I write this from experience.
But not my own.
I’ve seen countless relationships hurt and torn through infidelity, ravaging everything in its path. But I also know that it’s much more complex than blaming the cheater. Sometimes infidelity is solely the fault of one person in a marriage- failing to recognize their weakness and not safeguarding their marriage. Perhaps it’s from purely selfish motives. Sometimes, though, both people contribute to the demise of the marriage- one person just happens to take it too far.
I write this to the person who has considered or is strongly considering cheating on their spouse. So before you cheat, read this:
- Imagine looking into the eyes of the person you pledged and vowed your love to and confessing what you did. Can you see the tears well up in their eyes? Or will you be confronted with intense anger and an agonizing look of betrayal?
- If you have kids, imagine telling them- either now or when they’re older. How could you possibly begin to explain it?
- Imagine having to tell your family? Coming face to face with your parents and admitting what you did to your spouse? Can you hear their heart breaking? What about your in-laws?
- Imagine going into work and being the white elephant in the office. Everyone knowing, but unsure of what to say.
- Imagine your friendships and how those will change?
- Imagine the days, weeks, and months that ensue. The normalcy that once was your reality is a distant fantasy that you ache for. You might do anything to return to that place.
- Imagine the same reactions your potential lover will have to face and how that might affect their life, their family, their kids, and their relationships.
So before you let the thought enter your mind, before you respond to the text, before you pick up the call, before you send the email…I beg you, please. Try to imagine all these things. Fulfilling a temporary satisfaction with an impulsive decision can have lifelong consequences- for you and others.
If you sense a breakdown or temptation in your marriage, please tell someone. Your spouse, a parent, or your best friend. This first step will hold you accountable to someone else. Find help through counseling. Pray together. Commit to staying committed. Look for all the reasons you fell in love with your spouse. Don’t look for it in someone else.
***Some of you reading this have gone down that road. You may feel an immense sense of guilt and might be wondering if there’s any hope for your marriage. It’s doable- I’ve seen it with my own eyes. It takes two willing parties, a good counselor, and lots of humble pie. Message me if you need some resources.