Father speaks out about cheating mom

Published: Thursday, December 1, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, November 30, 2005 at 2:48 p.m.
Q: I enjoy reading your articles every week. A lot of what you have said really speaks to me and my situations. But, I notice that a lot of the questions you answer relate to women. I am the father of two beautiful daughters whose mother left me for another man when they were 3 and 5. Two years later, I still feel the pain and anger of what she did. Can you help me learn how to trust women again? I know there are many sisters in this situation from men, but it's different with a woman. I didn't see this one coming at all.
A: Thank you for reading my articles. I am very glad to know that they have helped you. While I love to answer the questions of both men and women, I seem to get more questions from women than men. That's why the majority of my answers relate to women. Now, on to your question.
This type of situation is never easy, even when children are not involved. When someone that you love leaves you for someone else, it can spur a myriad of emotions, from anger, to insecurity, to fear, to mistrust.
Considering that you have children involved, I am certain that you experienced all four of these emotions and then some. But, where do you go from there? After someone has hurt you deeper than a knife can cut, how do you heal those wounds?
Some people never heal, and remain bitter and angry for the rest of their lives. But, the problem with bitterness and anger is that they do not remain attached to their source.
Rather, anger and bitterness become an inseparable part of a person's character. For the sake of your children, you will have to deal with your issues of mistrust and bitterness head-on because, if not, you will alienate your little girls.
For example, if you find out that your daughter lied to you about where she would be after school, you may blow up at her in such a way that does not fit the situation.
Whereas a parent without your issues would be upset and disappointed, your deep-seated anger may cause you to become violent and to say such things like "you and your mother are just alike! Always lying!" You may be thinking, "I would never do that," but it happens every day.
So, step one is for you to deal with your emotions. Step two is for you to gain back your self-confidence. In these types of situations, you might feel that you did something wrong or that the person would not have left if you had done something differently.
But the reality is that people do what they want to do no matter what you do or don't do. Think about this, Halle Berry is considered one of the most beautiful women in the world. But she has been married so many times, cheated on so many times, and divorced so many times that she has said she will never marry again.
For step three, I need you to understand this foundational concept: You cannot control the Universe. This means there is nothing YOU can do to stop someone from cheating on you. All you can do is be careful who you give your heart to, and trust that they will not hurt you.
But, even if they do hurt you, that is their problem and not everyone who comes behind them. Do not use mistrust as a defense mechanism against people who have not done anything. This will yield one of two results: either 1) an unhappy relationship or 2) it will push them to leave you.
Most importantly, YOU MUST FORGIVE. After dealing with your emotions, gaining back your self-confidence, and accepting that you do not control the universe, you must forgive her for what she did to you.
As long as you hold her indebted to you, she controls you and your emotions. While she is off enjoying herself with whomever she left you for, you are being tormented by your unforgiveness.
You have been given the opportunity to raise your daughters and watch them grow, while she has not. In your daughters, you have the best part of her living under your roof, while the "worst" part of her is out running the streets.
Think of it like this: how many parents turned their backs on their children, only to find out they became an Oprah or a Shaquille O'Neal?
All in all, remember this: you have two little women under your care. If you don't trust women, how will you trust them? You have to make the decision to move past what you feel; you have the power to do it, regardless to what your heart may be saying.
Got a relationship question? E-mail Nona at NonaCJones@yahoo.com. Nona C. Jones is a motivational speaker in the North Central Florida area. She is the author of "When the Soul Won't Let Go: No-Nonsense Answers to a Broken Woman's Questions," providing insights on relationships. Visit www.WTSWLG.Bravehost.com for more information.

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