Anytime the topic of men cheating comes up, there is an instant divide between the women who say they wound stay and the ones who say they would leave. Of course every case of infidelity is different and so is every woman, so there is no one right answer as to whether a woman should stay or go.
For the woman who decides to leave, it is important for her to consider if the man who cheated on her was just being who he is; a cheater!…or if he is genuinely a “good guy” who made a horrible error in judgement and ended up in a tempting situation that he was not able to resist. If your man is the latter, you may want to reconsider, especially if you can honestly say that he is a good person who has a lot of good qualities and he genuinely cares for you.
The other reason why a woman might want to consider staying is because she is married and/or has children with this man. While I have never experienced divorce, I know that it is gut wrenching and painful and the children caught in it are not spared from the pain. Again, if he is otherwise a good man, maybe there is room for a conversation about looking at what caused the undesirable behavior and resolving some issues.
The one reason that I take serious issue with, for staying, is when a woman is too scared to be alone and her self esteem has been so grossly eroded that she believes that she can not do better or that there is nothing better “out there” for her. No one deserves to be betrayed.
For the woman who decides to stay, the first thing to consider is what you may have been exposed to. Whether your man swears he used protection or not, it is important for both of you to get tests for ALL s*xually transmitted diseases! If your man refuses to go for testing, immediately, then you may need to reconsider the idea of staying.
The second thing to consider if you’re going to stay, is whether or not you can forgive the betrayal. Personally, I believe that whether you stay or go, forgiveness has to take place. Unforgiveness is like a cancer that just keeps growing and making you more and more sick. If you stay, unforgiveness will color the relationship from that point on and if you leave, it will color your next relationship.
When you stay, there has to be a strategy to re-establish trust and look at why the cheating happened, in the first place. You may need to get professional help and once again, if he won’t participate, you many need to reconsider the idea of staying.
At the end of the day, having a healthy relationship is not about what anyone except the two people in the relationship feel is best. If a woman feels that trust, love and caring can be restored in her relationship,then more power to her! If yet another woman feels that she is not willing to stick around to see if her man will betray her again, more power to her too!
Nomalanga helps Black women in their lives and careers. She is a Social Commentator, an Editor at Your Black World , Assistant Professor of Professional Studies and the reigning Mrs Botswana. Visit Nomalanga’s Facebook page or Follow her on Twitter