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Believing In The Man Who Has Cheated

January 21st, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Today’s post is for a close friend of mine, a girl who is like a sister to me. We don’t keep in touch as often as we should, which is probably why when she reached out to me about some drama going on in her life and asked me if I could weigh in on it on this blog, I didn’t hesitate to say yes.

Of course, people who have read my blog know I never really take requests. I’m also pretty sure anything I write on this blog could have been kept between herself and I via email.

But she’s going through some trust issues, all of which stem from her boyfriend cheating and lying. Details do not need to be divulged for people to understand what she’s going through. If you’ve been cheated on or if you’ve ever admitted to cheating, you know what this is, and you know it’s not easy.

When she explained her situation to me, she laid out everything as though I was her boyfriend. Ironically, even before she went into specifics, I knew what her boyfriend was going through, because I too, have cheated, I too have lied, and I too know what it’s like to stay with a woman once those two things have been revealed.

When I look back at which of my relationships were the most challenging, there is a clear number one: It was the one relationship in which I was caught cheating. Prior to her, any dirt I did with other women never was revealed. But even though I did a good job of keeping everything under wraps, I never really felt good about what I was doing.

Now we can get into the whole question of why I would partake in things that never felt good, but when I say cheating never sat well with me, what I’m trying to say is, the self gratification of being with another woman never sustained itself for an extended period of time. I was, for better or for worse, a man who couldn’t say no to other women, no matter my relationship status, and so any chance I had to go back to a well, I would go. I’d justify it in my own head, in my own world, why it was okay, and once everything was done, I would curse myself out.

This pattern kept on repeating itself, for years. Over and over again, I would say I wouldn’t do it again and over and over again, I would do it again. Until one day, I got caught, and let me say this about getting caught cheating by someone you said you loved: Short of inflicting physical pain, you cannot hurt someone more, and not in your wildest dreams can you imagine the look on the face they’re going to make when they find out the truth. You think you’ve seen sad? You think you’ve seen angry? You think you’ve seen hurt? The way a person looks when they’ve been told their significant other has not been faithful is a look incapable of being wiped from the memory slate, incapable of being imitated without the real thing to go with it.

I say all this to say, if a man knew what it takes to be with a woman after she caught him cheating, he would never cheat in the first place. Most men who cheat and continue to do so are only doing it because they haven’t been caught. For those men who have been caught, men such as myself, trust me, there is nothing more challenging than being with a woman who has caught you doing something you shouldn’t have done.




And I understand, those men did it to themselves. Cry her a river. If we never cheated in the first place, we wouldn’t have to deal with the boat loads of crap that come with the consequences, but here’s the thing: We’re at least willing to deal with the consequences, and at some point, that has to not only be acknowledged, it needs to be appreciated.

The only thing harder and more challenging than never letting outside temptation get the best of us in a relationship is convincing someone we will never let it happen again, that just because it happened once, doesn’t mean it will happen twice. As I always say to people, I’d rather deal with the challenge of never cheating, than deal with the challenge of convincing a woman I will never cheat again.

What women need to understand is if a man who has been caught cheating decides to stay with his woman after (and trust me, he too has a say in whether or not he can stay or go), he’s not signing up for a walk in the park. To think a man is staying with a woman who caught him cheating because he feels he can get away with it or she will tolerate it, is foolish. That’s like a bank robber trying to rob the same bank where he was caught.

Men who have done a woman wrong are not trying to stay with that woman so they can do her wrong again. They’re trying to make it right. And a woman who is willing to give her man a chance to do so, has to at some point acknowledge those efforts.

The truth is, whenever a woman asks me if she should stay with her man after she caught him cheating, I usually tell her she shouldn’t, but it’s not because I don’t believe her man will never cheat again. It’s because I don’t believe she will ever believe her man again.

Anytime a woman tells me she doesn’t think all men cheat, I ask her if she thinks she’s with one of those men. When they tell me yes, they start listing all these signs of proof they don’t have, foolish things like the condom count remains the same. But that ain’t about nothing. What is about something is believing what’s in our hearts. Just like any good man is capable of cheating, any cheating man is capable of being good, so the question can’t just be, is this man who has lied telling the truth? The question also needs to be: Is this woman who was lied to, ever going to believe him again. In my experience, the answer has been a deafening no.


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  • SistahChef

    As in most cases :-D, you are absolutely right! Good advice, I hope she moves on!

  • Coolbaby2001us

    WOW!! Now THIS is a good post. Very honest and well written.

  • Smilez247

    In all honesty she should leave it’s not worth staying he clearly didn’t care about you that much in the first place or he wouldn’t have cheated… There not married so there is no for better or worst he messed up leave and let him go on about his business. Maybe he won’t cheat again but think of it like this if you cheated would he stay or be ready to call it off and never return your calls again. Plus you don’t want to set up that type of forgiveness factor. Now every time he mess up he’ll know you’ll forgive him, you not going anywhere and he’ll play on that.

  • Smilez247

    *Their (didnt see the wrong there..there)

  • ladybird

    Hands clapping, finger snapping…you are right on point sir! Just found myself in this situation myself. In fact…it was me and my inability to trust again that led to the “final” end. I did try, but there were too many factors at play and I could not let it go. Wishing your friend peace….it’s hard when we love.

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  • Rogetsfit

    *deep sigh*…loved every single word

  • Reecie

    great post. once trust is lost, it is definitely hard to rebuild and remain with someone.

  • sb

    Awesome post for a Friday morning. You are spot, spot, SPOT on.

  • Brownivyx

    Trust is arguably the most important currency in a relationship. Once that’s spent, it takes a miracle to get it back…and that entails a long and arduous road of both parties rebuilding from scratch…or some impressive and self-destructive denial. If both parties are willing to work at it and have the same goal, then it can be done…very painfully, with no clear-cut guarantees, and preferably with the help of a professional.

  • Vicky Nguyen

    trust is like glass, honestly. you can say you’ve fixed it all you want, but the truth is the moment it is broken, the cracks are enough to cut you open all over again.

  • maxfab

    I don’t know. I kind of think that the moment you stay with a man after he’s cheated is the moment that you turn over a new page and start fresh. What’s the point of staying if you’re going to be distrustful and make the man pay the price for the rest of your relationship?

  • All Ears

    Agreed… some men (I don’t think) are consistent cheaters (noncommittals- yeah I made that up)… so, the real question is:

    “Do you believe he won’t cheat again?”

  • esoteric

    Quality post! My two cents: It’s not the man you need to believe in it’s you! Sometimes you have to let go of logic and reason… by no means am I saying be reckless and naive… What I’m saying is that sometimes you got to let go of all of the stereotypical relationship benchmarks… We spend so much time creating drama… trying to figure out what to do… who to ask… how to respond… what to say etc… Sometimes you just got to be human and let your emotions get the best of you… cry, laugh, scream, and pour your heart out… and then the hardest part…if it is what you feel… trust… don’t worry about what everyone and their poodle thinks…and if it happens again… understand that it’s not the end of the world… that this “issue” is bigger than you… let “it” go back into the world… take all of the things that are negative and just let it go…learn from the situation… I promise it will make you a better you… because you made it full circle… you left it all out there, you gave 100 and even when you were tested and only got 25 back you stood true to who you really are and what you really felt… you will never experience more pain or turmoil in your life than you can truly handle… it may seem that way when you’re in the mist of it but everything happens for a reason and when you compare it to the grand scheme of things in life… how small is it?
    SN: love is/can be a beautiful nightmare

  • Theellefiles

    Great Post! The only question I’m left with is… Going into this relationship did she know if he’s cheated in his past? If so what made her look past that “flaw”? And if she did look past it, the things she fell in love with in the past are they the things that are going to get her through this hurdle?


  • Shay

    This was a great post and I totally agree with your point. There are women who do actually let go of the past and start fresh again with the person to have him cheat all over again. I could never give anyone advice on this situation since I haven’t been put in it.

  • Sgm83

    I needed this! Thanks!

  • Fabulous

    First off, great post as usual 🙂

    Secondly, being a woman who has cheated and has been cheated on, I agree with your advice to move on. I think someone said that someone who cheats on his/her partner doesn’t care about them. In some cases, that may be true, but in others, that’s not the issue. For me, it was that I wasn’t getting what I thought I should be getting in my relationship, and I happened to find it outside of the relationship. I was in love with my then-boyfriend and I cared about him deeply. I knew what it would do to him if he found out that I cheated on him, but I also knew that I needed something more from the relationship. That’s when I knew that we shouldn’t be together; despite us being in love, it just wasn’t enough to make the relationship work. It was an extremely difficult decision to make, but we ended up breaking up.

    Being the one cheated on is just as difficult. I was cheated on before I cheated, so I had unrealistic notions as to why people cheated. It’s easy to think that if a person cheats, they don’t care, but like I said before, sometimes that’s just not true. I’m not condoning cheating at all, but I definitely think there’s more to it than people who have not cheated acknowledge. In any case, whether a person has been cheated on or is the one cheating, it’s time for them to leave their relationship, or at least take a break and reassess. Cheating, in most cases at least, seems to happen when one or both people need to take a good look at their relationship and find out what’s really the cause of the problems.

  • shemat83

    That’s a good question? Shemat83

  • Sgm83

    I like this question DK…. I always ask my friends that too. I don’t think females can get past those things to help them thur the hurdle b/c they think a person will change…

  • taut_7

    know what reminds me of this situation? jersey shore. like why is sammie with ronnie still? she doesn’t trust him as far as she could throw him.

  • .L.

    Why do men who know they can’t handle not cheating even bother with relationships? They may as well tell the girl that they are in an open relationship.

  • Lisa

    Very good post and oh so true. I agree with the comments: once trust is gone then you might as well leave…it is hard to get it back too. I forgave my guy but I didn’t ever trust him after that (which is probably just as well since he cheated again anyway)…not to say that once a person cheats that he or she will continue to cheat. I told him that I had to leave before I ending up hating him.

  • Dawn Knight

    Great post! very insightful! 😉

  • Anonymous

    Excellent post, Jozen. I for one am a woman who was recently cheated on in a relationship (about 8 to 9 months ago). To folks outside our relationship this may seem impossible, but – I actually feel we’re closer than we’d ever been. Despite stepping out, the reality of losing me (bag was already packed and by the door, car waiting downstairs when he got home) hit home hard. I think he always took for granted that I loved him, but never believed me strong enough to leave if I had to. I also think, up to that point, he hadn’t allowed himself to fully give in to our relationship for fear of losing some last remnant of his singlehood. I often think these kinds of revelations are similar to near-death experiences, in the sense that you’re so shaken up by that close-call, you’ll do anything to live on the straight and narrow from then on.

    That’s not to say it hasn’t been hard, Lord knows it has been. And every now and then I’m tempted to be the that nosey chick and peep at his phone on the desk. But I love him too much to keep him in a relationship without trust, and love myself even more. So I made the decision to stay and I’m glad I did.

  • Musickbabi7

    personally, i’m still surprised at how morally outraged people get over cheating, especially when it’s so prevalent. i’m not saying that makes it okay, but really. come on people. ain’t nothing new under the sun. anyway, i’m just wondering… what is most important, monogamy or loyalty? i mean if a man chooses to cheat in just about every relationship he’s in, and knows full well before he enters a relationship that the fact he’s in one won’t matter when he’s tempted by another woman… well why don’t we just take away the sting of the cheating by trying an open relationship, with set ground rules on how you can get some on the side. it just doesn’t make sense to think that you’re magically going to meet the one person who’s going to keep you from cheating if your track record shows the opposite. by then its not always an issue of the person you’re in a relationship not keeping you satisfied, maybe you’re just not down for the challenge of monogamy. i don’t know, i just feel like there’s gotta be a better way than a man (or woman) always cheating and lying. monogamy is a choice, and a hard one at that, and having an open relationship doesn’t make a relationship easier, but there’s no sense in entering a monogamous relationship if you know full well when the right temptation comes along, you’re taking full advantage of it and then start this ridiculous, horrendous cycle all over again. it’s just frustratingly stupid. i mean, unless half the thrill of cheating is the whole getting away with it and hiding it from the person you’re supposed to love… then if that’s it, the person is a piece of sh*t and doesn’t belong in a relationship.

  • Thinkani

    Great post! Great Comments! I think that cheating is always going to bring out a multitude of opinions. I have walked in the shoes of the cheater, the person who was cheated on, and the person they were cheating with. None of them are easy and the reasons behind each was so very different. But ultimately only the persons in the relationship can make the decision as to what comes next, and that can be a daily decision. If you decide to stay, realize that at some point you have to trust, if you know you will never trust again walk away. If you know that you will not ever be trusted again walk away. But once you make the decision to stay or go, stick with it. Nothing is worse than the pain caused by bouncing back and forth.

  • Justmythoughts

    The problem with this is that people who like to screw a bunch of people typically don’t pair up with other people that like to screw a lot of people. No, they continuously date people who have expectations of monogamy and then complain about “the challenges of monogamy”. I have yet to see a serial cheater date another serial cheater.

    And on top of that, people who like to screw a lot of people and then lie about it are usually NOT okay with their significant others doing the same thing. What’s good for the goose is apparently NOT good for the gander.

  • Patrina

    It’s not that he didn’t or doesn’t care about her, he just cares about himself more. That’s really all it ever boils down to. Cheating is a selfish act by one party to fulfill a personal need. If she really wants to give him another chance I think she should give him a healthy amount of time to show her that he is working to be better, 3 to 6 months. Go from there. But if she is forcing herself to stay, run don’t walk in the other direction. The relationship will end and she’ll be mad she didn’t leave sooner.

  • Hinthint

    The deceptiveness in cheating is what gets me every time. The ex that cheated was not given a chance to explain. If we are in a relationship where we communicate pretty effectively and you do not communicate a missing need then we do not need to move forward after you go out there and fulfill your need. We certainly do not need to get back together when you were carrying on a relationship before and after we got into a relationship, unknown to everyone(he was convinced he was single). That level of deception and disrespect is not to be tolerated.
    I’d rather not deal with it…maybe that means I will be single for a while but I am convinced that not every man cheats. Or atleast he can break up with me when he senses he about to stray (if that makes any sense)

  • Leogoddess

    Big ole sigh!! Wow this really hits home. I was cheated on ( a first for me) my heart was broken. So I left. During those months of mourning, I actually felt physical pain. Wow it hurt soo bad. He came back to redeem himself and I felt inclined to TRY and forgive him. It seemed impossible to trust again. I will admit I didn’t make life easy for him for quite some time. BUT the thing about it is that he didn’t give up. He didn’t say “this is too hard” he stuck it out and EARNED the trust back. I think that’s the thing a lot of men don’t want to WORK to repair what THEY broke. Start fresh, turn over a new leaf and all that doesn’t happen over night. It takes time to heal that wound and earn the trust back. It’s not on the cheaters time frame and it’s on the cheatee. If the two can’t agree to that timeline then no it won’t work. If the cheater is not truly willing to put in the work to repair what they broke walk away.

  • Nnaomi12

    Oooh! You hit on some great points! I agree with you 100%. This is what stood out to me the most:

    “As I always say to people, I’d rather deal with the challenge of never cheating, than deal with the challenge of convincing a woman I will never cheat again.”

    And this…

    “The question can’t just be, is this man who has lied telling the truth? The question also needs to be: Is this woman who was lied to, ever going to believe him again? In my experience, the answer has been a deafening no.”

    Well done!


  • Shana1209

    I believe that all men cheat; however all men don’t cheat on every woman. I would suggest that your friend leave this man. Not to say that he is a bad man, but obviously something was lacking in the relationship (not at the fault of either party) that made this man go outside of his relationshp. She’ll find someone who respects and loves her enough, to make her his one and only. Best of luck to her!

  • KitKatCuty84
  • Shae Mechelle

    I think this is a great post. My ex recently cheated on me and it was completely different from another cheating ex. The difference was in the fact that the first ex was genuinely remorseful for his actions and wanted to regain my trust. I was so blinded by the fact that he cheated that i gave him a hard way to go to prove that he really was trying to change his ways. It took about 4 months, but I did come around. The last ex was like “Well, I cheated and I understand if you don’t want to be together because i can’t give you what you want.” He really didn’t want to fight for the relationship or anything.

    I never thought there were different kinds of cheating, lol. I thought cheating was cheating, but after these experiences i think differently. There is something great and wonderful about a person loving and caring for someone so much that they accept their indiscretions but still stick around and fight to prove they can and want to be a better person.

  • Tahani Tompkins

    cheating is not that big of a deal. as long as the time you spend together is quality what goes on behind ur back doesn’t matter. UUUNLLEEEESSS he has a baby. or catches something. in either case call that cuzn to get it[it being his skull] crackin.

  • Christina

    True that most women cannot ever get over the fact that their man cheated and it is due to that fact that she’s constantly questioning him and his whereabouts. She is checking his pockets and going through his phone. She has zero trust for him and of course he deserves it. But, that is no way to live. THAT is not conducive to a healthy relationship. 

    Whenever my friends and I discuss cheating and question if we would stay my response is the same. It is very unlikely that I will stay with a boyfriend that has cheated on me. However, I would possibly stay with a husband that has cheated on me. Although I do think that the man should shut up and endure the craziness because it is, after all, their fault we are in this predicament, they should only have to endure it for so long. I say one year, max. If we as women are going to hold onto the infidelity for over a year, we might as well let go of the relationship. With all the stress and arguments your relationship will practically be over anyway if you do not let it go. I’m not saying forget… I’m just saying forgive or at least calm down the crazy antics as you work on forgiving him.

  • Jaiden Everett

    You’re a fucking idiot.