I recently received an email from a woman asking for advice on what she should do since catching her boyfriend cheating. She wrote that they are in a serious relationship, that she recently met his family, and that they were discussing marriage. To make a long email short, she wrote that she caught him sending sexually explicit texts to someone he once described as a female “friend.” In the texts her boyfriend also suggested meeting up for sex. Devastated, his girlfriend confronted him and he apologized. She wants to believe him and patch things up, but she also wants me to help her determine whether he’s genuinely sorry for cheating or just sorry he got caught.
I truly empathized with this woman because she is now in a place where she has to make a very serious decision while in a state of great emotional pain that is most likely clouding her better judgment. I’ve been in similar positions myself, and I have counseled other women in similar positions. So here’s my take…
When it comes to a man cheating (or anyone cheating for that matter), I think it is very important to take some time away from the relationship to objectively re-evaluate things. Why? Because you need to think things through with a clear head. And one of the most important things you need to look at is whether he a) confessed on his own or b) was caught cheating.
It is my firm belief, from personal and professional experience, that if man takes the initiative to confess his wrongs, then he is a man who has a core set of moral values as well as a conscience. People make poor choices, and the ability to fess up to those choices speaks volumes about an individual’s character. Now mind you, I said people make “poor choices” and not people make “mistakes.” I worded it this way because cheating is not a mistake- it is a deliberate choice. A man who cheats should be held accountable for his actions- one of those consequences being that you will leave him. And a man who confesses is a man who is willing to accept this consequence. So take some time away from him. If your man’s truly remorseful, he will understand and use that time to work on himself. And if you decide to reconcile after some time away, I highly advise taking all the necessary steps to heal the relationship (i.e. getting counseling).
Now let’s talk about the other type of man- the man who gets caught cheating. Remember, cheating is a “choice.” It is not a “mistake.” And the man that can guiltlessly cheat while masquerading as “faithful,” or even worse yet, propose marriage, is a man that lacks a moral compass and a conscience… PERIOD. There is no other excuse or explanation. Ladies, you have to accept this fact. Is this someone you want to tie your life with or even associate with? Only you can answer that. But before you do, I’m going to once again urge you to take a break from the relationship to re-evaluate things. In the time away, critique your relationship. Look at what you have to offer, and what he’s compromised. Fully weigh your options and whether he’s worth anymore of your time. You may even realize that he actually has a lot more to gain from being with you than you have to gain from being with him.
In life we must accept that love comes with sacrifice and occasional disappointment. And I think Bob Marley summed it up best when he said, “Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you; you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for.”
Is your man worth it? Only you can determine that. But before you do, take my advice and take some time away from him and the relationship. Forgive him, but also give yourself the opportunity to live life without him. And trust me, once you’ve had some time away to reflect and see things more objectively, you’ll have all the answers you need.
Would you ever choose to stay with someone who cheated? Do you think relationships can totally recover from this type of betrayal?
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