I feel betrayed. I am insecure with them communicating, especially when there is no need for them to communicate. I mean, hourlong conversations according to the phone records. I spoke with her briefly, and she said they have not been intimate. But, is this a prelude of a rerun to come? I love him and want us to work out. However, I don't trust he will be faithful because he has shown he is a cheater. I don't want to feel "Once a cheater, always a cheater." Am I overreacting? Was he wrong? I am lost at what to do. I feel as if I should leave him and separate for a while. What advice do you have for me? Signed lost, loved or maybe not!
— Danielle T., Lakewood, California
Cheating is more than an action—it's an attitude. Changing the attitude requires the man (let's assume we are talking about cheating husbands for the moment) to change his attitude first, his behavior second. If only the behavior changes, the result will be superficial. His wife will always be nervous and insecure about a relapse, as you are right now.
I don't insist that "Once a cheater, always a cheater," because that saying was born out of bitter experience. Here are the ingredients that go into a cheater's psyche:
- The more women I have, the sexier I feel.
- Men aren't designed to be monogamous.
- Sleeping with other women gives me breathing room in my marriage. It's like a vacation.
- The other women don't mean anything. I don't see why my wife is so upset.
- A real man can satisfy more than one woman.
- I do whatever I can get away with.
- I have a right to be myself, and this is who I am.
- It's easier to run to another woman than to face problems with my wife.
- It's my wife's fault, really. She doesn't satisfy me.
- I am open-minded, and I can't help it if other people, including my wife, aren't.
I don't want to be gloomy. If your husband is telling the truth and no longer cheating, you need to take responsibility and deal with your own insecurity. It's inevitable that having a cheating spouse is devastating to one's own sense of being desirable, worthy, protected, nurtured and cherished. You must use your vulnerable state to acquire those things in yourself. But if you undertake such a journey to heal, the first step is your husband must agree to change his attitude. Otherwise, you are trying to empty the bathtub while he keeps dumping in more water.
Next question: How do I calm my mind and reconnect with my spiritual side after greiving the loss of a child?
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Deepak Chopra is the author of more than 50 books on health, success, relationships and spirituality, including his current best-seller, Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul, and The Ultimate Happiness Prescription, which are available now. You can listen to his show on Saturdays every week on SiriusXM Channels 102 and 155.
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