Thursday March 20 2014

A man’s point of view: Your partner cheated, so what?

By Mike Ssegawa

A woman stood before rolling television cameras and declared that she had forgiven her cheating husband, with whom they have two adolescent children.
Her husband, a pastor in a born-again church, had been shamed a day before, after he was caught pants down with a married woman in a nearby hotel. The other woman’s man had been tipped off by well-wishers.

Everyone talked about this man and how he ran for dear life when the other man pounced on him. The punches and kicks he got will make him think twice before he unzips before another man’s wife again.
The woman who I thought was ‘insanely’ reflective, stood beside her husband, and faced the cameras. She apologised on behalf of her man, and said she had forgiven him, and asked the whole community to do the same.

I don’t know what transpired between the couple before this bold statement, but I must say, what a great soul for a wife! I know infidelity is the number one deal-breaker in marriage. Life is usually never the same after cheating but this couple still smiled.

There could be other ulterior considerations like the lady being stronger in faith than her man, but still it is difficult to forgive under extremely difficult situations. Whatever the reasons, with her stern face and the sheepish smile on the face of the “cheater”, I could not help but admire this woman.

You must have heard the saying ‘To err is human, to forgive is divine’, but they also say, ‘easier said than done’. Forgiveness after infidelity comes with time, and yet this woman chose peace over anger.
This is probably why.

In life, you must choose between yourself and the world. Sometimes, we think getting angry when challenges like those come from our partners, but most times we are dead wrong. When Adam and Eve sinned while in Eden, they ran away from God because; they were ashamed, they feared retribution, and like everyone else who’s caught in the wrong, they got defensive.

What is worse than getting your partner in bed with another person [even if the other person is of the same sex]? It hurts. The trust goes, the love vanishes, the anger builds and revenge fills the air.
But guess who suffers more? You! So, what do you do when such bad vibes go through your body?
A wise person relaxes first.

It is not wise to say or do anything after such an incident. A question like, “What are you doing?” Simple as it is, is deeper than the grave you want to send the two cheats to.
Keep sane. Forgive, and find out why your spouse would do such a thing to you. Buddha once said: “Holding onto anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”

Yet, it is also true that when you release those you are holding captive, you are setting yourself free.
Forgive, and do it quickly. The other day, we were talking about the cheating pastor and his wife. One colleague said he would kill anyone he found with his wife.
I looked at him and asked: “How will you then kill the second and third one who will sleep with her if ever you are locked up in jail for life?”

He kept quiet, and said, “But this is so annoying. Maybe I would leave her.”
Well, that is the route many take - it is easier and safer. Many choose to run away, especially in this era of HIV/Aids.

I would, however, ask – when you choose to quit, how sure are you that the next one will not sleep around? Isn’t it then wiser for you to dig deeper into the reasons your partners stray, and find the solutions, rather than jumping from one bus to another? If the road is filled with nails, you will need to pick the nails first before you drive on.

The pastor’s wife sounded insane before many people but guess what, she is a conqueror. The pastor is 2:0 down, so forgive -unconditionally.