It is often said that a successful marriage can be achieved when it involves two forgivers. However, when it comes to the issue of cheating; it may be difficult to forgive due to the attendant emotional scars. Saturday PUNCH asked a cross-section of Nigerians to talk about what would make them forgive a spouse that cheated on them. Here are their responses
If he is sober – Helen Ugwa Destiny
I will forgive him if he is sober and stops cheating on me. As a Christian, it is good to practise forgiveness in advance because it helps to deal with unexpected circumstances. Cheating affects marriages because things won’t be the same again; there won’t be happiness and trust again and suspicion would be the order of the day. I would advise people who are faced with issues like this to let go; it is not easy but they have to try. If they refuse to forgive and choose to leave the marriage, will they stay alone? They may continue to hurt and depression may set in.
If he was never caught – Chika Ezechukwu
The only condition that can make me forgive a spouse that cheated on me is if he was never caught; then there would be nothing to forgive. If he has any regard or respect for me, he would keep his track clean. How long will I continue to forgive him? The earlier men realise that the damage is severe when women cheat, the better for them. We also get tired of eating the same ‘cucumber’ but thank God for the fear God.
If he stops seeing the woman – Chioma Nwobodo
I will forgive my spouse only if he agrees to change, stops seeing the woman in question and cuts off all ties with her. Though it’s not easy to forgive an adulterous man; as a Christian, my bible made me understand that the only grounds for divorce have to do with adultery. However, because of love, I might consider him if he truly decides to change.
Adultery brings a lot of setbacks into the family because once a spouse starts cheating; he gives the devil a chance to tamper with the happiness and peace that once existed in the family. The cheating spouse becomes a liar and a cheat, and he will no longer have time for his family because all his time will be devoted to his new-found lust.
If he is truly repentant – Becky Onyekwue
As a Christian, forgiveness comes naturally for me; but the question is: Am I willing to forget about the incident and move on with life? I would want to know what led him to cheat on me in the first place and see if there is a way to sort things out. Forgiveness can only happen if the spouse is truly repentant and shows it in his actions apart from words. There is a popular saying that goes: “Don’t tell me you love me, show me.” This could also be put like this: “Don’t tell me you are sorry, show me.”
If it was the first time – Jewoola Temilola Oluwabusolami
I’d say a good marriage should be between two forgivers. The only thing that will make me forgive my spouse is love; love will make you do the impossible. The effect of cheating will definitely affect the trust in our union. Meanwhile, if that was the first time he would cheat on me, I would just let it go and imagine it never happened, provided he’s repentant. There is no perfect human being in this world; it’s not easy to forgive such a misdeed, especially when the person is caught red-handed. Even if you forgive the spouse, you can’t forget what they did. So I would advise couples to always remember that forgiveness is the key to open some doors. Lack of forgiveness will only make them stagnant.
Forgiveness is my philosophy – Igwe Okala
I always forgive everybody; it is my philosophy in life to forgive all humans as I would always do unto others what I would wish they do unto me. We are humans and are not perfect. We are fallible like all creations of God.
I would forgive because…Majebi Peter
The only sin I won’t forgive is if my wife involves a third party in our marriage. I would not divorce my wife even if I caught her cheating on me; this is because in one way or the other, I might have cheated on her. And even if I have not done so, who says it is not possible as we are human beings with blood flowing inside us. We are all working towards perfection. I don’t think there is anything my wife would do that would make me hate or divorce let alone not forgive her. She is my better half, do you know what that means?
Love could make me forgive her – Chigozie Alex
The love I have for her could make me forgive her. The bond that we share and sacrifices we’ve made for each other could make me forgive her. I’d also recognise that she’s not perfect and so am I. Forgiveness is the right thing to do. If she truly admits that she cheated on me and opens up to me; I would gladly forgive her. Opening up would help me know what I didn’t do right that made her cheat on me.
It could end the marriage – Adegbayem John Olufemi
If my spouse cheats on me and it’s confirmed; that would be the end of the marriage. I can even deny the children she claims are mine. It would be difficult to erase such memories from my mind because of my nature. I forgive people who offend me if it’s not deliberately done. In this case, if it was a deliberate act, it would be difficult to forgive.
If she promises to stop – Jolayemi Oluwatosin
She must promise me that it won’t happen again. And also, she must tell me why she cheated on me. I might be the reason why she cheated on me. I might be the cause; for example, maybe I wasn’t satisfying her s*xually or financially. I’m human and that makes me imperfect.
It would affect our marriage and I might think that our children are not mine. However, if there are no children, it may worsen the situation and eventually lead to divorce.