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Would/did you forgive your spouse if they cheated

Discussion in 'Married Life' started by drjp, Dec 21, 2007.

  1. drjp

    drjp Senior IL'ite

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    This is a thread to express your opinions, on how would you respond if you found out your spouse cheated on you.
     
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  2. kavya007

    kavya007 Gold IL'ite

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    Hi DJRP,

    This is an interesting question. I always used to wonder why men have extra marital affairs. Some possible reasons:
    1) Unhappy with the marriage: They feel they are getting love and care from another women.
    2) Unsatisfactory sex life: Many women lose interest in sex very easily especially after the birth of a child. Since men have stronger sex drives then women is the lack of satisfactory sex life a strong enough reason for an affair?
    3) Some men are just play boys.

    Kavya.
     
  3. SoaringSpirit

    SoaringSpirit Silver IL'ite

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    Dear drjp,

    I have been following your other thread and I really feel for you with all my heart.

    I am going to answer this thread as a brand new thread without any connection to your other thread. So my opinions here are going to be for a general cheating scenario and not for your particular one. But I still hope that it helps you in some way.

    I personally think the answer to this thread is not very straightforward. Before I elaborate why and how, let me tell you that cheating is just not acceptable to me. It is hard to think of any circumstances in a relationship that will make cheating acceptable.

    Having said that, there are certain other factors that must be considered.

    • 1. Is the accusation true? Hear it from the horses’ mouth.
    • 2. Do you believe the answer to Q1?
    • 3. Since we are assuming for this thread that the spouse has cheated, answer to Q1 would be yes and to Q2 could be a yes or no. In both cases find out what was the reason for cheating. Find this out from the horses’ mouth again. Ask him candid questions without accusing him. There will be a time for accusations later so hold it out for now.
    • Try to talk about this without getting very emotional and without victimizing yourself. I completely know that this is easier said than done but getting emotional is not going to get you candid answers from the other person. If you really want to know the truth deep within, try not to show your soft side too much. Of course show that you are hurt but try not to sympathize with yourself.
    • 4. What did the answer to Q3 tell you? This is the first important answer that will be taken into account while making the final decision.
    • Does the answer tell you that this happened because of some extremely stressful circumstances between the two of you or at home? Let’s face it, some people are just plain weak. They can’t handle constant conflict and they will not address it either. They will just find easy alternatives. That’s why we have people who take to alcohol, people who commit suicide. These are all attempts at running away from something they cannot handle. Cheating and finding momentary pleasure is one such. Usually men are not very good at dealing with relationship and emotional crisis.Does he look like he is sorry about what happened? Does he show signs of regret somewhere?
    • Or, does his answer tell you that he is a consummate flirt and did this to get extra thrill and pleasure. If this is the case, he gets negative marks for this answer.

    • 5. What is the damage control/recourse he is suggesting? This will be the second most important factor that will need careful evaluation and that will influence your final decision.
    • After having admitted to the faux pas and having given the reasons for it, how does he plan to address the issue and make corrections to it? This has to be explained by him to you in great detail. You also have to ask him the “what if” scenarios. What if he gets tempted again, what if you have a huge conflict again? How is he going to deal with it differently so that he does not repeat this act?
    • 6. After listening to his answer to Q5, think about what other/extra measures you would like for him to take.
    • For example, you may want him to tell you upfront if a conflict between the two of you is bothering him too much. Or if he is missing something in the relationship (be it physical or emotional) he must tell you about it without hesitation. Or if he is feeling attracted to someone for some period of time he should cough up the courage to tell you that – I know this one is too much to ask. But at this point you have to ask for all that you want. There is no third chance.
    Finally after this whole exercise do you feel like you can believe in some of the answers that he has given you? Do you feel like the answers to questions 4, 5 and 6 in particular make you want to give him another chance? Don’t just think on the basis of how much you love him or because you can’t live without him. Because if you base your decision of giving him another chance on pure love, you are bound to question and hate yourself about this very love if he cheats on you again. So love should be kept aside for sometime when you are thinking about giving him another chance.

    If you cannot place some level of trust or belief in the answers he gave you above, you will not be able to give him a second chance in the true sense. You will always hold an element of doubt in which case giving him another chance will really not work well.

    Once you have made a practical decision to give him another chance, you will be able to handle it and move on much easily if he goes back to his old ways again rather than when you give him another chance just for the sake of love.

    Love is a great thing and it can change a lot of negative things to positive but certain things cannot be changed by mere love. And I think this is one such that cannot be changed solely by love. You have to have some level of commitment from the person to correct himself.

    Whatever decision you make, let it be well thought, well planned and the outcome will be good.

    Recognize the power of our female intuition and gut. With these two powerful female senses along with a practical approach, I am certain the decision we arrive at will be a winner in most cases.

    SS





     
  4. Ria2006

    Ria2006 Silver IL'ite

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    SS,

    Your approach is good. But I just think mostly people who venture out like this are not that clear in life. If they were that clear they would not have created the mess in first place.

    I also disagree that men venture out because sex was not enough in marriage. I feel some men just have it ingrained in their DNA. I think cheating runs deeper than some external factors of family situations or one off pressure.
    It has deeper reasons seated in Childhood and adolscent years of the person in question. People dont cheat because they are not getting enough of something. They cheat because they have this strong urge to somehow get their way and keep the home turf intact too.
    However I also think "Once a cheater , always cheater" Adage is also not applicable for everyone. All Cheaters dont belong to one category. People have diffferent level of insecurity and frustration they are taking out by cheating.


    Coming back to question..
    Wether I will forgive if my spouse cheated..
    Answer is Yes and No.

    Yes, If I knew deep down my heart, This man is not strong enough to keep doing it again and again. And He just needed big mess to learn it hard way.

    No, If I knew deep down my heart. I have landed myself a Casanova, who will keep fooling me around all these years till we have grey hair.

    I know saying "Yes" Is almost saying.. I dont give importance to "loyality " in marriage. But its not so. I just feel sometime our lives lands into situations we never thought we will go in. So I would go by my gut feeling about the guy. Being in US, making a living , working to get citizenship of an alien country has its own pressures on all of us. That does add to stark paths we land in sometimes. I am not trying to say that only NRI husbands may cheat. I am just trying to have objective view rather than emotional. Because emotions just blur the logic.

    I hope I am making sense here.

    Ria
     
  5. SoaringSpirit

    SoaringSpirit Silver IL'ite

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    Agree with your view points Ria. I think ditto. You have summed it up very nicely.

    Since the answer to forgive could be a yes or a no depending on the situiation, it is important to analyze what went into this person's straying act and what is your gut about him. So all our senses, objectivity, practicality, gut, intuition have to be enabled to their fullest.

    Yep, there is no redemption for Casanova's. No way! They are better off without a wife and kids. Also one has to be sure in their heart about his Casanova status before letting go.

    Absoultely correct that emotions tilt the decision in the wrong way.. The decision must be arrived at through a logical path.

    SS


     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2007
  6. drjp

    drjp Senior IL'ite

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    SS and RIA
    you guys have some very interesting points about why men cheat.
    My two cents to that is:
    - first time could be an accident/incident
    - second time is an alarm for habit!!
    Unless, one is extremely sure of the commitment to the family I do not see a reason to continue.
    Would be interesting to here more opinions.
    DR
     
  7. kavya007

    kavya007 Gold IL'ite

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    So if men do not get a satisfactory sex life from their wife how would the satisfy themselves. My understanding is that sex is a biological need just like hunger and thirst. When this need is suppressed overly it leads to a lot of perversions. Personally when I used to travel in public transportation buses in Chennai when I was young I used to observe that the decent looking family men in their 40's used to misbehave with girls a lot. They would try to make a lot of physical contact. I think that heir perverted behavior is because of their suppressed physical desires.

    Kavya.
     
  8. drjp

    drjp Senior IL'ite

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    Kavya
    You raised an important point....

    if deprivation of sex makes perverts out of men... what happens to women?
     
  9. kavya007

    kavya007 Gold IL'ite

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    Hi DJRP,

    I know you are going through a very tough time and I really feel a lot for what you are going through. My comments are just my personal opinions on the question that you posed. I am not in any way condoning what you husband did.

    Coming to the question...I think sex drive is driven a lot by testosterone. Men have a lot more testosterone then women. So I feel that sexual urge is a stronger need for them than for us. Plus the act of climax etc is more explicit for men than for women. So I personally feel the perversions are more for men than for women. I had a discussion on this with my husband on male sexuality and his opinion was very different from mine. He told me it is all in the mind and physical need is not real. I honestly don't know.

    Even women have a lot of perversions when they have an extremely unsatisfactory sex life. But they are less perverted than men. For women I feel the emotional need in a relationship is much more important than the physical need. So when they are very emotionally unhappy in a marriage I think they are as vulnerable to extramarital affairs as men.

    Kavya.
     
  10. Ria2006

    Ria2006 Silver IL'ite

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    Kavya

    Your point is just by the book. It lacks more analyzed factors of the it.
    Like I belong to army background. And we know very well how people in army deal without regular sex from their spouse. There s something about how do you handle deprivation of anything in your life.

    Your point that unsatisfactory sex will make 100% men cheat or become pervert is as wrong as the fact that, "all poor people will steal and become thieves." I hope you see my point. Reacting to any kind of deprivation speaks a lot about our inner working of brain. This working of brain is not developed in one day or one year. Its over decades of having exposed to certain situtaion and learning to deal with them wrong way.

    Ria
     

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