I thought it was all her fault. When I found out a ministry leader and his wife were getting a divorce because he was cheating, I thought she must have done something to make him cheat. She must have let herself go or refused to have sex with him. Teenagers know everything, right? I carried this misconception into adulthood, until it happened to me. In the summer of 2009, my husband admitted to cheating on me several times throughout our marriage. Although he said it had nothing to do with me, I still wondered if it was somehow my fault. Is cheating the betrayed spouse’s fault? Here are my thoughts.
You cannot cause someone to cheat no matter how much you let yourself go or how bad your sex life gets. We are all responsible for our own behavior. Your spouse cannot make you do anything. Fidelity is a choice. We can choose to be faithful, even when it is difficult. Your behavior does not make their infidelity inevitable.
Does the faithful spouse contribute to the success or failure of the marriage? Yes. It takes two to make a marriage work. Although I did not cause my husband to cheat, I did contribute to the lack of connection between us and other problems in our marriage. I spent hours cleaning, working on lesson plans, and shopping on the weekends. I had to take responsibility for my part in the failure of our marriage. I may not have directly caused my husband to cheat, but I wasn’t doing much to help him resist the temptation.
Our marriage did survive. I don’t think it would have if I had chosen not to acknowledge and deal with my own failings. I have so many thoughts on this, but I want to hear yours.
Do you think cheating is the betrayed spouse’s fault? Why or why not?