23 Sep

Cheating and its impact on the Family

What is Love If it is not guaranteed? What is love if it cannot be trusted to be faithful if it cannot be trusted to be true, open and honest? These were the questions that ran through the mind of Adesewa as she stared at her reflection in her bedside mirror. She had been in her room crying her eyes out for hours. She had only just confirmed her fears, her husband was cheating!! The reaction was different for 45year old Akin when he found out that the children he loved and called his own were in fact his best friend’s children. He went numb and had since then been unable to function properly or focus at work. If their second child Oluwafunto had not fallen sick weeks earlier and in need of blood transfusion, he would have never found out that he was in fact not the biological father of his beautiful daughter, and that his wife had been cheating on him all along. For both Adesewa and Akin, however, the pain was heart-rending. Each reacted in different ways, but the pain and ache of a cheating partner Are the same for anyone who experiences it.

 

When one of the partners in a relationship or marriage cheats, it affects not just the mother or the father, it has huge spiral effects on the children as well. Funke recalls how her otherwise beautiful empire she called home came crumbling down when her father cheated on her mother. The home became torn into two, and when her mum requested a divorce, the family was never the same again. She always wondered why her father was dissatisfied with her mother so much that he had to cheat. Her mother was beautiful, industrious, sweet, hardworking, respectful and godly. What more could a man want in a wife? Or was cheating an inherent thing for men? So many questions kept her awake many nights in a row. It eventually affected how she viewed men as she grew older, and it made her really sceptical and afraid to completely trust the words of any man.

 

Emotional connections, intimacy and attachments are great, beautiful and exhilarating. However, when it becomes something that is shared with more than one person especially in the context of marriage, it becomes a huge reason for concern. To cheat is to indirectly communicate to your partner that you do not think that they are enough, it is to make them question the words, affirmations and vows you made at the altar. Cheating on your partner not only tampers with your partner’s self-esteem, it also tampers with the atmosphere of peace, love and tranquillity in your home. There is no excuse for cheating, none. No matter how bad things seem to be at home, no matter how hard it is to communicate your feelings, the next option should never be to cheat. When you cheat, you do more harm to yourself than your partner. How you may ask? Well, for one, you lose the trust that your partner had in you to be faithful and true. Once trust is broken, it is very hard to regain.

 

In a world where honesty, sincerity and the right value seem scarce, too many different definitions and angles have been given to cheating. No matter how people try to cover and excuse their excesses, what is wrong is still wrong. No matter how much the world seems to applaud bad behaviour and call certain wrongdoings freedom of expression and feelings, cheating is still what it is, a wrong action that can potentially ruin the lives of the ones who get directly affected by the action. “Let every man take delight in the wife of his youth, Let him drink water from his own cistern”(proverbs 5:15). Let every woman see that she honours and respects her husband(Ephesians 5:33).“Marriage is honourable among all, and the bed undefiled. Be it flirtatious behaviours towards the opposite sex, emotional attachment or actual sexual intercourse with anyone else other than one’s partner, whatever form cheating takes, it should be nipped in the bud before it ever reaches fruition. We can help raise a generation that will believe in purity, wholeness, trust, truth and faithfulness in marriage. We have too many broken homes with broken children who grow up and unconsciously breed more broken homes. The cycle can stop now. We can all choose to stay true to the vows we made at the altar. Remember, cheating has more negative impacts on an entire family than the seeming momentary pleasure it gives. And honestly, if it is really bad for you and you can’t take it anymore, seek counsel, get professional help from a therapist, not a Pastor unless he or she is a trained therapist, leave the marriage if totally damaged. I advise seeking help first because the problem might not be your partner, the problem might be YOU.

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