Cheating Heart

The latest media hype surrounding Sandra Bullock and Jesse James came soon after the world-wide notorious Tiger Woods multi-mistresses scandal. Needless to say, infidelity has now become an even hotter topic in our society today. When it comes to how the couple should pick up the pieces, everyone has opinions on who’s right or wrong. However, I truly believe no one has the real answer except the two people in the relationship. What might be right for one couple might not be for another – and as easy as it is to be judgmental – unless you’re living under their roof, it’s just not our place to pass judgment.

I do believe that if people would address their feelings of unhappiness, outside crushes, wandering eyes, etc., before they acted on them it could make such a considerable difference. More often than not, I don’t think these things just happen. Distractions and temptations always arise at some point or another in committed relationships, and the best thing a person can do is redirect that energy toward the relationship. Find out what isn’t working and why you are feeling like you want to stray from the relationship and (if you truly love your partner) then do everything in your power to nip it in the bud as soon as possible and before the damage is done.

Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of marriages survive infidelity and find a way to recover; but there are also many that do not. What they can take away from it in either case is an important lesson learned. If they do decide to work it out, both parties have to put in the time and effort and it will take a great deal of pain and work (often times accompanied by outside professional help) to get back to a place of trust. For those who assumed that Tiger would just bounce back and come home to a happy, healthy life (and bed of roses) is not very realistic. Even following years of earning back trust, after a betrayal it’s sometimes impossible to get back to the way things were before the indiscretion.

Nowadays there are far more “I Dos” than there are people taking these vows quite as seriously. It would be wonderful to see more classes and workshops to prepare couples before they even tie the knot – to show some of the challenges that may arise and how to remain truly committed. So many people enter into a marriage never knowing what it’s like to have a spouse lose their job, to sit up all night with a sick child, or discuss how religion will play a part in their children’s lives, and even how they want to pay their bills. Everyone handles pressure differently, and perhaps cementing that bond and strengthening communication before either partner strays will help keep the focus where it should be – on the marriage or relationship itself.

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