Don't try to understand cheating

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 17, 2007 at 3:24 p.m.
Q: I just found out that my wife of seven years has been cheating on me since we got married. I'm not writing to ask how to get my marriage back, I'm writing to find out why she did this to me. I was always faithful to her and gave her everything she wanted. I am so hurt and angry right now that I don't know what to do.
A: I cannot tell you why she did what she did. I can only tell you that people do things for their own reasons.
I have heard stories where happily married people cheated on their spouse for no reason other than the opportunity presented itself. I have also heard stories of miserable spouses who would not think of cheating on their husband or wife. It's a personal choice.
I am less concerned about why she did it than how you are feeling about what she did. We may never know why she did what she did, but we do know that you are hurt and angry by it.
If I were in your shoes, I would feel the same exact way and people who have had to deal with your situation know what you are going through.
First, realize that no person can make someone cheat. The first thought most people have when this happens is, ''what did I do to deserve this?'' The answer is nothing.
People decide to cheat for their own reasons, or conversely not to cheat. I want you to let go of any guilt that you may be harboring about this situation.
Next, it's important that you come to terms with what she did. By coming to terms with it, you have to acknowledge that she made the decision to cheat on you for the past seven years. By coming to terms with what has been done, you will be able to move on to the next critical step.
You must forgive her. I know this sounds crazy to you right now, but read a little further. People wrongly think that forgiveness is a gift to the other person. But, in fact, it is a gift that you give to yourself.
When you forgive someone, you make peace with their transgression against you and are able to experience divine peace. This peace is for you and is not always accepted by the transgressor.
There are many people who have been forgiven, but who cannot ever forgive themselves. Forgive her so that you can have peace.
You have invested seven years of your life into this marriage and you have every right to be angry by what has happened. Just know that, in your anger, you have an opportunity for peace.
She made a bad decision, one that she surely regrets now, but her bad decision does not have to keep you living in torment.
Got a relationship question? E-mail Jones is a motivational speaker in the North Central Florida area. Visit for more information.

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