

  • http://gravatar.com/mimiandy1683 MimiLuvs

    @SL:
    I disagree.
    I doubted my ex-boyfriend’s claims of the quantity of the incidents of his infidelity, because the woman that he cheated with was his ex-girlfriend. She was the woman who was his “first love and one of the greats”. His words… not mine.
    Plus, there is the fact that their relationship ended, because she had dumped him. So I don’t think he was able to “move on” at his own pace.
    Once he confessed the identity of the woman to me (and this occurred after we had broken up and we were having a conversation at a party), I believed he still was enduring feelings for her.

  • http://www.clutch.com SL

    Maybe people do get all religious about it, but I find that people who live in a black and white world often paint themselves into a corner

    Both people need to commit to work on themselves and their marriage/relationship. It does not have to set a bad precedent for kids. It presents them with real life – working out a relationship instead of disgarding it because trouble happened. There is something to be said for people who can mend a broken relationship and go on to have a beautiful marriage. That said, sometimes, you do have to walk away.

    Unless someone married someone of questionable character – which by the way does not just happen to reveal itself after marriage (if you dated long enough) – then yes, I can see infidelity being the straw that says all bets are off; however, if the person you’ve been in a longterm relationship (5, 10, 15, 20+ yrs) has a moment/period of indiscretion/bad judgement usually it is because something is missing in the marriage. It’s each person’s individual choice to decide if the relationship is worth saving.

    Sometimes relationships have been dead awhile before an affair starts and they can’t be resurrected. Other times, it’s a lack of dealing with issues in a relationship that can fuel a person’s desire to find happiness somewhere else.

    Forgiveness just doesn’t happen overnight – it’s is a process. It’s always better to try and forgive even if that means not staying; otherwise, that unforgiveness becomes baggage you take with you into the next relationship.

  • http://www.clutch.com SL

    @mimi

    What led you to find out that he cheated? Did he have a quilty conscience and confess? Or, did you suspect something was off?

  • http://www.clutch.com SL

    @imagintaive

    I would say that door can swing both ways in a marriage: a woman can give sex but not get love in return – sometimes there are deeper compatibility issues at play that make a woman not want to “give it up and get it on in the bedroom”.
    Sometimes men are very neglectful to show love and appreciation and to bath in affection too. Sometimes a man takes his wife for granted outside the bedroom and then wonders why she is not interested in “getting busy” in the bedroom.

    8/9 times out of 10 if a man is not being fulfilled sexually in his marriage he needs to look in the mirror and then think about how he behaves towards his lady outside the bedroom. If a man is being a thoughtful partner, most of the time his woman is willing to please him in the bedroom.

  • http://www.clutch.com SL

    @Michelle – so totally agree with you. It’s easy to make these declarations when you are not faced with the decision.

  • http://www.clutch.com SL

    OMG @ Cassia – you need a come to Jesus meeting sister! How old are you? Is this guy the first guy you’ve ever been with?

    Let me tell you this guy is never gonna have an ounce of respect for you because you don’t respect yourself! You need to find a serious therapist, honey. Let it go sweetie.

    Whatever lie you’ve accepted as truth has you in bondage. I hope you break free – sooner rather than later.

    And for all the guys reading – this is how you end up with a baby moma you never intended to be with longterm.

    For your sake, honey do not have a baby for this man! You will be setting yourself and your child up for heartache and disappointment for years to come.

  • http://www.clutch.com SL

    @james

    too funny – lol

  • http://gravatar.com/chloerayne516 GirlSixx

    SL: “Sometimes relationships have been dead awhile before an affair starts and they can’t be resurrected.”

    THIS!!!! especially within marriage, 9 times outta 10 there were cracks already in the foundation.

  • Cassia

    @Okay Sounds like a bitchy think to say to someone

  • Cassia

    @Cocochanel31 thanks for understanding the comment, no one knows what the future holds for me

  • Cassia

    @Penny Really good comment thanks for the insight

  • Cassia

    @Okay we have never had sex so I don’t think I need to worry about that, unless you can get STDs from being in love

  • Cassia

    @jamesfrmphilly please explain how I could be dickmatized when I have had no dick

  • Cassia

    @Orange Starr Happy Hunting this comment really touched me, above I have received some really childish, insensitive comments that have made me question if I’ve actually outgrown this blog. Until now, thank you for taking the time to write this

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    dickmatized with no dick!? now THAT is a PLAYA!

  • Cassia

    @SL I don’t really get your comment.
    What has this got to do with age and Jesus and Yes I have been in love before.
    And finding a therapist, really. About loving a man.
    Addressing me as “Honey” when we have never meet.
    And the really offensive one is the implication that I’m going to be an unwanted babymother, even though we don’t have a physical relationship.
    Then making the assumption that I want a baby

  • hhcassius
  • Lisette

    @ Cassia, Did you make-up this whole ridiculous tale, or are you lying when you say “we have never had sex”.

  • http://Clutch SL

    @Lisette – I’m bewildered as to how one can be so totally helplessly in love to the extent that they can’t live without someone and keep taking him back knowing he’s a cheater. Exactly how is he cheating if you’ve never been together???

    Yeah, definitely therapy is in order.

  • Pingback: Maybe Men Can Be Forgiven for Cheating | Kulture Kritic

  • Chelley5483

    Wooow that just made me lose it in line at the grocery store just now. LMFAO!! Too much James!

  • Lami

    I know that is right. It bothers me that a lot people equate forgiveness with staying in the relationship. Finding the strength to forgive is more for your own benefit than anything else. =)

  • Mina

    No I don’t think men should be forgiven b/c when you forgive and get back with them too quickly or too easily, they’ll cheat again. I was with an ex of mine who cheated on his gf at the time with me. I didn’t know they were dating as he told me they were just friends. Being young at the time and never having any dating experience, I believed him. When I found out the truth, I broke up with him and stayed away from him for 6 months. We were together for another 6 months until I had to leave. We maintained a long distance relationship for 2 years but every year, he cheated on me again with his “best friend” and got her pregnant twice. I forgive him a total of 4 times and every time, he cheated. So no, once a cheater, always a cheater!

  • Kevin

    I have cheated, in my opinion it was for a reason, now I feel the tables have been turned. some may think that I am deserving, well may be. Except I am/ was very passionately in love with my wife of 20 years, who didn’t see the need for us to be much more than room mates. I have been ultra honest in my present relationship, only to find that I’ve had to forgive other men issues, but recently found that she ” communicated” with her ex (by phone only) for the first 8 mos. of our relationship, lying to me all the while. to keep to the point, I believe forgiveness can and should be required, don’t have to stay in the relationship, but forgiveness is critical to one’s own health and well being. In a fishing analogy, you only keep yourself on the hook, not the other person.
    Me, I am leaving this relationship due to lack of trust.

  • Dee

    I’m a little late, but…

    It’s ok for your spouse to utterly disrespect you, your union, his vow before GOD, completely disregarding your feelings and possibly breaking up your family and/or entire marital existence because he didn’t impregnante someone or give you an STD? Sheesh.

    Cheating is a choice, all the way through. There are many reasons, opportunities, etc, but in the end, it is still a CHOICE. It shows blatant disrespect and carelessness in regards to your marriage, and that YOU and your family were not put first as you should be at all times. When your spouse cheats, they are risking all of those things you listed. You’ll excuse this betrayal and lies until you catch something?

    We all go through different issues, the adult thing to do is fix them or leave. When someone cheats, it shows immaturity and magnifies the issues 10x. This person is not ready to deal with your problems, which all marriages have, and takes what they think is the easy way out. Alternatively, they are still enveloped in the chase and enjoy having someone on the side. I think people should be realistic, screw whoever you want but don’t hold others down, be truthful about it so others can be safe and make their decision. I am assuming you’ve never been cheated on, or you’d know the pain it brings.

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