Cheating… Who is to Blame?

Angelism: “The quickest way to ruin a relationship is to cheat. Love doesn’t last long when there is no trust.”

My boyfriend and I have very different viewpoints on cheating and who is to blame. Cheating has never been an issue between us since we have both been faithful, at least to my knowledge, but the challenge is we think differently about who takes the heat for infidelity. So who do you point the finger at when your mate turns to another person for sex and intimacy?
I feel that a relationship is between two people, the two that made the commitment to each-other. The person who needs to stay strong and be true to me is the one who vows to do so. I need to be faithful in return. When a third party gets involved, I expect that my mate will be responsible for fighting off any urges to stray in order to remain monogamous to me. If my man cheats on me with a person at his work, a bartender, a stripper, or a friend of a friend who I have never met, do I blame him, her, or both? This is tough question to answer because there are many different opinions. I happen to feel that the person responsible would be my man, and my man feels that both people are to blame.
It seems in society that people like to put the blame on the third party equally when the one they should really have frustration and disappointment with is their mate who shattered the trust. I agree that the third party who gets involved with a spoken for person has done something irresponsible, but it happens, and people cheat everyday and don’t feel guilty about it. If they truly felt guilt they wouldn’t do it. If a stranger has the hots for your man, knows he is taken, but wants to get naked with him anyway, who are you to think she should hold back? What can you really expect from a stranger? Does this make her a bad person, or a human acting on impulse and living in the moment? If I sleep with a waiter while on a girls only vacation, the waiter is not to blame, I am.
The divorce rate in this country is over 50%. People are obviously cheating often, don’t think you are exempt. The sooner you accept this as a possibility, the less painful it will be if you are faced with it. I have family members and friends who have cheated and I don’t think they are evil, I think they are human. It takes a strong, happy, committed, loving, honest and respectful relationship, to stay totally true and faithful for decade after decade. That kind of commitment requires you to stop your hormones and desires every time they stray to thoughts of, “What if?” You have to be excited about going home to the same lover every day of your life and reinvent yourself over and over again so you don’t get bored. You have to be a person of so much integrity and faith that when and if you have desires to be involved with someone outside of your relationship, you choose not to act on it and instead go home to your partner and work it out. Realistically, how many people actually fall into this highly honorable category? A 100% true relationship requires a lot of work and willpower to avoid every temptation along the way for years and years.
Although I say I would only blame the lover that actually cheated on me, I have one exception to that rule. This is what confuses my boyfriend. I told him if he ever cheated on me with a dear friend, I would blame them both. The way I see it is anyone who I know and love, who has a commitment to me to respect and be loyal to me, should not engage in this kind of promiscuous behavior behind my back. So yes, be pissed if your best friend sleeps with your man. I say disown them both for betraying your trust. However, if he hooks up with a bartender, then it’s not her fault. There are many people in this world who have no real feelings. They sleep with someone without any regard for the other person. Many of them don’t even know there is another person to be concerned about. You can blame this third party person all you want but the fact is, if they cared they would not have done it. The person who was supposed to care, have your back and honor you no matter what, is your partner. When your mate sleeps with another person with no regard or respect for how it will make you feel, that is the enemy, that is who you blame.
My boyfriend feels both people are to blame so we agree to disagree. I get what he is saying to a certain extent. I don’t think women or men should encourage, or put effort towards having sex with married/ committed people unless both parties agree it’s OK. I think passing the buck to the third party is a way of blaming someone other than the love of your life for ruining your relationship. I admire that my man cared enough about this topic to have a conversation about it. I’m also grateful that our differences of opinion didn’t get in the way of us having sex later that day. It amazes me that after almost 13 years together we can still challenge each other’s thoughts like this and be mature about it.
What do you think about cheating? For me, anyone who gives into cheating is not a person of enough integrity and respect for me to be with, or waste my time being mad at. I would cut the ties, forgive, never forget, and walk away knowing I did nothing wrong. When someone cheats, everything is lost; faith, trust, hope, love, and a future of comfort and commitment. You feel a pain that is unexplainable and in a moments time all you thought you had, the love you feel existed all those years, is over. Having full trust again of the person who strayed is impossible. The unfaithfulness will haunt you if you stay. In my opinion, someone who cheats doesn’t deserve your love, move on.

You 1st, Mate 2nd

Angelism: “Me first today!”

I know it’s hard sometimes to put yourself first but you have to. Placing more importance on your mate than on yourself is the biggest mistake a woman can make. You may think, “I am single I don’t have to worry about this,” but you do. Because depending on how long you are single, a common mistake single women make is when you finally meet someone you are truly interested in you put all your eggs in one basket. You forget what you want because you are so focused on what they want. The point here is to stay on track with your personal goals in life.
Recently my boyfriend and I were on a road trip to Vegas. A road trip is a perfect time to ask questions and talk openly about your relationship. We agreed when we started the conversation that we would be open for positive and negative feedback and that the intention of the discussion was to learn more about where we are now versus 15 years ago. It was fun and I walked away discovering a new side of my boyfriend and loving him even more. The moment I remember most was when I asked him what three things he found attractive about me. He responded, “Your confidence, your fun energy, and the fact that you’re so passionate.” I was instantly overjoyed.
I can honestly say that I agree with my boyfriend and I’m happy he can see the good things in me. I put effort into living a positive life every day and I can only do this by putting me 1st! The reward and recognition you get when you take time for your soul is amazing. You can’t give to others unless you give to yourself, and putting you first doesn’t make you a bad woman – it makes you a smart one. You will have nothing to give if you burn yourself out meeting others’ needs before meeting your own.
End of day, my confidence glows. I appreciate the skin I’m in and I love me despite my imperfections. I have energy because I take time for myself. I exercise often which is a natural drug, I make time to connect with my mate and my friends, and I am committed to a job that I love. Life is exciting and the endorphins simply take over. I’m very committed to this I love, and it’s because I put myself first that I can enjoy life.
I have only had very few relationships with men that I would say are valid. I consider all the other boyfriends practice. Sorry guys. My first marriage was when I was 20. I was young, confused and I put the man first because I thought that’s how it worked. He was in the military and had many career needs. Before I knew it I had no idea who I was, or what I was doing. All I knew was that I had to make sure he was happy, that his needs were met, and that he had his way. Let’s just say when his happiness ran out, mine did too. There I was, stuck in his world, and in that moment it felt like life was over. 
Now 20 years later, and in a long-lasting healthy and vibrant relationship, I am so grateful to know who I am and how I got here. I was single for over two years after my marriage ended. During that time I stayed away from men, I focused on me, discovered what my needs were, made time to explore my womanhood and had fun. It was this turning point that led to one of the healthiest relationships I’ve ever known. And even though I love my boyfriend dearly, I still, 16 years later, put me 1st. The fact is that anything can happen and if he is not around someday I have to continue to be confident, strong and comfortable standing in my own skin. So the lesson here is,”You 1st, Mate 2nd,” no matter what.