Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Forgiveness, Fidelity, and Love

I almost posted this yesterday, but thought it was not a good post for Valentine's day.  I suppose it's cool for the day after though.

I was talking with a friend a few days ago and the subject of infidelity came up.  I have very definite opinions on infidelity; after all, that was what finally forced me to pull the plug on my first marriage.  I find it interesting that of all things that I found so intolerable about that entire marriage, and there were many, infidelity was apparently where I drew the line and it was the only thing that I would not tolerate.

It would be understandable if I said that I find infidelity unacceptable because most people aren't exactly for cheating. . .but that's not exactly what I said to my friend.  I told her that I thought one indiscretion or even a brief fling wasn't enough of a reason to scrap an otherwise good marriage.  A boyfriend/girlfriend relationship, sure, but not a marriage. 

I could hardly believe the hypocrisy of what I had said, considering infidelity is what ultimately made me sink the doomed ship that was my first marriage.  I've been mulling over what I said and wondering why I said it, but I do believe it to be true.  We are all human and there are times that we totally and completely screw up.  Yes, sometimes we can even screw up so badly that we screw people other than our own spouse.

Would I be happy with the knowledge that my husband gave all of his love to another?  Of course not!  I divorced one husband over it (among other things) and I would not be pleased if this husband did the same, but this is a completely different marriage and I'm in a different place in my life.  That's not to say that hubs is getting a free pass to knock one out with some chippy, I'm just saying that a good marriage shouldn't be destroyed by one colossal mistake. . .understand that I'm not saying that I find repeated indiscretions to be acceptable.

The problem (just one problem, mind you) with infidelity is that, once it has been discovered, it is nearly impossible for the betrayed spouse to remove it from their mind.  You may forgive your spouse and want to move forward, but you will never completely forget what they have done.  The pain and doubt will linger, causing you to do and think things that you hate; I've been there and done that. 

Even innocent things seem suspicious at that point; arriving home a little late from work, getting a phone call at an odd hour, any changes from the normal routine.  You ultimately find yourself pawing through their things for further evidence because trust has been violated.  Indeed, my rifling through my ex-husband's stuff yielded far more dirt than I ever could have imagined. . .and I have a pretty wild imagination!

What's the most important quality in a relationship?  I think it's love and forgiveness naturally flows from love.  After all, forgiveness is one of the greatest expressions of love.  None of us has the right to get on our high horse and lord anything over our spouse and, if you truly love, you can truly forgive. 

What are your thoughts?  Am I growing altogether too libertine in my age or does this actually make sense to anyone else?


  1. It makes perfect sense to me. My ex-husband cheated on me, repeatedly. I forgave the first one, thinking that our love would overcome anything, boy was I wrong. He decided that since I forgave him the first time, that all of the repeated offenses would pass also. Not so. It is because of him that for many, many years I had a true distrust for any and all men that came into my life. It is only recently that I let some of the walls down. I am not saying that all men are like this, but those who cross the line can really screw with what little self-esteem a person has left. Yes, mistakes and infidelity happen, but if one doesn't learn from these mistakes, then there is no use continuing on with a doomed marriage.

  2. Great points Nikki. You know, I didn't think it was possible for me to feel any more animosity toward your ex-husband than I already did. . .I was wrong! My willingness to drop it and move forward the first time is what probably emboldened my ex-husband's behavior too. It's sad that the sweetest girls so frequently are the ones who get hurt by such jerks.

  3. I have never been married but I have learned a thing or two by all my failed relationships. I have been cheated on by every guy I have been with that is why Im not married in the first place. I'm not saying I wont get married because I will when the right guy comes along, But I think most people get married without truly knowing who the other person is. The first thing I always find out about a guy is what kind of relationship a man has with his parents, especially his mother, Whatever a mans view of his own mother is will be the same view he will have of all women, if she was absent in the mans life when he was a child, he will have abandonment issues & will always push the woman he loves away because in his subconciuos mind the woman who are supposed to love him the most leave him so he leaves first thinking he is protecting himself from getting hurt in the future. If the mother stayed in an abusive relationship he will seek out damsils in distress trying to save them by trying to make up for not being able to help his mother as a child. if he had a mother who was an addict or prostituted herself he will treat a woman with the same lack of respect that his mother gave herself, if the mother was controlling he will grow up being a control freak making up for be powerless as a child. This is also true for a woman and what kind of relationship she had with her father. both parents have affect on a person. our parents are the ones who shape our view of love, so if you are still single or even if your married think about what kind of relationship your significant other had with his/her parents & even look at your own relationship you had with your parents cuz what u discover might put things in better perspective and realize like I did that even though In my mind I seemed like the victim in my relationships but I actually added plenty of contribution to all my failed relationships. I do know this though I will recognize true love when it comes along because I have been shown everything it wasn't.

  4. Very good comment and great advice, Anonymous. Thanks for stopping by and sharing! I hope True Love finds you when the timing is right.