Hi Dr. Buckingham,
My husband and I have been married for 3 years now, but he has been cheating on me even before we got married. When I was pregnant with our daughter, an ex-girlfriend of his was also pregnant by him too. Our babies would have been a few weeks apart but she had a miscarriage. After our daughter was born, he promised that he would stop cheating and I forgave him and tried to move on. However, not too long after I forgave him, I found nude pictures of another ex that he was sex-texting.
This is getting to me, as the list of women goes on.
Every time I try to tell him how I feel and how hurt I am, he makes me feel like it is my fault that he cheats. I am holding on because of our daughter and the promise I made to God in my marriage vows. I am at my breaking point and I can’t handle it any more. What Should I Do?
First things first! You are not responsible for your husband’s adulterous and cheating behavior. The ability to feel and experience love is a gift from God. Furthermore, how we express our love is also a gift from God, and it is called Free Will. No human-being has the power to control another human-being. We simply influence behavior, but do not determine it. I want to clear this up because you should not be feeling guilty because of your husband’s sexual indiscretions.
We marry with the desire to share our hearts, bodies and souls with one person and God gives favor to those who marry.
People also wonder if romantic relationships outside of marriage are permissible as long as there is no actual sexual intercourse (sex-texting or lusting after another). The bible teaches that marriage is an exclusive romantic and sexual relationship between husband and wife. Jesus said: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (NIV, Matthew 5:27-28)
Many would advise you to leave your husband immediately because they believe that once a cheater, always a cheater. While there is some truth to this saying, I believe that anyone who defers to God, will and can be savaged. God will forgive the sin of adultery if the person sincerely repents.
I believe that adulterous behavior is the by-product of a loss soul. Where there is adultery, there is poor judgment and self-destruction. Proverbs 6:32 tells us that a man who commits adultery lacks judgment and as a result will destroy himself. The bible mentions adultery as grounds for divorce (Matthews 5:31-32, 19:9), but there is no requirement to do so.
If you decide to save or reconcile your marriage, I highly recommend that you and your husband seek help. He might have a sexual addiction or he might just be manipulative and self-centered. Either way, he is not going to do right by you without taking responsibility for his behavior. If he refuses to get help, you should consider moving on. Remember that you not only have to respect yourself, but you have to be a role model for your daughter. Respect is not automatic, it is demanded. You cannot expect to be treated special or like a queen, if you allow him to manipulate you and treat you like a second class citizen. If he cannot do right by you and your daughter as the head of the household, he does not deserve to be in that position.
If you have questions for Dr. Dwayne Buckingham regarding relationships (married, single, etc), parenting, or personal growth and development, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: The ideas, opinions and recommendations contained in this post are not intended as a substitute for seeking professional counseling or guidance. Any concerns or questions that you have about relationships or any other source of potential distress should be discussed with a professional, in person. The author is not liable or responsible for any personal or relational distress, loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or recommendations in this post.