Can You Forgive Your Man for Cheating?

Cheaters. That’s what has been on my mind for some time now. I know it is too early for me to be thinking about this – I just got married the other day. But I am still thinking about it.

I read on a blog about this girl (unfortunately I can’t remember the blog, but if you do please drop me a line). Anyway, I read about this girl whose aunt advised her about love. She told her she was not to love her husband too much. This is because men will always cheat, but if she did not love him much, she would not get hurt. Most people who commented on that post were scandalised; few actually tried to appreciate where this aunt was coming from. I think her attitude was purely a defense mechanism.

I am of the opinion that western women give up on their men too easily. The average western woman is willing to walk out of decades of marriage because of a single indiscretion from her husband. And I am not talking of a Tiger Woods sized indiscretion. This attitude is patently different from the normal African or Nigerian attitude.

In Nigeria, most women accept that their men will cheat. It is a given. The thing is how to cope with that cheating. I read somewhere that you do not give up a marriage for an affair. Strangely, I always thought that attitude was that of our mothers and not our generation, but I was quickly put to rights about that.

One of my friends actually told me that as long as the man did not stint on the affection and care (financial and emotional) he was giving her, he was free to do whatever?! This attitude really worries me.

I do not think the right way to behave is to discard a man who has had years and years of faithfulness to his credit, just because he failed once. But I still cannot stomach the ‘men will be men’ attitude. You wouldn’t believe I was talking with someone about this and he said that once you give a man what he wants, he will always come back home; that even if he cheated, he would respect his wife enough to keep it far away from her and will always come back to her. My response to that was, if he is so keen on straying, why bother to come back home? These are no longer the days of Little Bo Peep; there are worse things to bring back home that just tails. If he respected me in the first place, why did he stray?

I asked my husband about it and he was a bit evasive. I wanted to know; if a husband knew that his wife was always forgiving, understanding and accepting, was that not a free pass for him to do whatever he felt like doing? Not surprisingly, he did not have an answer for that.

So I decided to bring the question here. I know we have done a marital bliss post this month but here goes..

How often do you have to forgive your man?


6 thoughts on “Can You Forgive Your Man for Cheating?

  1. Seventy-Times seven!

    I think Jesus taught us that we cannot put a number on forgiveness. Forgiving the first time and the tenth time is all the same. If you will forgive once, forgive again. The only question is whether there is genuine repentance – does the object of your mercy WANT to be forgiven. Does he regret straying? Then doing it over and over again would be impossible, no?

    The flipside anyhow has to do with what you’ve said about the permissive attitude of women of our culture to the seemingly inevitable flings that their husbands will have. I believe that it’s not a given that men will cheat. Hard as it may be the temptations can certainly be overcome (and most assuredly have been overcome before).

    Concerning the question you asked your husband: “if a husband knew that his wife was always forgiving, understanding and accepting, was that not a free pass for him to do whatever he felt like doing?”, Well I just look at us and our Christ. We know he will ALWAYS forgive us if we turn to him in genuine repentance. But that assurance is certainly not a free pass to do whatever we feel like doing. The freedom he gives us is not a freedom to live the way we like but a freedom to live the way He likes. The assurance of forgiveness in marriage – from both parties I might add – should encourage love, faithfulness and trust and discourage straying and dishonesty.


  2. From a biblical perspective, as often as God forgives us.

    Yes.I would forgive him. It would not be easy. But I would forgive him. I would only walk away if God gave me clear release…

    I agree that an indiscretion is much different than a habit of unfaithfulness. And I agree that you don’t give up your marriage for an affair. Western women do typically give up too easily, especially our generation, Sha. We tend to forget that we are not the intruders in such a situation and that we are not required spiritually or otherwise to abdicate our positions. What we do, how we respond to such circumstances, dictates a lot – at least that’s what I think. Men do whatever for lots of reasons, but if love lives between you, you have to believe that it overcomes. Love endures ALL things… Hopes all things… Believes all things… Love never fails…

  3. so does this mean a husband should also forgive his wife for cheating “seventy-times seven” times? or is it conveniently different for women?

  4. I think I really needed this! Especially to Rosheeda. My first love has hurt me in more ways than one, but I do believe he is genuinely sorry n he wants us to start anew. I’ve been trying so hard to 4give but I could not come to it. Day by day I’m learning to let go. Thank you

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