Cheaters Deserve a Second Chance


couple at duskAshton, Arnold, Woods, Edwards, Gingrich -- the laundry list of cheaters out there continues to get longer and stronger. It's becoming more expected than not that famous men cheat, and almost every time a new scandal breaks, someone in the media has to wonder if the wife will "stand by her man" a la Hillary Clinton (the standard point-to example of a woman who did this). More often than not, women who don't run to divorce court are made to look like fools. Still, I can't help but think it's not a black and white issue.

Katherine Heigl told Cosmo UK recently that she used to think if her hubby Josh Kelley cheated on her, it would be a major deal-breaker. But now, she's not so sure. She said she's seen friends go through and find a way to forgive one another, even though it would be "really hard to ever fully trust that person again." I say she's onto something.

Now, it's not like serial cheating should be ignored or go unpunished. If in some alternate universe, I was Betty Draper and had to deal with a hubby who had a new fling every week, I would be OVER that and serving divorce papers faster than you can say, "Sterling Cooper Draper Price." But in cases where it's a one-time indiscretion ... I'm just not sure it's fair to say you'd definitely walk away immediately

As Heigl told Cosmo:

If a mistake were to be made and it was a one-time thing, I would forgive [my husband]. Because look at the life we've built together. We have history, we have a child.

Seems level-headed to me. I feel like once you're married or even in a long-term, serious relationship, it's ridiculous to adhere to a philosophy that "never in a million years" would you stand for a one-time slip-up or to think "once a cheater, always a cheater." It shouldn't necessarily be like that; you've got to be more flexible -- especially if there are kids involved. I would think if that were the case, you'd feel your relationship was worth the work it would take to overcome the betrayal.

Looking at the bigger picture and thinking of marriages I know that have now lasted anywhere from 5 to 35+ years, infidelity is only one trust-busting mistake spouses can make. Think of numerous other betrayals that could end up feeling as bad or worse -- lying or hiding things especially related to finances, etc. In the end, sure, cheating could be the straw that breaks the camel's back and wrecks a happy, healthy marriage. But it doesn't have to be.

Is cheating a deal-breaker for you?


Image via Dragunsk Usf/Flickr

cheating, marriage, lying, love


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nonmember avatar Dare ya

All I know is that no matter how many ultimatums and if evers you may believe, you just don't know what you'd do till it happens.

nonmember avatar Dare ya

Oh and women who stay don't look like fools all the time. I think sometimes the fact that they stay makes the man look foolish for what he's done to such a strong and loyal partner...

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

I completely agree. I know many couples who have stronger marriages after a single episode of infidelity. Obviously you should not run out and have a fling trying to have a better marriage but if if happens you make the most of it. A guy who realizes that you will stand by him even though he's just done a momentually stupid thing is a guy who will stand by you and worship you.

LikeA... LikeAVirgin

A one time thing is not a reason to leave! Long- term, serial cheating would be a deal breaker for me though. But if it is just sex, then I could forgive him. Our relationship is way more than just about sex. We have twins, several years of history and a friendship that I dearly cherish. No one night stand with some desperate woman is going to ruin that for me. Plus, if I were to cheat once with another man I know my fiancé would forgive me and get over it.

nonmember avatar Pamala

Cheating the first time did not cause me to leave. It was the second time that I knew he wasn't going to change. It's easy when you don't have kids to shout that you will leave if ever cheated on. When you have kids your mind changes. We tried to work it out but sometimes people can't be fixed. Of course for me there were other issues as well (illegal behavior issues on him).

Amanda Ricketts

One time is a reason to leave.  With lack of morals run amock in this country, why any woman would ever allow herself to be so disrespected by her husband, I'll never understand.

I speak from personal experience. My ex was/is a cheater. I suspected for a long time that he was cheating, but could never get proof. I stood by my vows - if I couldn't prove it, then I morally couldn't leave. But that's where the mind games come in.  If you have never been married to a cheating man, then you really don't understand the mind games that he will play to cover it up and the mind games you will do to yourself to allow it to go on.

I made several accusations over the years; all denied by him of course. When I left my ex, he had a girlfriend who got knocked up. The proof is in the baby. After I split, people came out of the woodwork to tell me what a dirty dog he was...

Cheating is not forgivable. If my husband cheats, we're done. He knows my past, he knows my feelings.  You're either loyal or you're not.  If you need to cheat, then you need to leave.

Amanda Ricketts

Until you've experienced it, you won't understand that it isn't just the act itself - cheating is inevitably wrapped up with lies, betrayals, broken trust, broken vows, lots of tears and heartache, countless hours spent worrying and anxious...

If your husband would do this to you (or you would do this to your husband) then why would you want to be married to him? We need to have a higher standard.  Spouses will cheat, but it shouldn't be norm, it shouldn't be expected, and it shouldn't be acceptable.

fave82 fave82

Ummm yeah, one time is a TOTAL deal breaker.  The auther says "you'd feel your relationship was worth the work it would take to overcome the betrayal" ... well I feel that our relationship is worth more than a one night stand  and if he was willing to break our trust just to get laid, then 'goodbye'. And it's a two way street, my husband would never forgive me for cheating. Things don't "just happen", that's something weak people say. Have some self control and take responsibility for your actions.

Susie19 Susie19

Being in a healthy and happy relationship requires A LOT of trust, and once that trust is broken by infidelity, it would be really hard to trust the same way again and more likely cause more issues for the relationship, so for me it's a deal breaker.  Cheating shouldn't be acceptable or just a little mistake for anyone, it's actually kind of a big deal and I've seen it ruin peoples lives.  :(

kelti... kelticmom

I honestly don't know how I would handle it. Even if it was just a one time thing, I think everytime we made love, I would think of "her". I love my husband so much, and we have been thru so much and I have supported him thru a deployment, psychotic breaks, etc, that it would kill me if he cheated.

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