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Every morning you wake up next to the man that you love, fix his meals, lay out his clothes, and give words of encouragement and insight on his aspirations only to find that his body and/or heart is shared with someone else. Cheating is a betrayal unlike any other that breaks the powerful spiritual and physical bond beyond repair…or does it? It seems that some women are willing to forgive infidelity because of the foundation that was already built and move on with a stronger healthier relationship; while others are ready to move on. Five women and one brave man participated in a virtual panel to give their insight on how a couple can either increase or grow their love from the pain of infidelity.
Today the topics are: What to do when you discover the infidelity, is it worth letting go of everything you’ve built, and what happens when a child is created from the affair?
The initial reaction after discovering that your spouse was or is cheating on you is usually an eruption that is not a part of your normal character and escalates an already sensitive situation. There are ways to handle this that do not lead to Waiting to Exhale moments like setting their stuff on fire for revenge. The panel was asked how they would react and how to handle the situation properly; Aisha, Britton, and Ebony tell their stories of guidance.
Aisha Jones, Relationship 10 years– “I have been on both sides of this situation and I definitely would have handled myself differently in both situations. When it happened to me I regrettably went off and it only made the situation worse. By shouting and calling him every name in the book you only create more tension that you will regret later healed or not. Instead of doing all the yelling and screaming redirect that energy to getting answers as to why he cheated. After getting your answers asks yourself some questions like, ‘What do you want for the long term?’ or ‘Is this relationship worth the fight?’ Once you answer those questions you will know how to move forward.
Britton S. Boyles Jenkins, Divorced- “It’s hard to tell someone how they should react when they find out something that will change their life forever. When you find out about infidelity there are several emotions that happen all at once; Anger, sadness, and disbelief. Unfortunately I learned of the infidelity in my marriage right before a party with friends. I went to the party and acted like nothing happened, but a true friends always know when something is wrong. I eventually let it all out and I thank God that they were there for me to lean on; however in retrospect I probably should have not told everything. Some things should remain private and happenings in your marriage or relationship are one of them. My best advice is to take some time alone to think about what direction you want your relationship to go in. Pack a bag and treat yourself to a mini vacation until you have collected your thoughts, screamed, cried, and decide how you want to move forward.
Ebony L. Davis, Recently Single-“When I discovered my boyfriend was cheating on me I was devastated! I wanted to know who she was and what I did to cause him to cheat. Looking back on the situation I understand that it was not she or I that was the problem, he made the decision to cheat. I did not do anything to provoke his actions; he made the conscious decision to do what he wanted and betray our love and my trust. There is not right or wrong response to how you should react when your boyfriend/spouse cheats. I believe everyone has the right to feel whatever they want and do what is best for them.”
After discovering the heart wrenching betrayal of cheating, now comes the question of allowing this act to destroy everything that you have built in your love, career, and sometimes family. Some women walk right out the door and never look back, while others toss and turn at night with conflicting thoughts about their future as a couple, family or as an individual. If you stay does it make you look idiotic and weak? Should you just stand in front of a bullet and get it over with or work it out? What if the infidelity results in a child outside of the relationship? Aisha, Britton, Kita, Kimberly, and Larry weigh in on the topic of breaking up from your established life.
Britton S. Boyles-Jenkins, Divorced- “I think it depends on what you consider ‘throwing it all away’. If you are going to gain a sense of relief in not being insecure and wondering if your mate will cheat again, then yes it is definitely worth it to leave. Keep in mind the path to recovering from infidelity is hard and requires the upmost dedication of both parties. If neither are willing to work to overcome the pain, betrayal or otherwise then it is worth it to throw in the towel and move on. Everything that was gained in the relationship can be replaced, unfortunately the love you once had cannot.
Kita Bryant, Married – “To be honest, I think it depends on the woman and how she values her relationship vs. his wallet. Some women will lose a lot and not have their own two feet to stand on if they decide to leave. So they will turn their cheek and take the approach of ‘I’ll just take his money and have myself some fun’ instead of standing up to their man. Some women are stay at home moms and do not have the means to make a plan and ease out of the relationship with nowhere to go; therefore they would literally be lost without their husbands. However if a child is born out of the situation it is unacceptable and unforgivable! If there is another child then there must be accommodations made to include the child and the woman which results in less household income. You would literally be paying for his mistake if you stay. This is a lot to consider when you do not have your own, so the lesson is to always have your own just in case.
Aisha N. Jones, Relationship 10 years– “If you truly love someone you must make the effort to go to counseling, take time to heal, and create boundaries. You must keep in mind that healing a relationship takes work from both people, not just the cheater. It is also important not to dwell on how he/she use to make you feel in the beginning and focus on the now to fix now. Admit the mistake and work from it not in it. Now when it comes to your man creating another ‘family’ outside of what you have created that is unacceptable. I think blended families can work as long as everyone is mature about the situation; nonetheless if this family was created while you two were together you can either choose therapy or how fast you walk out the door.
Kimberly Jones, Single- “There are a lot of reasons beyond cheating that hold more merit and would cause the end of a relationship such as different types of abuse; however cheating is an abuse of my trust. The dilemma is that trust is only secondary to love when comes to the foundation of a relationship. A violation of that base could easily lead to the irreversible loss of a relationship. On the other hand if he were cheating because of something that we lacked in our relationship, I would be more willing to forgive and work on providing what he needs as he meets mine. With an enormous amount of love I will forgive him the first time it would be made known that there will be no additional chances.
Larry Miller, Married- “It really depends on how deep the problem goes back in the relationship. Most couples experience problems in their relationship due to a lack of communication; therefore issues fester leading to cracks in the foundation of the relationship. There can be many factors involving the decision to stay or go, like the children, financial stability, and fear of the unknown. Some couples are able to overcome infidelity because there is still love between the two parties and sustaining the family by rebuilding the foundation outweighs the alternative.”
It seems that the general consensus is to forgive if you are able, but ultimately choose your heart’s survival. This is a delicate situation when involving family and can shatter the very foundation of your love. When trust is broken beyond repair very rarely can it be mended with just an apology. Speaking of trust, what if the cheating is done within your inner circle? How can you mend a friendship and relationship all at the same time? Find out what our panel has to say tomorrow.
About the Writer:
Carmen Fletcher is a Public Relations Manager and writer that willingly shares her perspective on life, love, and more through poetry, testimonies, and inspirational stories. She is a Contributing Writer on www.breathoflifedaily.com and has contributed to the book Super Singles Activate! Testimonies to Inspire and Uplift the Single Woman. In addition she is currently working on several books and orchestrating the Rise Above campaign featured on the fan page of inspirational book Yes! Confess Success www.facebook.com/CBFWorld
About the Panel:
Kita Bryant is from Atlanta, Georgia. She is married 8 years and a state at home mommy. You can get more advice from Kita at: www.saywhatuwanna.com
Aisha Jones is from Atlanta, Georgia. She has been in a relationship for 10 years and is a childcare provider. You can find more of Aisha’s great advice at:https://www.facebook.com/TheHappyHairAffair
Britton S. Boyles Jenkins is from Columbia, South Carolina. She is divorced and is a social worker. You can find more of Britton on her blog at: http://mbblife.com/
Kimberly Jones is from Atlanta, Georgia. She is currently single and works as a marketing director. You can find more about Kimberly on her facebook fan page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kahlia-Black/182054925262886
Ebony L. Davis is from Washington, D.C. She is recently single and has a wonderful blog site you will thoroughly enjoy. You can find her at: http://www.cupidsplanner.com/
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