Getting away with disloyalty

A lot of things are said about unfaithful men; if he cheats he does not love you for instance.

Others say he lacks respect for his partner if he cheats; that he is just a player and not a good man.

Should it be alright for men to cheat occasionally?

Although all these things and more might be true about perpetual cheaters, there are some that are sporadic cheaters.

‘Do not lose a loyal man because he is occasionally unfaithful,’ is a topic that has been circulating on social media lately, but should occasional cheating really be excused in relationships or marriages?

One of the contributors to the debate wondered how men would react if the tables were turned.

Another one said: “If you allow your man to occasionally cheat on you, then you do not have self respect. If he is doing it occasionally, it is no longer accidental. It is a routine and he is completely disloyal and he is not going to change.”

Relationship counsellor Robert Mkandawire believes love should be based on values of faithfulness, honesty, mutual respect and reciprocation.

“In a relationship, individuals have a responsibility to love the other person unconditionally not because of fear of losing them. The latter to me is a tool for mental subjugation and blackmail. Women need to understand that they have intrinsic value and that their worthiness does not depend on keeping a man at all cost and at the expense of their happiness and well being,” he explains.

While emphasising that both men and women hurt when cheating occurs in a relationship, Mkandawire observes that society, culture and women’s own softhearted nature makes them more accommodating of men’s disloyalty and, hence, forgive easily.

He said men and their egoistic nature on the other hand do not easily tolerate women’s unfaithfulness.

Mkandawire notes that this is why most men do not forgive their unfaithful wives.

Psychotherapist Daniel Chibwana, who is also the director of Marriage Education and Research Network (Mern) says cheating is a sign of a problem in a relationship or marriage and that there are multiple causes.

“No one cheats by chance or by coincidence. It is usually a premeditated action. Therefore, no partner should get away with cheating just because it’s not serial. But it is important for the two to deal with the actual problem that has ushered the partner into cheating.

“Couples should monitor and evaluate their characters towards partners to determine what could be the actual source of the problem and be willing to deal with it. Failure to deal with the source is inviting more problems in marriages,” says Chibwana.

Society seems to make women put up with some infidelity to be with a good man but how is he a “good man” if he’s hurting his partner?

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