Monday, September 24, 2012

My wife admitted cheating on me, should I forgive her?

News of a cheating wife hits a man’s ego hard. As a result, some men find it harder to get over a cheating wife. This is the one area that makes men fragile — when their ego is injured.

Photo/FILE News of a cheating wife hits a man’s ego hard. As a result, some men find it harder to get over a cheating wife. This is the one area that makes men fragile — when their ego is injured.  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By PHILIP KITOTO

My wife confessed to having cheated on me once while I was away. This was after I found used condoms of a brand I do not use. Should I forgive her? We have been married for more than six years and have two sons.

Dedan.

Hello Dedan,

It seems that men have a much harder time moving on after their wives cheat on them. As a result, the question to ask is: “Why is it harder for men to get over a cheating wife than it is for women to get over cheating husbands?”

Did you know that men do not worry about cheating on their wives the way women worry about cheating on their husbands? This is because most men expect their wives to be faithful. 

They feel confident in the love that their wives have for them. Men are blind to the fact that women can be tempted just the way they can be. As a result, they live safe in the delusion that they married angels.

Because of this blind mindset, many men may live with a cheating wife and never know it.

News of a cheating wife hits a man’s ego hard. As a result, some men find it harder to get over a cheating wife. This is the one area that makes men fragile — when their ego is injured. In choosing a wife, therefore, a man ensures that he gets one that who will nurse that ego.

A woman’s cheating is, therefore, seen as demeaning to the man’s ego and another man being preferred over him. That is why most men find it hard to forgive a cheating spouse. They feel as if loyalty has been breached.

Culturally, the issue of a cheating spouse is received with condemnation. Somehow, men can cheat and even bring another woman into the matrimonial home without much ado. As for the woman, cheating is equated to harlotry.

Consequently, it appears shameful and disrespectful to a man to discover that his wife cheated on him. Because cheating in a relationship hurts, forgiving is normally a difficult decision and is governed by two factors:

First, if you were the one who messed up, and yet you truly loved your wife, would you want to be forgiven? If the answer is yes, then work at forgiving her. Another way is to consider your best friend whose wife has cheated on him.

You deeply love both of them and believe in their marriage. What would you do? Second, since forgiveness calls for the erasing of the wrong and restoring the fellowship with the person in a way that the sin is not counted against them, many people find this walk difficult.

However, forgiveness acknowledges the injustice but makes a choice not to use it against the person. But where forgiveness is extended, it must be followed by responsible action.

The fruit of repentance must be seen, because this is the only way trust is restored.

Is this village secretary eyeing my Helb loan?

I am a 21-year-old student at a local university. Before joining, and out of desperation for money, I got into an affair with the secretary of a school in my village.

She is 10 years older than me and used to give me pocket money. Unfortunately, she conceived and had a baby and is now demanding that I marry her. She has threatened to take me to court.

What are my chances? I know that she is eyeing my HELB loan.

Hi,

One thing that I like about you is the fact that you are honest about the wrong steps you took in life and the consequences. Two things are clear here: First, you made this woman pregnant and now have a child. This issue needs to be sorted out unselfishly.

Ask yourself, what happens to this baby? Second, you seem to be sure of the fact that you were used in this relationship — that she used money to get you to sleep with her. Since you are not married to her yet, let her know your position concerning the relationship.

One thing that is clear is that she cannot force herself on you unless you are willing to live with her. On the other hand, you cannot run away from your responsibility as the father of the child.

How these issues can be reconciled will depend on the legal advice you get or your discussions with her.

He wants marriage, I just want the good times

Hello. I am aged 25 and have been in a relationship for more than a year. Six months before we met, I was heartbroken when my four-year relationship ended.

My current boyfriend was there for me, cheering me up and generally being a shoulder to lean on. He is sweet and caring and I can tell that he truly loves me.

However, I do not like his boyish habits and I feel that we do not have the “chemistry”. I also think that I have not completely recovered from my last relationship.

I do not want to break his heart by telling him this, so I am just playing along. He has already introduced me to his parents and they like me.

I know I am being unfair to him and myself. Do you think I hurried into this relationship? Should I end it before it gets any deeper, like marriage? Help!

Precious, Nairobi.

Hi,

Yes, the fact that you have been in a relationship for a year and that your boyfriend has introduced you to his parents will definitely break his heart.

But think about it this way: How about being twice heartbroken because you married the wrong man? This is the time to break off and do the right thing.

However, let us look at a few things. First, you need to consider your reasons for seeking to break the relationship. Are they important enough to mess up your future?

If yes, I would suggest that it is better to have a broken heart now than a broken marriage later.

Second is the fact that you could be suffering emotional upheaval when you think about marriage to another man because of your previous pain.

My suggestion is that you take your time and ask yourself whether you just drifted into this relationship or found values in your current boyfriend that attracted you to him.

It appears to me as if yours is a case of love on the rebound.

With time, and if you take the bold step of dealing with your past and asking yourself whether you really need this man for who he is or for what he has done for you, you will arrive at the right answer.

My man is irresponsible (I dare not repeat that)

Dear Philip,

I am 45 years old and married to a 47-year-old man. We have been married for 17 years and our children are aged 15 and 13. Throughout our marriage, my husband has treated me like trash and has no time for his children.

He forces me to have sex with him and heaps abuse on me at the top of his voice. He is frequently in and out of jobs and without a steady income, therefore it is my burden to look after the family as I have a good Job.

He recently started to claim that he is a born-again Christian, but his actions have not changed. He has no respect for anybody, not even his own parents.

He has warned me not to speak to anybody from his church about his behaviour, threatening that if I do, he will leave the faith and become even worse.

Although I have never caught him with another woman, I can tell from the way he behaves that he has girlfriends.

Please advise me if I should go ahead and speak to his church right away or try to get more evidence first about his infidelity, or just call it quits.

Thanks, Agnes

Hi

Your husband appears to be threatened by your job because of his lack of consistent employment. I suggest that you evaluate the way he perceives you.

He feels that the only way to deal with his feeling towards you is to intimidate you. It is, therefore, important to determine what triggers his cruel actions.

Does he shout even without reason or after you do or say certain things? You must find out what provokes his anger.

Being born again is not bad as long as one lives according to the faith they profess. I have a problem with the way your husband is living his new-found faith.

Your marriage needs help. He is threatening you with an even more difficult marriage if you reveal his misbehaviour.

I suggest that you consider choosing between taking the risk of seeking help from a mutual spiritual leader and later facing an uncertain future or continuing in the current mode, where your husband has the upper hand through intimidation and manipulation.

Before you confront him, make sure that you have considered the issues or actions that cause him to take the position he does.

Business partners who took matters too far

Hey Philip

I am a 32-year-old Kenyan in the diaspora. I have lived with a man for four years, although we are not married. My situation is complicated.

We started off as business partners. The man is a Muslim and has made it clear that he has no intention of marrying me or having a baby with me because I am a Christian.

Early this year, I really wanted a baby, but he insisted that he did not want a Christian baby. I did not know how to end our relationship because of out business partnership.

I was so depressed at the time that I did care about what I would lose, I just wanted to end the relationship and start my life afresh. Therefore, I was shocked to find that I had conceived.

He was not happy about the news, but since I am the one most involved in the business, he played it down. However, I could see that he was not the same.

I had to make my own arrangements for my antenatal visits and cope alone when I was unwell. All he cared about was the business and that I manage it well, even when I had to stand for 16 hours a day.

The stress was too much and I had a miscarriage at seven months.

For him, it has been business as usual and his life went on. He is responsible and hard working, and although his friends and culture are racist, he stood by me.

He is loving because I suspect that he knows what is on my mind. He gives me all the financial and crucial responsibilities for our business.

I believe he is simply brainwashing me and that we cannot have a life together because I have refused to change my faith to fit in his life.

Please advise me. I am worried whether we can still work together if I end this relationship. His culture and family do not accept me because I am black.

I fear that he may be just using me to make money. Please help.

Hi

First, I’m sorry for the loss of your pregnancy. However, this man has been frank regarding his intentions and cannot be accused of failing to communicate clearly. You are the one with a problem.

You have a joint business which both of you can put focus on. You understand that his people will not accept a black woman. It is up to you to take the necessary steps to keep your relation at a level that will be productive for both of you.

I think you would be better off as business partners than a couple. Ask yourself if your business partnership can remain productive, considering the baggage you both bring into the relationship.

I believe the legal implications will guide the future of your business partnership

Is there any hope that I will meet a loving man?

Dear Philip,

I read your column and like the advice you offer. I am 26 years old and have had only one relationship, which lasted almost two years. The man was loving and I loved him too.

I had asked God for him. He was saved and for the time I was with him, he never asked for sex, as many men do. The only problem was that he worked far from where I was schooling (Nairobi), so it took long for us to meet.

He could only come to Nairobi when he was on leave. At first, he would talk to me every day and I felt that he loved me.

Then the telephone calls started easing off until it would sometimes take weeks before I heard from him and I started feeling that I was losing him. He later got another woman and moved on.

My problem is that the men I meet are not serious while I keep thinking that age is catching up with me and that I need to date for sometime and get to know the person before marriage.

All the men I meet ask for sex on the second or third date. I usually call it off because I am not ready and I know that they do not love me.

I want a baby, but not outside wedlock. The question is, why is it taking me so long to meet a man whom I can share love with? Is there still hope that I will meet a serious, loving, and a caring man?

Please advise. Gal in need!

Hi

Let me start by stating that many people in relationships are not bold enough to tell the person they are dating that it is over. They let things slide until they realise that there is nothing left in the relationship.

It is sad that your boyfriend moved on without seeing the need to formally break your relationship with him. You have good values that you should not lose.

Compromise will take you down the road of regrets. Therefore, stay focused, be a person of values, and cultivate patience. At age 26, there is no need to be impatient or desperate.

I believe that there is still something good coming your way. Remember that allowing panic to overcome you will only open the door for actions that you may live to regret.

We have not been intimate for years

Hello Philip,

I have been married for 18 years. My husband will soon be turning 38 and have just turned 34. We have two children, a son and a daughter aged 16 and 11 respectively.

For the past three years, we have not been intimate because my husband insists that we have to go for an HIV test.

I have done the test four times, but he has refused to get checked despite being the one who insists on it.

Whenever I ask why he has not gone for the test, he promises to go before the week or the month ends. That is why we got into this intimacy desert.

He says that he loves me and the children, that he cannot live without us, and that we are the reason he is alive.

But I have run out of patience because he is not living his word. Can anyone understand how a couple could share a bed for three years and not get intimate even once?

Please advise.

Depressed Wife.

Hello,

After reading your message, I really do not have much to go by. I realise that there must be a history to the years before you stopped being intimate.

However, from the little you have shared, my suspicion would be that there is something that is not being fully shared. Lack of intimacy in a relationship could be a result of many reasons.

Lack of communication, infidelity, or a long absence from each other could cause this.

In your case, we are talking about three years without sexually intimacy. One of the reasons could be that your husband is facing or going through some stuff he is afraid of sharing or he is just not willing to talk about.

This being the case, and since it may be difficult to force him to share his problems, a climate of trust must be built first before starting to dig for the truth.

Denial of conjugal rights could turn negative for marriage. It is, therefore, important to restore open and candid communication between the two of you.

Another issue that may keep a couple from sexual intimacy is suspicion of infidelity. If a man is suspicious of his wife or knows that he has been unfaithful, such a man may use every means possible to avoid being intimate with her for fear of passing on infections.

Since sex in marriage involves mutual consent, the couple needs to regularly engage in open and frank dialogue to remove any suspicions.

I’m walking away

Hi Philip,

I am a 30-year-old woman who has been dating a 38-year-old man for about five years. The problem is that he wants us to stay together, but he does not want a wedding.

I am confused because I cannot imagine living with a man before making our relationship official. Lately, I have been thinking of dumping him because any time I talk about a wedding, he just does not listen. I feel like finding someone else.

Paula

Hi Paula,

I can feel the struggle you are facing. But you have to realise that this is about a clash of values. Your values and his are different. I suggest that you consider two things:

First, why does he not want a wedding or to make things official? Is he afraid of the process or is it fear of commitment? This is important because he should look at your coming together as a lifetime commitment.

If this is what you see and he sees it different, then ask yourself if he is the right man. Second, it is important to evaluate his values. Are they the kind you would want to embrace? Remember, a person’s values determines their course in life.

For example, if he sees nothing wrong in having sex before marriage and your values and faith do not agree, then you need to reconsider your stand.

Walking away must be informed by your values and not just the fact that you have been denied a wedding. I know of coupes who did not have enough resources for a wedding and instead decided to take their vows in my private office.

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