What you need to know:
- My husband and I have been married for just over a year. During a recent visit to my parents with my husband, my father asked to talk to both of us privately. During this conversation, he told us that although it is wrong, sometimes, partners cheat on each other. He added that one day when this happens, we should forgive and move on with life. He said all this in my husband’s presence. Is my father encouraging my husband to cheat? Annet
My husband and I have been married for just over a year. During a recent visit to my parents with my husband, my father asked to talk to both of us privately. During this conversation, he told us that although it is wrong, sometimes, partners cheat on each other. He added that one day when this happens, we should forgive and move on with life. He said all this in my husband’s presence. Is my father encouraging my husband to cheat? Annet
I can imagine how it feels when the person you trust the most is seemingly letting you down. Parents will usually want to give advice that is for the good of their children, but because of the generation gap, the interpretation might differ.
When in love, you would least expect that the love of your life will ever cheat on you or even raise their voice at you. This is a good feeling and best to hold dear to your heart such that the relationship can grow from one stage to another.
Being optimistic in a relationship is a healthy mindset and can enable trust to develop. At the same time, being pessimistic or hoping for the worst can hamper the development of trust and bonding in a relationship.
However, the older generation tries to help their children to also come to terms with the reality that they are marrying a human being who is bound to err.
From what I read above, your father started with words such as…although it is wrong, meaning that the ideal would be that people should not cheat on each other because it is one of the leading causes of separation and divorce.
He is trying to bring reality early enough to expose both of you such that if at all it ever happens, you will remember his words of thinking of forgiving as an option other than quitting. This goes well with the popular idiom prepare for the worst, hope for the best.
This will also in a way prepare your heart for the worst but does not mean that this will necessarily happen. People who expect that others can make mistakes live a fair life than those who expect to live with perfect people.
When heartbreak happens, the latter might be hit harder than the former. That is why we say every cloud has a silver lining.
Since this is your father, it will be good to ask him what he exactly meant in order to understand him better.
It is possible that you had an underlying thought that your father only triggered but on the surface, he seems to wish his children to know that people can make mistakes but not necessarily encourage cheating.
It is important to trust that your partner will never do anything to hurt you. Trust is important in relationships as it points at how much you can lean on another person. Without trust, insecurities and doubts can take over the relationship. Research suggests people value trust as a marker of fidelity and an indicator of emotional intimacy and vulnerability in the relationship.
Evelyn is a counselling psychologist with Sermotherapy Counselling Foundation