Being a military spouse, we all know those soldiers or fellow spouses who cheat on their partners. Maybe they cheat on them once or maybe they cheat on them multiple times when their spouse is gone. We’ve all heard about it, seen it happen to someone at the same post we’re at, or experienced it for ourselves. Cheating seems to be a common term used among military installations or even just when someone is talking about soldiers.
The term, “Once a cheater, always a cheater” seems to be a popular saying these days too. People have the thought that if a spouse messes up and cheats, they will always be a cheater and continue to cheat. But is that really a true saying we say or do we just say it out of misunderstanding, anger, or hurt?
Before my husband, I dated guys that weren’t so great to me. They cheated on me constantly and only wanted me for sex. I was stupid enough to put up with the cheating and continued to waste my time on them. It hurt being cheated on, but at least we were only dating and I could get out of the relationship whenever I wanted to. I didn’t take vows with that individual, so if they cheated on me I was able to say, “Screw you” and be done with it.
What happens though when you are married and your spouse cheats on you? What are we supposed to do? This topic can be a really heated topic between us MILSO’s, but honestly, what is the right thing to do in these situations? Is your right thing to do the same as your neighbors across the street? No, probably not.
“I, __________, take you, __________, to be my lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.”
These are basically the exact same vows my husband and I said to one another on our wedding day. We promised to love one another through the better days and the worst days. We promised to love each other no matter if we were financially stable or financially struggling. We promised to be there for one another through our healthy days and our sick days. We promised all of these things until death do us part.
Malachi 2:14-15 says, “Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.” “And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.”
These scriptures are really deep, so I will break them down for you to understand better. What the scriptures are saying is that these husbands in Old Testament times were not being faithful to their bond or vows with their wives. Instead of being faithful to their vows, they were treating them horribly and divorcing them to do what they wanted. They were not cherishing their wives the way that God required of them to do.
Can these scriptures be related back to us today? Of course they can. Too many times we see soldiers who will cheat on their wives just to get a “break” from their marriage or to just “let loose” with some attractive or not so attractive woman. We also see fellow MILSO’s who cheat on their soldiers because they use the excuses of being lonely, needing a break from the military lifestyle, or needing to feel loved. For whatever the reasons, we see it way more than we should.
My bible commentary says, “Divorce in these times were practiced exclusively by men. They broke faith with their wives and ignored the bonding between a husband and a wife that God instills (the two become one person) and his purpose for them (raising children who love the Lord, “godly seed”). Not only were men breaking faith with their wives, they were ignoring the bonding relationship and spiritual purpose of being united with God.”
When we get married and become one with our spouses, we are to cherish them for forever. We are to love them through the ugliest times and the most beautiful times. We are to try with all of our might to work out our differences and problems, no matter how big they may be. Trust me, I know it isn’t easy but when we become bonded to another soul, we are to love that soul like it is our own.
My bible commentary also says, “Take heed to your spirit means to have the same commitment to marriage that God has to his promises with his people. We need passion in the marriage relationship to keep the commitment and intimacy satisfying, but this passion should be focused exclusively on our spouse.”
I love what my commentary says because it really puts in to perspective how our marriages are to be. When we take vows to our spouses, we are saying, “I’m all yours for life. I will be 100% faithful and committed to you.”
Do those words really hold true throughout the entire marriage though? Maybe for some they do, but for others they don’t. Somewhere along the way, a spouse will mess up and allow for lust to get into their marriage. Can the infidelity ruin that persons marriage? Heck yeah it can! Should we let the infidelity ruin our marriages though? No, I don’t think we should and hear me out on this.
When I took vows to my husband, it clearly stated “for better or for worse” and “until death do us part”. Man, those are some solid vows! I was raised that my first marriage would be my only marriage, so for me, it is important for me to try to work out any issues me and my husband may have. When I took those vows, I didn’t fully understand them until a year past and we had hit some rocky patches. You see, when I was dating guys who made me mad or did me wrong, I was able to just break up with them and move on. When I got married, that mentality had to change because I shouldn’t want to throw in the towel on my marriage.
When cheating occurs, the spouse who committed the crime are the ones who broke their vows to you. We, as the hurting party are still required to uphold our vows to the individual who wronged us. Can it be hard to do? Most definitely. It takes lots of prayer and reading God’s word to help you through a situation like that. I am a firm believer in if it can be worked out and your spouse does change, stay and learn from it as a couple. Not many people in today’s age would agree with me, but that is just my beliefs on the topic.
So, how do you get past cheating? Will the trust never come back fully? Will you constantly worry about him cheating again? I mean, how do we get past this garbage and get back to being happy with our spouse, right?
We get back to our happiness with our spouse through lots of talking and praying out the problems. We get our trust back slowly by putting the worries and pain in our Saviors hands. We stop worrying constantly whenever a chick walks by, when we look to God for the peace that only he can give us. It takes lots of tears, anger, frustration, and forgiveness to mend the broken vow.
Song of Solomon 8:6-7 says, “Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.” “Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it be utterly contemned.”
Love is just as strong as death, which means true love cannot be killed by any disaster this life may throw at you. Love is freely given to each and everyone of us, even in times of heartbreak. There is no set price or time limit on love.
Your spouse may wrong you in this lifetime, but if they come to you with a genuine heart that admits to their wrong doing and is genuine about change, take their hand and try to work it out together. I know that is a lot easier said than done, but I can promise you, it can be done with lots of prayer and a heart of forgiveness. When we forgive our spouse of wrong doing, it sets us free from bitterness.
Hebrews 13:4 says, “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.”
To remain faithful in a marriage takes true christian conviction and faithfulness to your significant other. There are always going to be prettier women out there or more handsome men out there, but our eyes, minds, and hearts should be solely focused on the one we said “I do” to.
The question is are those who cheat always cheaters? Will they never change or can a cheater be changed from their ways for good?
I believe that God can change anyone and mold them into His image. I believe that people mess up sometimes, but that doesn’t make them a bad person. God is truly able to change a persons heart if they are willing for God to change them. I also believe that in order to get past the heartbreak and anger, we have to be willing to forgive the one who caused us the pain. When my husband makes me mad, I always think back to the reasons I fell in love with him and why I married him. When I take the time to step back and reflect on why I chose this man to be my forever, I’m able to let go of the things that aggravate me or maybe even sometimes hurt me.
If you are dealing with cheating in your marriage or have in the past, I want to encourage you that with prayer and trust in God, things can change. It takes work to build a marriage and it takes work to keep it strong. The most important thing to remember is that with God, anything is possible. As cliche as that may sound, it is the truth. Your husband doesn’t have to fall into that category of always being a cheater. You don’t have to fall into that category of being a “dependa” who stays just because you depend on him financially. You all can work through the bonds that have been broken with the help of God and come out stronger than before.
Cheating is never okay. It is okay to get angry and it is okay to stay mad for awhile, but don’t stay there. Wipe your tears away, look to God for the answers, and let God heal you and your marriage because with Him, it is possible.