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Husbands That Cheat

Husbands That Cheat

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Dear Rachel,

With all the recent news stories about philandering husbands, I am starting to worry about my own. What can I do to help ensure that he won’t cheat on me? If these other men cheated on their beautiful, successful wives, what chance do the rest of us have?

Scared

Dear Scared,

I am so sorry to hear that you feel this insecure and worried about your relationship. For starters, that is the first thing that must change, as having doubts, fears and questions can eat away at the best of relationships.

If these other men cheated on their beautiful, successful wives, what chance do the rest of us have?Clearly, I don’t know you or your situation, but I find it interesting that you mention only reasons outside of your marriage that make you worry. At least from your letter, it seems that there is nothing that has happened inside of your relationship that is of concern.

If that is indeed the case, you are a perfect example of why we must keep our personal lives personal, and ensure that we protect them, not just from other people but from other influences.

In terms of the infidelities you mention, no matter how much we think we know from the media, we do not really know what is going on behind closed doors. But in general, when a man cheats, especially when a successful man in a position of power cheats, it is indicative of an issue, or ironically, insecurity, on his end that must be worked through. That is why typically, when these stories break, they are followed by reports of the counseling that the husband then enters to deal with his “problems.”

But without analyzing their situations, let’s discuss yours. And that is that at the core of any healthy relationship is being able to communicate and being able to trust. If you have any reason to doubt your husband, you must speak with him and share your concerns. If he has any behavior that has made you worried, you must communicate that to him and discuss ways it could change. However, if that is not the case, then it is essential that you trust him.

Our lives our built around trust. We trust, when we get into the car, that we will end up safely at our destination. We trust that when we eat something we won’t choke, or when we go to sleep, that we will wake up. Yet our trust must come along with gratitude and awareness as well. This is why Judaism teaches us that we must have emunah (faith) and bitachon (trust); yet, alongside that, we have blessings we say to ask for this security and to be thankful when all goes well.

We must keep our personal lives personalThis is why, when we drive, we have a blessing for safe travels, and we have a blessing for both before and after eating our food; and when we arise, the first thing out of our mouth is thanking our Creator for returning our soul.

So, then, how does this apply to your marriage?

You married the man you love, with the commitment to be true to one another. You must trust that this will be the case. Simultaneously, you need to ensure that you are communicating and sharing with each other your love, your concerns and your feelings. This is where that gratitude comes in. The same way we have trust and yet we say blessings before and after, apply that to your marriage. Recognize the wonderful things your husband does for you. Thank him for being there, and for helping out, and for making you happy—even before he does something specific. Acknowledge him for his hard work and his involvement in the various aspects of your life. You will find that the more you give and share, the more you will receive in return. And the more you receive of his love, affection and acknowledgement, the more it will help strengthen your relationship and will help dissipate your fears.

Moreover, Judaism teaches that marriage has three partners: the husband, the wife, and their Creator. When both of you are aware that there is that third partner who created your souls to come together and who is a part of your marriage, then you have something greater holding your marriage together. A beautiful concept is that the Hebrew word for man is ish and the Hebrew word for woman is ishah. They share two of the same letters, the aleph and the shin, which spell aish, which means “fire.” The two letters that are unique to each word are a yud and a hei, which spells one of the names of G‑d. This shows that men and women together, on their own, create fire. The fire may start as passion, but can quickly either grow out of control and consume, or cool off and die out. But when each partner recognizes that there is a third partner in their marriage, then the fire can exist and be one that illuminates, warms and glows.

Take a lesson from those stories as to the importance of working daily on your relationshipYes, there are marriages out there that fail, and where both men and women cheat. But you have no reason to believe that yours is one of them. So, instead of reading the news and worrying that maybe the same thing will happen to you, take a lesson from those stories as to the importance of working daily on your relationship to strengthen it and give it everything you have. And along with hard work, make sure you have that trust and gratitude, so that your fire will continue to burn strongly.

I wish you all the best in your marriage!

Rachel

"Dear Rachel" is a bi-weekly column that is answered by a rotating group of experts. This question was answered by Sara Esther Crispe.

Sara Esther Crispe, a writer, inspirational speaker and mother of four, is the Co-Director of Interinclusion, a non-profit multi-layered educational initiative celebrating the convergence between contemporary arts and sciences and timeless Jewish wisdom. Prior to that she was the editor of TheJewishWoman.org and wrote the popular weekly blog, Musing for Meaning. To book Sara Esther for a speaking engagement, please click here.
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Discussion (9)
April 23, 2014
I think men cheat for many reasons. Cheating is not acceptable . But is being rude acceptable more than cheating. Does behaving childish acceptable more than cheating. Nothing is acceptable and yet we place more weight on one and not the other. How about being disrespectful to your spouse, is there a justification for that. As partners we should agree what makes a relationship and stick to it with seriousness, and demonstrate it. If that is not possible, then it's time to separate ways. Cheating is just one of the many scourges of marriages which if left hanging both sides destroy the success of a good marriage.
Anonymous
Chipata zambia
September 18, 2013
Adultery
I am single and was involved with a man I have known for fifteen years I am very against adultery and this man who I could have fallen in love with lied to me about his marriage with his wife and the worst part about it is HE IS A CANTOR. this is a disgrace to the religion his shul and all fellow jews. Their is no excuse for adultery -if you are going to cheat get divorced this is discusting especially for the one who they are cheating with that nobody talks about unless they bad mouth them. I was there unfortunatley and can tell you that the cheater will lie through his teeth to be with you and I am far from naive. Also I cannot grasp how a cheating spouse can go home to their spiouse .... When a spouse cheats its black and white to me the spouse cheated on needs to leave the cheating spouse THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR ADULTERY AND I THINK THE LAWS ON IT SHOULD BE TOUGHER.
Jackie
new york
August 8, 2013
cheating husband
My husband is a cheater . He even has an account on a cheating spouse site. I discovered he has an antisocial personality disorder. He denies he cheats.. I want a get but he doesn't want to give it.
Anonymous
Texas
November 17, 2012
Why man cheating and lying
Got my husband he 44 years old why man who are married have female friends but they be secrect about what them talk and go meet them and disrespect u and cheat on you and have no treat you and kids with no respect and make us suffer
Maire
London
November 14, 2012
Communication
Talk with your man to make sure you both agree on what makes a pleasant relationship (and do those things), and what makes an unpleasant relationship (and don't do those things). You may have to tell him "Look honey, when you do _____, it makes me feel insecure in our relationship. You know how hard it is for me to function when I'm insecure. It makes me feel like our relationship is in danger of unraveling!"
Stephanie M.
Houston, TX USA
May 7, 2012
husband being sneaky and lying
why do men who are married have female friends but they be secrect about what thae talk about.and disrespect u for them?
rashanda montgomery
abilene, tx
April 5, 2012
Husbands That Cheat
Husbands cheat for different reasons:

1. Loss of love and interest
2. Boredom
3. Not enough intimacy
4. His wife makes more money
5. Can't communicate with his wife, so he decides to seek reassurance elsewhere.

IF your husband is cheating on you, you need to confront him about it. You can suggest counseling, but if he refuses, divorce him!
Lisa
Providence, RI
August 26, 2011
I would like to speak to the part of the letter
Where it says, "What CAN I DO to make sure he doesn't cheat".... Honey, there is NOTHING you or any woman does to MAKE a man do the wrong thing. My dad never cheated on my mom although she was a WITCH to him, yelled and screamed, insulted him, emasculated him with her accusations of not living up to the financial dreams she had, etc. Yet, he didn't cheat. There are others who are WONDERFUL women and their men cheat. It's all about the type of character the man has. Did you know MEN are afraid their WIVES will cheat? Yes, they think most wives do, and are just as afraid as you are. So, all the advice given here on this blog is great, but for that one thing...no. You can not DO anything to MAKE your man not cheat if he wants to do so. On the other hand, if you keep up the romance, that may, MAY, may keep the marriage peaceful and happy. The two of you need to agree on what makes a happy marriage and always communicate your needs honestly.
Karen Joyce Chaya Fradle Kleinman Bell
Riverside, CA, USA
July 15, 2011
Insecurity
I am not saying that wives do not have a right to worry. Undoubtedly some men will cheat or be deceitful in some way. But you can't live life in fear of what might happen. There could be a plane accident, a heart attack etc...Instead focus on strengthening your marriage. Do something everyday to make your spouses life better. For me, I try not to focus on my my wife's flaws. And she does the same. When *I* get annoyed I try to remember it is me that has the problem because she would never do something hurtful on purpose. Do chores for your spouse, leave loving notes in their car or work materials. Send cute photos via cell phone or email. Most of all make time every day to connect. It is what makes your relationship distinct from all others.
Jacob
Kalamazoo, MI