Can I Ever Trust a Man Who Cheats?
- Kris Swiatocho and Cliff Young
- 2015 23 Apr
EDITOR'S NOTE: He Said-She Said is a biweekly advice column for singles featuring a question from a Crosswalk.com reader with responses from a male and female point of view.
QUESTION: I had been dating this guy for 4 years when I found out he's married and has a 1-year-old child. I was heartbroken and hurt, but I eventually chose to forgive him and I don't want to let him go. He divorced his wife (he said he had never loved her) and the two of us with our combined 4 kids are now a family together. But I am fearful. How can I know he won't also cheat on me behind my back? What if he decides to go back to his ex-wife? I lost my job this year, and I don't have any way to support myself right now without him - I'd have nowhere to go. Please help.
Humans are creatures of habit, and each of us are gifted (or cursed) by certain abilities and traits. As we grow older, and the longer we continue exercising those habits, be they good, bad or indifferent, they have the tendency to become part of our character.
Besides the many red flags and flashing lights I see in your relationship, there are many unanswered questions which would help to properly assess your situation.
I’m curious if your mate has sought out any help or counseling after his divorce? Does he attend church with you and the children? Does he have close friends?
You said, you are “now a family,” but I sort of sense you’re not married. You fear he might “go back to his ex-wife,” but why, if “he never loved her”? Discovering your boyfriend was married after four years of dating leads me to believe your heart is making decisions for your head, and you may not want to accept the truth.
We all have character flaws; however you need to protect your heart by being cognizant of possible clues which may indicate he has not altered his ways. There are usually some common behavioral subtle changes in a person who is cheating on their spouse.
They may be more concerned about the way they look – changing their hair, wearing new clothes, putting on cologne, and trying to appear younger.
They may not be as interested in physical intimacy, or try introducing “new” aspects into it.
They may not want to get into long conversations with you.
They may have a shorter temper and be more defensive.
They may be “working” longer, later, and at odd times.
Your fear is plainly seen in your deeply personal question. One thing you need to realize is you cannot change him or his ways, and you are not responsible for the decisions he makes.
Each of us can only change if we personally want it and work for it with the help from the Lord.
First, while I sympathize with your heart and love for this man, I can't help but join you in your concern that he might cheat on you (and may even be doing it now). Yes, God is a merciful God who does forgive. We have all made mistakes and need people to give us second chances. God does give us wisdom. People who cheat, do so for a variety of reasons. Cheating breaks trust, something very difficult to regain. Remember, while he was cheating on his wife, he was also already cheating on you.
So what does this mean? Does this mean you break up with him before he can cheat on you? No, but I do have some advice.
First, have you both asked God for forgiveness for committing adultery? (By dating him while he was married, you committed it too) Have you both turned from this sin, realizing the depth of its consequences? Have you both asked for forgiveness of his ex-wife? Have you both talked to your pastor about everything? (Please realize some churches and pastors will not marry you, due to these facts and your present living situation). Are you both abstaining from sexual relations and living together? (That’s a sin) Please know that God will NOT bless sin. If this man is really worth it (and you are worth it to him), and you are both wanting to follow the Lord, seeking his direction, then you will both want to do it God's way.
Remember, man is not our provision, God is. Trust the Lord to provide for you. Step out in faith to know following God is the real answer to this question.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well (Matthew 6:33).
HE is … Cliff Young, a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and a veteran single of many decades. He has traveled the world in search of fresh experiences, serving opportunities, and the perfect woman (for him) and has found that his investments in God, career and youth ministry have paid off in priceless dividends.
SHE is ... Kris Swiatocho, the President and Director of TheSinglesNetwork.org Ministries and FromHisHands.com Ministries. Kris has served in ministry in various capacities for the last 25 years. An accomplished trainer and mentor, Kris has a heart to reach and grow leaders so they will in turn reach and grow others. She is also the author of three books.
DISCLAIMER: We are not trained psychologists or licensed professionals. We're just average folk who understand what it's like to live the solo life in the twenty-first century. We believe that the Bible is our go-to guide for answers to all of life's questions, and it's where we'll go for guidance when responding to your questions. Also, it's important to note that we write our answers separately.
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Publication date: April 23, 2015