Can we help? with PASTOR & MRS BANDA
DEAR Raphael and Namukolo,
With reference to your last week’s article entitled, ‘Should a cheating partner be shamed?’, looking at the misery that cheating brings to a home, my take is that cheating should be avoided at all cost.
My question is what causes cheating and what steps can married people take to prevent it? Prudent.
Yes, we totally agree with you that given the catastrophic nature of the consequences of cheating, it is far much better preventing it than trying to pick up the broken pieces after it has happened.
In order for a couple to successfully prevent it, they need to understand its different causes. There are different types of cheaters and each will require a different approach.
• The habitual cheater. This is a spouse whose cheating habits go back to before the marriage. One can say it is their nature. They were loose before courtship and then they cheated during courtship. If they were caught cheating during courtship they sweet-talked their way out of the tight corner, shed crocodile tears and promised to be faithful thereafter. Yet the truth of the matter is that old habits die hard and it is just a matter of time before their cheating habit rears its ugly head again.
This type of cheating is foundational in nature and it can only be effectively prevented before marriage. Background checks must be carried out before committing to go out with someone. Singles must not be in a hurry to commit to someone who professes love for them without finding out their backgrounds. Cheating habits cannot easily be hidden and they are bound to be known by the community in which one lives.
Beyond this initial stage, what happens in courtship should not be taken lightly. If your friend cheats on you during courtship, you have no guarantee that they will be faithful to you when you are married. It is a red light which should not be ignored. Many harbour the naïve belief that their cheating partner will change once married. On the contrary, the situation normally grows worse. Once cheating is encountered in courtship, you are better off terminating the relationship, unless, under serious counselling, the cheater gives concrete proof that they have repented of their ways. Many who are stuck with cheating partners today ignored the danger signs seen before they got married.
• The dissatisfied cheater: This type of cheater started as a faithful partner but along the way, they got disillusioned with their marriage. They grew discontented for example, with the way their partner was handling finances, relatives or with issues of romance and sex. They concluded that they were receiving a raw deal and they started looking across the fence for a solution. The dissatisfaction soon turned into a temptation and they concluded they could supplement their unsatisfactory marriage with an affair.
This type of cheating can be prevented by the married couples first acknowledging that every marriage has got its own challenges which need to be overcome by the couple identifying them, and working together to address them. Effective communication is vital in this case.
• The naïve or careless cheater: As with the previous cheater, this one did not set out with an intention to cheat on their partner. They were simply careless with the way they related with members of the opposite sex. They did not budget for their vulnerability. They unwisely ended up getting too close to work mates, church mates, business partners or neighbours of the opposite sex. Before they knew it, like an ice cream in the summer heat, their hearts began to melt. They found themselves terribly compromised without prior intention.
This type of cheating can be prevented by being knowledgeable and putting a fence around oneself. This calls for married couples to relate wisely and discreetly with members of the opposite sex. There is a warning in the scriptures, which all marrieds would do well to heed in 1 Corinthians 10:12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!
• The vengeful cheater: This is the spouse who has concluded that their partner is cheating on them. Their conclusion might be real or imagined. They then proceed to take revenge by engaging in an extramarital affair themselves. They convince themselves that they are teaching their partners a lesson.
This sad state of affairs can be prevented by the partner who feels they are victims of cheating, being level headed. They must first seek evidence to prove the cheating; peacefully confront their cheating partners and involve mediators to resolve the impasse. The Bible warns us against revenging. Romans 12:17,19,21 Do not repay anyone evil for evil…Do not take revenge,…Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Think before you act.
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