Can True Forgiveness Occur After Infidelity?

BY: - 11 Feb '13 | Marriage

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Ask a man or woman if they would stay if their spouse ever cheated and most often their immediate response would be “no.” For many couples infidelity is a deal breaker. A breach in trust is easily seen as grounds to end things and move on. However, for some couples the decision to stay and work to repair trust is made. But what role does forgiveness play in all of this?

Many of us claim to forgive our loved ones when they have hurt us but have we really? Is reminding your spouse of how they hurt you or constantly watching their every move a true reflection of forgiveness? An article by Clutch Magazine poses 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.”

For more on this visit Clutch Magazine.

BMWK — What do you think? Can true forgiveness occur after infidelity?

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22 WordPress comments on “Can True Forgiveness Occur After Infidelity?

  1. anonymousMe

    Yes. My wife had a brief affair a little more than a year ago and, though it has been an extremely difficult struggle at times (even recently), I still love her and stand by my promise “till death do us part.”. If I am to emulate Christ then I must find it in my heart to forgive her of her sins as He has forgiven me of my own, and as I would hope she would as well. Is it easy? Absolutely not. Is it possible? Through Him, all things are possible. Any time “wouldn’t it be easier to just let her go?” came into my mind I would remind myself that God could drop me at any time, with complete justification, but He doesn’t because of His incredible and unending love.

    1. Lamar Tyler

      Thanks for sharing your reality. I commend you for taking the stance that you have and pray for full restoration in your marriage. Not sure if you’ve seen our latest film Still Standing but in the film Speech and Yolanda were able to not only move past infidelity but create an even stronger bond.

  2. Adriane

    My husband cheated two years ago and everyday is a struggle. You can forgive but it still takes awhile for the trust to return. I still find myself checking his facebook and email accounts. He says he’s committed to me and our family and he hasn’t given me a reason not to trust him. Any suggestions?

    1. Niambi

      Hello Adriane! I’m sorry that this has happened to you. It takes time for trust to be rebuilt. But it sounds like you need to heal. Give this over to God. Put your marriage in His hands and let him help you through this. God can heal your heart and help you to move forward pass this. Take care and God bless you!

  3. Anonymous

    This is my take. If you have decided to stay with this person rebuild that trust and stop dwelling on the past. Either you choose to forgive or end it. Since you obviously chose to stay, you must now choose to forgive and move forward. Stop checking his stuff, unless you do so in his presence, because if he finds out, then you will have problems. He will feel like you are against him and the relationship. Do you want that?

  4. T

    What a hard question, it obviously varies by person. For me, my husband knows how painful and hurtful it was for me to grow up watching my father cheat, disrespecting my mother and the girl children he was entrusted to love and nurture. If my husband decided to not only spend a little too much time with another woman, but to spend a little too much time alone with another woman, a little too much time alone and getting close with another woman, etc. it would be too much for me to accept. I admire those who are able to forgive and move on, but the idea of saving yourself for your spouse to me extends beyond waiting until marriage to engage in physical intimacy, it means continuing to value and hold sacred your sexuality and the opportunity to share that part of yourself with your spouse. If he, my husband, knowing my history, loving me (and our children) decides to cheat then I think I’d be devastated and compelled to move on, because my marriage is one of my only safe spaces in this world, and if I can’t let myself be vulnerable and taken care of there, then I’m at a loss.

  5. Bre C.

    I agree that it varies from person to person but when people talk about forgiveness after infidelity they make it seem like it is an overnight process and that once forgiveness is given that all should be given. In my situation I granted forgiveness to my husband for his indiscretion and to me what that meant is that I loved him enough to work on me to get to a place that forgiveness was complete and I was going to need his help in the process. For something so great it is not easy to just forgive and move on. In this situation I think forgiveness means that we are willing to do the work to improve on us. Emphasis on the word WORK!

  6. Tyvianc

    To be honest I have cheated on my wife, but I still believe she hasn’t forgiven me because she still throws it up in my face. It’s frustrating at times and it’s enough to make me want to simply divorce her as well. It’s not easy living in the world that we live in, but I atoned for my mistakes and still feel like I can’t be trusted. I still have a lot of love left to give and for someone to truly forgive means just that….including not bringing it up no more!!!!!

  7. Niambi

    It is important to forgive. And while I hear people saying u just need to move on, you must realize that the person needs time to heal. Trust also takes time to rebuild. The one who committed adultery must first repent and ask for forgiveness from God and their spouse for breaking their vows. Counseling is also something that may need to be done. They must get to the root cause as to why the person cheated. The issue must be fixed but both persons have to be willing to committ to the effort of moving forward. The person who committed adultery must also change their ways and be willing to put in the effort needed to rebuild trust. They must also give their spouse time to heal. This is not a microwave situation so if the adulterer really loves their spouse, they will do whatever it takes to restore their trust and marriage. The spouse who has been hurt needs to forgive and try their best to move forward past the issue. This can be done and marriages can be restored if both parties are committed to eachother.

  8. Niambi

    Hello Lamar and Ronnie! I am going to watch Still Standing with my hubby tonight. I saw your other documentaries Happily Ever After and He Saved Me. They were awesome and powerful! I am excited to see Still Standing. I know it will be great!

  9. Pingback: What Happens When The Scandal is Real? | Black and Married With Kids.com - A Positive Image of Marriage and Family

  10. Anonymous

    My spouse was involved in a sexting affair and while alot of people don’t consider this to be “cheating”, I do. It was hurtful when I found out. It’s been almost three years and every now and then, that hurtful feeling returns. My husband was extremely remorseful in the beginning. Our issues come about when I bring it up…I admit…I was so hurt that I became obsessed with the whole thing….question after question….for a very long time. For him, he wanted to forget about what he called “the worst and most shameful thing I have ever done…” So, eventually, he became angry with my repeated questions and asked me not to bring it up to him anymore. He gave me all of the passwords to his email, FB and I know that he will purposely ask me to “see that was” when his phone goes off. So, he’s really being great about things, but like anyone else, I know my issues are getting old. Obviously, I chose to forgive. I know he didn’t want that person..it was a silly and selfish decision that he made, but it wasn’t worth my marriage. Once the pain subsided a bit, we were able to go to counseling and realize how/why it happened. I don’t take the blame for his poor decision, BUT I was able to understand that there were some issues in our marriage that couldn’t be overlooked, which is probably why it happened in the first place. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it made our bond stronger. But, if it were to ever happen again…in any form…I’m out. Seriously…..

  11. Anna Mae

    My spouse physically and I guess I emotionally cheated. However, he lied, and lied and lied about sooooo manyt things. There’s no way in hell that there is even a slight chance of reconcilliation at this point…

  12. Pingback: Women Cheat Too: 5 Steps to Helping Men Cope with an Affair | Black and Married With Kids.com - A Positive Image of Marriage and Family

  13. Pingback: The Single Life: 5 Steps to Take Before You Forgive | Black and Married With Kids.com - A Positive Image of Marriage and Family

  14. Pingback: Women Cheat Too…5 Steps To Help Him Cope With An Affair | Xklusive Thoughts, LLC

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I Love Black Women

BY: - 12 Feb '13 | Marriage

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I was recently hoodwinked by Facebook. An article came up in my feed about the firing of Satoshi Kanazawa over his very unscientific blog post in Psychology Today about African American women being unattractive. This news is nearly two years old and the offensive article in question, even older. But it did get me to thinking the mere notion of any subset of women as being unattractive is pure nonsense.

Maybe it’s because I’ve gotten too old. I am able to see the beauty in most, if not all things. I now am able to see past the silly qualifications that used to determine whether a girl made it to my “list.” Mind you I wrote girl, which means I was a boy — I thought like one and acted like one. And that’s not a bad thing. It’s all a part of growing up.

So let’s get all the points of contention out of the way. African American women can be strong willed. In their attempt to be all things to all people at home, in their extended families and in the world many don’t know how to turn it down a notch and are “on” twenty-four seven, an alarming number have suffered abuse at the hands of a man, in some purely awful cases a man that is a relative. Many are forced to raise families on their own because for one reason or another or several reasons combined the sex that brought that child or those children into being never came to be, or dissolved quickly thereafter. African American women also often have the unnecessary burden of being judged for being “too” everything depending on the situation by peers in the workplace, society at large, writers like Kanazawa, and each other. And sometimes, a woman with black skin may genuinely have a bad attitude, no different than a woman with white, olive or red skin. The same goes for men.

With all that said, and plenty more I’m sure if I were to spend my time analyzing the unnecessary, I love black women. I wouldn’t even be here writing these words were it not for the mother who raised me with my father. I love a black woman’s strength, the way, when she does relax, how she can do so and speak with a self-assurance that is rivaled by no one. I love my black women’s curves, not to be confused with obesity which leads to heart disease. I love being able to be held by a woman who feels solid and firm in my hands. I can remember every kiss I’ve ever received from black woman. Articles everywhere talk disparagingly about my black women’s lips and yet I see many women of other hues with grotesquely plumped lips and hips. Stuff that comes naturally to many black women must be purchased and manufactured by by others — even “shaping” jeans and padded panties. From my daughter to my coworker one cubicle over, I am astounded by how many different complexions we can be and I love the way my black women make their hue work for them. They literally glow in the sun. From bald headed to thick locks running down a back, a black woman has the versatility to look any way she wants — not held hostage by the wants and desires of mainstream society. And yet we are.

Santoshi Kanazawa exists be WE as a culture have done an excellent job convincing others outside our culture that we hate ourselves and each other. Never in a million years would anyone other than a hate monger in some closeted organization go on record about his distaste for a group of women he has the option not to date. What purpose did that article serve? What science was he advancing? What point was he proving? That he could say whatever he wanted about us because we do it too — all day long. On television, in music, and especially here online.

Yeah, Lil’ Wayne’s beats are hot but he and everyone else who raps like him is spewing straight garbage about women. Be clear, I’m not calling out hip hop, I’m calling out the kind that is ruling the airwaves. How many times can I tell myself what I’m listening to is okay because it’s the radio edit when I know what they are saying? Our kids dance and skate to it at birthday parties. How silly does a woman sound when she and her friends sprint out onto the dance floor, talking about “That’s ma song!” and from start to finish some dude who lives a fantasy, debt-riddled lifestyle is being hardly poetic about women being tools of satisfaction with no thoughts, hopes nor brains, other than maybe getting money by stripping. These dudes don’t even treat their dogs this way. Because after all a dog is man’s best friend. Even worse, when women musicians are pressured to follow suit, talking about how they get-money and beat a man at his own game by choosing to be an object themselves rather than having it done to them by a man. WHAT?

Heading into Valentine’s Day I wonder where’s the love? How do we expect our kids to experience love when all they see on the Internet is hate and self-hate and think it’s funny? We don’t have to take our selves super serious. There’s nothing wrong with poking fun. But we should always respect ourselves.

Ultimately I am one man, so all I can do is my part. I will love my wife as my queen and my rock when I need some stability, I will love my daughter as the most precious present I’ve ever received. Daily, I check in with her to make sure that she knows exactly who she is so no one can take that away from her, even when they try. And my beautiful black women that I pass anonymously during my daily grind, I do my best to be polite because these women are me. They are my family. And they are beautiful.

Hopefully one day everyone will do their part and love one another rather than waiting around and asking why no one loves them, going on and on about why they won’t because he or she won’t, or worse getting on social media to complain. The notion that we are the only ones allowed to disrespect ourselves is nonsense, especially when others outside our culture do so because they see us doing it and believe we are too stupid and too powerless to do anything about it. Grab some power. Tell a black woman in your life that she beautiful. Do it just because and expect nothing in return. Tell the one you love you love her. Do it as often as you are able.

BMWK — What do you love about black women?

About the author

Eric Payne wrote 83 articles on this blog.

Named a Top 50 Dad Blogger in 2011 by Cision Media & awarded Top 50 Dad Blog in 2011 and 2012 by Babble.com, Eric writes about fatherhood, marriage and everything in between on his blog MakesMeWannaHoller.com. He speaks around the country about social media and blogging. He is the author of "DAD: As Easy As A, B, C!" and is a regular on CNN's Headline News station and the Jennifer Keitt show on KISS 104.1 FM Atlanta.

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