Needless to say, cheating is one of the greatest and commonest deal breakers in marriage. It’s one of the leading causes of relationship breakup and divorce.
The American Psychological Association (APA) discovered that infidelity in the United States accounted for 20-40 percent of divorces.
Cheating leads to broken trust, and what is a relationship/marriage without trust?
That’s why cheating never leaves a relationship the same.
Even when the guilty partner is forgiven, he/she needs to work hard to earn their partner’s trust again.
Another painful thing about infidelity is that the partner who is cheated on feels like he/she is not enough.
“Am I not enough for you?” is the question on the lips and minds of partners cheated on.
That’s how low self-esteem creeps in.
Because they think, “If I was enough for you, why would you ever cheat on me with someone else?”
How did I discover that I can never be cheated on or that I can never cheat on my spouse?
You see, during the early days of our marriage, I was guilty of snooping on my husband.
Maybe not exactly. But I was just kinda observant.
Wait. Don’t blame me yet.
The thing is, we had a very long distance relationship. I was in Africa and he was in Europe, and when we eventually got together, I tried to adjust to my new environment.
And that included getting to meet and know new faces – men and women, singles and married, friends and foe.
No, I didn’t get the same reaction from everyone.
But that was expected, because people are different.
Was I insecure?
My self-esteem when it comes to relationship is enough for two people.
He also did some snooping too, I later found out.
We were not insecure. We were just checking each other out to know what we’ve been up to during our years apart.
I’d say we were just being curious.
I later discovered that I had too much to do than to be snooping around.
Or, we both discovered it wasn’t necessary.
I’ve come to understand that:
1. Trust is a decision
I understand that trust is usually earned, but it’s also given.
Even if your partner is doing everything right, trusting them is still your choice.
Trust is a decision you sometimes have to make, and leave your partner to either prove you wrong or right.
I tell my husband, “I choose to trust you.”
So, let’s see what you’re going to do with the trust.
It’s not my responsibility to make him act worthy of the trust.
It’s not his responsibility to make me act worthy of his trust for me.
Understanding this will help you to stop wondering what your spouse is doing right or wrong.
2. My spouse is first answerable to God, not me.
This is one of the best lessons I’ve learnt in marriage so far.
I’m a Christian, so I learnt that our loyalty and allegiance should be to God first because we are accountable to Him. It’s God first before anyone.
That’s why it’s important to marry someone who shares the same faith with you.
Due to my understanding of this, my spouse can never cheat on me.
He cheats on God. He’s accountable to God first. Not me. It’s his relationship with God that will be ruined, not mine.
So also I can’t cheat on my spouse. I cheat on God because I’m accountable to God first. It’s my relationship with God that will suffer, not his.
Remember Joseph’s response when Potiphar’s wife seduced him and wanted them to sleep together.
He said, “How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” Genesis 39:9 (NKJV)
Even though Joseph was concerned about betraying his master, he was concerned about sinning against God first.
So, it’s not about me, it’s about God.
Plus, you can’t always know what your partner is doing, but God knows.
You can’t always be with your partner, but God is everywhere.
I choose to trust God with my spouse.
3. My spouse can only cheat himself out of the pedestal I placed him on.
I don’t know if my grammar up there is correct but what I’m trying to say is, my spouse can’t cheat on me because it’s not about me.
He only cheats on himself because he’s the one who will lose the trust, love, and respect that I have for him.
The same way I’ll lose the love, trust, and respect he has for me if I cheat on him.
Understanding this will help you never to suffer low self-esteem because of someone’s misbehaviour.
It’s never your fault. Don’t ever think you’re not enough. Your value doesn’t decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth.
Now, I’m not saying you should ignore your hunch in your relationship/marriage or turn blind eyes when you suspect your partner is cheating on you.
I’m also not saying you shouldn’t snoop when necessary. A little snooping can help you to call your partner to order when he/she is getting lost or to get help if you’re the offender.
In fact, it can help you protect yourself from different forms of danger that cheating can expose you to such as STDs.
All I’m saying is not to let it consume you.
And if by any means you discover any unpleasant thing, it’s not your fault, especially if you’ve been or trying to be a good partner.
Also, it’s not your partner’s fault if you cheat, especially if they’ve been good to you.
Even though life isn’t black and white, and there may be explanations for cheating, in the end, cheating is a decision.
Since I understood these three things, I’ve been enjoying more peace of mind. I am not obsessed with what my spouse is doing.
That doesn’t mean I can’t get curious when necessary, but it’s not the norm.
I focus my energy on achieving my dreams and becoming the woman I want to be.
It’s not my responsibility to make my spouse stay true to the vows he took.
So also it’s not his job to make me faithful.
Knowing that I’d be doing myself a great disfavour if I cheat on my man, I’ve also been careful.
I hope this makes sense to you.