My husband said he would forgive me if I ever cheated on him

M. Brown
Timothée Pons via Unsplash

**This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events that I have experienced firsthand; used with permission.

When we enter into long-term relationships and/or marriages, there’s usually an expectation of monogamy — unless you’re in a relationship where both parties have agreed that monogamy is not a central goal, of course.

Those of us who are in monogamous long-term relationships tend to hold the idea of romantic loyalty close to our hearts. I know I do.

I have a sense of pride about having never cheated on my husband — or any of my past romantic partners. It means something to me.

I understand that this view is not shared by everyone and that all relationships are inevitably different. I’m a loyal person by nature who enjoys one-on-one interaction, so perhaps being faithful to just one romantic partner isn’t as difficult for me as it may be for other people.

I’m not great at juggling multiple relationships. One romantic partner is quite enough for me. Other people have different needs and find being monogamous an arduous challenge.

The subject of infidelity came up in a discussion between me and my husband recently and he had a rather surprising perspective on the whole thing — one I hadn’t expected.

My husband told me that if I did ever cheat on him for some reason, that he would forgive me and he expressed hope that we could work through that kind of problem if it were ever to arise.

What? I was immediately taken aback.

I was left pondering how on earth my husband could still be in a relationship with me after I had cheated on him. It was a stunning revelation and I wasn’t even sure I was comfortable with it.

It seemed like a sweet sentiment, initially. Having a loving partner who would forgive infidelity is what many people dream of. However, I had a couple of issues with that sweet sentiment.

Firstly, if he felt he could somehow forgive me if I cheated on him, does that mean I would have to do the same? I’m honestly not sure that I could. I mean, it sounds promising in theory, but in actuality, I’m not so sure I could cope with that kind of betrayal.

I’ve seen the destruction that affairs can bring. I’m not so naive to think that my marriage could unequivocally survive an affair. None of us truly know how we would feel until we’re in that kind of situation, living through it.

Secondly, is it even OK for my husband to consider forgiving my theoretic infidelity? Does he (theoretically) deserve to go through that? I don’t think so. I have always told myself that I would never put someone I love through that kind of pain. I also hold the belief that I would end a relationship first if I felt I was in danger of cheating. In my mind, that would be the right thing to do.

When we think about what we might do or would probably do in certain situations, it’s much more simple than living through the actual events and having to feel the emotions that come with it.

I know that I would be absolutely devastated if I found out my husband cheated on me. The emotions I would undoubtedly go through would be crushing. I would assume that it would be the same for him.

While it might be nice to theorize our levels of forgiveness for circumstances that have not happened yet, I think it's important to acknowledge that people don’t always react in the way they think they would or in the way that they would want to react in any given situation.

As far as my husband thinking that he could forgive me for cheating on him — I admire his sweet intentions and his expression of unconditional love for me. I adore him for that. However, I don’t think I’ll be putting those sweet intentions to the test anytime soon.

Comments / 23

Published by

Passionately typing from California about relationships, lifestyle, family & self-improvement.

California State

More from M. Brown

Comments / 0