Everyone gasped in horror at the news that Brad cheated on Angelina. “How could he? She’s so beautiful!” “Oh. I loved them. I’m so sad!” “How can I continue to believe in love when my FAVORITE couple has been torn apart?!” We loved Brangelina. We wanted them to work. We even loved the common bond they shared through their many children, biological and adopted (which made it even more beautiful).
But he cheated.
How was she to know he’d cheat? “Wait! If Brad would cheat on Angelina, would my man cheat on me? How will I know if my man is going to cheat?”
Truth is, you can’t know.
But there are some things you can do:
1. Don’t marry a cheater. If your man (or woman) has never been with a person they didn’t cheat on, guess what: They’ve got a heart problem. I remember when Eric Benet cheated on Halle Berry, and NO ONE could believe it! “How could he cheat on one of the most beautiful women in the world?” I remember a co-worker of mine and I were marveling at this idea, and a very wise man responded to us with, “Any man’ll cheat if his heart ain’t right.” Ahhhh, the wisdom! If there’s a heart issue there, and ESPECIALLY if your relationship with the person began with them cheating on someone else to “be with” you, how can you expect something different? A real heart change needs to happen – from the inside, and not just to please you – before new behaviors will ensue.
If no heart change… one day… maybe not now, maybe not next week… maybe, as in Brad’s case, almost 12 years later… but one day… that crooked place that was lying deep in their heart will show up.
2. Don’t be an accuser. Our confession is powerful, and although many of us don’t like to admit it, other people do have influence on us. The Bible tells us that bad company corrupts good morals (1 Cor. 15:33 ESV). We often get the picture of a gang of mischievous kids hanging out with our child, trying to influence them to do drugs or steal. The fact is, the “bad company” doesn’t always have to be participating in the bad behavior. The bad behavior could be the sin of speaking negative things over you.
When we marry someone, we give them the position of “most influential (human) person” in our lives. If this person is consistently telling us we are a cheater, or accusing us of cheating, what fruit do you think those seeds will produce? If you don’t want your spouse to cheat on you (and I hope none of us do), don’t call them a cheater. This is called speaking curses over someone, and it can fall into the category of witchcraft. Call them faithful, trustworthy, honest and loving (to you). Doing this is speaking blessings over your spouse. You are confessing what you WANT over them, as opposed to what you don’t want.
John King wrote a book called “Deliverance for the Rebellious Child,” and talked about a time when his son just seemed like he COULD NOT do right… Minister King started speaking blessings over his child, telling him, “God has blessed you and had great plans for your future” (King 51). Even when he was sneaking out of the house, getting arrested, and doing drugs, he was saying what God said about his son, and not what the enemy wanted him to say. And do you know what? His son is a man of God today, helping others in their walk with God!
You have two choices: Convince your spouse that they are faithful and trustworthy, or convince them that they are a cheater. They will be affected by YOUR words. Which one do you want your spouse to be?
3. Don’t give them a reason. Whether we like it or not, we can push our spouse to cheat. The strongest of men (and women) may resist, but they will also be sad, hurting, and starving for love in their particular area of need. Two of the very basic needs of a man in marriage are sex and respect. If, as a wife, you are starving him of sex, he’s going to be hungry. This is not just a physical need. Your willingness to give your body to him tells him that he’s worth giving to: that he’s worthwhile. It makes him feel valued, which is an extremely important need for anyone. Even if he’s not getting love, respect, or feelings of value from his workmates, his career, or any of his outside associations, when you show him physical intimacy, it can be a therapeutic release for him. Nothing else matters, because he has (what translates to him as) the love of a good woman. When you grasp this revelation, the song “Sexual Healing” may never have the same meaning to you again.
In addition to a lack of sex, a lack of respect from his wife can make a man feel less-than, devalued, and emasculated. There is absolutely no excuse for someone to cheat. It is wrong, and their own decision, and they are fully responsible for their actions, HOWEVER, when your spouse feels that you have a low (or no) regard for them, and someone else “out there” thinks very highly of them, it is hard not to notice. They can associate good feelings with another person. Someone once said, “It is not how you feel about someone that makes you fall in them love with them, but how you feel about yourself when you’re around them.” This is a very powerful concept, even with its philosophical flaws. Strong feelings can develop for someone that makes you feel wonderful, builds you up, and ultimately increases your self-esteem. Yes, a good spouse wouldn’t even entertain these conversations. They would see the temptation and quickly cut it off, but when someone is starving, they gravitate toward food.
Ladies (and men), don’t let someone else feed your spouse. Keep them full. There is nothing bad that can come of you failing to point out all of their flaws and weaknesses. Your spouse needs your support, your admiration, and your love.
And he deserves it…whether he deserves it, or not. ;)
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