First of all, I have to ask you a question: are you dating to marry or dating for fun? If you are dating to marry, which I believe the intent of dating and courtship should be, then is this man someone you see yourself marrying? Could you see yourself bonded to him forever and always? Could you see yourself having children just like him? If you answered, “Yes” and truly wish to continue this relationship then here is my advice.
- Stop rehearsing the event. Yes, this is extremely hard because the memories sometimes come out of nowhere, but it must be done. What worked for me, not just with cheating but in overcoming unhealthy thoughts in general, was to apply a Biblical truth to every thought. I created a table of common thoughts I was battling and the Biblical truth I would use to combat it. If I felt afraid that every man would hurt me, I replaced the thought with 1 John 4: 18 “There is no fear in love…” If I felt I was alone and helpless, I would cling to verses like Psalm 18:2 “The Lord is my protector; he is my strong fortress. My God is my protection, and with him I am safe. He protects me like a shield; he defends me and keeps me safe.” What ever thought arises, there is a scripture to defeat it! (See Colossians 3:2 and Philippians 4:8.)
- Stop punishing him. I know, sometimes you don’t even mean to, but this has to stop. Forgiveness means to cancel the debt, cancel the resentment and cancel the anger. That means you cancel the punishment! Luke 17: 3-4 says, “So watch yourselves. If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.” Notice, that is one rebuke and a whole heap of forgiveness!
- Pray intentionally and unceasingly. I encourage you to pray for discernment, pray for wisdom and pray for the truth to be revealed. Pray for the Lord to reveal to you plainly if this man is or isn’t the one. Pray to know if you are wasting your efforts and trust that God will reveal the answer to you. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” You have to trust that God has your best interests at heart, that He sees your hurt and that He will provide you with direction if you seek it. See also James 1:6-7.
- Stop having sex with him. Sex clouds your mind and clouds your judgement. You truly want to hear from God here. If you feel you cannot stop having sex with him because he will go out and cheat on you then honey, please let him go!
- Don’t blame yourself. His lack of self control has less to do with you and more to do with him. Women who cook bomb food have been cheated on. Women who take care of their man’s every need have been cheated on. Women who have amazing bodies have been cheated on. Women who give great head and mind blowing sex have been cheated on. Women who are drop dead gorgeous have been cheated on. Do not blame yourself…instead, let’s move to my next point.
- Perform a self evaluation. Whether or not your significant other has cheated, a self evaluation should be part of your annual regime. Are you selfish? Are you too accepting? Are you controlling? Do you lack trust? Do you try to control and monitor his every move? Okay, so he may not deserve your trust or respect, but the latter is not conditional (Ephesians 5:33). Before I was married to my husband, God called me to submit to and respect him. Even without a ring, he was my husband! and therefore the requirement was different. Now, before you wonder how God would join you to a cheater, I want you to read Hosea from start to finish. If this man truly is your husband, God is birthing something in you and pruning you and your eventual husband for far greater. Your relationship will save marriages one day.
Overcoming cheating is hard, but it is also possible. Women have married men who made mistakes during dating and now have amazing, faithful marriages. Still, there are some women who left the cheater behind (like I did) and went on to marry someone new. Allow God to chart your course: not your emotions, not soul ties, not good sex, not his “endowment”, not a large bank account or a sexy car –> GOD! Your future is too important to risk on the wrong one.
My final question is this: who is your man submitted to? If not to God, who will hold him accountable? Where is his accountability? Is it to you, what’s in his pants, his upbringing? You have to know his WHY (as in, “Why won’t I cheat? Why won’t I risk losing her? Why should I be faithful?). If you don’t know his why or he doesn’t have a clear why, then he shouldn’t have you. Again, discernment is key.
This is a hard topic that is very close to my heart. I pray God’s best for your life, always.