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He cheated on you... now what

By Faeza
24 June 2016

MY man cheated on me a year ago and even though I had always vowed that I would leave if such happens, I stayed. My love for him was stronger than my principle. At that moment, I realised the truth in the often repeated phrase; better the devil you know. I swallowed my pride and I stayed. But I knew it would be very difficult. Every day, I feel like I let him get away with murder and I resent myself for being a coward. But at the same time, I also know that there is a lot of truth in the saying that all men actually cheat. And that leaving a man for cheating is like moving out of a city because it rains. Can our relationship ever be normal again? I am constantly on the look out now, because I am thinking; I trusted too much before and this is what it got me. I check his movements, I monitor who he speaks to, I check his cellphone. I am now like a private investigator. I won’t be a fool again. Does he even love me? How does somebody who loves you, betray your trust like that? I was the one always proudly declaring that my man would never cheat. I was a good wife. I looked after his needs in every way. Now look where I am.

 Linda Yende, advises the struggling woman

I don’t know how religious you are, but there is a phrase that I hear often, which says that although we love God, we still sin. Just think about that phrase a bit. In your situation, it means that your husband may have cheated on you, but that doesn’t change the fact that he loves you. Let me use a far more simplistic example. When you were younger and you did things that your parents expressly told you not to do (stealing sugar out of the bowl, coming back long after your curfew, going to parties when you were forbidden to do so); none of those actions meant that you loved your parents any less. You just gave in to temptation and did things that you knew in your heart would upset your parents if they found out. But you did them anyway.

THE EASY WAY OUT

Now…let us go back and address what you have termed cowardice. Can I just tell you that sometimes walking away is the easy way out and staying requires more bravery than walking. Yes, there are people who will stay in bad marriages a lot longer than they should and it is fear that keeps them in that situation. But in your current situation, staying was very brave. It took a lot of courage to stay and try to work things out.\

COURAGE TO CONFESS

The phrase ‘all men cheat’ is one that I don’t try to debate, because it is a pointless argument. There are a lot of men working tirelessly, trying to prove that phrase right. And I have no energy to defend us, as a gender. There are plenty of men who don’t cheat, but… there are just so many who do cheat. So, let us forget about men out there and focus on the one you have. His actions, his behaviour and the way he handled his cheating will help you determine whether there is hope. Did he come clean about the affair? Or did he wait until he was cornered before admitting anything? I have often said that if somebody has the courage to confess, then at least, it shows that they have remorse. This is very different to somebody who only admits to what you know and nothing less. And as you uncover new details of his indiscretion, he then confesses to that new detail. That person is not sorry they did it, they are sorry they got caught.

SERIOUS ABOUT ATONING

Did he make the effort to remove this person from his life and your marriage? Did he cut all contact and cut all ties with this person? The last thing you need are reminders of his affair. This becomes particularly difficult, of course, if the person is a colleague or business associate. But if he is serious about atoning for what he did, he will do whatever it takes to remove her from your lives altogether. Speaking of atonement; what has he done, to try make you feel comfortable and to try rebuild the trust? He cannot expect his life and his routine to remain unaffected. He can’t flirt with women, like he used to when trust was still strong. He needs to constantly reassure you; let you know his whereabouts, let you

know what he is up to and who he is talking to on his phone. This is not permanent, but it is a means to rebuild your trust and your relationship.

BE TRANSPARENT

With all that said, I strongly advise you to stop being a private investigator. You are going to drive yourself crazy. You are going to catch bits and pieces of information and you are going to blow them up in your mind. Do yourself a huge favour and just stop. What he can do, to help you, is to be as transparent as possible, so you never feel the need to dig.

HE IS JUST HUMAN

In conclusion; rebuilding a relationship after infidelity is never easy. However, you can emerge from it, stronger than before. On one hand, you will stop idealising him and

making him superhuman. He is human, just like you. He is also fallible, just like you. Through these trials and tribulations, you can actually rebuild your relationship and make it stronger than it has ever been. Only if you are both in it.