Guide To Forgiving A Spouse Who Cheated On You Multiple Times
Forgiving your spouse (husband or wife) for cheating is a bit easy but forgiving a spouse who has cheated on you multiple times is probably the hardest thing to do. This is because this time, it is no longer a question of mistake but a deliberate act.
Forgiveness this time is very difficult and would take the grace of God for things to be as they were. But why do men (husbands) and women (wives) cheat? There are several reasons and we will examine them one at a time:
Husbands cheat because:
- It is like eating the forbidden fruit. “Because if it feels wrong, it feels good” says sex and relationship therapist, Dr. Tammy Nelson.
- There is a breakdown in communication. The moment the man begins to feel that you do not care about what goes on in his life on a regular basis, he may try to find someone else who does.
- For his self-esteem. When a man starts approaching his middle age, he may begin to worry that life is moving past him. In order to get himself back into the game, he may find a younger woman to boost his self-esteem.
- The moment a man no longer respects you and regards your feelings, he can cheat on you without bating an eyelid.
- Some husbands cheat because he is already tired of the marriage but does not want to tell you. He therefore hopes that you would find out yourself and do the dirty job.
- For vengeance. The only way some husbands know how to take it out on their wives is to cheat on them. It is like a pay back on a wrong she has done. In this instance, the cheating is meant to be seen and known to achieve the desired effect.
Some of the reasons why wives cheat include the following:
- Communication breakdown. Most wives confess to cheating on their husbands not because they don’t love them anymore but because they are emotionally starved. There is little or no communication and the moment she meets a guy who fills this space, she would stray.
- Women love excitement, an out of the box kind of feeling. The moment she starts getting bored and the passion has fizzled, especially in the area of sex, she would begin looking elsewhere.
- Marriage is a two way traffic. You don’t do what you don’t want your partner to do. The moment some wives find out their husbands are cheating on them, it automatically gives them the right to indulge themselves too.
- The thrill of the chase. Women enjoy being chased. It makes them feel wanted and desired. It also boosts their ego. This accounts to why some of them cheat.
- Some women feel insecure in their marriages. They feel there is no sense of entitlement and therefore seek for it else where.
- Addiction to sex. Unfortunately, some women find it difficult to stay with one man. And even when they get into marriage, they would still keep looking for sex elsewhere no matter how good the husband is.
Having seen some of the reasons (the list is actually inexhaustible) why couples cheat, how can one forgive a cheating husband/wife who has done so repeatedly? Let us look at some of the ways:
Consider Your Husband/Wife’s Character: This like a sort of character evaluation. Prior to the infidelity, what sort of man/woman was your spouse? There is a huge difference between someone who is good and has done bad things and a bad person who does bad things.
The problem now is that it has happened not once or twice but severally. How do you deal with it? Let us look at what the scriptures says and practical steps you can take:
Prov.3:3-5. Trust in God regardless of how much your partner has cheated on you. God knows everything and only him alone can see you through. Your decision may not be the best and may have grave consequences.
1 Corinthians 7:15-17. Life happens and there is no one who can control the wife/husband. If your partner decides to leave you, bear it in good faith. As the scriptures instruct, God has called us differently and we must walk in the path wherein we are called. Despite the anger and hurt, know that God is on your side and will lead you to where you ought to be.
Isaiah 30: 20-21. While dealing with an unfaithful partner, it may look as though your world is crumbling. You begin to question God as to why he allowed such to happen to you. You should know that God has a reason for everyone he puts in our lives. You may not see it now but eventually you will.
Proverbs 30 21-23. This period, you should count on God to help you through this storm. Your heart may be broken and torn but remember you have friends and loved ones who care for you. Continue to pray and be strong for the sake of your loved ones (especially the children). God will give you the strength to pull through.
Philippians 4:19. Have this scripture in mind when dealing with infidelity. Remember, God knows about it and would make provisions and create an escape route for you.
Having seen these Bible passages, you must wonder if you should forgive a partner who has cheated on you severally. From the Bible’s stand point, the answer is an emphatic yes, regardless of how many times he/she does it. In Matthew 18:22, Jesus commanded us to forgive seventy times seven. This translates to boundless forgiveness.
Despite this, there are certain steps you need to take to protect yourself and your heart even as you plan on forgiving your partner:
- Forgiving your partner does not mean forgetting what they did nor does it mean condoning and excusing it. Forgiveness is primarily for your own self, for your own peace of mind.
- Find out the “scope” of the cheating. This involves such things such as if it only involved texts, pictures, videos or if it went deeper such as sex or kiss. Was it with a person or several others? Depending on the answer(s) to these, you would know what to do. If it is with the same man/woman they cheated on you severally with, then chances are that the affair had gone deeper and you probably need to step aside and allow things play out.
- Their penitence would help you get past it sooner or later. Here are somethings to consider: are they still in contact with the person(s), did you get infected because of their infidelity, did it happen on your matrimonial bed, was a child born? All these would help you know you know how to deal with it.
- For the sake of your own emotional balance, set some ground rules. Let your husband/wife know that you have been disrespected enough and won’t stand for it anymore. If they truly value you, they would make amends. If they don’t, well that’s just too bad.
Remember this, you may not want to forgive your cheating husband/wife but from the Biblical standpoint, you should forgive as often as need be.
However, you should use your discretion and know when to draw the line between mistakes and outright disrespect to you. Just lean on God and he will light your path.