This topic is very interesting to me because as I continue to grow and learn, God is showing me:
1) As a human, I have a limited amount of knowledge
2) I don’t know everything I think I do
Now, why at the mere age of 23 I believed I had a handle on this thing called life is beyond me. When it came to dating, relationships, infidelity, etc. I just knew my beliefs were right. But again, like any good and loving Father, God has been showing me, “You really don’t know anything.”
Take our topic of infidelity: I used to put cheating into a one-size-fits all category. A+B=C, i.e. a mate/partner + cheating/cheated= end of relationship. I had my mind made up that if a person loved you 1) he/she would never be unfaithful and 2) if the person did the relationship should immediately be terminated because he/she clearly demonstrated your value (or lack thereof) in the person’s life. There were no ifs, ands, or buts; cheating was a black-and-white issue with me.
Oh, the mind of the young, naïve and inexperienced!
There I was, a young woman believing I had the “formula” for relationships 1) having never experienced really bad things with men and 2) having only been in one, what you can classify as, “real” committed relationship. I’ve heard stories from family and friends about how badly men have dogged and played them, and though I’ve had a few eye openers and learned lessons, I honestly had never really had my heart broken or have been betrayed or hurt by a man I loved and trusted. How did I think I knew it all never having walked in the “bad relationships” shoes before? You see the error in my ways? Thank God for correction!
I’ve come to learn that cheating is not a black-and-white issue nor does it have a universal solution. A + B doesn’t always equal C, but it’s more like the product of A +B is going to differ from person to person, situation to situation, and relationship to relationship. Because cheating can have varying degrees, and therefore, varying levels of how it’s viewed and handled. Here are a few real-life examples that have helped recently open my eyes:
Girl dates boy off and on for the past seven years. Girl and boy have a falling out (not a breakup). Boy cheats on girl by having sex with another girl. Yet, in the past, Girl became emotionally attached to other men.
After a 4-year relationship and talks of marriage, Boy confesses to Girl that during the first two years of their relationship he was unfaithful; yet since confessing his sin and moving forward with God, he has been 100 percent faithful every since.
Wife is very busy in professional school working toward degree. Husband feels neglected and finds sexual comfort in another woman.
Husband comes home late every night and doesn’t want to make love to Wife anymore. After investigating, Wife discovers Husband in bed with another man.
You see how different each situation is? And these are all just basic outlines; each has details that make the situations much more complicated. And as I keep hearing about infidelity more and more, whether it be in general or from loved ones, I’ve begun to wonder if cheating is/ should really be a deal breaker like I had always thought?
Ladies, I want to specifically ask your opinion about the last example because this is becoming a prevalent issue in society. You wouldn’t believe the number of men I’ve heard about or come into contact with who are “experimenting.” The recent Mister Cee scandal is a perfect example. These men, out of curiosity they say, are doing sexual things with other men…just “experimenting.” They don’t think they’re gay; they just want to “try it out.”
And now so many women are left confused because if being cheated on and having your trust betrayed isn’t bad enough, now you’re throwing a whole different ball into the game. I mean, I’ve always imagined how hurt and in shock I’d be if my man was ever unfaithful, but if he was unfaithful with another man? Wow.
So, in the spirit of stepping back, being more open minded, and embracing that fact that I am still learning and don’t know everything, I really want to know your take on this ladies. Is cheating an end all? Is it truly once a cheater always a cheater? Or does everyone deserve a second chance?
And to take it a step further, does the “degree” of the indiscretion influence your reaction to infidelity? Would you, as a woman, feel the same way about your man cheating on you with a man as you would him cheating on you with another woman? Is cheating cheating, no matter what? Or are some cases worse than others?
After seeing this issue of supposed heterosexual men cheating on women with other men arise so much lately, it definitely made me question my response if ever in this situation. Maybe I’m not fully there yet, but I can be honest and say that for me it would definitely be different than if it were a female; and it would most certainly be a deal breaker—no questions asked. What about all of you?
Service is her passion, writing is her platform, uplifting women and the Black Community is her purpose. Shala Marks is a writer, editor and soon-to-be author. Through her work, Marks aspires to demonstrate “The Craft of Writing, and the Art of Efficacy.” She has a B.A. in journalism from Arizona State University. Connect with her at: http://shalamarks.com/.