HOW MANY TIMES WILL YOU FORGIVE A PARTNER YOU’VE CAUGHT CHEATING?

The stats about cheating and infidelity is at an all-time high, and it isn’t just the men alone, research has found that infidelity among women is also increasing.

Forgiveness is a virtue that has always been talked about, and it’s very essential for any relationship to work. If there’s no forgiveness, then that relationship is as good as dead.

There’s a limit to how far one can go when it comes to forgiveness, but how far is really far, and when is the acceptable time to reach the end of the straw and decide that it’s over?

Infidelity is as old as culture itself; it was common among the classical Greeks and Romans, pre-industrial Europeans, historical Japanese, Chinese and Hindus, you name it. In modern day, the trend seems to be at its worse. A study of American couples indicate that 20 to 40% of heterosexual married men and 20 to 25% of heterosexual married women will also have an extramarital affair during their lifetime.

According to a popular lifestyle magazine, around 17% of total divorce cases are due to infidelity, and surprisingly, a whooping 90% believe adultery is wrong!

The big question isn’t: why do people cheat on their spouses? But, will you forgive a cheating partner?

A recent incident around my neighbourhood brought about this question, as a friend and I talked at length at the limit one can go to forgive a cheating partner. You’d agree with me that a vast majority of cheating partners don’t get caught, and the ones who get caught tend to repeat the act hoping they don’t get caught the next time.

Let’s take a look at the following indices:

1.  A man can love his partner and still cheat just for the thrill of being with someone else, and it also applies to a woman.

2. Emotional neglect is a major reason why people cheat on their spouses. Being neglected emotionally could cause people to stray even if they don’t want to.

3. It probably could be a fling without any attachment, but no matter the name you call it, it’s still cheating.

4. Old flames never die they say. What if it’s just old flames?

Back to the incident in my neighbourhood, a woman caught her husband in the act of infidelity (for the second time in over a year). The couple were doing well together, they were in love and had a happy family and everything seemed to be perfect, or almost perfect. But then, for reasons unknown to us, the man was involved in sexual infidelity and got found out by his wife. He pleaded for forgiveness, and she gave in.

Fast forward to just over a year later, a similar thing happened again, but this time, the woman was done with. She didn’t have the heart to forgive her beloved husband a second time and was keen on getting a divorce. Interestingly, she admitted she still loved the man but can’t continue with him despite his pleas because she didn’t have the heart to forgive him a second time.

My friend and I have different views regarding this situation, but how many times do you think a cheating partner should be forgiven? And what are the yardsticks for accepting their apologies?

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